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Wage Dispute At Monroe Bridge Causes Dismissal Of Score In Department

Calendar Room Men Leave Jobs, Claiming Two Cuts in Wages Amounted to 20 Per Cent Reduction- State Police Called But Men Say They Want No Trouble

State police again patrolled this small village last night following a strike and subsequent dismissal of about 20 employes of the Deerfield Glassine company. The men left their jobs in the calendar department on Sunday as a result of two cuts in wages and what they claim to be unsatisfactory working conditions. They claim the two cuts amounted to a total of about 20 per cent reduction. The plant employs nearly 160 men and the calendar department is the only one tied up in the wage discussion.

Reports that the company officials had imported a gang of men from Boston to replace those in the walkout were denied today, but it ascertained that three or four men had been brought there from Fitchburg and that two or three jobs on Sunday had already returned.

Men Go to Readsboro

The rest of those who went out were given 12 hours to leave their rooms in the company's dormitory after receiving their pay at ? clock noon on Monday. These men have gone to Readsboro, Vt., where they are now quartered in a boarding house. They returned last evening for their mail and soon afterward departed for North Adams and Greenfield. It was during the early evening that Corp. Walter White at the Shelburne Falls barracks arrived as he has been doing since the wage dispute started but there was no trouble. The men said they wanted an opportunity to present their grievance. It is understood that the company presented their side of the controversy before the men left their jobs. The state officer was still on duty in the village square at midnight.

Mr. Armideo, office manager, said that the company has been paying its employes 30 per cent more than is paid in other mills for the same character of work. He said a cut of 12 per cent was given in the calendar department which brought the pay down to 70 cents an hour still 18 per cent higher than paid in other mills for the same kind of work. Mr. Armideo said that several of the men who left the employ of the factory have applied for their jobs back but have not been taken.

An employe of the mill, who seems in close touch with the situation, stated that eventually all of the men would be back on the jobs. It is understood that if the tie-up in the calendar department continues much longer it will affect the rest of the plant.

Mr. Hodgedon, present general manager of the plant is in town from New York. The presence of the state officers in the town was at the request of a mill official who asked protection.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The American worker was in a difficult position during the years of the Great Depression. Until labor legislation was enacted during the New Deal, American labor law granted few rights and even fewer protections to workers. The Deerfield Glassine company manufactured a special translucent paper at Monroe Bridge, a hamlet in Northwestern Massachusetts. When 20 of its workers went on strike to protest a significant cut in their wages, the response of company officials was typical. The strikers were fired, and it seems likely that other workers were hired to take their place. State police were called in to enforce order.


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"Wage and Dispute at Monroe Bridge Causes Dismissal of Score in Department" article from the Greenfield Daily Recorder newspaper

publisher   Greenfield Daily Recorder
date   Jul 18, 1930
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
height   9.0"
width   2.0"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L06.004

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See Also...

"The Dilemma" political cartoon from the Daily Recorder-Gazette newspaper

"Share the Work Campaign Gets Under Way at Meeting" article from the Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette Newspaper

"Immigration Restrictions Tightened to Alleviate Unemployment Situation" article from the Greenfield Daily Recorder newspaper

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