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New England Strike Grows All Fall River Mills Idle; President Seeks Mediators

Estimate 200,000 Out

Organizer Arrested at Nashua, N. H.- Walk out in Paterson Area

At least 200,000 textile workers responded to the general strike called in the first real test of the walkout Tuesday. An independent survey by the Associated Press shows the strike picture in New England.

  Workers Idle
Maine 22,400 1,000
New Hamp. 13,000 5,000
Vermont 3,000 500
Massachusetts 77,000 32,000
Rhode Island 50,000 4,200
Connecticut 32,000 5,000
Nation 650,641 207,300

FALL RIVER (AP) Upton Sinclair, president of the Fall River Cotton Manufactures association announced at noon today that they members of the association had decided to close all their plants throughout the city.

Almost the entire textile industry will be at a standstill here as of the result.

HYDE PARK (AP)- President Roosevelt determined today to name immediately a special board to enquire into and mediate the wide-spread textile strike.

The President acted upon the request of the national labor relations board. He will name probably three members and the personnel will be announced very shortly.

The national labor board asked to withdraw from the strike negotiations to serve in the capacity of a court of appeals in the dispute. Aside from this move, the President is contemplating no federal interference in the strike. He will undoubtedly wait to receive the first hand reports of the special board.

(By the Associated Press)

Union textile leaders strengthened their lines today in an effort to make the general strike in the industry "85 per cent effective" by the end of the first week.

The strike apparently gained headway in New England as Fall River, one of the industry's largest centers, reported seven additional mills closed, bringing the number to 10 out of 22.

At Macon, Ga., the three mills of the Bibb Manufacturing company were closed until further notice after a series of fights at the gates.

A strike call for 20,000 silk and rayon workers in the Paterson, N. J. area became effective despite the fact the industry relations board there had failed to authorize a walkout. The Paterson workers were not called out at the time of the general strike because of an individual contract stipulating that the Paterson board must rule 40 per cent of the industry outside the area on strike before a walkout there became legal.

The response to the Paterson strike order was not immediately determined but leaders expected the walkout to be effective because the workers are highly organized.

In Nashua, N. H., Horace Broulette, a UPW organizer, was arrested and charged by police with parading without a license. Police said he led a group of pickets and that after his arrest, the crowd became unruly and cruising patrol cards were called to disperse them.

Approximately 270 out of 450 mills were reported closed in the two Carolinas, with the total number of workers out placed at 90,000 out of 160,000, an increase of 10,000 over yesterday's estimate.

In Alabama two-thirds of the industry seemed to be operating under normal conditions. Order was maintained throughout the the affected areas and threats of trouble at small centers was consider to have abated.

A survey of the industry at Pawtucket, R. I., indicated all plants operating with practically full staffs. Union leaders were said to be directing their efforts to bringing out loom fixers in an effort to force the closing.

NEW BEDFORD- (AP)- All textile mills here were closed today as officials of the Firestone Cotton mill, the last to remain open, announced their plant had been closed for the rest of the week as a measure of protection to the workers.

NORTH ADAMS. (AP)- Four textile plants in North Adams, two cotton and two woolen mills, employing 1,325, resumed operations today with all hands at work, mill officials said, while all but about a dozen employes of the four mills of the Berkshires' Fine Spinning Associates, Inc., employing about 2,000? remained on strike.

Officials of the mills in North Adams said that the strike call had been ignored. In Williamstown about 200 rmployed in a cotton mill continued operations. Mill officials said they also ignored the strike call.

HOLYOKE- Two Holyoke silk manufacturing companies, William Skinner and Sons, largest individual silk manufacturing concern in the world, and the Mabson Silk company, closed indefinitely yesterday, as the textile strike opened.

The Skinner plant was closed when only a few employes on the second shift reported after noon. Only a handful had reported in the morning. The Mabson company officials shut down early in the day.

The American Thread company officials announced that both local divisions would be open again today, although not more than 25 were working, 1100 men and women remaining out.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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There is currently no available "Beginner" label. The following is the default level label: The era of the Great Depression was marked by strikes, labor violence, and the growing power of unions. The national textile strike of 1934, which received extensive coverage in the Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette, was part of this trend. The strike centered in cotton textile mills in southern New England and the south but, as this article shows, silk mills in Holyoke were also affected. The company owned by the influential Skinner family, the largest silk manufacturer in the world, was shut down. The textile strike, although unsuccessful in unionizing the industry in the south, helped create pressure for federal legislation. In 1935 Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act which gave rights to workers organizing unions.

 

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"New England Strike Grows All Fall River Mills Idle; President Seeks Mediators" article in the Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette

publisher   Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette
date   Sep 5, 1934
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
height   14.0"
width   3.0"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L08.036


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See Also...

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

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