October 3, 1919
The Steel Strike Still Holds Public
October 10, 1919
The Steel Strike is Still On
With Few if Any Changes
As we go to
press the steel strike remains unsettled. We
find it difficult to obtain reliable news, as one
story is hardly completed until another story is told
that contradicts it, but gleaning from the mass of
rumors and facts as near as we can get them, the strike
situation is about as it was last week.
The operators are claiming
many gains and seem able to keep up a show of running
their plants, while officials of the strikers claim
that the tie-up is daily gaining ground and that in
the no distant future smoke will cease coming form
the stacks, and the making of steel in Pittsburgh
A congressional committee
was expected here to inquire into the details of the
strike, but for some reason has failed to appear thus
far but are looked for soon.
William Z. Foster, secretary-treasurer
of the National Committee of the strikers, returned
to Pittsburgh Tuesday from Washington, where he attended
the meeting of the executive council of the American
Federation of Labor, which took up the subject of
financing the strike.
Mr. Foster would say nothing
about the results of the Washington meeting, although
news dispatches from the National capital yesterday
said the executive council had decided to defer payment
of strike benefits.
Source: National Labor
Journal, Vol. XIII., No. 41, p. 1, October 10, 1919
Click to view an account
of the 1919 Strike in McKeesport written in 1935
by a writer most likely employed with the National
From the Best Available Information the
Tie Up is Holding out Hopes of Success
The steel strike is still
holding its ground, according to the best evidence procurable at this
writing. The Senate Labor Committee which is investigating the
trouble, was to have come to Pittsburgh today to get first-hand facts
from the steel industries here, but on account of the hearing at
Washington and the fact that the peace treaty is now occupying the
attention of the Senate, their visit may be delayed.
The strike, at the end of the second week, is
settling into what promises to be a long drawn out affair, with both
sides apparently determined to carry the fight to a finish.
The operators are doing everything in their
power to induce the striking steel workers to return to their jobs,
liberally using the columns of the daily papers as a means of
communicating their "Go Back to Work" propaganda. They
claim that men are returning daily and that mills which at the beginning
of the strike had been forced to suspend operations, are again
resuming. They state that nothing which has been started in a
manufacturing way since the strike began has been forced to stop.
Secretary W.Z. Foster left last night for
Washington to appear before the Senate investigating committee. He
went after a determined effort to avoid going at this time, as the
organizing committee felt that his presence in Pittsburgh just now is
urgently necessary. Attorney W.B. Rubin, counsel for the National
strike committee and M.F. Tighe, president of the Amalgamated
Association of Machinists were in Washington Wednesday in an endeavor to
save Secretary Foster from going, but were unsuccessful, and notified
Foster that he would have to appear at the capital Thursday.
The headquarters of the McKeesport Central
Labor Union, at 416 Market street, also used as headquarters by the
McKeesport steel strikers was closed Wednesday afternoon by Chief of
Police James Beddington on orders from Mayor George Lysle.
William Murphy, district organizer of
McKeesport, in charge of the headquarters, said that 34 men had been
arrested by police or beaten by the state police and that they were
stating their cases to Jacob Roe of Pittsburgh, an attorney for the
American Federation of Labor.
Secretary Foster, commenting upon the testimony
of Judge Gary before the Senate committee Wednesday, said:
"We are pleased by Judge Gary's statements
before the Senate committee. They show more convincingly than
anything which we could say, that the head of the United States Steel
Corporation stands stubbornly for autocratic control of industry.
He believes in the system under which a small board of directors have
absolute sway over the conditions of labor in an industry.
The judge's talk about the danger of domination of the steel industry by
trades unions is just a smoke screen thrown out to obscure the
issues. The workers are demanding the right of collective
bargaining in the only practical way it can be had -- through the trades
Source: National Labor Journal, Vol.
XIII., No. 40, p. 1, October 3, 1919.