Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- October 08, 1872The Bricklayers' Strike.
Some of the striking bricklayers seem to be firmly resolved to attain the long desired aim of an eight hour day or to perish fighting for it. Others, not a few, are inclined to accept the compromise offered by the contractors, - namely, the ten hour day, or to work as long as the daylight permit at the same wages as before the strike, and an assurance that after January 1, eight hours will be regarded as the legal work day.
Especially the German workers yesterday seemed willing to accept this, in our opinion, very reasonable compromise and only the violent opposition and threatening attitude of the American bricklayers prevented them from resuming work. It is rumored that all who would resume work on these conditions have been threatened with violence.2
We hope that the rumor exaggerates. Otherwise, should it be true and should the attempt be made to carry out the threat, it will happen that we can tell the gentlemen of the strike committee there will be dire consequences for themselves. The bricklayers undoubtedly have the right to form a union...they even have the undisputed privilege, if a majority is for it, to resolve to go on strike. But the right to coerce any member to obey this resolution and to conform with the orders of the majority, that right they have not...It is quite natural, also, for the workers to combine in order to take care of their own interests. Even if the Crispin Ritter Lodge, in Chicago, now and then made mistakes on the whole it did much good.
The speaker did not believe that the solution of the labor question eventually would lead to bloody conflicts; the education of our day would prevent that. In the United States such conflicts could all the less be expected, because it is the country of the vote, by virtue of which many things have been ironed out. Finally, Mr. Hoffman asked those present 3not to despair if the press falsified, ignored or ridiculed their endeavors. The press, he said was very powerful, and could help much or hurt much. Unfortunately the trade unions were not able to have their own press; eventually that would become different.
After Mr. Hoffman had ended, the question of a wage raise for the shoemakers was debated. It was decided to hold a mass meeting of the shoemakers of all nationalities at the same place, next Sunday.
It also was communicated that a committee of the Hans Von Sagan Lodge was charged to made contact with the Scandinavian Lodge. The latter plans to hold a mass meeting in the interest of a raise of wages in about two months.
I D 2 a 4, I C, I D 2 a 2
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