Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 04, 1864General Rosenkranz' Order against Strikes (Editorial)
Since a condition of war still exists in Missouri, General Rosenkranz has issued the following order: "Everybody is forbidden, directly or indirectly to intimidate, or to hinder from the performance of his duty, any workman who is employed in a Saint Louis factory or shop where articles for use on ships plying Western waters, or in the service of the military, marine, or transport-divisions of the United States. Other workers may not enter such establishments for the purpose of finding out who works in them. Organization, maintenance, and attendance upon meetings, of associations or combines that propose to dictate to the owners of such establishments who shall, and who shall not, work therein, is also prohibited." Thus if necessary, men who work in the aforesaid factories or shops are granted military protection. The proprietors of these places of business are ordered to 2report the names of all those "who have left their work since March 15, 1864 for the purpose of joining such an association or combine, or who have been induced to leave their work through the activity of such an association or combine, or through the efforts of individuals affiliated with such associations or combines." The commanding office is charged with the enforcement of this order, and the city authorities, as well as all loyal citizens, are asked to co-operate.
We condemn this order, because we consider it both unjust and unnecessary. It is true, of course, that the introduction to the order indicates that the military authorities do not wish to include within the scope of the order the wage question or strikes for the purpose of obtaining more pay, and that these authorities are apparently concerned solely with interference by workers with the operation of the aforementioned businesses. It is also true, of course, that the order pertains to those branches of business that manufacture goods necessary to carry on the war. However, we should like to ask, How many 3factories and shops are not included in this category? Tailors, manufacturers of boots and shoes, machinists, saddlers, blacksmiths, wagonmakers, steelworkers--in short, men in nearly all the principal occupations and trades in Saint Louis are doing work for the Army or Navy. And, no doubt, the order goes far beyond its original object, for it directly deprives workers of their right to join an association, but does not take this right away from manufacturers or dealers. Furthermore, the order imposes a system of military supervision upon workers. It greatly exceeds the limits set by the New York Antistrike Bill, which was withdrawn when the workers who would have been adversely affected by it protested against its passage. The encroachment upon personal freedom and the systematic secret persecution which the order involves are not justifiable under any circumstances.
And, besides, the order will not attain its purpose, which is to prevent interruption in work that is being done for the Army or Navy. Yes, we venture to say that it will have just the opposite effect; for many workers in Saint Louis will go to other cities where there is also a shortage of labor and 4where higher wages are paid, or where the workers are not hindered by the military or municipal authorities from endeavoring to obtain more pay.
Let us hope that Colonel Knobelsdorff, who is so sensible and humane in other respects, will have withdrawn his order by this time.
I D 2 a 4, I D 2 a 2, I D 2 a 3, I G
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