The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

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  • Daily Jewish Courier -- November 15, 1907
    Our Sweat Shops

    Mr. Edgar Davis, Illinois state factory inspector, lectured at the Chicago Hebrew Institute, 224 Blue Island Avenue, on sweat shop conditions in factories in the Jewish neighborhood.

    Mr. Davis is known as a friend of the Jews and we should take notice of what he said. Mr. Davis revealed that the working conditions in the Jewish section were intolerably dirty and a danger to the lives and health of the Jewish workers who work in the sweat shop factories. He revealed that more than 13,000 children who should still be in school work in these factories and break down their health before they have had an opportunity to fully develop body and soul. It is tragic to behold young children, who by force of economic circumstance are compelled to leave their work and play to help their families earn their daily bread. Economic conditions, perhaps, are to blame for the children having to work in these factories, but the manufacturers 2are to blame for the intolerable and unhealthy working conditions. Those bosses who could easily comply with the sanitary laws and do not, sin not against the state, but against humanity and against themselves, for because of their negligence, many diseases spread and take their toll.

    Statistics on consumption sufferers show that the sweat shops produce the greatest percentage of sufferers of this type. Many other diseases spread because of dirty, close, ill-lighted and ill-ventilated working quarters. Every manufacturer should consider it his duty to limit the spread of these afflictions by providing better working conditions.

    Mr. Davis remarked that many bosses try to hinder the sanitary inspector in his work to better the sanitary conditions of the factory. Many bosses have agreed to notify each other when an inspector appears and thus be given an opportunity to clean up their plants. Immediately after the inspector leaves, conditions are allowed to become as bad as before.

    3

    America is a land where cleanliness is considered a very important factor in our daily lives. We feel it our duty to prevent disease among workers. This can be done by imposing severe penalties upon violator of sanitary working condition laws. It is the duty of every boss to abide by these laws, and wherever the boss fails in his duties workers should report violations to protect themselves and their fellow workers. Clean shops are equally important to the workers and the bosses. Every effort should be made to have them kept clean.

    (Signed) M. Zioni.

    Mr. Edgar Davis, Illinois state factory inspector, lectured at the Chicago Hebrew Institute, 224 Blue Island Avenue, on sweat shop conditions in factories in the Jewish neighborhood. Mr. Davis is ...

    Jewish
    I H, I D 1 b
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- April 01, 1908
    The Labor World the Manner of Organizing the Cloak Makers Formerly and Now

    It is a well known fact that Jewish workers can be organized much easier than workers of other nationalities. Take, for instance, German workers. In order to organize them, it would take months and even years of talking and enlightenment, until we can succeed in organizing them. But if they are once organized, they would not leave the organization even though they may suffer the greatest defeat in their strikes, yet they would still remain in the union to which they belong.

    But that is not so with Jewish workers. You can easily organize them, but the question is whether you can hold them in the organization. Whether they win or lose, they soon get tired of it. They fall out of the organization, and as a result, the union soon collapses. In general, you find Jewish workers organizing themselves, at least, once a year.

    2

    In business on a small scale, where the bosses are not big capitalists, new unions are born almost every few months, and it happens in the following manner: One fine morning the boss is having an argument with a worker; the boss being nervous and grouchy, slaps the worker. Or, it may happen that the boss deducts five cents from a dozen pieces of work. Soon there develops a feeling of solidarity amongst the workers, and every worker thinks of taking revenge on the exploiters. In the evening, after they get through with their work, they get together and hold a meeting on a corner near the shop, and they decide, right then and there, to organize a union, and if necessary to strike. They make a collection, they have handbills printed. They invite other workers of the trade to join them not to let those exploiters oppress them. In the evening, when the meeting is about to take place, a fiery crater appears and holds an inflammatory speech, waking up the sleeping giant, the Samson of labor, to fight, and urging them on to join the union, at once. They pay twenty-five cents, in dues, and decide to go on strike, immediately.

    3

    However, not having the necessary experience how to conduct strikes, and also not having financial support, they appeal to Jewish workers working at different trades, and belonging to different unions, to aid them. But the workers of the different unions, adopt resolutions of sympathy and give them their moral support, but when it comes to financial support, there is very little or none at all. And naturally, when they are on strike, and get no financial aid, they are not able to pay the grocery-man and the butcher, and you certainly cannot pay with sympathy resolutions. Soon the enthusiasm and ardor of the striking workers cools down. The fiery oratory of the agitators loses its effect. They are forced to give up the strike. The workers go back to work as a dejected and defeated lot. Thus their condition, instead of improving, becomes worse than previously, and in a few months the story repeats itself, and with the same results.

    The Chicago Cloak Makers were not exception in that direction. Since the last five years, the once strong union of the cloak makers has almost entirely disappeared. Since its collapse they tried to reorganize the 4same union five or six times, and although they didn't go out on strike each time they reorganized, yet, they organized with the intention of building up a strong and powerful union which would be able to withstand the terrific pressure, and to transform hell into heaven. Finding out a week later that hell was still in their midst, and that it would take a long time yet until their condition would improve, the organizers sneaked away from the union, and along with them the union died a natural death. If a union cannot conduct strikes, what is the union good for, anyway. So the same story repeated itself several times in Chicago and with the same results.

    But the Chicago Cloak Makers learned something out of all their failures, and they learned a valuable lesson. They learned that in order to have a union which can do any good in the future, the following is necessary:

    First, to have patience, and not try to get everybody into the union overnight. Secondly, the newly acquired members must understand that if they could exist five years without a union, they can have patience enough to wait another half year or even a year until the union would be able to do something for them.

    5

    Thirdly, in order to conduct a successful struggle it is necessary to have adequate financial means.

    And that purpose the present Cloak Makers' Union is aiming to accomplish, and the way they are going now, it seems that they will be successful in all directions.

    The Union has already the greatest majority of cloak makers as its members, and new workers are joining the union at every meeting. As for its financial status, it is improving right along, and when the time will come to conduct a strike, it will be ready for it even financially.

    It is remarkable that even the cloak manufacturers are beginning to feel that a strong union is already in existence, and are beginning to treat it with respect. They realize that in order to avoid trouble, they must raise the wages of their workers, and accord them better working conditions, in order to avoid trouble with the union.

    6

    Now let that be an example to other Jewish workers who work at different trades to organize themselves in order to improve their lot. They must remember to have patience, and to follow the example of the Cloak Makers' Union. They must remember that in union there is strength.

    A New York Cloak Maker.

    It is a well known fact that Jewish workers can be organized much easier than workers of other nationalities. Take, for instance, German workers. In order to organize them, it ...

    Jewish
    I D 2 a 3, I D 2 a 4, I D 1 b
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- October 19, 1908
    Bring Your Families

    Every Jew of Chicago, who has left a family in the old country, must for his own and the sake of his family, bring them to the United States. The importance of bringing your family from Russia, Rumania, or Galicia, is self-explanatory. No matter who you are, it is inexcusable for you to let your family remain where they are, under such deplorable hazaradous conditions. Then too, regardless of how rich you may be, you no doubt are lonesome and stranded without your family.

    The only way you may insure the safety of your family, is by bringing them to the United States. The only way in which you can rid yourself of your loneliness, is by bringing your family and leading a happy family life. To follow this out, you, no doubt, will be confronted by the following questions: How much is a travel ticket? Which one is good and which is not? Which frontier should be used, which ship, etc.? In order that you may have all these questions answered correctly, and for the soundest advise, come 2to the Travel Bureau of Seltzer and Rosenberg, 687 West Taylor St.

    The Bureau of Seltzer and Rosenberg is the only reliable agency in the City of Chicago, which will transport your family safely. Those who have dealt with them are greatly satisfied. Do not delay, see Seltzer and Rosenberg immediately and arrange to bring your family. Remember, Seltzer and Rosenberg, 687 W. Taylor St.

    Every Jew of Chicago, who has left a family in the old country, must for his own and the sake of his family, bring them to the United States. The ...

    Jewish
    III G, III H, V A 1, I D 1 b
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- May 03, 1909
    What the People Say Attention Peddlers!

    Dear Editor:

    As the only Jewish paper in Chicago which is being read by all Jews, I request that you print the following notice to peddlers, and by so doing you will get the thanks of many poor peddlers living in the Jewish district in Chicago. This is adressed to the peddlers:

    Every worker understands how bad the conditions are of those who have just arrived from Russia, Poland, or Galicia. They cannot get jobs so easily, and some who can get employment are forced to work on Saturdays which is against their convictions. They, therefore, have to resort to peddling as the only alternative. So, most of them are forced to take a bundle of brooms on their shoulders, or an assortement of porcelain 2dishes, and go out on the street to cry their wares. Those who know anything about peddling also know the miserable life of a peddler. Most of the time peddlers have no money even to buy bare necessities, so they have to resort to barter and exchange. They offer their customers the things they have in exchange for things they need. Thus they buy old clothes and old shoes, and when Sunday comes around, they go out on Jefferson street to sell their accumulated goods. But the customers coming to Jefferson street are poor themselves, so it can easily be understood how sad the lot of the peddlers must be.

    However, bad as it is, it has become even worse, for the store keepers on Jefferson street, who sell the same second hand clothing and shoes, have organized themselves and have sent a petition to the city, claiming that the peddlers, who come there on Sundays to sell their stuff are ruining their businesses, and, therefore, they petition that the peddlers be chased away from that district. As a result of this act, police from 3the Maxwell Street Station are patrolling the district and are aresting all peddlers who try to sell in the Jefferson street neighborhood. They arrest as many as six or seven peddlers each Sunday, and they have to pay a fine for peddling on the street without a license. Those who are unable to pay have to stay in jail, and their poor wives and children are left to starve.

    So pay attention broom and granite peddlers. It is high time that you look out. Watch your step, for they are going to arrest you everytime you will try to sell something there. Why don't you organize to fight this evil? Get together anywhere, in a synagogue or in a hall, and decide to do something to improve your sad lot!

    Respectfully yours,

    A. Broom Peddler

    Dear Editor: As the only Jewish paper in Chicago which is being read by all Jews, I request that you print the following notice to peddlers, and by so doing ...

    Jewish
    II A 2, I C, I D 1 b
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- May 03, 1910
    (No headline)

    The Worker's Ghetto (A Labor News Column).

    New activity among Jewish Workers. - For the third time a United Jewish Gewerkschaften. - What the other two have failed to do and what this one must accomplish. - A certain success. - The Cigar-makers strike continues - The duty of the Jewish worker to the strikers. - The Ladies Tailor's Union are again on strike.

    A new storm of life and activity has penetrated the quiet of the Jewish workers ranks. For this new life and activity we owe thanks to the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, Local 71. True, they have achieved better pay and more favorable working conditions but that is not enough. They desire other Jewish workers to have working conditions as good as theirs. Thus the afore-mentioned, show that they are not working for themselves, but for the general strengthening of trade union movement. In short the Ladies Tailors Union want to organize a United Jewish Trade Union.

    Twice an attempt was made to unite Jewish Trade Unions but each time they were unsuccessful. Years of effort, work, and money fell by the wayside. However, 2let us not lose heart. Our previous failures should point the proper way to success.

    Many will make light of this new attempt, but we should pay no attention to them. They are short-sighted and insincere. They are not true to the ideals of the labor movement. The fact that they are not union members, do not purchase union made goods, and lift not a finger to achieve our goal, proves to us that we should ignore their smoke.

    The previous attempts at organizing a united trade union organization failed because; (1) the organizations backing the previous attempts were not directly connected with the trade union movement proper, (2) the previous attempt spread its work outside of trade union fields and failed to devote enough of its energies only to the trade union movement.

    Now when we are again attempting to organize the trade union movement, we should bear in mind the above causes for failure on the previous occassions. This Gerwerkschaft 3should be organized of trade unions only. If we bear these things in mind, we shall be certain of success.

    The cigar-makers under the leadership of the Progressive Cigar Makers Union are still striking at Soloras and Co. This makes it seven weeks, and the strikers have not lost heart.

    This once again shows us that the Jewish worker can achieve better working conditions and economic betterment if they apply themselves and use the proper tactics.

    The strike is a small one but a significant one, not only for the strikers but for the entire trade. That is why all eyes are strained to observe their accomplishments.

    The strikers have acted in a heroic manner. Their greatest problem at present is a financial one. The union is young and financially weak. It is the duty 4of all Jewish workers to help their fellow men achieve their goals.

    The Ladies Tailors Union has again called out a strike on Gray and Co. of the Stewart Building, State and Washington. The strike was called because the company broke the agreement which was made at the end of the last strike. The firm is dissatisfied with the 8 hour day. They would gladly pay time and a half for all over the 8 hour day, but workers must agree to work more than 8 hours per day.

    The union well realizes that bosses are dissatisfied with the existing agreement and that they seek an opportunity to change it. The union however will not tolerate it and have called the entire shop out on strike. The workers have already tasted victory and they will not give in. They will achieve their goal.

    (Signed) Shochet Ben HaRav.

    The Worker's Ghetto (A Labor News Column). New activity among Jewish Workers. - For the third time a United Jewish Gewerkschaften. - What the other two have failed to do ...

    Jewish
    I D 2 a 2, I D 2 a 4, I D 1 b
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- May 10, 1910
    (No headline)

    The Worker's Ghetto. (Column of Local Labor News).

    Women and children who work in factories - How they work and live - A scandalous sweat shop system - A dangerous system and a dangerous occupation - Jewish workers are most affected - Declaration of principles of the National Workers Verband - A branch of the verband is being organized in Chicago.

    Often in strolling through the streets of the West and Northwest Side, one can see women and children walking in the streets carrying heavy bundles of wearing apparel or material of which to make wearing apparel, carrying these heavy weights, with large beads of perspiration rolling from their faces, and with a troubled and emaciated look in their eyes.

    Is it not shameful to countenance such scandalous goings on? These children are no more that 13 and 14 years of age, lean faced, undernourished, fatigued because of inadequate sleep, all this before they are full grown. If you know 2the reason for this disgraceful state of affairs, it is the sweat shop system at its worst. It is this sweat shop system which breeds tuberculosis and premature death. This undermines the existence of the worker and causes him to compete with his own children. It is this system which denies the worker to better his economic circumstances.

    In the streets we see only a small phase of the sweat shop system. Let us enter the homes and shops where these heavy bundles of wearing apparel materials find their way. There we can see the real horrors of the system. Let us enter a model home at midnight. All is quiet in the dismal, small apartment, occupants sleeping fully clad upon poorly "homed" beds. But at four o'clock, the mother is up and with her, her children, candles are lit and work begins. Children, ages 7 to 14, begin their days work. The hand-sewing machines begin to turn. At eight o'clock they stop. Children must go to school, and then, after school, again the machines begin to turn, until far into the night.

    3

    It is a double sorrow; Firstly, the children work about 16 hours a day, at school and at home, and in spite of this labor, their income is a mere pittance and insufficient for them to be properly nourished and properly clad, not including of course, the unhealthy environment of young children, our future leaders. They grow up sickly and weak, tubercular, and cripples for life. Secondly, they harm the workers in the shops. They compete in prices and hours of work. Workers cannot get better conditions so long as they have to compete with cheap family labor.

    The Trade Unions are fighting this evil with all their might. Much has been done to abolish this system, but it is still prevalent. This plagues not only the Tailoring trades but other trades as well.

    The Jewish worker is greatly affected by this system and the only way to remedy it is for workers to organize into strong and sturdy trade unions and fight against the sweating system. It will be a hard battle, but the system must be abolished.

    The Worker's Ghetto. (Column of Local Labor News). Women and children who work in factories - How they work and live - A scandalous sweat shop system - A dangerous ...

    Jewish
    I D 1 b, I E
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- May 31, 1910
    (No headline)

    The Worker's Ghetto. (Column of Local Labor News).

    Ten Unions have elected delegates to the Gewerkschaften (United Hebrew Trades). What delegates must remember. - Where workers are happy. - The Lamin brothers incident. - A hindrance. - The American Federation of Labor and the Industrial Workers of the World.

    A United Jewish Trade Union movement is a necessary organ in the life of the Jewish worker of today. That Trade Unions are realizing this can be seen by the response given this movement. Ten Unions have already elected delegates and many more have signified their intention to do so. Delegates whould remember that we are organizing an organization of organizations, and not of delegates. This Gewerkschaften shall help in solving the problems of its individual member organizations. Otherwise there is no point in its existence. Then to, the individual Unions with their rank and file should at all times be interested in the problems of the Gewerkschaften. Delegated to the Gewerkschaften should give their reports at every meeting of the Union.

    2

    We say this from experience. One of the reasons for the failure of the former Gewerkschaften was the fact that the rank and file lost contact with their delegates and consequently with the Gewerkschaften proper.

    The workers of the Lamin brothers shop have had some very interesting esperiences all of which have not taught them very much. Refusing to countenance the organization of a union in their very skilled trade, they organized a "Club" for apparently social purposes. The boss immediately fired the secretary of the Club. The rest of the shop went out on strike and the boss was compelled to take the discharged worker back and promise better treatment of the workers. Later the bosses reneged on their promises and the workers went ahead and formed a union, but instead of affiliating themselves with the United Garment Workers which is affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, they affiliated themselves with the Industrial Workers of the World, thus creating rival unionism. Regardless of what the differences might be, they should have affiliated with an already strong union with a great deal of experience in the trade. It is not too late to change this affiliation.

    The Worker's Ghetto. (Column of Local Labor News). Ten Unions have elected delegates to the Gewerkschaften (United Hebrew Trades). What delegates must remember. - Where workers are happy. - The ...

    Jewish
    I D 2 a 2, I D 2 a 4, I D 1 b
  • Abendpost -- September 02, 1911
    A Real Estate Transaction

    The Jewish Society, exclusively a women's association interested in the rescue work of Chicago's patients afflicted with tuberculosis, has purchased ten acres of land from Nelson Thomasson, for $10,000. The site is located at West Belmont Avenue, N. 50th Avenue, School Street, and the prolonged N. 51st Avenue. A $40,000 mortgage is attached to the property. The organization is planning the erection of a tuberculosis sanitarium for the comfort of sufferers from that disease indiscriminate of their religious beliefs. Included in this plan is the administration building to be erected at a cost of $15,000, and a number of sanitary isolation homes, at a cost from $2,000 to $3,000 each. These homes will be built on a solid foundation. A corridor will run through the center of the structure with beds on both sides of the hall, and will include other necessary accommodations. Trees will be planted to adorn the place. The management of the institution will be placed in the hands of physicians, who have made a special study of tuberculosis. The 2support of the hospital will depend upon public contributions.

    This organization, with human interest at heart, was founded eight years ago and has since provided the needy tubercular patients with medical aid as well as with nourishing food. The following are the names of the officials of the association: Mrs. F. J. Robin, president; Mrs. M. L. Aren, vice-president; Mrs. L. C. Barnett, correspondent; and Mrs. Abraham Margolis, treasurer.

    The new sanitarium will be ready for occupancy in 1912.

    The Jewish Society, exclusively a women's association interested in the rescue work of Chicago's patients afflicted with tuberculosis, has purchased ten acres of land from Nelson Thomasson, for $10,000. The ...

    Jewish
    II D 3, I D 1 b, II D 1
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- October 20, 1911
    Jewish Bakers Decide Not to Bake on the Holy Sabbath

    The Jewish bakery owners have decided not to bake on the Holy Sabbath. Although there are still two bakers who refuse to cease baking on Sabbath we are sure they will eventually join the other bakers--for the Jewish public will not patronize bakers who bake on the Holy Sabbath.

    The Jewish bakery owners have decided not to bake on the Holy Sabbath. Although there are still two bakers who refuse to cease baking on Sabbath we are sure they ...

    Jewish
    I B 4, I D 1 b
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- November 02, 1911
    To Chicago Jews

    The Jewish bakers have, at last, succeeded in uniting all the Jewish bakers on the question of baking on the Sabbath. We appeal to all our Jewish consumers to assist the bakers in their earnest undertaking by doing all in their power to avoid buying bread on the holy Sabbath day.

    We are having a special meeting this evening for all the rabbis. Everyone is invited to attend and discuss the holy undertaking of the Jewish bakers. The object of this meeting is to decide on plans whereby this undertaking may be established permanently and a Shomray [a society to help observe the Sabbath] organized. All those who wish to join the proposed society should file their application with us.

    Agudath Harabonim (Federation of Rabbis).

    The Jewish bakers have, at last, succeeded in uniting all the Jewish bakers on the question of baking on the Sabbath. We appeal to all our Jewish consumers to assist ...

    Jewish
    I B 4, I D 1 b, III A