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.

Read more about this historic project.

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  • Zgoda -- March 16, 1887
    Organizing Polish Bakers

    Attempts to organize a Polish bakers union in Chicago has not come to an end, because at the last meeting March 5th at Greenwall's hall at Blackhawk and Holt Avenues were many bakers, who were in favor of such an organization. This union was finally organized March 19th at Greenwall's hall.

    Only bakers are entitled to join as members, with the exception of Mr.W. KARLOWSKI, who is an honorary member.

    It is the intentions of this organization to join with the knights of labor to make this labor group stronger. If this went through, it would make it the fourth local of the knights of labor in Chicago. They are striving to have one more local join this union, if five locals were joined as one it would require permission from the other unions, before any matter would be taken up. This is something that the Polish people should take into consideration, do their utmost to see this in reality.

    W. Karlowski

    Attempts to organize a Polish bakers union in Chicago has not come to an end, because at the last meeting March 5th at Greenwall's hall at Blackhawk and Holt Avenues ...

    Polish
    I D 2 a 2
  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- July 05, 1892
    [Views on Organizing a Polish Printers' Union]

    The renewed idea of Messrs. Zagorski and Reichel for organizing a printers' union, furnished us with several observations. We are profiting by the hospitality of the Dziennik; we intend to become acquainted with the honorable colleagues of the trade. It is undeniable that the lack of a printers' union is being acutely felt by us. True, this question was not as yet discussed in the press as having any special importance, interesting only a small group of readers. This was discussed several times previously, however, in a private capacity. At his time, the author of this article had endeavored to form such a union; there were several followers, but when it came to the proper organization, so many obstructions were met that the idea had to be dropped.

    We believe that at present, in proportion to the enlargement of the number of the Polish printing establishments, this notion has a better possibility of realization, but not in the form of a union of the American type, but in the form of a Society of Polish Printers, whose aims would be mutual education in 2the trade, fraternal aid in the event of illness, and some type of assistance to the family in the event of death of a member.

    A union similar to the ones Americans or Germans have, would not last long in our Polish communities because of many very important reasons. In the first place, we have an absolutely too small number of qualified compositors and pressmen; next, at least two-thirds of the employees in the Polish printing concerns are minors who are dependent upon the will of their parents or guardians; even if they were self-willed, it would be considered naive to allow them to institute laws which would obligate the qualified workers of many years of practice.

    We are not, however, in need of matured students who, through several months of employment in the printing shops, have learned a bit about the composition of the text for the press, but have no idea about any other type of work. These also consider themselves as compositors and demand the same pay as those who thoroughly understand their trade.

    It is known that the American unions have as their main purpose the possible 3maintenance of a high [wage] scale for work performed and only after this are they concerned with sick benefits and aid during unemployment.

    We are also aware of this, that before these unions accept a member into their fold, they first examine and test his trade qualifications. On the basis of such an examination they then have the right to demand proper pay from the employer, equally concerning all the members. But how many could we find among our printers who could (pass) a similar examination? I doubt if there would be 50% of them. Even if so many were found it still would be at least 20% too few for our union to organize in a similar manner.

    As long as we have no capable and qualified workers, it is impossible to think of a union based on the English pattern, because every employer can justly say: "Give me capable people whom I can use in every type of work, then I will pay them the price demanded by you." On the other hand, again, no qualified compositor will disagree in receiving the same remuneration as the one who works for a duration of only a few months.

    4

    This, however, does not mean that we should abandon a printer's union; on the contrary, seeing such sad conditions, we should make every effort to correct them. This could be accomplished to a greater extent by the formation of a union that would have for its goal mutual education in our trade, a friendly solidarity, some assistance in the event of illness or death. Not much is needed for that. A bit of good will and the desire of these gentlemen and colleagues, who are well acquainted with the printed profession, will suffice.

    It is an undeniable fact that, in the greater part, the parents of our students send their children to the printing shops, not for the purpose of teaching them a trade but only for the purpose of having that child earn wages at the earliest time.

    Employers being often compelled to pay the students the same rate as is paid the accomplished compositor, do not even think of really teaching them something. They place him into a case and after a few years they create a machine-a man who composes rather rapidly. That is true, but without any basic principles.

    5

    It is enough to examine the Chicago papers, which are still made in the best manner to become convinced of the truthfulness of the above statements.

    In any event, we are greatly pleased with the question that has been raised, and we do not doubt that if the meeting will be called according to schedule, without waiting for the personal appearance of individual members, many followers of the Gutenberg's invention will be present. That is their personal business.

    We would require one thing of the initiators, namely, that this meeting not be held in or near a saloon. Maybe some gentleman, who owns a printing shop, will permit the use of his place of business for the initial meetings; perhaps some gentleman colleague has an appropriately large apartment for this purpose. At any rate, either one or the other will be more appropriate than a saloon.

    The renewed idea of Messrs. Zagorski and Reichel for organizing a printers' union, furnished us with several observations. We are profiting by the hospitality of the Dziennik; we intend to ...

    Polish
    I D 2 a 2
  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- July 16, 1892
    To All Polish Printers

    The need for an organization of Polish printers has been felt by us for a long time. It would create a certain amount of unity among the printers--if only in a social way.

    Several members of our trade proposed that a union should be organized following the American, English, or German plan; but it was shown that this suggestion was impractical because of the special conditions existing among Polish printers. The need for some unity among the friends of our vocation, however, forced us to decide to invite our associates to a meeting for the purpose of ascertaining if we could not better our conditions, morally as well as materially, and organize at least a fraternal aid association, following the plan of numerous Polish associations. Many trades have had similar associations for a long time, and they have proven to be exceptionally important factors in creating unity in these trades.

    Thus far only the printers have not endeavored somehow to combine with each 2other. It is true that up until the present time our number has been too small for us to form such an association; however, in view of the fact that the total number of Polish printers is increasing daily, it would not be very progressive for us to be satisfied with the present conditions.

    If, at the beginning, besides assisting the members in the event of illness, the association will maintain an employment office, it will thereby render a service to our members as well as to owners of printing establishments. At any rate, we are not proposing any definite plans in this article, but merely suggesting what could be discussed at a general meeting.

    Not wishing to hold our meetings in a saloon, we have gained permission to use for this purpose, free of charge, a room in the home of the Polish Press Association at 141-143 West Division Street.

    Consequently, we are hereby inviting all gentlemen printers who feel the need for an organization to a meeting to be held on Sunday, July 24, 2:30 3o'clock in the afternoon, at the home mentioned above.

    J. I. Migdalski,

    Leon Szopinski,

    W. Gorecki,

    S. Zloczewski.

    The need for an organization of Polish printers has been felt by us for a long time. It would create a certain amount of unity among the printers--if only in ...

    Polish
    II D 1, I D 2 a 2, IV
  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- July 26, 1892
    The Polish Printers Association (Poles in Chicago)

    As a result of the statement printed in our Chicago publications during the past week, an imposing number of Polish printers and compositors gathered at the office of Dziennik Chicagoski for the purpose of forming an association that would be adequate to their needs. The meeting was opened by Mr. Migdalski, who was also elected president at this meeting, and the undersigned was elected secretary.

    The entire meeting had the character of a personal chat, revealing mutual understanding, and a desire to build a firm foundation undor this new type of association in America. This worthy aim was achieved. All the delegates declared that an association of printers and compositors was necessary and good.

    At this meeting it was decided to organize also an association for the purpose of teaching the printer's art, and of sponsoring programs and lectures in all the ramifications of historical knowledge; further it was decided to try to bring about an improvement in the living standards of the members by seeking employment 2for them, and giving them assistance in sickness and death. It was decided to charge one dollar as the initiation fee, and monthly dues of twenty-five cents. The other motions pertaining to sick and death benefits will depend upon the decision of all when the constitution has been formulated and accepted.

    After further discussion it was decided that our new association should take an active part in all matters essential to our Polish immigration, but it will be self-sustaining and independent and will not become combined with any Polish or American organization.

    At this meeting twenty-six members enrolled. The following members were chosen to formulate the constitution: Messrs. Migdalski, Olbinski, Zagorski, Sosnowski, Gorecki, Zloczewski, and Majchrzycki.

    The next meeting will be held at the same place, on Sunday, August 7, 1892, at two-thirty in the afternoon, to which we invite all colleagues.

    J. Olbinski, Secretary.

    As a result of the statement printed in our Chicago publications during the past week, an imposing number of Polish printers and compositors gathered at the office of Dziennik Chicagoski ...

    Polish
    I D 2 a 2, II B 2 f, II D 1, II A 2, I A 3
  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- August 06, 1892
    [Polish Printers Form Association]

    The second meeting of the Polish printers will be held tomorrow (Sunday) at 2:30 P.M. The purpose of the meeting is to give the finishing touch to the organization of the association which the printers decided to form at their first meeting on July 23.

    We hear that a committee appointed for the purpose has already completed the by-laws, which will be presented at tomorrow's meeting. After this meeting the registration fees of new members will be increased.

    Therefore, we call to the attention of those who did not attend the last gathering that tomorrow the registration fee is only one dollar. This association is open to every printer eighteen years of age or over. Those who don't register tomorrow will have to pay a higher fee later.

    2

    We presume that all Polish typesetters, pressmen, and feeders know the purpose of the Polish Printers' Association. More about it will be discussed at tomorrow's meeting. Besides the advantages of a low initiation fee, the members of this association are privileged to make amendments to the by-laws. The meeting will be held at 141 West Division Street.

    The second meeting of the Polish printers will be held tomorrow (Sunday) at 2:30 P.M. The purpose of the meeting is to give the finishing touch to the organization of ...

    Polish
    I D 2 a 2, II D 1
  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- August 09, 1892
    A Step Forward (Editorial)

    The notion of uniting individual units into a central bureau for co-operation has been stirring in the minds of Polish printers since long ago. Heretofore, this notion has appeared spasmodically but the chief drawback has been the lack of Gutenberg enthusiasts. Now, with the increase of Polish printing shops in Chicago there is also an increase of workers in this field. These have felt the need of solidarity, lest in the future as in the past they grope along in the dark, and have determined to have a central office where the unemployed could obtain information.

    This move, if generally approved, will be of service to the owners of printing houses as well as to the printers. Until now, when a shop wanted help, there was no means of getting any information in this regard. On the other hand, compositors in search of employment were obliged to inquire 2from one shop to another. From now on, the secretary of the Polish Printers' Association in Chicago, will keep a list of the unemployed and, should a vacancy arise, he will inform them of the address involved. The fee is not stipulated, this being left entirely to the good will of the members, so as not to curtail the rights of the printing shop owners.

    The purpose of mentioning this is to correct the news spread by some newspapers outside Chicago that a printers' union was organized here. From a broader point of view, a union is the same as an association; but in America, only those associations are termed unions that adhere to a certain wage scale. The newly-organized association of Polish printers has no such purpose. Polish printing in the United States is as yet at such a low level that copying the standard of Americans or Germans would be a pipe dream.

    The wish of the organizers was to provide for the peaceful settlement of disputes with the shop owners, and also to provide moderate payment for 3their colleagues, in the event of illness. This aim was theoretically adopted in the constitution. In order to confirm it by action, the good will of printing house owners in search of help, is indispensable. They should apply to the association's secretary, Mr. H. Maychrzycki. Likewise the support of the printers is important; they should support this association which eventually may be of help to them.

    As far as we know, only Chicago printers may register now. They do not lose their association rights in the event of leaving town. This, however, does not prevent printers and owners in other towns from making use of this information department. Quite to the contrary, a wider sharing of this institution can bestow mutual benefits, and widen its usefulness.

    Additional features of the program proposed for the association are lectures, amateur performances, education, as well as an energetic participation in the national activities of Polish emigrants.

    4

    What fruit the above proposals will yield, time will tell. Not anticipating any particular event, we may call the organizing of this association a step forward.

    The notion of uniting individual units into a central bureau for co-operation has been stirring in the minds of Polish printers since long ago. Heretofore, this notion has appeared spasmodically ...

    Polish
    II D 8, I D 2 a 2, II D 1
  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- December 20, 1892
    What Have the Poles Gained from the Strike at Homestead? (Editorial)

    We have pointed out several times with bitterness that the Carnegie Company at Homestead, opposing the workers who were on strike, was looking for scabs to replace the strikers and that several hundred Poles responded and were hired.

    It is difficult to demand that every Polish worker in America join a labor organization and support the unions' fight against capitalism. In many places such conditions exist that this is impossible. But certainly those who work as non-union workers should not take part in this battle by working as scabs, by replacing a striking worker and siding with the manufacturer to their own inevitable disadvantage. Such action is especially unjustified at Homestead, where the dispute between the workers and the capitalists has reached an extreme point of irritation.

    2

    We are not concerned with the economic side of the question, but we are complaining about the action from the citizens' point of view. The Polish worker temporarily profits by accepting employment in a company where a strike exists, but he in turn helps to bring about lower wages and the deterioration of the American worker's standing. And he does, above all, draw upon himself the racial hatred of the American worker, a hatred which is being strongly and widely felt in labor organizations.

    This hatred falls upon all the Poles in America and is the cause of the bitterness against us. This was often pointed out. We wish, however, to point out once more that the temporary profit of the workers who replaced the strikers is not an advantage to them.

    The incident at Homestead is a good example. Out of the several hundred Polish scabs who were employed by the Carnegie Company, several were injured because of the lack of knowledge of the machinery which they had to operate. Many 3of them were beaten by the strikers. A couple of them were victims of poisonings. Finally, according to a worker's dispatch to the Pittsburgh Przy Jaciela Ludu (People's Friend), all the scabs were replaced when the strikers returned to their jobs.

    This is their entire gain. They were the tools which were used to an immediate advantage and then discarded. For many months they will be in search of work .... and will be shoved about. The only thing that will remain for them is the hatred of the American worker and the name of "scab".

    This lesson ought to convince the Polish-American workers once and for all that, as strangers who come to this country to seek material gain through employment, they ought to side with the masses of American workingpeople--and not stick their fingers between the doors, especially when they can be quite sure that their fingers will be injured.

    We have pointed out several times with bitterness that the Carnegie Company at Homestead, opposing the workers who were on strike, was looking for scabs to replace the strikers and ...

    Polish
    I H, I D 2 a 2, I D 2 a 4, I D 1 a
  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- March 06, 1893
    A New Polish Labor Union

    A group of Polish bakers have decided to organize a Polish bakers' union. The organizers invite all their countrymen employed in the bakery trade to attend a meeting scheduled for March 11.

    We consider this a very worthy idea. However much we condemn all anarchistic and socialistic activities, we believe that the workers' tendency to organize for the purpose of legally securing and protecting their rights is praiseworthy. And so it is with real pleasure that we welcome this new labor union, which aims at the good of our Polish workingmen.

    A group of Polish bakers have decided to organize a Polish bakers' union. The organizers invite all their countrymen employed in the bakery trade to attend a meeting scheduled for ...

    Polish
    I D 2 a 2, I E
  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- April 07, 1893
    Cigar-Makers' Union

    It is with real pleasure that we publish the following letter sent to us by Theodore Gize:

    "I am a cigar-maker. I know many Polish workers, both men and women, of the same trade--that is, rollers and bunch-makers--who work in cigar factories at half pay. They roll a hundred cigars for thirty or thirty-five cents, and they make a hundred bunches for twenty cents each or less. The union scale is fifty-five cents a hundred for rolling and thirty-five cents a bunch on the cheapest grade of cigar. It is easy to determine how much extra profit the manufacturer makes and how many hours the worker puts in free at such pay. The workers earn themselves the ugly name of scabs.

    "As the only remedy for such a condition, I sincerely recommend that my countrymen join the newly organized Independent Cigar-Makers' Union. The entrance fee is twenty-five cents--the dues are twenty-five cents per month.

    2

    "By joining the union, our brethren will at last obtain a decent wage rate for their work. I am appealing to my countrymen and fellow-workers in behalf of the committee and almost a hundred members of our union. We ask that this matter be attended to without delay. Do not out off joining until later.

    "A meeting of the members of the new union will be held on Saturday, April 11, at eight o'clock in the evening, at 490 Union Street, corner Liberty Avenue..... New members will be accepted at this meeting. I appeal once more to all my fellow-workers for co-operation. Let us join hands."

    [Theodore Gize]

    It is with real pleasure that we publish the following letter sent to us by Theodore Gize: "I am a cigar-maker. I know many Polish workers, both men and women, ...

    Polish
    I D 2 a 2, II A 2
  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- April 19, 1893
    New Polish Trade Union

    Mr. T. Pawlowski has submitted the following letter for publication:

    "A new Polish Carpenters' and Cabinetmakers' Union has been organized recently in St. Adalbert's parish. The first meeting took place at Budzbanowski's Hall, corner of Paulina and 17th Streets. The next meeting will take place at the same hall on Monday, April 24, at 7:30 in the evening. We ask all of the Polish carpenters in Chicago to attend, so that we can work together for our common good. At present, the initiation fee is only two dollars per person; in two weeks, it will be raised to fifteen dollars.

    "There is still time for our brother carpenters to become members of this Polish union and reap the benefits of solidarity."

    Mr. T. Pawlowski has submitted the following letter for publication: "A new Polish Carpenters' and Cabinetmakers' Union has been organized recently in St. Adalbert's parish. The first meeting took place ...

    Polish
    I D 2 a 2