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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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- August 18, 1890
    The Scandinavian Bakers

    The Scandinavian Bakery workers held a meeting at the Aurora Turnhall on Saturday evening, to consider the question of a strike vote. The men assert, that the Master-bakers broke the contract agreements into which they entered on June of last year, (1889) and that only a strike will bring about a fulfillment of the contract clauses. The Scandinavian Bakers Union has about three hundred members.

    The Scandinavian Bakery workers held a meeting at the Aurora Turnhall on Saturday evening, to consider the question of a strike vote. The men assert, that the Master-bakers broke the ...

    Swedish
    I D 2 a 4, I D 2 a 4, I D 2 a 4
  • Svenska Tribunen -- February 06, 1901
    Labor Disagreement

    p.11.... A dispute arose last week between Claus E. Hoglund, Master-tailor, and his workers. However, through compliance on the part of the former, a settlement was reached at once, so it became possible for the men to resume their work.

    p.11.... A dispute arose last week between Claus E. Hoglund, Master-tailor, and his workers. However, through compliance on the part of the former, a settlement was reached at once, so ...

    Swedish
    I D 2 a 4
  • Svenska Tribunen -- October 09, 1901
    Politics (Editorial)

    When the Democrats about ten years ago fought McKinley on the tariff question, they asserted that food prices would be too high and that no living person would ever receive any benefit from this type of protective tariff. This year 22,000 workers have been out on strike in 249 factories throughout the nation.

    If these factories had not existed, these strikes could not have taken place. Nothing can be more certain, then that the political party which works the most for the revival of industry, is also directly responsible for these strikes. During the period of labor shortage not so long ago, labor disputes were seldom heard of. Therefore, strikes and improved labor conditions seem to go hand in hand.

    When the Democrats about ten years ago fought McKinley on the tariff question, they asserted that food prices would be too high and that no living person would ever receive ...

    Swedish
    I D 2 a 4, I F 3
  • Svenska Nyheter -- May 05, 1903
    [Clergymen as Arbitrators in Strikes] (Editorial)

    The striking machinists at the great packing houses in Chicago resumed their work a few days ago, as the public knows. They left to an arbitration committee the task of determining the justice in their demand for wages of thirty-seven and one-half cents per hour and a working day of eight hours. The board of arbitration has now presented its report, and this report is truly a wonder to behold.

    In this report, we are once more met with the priestly admonition, "Be satisfied with your lot." But in order to remove the insult and the 2bitterness of the admonition, it has been clothed in a set of fine phrases, which truly charm the eye and the mind, but which do not satisfy the starving ones, nor clothe the naked ones.

    The arbitration board has become satisfied that under present circumstances the machinists must work twelve hours per day, but recommends that arrangements be made as speedy as possible for an eight hour day in case the labor movement were to develop as vigorously in the future as has been the case in recent years. In other words, the board recommends that the employers compel their workers to work twelve hours per day until the workers become strong enough to compel the employers to adopt the eight hour system. A noble board of arbitration, indeed.

    3

    Further, the board recommends that the machinists be paid at the rate of thirty cents per hour. The paragraph dealing with this matter runs as follows:

    "Thirty cents per hour is to be the normal wage for a machinist who has passed his examinations. Any individual who has received certificate of knowledge concerning the care of a steam engine, and a machinist who is placed in charge of costly machines upon the functioning of which nearly all the work at the plant depends, naturally must be a man with a sense of responsibility, a man of intelligence, sober and loyal--and it is a pleasure for us to state that the machinists who came before us during the negotiations appeared to be in possession of these qualifications and traits of character--and therefore, are entitled to good wages, which, 4considering all interests, we place at thirty cents per hour."

    Thirty cents per hour, $3.60 for a twelve hour day, for a machinist upon whose punctuality, intelligence, and knowledge of his work the welfare of the whole establishment depends, is considered by this board of three clergymen to be good wages. A man who knows every part, even the smallest, of his engine; a man who can locate every bolt and every nut in his immense engine; a man who has studied for years to become familiar with the correct technical terms, and who has studied for years, also, to learn to know his steam engine in its practical operation, such a man the board of clergymen accords a wage scale of thirty cents per hour.

    Oh, you generous clergymen: Did you ever stand inspecting one of these 5engines, witnessed it in operation, listened to its thunderous noise? If so, did you turn your thoughts for a moment to the man who had charge of the machine, who took care of it, kept it shining? Do you realize that a single mistaken maneuver on the part of the machinist might in a moment send both, you and himself, into eternity? Do you understand that a few pounds difference in steam pressure might mean the crippling or death of many people and property damage of many thousands of dollars? You understand that the work of the machinist requires punctuality and alertness, and yet you recommend that this machinist work twelve hours per day instead of eight hours.

    Your work, Messrs. Priests is easier, and, we dare insist, in spite of your objections, is less responsible. You can more easily learn how to "convert" 6a soul than the machinist learns why his engine does not work smoothly. And yet we doubt that you would be satisfied with thirty cents per hour for your work.

    The owners of the packing plants are the only ones who gained anything from this decision by the arbitration board, testifying as it does to the utter ignorance of the board members.

    Both the members of the board and the machinists were losers. The machinists lost a few cents per day, but the clergymen lost the confidence of the working class.

    The striking machinists at the great packing houses in Chicago resumed their work a few days ago, as the public knows. They left to an arbitration committee the task of ...

    Swedish
    I D 2 a 4, I D 1 a, I H
  • Svenska Nyheter -- May 12, 1903
    [Quiet and Ignored] (Editorial)

    The quiet forces in a strike suffer the same fate as the quiet forces in everyday lives--they are hardly ever noticed.

    A strike directly influencing the lives of twenty thousand workers, and which goes on week after week, is silenced to death if the strikers do not break the laws in any way. Nothing good is being said in the papers of these twenty thousand men, women, and children in Lowell, Massachusetts, who have gone about for more than a month, idle. They have given no occasion for action by the police or by the militia. No effort is being made to encourage them in their calm determined fight against the powerful employers. But if, as it might happen, some hot-heads among the strikers lay obstacles in the way of some "foreign" strike breakers, then is the press more than willing to paint the "strike riot" in the blackest colors. Then it will warn of the 2serious consequences. It will condemn the strike leaders who are unable to control the strikers. The press will express its concern that the workers are not obeying the laws of the land.

    The quiet forces in a strike suffer the same fate as the quiet forces in everyday lives--they are hardly ever noticed. A strike directly influencing the lives of twenty thousand ...

    Swedish
    I D 2 a 4
  • Svenska Nyheter -- May 12, 1903
    For Those Who Condemn Strikes (Editorial)

    "How can we know when a strike is justified?" is a question which frequently is brought up, especially at a time as the present when we find strikes going on practically anywhere. The quickest and surest way of answering the question is through the acquisition of information about the kind of work the strikers have been doing, and what wages they have received for their work.

    Let us consider the ironworkers of the American Bridge Company, who are now on strike. Compare the work they are doing with the wages they are receiving, and you will not need to wonder and question as to the justification for their strike.

    These workers are being paid four dollars or less for their work. But these 2workers are the men who are building our sky-scrapers and our piers. Their work is as dangerous as is the work of the builders of church spires, and the latter are being paid from fifty to one hundred dollars per day. A wrong turn, a misstep by one of the ironworkers may send him and one or more of his comrades to death.

    "Our motto is, 'We do not die, we are being killed'," one of these workers recently said. "I have probably seen a hundred workers killed during work," says Frank Buchanan, leader of the strike of these ironworkers. "These men must not harbor the fear of death, for death is waiting for them every minute of their working time." In 1893, before these men had formed their union, they had to work ten hours per day, and for their work they received one dollar seventy five cents per day. Today, they are working eight hours per day, and are being paid at the rate of three to four dollars per day. Yet, if one considers the kind of work they are doing, their pay is ridiculously low. Many a boy who has just finished his public school training and has become reporter 3for a paper is earning more than four dollars per day. John D. Rockefeller is earning $280 per second on the basis of an eight-hour working day.

    The ironworkers, of whom we are writing, join iron beams weighing more than one ton, and with these beams they construct building complexes, two hundred to three hundred feet in height. Frequently this scaffold consists merely of an iron beam, about six inches wide; and on either side the worker looks down into an abyss. In winter, when the north wind is raging, and raindrops have become ice on the sides of the iron beams; when snowflakes blind the eye and the cold makes the body numb, then is death twice as near at hand as in the days of summer. But in heat or cold, whether sick or well, the ironworker must be on his job, or he will receive a cut in his wages. His only vacation comes when there is cessation of work on his job, and he is obliged to look for new employment.

    For his dangerous and health destroying work he does not receive more money 4per day than the amount which is paid for a seat in one of our better theatres, or the price of a cablegram.

    When the first tower of the East River Bridge in New York was finished, a newspaper reporter climbed to the top and took a photo of the construction from up there. For this his "brave feat," as a newspaper expressed it, he received fifty dollars. In an article later which he wrote about his daring undertaking he stated that not for a million dollars would he repeat the trip. And yet, every man who was working on the construction of the tower had to struggle at his work for more than two weeks before he would receive fifty dollars, and no newspaper was extolling his "bravery" in doing so.

    The directors of the American Bridge Company are sitting comfortably in expensive leather upholstered chairs as they dictate to the industrial world. They ought to consider that beneath their feet, on the iron beams which support the floor of their office are dark-red spots - spots that indicate the places where some ironworker lost his life.

    5

    And you who participate in the cry about "strikers who are starting trouble again", how would it appeal to you to exchange places with these ironworkers?

    "How can we know when a strike is justified?" is a question which frequently is brought up, especially at a time as the present when we find strikes going on ...

    Swedish
    I D 2 a 4
  • Svenska Nyheter -- May 19, 1903
    About Injunctions (Editorial)

    The matter of injunctions against strikers is beginning to be funny. The first injunction [against strikers] was mild and reasonable. It prohibited the strikers from mistreating their fellowmen who were so lacking in good sense that they would accept the jobs left by other workers because wages were too low. Since then, injunctions have increased in harshness and in stupidity. It seems at least that such injunctions contrary to the law of the land, which will forbid a person's joining a union, are stupid. At the present, it appears that every judge is trying to gain renown by issuing injunctions against strikers. In Omaha, three wise men have endangered their own standing as keen judges by issuing injunctions against strikers.

    2

    If, as might frequently occur, a striker trespasses on the arbitrary law which a judge decides against him on the plea of some prominent people interested in the matter, then he is sentenced to a term in jail. And the case against him is tried, and sentence is passed by the same man who laid down the law in the first place, without reference to the adopted laws of the country. In this manner, some of our judges have made criminals of law-abiding fellow-citizens.

    Injunctions have been issued against walking along certain streets designated by the judge; against holding meetings at certain designated places, of which the government is the sole owner; against quitting work, something in which the worker has the sole right to make decisions; against belonging to a union, an injunction which all the judges in the country, 3with all their power, are lacking the might to enforce. Under all these laws of coercion, the striking workers have suffered, vet not without complaining.

    Able lawyers and just judges have warned against the steadily growing custom of issuing injunctions, the sole reason for which has been that shortsighted employers have wished to carry on their work through the employment of men who were lacking the sense of solidarity. Many of these lawyers have predicted the coming of a day when the strikers will employ the same type of weapon against the employers as the latter have employed against the former. Of late their predictions have proven true.

    In the city of Omaha, where 3,000 men are on strike, and where three injunctions 4are hanging over their heads, the strikers have let their employers feel the full weight of an injunction, far more just than those under the pressure of which they themselves have been suffering. The injunction has been issued by Judge Dickinson, a very conservative judge according to reports, and it prohibits the Business Men's Association from compelling any person to join their Association, from hurting, financially or physically, any of the members of their Association, if such member should decide to use only union men in their work; to pay money to break up the workers' union; to import workers from other localities to take the places of the striking workers; to apply for any further injunctions against the strikers.

    The issuance of this injunction has given the business men of Omaha tit for 5tat, and now since the ice is broken, we shall expect strikers in other localities to follow the example set, combatting injunctions with other injunctions.

    We do not believe that the injunction issued at the behest of the workers is more legal than any of the rest. But it may be well, of course, that the employers come to realize that this weapon which they so often have been using against the workers is a double-edged sword which needs to be handled with care if the wielder of it is not, himself, to be hurt.

    The matter of injunctions against strikers is beginning to be funny. The first injunction [against strikers] was mild and reasonable. It prohibited the strikers from mistreating their fellowmen who were ...

    Swedish
    I D 2 a 4, I D 1 a, I H
  • Svenska Nyheter -- May 26, 1903
    Water Cure for Minds at Riot (Editorial)

    At all times, there have been rioting people, with minds that call for action first, and thought afterwards, and there will always be that kind of people. They may be found within any one of the various classes in society, and within any one of the various age groups. The damage a dozen or so of this type of people may cause in an hour may be such as cannot be repaired in a generation. It is, therefore, in the interest of everybody to find means for making them harmless without hurting them more than necessary.

    In times of strikes, this riot type of people find their great opportunity for expression. But rarely do they belong to organized labor. On the other 2hand, it happens frequently that they have been paid by the capitalist class to do damage to life and property, in order to turn the sympathy of the public from the working class. A threat made by one of these persons is taken up by some other thoughtless individual, then it is repeated by irresponsible ruffians, or by some thoughtless women--and soon a riot is under way.

    Then the police arrive on the scene. The officers' clubs find their marks right and left on the heads of guilty or innocent. Those who were curious and had pushed to the front, or who have been pushed forward by a steadily growing mass of people get the worst blows. Then a police officer may be hit by a stone, or by a piece of wood, thrown at him by some poor simp who is hiding behind the living wall of human beings. The policemen draw their guns, losing control of themselves. The packed together crowd of curious people begin to move. The circle around the policemen becomes closer, tighter. The guns of the policemen 3begin to speak, and the mass of people fall back a few inches. In more serious cases, the police are reenforced by the militia. To escape blows from the gun butt, the cuts by bayonets, and even bullets, the mass recedes but a few inches, but now there are broken and bleeding heads; ambulances come to carry the wounded ones to some hospital. Perhaps the riot is quelled.

    If one asks the police if it were not possible to act in a more humane manner in dispersing of a crowd of people consisting mostly of the curious, the answer is in the negative. And yet, in the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, the highest official of the city has proven that it may be done. Mayor Mulvihill understood that the real rioters were but few in the mass of five thousand people, who had gathered at a given place in the neighborhood of the street car barns. The sheriff and his constables applied their clubs diligently on the people without the Mayor stopping them. But when they started pulling out their guns, and the first shot was fired, the Mayor ordered them to put the guns back in their 4covers. He then ordered the fire engines out, and the streams of cold water worked salutary on the people's over-excited minds. Soon the mass of rioters was dispersed. Drenched and ashamed, they hurried, each to his home--and calm prevailed.

    It is to be hoped that this method of Mayor Mulvihill's for the suppression of riot might be accepted by the police forces in other cities.

    Plenty of cold water has a powerful effect.

    At all times, there have been rioting people, with minds that call for action first, and thought afterwards, and there will always be that kind of people. They may be ...

    Swedish
    I D 2 a 4, I F 6, I H
  • Svenska Nyheter -- June 02, 1903
    Capitalists at War (Editorial)

    The tendency to destroy on the part of workers on strike is a topic frequently discussed. But what about this tendency to destroy among the lords of capital?

    Perhaps one example taken from the whole will illustrate how the economic fight is carried on among them.

    War has broken loose between George J. Gould, owner of the Wabash Railroad, and A. J. Cassett, manager of Western Pennsylvania Railroad, and defender of its interests.

    2

    So far, no property belonging to either of the two railroad companies has been destroyed, but the Pennsylvania Railroad has destroyed property of the Union Telegraph Company to the value of millions of dollars. And why? Because George Gould, who is holding controlling interest in the Company, dared to push the tracks of the Wabash Railroad into Pittsburg, thereby starting competition with the Pennsylvania Railroad into Pittsburg, there by starting compesition with the Pennsylvania Railroad which formerly was without a competitor in the field.

    In order to get revenge at Mr. Gould for his rashness, the Pennsylvania Railroad demanded that he remove from the property of the Railroad all the telegraph poles belonging to the Telegraph Company.

    The battle about this has gone on both in Wall Street, New York, and before the courts. Mr. Gould obtained a court order enjoining the Pennsylvania 3Railroad from molesting the property of the Telegraph Company. Mr. Cassett appealed to a higher court, and had the injunction set aside. No sooner did he have the order setting aside the injunction in his hands than he dispatched an army of one thousand men to the locations in question, having ordered them to cut down all the telegraph poles along the line. Soon 14,000 miles of wire and 40,000 telegraph poles had been destroyed. The poles are valued at eight dollars each, the wire at about $500,000, and the work involved in the placing of the poles and securing the wire to them, at $180,000. The total loss to the telegraph company was at least one million dollars.

    Mr. Cassett and the Pennsylvania Railroad were not satisfied with this. They demanded that Mr. Gould pay for the work of destroying the property. The Pennsylvania Railroad wants payment for the work of cutting down the poles, and freightage for hauling them away to be burned.

    4

    Mr. Cassett will receive no punishment for thus destroying the property of other people. But suppose during a strike some hothead were to cut down a single one of these 40,000 telegraph poles, would he have been left unpunished?

    The tendency to destroy on the part of workers on strike is a topic frequently discussed. But what about this tendency to destroy among the lords of capital? Perhaps one ...

    Swedish
    I D 1 a, I D 2 a 4
  • Svenska Nyheter -- June 09, 1903
    Discipline (Editorial)

    Discipline is a necessary evil, although relying upon force, it brings liberty. Just as the individual needs to discipline his acts and thoughts in order to make progress in life, so must organized labor discipline itself in order not to become subject to discipline from the outside.

    In the rush for organization of labor in the past few years, autocracy within the unions has occasionally been given too free reign, and in consequence, a labor union has received the sharp lash of the whip of discipline, which, fortunately, is being swung by men who are able to see further then the mass of workers.

    2

    Relving upon its strength, now and again some trades unions have forgotten themselves to such extent as to believe that with immunity they could break contracts which they had entered into with their employers. The punishment for such breach of contract has not failed to follow the breach. Only a few days ago, President Slocum of the Blacksmiths' International Union suspended a local union of about four hundred members in Chicago because the members of this local had gone on strike in sympathy with striking blacksmiths' helpers, thereby breaking the contract which their representatives had signed with the employers, at the behest of the members of the union. For a similar breach, President Albert Young of the drivers' national organization suspended three hundred striking drivers in St. Louis. Both these presidents knew what they were about, and their actions were endorsed by every right-minded citizen. If a contract is not binding, there is no use entering into contractual 3relations. Mr. Morrison, president of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, said the other day: "We hope to see the day when we will disdain him who breaks a contract entered into--be he member or not of some labor organization--as utterly as now we disdain strike breakers."

    This wish of his appears to have been realized sooner than Mr. Morrison had dared to expect, or does not the action by Young and Slocum prove this? We hope that the clear visioned labor leaders may make it clear to our time and our people that discipline is a word that has a meaning in the labor union movement.

    Discipline is a necessary evil, although relying upon force, it brings liberty. Just as the individual needs to discipline his acts and thoughts in order to make progress in life, ...

    Swedish
    I D 2 a 4