• Hats, 4/17/15

    Main lines
    Renewed pressure for 8 hour day
    Led by the U. S. Communist party, the fight to initiate the 8-8-8 plan is being renewed with hope for a boisterous May Day (May 1) celebration. On May Day, all laborers will be urged not to work in order to display solidarity. It was just such a May Day event that resulted in the Haymarket affair years ago. Sponsored by the International Union of Workers and the American Communist Party,1 the Haymarket affair—participated in by an estimated 80,000 workers—began with a Chicago march and ended with severe rioting that killed four policemen and left three rioters dead. Workers chanted “Eight hour day, no cut in pay.” The demonstration followed the McCormick Harvesting Machine strike, which was put down by a starvation lock out and by about 400 armed guards supplied by the Pinkerton National Detective Service. It is hoped that such heedless violence can be avoided here in Pacific Grove, and in all of California.
    Approached for comment, area employers voiced antipathy for a standard eight- hour working day. The employers’ battle cry, “16 or more, we decide each day, what we will pay,” voiced the concern that the employer be able to set the number of hours worked at each labor site. Bakers, for instance, are required to respect eighteen hour working days. A few other labor classifications are asked to labor for twenty hours daily, if the applicant wishes to be hired. The Union and the Communist Party are stressing that labor decisions be taken from management and placed squarely in the hands of the collective. Management claims that an organized approach is thus impossible, but Laborers want autonomy. A management person, requesting anonymity, said that the U. S. Post Office may attempt a compromise by reducing post office hours to ten each day. The source said that to do so, the post office would cut back on home deliveries from two to one, daily. The source was uncertain how post office wages would be impacted.
    Most workers responded to a Review poll, by indicating that the longer work day was preferred, without guarantees that take-home pay amounts would be unchanged. 2
    Do you want your voice heard? Respond to the 8-8-8 question at the Pacific Grove Review.

    Twenty-one demands
    The Japanese Prime Minister Okuma Shnigobu has confirmed the issuance of twenty-one demands that must be met by China to avoid further military action and occupation. Included are such items as permitting and encouraging the expansion of Japan’s sphere of influence, and that China will hire Japanese advisors, at Chinese expense, who would control the Chinese police and military. Interested observers commented that the list of twenty-one demands gave Japan little that it did not already have, but seemed like a list that could be reported as broken at any time. United States representatives stated that it was clear that Japan was closing the open door established with China years ago.

    Raid on Suez Canal
    Never mind that the Khediva, Abbis Hemi, was out of the country, the British stepped up and bounced him out of office. Installed in Hemi’s place was a Sultan more supportive of British Empire policies, Hussein Kamal. Immediately, the Ottoman Empire took exception. Noting that the British maintained a force of only 5,000 to protect the Suez Canal—these composed of a few English and many Indian soldiers in foxholes dug behind sandbags—the Ottoman-German coalition attacked with a force of 20,000 soldiers. Overwhelmed, the British fell back to await help from ships at anchor nearby. The Ottoman force was dispatched from the war-time town of Hafir al Aujah, its military stronghold. The noncombatant world is watching for British response.

    Exposition now open!
    The City of San Francisco has announced the opening of the Panama-Pacific Exposition. Featured are the Tower of Jewels, the Fountain of Energy, a Japanese tea house, a working model of the Panama Cannel, and a myriad of exhibits and displays. San Francisco hopes to attract 20 million visitors while the Exposition continues. The Southern Pacific Railroad is offering discounted tickets for visitors traveling to the fair.

    Typhoid Epidemic
    The William and Emily Sloan Hospital has seen the number of typhoid sufferers climb beyond twenty-five persons. Serving as both a woman’s hospital and teaching facility since 1886, the hospital recently hired as kitchen help Mary Mallon, nee Typhoid Mary. More victims are expected to be discovered. Two of the twenty five have already died. Mary, known to have infected others elsewhere, got the Sloan job using an assumed name. By way of excuse, Mary said that she is “too poor not to work” never mind that she is known to be a typhoid carrier.3

    And the cost is …
    Salt & Buchanan Contractors, guarantee their work. Painting our specialty. Call to ar- range a free estimate. 766 Red. We’re at 215 Grand Avenue.
    Charles Norton is offering furnished cottages within walking distance of the ocean. Starting at $15 weekly.
    Canned vegetables at Curnow & Curnow cash grocers. Peas and beans are just 15ȼ by the tin.
    Wall paper starts at 50ȼ per roll when you shop J. K. Paul’s Furniture Store. Look us over before you buy!

    Author’s notes …
    1. Communism, 1915, was not yet considered the bad boy that it would later become. Through “collectivity” communism touted reduced working hours and increased pay, promises designed to “sound good” to workers. Such promises, of course, could only be gained through collective ownership, so Go Communist!
    2. If changing to an eight-hour workday meant a 50% decrease in pay, as employers hinted, it was no wonder so many workers were opposed.
    3. Mary Mallon, nee Typhoid Mary, lived to be 69 years of age.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on April 17, 2015

    Topics: High Hats and Parasols


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