THE CHAIRMAN. Just what is your relationship to this strike? That is what we want to get.
MR. FITZPATRICK. Chairman of the national committee for organizing iron and steel workers.
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SENATOR JONES. How did the conditions in the steel mills affect labor in other lines?
MR. FITZPATRICK. The hours are long and the wages are small, and the treatment--you can not describe the treatment. Other employers meet and they discuss the situation in the steel mills, and they want to know why they can not do the same in their institutions, why they can not work 12 hours, why they can not pay a pittance for the labor that they use, and when our organizations would go in arbitration matters or meet employers, the barrier that was held up before them, the thing that they could not get over, was "Why don't you go to the steel mills? You get the steel mill conditions up there, get the hours down, and the wages up there, and when you do that, of course we will treat with you then." And that was the one situation that made it absolutely imperative that the steel mills be organized, because it held the balance of the labor movement back.
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SENATOR WOLCOTT. Boiling it down to figures, Mr. Fitzpatrick, the situation was this: that 98,000 men, in round numbers, voted for the strike, which involved the employment of 500,000 men?
MR. FITZPATRICK. I think it would be somewhat different from that, because when men in the mills saw that there was a situation which might bring hope into their lives and into their homes, 50,000 men joined the organization between July and the date that we compiled the vote. Fifty thousand, so that we have 150,000 when the vote was compiled.
SENATOR McKELLAR. Have any joined since; and if so, how many, if you know?
MR. FITZPATRICK. Our report yesterday was 340,000.
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THE CHAIRMAN. Now this committee wants to get all of that information. Now can you give us information as to the proportion of men in the mills who are naturalized Americans or native-born Americans and those who are aliens. Can you give us any light on that?
MR. FITZPATRICK. No. We never go into it in that way. We have to organize the employees of the steel mills. Now, if those men were not employed by the steel mills, we would not have them in the organization. The fact that they are in the steel mills--if they are____________________
From Investigation of Strike in Steel Industries, Hearings before the Committee on Education and Labor, United States Senate, Sixty-sixth Congress, First Session, Pursuant to S. Res. 188 and S. Res. 202, Part 2 ( Washington, Government Printing Office, 1919), pp. 7, 9-10, 15, 28-29, 32, 35-36, 41, 43, 49-50, 67, 77, 83.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Steel Strike of 1919. Contributors: Colston E. Warne - Editor. Publisher: D. C. Heath. Place of publication: Boston. Publication year: 1963. Page number: 50.
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