New Elements in Industry Threaten Living Standard of Garment Workers

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

The entry of new elements into the garment industry, formerly dominated by Jewish and Italian workers, was described as seriously threatening the workers’ standard of living, due to the fact that the newcomers are not maintaining the union’s standard.

Methods of bringing under union control these new elements were proposed by the organization committee. These proposals were voted by the convention to go into effect. The plans for organizing the workers include the formation of women’s locals where deemed advisable by the general executive board. Encouragement of special activities which appeal to the American elements on a social and recreational nature and renewed cooperation in smaller centers with local, civic and welfare organizations was decided upon.

Elfas Reisburg, secretary of the organization committee, stated if the entire garment industry were organized, the women workers would number seventy percent.

He also stated that the new elements require separate locals.

The convention decided on a campaign in New York to wipe out non-union shops. A general cessation of work will take place unless these shops meet the union demands.

Judge Jacob Panken described the development of industry in America, declaring that the efficiency of the machine with the lack of creation of new industries has brought about unemployment. He attributed the present difficulties to the exportation of billions of dollars, instead of using the money here to develop home industries. As a solution to the rising problems, Judge Panken urged the workers to use political as well as economic action.

The convention offered to aid the efforts of the 28,000 textile strikers in New Bedford. Mass., against the ten percent wage cut.

An educational campaign for higher wages and shorter hours to be obtained by federal and state legislation was also decided in resolutions introduced by Fannia M. Cohen.

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