An agreement framed Thursday morning following an all-night conference under the guidance of Lieut. Gov. Herbert H. Lehman, is expected to lead to a settlement of the cloakmakers’ strike in which 28,000 workers left the shops.
The agreement effected the return of 7,000 strikers employed in the high grade shops to their work next Tuesday and is expected to serve as the basis of conciliation for the rest of the industry.
Through the agreement, the employers consented to the right of review of cases of men discharged and dropped the counter demands for piece-work and a forty-two hour week. Mass meetings are planned for next Monday to ratify the agreement. This is expected to be merely a matter of routine and all shops are expected to begin manufacturing on Tuesday.
The basis of the understanding reached is that the independent manufacturer must be eliminated as far as possible through rebuilding the union and the setting up of strong employers’ associations. The agreement was made by committees of the Industrial Council of Cloak, Suit and Skirt Manufacturers and the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. Present at the conference, held at the Hotel Pennsylvania, and a meeting called by Gov. Roosevelt in the offices of Raymond Ingersoll, impartial arbitrator, were representatives of the four factors in the strike. William Green, president of the American Federation of Labor, was present.
It is understood that both sides made concessions. Besides withdrawing their demand for a 42-hour week, piecework, the manufacturers withdrew their demand for single time for Saturday work. The union agreed to shelve
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for the time being its demand for unemployment insurance, this to be taken up after an opportunity has been made to restabilize the industry.
In the matter of restricting the right of discharge and exempting shop chairman from discharge, a compromise was reached. Under this, discharges must be made in one week in each season instead of a month as formerly and shop chairmen who make the discharge will have the right to appeal to the impartial chairman of the union. The matter of $5 a week increase is disposed of to the satisfaction of union leaders, it is understood.
A new feature is the agreement reached between the factors involved to organize a joint board of control. The joint board is to supervise the maintenance of standards as specified in the agreement in the industry and to discourage manufacturing in substandard and non-union shops. Representatives of the various factors and the public are to comprise the joint board of control.
The details of the agreement concerning wages and the other demands and counter-demands were referred to sub-committees which are to report to the general conference on Friday night. The final agreement expected to be reached then will end what constituted the shortest strike in the history of the industry.