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Labor Quandary Faces Shop Owners As They Weigh Strike

A cloud of conflicting reports and clashing interests descended over nearly 2,000 kosher butcher shop proprietors, who met last night at Webster Hall, 119 East Eleventh street, to decide whether to close their stores in protest against prevailing wholesale meat prices.

The meeting, under the auspices of the Federation of Kosher Shop Owners in Greater New York, was in charge of Charles Cohen, the organization’s president.

Faced with the strong likelihood that if they should decide to strike they would not receive the cooperation of their 5,000 employes, all members of the Hebrew Butcher Workers Union, the shop owners found themselves in a quandary.

Approximately thirty-five percent of the butcher workers union members, it was explained, are employed by chain shops, or by kosher butchers who own more than one store. This latter group, which has an organization of its own and is not affiliated with the Federation of Kosher Shop Owners, at present has no intention of striking, it was learned since it is continuing to purchase merchandise at wholesale cut prices and is unaffected by the problem confronting the independents.

SPLITS PREVAIL

Last night’s meeting found itself split by factional schisms, with a strong contingent of Bronx dealers holding firm for an anti-strike resolution in the face of opposing sentiments voiced by Manhattan owners and others.

The situation was further befuddled last night when the report gained credence that the city-wide strike of non-Jewish meat trade workers is doomed to collapse.

The basis for this belief lay in a story, not entirely authenticated, to the effect that delegates representing those slaughter house workers who are still out—many already have returned to work—have gone to NRA officials and asked their help toward reinstatement of the old status quo. These workers are perfectly willing to take their jobs back without benefit of union membership, according to the above report.

If this story proves to be based on fact, the Hebrew Butcher Workers Union, at its meeting on Friday night, will decide against a walk-out, it was learned on reliable authority yesterday.

POULTRY DEALERS PROTEST

Further murmurs of dissension were reported yesterday among New York City poultry dealers, and there has been some talk that they too will close their stores, in protest against truck unloading charges.

Although the Federation of Kosher Shop Owners was still in session at a late hour last night, a spokesman for the organization declared that if strike should be called, the stores will finish out the week, closing down late Friday afternoon, not to reopen until some settlement of their grievances against the packers is reached.

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