Representatives of Greater New York’s kosher butcher shop proprietors and employes returned from Washington yesterday, as dubious as ever over the eventual solution of the problems which they claim have taken most of the joy out of their business.
They went to the capital Monday with high hopes that they could obtain the cooperation of the NRA in framing a code of fair competition, to eliminate cut-throat practices which have eaten deeply into their financial welfare.
After two days of meetings and conferences they found themselves faced with the strong probability that they will be refused a code on the ground that they are not numerous enough to deserve one.
Joseph Belsky, secretary of the Hebrew Butcher Workers Union, who represented his organization at the Washington session, described what took place for the Jewish Daily Bulletin.
Irving Moss, special administrator appointed by General Johnson to take charge of the hearings, brought out the fact that in the entire country there are only 8,000 kosher butchers.
Delegates from the Federation of Kosher Shop Owners argued that the kosher trade is important enough in New York City to merit a code of its own.
They met opposition on the part of the group which controls the grocery code, and which has a strong interest in the kosher dispute because, as was pointed out, much of the kosher meat outside New York is sold in grocery stores.
Moss will present his recommendations to Johnson, with a final decision promised by July 16 at the latest.
Meanwhile New York’s kosher shops will continue to do business under what they regard as unendurable handicaps. Harassed from one direction by wholesale prices they are being forced to pay the “Big Four” packers for their wares, from another by the competition of chain store proprietors who refuse to cooperate with them, and from still another by inter-organization strife which finds an outlet in cut-throat price-slashing, many members of the Federation are frank in stating they will be unable to continue in business unless they get relief in the form of a code from Washington.
If this is refused, negotiations will begin all over again for a strike, boycott and a shut-down.