With New York City’s great body of orthodox Jewish consumers of chicken standing anxiously on the sidelines, both sides in the dispute that is threatening to disrupt the poultry industry marked time over the week end while waiting for tomorrow’s decisive battle at City Hall.
Tomorrow is the deadline set by Judge Otto A. Rosalsky, Mayor LaGuardia’s mediator in the prolonged labor and religious difficulties besetting a once thriving but never peaceful industry, for final acceptance or rejection of his edict.
The edict issued by Judge Rosalsky following a series of conferences he conducted between the warring factions provides for the following:
1â€”Establishment of rabbinical supervision under the Kashruth Association of Greater New York.
2â€”Tagging of chickens certifying that they were killed according to strictest kosher ritual.
3â€”Minimum of $45 a week for shochtim.
4â€”Payment at rate of half-cent per pound of fowl slaughtered.
5â€”Maximum production per shochet of 12,000 pounds a week.
6â€”Tax of one cent per fowl to pay for the rabbinical supervision.
On Thursday the Kashruth Association announced that it had proclaimed an “issur,” religious prohibition on consumption of poultry, to go into effect Tuesday if retail and wholesale slaughterhouse operators refused to accept the Rosalsky edict.
The Shochtim Union had previously indicated that they would call a strike if the contract offered the retailers and wholesalers, based on the Rosalsky decree, were rejected. Their decision to strike has been deferred pending the outcome of tomorrow’s City Hall conference. It is held certain that the union will support the Kashruth Association by striking if the Rosalsky order is not accepted by the retailers and wholesalers.
In the meantime, the slaughterhouse operators, both retail and wholesale, continued to stand firm in their determination not to surrender to the combined demands of Judge Rosalsky, the shochtim and the Kashruth Association. At meetings held during the past few days, retailers and wholesalers decided to reject the ultimatum issued by Judge Rosalsky.
While all parties concerned were awaiting the final showdown at City Hall tomorrow afternoon in the offices of Aldermanic President Bernard S. Deutsch, Louis Nizer, counsel for the Retail Live Poultry Slaughter House Operators and a large number of wholesale operators, issued the following statement in explanation of his clients’ position:
“The contract submitted by the Schochtim Union is not in accordance with Judge Rosalsky’s decision. It demands much more than Judge Rosalsky granted.
“The important point to remember is that this is not a religious dispute. The Slaughter House Operators whom I represent, unanimously agree that poultry must be slaughtered in accordance with every requirement of the Jewish dietary laws. This is purely a labor dispute between the Shochtim Union and the operators. The operators claim that they will have to shut their markets entirely because of the unreasonable demands of the shochtim. The shochtim contend that they are entitled to these demands. Without deciding who is right, both sides ought to be honest enough to admit that the issue is an economic one and not a religious one.
“The Jewish public should not permit itself to be prejudiced against one side or the other on religious grounds.
“I can say earnestly to the Kashruth Association, that the anxiety of my clients to comply with the kosher laws, is as great as theirs, and that there can be no dispute between us on this point.”