Harry Bragarnick, Milwaukee’s “man of peace,” unofficial arbiter in local labor disputes, is again at work trying to mediate strikes on a half dozen fronts.
A neighborhood merchant, Bragarnick has time and again spent days at his own expense arbitrating labor-employer struggles that often seemed insoluble. His work has received publicity and praise in the local press.
His latest achievement has been a settlement of a threatened strike of electricians, power engineers and machinists at the Phoenix Hosiery Company. Through conferences between the workers and the owners, directed by Bragarnick, a wage adjustment was agreed to.
Bragarnick is now striving to bring peace between owners of several Milwaukee theatres and their striking ushers and doormen. Thus far, the executive board of the Motion Picture Theatre Owners’ Association has been cool to his intercession, but Bragarnick is keeping up his attempts at conciliation.
Several other strikes have just broken out in various local industries and Bragarnick is getting busy with plans for conciliation. Arbitration has become a passion with him, and whenever a strike occurs he is on the spot to bring the warring elements to an agreement.
Among major strikes he has mediated successfully in the past have been two at the Phoenix Hosiery Company and one at the Fried-Osterman Company, both involving thousands of men and of men and women.
One newspaper described him as a “true philanthropist.”
“I like this sort of work,” he explains. “It is my charity. The best form of charity is that which prevents people from going into the breadlines.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.