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The earliest record we possess for Local 44, the Local for workers at the city's Jewish bakeries, is the letterpress book of Adolf Kebernik, Recording Secretary of the Local, which begins January 2, 1917 and ends June 17, 1919 (AIS 78:21, vol. 1).

Fortunately, these letters, unlike the Yiddish minutes of the Local, are in English.  Some are rather remarkable, like this one to a famous and controversial Filmmaker who was stopping over in Pittsburgh (p. 1):


                                                                                               Jan. 2, 1917

[To:] Mr. David W. Griffith                                    
Creator of Intolerance* [*an epic movie]
William Penn Hotel
Pittsburgh, Pa

Dear Sir:

    As per your wish am sending you five names and address of wives of our members:
          Mrs. B. Abramovitz 412 Logan Street
          Mrs. Nettie Abilson, 1204 Colwell Street
          Mrs. Agnes Gursky, 315 Dinwiddie Street
          Mrs. Dora Knopf, 716 Watts Lane
           Mrs. Dora Stuck, 2130 Webster Av.
Your "Intolerance" made a great impression upon me it is very artistic and educational it is recomended not only by Union Labor but by Socialists too.

    Hoping you produce more and teach us to love our strugle for better conditions.

                                                 Yours very Respectfully,

                                                                 Adolf Kebernik, Sec[retary]

Preparation of a standard contract to be signed by all of the owners was an essential function of Local 44. In this letter, Kebernik explains some of the provisions in the contract proposed for 1917 to Charles Iffland, the Bakery Workers International Secretary (pp. 14-15):


                                                                                           March 5, 1917

[To:] Mr. Chas. Iffland Inter[national] Sec[retary]
212 Bush Temple
Chicago, Ill

Dear Sir & Brother:

     Replying to you letter of the 1st inst regarding explanation of article 6, section b, in our new agreement.  The first part of said section means to prevent our employers to compell us to start work at various hours at night.  The second part of said section means to start work the next day on the same time as today, if not the same time the employer shall say - tomorrow we will start one or two hours earlier or later.  In some our shops it is very often when the man comes with his lunch to work the boss orders him to come one or two hours later and often 3-4 hours later.

     I hope you will understand that the section B, of article 6, is a slow but steady effort to abolish the night work and establish the eight hour to start the work, then we will be able to devote our time for more education.

                                      With kind regards and best wishes, I am,
                                                          Yours Fraternally,

                                                                    Adolf Kebernik, Sec[retary]


The annual contract went into effect each year on May 1 (the International Labor Day). Two weeks prior, the Local sent registered letters to the bakery owners Summoning them to appear at the Labor Lyceum on May 1 to endorse the new contract (pp. 17-18):


                                                                                           April 17, 1917

[To:] Caplan Baking Co.
75 Logan St.


     I was instructed by our union to submit to you our new agreement which is to go in force the first of May.

     Our local union is awaiting your endorsement at our hall in Labor Lyceum, Miller & Reed St. on April 26th between the hours of 2-4 p.m.

     Hoping you will appear without fail, remain,

                                                        Respectfully yours,

                                                                     Adolf Kebernik, Sec[retary]



The Local disagreed with the International's decision to withdraw an organizer from Pittsburgh (p. 45):


                                                                                     October 8, 1917

Special Delivery
[To:] Mr. Chas Iffland, Inter[national] Sec[retary]
212 Bush Temple
Chicago, Ill

Dear Sir & Brother:

     The undersigned is authorized upon report of our delegates, of to the J.E.B. by the above local union to notify the J.E.B. that we do not agree with the decision and cannot receive it with good grace in reference to not reinstating Organizer Kerker.

     At the present time when there is a good opportunity of organizing Pittsburgh and surrounding and also a great chance of addressing the different strikers, bring our label before them, we therefore request his service for a period of 4 weeks or that some other organizer be immediately sent here.

     Hoping that our request shall be granted I'll beg to remain with kind greetings,

                                                         Yours Fraternally,

                                                                     Adolf Kebernik, Sec[retary]


Night work was abolished in the bakeries as part of the 1919 contract.  Here the Local notifies the owners of their intent in February 1919 (p. 73):


                                                                                            Feb. 17, 1919

[To:] Master Baker M. Barrish
1301 Colwell St.

Dear Sir:

     The Joint Executive Board of Allegheny County of our International Union decided that night work in bake shops must be abolished.  Our local union unanimously confirmed the decision of the J.E.B. and instructed me to notify you to prepare your shop from the 1st of May 1919 for day work only.

     Hoping that the day work will be beneficiary not only to the worker but to the employer also.

                                                           Yours Respectfully,

                                                                     Adolf Kebernik, Sec[retary]

Same letter sent to the following
on February 17, 1919:

Caplan Baking Co.
75 Logan St.
Simon Caplan Glantz Co.
143 Fullerton St.
M. Graner
1620 Centre Av.
M. Schwartz
1701 Centre Av.
S. Fisherman
15 Townsend St.
Sam Schwartz
2222 Webster Av.
H. Abilson
89 Logan St.