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     "In February, 1894, a general reduction in wages of 20 cents was put into effect by the National Tube Works Company, and from that time until May 14th, considerable comment and agitation was rife, especially in the Butt Mill where the "butt mill boys" were constantly on the alert for some excuse to shut the mill down.  A good day for swimming, and with a shout, they left their work and raced for the river.  A circus in town, and there was no more work for the "butt mill boys" that day.  A huckster passed the mill, which at that time was directly on Fourth Avenue, and before any warning could be given, the huckster proceeded on his way with an empty wagon.  In the afternoon of May 14th, matters had arrived at a point where the agitation for a return to the previous wage culminated in decisive action among the "butt weld boys".  At the end of the lunch hour, and , with a "whoop and yell" they started out of the Butt Mill, and the strike was on.
     At that time, knowing the temper of the boys, Horace Crosby, who was Assistant General Manager, said, "I think the boys will settle down alright after they have had their little fling."
     But it was not to be so.  The next day the Butt Mill employees were joined by the Lap Mill and part of the shops.  All told, about 3,000 men went out on strike.
     A meeting was held, the strikers were organized, and Thomas Richards was made Chairman of the meeting.  A committee was appointed and this committee waited on Mr. Crosby and Mr. Peter Patterson, who told the committee that a wage advance at that time was absolutely out of question, but that if the men wanted to return to work at the old wages they could do so, but if not, the plant would be shut down indefinitely, together with the Rolling Mill, which, up to that time, had not joined the strike.  The strikers remained firm in their demands however, and the plant was closed.  During this period a severe coal strike, affecting the Pennsylvania and Illinois fields, as well as those in Ohio and Colorado, became general, causing a coal famine accompanied by much bloodshed and rioting.  Though the strike at the Tube Works was quiet and orderly, the men during this time availed themselves of the idle period for picnics, baseball, and other harmless activities.  The first disturbance occurred on the fifth of June, when two welders ands several men went back to work.  A crowd of strikers congregated at the Locust Street entrance, and when several men started out at the lunch hour, they were set upon by the strikers and would have fared badly had they not been rescued by Chief McCloskey and Superintendent Peter Patterson, who took them back into the mill.  At this time boiler makers and moulders quit, saying they would not return until the trouble was over.  The following days brought more rioting and abuse to men leaving the plant.  The son of Superintendent Patterson was roughly handled, Archie Duncan was so badly mauled that he had to be carried home.  Jerry Beattie was knocked down and badly trampled.  Two police officers attempted to protect a "Hun" who had pulled a knife.  The "Hun" was allowed to escape after having most of his clothing torn from his back, but the officers received a terrible beating.  Excitement was running high, and the strikers were becoming more determined than ever.  At this time the Mayor issued a proclamation declaring that as a state of disorder existed on account of the strike, all saloons and wholesale liquor houses were to close, and no assembling was to be permitted after 10:30 P.M., and calling on all citizens to remain in their homes.  He further called all those citizens desirous of maintaining  law and order to assemble at his office to be sworn in as deputies.
     About $200.00 had been collected for relief among the strikers.  There were charges of incompetency and graft regarding the disbursement of this fund.  A meeting was called by the committee who wished the charges withdrawn or exoneration.  At this juncture, the man who had made the charges was espied in the audience.  He was hustled to the state where it was found he could not speak English.  The meeting then adjourned.
     On June 29th, 1894, a meeting of mechanical departments was held to discuss the question of why they were not working.  About 150 men were present.  On a ballot taken to determine the sentiment of the men, every man voted to return to work.  A committee was formed for canvassing others in the department.  It was made up of James Boax, Chariman, W.D. Davis, George Newlin, Alex Rae, John Rotheram, Dave Heggie, William Bumbaugh, James Kincaid, Richard Hampson, and Charles Parker.
     A meeting of the Tube Works laborers at this time was attended by about 200 men.  Peter McMullen took the floor and addressed the men, saying,
"I was in consultation with Mr. Patterson yesterday, and asked him about an increase, and he said,
"Its divil a cint you'll git boys, if you stay out fer a year"
"We might as well go back now for you have heard what the bosses have said."
A resolution was then passed that McMullen retire to his log cabin in Reynoldton and remain there in peace.
     At a meeting on July 6th, the Mechanical Departments voted to return to work the following Monday morning, but when the men assembled for work, as there were no firemen to operate the boiler plant, the mill did not start operation.  However, the next day, by coupling up the mill locomotives with the steam lines, the foundry and machine shops started work.  Furnace "B" at the Monongahela Furnaces was blown in on the morning of July 12th, and work was resumed in that Department.  The next day a mass meeting attended by over 1,000 men voted by a vote of 738 to 313 to continue the strike.  On the 18th of July, at a meeting held in the Coliseum, with Thomas Richards presiding, a committee was appointed consisting of John Ford, James McDonald, Casper Kistner, Norman Grant, and Owen Farley.  The committee was instructed to ask Mr. Converse to withdraw the deputies, and the men would go back to work.  Mr. Converse replied by messenger that a conference with the committee would be unnecessary, it would only be a waste of time as he had nothing to say.  After considerable discussion, it was voted by uplifted hand to call of the strike and return to work, and the following week the mill was working as though nothing had happened."


     "The early part of the summer of 1901 was fraught with considerable agitation, especially in the steel industry over union recognition, and wage scales.  By July 1st, the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers had thrown down the gauntlet, and called a strike affecting those mills, principally in the sheet industry, that were affiliated and affected by the scale.  Approximately 35, 000 workers were idle.  The general strike call, affecting all steel operations by President Shaffer occurred on the 15th of July, 1901, and locally, the Woods mill and Demmler mill were affected.  The National Tube Company at that time granted an advance in wages of approximately 10 cents.  A few days later a general strike of stationary engineers in the coal mines was ordered, principally in the anthracite regions.
     Mr. G.G. Crawford, General Manager of the National Tube Company at McKeesport, made the statement, when asked if men joining the Amalgamated Association would be discharged.  He replied: "I have nothing to say."  Mr. S.M. Cooper, Manager of Woods mill reported that when the Woods mill started again it would be strictly non-union, but when that time would come he could not say.  The stock market reacted to the sentiment over repeated failures of settlement and steel common sold at 40-1/4 on August 5th.  About this time it was announced that the W.D. Woods plant would be dismantled, and would move to the Kiskiminetas Valley and work of dismantling the plant began soon after.  On the 12th of August the Boston Iron and Steel Works, and the National Rolling Mills closed for the reason that the men did not report to work.  The Monongahela Furnaces were scheduled for closing that evening.  On the 13th of August, the next day, having an apparent excuse for a holiday, the "butt mill boys" joined the strike.  The colored iron workers organized a lodge, the bartenders organized a lodge, and the painters and paperhangers organized a lodge, all in sympathy with the Amalgamated Association strike.  By the 15th of August, all departments of the National Tube Company had laid down their tools and joined the ranks of the strikers.
     The balance of the month was quiet.  The men, as a rule, taking their time for picnics and outings of harmless nature, leaving the discussion of the strike and its settlement to those in authority.  By Labor Day, September 2nd, notices began to appear of resumption of operations in several of the plants, Demmler and National Tube Company, among others.  The foremen at National Tube Company reported that at least 1,000 men had returned to their places, while the strike headquarters would concede only 100.  On the 6th of September, the country was startled by news of the shooting in the Temple of Music at Buffalo, of President McKinley, and for a while strike talk was superceded by this much more momentous occurrence.  A proposition was made by the United States Steel Corporation, which had been formed by this time, and was turned down by the Amalgamated Association.  The Corporation announced that they would not negotiate further, and would try to start all mills at once.
     President F.J Hearne of the National Tube Company wrote a letter under date of September 12th to Mayor Robt. J. Black complaining about the interference of pickets with men wishing to return to work.  Mayor Black replied that Mr. Hearne had been misinformed, and that only lawful acts had occurred and that "bodily harm" existed only in his imagination.  Quoting from the letter, Mayor Black said:  "The real reason, as I see it, why the Company is unable to operate its plant is that the main body of millmen do not wish to return to work under present conditions, and I will not be a party to any coercive reassures that will prevent them from peacefully reasoning with their fellows to persuade them of the justice of their position."
     On the 14th of September the country was plunged into mourning over news of the death of President McKinley and, at the same time, the strike virtually ended, so that by the end of the month practically all were back at work."


     "In the latter part of August, 1919, pressure was being brought to bear by the American Federation of Labor for the general organization of the steel workers, and the recognition of the union.  Many divisions and branches of the union had sprung up under various names and titles, some of them outlaws, and distinctly communistic.  Warring among themselves had brought chaos among the workers.  At this time an attempt was made to meet with Judge Gary of the Steel Corporation to discuss union recognition, but such a conference was flatly refused.  Organization efforts in McKeesport were being conducted principally by two men, William Z. Foster and J.L Beaghen, who were refused any permits for meetings by the local authorities.  These two men, while attempting to speak at Slavish Hall in White Street on the third of September, 1919, were arrested on orders of Mayor Lyale, and were later released on payment of $25.00 forfeit.  The next day several men refusing to move on order of the police were arrested and committed to jail.
     Finding their efforts for a conference with Judge Gary to be of no avail, President Gompers of the American Federation of Labor appealed to President Wilson to arrange a conference with Judge Gary, threatening to call a general strike unless Gary consented to negotiate.  A few days later Foster and Beaghen were arrested when a meeting of steel men in Duquesne was broken up.  A $100.00 fine, imposed by Mayor Crawford, was paid.
     On the ninth of September five foreigners charged with inciting to riot at the meeting in Slavish Hall the week before, and at Central Police Station, were given a hearing before Alderman Markus, and held for action of the Grand Jury.  Bail was set at $3,000.00 each.  These men were positively identified by different witnesses and the defendants admitted being in the crowd, but emphatically denied that they had thrown any stones, or acted in a disorderly manner.  The men were John Hudock, 403 Center Street, John Marsal, 604 White St., John Goyak, 1616 East 8th Street, John Pahota, 2201 Summitt Street, and John Frechalk, 944 Fourth Street.  A composite story of what happened on that night, gleaned from the testimony of all the witnesses is as follows:
It started on White Street when two labor leaders tried to address a large crowd of men in defiance of the Mayor's orders.  These leaders were arrested and taken to Central Police Station, the crowd following.  A near riot took place at Central Station and then the crowd went down Fourth Street, tried at several places to enter the mill, threw stones at the mill buildings, striking several watchmen and millmen, entered the Blast Furnaces at Center Street, and succeeded in making, either by force or by persuasion, a number of men leave their work.  It was charged that the five defendants were the leading spirits in the affair.
     Chief of Police James Heddington was the first witness and related how the men had cried, "Tear the police station down," "Kill the police", and other exclamations of similar tenor.  Michael Halleron, General Foreman of Blast Furnaces, positively identified the defendants as being prominent in the crowd about the Police Station and at the Center Street entrance of the Tube Works.  He stated that the rain of stones continued for fifteen minutes.  Hugh N. Pendleton, Superintendent of Rolling Mills, told of being seized by the crowd and roughly handled, because he tried to prevent their entrance into the mill.  He also testified to being hit with a stone, a scar on his head being confirmation of his story.  He also stated he saw a watchman struck by a stone.  James F. McCloskey, Tube Works Chief of Police, also saw the stone throwing.  Other witnesses for the prosecution were A.H. Wardwell, Thomas Gallagher, and James Gorman.  In addition to the questioning of the Alderman, Clyde F. Young, Acting City Solicitor, examined the witnesses and the defendants.
"Were you in the crowd?", asked the Alderman of John Marsal.
"Yes, outside the mill."
"Were you there when they were throwing stones?"
"I did not know whether they were throwing any stones."
Then the Alderman questioned Hudak:
"Were you in the crowd?"
"Some like somebody" was the unusual, unintelligent answer.
"Did you throw any stones?"
"I know see."
"Were you at the police station?"
"Did you follow the crowd down Fourth Street?"
     Frechalk, when asked if he had been with the crowd, at first said, "I was no down there.  I was home.  My wife sick."  Later, he admitted, "Yes, I was in that bunch; I heard that bunch hollering".
     Goyak said, "I was with the crowd, but did not throw any stones."
     Marsal implicated a dairyman, a Russian, living on Jerome Street, asserting, "He was very active in the crowd."
     After hearing all the testimony Alderman Markus decided it was a case for a higher court, and held the defendants for action of the Grand Jury.
     By September 18th, the State Constabulary sent here for patrol duty, was re-inforced by ten more members, making a total of fifteen patrolling districts within a few miles of McKeesport.  They were distributed; five at Clairton, five at Dravosburg, and five at Lincoln Place.  It was likely, in lieu of any direct reason, that the authorities were getting ready for an emergency.  At this time the general strike was called for Monday, September 22nd, at 6:00 A.M.  The Mayor of McKeesport and Burgess of Port Vue started swearing in citizens as special officers, and made the statement that every effort would be made to preserve order.  On September 22nd, the strike broke and many conflicting stories were current as to its effectiveness.  Several shots were fired at Clairton, where much rioting took place.  State Troopers arrested forty as a result of the disorder.  National Tube Works, W.D. Woods plant, and Christy Park Works were working full.  From bulletins, the strike was claimed to be very effective at Cary, Joliet, Wheeling, Pueblo, Buffalo, Sharon, Youngstown, Martins Ferry, Monesson, Johnstown, Massillon, South Chicago, and Fairfield, Alabama.  Locations reported partially affected were Pittsburgh, Clairton, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Chicago, Mercer, and not affected, Elyria, Lorain, McKeesport, Duquesne, Canton, Lancaster, Vandergrift, Alliance, Coatesville, Braddock, Homestead, Sheffield and Anistan, Alabama.  Conflicting reports as to the above statements were current, coming from both the ranks of the strikers, and the employers.  By this time, the seriousness of the strike had been recognized by the National Government at Washington, and hearings were started by the Senate Labor committee.  At a hearing today, September 25th, John Fitzpatrick, Chairman of the Striker's Committee, told the Senators that the steel industry's "oppression" of labor is the "rotten apple" of the industrial situation.  Long hours and small wages drag conditions in other industry backward and downward.  Senators listened to his recital of attempts to prevent union meetings at McKeesport, and elsewhere.  Mayor Lysle at this time issued a proclamation stating the position of the City and authorities toward the strike, and calling on everyone to keep the peace and be orderly.  There were several arrests and fines for youths who jeered the troopers and who refused to move when ordered.  The most serious trouble up to this time resulting from the strike took place at Otto, where a huge mass meeting was scheduled to take place.  One foreigner shot at a State Trooper, and another pointed a gun at Police Chief Reddington.  Thirty-six arrests were made.  There were over 1,000 men in the crowd assembled, though all were careful not to stop on the McKeesport side of the line, but several were searched before crossing the line and arrested for "gun toting".
     Shortly before 3 o'clock the troopers hove in sight.  At the same time a freight train slowly moved towards McKeesport.  Sergeant Murphy of the State Troopers headed his men and all jogged along until they were a few yards from the crowd that was on the sidewalk.  Sergeant Murphy gave the command to charge, and like a streak the horses shot along the sidewalk.  Many of the foreigners had previously stationed themselves on the P&LE Railroad track and they climbed one side of the cars, as those driven from the sidewalk climbed the other side.  Foreigners, who were on the south side of Monongahela Avenue raced for the woods with troopers and officers in hot pursuit.  Sergeant Murphy said it was lucky for the men that the freight train happened along when it did, for he would have run them into the river.  In two minutes there was not a person on the streets but officers and reporters.  The foreigners yelled as they raced for the woods.  A few stopped to hid in the bushes, others were running by the officers ten minutes later.  Most of those who secreted themselves in the bushes were rounded up and arrested, and several others were captured by officers.  This was the first meeting in this section, where shots were fired and clubs used, but it was announced that since the officers have been fired on, they will use their entire effectiveness of armament in the future to protect themselves.  September 26th reports show National Tube Company and Carnegie Steel Company, at Duquesne, operating 100%.
     At Washington, the Senate investigating committee is continuing hearings, and has listened to Gompers, Fitzpatrik, and others, stating the labor side of the case.  This testimony evoked an editorial in the McKeesport Daily News descrying testimony given before the committee.  It declared that Gompers was a piker with Ananias, and called on the business men of McKeesport to rally to the City's support, and refute the slanderous chargers.
     On October 1st, Judge Gary flatly refused before the Senate Committee, to deal with labor unions.  He specifically told the committee he would not meet Gompers or any other union leader as a representative of his employees.  He said, "Every employee of the Corporation has the right to singly, or in groups, appeal even to the President of the Corporation, but we cannot deal with outsiders."
     The Allegheny County courts upheld the Mayor's ban on meetings, and fines imposed on Foster and Beaghen, stating in their decision that public safety was at issue.  During these days men were being arrested and fined for bothering workmen trying to return to work.  Hundreds of striking foreigners are leaving for Europe, depleting the striker's ranks.
     W.Z. Foster, when confronted before the Senate Committee with his book, wherein he advocate revolutionary socialism, declared under a  grueling fire of questions, that his view had changed since publication of the book.  To what extent they had changed he refused to say, unless newspaper correspondents were excluded from the room.  This was denied to him.
     Probably the worst condition in the strike occurred during the first week of October in the Calumet steel district, surrounding Gary, Indiana, where riots, disorder, and gun-play, caused the Governor to send four thousand regular troops into the district, and declare martial law.
     Senator Kenyon and his investigating committee visited Homestead, Duquesne, Clairton, and McKeesport on October 10th.  They talked with strikers, non-union workers, and wives and children, in an effort to learn how the other half lived.  The visit to McKeesport, where they were greeted by a committee composed of Mr. W.A. Cornelius, J.W. Wilson, H.N. Pendleton, T.H. Fox, W.T. Snyder, and T.M. Hopke, took place in the afternoon.  The committee was barely an hour in the mill and expressed astonishment and admiration for the manner in which the machinery was guarded with respect to safety, and the fact that practically everything was done by machinery.  Senator Kenyon asked Sergeant Murphy of the State Police about dispersing the meeting in Otto and said, "Did you hurt anybody?"  "No, Senator", said the Sergeant, "I would not say I hurt any of them, I just clubbed a few of them."
     Americanism, in the opinion of Senator Kenyon, is the sole remedy for the industrial ills of the United States.  "Did you see that crowd of 150 strikers at Clairton", asked the Senator, "Did you notice that when I asked how many of them were citizens, only three raised their hands?"  The Senator, on his return to Washington from Pittsburgh, made a statement in which he advocated strenuous changes in naturalization and Americanization, believing that if a foreigner did not learn to speak and read English, after being five years in the United States, he should be deported.
     At a meeting of the National Industrial Congress in Washington, on the 17th of October, 1914, the recognition of the right of collective bargaining seemed likely to be endorsed as the basic principle of the nation's future code of industrial relations.  Chairman Wheeler of the employer's group offered the following resolutions:
"Resolved:  That without in any way limiting him, the right of the wage earner either to refrain from joining any association, or to deal directly with his employers as he chooses - - - - - - - - - - - - - is recognized.  No denial is intended of the right of any employer and his workers voluntarily to agree upon the form of their representative relations."
This was different from the proposal offered by the labor group, in that it protects the principle of the open shop.
     Much agitation in the coal fields and a general strike in that industry called for November 1st.  A report of the Senate Committee investigating the steel strike contained the following comments:
"Labor must get rid of radicalism."
"Anarchist's nests should be thoroughly cleaned out."
"The reds used the steel to further their own interests."
The need of a conciliation and mediation board."
"Federal Aid in Home Owning."
"Naturalization Law Revision."
     Gompers was severely criticized for not dealing more severely with Foster, an acknowledged Red.
     By the latter part of November, steel operators in nearly every quarter of the Pittsburgh district report that they are now unaffected by the strike, which has practically collapsed."

"While the foregoing descriptions, in a general way, gives the highlights of the three principal strikes of National Works of National Tube Company, minor disagreements of a departmental nature occurred from time to time, and in some instances, departments were closed down for short periods until the difficulties were ironed out.  They could not be classed in the nature of general strikes, as they were only local in scope." (Note by the author of texts following this last strike account.)
Source: UE/Labor 91:6, Box 3061