“Anti-Labor Forces Plot Defeat”

Artifact Type Labor Newspapers, Sources
Publication Minnesota Union Advocate
Volume 31
Number 41
Page Number 1
Place St. Paul, MN
Publication Date October 13, 1927
Transcript Show/Hide

Headline: “Anti-Labor Forces Plot Defeat”

Subhead: Terrorism Employed to Prevent Settlement of Show Workers’ Strike

Anti-Labor Elements Resort to Dastardly Acts to Force Breakup of Conference Promising Satisfactory Agreement

The latest development in the strike of the theater workers is the rejection of the proposition made to them by the managers. At a joint meeting in Minneapolis Thursday night, called for the purpose, the proposition was decisively defeated. This was no surprise as it was designed to be rejected.

Representatives of the managers and strikers had held a number of conferences last week and on last Sunday evening at 7:30, when the conference adjourned, all but three points had been settled and these promised an early and easy adjustment. When the St. Paul representatives appeared Monday to resume the conference they were told all negotiations were off on account of the bombing of the Logan theater in Minneapolis.

This was a shock to the strikers’ committee as it looked like everything was going to end happily. Then events began to happen that put a new phase on the matter. Immediately a demand was made for police protection and a great show of terror was affected. A special hearing was had by the Minneapolis city council in response to the demand for police protection. The St. Paul police authorities have absolved the stage employees from responsibility for the explosion in St. Paul and have taken no steps to place extra police on duty.

Now comes the real explanations for the breakup of the conference. The managers made a proposition to the strikers radically different from the basis upon which the joint conferences worked. A cut in the number of employees and a drastic reduction in the wages all along the line were demanded in the offer of the managers and which was rejected at the meeting Thursday evening.

The entire proceedings look extremely suspicious and the belief is advanced that some among the managers are working with outside forces to prolong the strike and prevent an amicable settlement.

That some foe of the theater workers’ unions and the labor movement has placed an obstacle in the way of an early and amicable settlement of the trouble with the theater mangers and caused terror to persons and great damage to property at a show house in Minneapolis, managed by Mr. Steffes, chairman Theater Managers’ association, and at a motion picture house on Forest street in St. Paul during the past week. During the previous week bombs were exploded in Minneapolis.

These occurrences are viewed with keen regret and resentment by the committee in charge of the strike; they have done much to prevent possibilities of an early adjustment. It was reported that the managers’ representative declared that negotiations would cease until these outrages stopped. While this is not a direct accusation against the strikers, it is an implication that they have the power to prevent violence.

Employees Against Violence

By what process of reasoning it can be even remotely inferred that the strikers should participate or condone such infamous actions as exploding bombs in or near a theater is difficult to explain. It would not only be folly as it would have the effect of destroying the road to a peaceful settlement; but it might mean the death of many persons who would be innocent of any connection with the matter in controversy.

In addition to the stage employees there are several hundred sympathizers involved in the trouble, and the latter are desirous of a settlement. It is scarcely probably that they would permit violence to be employed in the case.

International Representative on Scene

International representatives are in the Twin Cities endeavoring to adjust the difficulty, and the use of terrorism militates directly against their efforts. From the side of the strikers they have everything to lose and nothing to gain by violent tactics. Certainly the issue is not so desperate that strikers could be goaded to such a futile and dastardly extreme.

The newspapers reported that Mr. Steffes, of the Managers’ association, declared all negotiations off until the use of violence ceased! This was an insinuation that the strikers were responsible for the bombings and were in a position to call a halt. With negotiations under way and a settlement in prospect, what possible motive could their be to resort to such ruthless conduct.

Who Wants Strike Prolonged?

By all principles of reason, it would be those who wanted to prevent a settlement that would explode bombs. Does Mr. Steffes know who is interested in prolonging the strike and why does he not go after them? It certainly is not the strikers. Such being the case, why did he jump to the unwarranted conclusion to break off negotiations until the bombing stopped, and is he playing into the hands of a confederate?

But there are persons in St. Paul who do not want to see this strike amicably settled, and they will resort to every infamous trick to accomplish their end. These are the trouble makers who thrive on industrial strife. The way in which these bombings have been carried out indicates quite clearly that there is something akin to fakery in connection with them. A short time ago a bomb was exploded in Minneapolis in a motion picture theater where there was a strike and the perpetrator had a known motive to discredit the strikers.

The Agent Provocateur

This is an old trick of the anti-labor forces; they either explode bombs or have someone get inside the union and then have him do the trick from the inside. The most famous case was that at the Lawrence, Mass., textile strike, where Woods, president of the woollen [sic] mills, authorized the placing of bombs so as to involve the strikers.

Organized labor has nothing to gain from violence, and when it has to be resorted to it is time for the labor movement to liquidate and go out of business. The enemies of labor know this and try maliciously to fasten such methods on the labor movement.

The strikers are holding their lines solid, and are carrying on an energetic campaign of education among the general public.

All theaters in the Twin Cities are being bannered and are poorly patronized. Some of the downtown show houses are at times visited by out-of-town people, but in the main the attendance is far from fair.

The strikers urge the public to keep away from the theaters until the trouble has been settled. The shows are poor and the fire hazard is great, and the cause of the strikers is just. These are very sound reasons for staying away from the show houses.

Archive Union Advocate Digital Archives
Read In Context http://news2.arcasearch.com/us/ua/initArcaCode.asp?paper=___
Citation “Anti-Labor Forces Plot Defeat,” Minnesota Union Advocate, October 13, 1927.
Location MinneapolisMinnesotaSaint Paul
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