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Strike Gains Momentum

(January 1934)

From The Militant, Vol. VII No. 5, 31 January 1934, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Moving forward with seven league boots the walk-out of the New York hotel and restaurant workers continues to tie-up hotels and restaurants every day, chalking up fourteen new establishments in the last forty eight hours.

Outstanding among these paralyzed fortresses of the open shop are the Commodore, Longchamps, 79th St., the fourth of this chain to be struck, the Marguery, the Olcott and others. The complete list is published in another column

The work of the picketing committees before the major hotels and restaurants goes on unabated and with remarkable militancy. Supplementing the activity of the individual pickets are the indomitable committees from whose action no scab hotel is immune. So effective is their work that the thugs in blue uniform are beginning to interfere with the pickets. One picket was arrested at the Waldorf and an other at the Great Northern on complaints of scab agents charging "Intimidation". Both are out on bail.

Meanwhile the hotel bosses are becoming desperate at the crippling power of the strike. At the Longchamps, the management offered the strikers $150 to return to work. Gus Felder and Louis Esposito, strikers, went to the management to protest. They were thrown out by gangsters and when they hit the sidewalk fifteen thugs assailed the two strikers, beating one of them so badly that he required medical attention. A couple of the bruisers were also hurt. On charges by the picketers, two of the plug-uglies were apprehended for assault.

Reports reach the union headquarters with increasing frequency that the scabs are unable to fill the bill although they are paid from seven to twelve dollars per day. Twenty three scabs were fired from the Warwick Hotel for incompetency and the chef threatened to quit if do-nothings—meaning strike-breakers—were the only help that could be obtained.

Dozens of telegrams of the following order have been sent to strikers in an attempt to stampede them back to work:



Organizer Kaldis read these telegrams at meetings. The speakers shouted their indignation. Another obstacle they would clear out of the way.

Despite the lies of the kept press the bosses are searching high and low for skilled workers to scab on the thousands now in revolt against intolerable conditions. We have it on reliable information that the City Hotel’s Men’s Association were in session all Saturday, Sunday and Monday late into the night discussing the problem of the shortage of trained cooks and waiters and consulting with railroad men, obviously on plans for herding scabs into New York from other cities.

Protesting the hiring of strikebreakers as a menace to public health the Amalgamated has issued the following statement to the Commissioner of Health, dated January 28th:

Dear Sir:

The public health of this city is endangered through the action of the hotels and restaurants on strike in hiring strike-breakers without health cards. The danger is that hotels in general have in their keeping the health cards of the strikers as, for example, the Waldorf-Astoria and the Savarin Restaurants. For the protection of the public health we take it upon ourselves to inform you of this dangerous situation.


Very Respectfully yours,
Amalgamated Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union

N.B. Health cards are being fraudulently passed to the strikebreakers.


Kitchen Organizer

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