|1,400 MILL WORKERS ON A STRIKE. WOULD NOT WORK WITH NEGROES.
Women at the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills Refuse To Work with Negro Women and Go on a Strike.
OTHER OPERATIVES HAVE JOINED THE STRIKES
Textile Workers Will Conduct the Strike and Announce That They Are Determined To Push the Fight Through—A Lively Mass Meeting of Strikers Yesterday.
Because twenty negro women were put to work in the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills yesterday morning, over 1,400 men, women and children employed in the mills quit their machines and walked out.
The strike was started by the white women employed at the mills, who refused to work with negro women. The women and children struck at 8 o’clock in the morning and the men walked out at noon. The mills were promptly closed down and it may be weeks before they are operated again.
The strikers after quitting work lost no time in organizing. A meeting was held at 3:30 o’clock in the Federation of Trades hall. Committees were appointed and the strike was given a good shove off by the other trade unions.
The big strike was entirely unexpected by the operators of the bag and cotton mills. Yesterday morning at the regular hour for beginning work, the entire force of nearly 1,500 hands were at the factory and nothing unusual could be noticed. The women had been told on the previous evening that the negro women would be put to work in the folding department yesterday morning, and it seems that some of them had already discussed the matter before going to the factory.
When the hands congregated around the factory at 6 o’clock they were told that the twenty negro women had already gone upstairs to begin work. This seemed to enrage the girls who work in the folding department. One of the, a young woman named Brooks, waited until Mr. Jacob Elsas, one of the proprietors, arrived, and then the trouble began. Miss Brooks walked up to Mr. Elsas and said she wanted to know if he intended to put a crowd of negroes in with her and the other girls.
Mr. Elsas informed her that he was running the business and that it was not a matter to inquire about.
Miss Brooks was warm on that particular subject and she told the proprietor that the girls were running that part of the business and that trouble would ensure if the negroes were put to work.
As Mr. Elsas walked away she told him that they would not go to work if the negro women were allowed to remain.
Mr. Elsas disregarded this threat and the negroes were set to work. The 200 girls employed in the folding department refused to even enter the factory, but after lingering for a while around the gate, went quietly to their homes. The strikers claim that three employees named Rachel Hughes, Oscar Todd and Mrs. Bailey remained in the folding department and taught the negroes how to work.