This day in Mohawk Valley history: February 2, 1900

The Gloversville Daily Leader, February 2, 1900, Gloversville, Fulton County, NY


Views of a Glove Cutter and Mr Weisner’s Statements.

The following statement has been given out for publication by a writer signing himself “Table Cutter”:

Louis Meyers & Son 2-10 West Pine Street Making Room (photo courtesy of Steve Oare) c. 1900

For the past two weeks there has been a great deal of talk in Gloversville concerning the location of the “Temple Glove company” from Boston in our city. Many of our citizens expected it would mean an influx of outsiders and another flourishing glove factory in our midst, and now it appears that all our fine hopes are shattered and that it was simply “a game of bluff” on a large scale. Your readers will remember that about a month ago the female operatives of the Temple Glove company struck for an increase in the price of making. They asserted that for various kinds of work they were being paid less than the schedule price paid in the large Gloversville factories. After they had been on strike about a week they discovered that the gloves were being sent to Gloversville to be made; recognizing that their efforts for an increase in price would be a failure unless the table cutters came to their assistance they laid their grievances before the Boston Table Cutters’ Union, whose members decided to strike in sympathy and not cut any more gloves until the makers’ grievances had been satisfactorily settled. the Temple Glove company then decided to try and smash the union and the underpaid mark at one stroke by a great game of bluff. On January 18 Mr. Louis Weisner, representing that firm, announced in our local press that they were going to locate their glove plant in our city and that the officers of the International Table Cutters’ Union had promised him their support and that the action of the Boston cutters was not upheld by the Gloversville union.

Example of Table Cutters from 1890s. Worcestershire, MA.

Mr. Weisner misrepresented the local union, for no such promise was ever given; for the table cutters have resolved not to be made a “cat’s paw” of by him, or “to pull the chestnuts out of the fire” to please him. True, he did seek the assistance of the Table Cutters’ Union, but on answer was returned him. Mr. Weisner has endeavored to intimidate his work people by stating in the Boston papers that he was going to remove the business to Gloversville. He has also been advertising in our local papers for help, state that he has opened a factory on East Fulton street. Several cutters were enticed away from other factories by flattering promises, including weekly pay, etc. He had also arranged to engage a well known man as foreman over the table cutters, stating that he had leased the East Fulton street factory for five years. On Wednesday afternoon this cutter went to see Mr. Weisner for the purpose of drawing out a written agreement for two years; then and not until then, Mr. Weisner informed him that in about a month’s time he intended to go back to Boston, and wanted that to be included in the agreement; the cutter refused and also the other cutters who had been engaged, seeing through the bluffer’s scheme, refused to lend a hand in helping to defeat their Boston comrades. Mr. Weisner acknowledged that he is trying to get help here to take back with him to Boston, and that he had no doubt that the trouble there would soon be settled now and that he had no intention of settling in Gloversville, but would return to Boston as soon as the operatives had agreed to his terms.

Yours truly,

With regard to the statements above published, Mr. Weisner is quoted as saying that the Temple Glove company would continue to have a factory in Gloversville as long as the business was profitable. He is further quoted as stating that the company’s factory in Boston was inadequate for the business of the firm, and the branch factory has superior facilities, and the lines of goods made at the Boston and Gloversville factories were entirely different. As far as securing a forman for the Boston factory, Mr. Weisner stated that a competent man had been secured to take his place in the Boston factory while he was in Gloversville, as he would make frequent visits to this city. Mr. Weisner also stated that the strike by a compromise agreement of 83 cents for the work of the women operatives instead of 87, as demanded, and all the employees would now resume work. He asserted that the settlement of the strike would not, however, affect the continuance of the local factory.

Postcard of Main and East Fulton Street, Gloversville, NY. c.1900

Source: New York State Historic Newspapers