14,000 On Strike in Phila. Area.


14,000 On Strike in Phila. Area.


Article about textile industry strikes in the Philadelphia region


Philadelphia Evening Bulletin


Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries


September 1936


Kate MacDonald


Courtesy of Temple University Libraries


Textile Walkout Spreads to Many Branches - Hosiery Men Go Out Thursday
Union officials said today that 14,000 workers were on strike in Philadelphia and the immediate vicinity, as the textile walkout spread.
William F. Kelly, vice president of the United Textile Workers of America, stated that between 3,000 and 4,000 additional workers had left the mills today. He said 23 plants are involved.
As the strike entered its second week, hosiery workers stood ready to join the movement at midnight Wednesday. Officials said they will make an effort ot enlist workers who are not members of the union, and are in non-union mills.
Kelly said he expects the entire textile industry here, with the exception of the synthetic yarns and hosiery, to be out by Thursday. He believes 10,000 more will be out by the end of the week, making a total of 21,000.
About 5,000 knit goods employees have voted to strike and are awaiting decision of their leaders as to the time.
Meanwhile, the Full Fashioned Hosiery Association, representing open ship mill owners, has arranged to meet in the Bellevue-Stratford tomorrow night. After a 4-hour session last Friday these men could not agree on whether to accept the demands of the hosiery union or to close their plants.
At Bridgeport, across the Schuylkill from Norristown, the plant of the Energetic Worsted Co., closed since the strike started, reopened today. Twenty-five of the 75 men and women employed in the plant returned to work.
Two other plants, the James Lees & Sons Co., and the I/ W/ Smith Woolen Co., of Bridgeport, were scheduled to reopen today, and employees had been notified to return.
A girl and a gray-haired woman were the only persons to apply at the Lees plant, passing through a crowd of about 1,000 persons, half of them strikers.
Thirst of the 108 employes [sic] of the Smith plant responded to the call to return, but the company decided there were not enough present to justify starting the machinery.
Thirty-eight State policemen patrolled the streets.
William Smith, general secretary of the American Federation of Hosiery Workers, estimated that about 55,000 union hosiery workers will walk out throughout the country. Of this number, 8,000 are in Philadelphia and 2,500 in South Jersey.
Dissatisfaction with the NRA was given as one of the reasons for the hosiery strike vote. The union will demand that all employers sign existing contracts or similar agreements to be drawn up for the seamless hosiery branch of the industry.
At present, about 15,000 union hosiery workers in the Philadelphia area are operating under contracts. Union leaders stated that these workers would not be affected by the strike call.
However, in Reading, Pennsylvania's leading hosiery center, there is no contractual relationship. There, as in other hosiery centers, the chief purpose of the strike will be to improve this situation, officials said.
They declare that the reason they favor contracts with manufacturers in that section 7A of the NRA, the collective bargaining clause, "just won't work."

Original Format





Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, “14,000 On Strike in Phila. Area.,” Philly Immigration, accessed April 18, 2024, http://phillyimmigration.nunncenter.net/items/show/699.