Document 20: "Autos For Strikers In Shirtwaist War," New York Times, 21 December 1909, p. 1.

Document 20: "Autos For Strikers In Shirtwaist War," New York Times, 21 December 1909, p. 1.


        At the height of middle- and upper-class women's support for striking women garment workers, the daughter of J.P. Morgan led an automobile parade to appeal to strikebreakers.



Pickets to Use Them in Their
Rounds of the Factories to
Win Over Strike Breakers.




Mrs. Belmont Also in Front of Big
Demonstration To-day -- Welcome to
Girls Freed from Workhouse.

        Motor cars to picket in is the latest novelty of the shirtwaist strike announced yesterday by Miss Mary Dreier, President of the Woman's Trade Union League.

        "The automobiles will be very helpful in covering a large amount of territory in a hurry, as is necessary when the strikebreakers are going to and from work at the same hour," said Miss Dreier.

        The automobiles will make their first appearance this afternoon, leading a parade of the pickets and watchers who are serving in the strike. The line of march will extend past every shirtwaist factory where strikebreakers are at work.

        Mrs. O.H.P Belmont, Miss Anne Morgan, and other women will ride at the head of the parade Miss Dreier announced. The groups of pickets will carry banners announcing the factories where they are on post.

        Miss Bertha Eltren of 35 Market Street, a picket, who was sent to Blackell's Island for five days by Magistrate Barlow, was royally received at the foot of East Twenty-sixth Street, yesterday, on her release. In the reception party of fifty were Miss Drier, Mr. and Mrs. William Mailly, Miss Mary Sandford, Miss Rose Schneidermann[A], and Miss Leonora O'Reilly[B]. Miss Eltren was escorted by a cheering crowd of strikers and strike sympathizers to Clinton Hall, 151 Clinton Street, near Grand Street, where she held a reception.

        Miss Eltren was to have been married Sunday evening to Samuel Grutzler of 54 Henry Street. Her imprisonment prevented the marriage.

        Mrs. Eve McDonald Valesh[C], who is in charge of the pickets, said yesterday:

        "Many volunteer watchers are coming forward. We have promises from several business men of standing that they will give an hour a day to observing the circumstances under which the police arrest our pickets. Two Barnard College girls have just volunteered. Several women of wealth are on the list, and many young men of good position. I am expecting now lists from Mrs. Belmont, Miss Morgan, and other ladies of position. The evidence given by these watchers will prevent the police from railroading to the Workhouse girls whom they arrest, frequently without any provocation whatever."

        Mark Alter, attorney for the Associated Waist and Dress Manufacturers, announced in Jefferson Market Court yesterday that he may soon seek warrants for the "sympathizers who are encouraging the pickets." He said he mentioned no names and had no reference to Mrs. Belmont, toward whom he professed to have feelings of the highest respect.

        Secretary George S. Lewy of the Manufacturers' Association gave out yesterday a statement in which he charged the strikers and their arbitration committee, Morris Hillquit and John Mitchell, of bad faith.

        Magistrate Barlow, announced from the bench yesterday that owing to the violence of the last few days, he would stop being lenient with strike offenders and would send all girls convicted of assault to the workhouse. He sentenced Fanny Fireman of 630 East Eleventh Street to five days on Blackwell's Island for throwing a rotten egg at Mary Flaben, a strikebreaker, on her way to work.

        Magistrate Cornell imposed a similar sentence on Sadie Schneeweiff of 209 Seventh Street for striking Sarah D. Agostinok, a strikebreaker, from Brooklyn. Attorney Miles W. Dawson, who represented Miss Schneeweiff, announced that he would appeal. The strikers announced at their headquarters that they will continue to picket vigorously, and to fight in court for all legal privileges which may be theirs.

A. Rose Schneidermann moved to America from Eastern Europe around the turn of the century. She went to work in the garment industry. She involved herself in the shirtwaist strike and was interested in equality for women. She was president of the WTUL from 1926 - 1950.
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B. Leonora O'Reilly was a member of the Socialist Party of America who involved herself in the shirtwaist maker's strike. She was also a member of the WTUL in New York City. She worked very closely with Rose Schneidermann and Mary Dreier, president of the WTUL. O'Reilly involved herself in issues that were prominent to women at this time and made it her business to publicize Woman's Day.
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C. Eve McDonald Valesh was an executive of the American Federation of Labor (AFL).
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