In the period since the strike began many factories had been settling upon Union terms. But many factories were still on strike, and picketing on the part of the Union was continuing, as well as unwarranted arrests, like Natalya’s, on the part of the employers and the police. The few exceptions to the general rule of peaceful picketing have been stated. Over two hundred arrests were made within three days early in December. On the 3d of December a procession of ten thousand women marched to the City Hall, accompanying delegates from the Union and the Woman’s Trade-Union League, and visited Mayor McClellan in his office and gave him this letter:—
HONORABLE GEORGE B.
Mayor of the City of New York.
We, the members of the Ladies’ Shirt-waist Makers’ Union, a body of thirty thousand women, appeal to you to put an immediate stop to the insults and intimidations and to the abuses to which the police have subjected us while we have been picketing. This is our lawful right.
We protest to you against
the flagrant discrimination of the
Police Department in favor of the employers, who are using
every method to incite us to violence.
We appeal to you directly
in this instance, instead of to your
We do this because our
requests during the past six months have
had no effect in decreasing the outrages perpetrated upon our
members, nor have our requests been granted a fair hearing.
S. SHINDLER, Secretary.
The Mayor thanked the committee for bringing the matter to his attention, and promised to take up the complaint with the Police Commissioner.
But the arrests and violence of the police continued unchecked.
On the 5th of December the Political Equality League, at the instigation of Mrs. O.H.P. Belmont, held a packed meeting for the benefit of the Shirt-waist Makers’ Union. Many imprisoned girls were present, and gave to the public clear, straightforward stories of the treatment they had received at the hands of the city. The committee of the meeting had offered the Mayor and other city officials a box, but they refused to be present.
Again the arrests and violence continued without protection for the workers. Nevertheless their cause was constantly gaining, and although all attempts at general arbitration were unsuccessful, more and more employers settled with the operatives. They continued to settle during December and January until the middle of February. All but thirteen of the shops in New York had then made satisfactory terms with the Union workers. It was officially declared that the strike was over.