| Part A | Document 1 | Document 2 | Document 3 | Document 4 | Document 5 | Document 6 | Document 7 | Document 8 | Document 9 | Document 10 | Part B |

The 1938 San Antonio Pecan Shellers Strike

Document 5

Chief Kilday Calls Out Reserve Force

      Wielding clubs, police Monday routed more than 300 pecan shellers and sympathizers in the first major disturbance of San Antonio's week-old strike. . . . The disturbances, reported at a dozen pecan factories, came close on the heels of a breakup in a conference between Chief Kilday and Donald Henderson, national C.I.O. leader. 

      Kilday took the stand that a strike did not exist and informed Henderson, general president of the United Cannery, Agriculture, Packing and Allied Workers' union, that the ban on picketing would remain in force. 

      Henderson and Barney Egan, state C. I. O. director, announced that they had agreed the strike was legal and declared that picketing would be carried out, thus hurling down the gauntlet to Kilday . . . .

      His program, Henderson said, will be to seek negotiations with the factory operators. That failing, drastic action to win the strike will be undertaken . . . . Henderson outlined the workers' demands as follows:

      Crackers (workers who crack the nuts): 60 cents per 100 pounds instead of the 50 cents now paid. 

      Shellers: 8 cents per pound for whole nuts and 7 cents per pound for pieces. The rate is now 6 and 5 cents in most plants. 

      Placing of a shop steward, representing the union, in each factory to supervise weighing of the nuts. 

      Health cards for the workers to be paid for by the employers, with a new health card each time the worker changes his or her place of employment. This, Henderson said, will protect the consumer, employer and employee.

      The union leader said he was attempting to arrange a conference with Julius Seligmann, president of the Southern Pecan Shelling company to present the workers' demands.

      Seligmann earlier in the day indicated to reporters his willingness to meet with representatives of the strikers. 

      E. M. Zerr, operator of a factory at Medina and San Fernando streets, took an opposite stand, threatening to close down his plants for a month if necessary if workers persisted in their demands. Zerr said about half of his 100 shellers were out.

 -- "Chief Kilday Calls Out Reserve Force," San Antonio Light, 7 February 1938

8. How do Police Chief Kilday and C.I.O. leader Henderson disagree?

__________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________

9. What are the demands of the pecan shellers?

__________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________

10.  How do owners and operators of different pecan shelling factories differ in their attitudes toward the strike?

__________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________

To Document 6

 

| Teacher's Corner | DBQs | Other Classroom Uses | Teaching Links |

| Documents Projects and Archives | Teacher's Corner | Scholar's Edition | Full-Text Sources | About Us | Contact Us |