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The 1938 San Antonio Pecan Shellers Strike

Document 9

Unionization of the Pecan Shellers

      In order to resolve the deadlock, Governor Allred persuaded Julius Seligmann, the principal employer involved, and the union to arbitrate the dispute.

       After an audit of company books to determine the ability of the operators to pay the scale demanded by the union, a decision was handed down by the arbitrators to the effect that there should be a compromise between the 6- and 7-cent rate demanded by the union and the 5- and 6-cent rate asked by the operators. The new rate was to be 5 1/2 and 6 1/2 cents after June 1.

       The union started negotiations for new contracts . . . . The union contracts called for a closed shop, a checkoff system of collecting union dues, grievance representatives in each shop, and wages for pickers of 7 and 8 cents per pound and for crackers of 60 cents per 100 pounds . . . The union agreed to cooperate with the employers in trying to obtain a tariff on foreign nuts, and promised to begin organizing pecan shellers in other places in order to establish a uniform wage level and uniform conditions of work throughout the industry.

-- Selden Menefee and Oric C. Cassmore, The Pecan Shellers of San Antonio, 1940

17. What victories did the union achieve?

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18. How did the union promise to cooperate with pecan operators?

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To Document 10

 

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