Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Union Settlement Comes in War Stamps

This is the oldest article about Dubrow's I found in the New York Times database. Among other things, it adds some details to my cousin Joe's story about Dubrow's being unionized. It also says a lot about the times that the union was willing to negotiate part of their pay raise to be in war bonds.

Unions Win Pay Rise; Part In War Stamps
(New York Times, February 14, 1942)

The national defense effort received impetus from a wage settlement negotiated yesterday between Local 325 of the Cooks, Countermen, and Soda Dispensers Union, A.F. of L. and Dubrow's Cafeteria, 1110 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn. The contract stipulated that 25 cents, or about 9 percent, of a $2.75 weekly increase should be paid by the company in war savings stamps.

The 25-cent stamps in the weekly pay envelopes of the sixty employes will yield the defense effort $780 annually. The increase was granted to the employers in addition to a forty-eight hour, six-day week, a closed shop, arbitration of grievances, and vacations with pay ranging from one week for employes in service for one year, and three days for employes in service six months or less.

After the new wage agreement had been signed for the company by Louis Shapiro, counsel, and for the union by Sidney Elliot Cohn, attorney, Irving Halpern, president of Local 325 disclosed that 3,000 members of the union had invested $7,000 of their treasury's funds in defense bonds and would double the amount as soon as it was convenient for officers to make the purchase.

When Local 325 opened negotiations for a new contract it asked for a weekly increase of $3 for its sixty members employed at Dubrow's Cafeteria. The company countered with an offer of $2, and a deadlock ensued.

The war savings stamp idea was put forward as a compromise, and both sides quickly reached an agreement.

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