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HS Unit III: Voices of Labor - Working People Organize, 1925-1930 Lesson C: The Right to Strike?
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Document HS III-6: Boston Policemen Defy Chief to Organize Union: Excerpts from The Boston Globe, 1919

BOSTON POLICEMEN ORGANIZE UNION IN DEFIANCE OF CHIEF:

OATH ADMINISTERED AMID MEN'S CHEERS

The Boston Policemen's Union is a reality. At two meetings of the patrolmen of this city, which were attended by about 1,400 men, the charter, granted by the American Federation of Labor, was accepted and the oath was administered to every man, amid cheers and applause.

. . . The fear that was supposed to obsess: think about something all the timeobsess the policemen caused by the order of the Police Commission Edwin U. Curtis that they may not join a labor union, and by the report that all members would be discharged: fireddischarged was shown to be missing by the large number of men who accepted nomination for office.

. . . [The] Report that the entire membership of the new union comprised: made upcomprised of troublemaking young men was proven untrue by the number of men with four or five or six service stripes on their arms who entered the hall in full uniform.

The men in uniform made no attempt to conceal their identities, and if the alleged threatened action of Commissioner Curtis to discharge all union members is carried out, he can "fire" virtually every patrolman in the city.

The Boston Globe, August 16, 1919