Business men are learning that it pays to be friendly to strikers. For example, when two thousand five hundred employees in the White Motor Company’s plant struck for higher wages and a union shop, Robert F. Black, the president, didn’t wax wroth and condemn, and threaten and talk of tyranny and Communists. He actually praised the strikers. He published an advertisement in the Cleveland papers, complimenting them on “the peaceful way in which they laid down their tools.” Finding the strike pickets idle, he bought them a couple of dozen baseball bats, and gloves and invited them to play ball on vacant lots. For those who preferred bowling, he rented a bowling alley.
This friendliness on President Black’s part did what friendliness always does; it begot friendliness. So the strikers borrowed brooms, shovels and rubbish carts, and began picking up matches, papers, cigarette stubs, and cigar butts around the factory. Imagine it! Imagine strikers tidying up the factory grounds while battling for higher wages and recognition of the union. Such an event had never been heard of before in the long, tempestuous history of American labour wars. That strike ended with a compromise settlement within a week-ended without any ill feeling or rancor.