Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 39 > Page 41 - The Steel Boom Comes to Sydney, 1899

Page 41 - The Steel Boom Comes to Sydney, 1899

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/6/1 (276 reads)

The first fire was lit in the blast furnace on February 2, 1901. and the first cast of pig iron was poured on February 6. ney, the Daily Record responded that "they must have sought work in the wrong places or they want work they are unable to do.. .. Newfoundlanders would doubtless be ta? ken on in preference to Germans or Austri- ans or negroes, if the latter are not skilled workmen. Some foolish protests have been heard in town with regard to the arrival of colored iron workers, but prej? udice of this kind is irrational. It is a peculiarly American prejudice and very un- British. We shall doubtless soon hear a prolonged wail about the importation of Austrians. But this feeling is not against the negroes and foreigners alone. It will be remembered that a fuss was made some months ago over the emplo3mient on the streets of some men who did not belong to Sydney. It is doubtful whether the Board of Works would venture to employ residents of Ward Three to work on the streets in Ward Five." David Baker, new general manager, said of DISCO hiring practices: "Neither religion nor nationality enters into the creed of the company.... But we only employ as few skilled labour as we possibly can because we have to pay them higher wages. We de? pend upon the home labour to get broken The Sydney Post is less cute about foreign? ers : "Two cars filled with Italians ar? rived in town last night. The importation of so many foreigners augers ill for la? bour in Cape Breton next season." About a week later: "Another batch of Italians for Sydney arrived yesterday on the steamer Lusitania at Halifax. Cape Breton is now a- bout flooded with foreigners and there are more to come." A group of Italians was sent to work at the Inverness mines. They were driven away by the natives. The Post published a letter signed "Judique on the Floor," considering the Scotchmen "slan? dered" just because "the brave boys of In? verness had the wisdom and pluck to drive from their shores the most undesirable class of people known." "Organ grinders," he called them, and "Mafia of the coke ov? ens, holy terrors." The threat of cheap foreign labour called up a letter to the editor (Post, 1902): "One Yankee is as good as two niggers and one Canadian as good as two Yankees." Crawley points out that the newspapers did not turn on DISCO, whose agents searched the world for both skilled and unskilled, watching for plant closures in Germany, a- vailable ironworkers and construction men in Alabama and Pittsburgh, and the Italian labourers. The varieties of divisiveness within the work force showed themselves in the first years: divisions between union and non-un- 4 Boutiques Under 1 Roof - Over TWEED & HICKORY JACOBSON'S y??'' Careers Shoo UNIFORMS FOR PROFESSIONALS YOUR MATERNITY SHOP Tweed Sporv CLOTHES FOR THE OUTDOORS CLI PETITES FOR THE 5'2" AND UNDER ALL DISCOUNT PRICES JACOBSON'S Discount Outlet: High-Fashioned, Quality Merchandise at Unbelievably Low Prices Don't Miss This Unique Discount Operation! 263 CHARLOTTE STREET, SYDNEY 564-6308 (41)
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