LCCN: sn92051612, Connecticut Workman (Bridgeport, Conn.), 1901-190?
On its masthead, the weekly Connecticut Workman declared itself “Devoted to the Interests of the Workingmen of the State of Connecticut.” The Workman, which sold for 5 cents, was published in the industrial town of Bridgeport but sought an audience statewide. The paper published a directory of all the trade unions in the state by town, and its first issue, on October 24, 1901, carried a full account of the 16th annual convention of the Connecticut State Branch of the American Federation of Labor. This is the only issue of the Workman that is known to have survived in any form. Yet, it contains a great deal of news on the labor movement in Connecticut at the turn of the century.
In an article called “Hats Off to Ansonia,” the Workman celebrates the coming mayoral election campaign of Ansonia Alderman Christopher Charters, who had proven his class loyalty by getting arrested while protesting a Superior Court injunction against striking workers from the Farrell Foundry. The injunction made legal the seizure of the homes and other property with a value of up to $25,000 for the 149 strikers who had picketed the importation of replacement workers. So, the coming city election in Ansonia, the Workman argued “will be the scene of an interesting conflict between capital and labor.” Political action, the Workman said, may be the tool that can roll back the widespread use of the injunction in the state. Other pieces advocated arbitration as a mechanism for resolving disputes between workers and employers.
The Connecticut Workman vowed to publish articles of real use to the quickly growing union movement and to include writers whose long experience in the labor movement meant that they could be trusted. The paper promised to visit each union local to solicit subscriptions, as well to include items of local news for publication.