October 16, 1889
THE Pacific Press Publishing House is an institution established in Oakland, Cal., and is the largest one on the Pacific Coast. The Morning Times is a leading daily of the city of Oakland. The Popular Railroad Guide is a monthly publication. The owners of the Guide get their printing done on contract by the Pacific Press. The daily Morning Times advertises in the Guide. The labor unions made several attempts to get the Pacific Press Publishing House to join some of their organizations. The Pacific Press wouldn’t do it. Then the unions tried by a boycott to force it to do so, but the Press was as independent of their boycott as it was of their unions in the first place. Then they undertook to boycott those who did business with the Press. A certain Pope, not Leo XIII. but one John L., took it upon himself to command the owner of the Guide to take away from the Press the work of publishing the Guide. The owner of the Guide replied that the publishing of the Guide was offered to the principal union job office in Oakland and declined on the ground that it was unprovided with the necessary plant; then the Pacific Press was invited to bid upon the work. It did so and the bid was accepted, but the bid of the Pacific Press was not as low as the bids of other and union offices. This Pope was informed, however, that the owners of the Guide had received a bid lately from a union job office which was willing to establish the necessary plant, and that they would make the change provided the Typographical Union would bear one-half of the expense of making the change, which would be $200, the total expense being $400. This offer was promptly declined, yet flip change was insisted upon under penalty of a boycott. But the owners of the Guide would not break their contract, especially when they had no place else to get the work done. Then, as the boycott upon the Press was declared to be such as to reach all who patronize the house either directly or indirectly, and as the Morning Times advertised in the Guide, the boycotters next demanded that the Times should stop advertising in the Guide, and this under penalty of a boycott. The Times replied in the following forcible article, which we fully indorse in its every sentiment:—
“The tyranny of labor is the most oppressive that has ever been exercised by human ingenuity, when unscrupulous or ill-advised men hold the reins of power.
“The ‘boycott’ is the weapon by which the more reckless and ruthless of the labor demagogues seek to achieve objects which they know could not be attained by fair arbitration or honest argument before the jury of the people.
“Acting upon a principle derogatory to the best interests of organized labor, the Alameda County Federation of Trades has issued a circular, ‘boycotting’ not only the publication known as the Popular Railroad Guide, but against the Times and others who advertise in the pamphlet. The reason for this ‘boycott’ is because the Guide is printed at the Pacific Press, an institution which the circular says ‘is notorious for its opposition to, and oppression of labor, humiliating and degrading its hired help by every means in its power, and under the garb of religion enforcing the violation of the Sabbath and acquiring large properties from the profits they are enabled to make through the oppression and ill-pay of its employes.’
“Here is arrogance, bigotry, and demagoguery ex-pressed within the space of a few lines. By what right does the Alameda Federation of Trades, or any other organization, whether of labor or otherwise, assume to dictate the Sabbath of this nation? Whence do they derive the privilege of ordering the religious observance of any sect, in defiance of a plain provision of the Constitution of the United States, guaranteeing to every citizen the right to worship his God in any manner he may see fit. The fact that the Federation of Trades proposes to boycott the Times and other advertisers in the Popular Railroad Guide, a publication printed at a ‘boycotted’ concern known as the Pacific Press, is only secondary in impudence to this wanton attack upon a religious community, composed of citizens as privileged as the high and mighty Federation of Trades itself.
“That the Times and other advertisers are under contract with the publisher of the Guide, seems to bear no weight with the tyrants of organized labor. They ‘appeal’ that we ‘withdraw’ our advertisement. This ‘appeal,’ in the presence of the previously expressed threat to ‘enforce a boycott against all who deal with or patronize the place, whether directly or indirectly,’ is in fact a demand that we shall injure our business by lessening our opportunities of informing the public that we are printing the best newspaper, with the largest circulation, in Alameda County. The demand is absurd, and we refuse to accede to it. We claim the right as American citizens to advertise where, when, and how we see fit, even to the extent of resisting an arrogant and tyrannical ‘boycott.’ We refuse to bow down to the presence of this ‘boycott,’ because we have never yet yielded to threats or intimidation. We refuse to ‘withdraw’ our advertisement from the Popular Railroad Guide, because the ‘boycott’ is cowardly and un-American. We refuse to accede to the miscalled ‘appeal’ of the Federation of Trades, because they openly avow their opposition to the religious privileges of a sect who see  fit to differ from the members of the Federation in regard to the observance of a day for the worship of their God. As well might the Federation of Trades ‘boycott’ our Jewish citizens for refusing to observe this same so-called ‘Sabbath’ for religious purposes.
“The Seventh-day Adventists, against whom this ‘boycott’ is mainly directed, are peaceable, law-abiding, honest, industrious citizens, earning a livelihood in their own way, fully within the pale of the constitution of this State and country, and they are thus fortified against organized conspiracy by men who, in thus threatening their fellow-citizens with the cowardly and tyrannical ‘boycott,’ remove their cause entirely outside the sympathy and beyond the support of any decent community where ‘patriotism and a sense of justice’ prevail. Now let the ‘boycott’ proceed.”
The boycott is a relic of the Inquisition, when that wicked despotism chose to curse everybody who didn’t yield to the dictation of the pope, and then to curse everybody who wouldn’t curse these. It is a proper thing that a Pope should be at the head of this thing in Oakland, because the very principle of the thing is popish. The real true popery of this act is clearly exposed in the fact that this Pope plainly stated in his letter to the owners of the Guide that he was ‘not officially instructed to write’ to them on the matter, thus showing that his action was wholly an arbitrary assumption of power. This popery is also revealed in his insisting that the owners of the Guide should take their work away from the Pacific Press, when there was no other place to take it. In other words, insisting that they should abolish their publication, stop their business; and all to conform to the arbitrary wish of these unions as expressed by this Pope. If the unions have any respect for themselves they would do well to canonize this Pope and “fire” him, and with him all the popish ways and principles that have hitherto too closely attached to trades unionism.
A. T. J.