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1921: Jersey City Under Commission Government
A Book of Achievement


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AYOR FRANK HAGUE believes that the Police Department of Jersey City is capable of protecting the lives and property of the citizens without the help or interference of imported armed guards. The very presence of these guards or strikebreakers incites violence and the destruction of property and he has refused to permit them to be brought into the city.

The effect of the Mayor's policy was seen in his handling of the great strike at the plant of the Eagle Oil Company, a branch of the Standard Oil Company. This company had a strike at its plant in Jersey City, at the time of the big Standard Oil strike in Bayonne, where several murders and great disorder had occurred. Mayor Hague found the Eagle Oil Works' plant surrounded with armed strikebreakers, many of them professional thugs, gunmen and ex-convicts from New York. He immediately ordered the officers of the Eagle Oil Works to remove these armed strikebreakers from the city, informing them that the Police Department of Jersey City was able to and would maintain order. These imported strikebreakers, gunmen and ex-convicts at once left the city and all fear of violence ceased. The strikers, who had been insulted and threatened by these thugs, were so pleased with the Mayor's action that within two days they returned to work, and the strike was settled both to the satisfaction of the employe and the employer.

Order vs. Disorder.

This strike, which threatened to be one of the worst in the history of Hudson County, was ended without violence or damage to property, thanks to Mayor Hague's act in driving these armed strikebreakers out of the city.

The Bayonne strike of the Standard Oil Company, where the city authorities allowed the company to employ armed strikebreakers, resulted in riots, several tragic murders and a bitterness between employes and the company which has not disappeared.

When it was thought in the fall of 1916 that there would be a general strike of railroad trainmen, Mayor Hague informed the officials of the different railroads having terminals in Jersey City, who had arranged to bring armed guards into their yards, that under no circumstances would he permit strikebreakers in Jersey City. After much argument the Mayor had his way, and the railroad officials abandoned the idea of bringing strikebreakers into the city. At the same time the Mayor assured the officials of the company that he would see that their property and interests would be protected. Their property was protected and there was no violence.

One Dozen Strikes.

There was during the early days of Mayor Hague's administration as Director of the Department of Public Safety a most remarkable situation. At least a dozen strikes were in progress at one time. These included employes of express companies, freight handlers and other railroad yard employes on the waterfront as well as the employes on the trolley cars of the Public Service Railway. Approximately twenty-five thousand men were on strike and because of the efficient police methods employed by Mayor Hague there was scarcely a ripple and few people outside of the persons directly involved knew that these strikes were in progress. There was practically no disorder, Mayor Hague's first act being to drive the strikebreakers from the city. About the same time similar strikes in other nearby cities were in progress and riot, bloodshed, even murders, were committed.

As a direct result of Mayor Hague's attitude such strikes as have occurred in Jersey City during his term have been conducted without property destruction or violence. He has been commended by both employers and employes and on numerous occasions has, by invitation, been a speaker at conventions and dinners and has explained his ideas of police duty at strikes and the practical way it has worked out in this city.

Recently Mayor Hague came into national prominence by opposing the unionizing of the Fire and Police Departments of Jersey City, claiming that these departments had no right to affiliate themselves with the American Federation of Labor. His argument was that they could not serve two masters; they could not serve the people of Jersey City and at the same time the American Federation of Labor. His stand on this matter was approved by the American Federation of Labor, with the result that these departments withdrew their membership.

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