July 31, 1899: “Newsboys Form A Union”

Newsboys Form A Union

A meeting of newsboys and newsdealers was held last night in Gardner’s Hall, in Suffolk Street, resulting in the first steps the boys have taken toward a definite organization. The plan adopted was that of James G. Neill, who sells papers at the bridge.

The organization is to be called the Newssellers’ Union. Every union newsboy is to have a badge. The city is to be divided into districts, and every district is to have a captain and a committee. Each committee will have delegates in a central organization known as the Grand Union. The following officers were elected for the union: President, James G. Neill; Vice-President, “Racetrack” Higgins; Recording Secretary, “Abe” Cutler of Fulton Street; Financial Secretary, Solomon Levy; Treasurer, David Ruben of Bleecker Street and the Bowery; and Sergeant at Arms, Simon Levy. John Mason of Brooklyn was elected head captain, and he will select the district captains.

The boys claim that the strike is by no means over, in spite of the announcements of appearances to the contrary. Young Monix is confident and as full of plans as ever. He says that the boycotted newspapers took some 300 newsboys on an excursion yesterday, but that it made no better feeling towards them on the part of the boys. “We’ve started to organize the union,” said Monix. “Every boy ‘s going to be licensed and pay ten cents to get into the union, and five cents a week. We’re goin’ to start right in to-morrow morning and boycott the morning World and Journals. The newsdealers are all with us, they won’t sell no Worlds or Journals.”

Source: “Newsboys Form a Union.” Evening Post, 31 July 1899, p. 2.