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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Morris Rund was a member of the Kosher Bakers' Union, Local 100, and wrote a Yiddish song about it.

Local 100 of the bakers' union goes on strikeMorris Rund wrote, not all, but certainly well over half the songs in the Yiddish Penny Songs collection. I found him in several New York census and city directory listings described as a baker.

Here's a transliteration and a translation of this title page (click it for a larger view). It's the only orphaned title page in the collection - the lyrics of the song are missing, so we don't know who Reb Nokhum is. For more on Messenger, the bakers' boss, see the bottom of this article.

I haven't found the melody for "Fregt mikh bekheyrem" and oddly only this cover is in the collection, the lyrics to the song are missing. So, no tune and no words. But interesting anyway.

Beker Reb Nokhum
iz nit mer keyn khokhem

farfast fun Morris Rund, 88 Attorney Street, New York

tsu zingen mit der melodiye "fregt mikh bekheyrem."

Koyft broyt mit dizn yunion leybel

Fargest nit dem strayk fun di 100 familiyen layt velkhe der beker bos Mesinger hot aroys geshikt bloyz derfar, vayl zey belangen in der beker yunion, lokal 100. Tut ayer flikht un fodert broyt un khale mitn yunion leybel.

Baker Reb Nokhum is no longer a wise man
Created by Morris Rund, 88 Attorney Street, New York
Member of Local 100

To sing with the melody "I don't have any idea."

Don't forget the strike of the 100 family people who the bakers' boss Messinger sent away just because they belong to the bakers' union, local 100. Do your duty and demand/require bread and challah with the union label.

By 1922, Local 100 of the Bakery and Confectionery Workers International Union, Local 100, was known as the "Jewish Bakers' Union, but in 1909 it was still called the Kosher Bakers' Union. 1909 is the year many of Rund's dated songs were created. A successful strike in July established the union in local bakeries.

Saturday July 3, 1909

Winning Bakers Parade
Red Flags and Marseillaise Barred from Big East Side Celebration

A parade of the bakers' unions and other organizations on the east side to celebrate the winning of the long strike by Local 100, known as the Kosher Bakers' Union, took place yesterday afternoon, followed by a mass meeting in Cooper Union. Large crowds of east siders cheered the paraders all along the line of march.

The parade started at 3 o'clock from the neighborhood of 127 Delancey Street, the headquarters of the Kosher Bakers' Union. In all about 5,000 people were in line, the bakers wearing white caps and white blouses. ...

One feature of the parade was the appearance in line of several hundred children dressed in white. They were followed by a truck bearing an immense loaf, which required four barrels of flour to make, and which it was originally decided should be carried on the shoulders of thirty bakers, but this plan was changed. It was decorated with small American flags and union mottoes.

After a little more digging I found the less triumphant followup - there was powerful pushback from the bakery bosses who began locking out the union bakers and this was the situation Rund was referencing. The Times says it was the N. Messing bakery, not Messinger. I wonder which is correct?

UPDATE: a relative has posted that the owner was Nahum Messing. Thanks, Jeff!

November 1 1909

Union Votes Down a Proposal to Call a General Strike

The officers of the Kosher Bakers' Union, who held an executive meeting yesterday, reported that there is reason to fear a general lockout of the members of the union by the East Side Boss Bakers' Association, against which there was a general strike of kosher bakers three months ago. The strike was for recognition of the union.

There have been many complaints from individual employers since then, and yesterday it was announced that the union bakers in the bakery of N. Messing, 82 Eldridge Street, one of the largest firms in the association, were locked out, the places of the locked-out men being filled by strikebreakers... the union bakers... believed if the firm won out there would be a general lockout of the kosher bakers. A meeting of the union was held, which was attended by 1,400 members... it was decided to keep the agreement with the master bakers who employ union men.

In 1912 N. Messing tried to break his union employees again as per The Weekly Northwestern Miller:

February 28, 1912, New York

Another boss baker, N. Messing, operating shops at 82 Allen and 100 Broome streets, New York, recently joined in the fight against the Bakers' Union and locked out his employees. The union immediately revoked his label and placed Messing's shops on the unfair list. ... it is contended that the bosses have conspired to break up the Bakers' Union.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Nahum Messing, my great great uncle, owned the bakery. There is still a Passover bakery named Messing, but my mother told me that uncle Messing only had daughters. At least one husband took the Messing name.

December 6, 2015 at 3:04 AM  
Blogger melinama said...

That's very interesting, Jeff. Do you have any pictures? Thanks for posting.

December 6, 2015 at 8:40 AM  

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