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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

Grand Rapids Unions Boycott Chinamen

Central Labor Union will not Patronize Their Laundries

The union men of Grand Rapids have declared war on the Chinamen. At the meeting of the Trades and Labor council held last night in the Central Labor union hall on Canal Street, strong resolutions were passed urging that all union laboring men discontinue their patronage of the local Chinese laundrymen. The delegate who made the motion to adopt the resolution and a number of other speakers, who discussed the subject, asserted that the present war in China had nothing to do with the matter, but it was evident from the vote that the sentiment against the Chinks was anything but friendly. The only friend Chan Hoy and his fellow celestials had in the assembly was a painter, who asserted that the “heathen Chinee” was the only washerwoman in town who would undertake the job of washing his overalls. After the vote had been taken and the resolutions declared adopted the painter delegate insisted that he would continue to patronize the Chinamen. It is unlikely that he will be disciplined in the matter.

The resolutions adopted were as follows” “Resolved. That the members of the Trades and Labor Council solemnly pledge themselves not to patronize any of the Chinese laundries in the city in the future and be it furthermore.

“Resolved. That the delegates of the various unions represented in the Council be instructed to use all honorable means to pass resolutions looking toward the same end, pledging their members to withdraw their patronage from said laundries.

Grand Rapids Herald, August 14, 1899, Page 3

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