Cubans Reject a War Tax
Cigar makers at Jacksonville Will Not Pay the Ten Per Cent. Assessment on Wages.
Example May Be Followed
The Junta Has Had Considerable Trouble Before to Keep Up the Contributions for the War, and Other Workmen Have Complained.
Jacksonville, Fla., . — A majority of the cigarmakers of El Modelo Cigar Manufacturing Company of this city voted to discontinue the practice of deducting 10 per cent. of the wages of the individuals of that factory for the purpose of prosecuting the Cuban war.
There has been much discontent for many weeks over this matter, and a large number of Americans in the factory expressed themselves as being opposed to the manner in which such contributions were secured. The cigar makers have been required to pay this percentage of their salaries in spite of protests. Several days ago some of the makers were discharged for causes arising out of the assessment, and others quit.
the makers in a body made an appeal to Gabriel H. Gato, the manager of the company, for a discontinuance of the rule. Mr. Gato considered the proposition, and finally decided to put the question to a vote of the men interested. The vote was taken and the discontinuance carried by a majority.
It is said that there is considerable hard feeling among the Cubans. This factory is the first in the country to take this step. Considerable trouble has been experienced by the agents of the Cuban Junta in holding the various districts together in the support of the Cuban war, and ’s objection, although the strongest yet, was not the first made since the commencement of the insurrection in Cuba. Others are likely to follow.
The reporting about Cuba in the U.S. press at this time is very unreliable, so all of this needs to be read skeptically. As a clarification, the cigar factory was in Florida, so wasn’t being directly taxed by the Cuban/Spanish government. It sounds like maybe the factory had instituted a mandatory employee contribution program of some sort, though from the looks of things Gabriel Hidalgo Gato was sympathetic to the cause of Cuban independence. Cuban revolutionary José Marti toured the United States in to drum up support for Cuban independence, and the El Modelo Cigar Manufacturing Company was one of his stops.