LABOR: Broken Monopoly

There was no doubt that domineering, salt-crusted Patrick J. McHugh had tight control over Massachusetts' fishing fleet. The 4,200 members of his independent Atlantic Fishermen's Union manned practically every sizeable trawler, dragger and gill-netter that sailed out of New Bedford, Gloucester and Boston. The union had its own selling rooms in Gloucester and New-Bedford, and dictated who could and who could not buy there.

When prices dropped after the war, and with them the fishermen's take-home pay (based on a share in the profits), McHugh ordered each boat to limit its catch, in an effort to bolster the market. Crews...

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