Amalgamated Association of Street Amalgamated Transit Union.

In transit, Volumes 23-24 online

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nated Transit Union, Amalgamated Associatior
, Electric Railway and Motor Coach Employee!





Digitized by






Digitized by



1 For Agents

Only One Agent Wanted For Each City

To Represent the Famous

For Street Car Conductors

GckmI income to right party. Will not interfere with your
regular work. Write for particulars at once.



Our L^bml im a Guarmntmm of Uniform SMtia&etion

Digitized by



Div. No. 28 2, Roch ester, N. Y.

Div. No. 282, Rochester, N. Y.. has be-
come one of the older locals of the Associa-
tion. The local was organized in the sum-
mer of 1902, over 12 years ago. Among
her charter members was President John J.
O'Dea, the subject of the above picture.
Div. No. 282 has obtained extensive ad-
vantages ia employment to the members.
When first organized wages in Rochester
ranged from 13 to 16 cents per hour. Dur-
ing the life of the local wages have advanced
nearly 100 per cent. Working conditions
have been correspondingly improved and
today the Rochester membership are en-
joying very satisfactory employment. The
local has advanced in magnitude in propor-
tion to benefits. Beginning with approxi-
mately 600 members, the local today em-
braces a membership of approximately 1,200.
In speaking of President O'Dea, our Roch-
ester correspondent cites that he has served
nine consecutive years on the Division exe-
cutive board, although this is his first term
as president of the local and chairman of
the board. President O'Dea, like his pre-
decessor, ex-President C. H. McCrossen, is
a man of exceptional executive ability and
bag been one of the leading advisers of the
Association Aince itit inceotion.

Div. No. 282, Rochester, N.| Y.

Like President O'Dea of the Rochester
local. Business Agent J. J. O'Sullivan was
one of the first to enter the movement to
organize the street railway men of Roch-
ester. He early became one of the coun-
sellors of the local and served seven con-
secutive years as an executive board mem-
ber. At present, in addition to business
agent, Bro. O'Sullivan is also financial sec-
retary. He has long since become a recog-
nized, devoted exponent of trade unionism.
He is now serving his second year as busi-
ness agent. His genial fellowship and good
will and his intense sympathetic nature have
contributed much to his success as a rep-
resentative of the members of his Division.
Business Agent O'Sullivan, like President
O'Dea, has represented the Rochester local
in various International conventions, where
his legislative wisdom has contributed in
shaping the laws of the International Asso-
ciation. He is also active in the local labor
movement of Rochester.




The American Federation of Labor con-
vened in her thirty-fourth annual conven-
tion on Monday, Nov. 9, 1914. The conven-
tion this year was held in Philadelphia, Pa.
The convention was called to order at ten
o'clock a. m. by President Samuel Gom-

The Credentials Committee reported
present 358 delegates, representing 92 inter-
national and national unions, 22 state
branches, 70 central bodies, 18 local trade
and federal labor unions and 7 fraternal
dele^tes. Aside from these there were
many alternate delegates and hundreds of
visiting delegates from various trade and
labor unions throughout the country with
their wives and friends. In fact, the con-
vention brought to Philadelphia over 6,000
people and the convention hall was crowded
to its utmost during the various sessions
and hundreds were unable to gain admit-
tance, but enjoyed themselves in visiting
various points of interest, historical and
otherwise, for which the great city of Phila-
delphia is famous.

The convention was held in Horticultu-
ral Hall.

Upon calling the convention to order in
informal session, Chairman Gompers in-
troduced His Honor, Mayor Blankenburg,
who, on behalf of Philadelphia, extended
an address of welcome to the delegates and

In part Mayor Blankenburg said:

"It is almost impossible to do anything
without organization, and if the organiza-
tion is builded upon the rock of principle
it will be successful in its undertakings.
And I take it, ladies and gentlemen — ^and
I am glad to see some women here, be-
cause I believe they are as much interested
in the welfare of humanity, and even more
so than the men — I take it your organiza-
tion is builded upon the same foundation.
I have always been a believer in organiza-
tion; I am a believer today more than ever,
and I know that your organization, the
American Federation of Labor, is trying
to do its very best to uplift labor, to see
that labor gets proper remuneration for
its services, and at the same time that la-
bor will never, never permit anything to
occur that will disturb the great forces
for which our government has been or-

"You are one of the greatest powers,
my friends, you members of the American
Federation of Labor, and one of the great-
est forces for national wealth and national
well-being. When I think of the number
of men that are working under your ban-
ner, more than two millions, I always feel
like shaking hands with one and all, if it
w€re possible, because it is in your power
to make this country greater even than it
•s today. You are an army, an army of
»cace. Compare this army with the vast
rmies that are today devastating the fields
»f Europe, and there you will see where

the true life of a nation comes in. This
army of peace will conquer, and what it
conquers will endure longer than the armies
of war on the other side of the ocean.

"I did not come to make a speech, and
I shall have to leave as soon as I get
through, for the old man is kept very busy.
I want again to extend to you, ladies and
gentlemen, the most heartfelt welcome pos-
sible to the city of Philadelphia. I was
never more pleased to sign an ordinance
than that appropriating $25,000 to celebrate
your assembling here in Philadelphia. I
was so much pleased that I sent for my
friend, Mr. Leonard Kraft, and a few of his
friends, and in their presence signed the
ordinance, then handed him the pen. The
pen is not worth $25,000, but the memories
will always remain with Mr. Kraft and his
family. To further show our appreciation
of your having selected this city for your
meeting, the City Hall will be illuminated
every evening while you are here. I as-
sure you we do not do that for everybody."

It will be observed by the last para-
graph quoted above from the address of
Mayor Blankenburg that in the reception
of the. convention of the American Federa-
ti(yn of Labor, the city of Philadelphia ex-
ceeded the greeting extended to any for-
mer convention of labor by taking the ini-
tiative and appropriating $25,000 for the
entertainment of the convention, delegates
and visiting friends. This may be recorded
as the most material recognition ever ex-
tended by a municipality to the American
trade union movement in any general greet-
ing. Formal acknowledgments of the pres-
tige of organized labor at conventions, ex-
tended through some representative of the
municipal government, measuring in vari-
ous degrees of hospitality to extend only
to the limit of greetings and -expressions of
cordiality more or less sincere, have marked
the welcome of conventions in the past.
But it remained for old Philadelphia, the
"City of Brotherly Love,** to initiate this
substantial cordiality and material expres-
sion. It is the first time that the people,
as a whole, of any community, through
their municipal government, have made an
appropriation for the entertainment of or-
ganized labor. In this one act the adminis-
tration of Mayor Blankenburg has erected
for itself an illustrious monument that will
be perpetuated in the undying gratitude of
the hosts of trade unionism.

At the close of a response to the genial
welcome of Philadelphia's Mayor, Chair-
man Gompers presented to the convention
President George H. Ulrich of the Phila-
delphia Central Labor Union, who extended
a hearty -greeting on behalf of the orgaAi-
zation he represented to the convention-
itcs. In his reference to the inception of
the American Federation of Labor, Presi-
dent Ulrich said:

"There could be no more fitting place
for the American Federation of Labor to
hold its annual convention than in this
particular city, because it was in this city



that the American Federation of Labor,
under that title, was first permanently
started. It is true that in the 80*8 the vari-
ous craft unions were having disputes with
the Knights of Labor, principally on the
question of trade autonomy, and that they
formed a loose federation known as the
Federation of Organized Trades and Labor
Unions, but it was not until after the con-
vention of that body in Philadelphia on
May 15, 1886, which made certain demands
on the Knights of Labor, which demands
were rejected by the Richmond convention
of the Knights of Labor, that the Ameri-
can Federation of Labor was permanently
and solidly organized in the shape in which
it now is. Once since then the city of
Philadelphia has had the pleasure of en-
tertaining a convention of the American
Federation of Labor, in 1892, when the
delegates, much fewer in numbers than
they are now, assembled in Independence

"At this, the Thirty-fourth Annual Con-
vention of the American Federation of La-
bor, I cannot help but remind you of the
fact that Philadelphia is noted as a labor
center and as an organized labor center,
even though it has a tendency to go from
the extreme of solid organization to the
extreme of little organization. I cannot
help but remind you that in 1910 this city
demonstrated to the organized workers of
the world that it did have a labor heart and
a labor will, when 150,000 trade unionists,
out of sympathy for the street car men
who were then striking for improved con-
ditions in this city, went out on a gigantic
sympathetic strike. This was the first large
(general strike of organized labor in the
United States, and showed of what stuff
our working men and women are made of,
and it had its effect, because the employers
of labor as a body are not at all anxious
to try conclusions with us again."

President Joseph Richie of the Build-
ing Trades Council of Philadelphia, in his
address of welcome, dwelt upon the prog-
ress of organization in Philadelphia even
in the face of the degression of the times
and showed that within the last year the
movement had established 14 new local
unions and added to the membership of
the various other locals.

The final address of welcome was deliv-
ered by President James H. Maurer of
the Pennsylvania State Federation of La-
bor, who welcomed the delegates on behalf
of that organization.

At the close of the addresses of welcome,
Chairman Gompers introduced Chairman
Frank Feeney of the Committee on Conven-
tion Arrangements and Entertainment, the
committee being of the Philadelphia Central
Labor Union. Chairman Feeney explained
the program of entertaintnent that had been
prepared, included within which was the
great labor parade, something of the di-
mensions of which can be understood when
it is explained that some 4,000 musicians

supplied the music

A telegram was read from Governor-
elect Martin Brumbaugh of Pennsylvania,
in which he wished the convention and the
cause it represents success.

At the close of the informal ceremony,
the convention was formally called to or-
der and convention officers appointed: Ser-
geant at Arms, I. W. Bisberg, Cigarmakers'
Union, Philadelphia; Messenger, M. J. Mc-
Dermott, Carpenters' Union, Philadelphia;
Assistant Secretary, Walter Faries, Typo,
graphical Union, Philadelphia.

Among the greetings cabled to the con-
vention was a pathetic telegram from the
German trade union movement, addressed
from Amsterdam, reading:

"Fraternal greetings, good wishes to con-
vention. Hope for speedy end of war and
return of workers to continue fight for
common ideals."

(Signed) "Legien — Oudegeest.]'

Vice-President Duncan called attention
to the fact that the signers of the above
cablegram were compelled to travel to Am-
terdam, a neutral country, to transmit it.

A telegram from Hon. W. B. Wilson,
Secretary of Labor, read:

"Convey to the delegates present my sin-
cere greetings and best wishes for a suc-
cessful convention."

Upon standing committees appointed in
the preliminary work of the convention
Delegate Garrett F. Burns of the Amalga-
mated Association was appointed upon the
Committee on Laws. Delegate P. J. Mc-
Grath was appointed a member of the Cre-
dentials Committee. Delegate Stanley An-
derson, President of Division No. 26, De-
.troit, Mich., representing the Detroit Fede-
ration of Labor, served on the Committee
on Education. G. E. B. Member P. J.
Shea, delegate repreneting the Pennsyl-
vania State Federation of Labor, served
upon the Committee on State Organiza-

International President W. D. Mahon
served the convention upon the committee
on A. F. of L. Office Building and Com-
mittee on International Relations.

Municipal Ownership Report Develops

In the November M. & C. was published
in its entirety the report of President W.
D. Mahon and Editor L. D. Bland, as com-
missioners, upon the relations of employ-
ment upon municipally owned and operated
railways. The report was refererd to the
convention Resolutions Committee. The
committee made a recommendation upon
the report to the convention, which was
adopted as follows:

"Upon the subject-matter under the cap-
tion 'Municipal Owenrship' your committee
reports upon the same in connection with
the report submitted by W. D. Mahon and
L. D. Bland.

"Upon the subject-matter under the cap-
tion 'Labor Conditions on European Mu-
nicipally Owned Railji-gO^a^^^yHJi^^i^r^being



a report submitted by W. D. Mahon and
L. D. Bland, your committee desires to ex-
press appreciation for the work done by
them, and for their valuable contribution
to our knowledge relative to the conditions
and differences existing between privately
owned and publicly owned and operated
street car systems.

"While not expressing any new or ad-
ditional thought in connection with the
present policy of the American Federation
of Labor relative to municipal ownership,
your committee cannot overlook the state-
ments contained in this report which indi-
cate that whether under private or public
ownership, the only real improvement in
the conditions of labor for street railway
employes has been accomplished through
trade union activity.

"Your committee recommends that wher-
ever municipal ownership of public utilites
is attempted the trade union movement em-
phaticaly insists that there shall be incor-
porated in the law creating the municipally
owned utility an adequate provision guar-
anteeing the right of the workers to or-
ganize upon trade union lines, and their
right to a voice in the regulations and de-
termination of the wages, hours of labor
and working conditions."

Upon the above subject, which created
much interest in and outside of the conven-
tion throughout the coutnry and in various
newspapers, President Mahon addressed the
convention and emphatically explained his
position and the intense importance of the
subject to labor. In part he said:

"I understand that a convention of the
mayors of various cities held in this city
questions the wages and other matters re-
ferred to. The wages and conditions under
municipal ownership to which we refer are
absolute facts. They are submitted not as
an attack upon municipal ownership, but as
facts as we found them. What we are fight-
ing for now in America is to establish the
right of contract before municipal owner-
ship does come, so that the men will not
be discharged. Municipal slavery is as ob-
jectionable to us as slavery under private
ownership. We want to give them the
right to preserve their organizations and
the right to make contracts when municipal
ownership comes. That is our fight, and
it is a very serious one. In Canadian cities
and others we are denied the right of col-
lective bargaining with our unions, and that
is what we are fighting for.

"We want to protect the men and the
only protection that they can have is
through the right of collective bargaining
and the establishment of wage and work-
ing contracts."

The enactment of the convention brings
the question of the interest of employes m
municipal ownership under pledged effort
of the American labor movement to obtain
for and serve the interest of wage earners
in organization in such employment. It
was an important enactment to this Asso-
ciation and gives the Association the right

to demand of the trade union movement
its intercession in the conservation of the
rights of the Association in any movement
for municipalization.

Relative to the war in which many of
the unions of the world are involved, the
convention enacted a resolution as follows:
"Whereas, The world stands appalled by
events in Europe which indicate a wanton
disregard of advancing civilization and the
temporary enthronement of savagery, a
condition made possible only by the domi-
nation of militarism, accentuated by the
continue! presence of the outward evidences
of the military power, with its attendant
drain on the wealth of the nations for the
purpose of maintaining at a point of me-
chanical efficiency the tremendous engines
of destruction designed for use in war.
thereby affording a perpetual tempation to
the rulers to put into use these weapons
against mankind; and»

"Whereas, The present exhibition of the
potentiality of these modern armaments for
the purposes of destruction is such as trans-
cends any experience of humanity and out-
does the wildest drea'm of death deliberately
brought about by human agency, with the
attendant misery and suffering that have
been thrust upon hundreds of thousands of
peaceful, industrious and thrifty people
who were entirely innocent of any thought
of war; and,

"Whereas, This most impressive example
must teach us but one lesson, the beauty
and desirability of a peace that preserves
order with honor, that conserves life and
property and insures the- pursuit of happi-
ness, and that is the noblest end of man's
endeavors; therefore, be it

"Resolved, That we pledge our support
to any plan which has for its purpose the
bringing about of the disarmament of all
nations to the furthest extent consistent
with the preservation of law and order
throughout the world."
Will Assist in Defense of Indianapolis In-
An enactment of the convention of vast
importance to the Amalgamated Associa-
tion was in the adoption of a resolution in-
troduced by International President W. D.
Mahon under special permission of the con-
vention, in which he cited the importance
of a satisfactory decision in the pendiniar
Indianapolis injunction proceedings. The
resolution, adopted as submitted by Presi-
dent Mahon, is as follows:

"Whereas, The Federal Court at Indian-
apolis, Ind., has granted a temporary in-
junction against the members of the Amal-
gamated Association of Street and Electric
Railway Employes of America, forbidding
them the right of exercising their constitu-
tional liberty as provided under the recent
Clayton act passed by the United States
Congress, which guarantees to the workers
the right to suspend labor in order to pro-
tect their interest as wage workers with-
out the interefif^^[email protected]%/>f injunction; and,



** Whereas, This temporary injunction may
stand for an indefinite period, and the said
association, through its attorneys has de-
cided on and prepared an appeal to the
higher court; and,

"Whereas, It may be necessary to carr^
this case to the Supreme Court of the Uni-
ted States in order to test the constitution-
ality of this law; therefore, be it

"Resolved, That the president and Ex-
ecutive Council of the American Federa-
tion of Labor are hereby instructed to co-
operate with and give all the assistance pos-
sible to bring about and secure a satisfac-
tory decision in this case in order to estab-
lish clearly and without question the consti-
tutional right of the workers, and thereby
bring an end to injunctions against wage
workers struggling for their lives."

Over 300 resolutions were dealt with by
the convention of a progressive nature. The
work of the convention embraced two
weeks, adjournment being taken on Satur-
day evening, Nov. 12.

Usual trade jurisdictions were discussed
and dealt with in committee and on the
rtoor of the convention. Important among
these was the contention between the Car-
penters and Sheet Metal Workers relative
to sheet metal casing work, etc. Many of
these questions were submitted to a com-
mittee for future adjustment and it is
hopeful that the more important jurisdic-
tional questions may be amicably solved.
The convention adopted what it believed to
he the best policy in each case.

The convention re-enacted its purpose in
extending free text books for schools
throughout the various states where it has
not yet been adopted.

Online LibraryAmalgamated Association of Street Amalgamated Transit UnionIn transit, Volumes 23-24 → online text (page 1 of 122)