National Conference on Industrial Conciliation (19.

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labor so that the one shall understand the other, so
that the one shall be willing to perform its duty toward
the other, and that in this manner industrial peace
may reign over the country. Our worthy chair-
man, you will remember, stated to us last year that
deep down in his heart he felt no greater work could
be given as a task to the statesman than to aid in


leading up to industrial peace. And I say that no
greater task could be given to the minister of Christ's
Gospel than to contribute in some little way to es-
tablish this peace.

It is not surprising that there do arise between cap-
ital and labor disputes and collisions. Humanity is
entering into a new period of life and of development.
All developments, all growths, whether in a physical
or a moral body, produce feelings of uneasiness;
there is the sentiment that new conditions exist, and
that the moment has come for new adjustments and
new adaptabilities. As we follow the history of in-
dustrial movements century after century, we see
periodically new conditions arising and efforts made
to meet them often amid much anxiety and much
travail. To-day the conditions which confront us
are not such as to give discouragement; rather they
are such as to give hope and comfort. The great in-
dustrial prosperity marking the present times has
come largely from the growth of the human mind.
Men have gone out into all parts of the world, made
discoveries of all the resources of nature, and pre-
pared humanity to lay hold of these resources.
Mind has grown in all the classes of society. To-day
the workingman is a thinking being. He has read;
he has studied ; he knows what may be done ; he feels
what should be done. Capital in its ambition to de-
velop the resources of nature to their highest point,
labor in its ambition to secure for itself a just and
reasonable proportion of the wealth that is being
created, come somewhat into conflict. One asks,
"Have I my rights?" The other answers, "Have I


mine 5 ' So it is in all movements in the life of hu-
manity that have made for the greatness of humanity.
What seems at present to threaten the public peace,
and even to delay the march of prosperity, is but a
precursory sign of greater social happiness, and of
greater social wealth. There is no doubt but that
when the difficulties of the moment have settled,
society at large will be far happier and far more
prosperous. Nor are we to imagine that solutions
are ready made, and that at a given moment we can
just exactly say what measures must be taken to
remedy immediate ills. The human mind is not able
at once to grasp all the factors in a problem; it is
not able to understand at once all the circumstances
which surround that problem. Hence, time is
necessary. It is not at one meeting , it is not in one
year, that all the industrial problems will be solved.
We must be patient. At the same time we must feel
sure that solutions are coming. Humanity has suffi-
cient mind and sufficient good will to settle all
matters in which it is vitally interested. Its history,
century after century, shows very plainly that what-
ever the conflict of the moment, peace and victory
did follow. Not only must we have confidence in
humanity itself; we must have confidence in the
All-ruling Providence which has placed humanity
upon this earth, and which directs it towards its
ultimate goal.

And so we enter hopefully into the discussion of
relations between capital and labor. This is the
immediate purpose of the Civic Federation. Men
come together, representing the different classes of


society, employers and employees as well as what is
called the general public, and they say: ''Let us see
what is to be done." This is much: for earnest
seeking is half the finding.

The manner of proceeding of the Civic Federation
commends it to us. It would not do to have the
capitalists by themselves. It would not do to have
laborers by themselves, for the simple reason that
one party, not knowing the mind of the other, would
be likely to be one-sided in its conclusions, more or
less biassed by self-interest and prejudice. Bring
both classes together; let them meet frequently. If
anything more were to be desired in the methods of
the Civic Federation, it would be that its members
would come more frequently together. The world is
moving on at such a rapid pace, industrialism is tak-
ing such terrific strides, that it is scarcely enough to
hold one meeting a year to ask what may be done,
what thoughts may be put out before the country.
But however often or however seldom the members
meet, certainly the method chosen is a proper one,
that of bringing representatives of the different
classes together. It is the test of a civilized people
to act in this manner. In barbarous days men never
thought of asking their opponents what rights were
on their side. The one question was how to rush
quickly upon the enemy and extinguish him. Not so
where civilization reigns. There the question is,
What is it that is right ? What is it that justice sug-
gests? We know better what justice suggests when
we have heard both sides.

Certainly the prosperity of the country demands


that as rapidly as possible classes come to understand
one another. Just see what this late strike in the
coal regions has done in the country. The amount
of money lost of money unearned, is beyond calcu-
lation. The owners of mines have lost immense
sums; the miners have deprived themselves of earn-
ings for four or five or six months; the public at
large has suffered. If the strike had continued a
little longer the whole country would have entered
into the rigors of the winter season with danger of
untold suffering. Now surely there is no lover of
this country, no lover of his kind, who will not say
that it is his duty to do all that he can to prevent
any such incidents occurring in America. Let us
hope and trust that the lessons derived from this late
strike are such that a strike of the kind will hence-
forward be an impossibility. Let us so educate
the country at large upon this question that all shall
feel that their first duty is peace, union and harmony.
We are doing a work of patriotism. What is it that
gives us a great and good country? It is not vic-
tories on battle fields glorious as these are. What
we need for a great country is a happy, contented
people, and what we need in order to have a happy,
contented people is a good understanding between
all classes of the people. This has been the mis-
fortune of humanity; it so easily divides itself into
separate classes. One class thinks only of itself,
and how it may prey more easily upon the other.
There will be no happy people until all realize the
great truth dictated by reason, dictated by religion,
that we are all brothers ; that no one can find happi-


ness, if he must consider that not far from him there
are fellow beings in suffering and in want. Indus-
trial peace, so desirable in any land, is particularly
so in America, in a democracy such as America is.
America, for weal or for woe, is essentially an organ-
ized democracy. The people reign. We must have
the people, the masses at large, the full citizenship
of the country, happy and contented. We must have
all classes feel that other classes acknowledge their
rights, and are willing to think of them as well as of

When at first an organization enters into the field
of action it scarcely knows what is before it. A
year ago the Civic Federation was formed; to-day
we have far better conception of the possibilities
that await it. As it is, we have by the mere fact
of our organization put strongly before the whole
country the principle of harmony between capital
and labor. We have affected favorably public opinion .
Largely through the influence of this Federation the
idea is abroad that there must be an understanding
between capital and labor, a recognition of the
rights of one class by the other. At times in par-
ticular cases we may have failed to bring peace,
but the principle was upheld. No matter how
difficult the problem, once public opinion is com-
mitted to seeking a solution, the solution is sure
to come. If we were to go out of existence to-day
as an organization, we could write as our epitaph,
"Well done, good and faithful servant," because the
Civic Federation during its brief existence held high
before the minds of the people of America the


great principles of harmony, of peace through
arbitration, of the common brotherhood of men.

Our president and our secretary could well say
if they were to go into details, that here and there
many disputes have been actually settled by the
Civic Federation during the last year. People are
captious, and if they can find one point where we did
not succeed they will talk of that and forget the
nine points where we did succeed. There are several
instances on our records where, by bringing together
employers and employees, difficulties were removed,
and strikes and disagreements were brought to an
end. Difficulties were removed when men simply
saw one another. This is what has happened dur-
ing the past year, and this is what is going to happen
more and more in the future through the efforts
of the Civic Federation. The Civic Federation
has been organized; it will stay organized. It
has begun work; it will continue to work.

What is very much needed in the country to-day
we shall strive to give, as we are giving it in our
present conferences education on industrial ques-
tions. Men who are very learned in many other
things know little of sociology. The reason is
not difficult to be found. It is a new thing. Men
have not studied it heretofore. Many, though well
meaning, are at sea in regard to it. Let us create
a taste for the study of sociology. Let the attention
of the people be concentrated upon industrial
problems. It is not so much what we say between
these four walls; it is what our words stimulate
to have said through the country at large.


"Well, what is going to happen," I hear it some-
times said. "Will there not be a revolution?" Why,
not at all; not surely in the United States, where
men are accustomed to public discussion; where
men feel that the public welfare is the crowning apex
of the efforts of all; where all have a sense of civic
duty; where all love their country. I am not
afraid of any discussion on any question in America.
I think we shall be able to solve all problems quietly,
and with time; but we must have patience while we
are solving them; for we do not expect to give
solutions, as I said before, all in a moment. I have
naught but brightest hopes for industrialism through-
out the world at large. See what has happened
to-day. Intelligent men from England come to
America to study the conditions of our country.
They will go back to their homes and make reports
of what they have seen. You notice the thought-
fulness of those gentlemen. You notice the wish
they have had to arrive at the best solutions. And
what is happening in England is happening more
or less in other countries. No doubt we hear of
perils to come from extremists. Whenever there
is any movement extremists will attach themselves
to it. We are at times very singular. We want
every movement to be perfect in all its steppings.
That is impossible. There will be extremists on
the side of labor, as there will be on the side of capi-
tal. This does not mean to say that capital has
not its rights, that labor has not its rights, that
labor and capital will not be allowed their rights.
There is a better day coming. And who will not


rejoice, be he laborer or capitalist, be he rich or
poor, in the prospect that the multitudes, the mil-
lions, are to see rising before them a brighter sun.
For let us say what we will of to-day or to-mornyvv,
in past ages the children of toil have had a hard lot.
The time has come when we feel that the masses of
humanity are to be better cared for. The time has
come when rights shall be given to every man, to
every child, because these rights are a divine crea-
tion, and men cannot hold back from their fellows
what God has granted to them. We rejoice that
this brighter sun is rising in the sky. And while
the millions of toilers feel that public sentiment
leavened with Christian teaching is going out to
them and is determined to grant them their rights,
they in return, I am very sure, will feel that it is
their duty to recognize the rights of others. I am
not afraid of any of these radical populistic or com-
munistic movements with which we are sometimes
threatened, and with which the enemies of labor
would sometimes seek to indentify labor. The la-
borer is intelligent ; the laborer knows that his own
prosperity is linked with the prosperity of others;
the laborer understands that he personally stands
or falls as the whole social fabric stands or falls.
Let us give to every man his rights, and by giving
to every man his rights we educate him into the
higher principles of justice and religion, through
which he will concede to others their rights. Where-
ever there is a mind, we must enlighten it ; wherever
there is a conscience, we must awaken it ; wherever
there is an arm, we must strengthen it, and by


strengthening every individual member of society
we strengthen all society. But be all this as it may,
there is a new era before the world, an era of better
and more effective effort, an era of general prosperity,
an era of awakening of livelier sentiments of justice
and of charity; and to have contributed somewhat
to the hastening of this era, to have by some little
work or by some little act helped on the work of
humanity toward this higher plane of brotherhood
and of Christianity, is a task that any man may be
well proud of; a task the accomplishment of which
cannot but be most agreeable to the Father of all
men, the Almighty God above us.

THE CHAIRMAN: The next speaker is Mr. C. lj
Carpenter, representing the labor department of the
National Cash Register Company, of Dayton, Ohio.


THE labor problem now confronting us can never
be solved until capital is organized with the same
care and thoroughness as labor. This fact is be-
coming clearer every day, and it behooves every
manufacturer to give the closest consideration to it.
Experience has shown the necessity for strong or-
ganizations of capital to meet and bargain with the
existing organizations of labor. That both sides will
be greatly benefited cannot be doubted.

To be effective there should exist national organ-
izations of associated industries, local associations of
these same manufacturers; all to be linked together
by a national body. The similarity of this plan to
that of the labor unions will be noted.

The plan of forming a labor department in large
industrial organizations is, however, most important.
Only by some such method can that old-time "per-
sonal touch with employees" be restored. The lack
of this personal, direct touch is responsible for much
of the difficulty of the present day.



No better introduction to the discussion of the
work of a labor department in large industrial or-
ganizations can be given than a quotation from Her-
mann Justi's address on "Arbitration," delivered at
Minneapolis some months ago.


"All talk of arbitration or anything akin to it is well
nigh idle, unless we take account of organization not only
as applied to employees, but organization as applied to
employer. Whether we oppose it or favor it, organized
labor has come to stay, and it must therefore be considered
because we must deal with it. The employer class must
organize to a point of excellence and efficiency where or-
ganized labor will respect it.

' ' I am convinced that only by organization can common
labor get the maximum wages for its hire. I am equally
well convinced that only through organization of the em-
ployer class will capital obtain from organized labor the
most and the best service in return for the wages paid.

"It is my belief that all great departments of industry
must have their departments of labor if serious friction is
to be avoided, and wisely adjusted. When we pause to
reflect, is it not remarkable that all the departments of
great business enterprises have their especially appointed
heads to direct and to manage, with the exception of the
department of labor? This is allowed to get along as best
it can, and yet what department of any great business enter-
prise is of equal importance? This seems the more inex-
plicable and indefensible in view of the fact that when
we reduce the whole problem of business competition to
the concrete form there are only two propositions after all
with which the business man has to deal; the price of labor
and the rate of interest."

And are not these absolute facts? What work re-
quires more specialization, more fair-mindedness,


more continuous and tactful attention than the hand-
ling of the labor question ? And yet upon whom does
this delicate and difficult problem actually fall? Is
it handled by a department composed of men specially
fitted for this question by their education, broad
study of labor, knowledge of labor conditions all over
the country ; men selected for their fair-mindedness
and practical experience in handling large bodies of
men, and of such character as to gain the confidence
of the workmen ; men of experience in making labor
contracts and who know where the rights of labor
end and the transgressions upon the rights of capital
begin, even according to the Union Constitution?

No! this is seldom the case. The active, actual,
everyday working policy of handling labor, the part
that is vital to the workmen and the manufacturer,
is dictated not by him but by his foreman. The
men who are superintending the departments are
exercising the direct and consequently the real po-
tential influence over the men for good or bad. No
matter what the manufacturer may do for his men,
no matter what his actual policy may be, their feeling
toward the firm is governed more by their feeling
toward the man who has them in daily control than
by any other factor.

The methods used by the foremen in handling their
men, and the system of pay, may well be considered
carefully, because they affect the worker directly, and
consequently have great influence upon him.

When once trouble does begin, the proposition
becomes involved with the feelings and probably the
prejudices of all the men who have attempted to


handle it. By the time it reaches the employer there
accompanies it a large amount of bad feeling and
doubt of good intention on the part of both parties.
The proposal is at times too absurd for the employer
to entertain. The workmen, however, have become
so embittered as to insist upon its fulfillment. Or,
on the other hand, the employer will often see in the
proposal a large element of justice which he would
have admitted without hesitation if the propositions
had come to him " first handed." He, however, often
feels obliged to refuse the request for the sake of dis-
cipline and his desire to stand by his subordinates.

Many bitter strikes have occurred under such con-
ditions ; strikes which would have been easily avoided
had the question been fairly and promptly met at
the very inception of trouble.

Gentlemen, "the time to stop trouble is before it-
begins." Some plan of organization must be adopted
to insure this. Some method should exist whereby
employer and men could get together before trouble

I am far from saying that all the demands and
actions of unions are fair. We know from experience
how unreasonable they often are ; but a large number
of them are fair, and prompt attention, together with
the determination to do absolute justice both to the
company and to the men, and to stand by what is
right and to fight for it if necessary, will accomplish
most desirable results.

Consider the actual questions that give rise to
strikes, lock-outs, and arbitration and conciliation
committees. Consider the gist of the questions that


these important bodies must consider after the
trouble has reached the point where, for the sake of
the manufacturer, the workman or the public, they
must be called upon. Are not they the practical
questions of wages, hours, conditions under which
men work, discharges, unreasonable demands, un-
justifiable and unreasonable rules and practices,
restrictions upon employment, limitation of output,
etc.? Should we not begin at the lower end of this
problem and provide some adequate means whereby
the manufacturer and his men can come face to face
and consider these questions fairly and squarely,
before matters get to such a serious issue as to render
it necessary to call in outsiders to make a settlement
settlements rarely wholly acceptable to either party
to the dispute and which, when finally accepted,
leave behind a bitter feeling of resentment ?

Both logic and practical experience in handling
large bodies of both union and non-union men have
proven the necessity of labor departments. No
matter how capital may organize, its organization
will be lacking its greatest element of strength and
influence unless there are formed such special de-
partments to handle the question.

The functions of a labor department, as I will
describe them briefly, are such as have been devel-
oped and found necessary in actual experience in
organizing and developing this work.


Such a department should be in control of the
labor question. It should have the power to in-


vestigate and correct any existing conditions which
are unfair to the workmen conditions which impair
their efficiency as workmen and development as
men. On the other hand, it should investigate
those practices on the part of the workmen which are
unjust to the firm and should endeavor to have them
corrected. In actual experience great good has
been accomplished by investigating and taking up
with the workmen such matters as restriction of
output, opposition to improved machinery, unjust
wage demands, unreasonable opposition to justifi-
able discharges, etc. Many important matters bear-
ing directly upon economy of production, efficiency
of the workmen, and discipline of the shop have been
amicably settled, that would probably have ulti-
mately resulted in serious trouble had they been
handled through the usual course in the usual manner.
All complaints of workmen and company or
foremen should be promptly considered, and de-
cisively settled before they have had time to grow
into unwarranted importance. It is a cardinal
principle that all decisions must be along the lines
of justice and fairness.


The importance of a just and scientific wage
system, both from the standpoint of satisfying the '
workmen and of producing work with the greatest
economy, can hardly be over estimated. The lack
of attention to this matter causes most of the trouble
between employees and employer.

This department may also investigate and install


such improvements in working and sanitary con-
ditions as experience has shown to be practical.
Such work is thoroughly justified, both on the ground
of humanity and of economy of production.


Other important questions, such as employment,
discharge and improving the personnel of the work-
men, should be in charge of such a department.
Systematic steps to separate the poor workmen from
the efficient, for their education and improvement,
or, in case they prove totally inefficient, their dis-
charge, are important factors in improving the
working efficiency of a factory force.

The study of associations of labor and capital
and an acquaintance with legal decisions bearing
upon the relations and rights of capital, as well as
labor, are often very important.

The work of such a department will be largely
ineffective unless it has the support and co-operation
of the foremen or men who are in direct charge of
departments. These men should be brought into
sympathy with its aims and purposes. Generally

Online LibraryNational Conference on Industrial Conciliation (19Industrial conference → online text (page 3 of 25)