Samuel Gompers.

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difficult or impossible to answer:"

1. If the membership of American labor unions has been restricted by the various
methods which their opponents declare, why is it that from 1881 to 1921 the mem-
bership of the American Federation of Labor increased from 40,000 to 4,000,000, or
multiplied itself 98 times, an increase of 9,800 per cent?

2. How is effective collective bargaining possible unless the workers are organized
into strong, permanent unions? The same question applies to arbitration, media-
tion and conciliation.

3. If labor unions should be destroyed because they have made mistakes, why
should not also corporations, governments, and all institutions be destroyed which
have made mistakes?

4. What better or more effective means is there than the labor unions for industrial
democracy? Unless some better method is reached to secure justice in industry the
labor unions must be upheld.

5. As long as a labor union is of the open union type, how is the charge of monopoly
possible? Is any organization which is constantly inviting its competitors to join,
as the members of labor tmions invite outsiders to join, a monopoly?

6. If the open shop is so desirable and successful, why is it that from 1881 to
1922 the membership of American labor unions increased from 40,000 to 5,000,000?

Any debating team which contemplates an encounter on the question of
the tmion shop versus the non-union or anti-union shop will do well to consult
the material presented by Mr. Bowers and Mr. Buehler. It took them to
victory.

What it means to have gone through a season of debates on this question
without a single defeat will be thoroughly appreciated by those who know how
energetic various organizations of employers were during the entire season in
furnishing college and high school teams with material in support of their anti-
union contentions.

The book may be had from Bowers and Buehler, Tiffin, Ohio, a single copy
being 40 cents, prepaid, with lower rates on larger quantities.



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Report of the Legislative Committee



WHETHER members of congress have
returned to Washington chastened
by the recent elections or in a re-
vengeful mood will have to be determined
as the session progresses. It is certain,
however, that the administration has re-
fused to read the hand-writing on the wall
and is determined to push through legisla-
tion that has been repudiated by tiie voters.
During the campaign leading representatives
of the administration, even some of the
members of the cabinet, declared in favor of
abolishing the Railroad Labor Board. Ap-
parently this was a vote-catching proposal,
as one of the first movements of the Presi-
dent was to call in Senator Ctunmins and
demand that teeth be put into the act creat-
ing the Railroad Labor Board, as well as to
reconstruct its membership. The teeth are
to be incorporated in the law by giving power
to the Railroad Labor Board to enforce its
decisions with all the power of the govern-
ment to enforce them. Railroad employes
who seek an adequate wage upon which to
support themselves and dependents will
be sent to jail if they should refuse to ac-
cept decisions of the board.

Although the Thirteenth Amendment to
the Constitution of the United States pro-
hibits involimtary servitude, except for
crime, railroad employes, if the plan is sue
cessful, will have to work against their will
or go to jail if the Railroad Labor Board so
decides. The proposal that only representa-
tives of the public shall comprise the board
evidently means that the Spencer Bill
(S. 3389) will be the meastu^ advocated.
This provides that three judges shall be ap-
pointed to determine wages, hours and con-
ditions of employment. They can meet
anywhere in the United States at will or by
dinsction of the President. Such a law would
not benefit but would be the cause of con-
tinuing strife between railroad officials and
employes. But it may be that such legisla-
tion is advocated in a spirit of revenge for
the failure of the wage earners to support
reactionary candidates for congress.

Among the subjects for reactionary legis-
lation that the people refused to approve
but which it is proposed sooner or later to
cram down the throats of the people are :



Bill, which are intended to take away the police
power of the states and place it onder the Jurisdic-
tion of federal courts in the case of riots.

Opening of the Immigration law in order to flood
the labor marlset with hordes of foreigners.

Reorganisation of governmental departments.

Coolie labor for HawalL

Sales tax.

These subjects are not mentioned in the
order of their importance but as being of
most vital interest to Labor and the people.

Ship Subsidy

One of the argtunents given why the ship
subsidy should be granted is that it would
make up the loss caused by the stoppage of
the sale of liquor on American vessels. The
United American Line transferred two of its
ships from the American flag to the Panama
flag because a ntunber of passengers had can-
celled their reservations for the reason that
liquor could not be sold on them while sail-
ing under the American flag. Just why there
is so much presstu'e being brought to pass the
ship subsidy bill can not be defended. Un-
doubtedly there is great opposition to such
legislation and it is doubtful if it will be
passed. It is generally understood that if the
bill becomes a law the ships owned by the
United States Shipping Board will be sold
for a song as other ships have been sold.
Quite a lot of conjecture resulted from the
selling of a ship for $1,900 and which later
burned at the dock in Alexandria, Va. The
loss announced was $25,000. Even after this
less was sustained one hundred men were
put to work dismantling the ship of its
machinery which suffered practically no
damage and was very valuable. According
to members of congress who have arrived
in Washington the ship subsidy will have
little chance of passing.

Immigration

Persistent propaganda has been sent
broadcast in favor of opening the doors to
greater immigration. It comes from all
directions, but mostly from New York,
Pittsbiu-gh and Chicago, where the financial
interests have added ^eir influence to open-
ing the immigration question. The National
City Bank of New York states:

Compolaory labor. It would be premature to say that the downward

fflilp sobiicbr. readjustment of wages has come to an end; it will

Dyer Antl-Lynchlng BIO and the Kellogg Alien not come to an end until the fairly balanced state of

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AMERICAN FEDERATIONIST



compensation exists throughout all industry, in-
cluding agriculture, but it has been halted by the
revival of industry and the Immigration Law.

Mr. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury, is
anxious that the immigration laws be
changed so that hordes of immigrants can
enter the land. Mr. J. M. Larkin, assistant
to the president of the Bethlehem Steel
Company, in an address in Pittsbiu*gh, No-
vember 10, declared the present 3 per cent
immigration law will ''work a hardship on
large employers** tmless its provisions are
materially changed. He also advocated the
psychological test as does the **Iron Age**
and others interested in changing the im-
migration laws to the injury of American
labor. Much stress also has been laid on the
necessity of examining inmiigrants before
they leave their native land. This has been
attempted and created so much opposition
that it was stopped. Two years ago a bill
was reported in the House favoring the
restriction of inmiigration to two years.
This was changed to one year. In con-
ference the Senate 3 per cent bill was agreed
to and this was approved by both houses
and signed by the President. It was the best
that could be obtained by Labor although
not satisfactory. The 3 per cent law does not
expire until June 3, 1924. There will be
sufficient time in the Sixty-eighth Congress
to consider changes in the 3 per cent law.
Labor, however, contends that any attempt
to change the 3 per cent law at the present
time has for its pmpose consideration of the
entire immigration question in the hope
that the gates will be opened to practically
unrestricted immigration.

Anti- Lynching Bill

The Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill for the pro-
tection of alleged criminals from mobs and
the Kellogg Bill for the protection of aliens
have a similar piupose. The Anti-Lynch-
ing Bill provides that whenever a state after
making an investigation does not find suffi-
cient evidence to prosecute those engaged in
riots that the fed^^ courts can sssqme juris-
diction. While this bill is ostensibly for the
protection of the black man and the Kellogg
Bill uses aliens as a subterfuge the main idea
behind such legislation is to give the federal
coiu-ts jurisdiction over industrial disputes
that are entirely within the police power of
the states.



Section 3 of the Kellogg Bill provides that
any act committed against any alien which
constitutes a crime under the laws of any
state also would be regarded as a crime
against the federal govermnent as such.
The president would be then authcMized to
use United States marshals and, if neces-
sary, the army and navy to enforce the deci-
sions of the federal courts in strictly state
cases. While Labor does not oppose laws to
prevent lynching or for the protection of
aliens it does insist that the people are op-
posed to the federal coiuls being given
jurisdiction that would interfere with the
poUce powers of the various states.

Departmental Reorganization

The President has announced that he de-
sires the short session to consider the bill
providing for the reorganization of govern-
mental departments. Until this bill has been
presented it will not be known whether the
original intention of scrapping or weakening
the Department of Labor will be carried out.
The bill has been drawn by Mr. Walter F.
Brown. It had not been, so far as is known,
submitted to the Joint Committee on Re-
organization. It is known, however, that
there is much opposition in the committee
to some of the phases of the reorganization
plan. Labor will oppose any change in the
Department of Labor that will weakep it or
amalgamate it with any other department.

Conscription

Conscription has become an important
question to be considered. Representative
Johnson, of South Dakota, introduced a
joint resolution proposing an amendment
to the Constitution of the United States as
follows:

That in the event of a dedaration of war by the
United States of America against any fofeign gov-
ernment or other common enemy the Congress dull
provide for the conscription of every citizen and of
all money, industries, and property of whatsoever
nature necessary to the prosecution thereof and shall
limit the profits for the use of such moneys, indus-
tries and property.

It is not believed that the bill \rill find
much support as written. Neither is it be-
lieved that the intention is to go further
than to seciu-e the conscription of Labor.
Representatives of certain organizations are
testing sentiment among the wage-earners



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AMERICAN FEDERATIONIST



929



on the question of conscription. It is hinted
that the desire of those behind the amend-
ment is to secure legislation that will con-
script wage-earners in peace times as well as
in war times. It is a bill that should be
closely watched.

Coolie Labor For Hawaii

The agitation for the importation of
50,000 Chinese cooHes into Hawaii is not
being carried on with the enthusiasm of the
past, but the sugar planters have not given
up hope of inducing congress to pass a law
containing such provisions. Congress has
been very good to Hawaii according to the
Honolulu Star BuUeiin, It says that "the
tariff rate of $1.76 per hundred pounds on
Cuban sugar will give the Hawaii planta-
tions protection at the rate of $17,500,000
a year on a basis of an annual production of
500,000 tons of sugar." The new rate is an
advance over the old regular tariff rate of
$20 a ton. As the prospects are that the new
tariff will be in force for three years the
Star Bidletin says Hawaii will benefit by it
to the amount of $52,500,000 dtuing that
paiod. The estimated sugar crop in Hawaii
this year is 540,000 tons, and hopes are
entertained for an increased production in
both 1924 and 1925. The plea of the sugar
planters that Hawaii "will go to the dogs*'
unless Chinese coolies are admitted under
bond is not believed by the Honolulu Ad-
vertiser, which, in its issue of September 28,
1922, says:

Annezatioa brought with it the abolitioQ of con-
tract labor but it has not mined Hawaii.



The Advertiser than says that public senti-
ment holds strong for the ^'introduction of a
strong immigrant American population as
the best and most profitable coiu'se to fol-
low." The Hawaiian sugar planters will
have to come forward with better argimients
than they have so far to convince Congress
that coolie debt labor is necessary for
Hawaii.

Sales Tax

It is doubtful if Senator Smoot and those
who are advocating the sales tax will press
this legislation in the short session. The
billionaire dinner which was to have been
given Senator Smoot because of his advocacy
of the sales tax created so much comment
that nothing has been heard of it since.
The abolishment of the excess profits taxes
and the reduction of the surtaxes did not
prove to be acceptable. Therefore, there are
only a few people on the hill who believe
that any further attempt will be made to
transfer taxation from the well-to-do to those
least able to bear it.

Navy Yard Employes

Earnest effort should be made to seciu-e
the passage of the Hull Bill (H. R. 10967).
which proposes to place all possible govern-
ment work in government establishments.
The discharge of additional employes in the
navy yards came as a blow to many Washing-
ton citizens.

Wm. C. Roberts,
Edward F. McGrady,
Edgar Wallace,
Legislative Representatives,
American Federation of Labor.



A state grows in power as its citizens become enlightened. — Starrs,



The law of nations is founded upon reason and justice, and the rules of conduct
governing individual relations between citizens or 'subjects [of a civilized state are
equally applicable as between enlightened nations. — Grover Cleveland.



All men are entitled to a hearing in the councils which decide upon the destiny of
themselves and their children. — Andrew Johnson.



God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and
defend it. — Daniel Webster.



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What Our Organizers Are Doing



FkOM IBS AttANTlC TO tHH PACmC



FROM NATIONAL AND
INTERNATIONAL OFHCERS



Bridge, Stractaral and Ornamental Iron Workers

Harry Janes.^We have 150 local unions with a
total membership of 15,492. Fourteen deaths have
cccurred in our ranks, for which we have expended
$4,800. We have 144 old-age and disability pen-
sioners, to whom we have given ben^ts to the
amount of $3,600. State cf emplo3mient is fair
and is improving.

Tederal Employes

Jos, McKeon, — ^We now h ve 259 local unions
with a total membership of 21,665, an increase
during th; moat of 402 members. A new local
union was organized in Memphis, Tennessee. The
state of empl yment is good and is improving.

Laundry Workers

H. L. Morrison, — ^We have seventy-six local
unions with a total membership of 5,500. State of
emplo3anent is fair and b improving. There is a
cooperative imion laundry in Minneapolis, Minne-
sota, and one is being established in Wheeling,
West Virginia. An organizing campaign is being
carried on in New York City by our local union there.

Marine Engineers

Geo. A. Grubb, — ^We have a total membership
of 13,687 in sixty-five local imions. Some sixty to
seventy ships were brought out to bring coal from
Great Britain, which is offset in a measure by
Standard Oil Company laying up thirty tankers.
We understand that other tankers have also been
laid up.

Print Cutters

R. Heinl. — ^We have five local unions with a total
membership of 364. Two deaths occurred, for which
was xpended $400. State of employment is fair.

Siderographers

John A. Frew, — ^We have three local unions
with a total membership of seventy-three. State of
employment is good.

Sleeping Car Conductors

W. 0. Murphy. — We have thirty-eight local unions
with a total membership of 2,600. Four deaths oc-
curred in our (M^anization, for which $4,000 was
spent. State of employment is fair. We are now in
conference with the management on a revision of
rules, in an attempt to better working conditions
for the men.



Uphelstenrs

Wm. Kohn, — ^We have now sixty-six local tmioos
with a total membership of 7,600, an increase during
the month of 560 members. A new local unioD
was formed in New York City. The state of em-
ployment is very go d. We are conducting an
organizing campiugn in Chicago.

Wood, Wire and Metal Lafhefs

/. B. Bowen. — ^We have 237 local imions with a
total membership of 8,000. A new local union was
organized at Olympia, Washington. Ten deaths
occurred in our raises, resulting in an expenditiire
of $1,450. State of employment is fair.



FROM DISTRICT, STATE AND LOCAL
ORGANIZERS



ARKANSAS

El Dorado.— 'W. T. Shennan:

The Mo. P. and R. I. railroads have lakl off
workers. They are trying to organize company
unions among their new men. Oil operators in this
district have hired about eighty sJdlled and 250
unskilled oil workers. Fourteen miles north d
El Dorado a new oil field has opened up. The
Central Labor Union introduced a res(^ution, urging
each delegate to assist the label committee in its
work. A culinary alliance has been organized at
Smackover, fourteen nules north of El Dorado, a
new town incorporated October 3. The El Dorado
City Council passed an ordinace that cooks, waiters,
bak.rs, and all others, handling food and drink
should go to the city health physician for ex^mina-
tion and a health certificate. The fee wa first
placed at $5, but was reduced to $1 thrajcgh the
efforts of a union man. Howev r, certificates are
acceptable only from the city health physician,
and a test case is going to be made to ascertain wliy a
certificate from any other reputable doctor is not
acceptable.

LiUle Rock,—h. W. Lowry:

Agitation for the use of union made goods is
carried on at all meetings and through our paper.
The West-Nelson Manufacturing Company, al-
though not emplejring union men, are using a labd
with the words "tmion label" on their overalls.
The raUroad workers lost only five men out of the
1,800 who have been on strike. The Missouri
Pacific railroad is organizing a c<Mnpany tmion,
and the Bell Telephone Company has one.

CAUFORNU

San Pedro.— 'John C. Blair:

Twenty union members of the crew f the
steamer, City of Hooohilu, who lost their clothes
at s^ when the ship took fire, are being rigged



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AMERICAN FEDERATIONIST



Ml



The Dollar



The daily actions of most of us
are influenced by the messages re-
ceived over the telephone, and yet
few of us stop to think of the men
and women, and the mechanisms,
which help to make that daily ser-
vice possible.

Maintenance, repairs, and the
work of handling calls, must con-
stantly be carried on in good times
or in bad, and they must be paid for,
in order that your telephone service
may be continued.

The average dollar will buy
to-day less than two-thirds of what



means that it costs, on the average,
half as much again to buy most of
the things that are necessary for
keeping the country going; but the
advance in telephone rates is far less
than this average.

In fact, gauged by the present
purchasing power of the dollar, tele-
phone service in the country as a
whole is costing the subscriber less
than it did in 1914.

The Bell System generally has
been able to meet higher commodity
prices and increased wages by means
of new economies in operation and
the increased efficiency of loyal
employees.




Jt would buy before the war. This

" Bell System *•

American Telephone and Telegraph Company

And Associated Companies

Onm Policy, Onm Symtmm, Univeratd Smroiem, and aU 4irmetmd toward Bmttmr Smroiem

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AMERICAN FEDERATIONIST



The Atlantic Refining Co

Petroleum Products



Made in America by American Labor
and known all over the world.




Philadelphia



Pittsburg



Brunswick




out in brand new outfits, as the result of financial
assistance rendered by the Sailors' Union and the
Marine Firemen, Oilers and Watertenders* Union
of the Pacific. Since the unions wera first organized
it has been customary to give help to all union
seafarers and many victims of ship wrecks in all
oceans have been helped from the fund provided
for such wrecks, llie harbor commission has
hired approximately 300 more employes. By
organization and constant agitation conditions
have been improved in water-front work. New work
in the il company has opened up. We are starting
a label league to promote the use of union made
goods.

Visalia.—T, D. Keese:

Some of the hod carriers, building and common
laborers have received an increase in wages of $1
per day. The fruit canneries have laid off some
workers. The prune packing house has hired fifty
additional employes. Two new school buildings
are under way. A new local union of hod carriers,
building and common laborers has been organized.
A new local union of carpenters also has b^en or-
ganized.

COLORADO

Denver. — Earl R. Hoage:

The steel workers at Pueblo have received an
increase of fifteen per cent during the past month.
Additional workers have been hired in the sugar
factories. New work in the metal mines has opened
up. The American Legion band has an agreement
with the musicians' tmion. We are boosting all
union labels, shop cards and buttons. The federal
injunction issued at Chicago in shopmen's strike is
not effective here. The citizens of Denver recently
voted $6,000,000 school bond issue, which will
give plenty of work to the building trades. We
are making an effort to put over our political
program, which will do away with the state rangers
and the involuntary servitude features of the
Colorado Industrial Law. Our Labor Day cele-
bration was a huge success.

FLORIDA

Jacksonville. — David Weinberg:
Some clothing stores here pay good wages, but
conditions are bad. A new Child's restaurant is



being erected. We are agitating to promote the
use of union made goods.

Tampa.— I,. B. Parrish:

Additional workers have been ^ ired in the
building trades and in the cigar industry. We are
continuously agitating to promote the use of union
made goods. We printed in one of the daily pi^iers
an advertisement, listing the forty firms who par-
ticipated in a campaign in the interest of union
label merchandise. A central labor union was
fonned in Lakeland.

IDAHO

Moscow. — ^Prank Stevens:

An $85,000 dormitory is being built at the
University of Idaho. We are demanding the union
label on all goods.

ILLINOIS

EdwardsvUle. — Ben Hensley:

No workers have been laid off. More carpenters
have been put to work. A new bank building b
under construction and a hard road is being laid.
There are about thirty members in our imion label
league and we expect an increase.
^Herrin. — ^Erby S. Mann:

At a mass meeting on October 1, of about 3,000
labor men and women, a resolution was adopted
for Attorney General Daughertir's impeachment.
The women's union label leagu was recently
organized and a campaign has been started to
educate the working cla^ to demand nothing
but imion made goods. With the resumption of
work at Mine B, employment is furnished for about
400 miners.

Pana — Chas. H. Pierson:

About twenty employes have been laid off in
the Pana green houses. A new local union ol
gardeners and florists has been organized, but wc
are having trouble with management.

Springfield. — ^R. E. Woodmansee:

Tlie Illinois Watch Company and the Sangamo
Meter Company have laid off employes. Large
street improvements are under way. Local unioiis
are functioning individually and are m a king
considerable progress in their respective crafts.
The union label b being agitated by all load
unions with splendid results. The printers, bakers.



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American pbderationist



953



tcBmsters, meat cutters, moving picture operators
and garment workers' labels are being more gen-
erally demanded than ever before. The local mer-



Online LibrarySamuel GompersThe American federationist → online text (page 110 of 112)