Thomas A. Smith.

Twelfth Annual Report of the Bureau of Statistics and Information of Maryland. 1903. Thomas A. Smith, Chief. (Volume 1904) online

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made only one or two trips a week. Now they come in the morning
and go out the same day, giving no time for the engineer to see his
family. Repairs must be finished in order to get the boat oflf on
railroad time. Several boats are fitted up with feathering wheels,
which require overhauling at the end of each route. This was
not known in former days. The engineer must buy his own
uniform, and it has come to the point that when the boat lies
up the engineer must act as watchman at $12 a week and go home for
meals. On excursion boats the engineer has only three months in the
year to run and he is then put ashore. The steamboat business has
financially increased to a great extent in the last twenty-five years.
The engineer ought to get decent wages when it is taken into considera-
tion that thousands of passengers are under his care. The tugboat
engineer's salary is not more than that of a laboring man, and he is
14, 16 and 18 hours on watch, working Sunday too. This is the condBh
tion of marine engineers of the port of Baltimore.

A meeting of the steamboat owners was held and the Steana
Vessel Owners' Association was organized.

Instead of ordering a strike, the Marine Engineers' Bene-


ficial Association No. 5 issued the following letter to their
members :

DfiAR Sir and Brother :

As members of No. S employed with the B., C. & A. Co. were the
first of all to demand a higher wage scale for the Marine Engineers
of Baltimore, agitating the cause, and steadily complaining; besides,
0n every meeting of No. 5, about the slow progress of the Association
concerning the demand of revising the existing wage scale. No. 5,
after due consideration, granted the wishes of the members employed
by the B., C. & A- Co., and other members afterward made *^he same
request, a new wage scale was formulated, and a copy of it mailed to
every member with the request to agree with it or reject it or design
«i improvement

Without exception all members employed by the B., C. & A. Co.
sent letters of approval ; some of them even demanded a raising of the
new wage scale.

After proper consideration, in conformity with wishes of the members,
the present wage scale was adopted by a majority of the Association,
to take effect on June 15, 1903. And a committee was appointed to
take charge of the affair so that the demand of the members be laid
before the shipowners in a proper and business-like manner, and acting
as arbitrators between the shipowners and the engineers.

Up to the present day most all of the members, under the guidance
of the committee, have their request granted in a satisfactory way, and
only the insubordinate in the B., C. & A. Co., who were the foremost
kickers against existing conditions, still remain under the old manage-
ment or wage scale, without showing any effort to put into effect their
promise to support the new wage scale. Even interfering with the
action of the committee to uphold the honor of the Association, and to
reach a speedy settlement with the B. C. & A. Co. Is this true?

Yea; and what is the reason that you demand from the Association
help and assistance to better your condition, and after the Association
complying with your request willingly, you refuse to give your em-
ployers due notice of your demand, leaving him or them under the im-
pression, and giving them a chance to state before the public that you
were pleased with present conditions and entirely satisfied with your
present wages. Is this right?

Such action is inimical to the Association, that of a coward who
throws stones from behind a scaled fence, and casts a very bad reflec-
tion upon the honest principles and good work of our Association,
when you, a member of it, pledging yourself with a solemn obligation
to uphold it with all the power vested in you.

As your committee has tried in vain to persuade you to fulfill your
promise, and as in not doing so the high standing of No. 5 and of all
flie faithful members would be brought into contempt or lowered, there-

54 REPORT OF the; bureau of

fore, we, the committee in charge, for reason to uphold the dignity
of No. 5, hereby most earnestly, urgently request you to act as a man,
citizen and brother of honor, to fulfill your solemn promise and make
the demand for the rate of monthly pay set by the new wage scale,
adopted by your sanction, and adopted by the Association, to comply
with your wishes.. Should you refuse to obey this justified request, and
you hold your position under the old established wage scale after
August I, 1903, No. 5 will be compelled and fully justified by the cir-
cumstances to consider you a coward and a traitor to the principles of
the organization, and action will be taken accordingly.

Hoping that you will show manhood enough to uphold (instead of
destroying) the dignity of No. 5 and of the National Association, and
appreciate as men the beneficial endeavors we have made for you, we,
your committee, expect that in future, like in former times, you will
show yourselves worthy a member of the noble order of the M. E. B. A.

The following was the rate of wages asked for in a circular
sent out by the association to the steamboat owners :

Passenger Steamers to York River and below York River — Chief
engineer, $115; first assistant engineer, $85; second assistant engineer,

All Passenger Steamers Running above York River — Chief engineer,
$100; assistant engineer, $75.

Ferryboat, $60.

Ocean Tugs of the First Class — Chief engineer, $120; assistant en-
gineer, $75.

Ocean Tugs of the Second Class — Chief engineer, $105 ; assistant en-
gineer, $65.

All Tugs Towing on the Chesapeake — Chief engineer, $75 ; assistant
engineer, $50.

Harbor Tugs, $2.50 a day.

Ten hours to constitute a working day, with overtime 25 cents an

Engineers on All Pleasure Vessels — Salary increased 20 per cent.

Subsequently, in September, after continued meetings and
requests, the following increases in wages were granted by
the various companies and individuals as reported to the
engineers' association:

We, your committee, appointed on the wage scale, beg to
make this our report of the increase of the wages of the
engineers of the port of Baltimore, and respectfully submit

Weems Line, average increase 34 per cent

Chester River Line, average increase 20 per cent

Tolchester Steamboat Company, Chief Engineer 20 per cent.


Totcliester Steamboat Company, Second Engineer 50 per cent

B., C. & A. Steamboat Company, Cbief Engineer Il^ per cent

B., C. & A. Steamboat Company, Second Engineer 27 1-3 per cent

Bay Line, First Assistants 6J4 pc cent

Bay Line, Second Assistants 20 per cent

York River Line, Chief Engineers 10 per cent

York River Line, Second Engineers ^V2 per cent

York River Line, to Norfolk No increase.

Rock Creek Ferry Boats, from $14 per week to $17.50.

HarI)or Tugs 25 per cent

Dougherty's Tugs, Chief Engineers 16 2-3 per cent

Dougherty's Tugs, Second Engineers 282-3 per cent

American Towing Company's Tugs, Chief Engineers 162-3 per cent.

American Towing Company's Tugs, Second Engineers. .282-3 per cent

While this scale did not include increases for all the mem-
bers of the association, yet there were enough of them to
warrant the belief that the Marine Engineers' Association
would eventually win.


A most remarkable occurrence was the voluntary accept-
ance of a reduction of wages by 1,300 boilermakers and iron
shipbuilders on August 21 last. The boilermakers and iron
shipbuilders, at the solicitation of their employers, discussed
the case and consented to an arrangement for one year, which
involved a reduction of their wages, including the cost of
overtime. The employers on their part agreed to employ
none but union men for the year and agreed to pay the follow-
ing rates of wages for nine hours' work :

First-class workmen and flange turners, $2.50; second-class
workmen, $2.25 ; holders on, $1.75 ; helpers, $1.50.

The following firms signed the agreement with the Brother-
hood, which has five local unions in Baltimore: The E.
J. Codd Company, the Baltimore Shipbuilding and Drydock
Company, the James Clark Company, the Thomas C. Basshor
Company, the William G. Fitzgerald Marine Engine Com-
pany, the Mclntyre Co. & Henderson, the Spedden Shipbuild-
ing Company, John B. Fluskey, Cathell Brothers, Triplett
& Jennings, James Woodall.


The bricklayers of Baltimore, early in the year, made a
demand on their employers for $4.00 a day and eight hours,
and on March 10 it was announced in the Federation of
Labor that the employers had granted the demand. This was
heralded with very much satisfaction, as many believed it
was a forerunner of a general increase in the building trades.


About seventy-five boys, ranging in age from twelve to six-
teen years, employed in the stamping rooms of the Crown
Cork and Seal Company's works went on strike July 6.
The cause of the strike was the demanding of a nine-hour
work-day instead of ten hours and for a half holiday on
Saturday. There was no organization of the boys and they
attempted to get the girls in the establishment to go on strike
with th6m, but they failed in this. The firm reports that
several mothers of the boys interfered in a forcible manner,
and in a day or so many of them returned to work. No losses
were reported.


The laborers connected with Union No. 10597, Laborers'
Protective Union and Cellar Diggers and Shovellers' Union
No>. 10934, in the latter part of May sent a notice to the
builders and contractors of Baltimore requesting a nine-hour
work-day for five days of each week and an eight-hour day
on Saturday and a minimum wage of $1.50. The unions had a
joint membership of about 900, and comprised nearly all of the
skilled buildiiig laborers in the city. While there was no general
strike, some of them received the advances, but the majority
of the builders and contractors refused to grant the demands,
and the men continued at work. The laborers who were
employed at Kernan's new theatre were also refused the
advance and their places were taken by some white men —
those on strike being negroes.



The members of the Atlantic Coast Marine Firemen's Union
early in June made a demand on the various steamboat owners
for an increase of wages, and presented a scale calling for
$45 a month for oilers and water tenders and $40 a month for
firemen on steamships; on ocean tugs $45 for oilers, $40 for
firemen, and $35 for coal passers ; on bay tugs $35 per month,
and $10 a week of 60 hours on harbor tugs.

There was no strike of the men, but some of the companies
agreed to increase the wages as requested. These firms
included the Di Giorgi Importing and Steamship Company and
the Consolidated Coal Company and the Merchants and Miners'

The bricklayers and plasterers employed on the State House
at Annapolis had a misunderstanding and stopped work for
several days commencing October 28. The trouble was brought
on by the employment by the contractors of seven plasterers,
members of the Operative Plasterers' International Association.
These men refused to join the local union.


The employees of the Cumberland Basin Coal Company,
in August last, demanded of the company that they be paid
every two weeks instead of every three weeks. The men quit
work for a few days (65 in number), and subsequently the
company posted a notice to the effect that the men would
be paid off regularly on the 5th and 25th of the month, and the
men returned to work.

The miners of the Castlemann Enterprise and Allegany
Mines of the Somerset Coal Company, and of the Garrett
and South Side Coal Companies of Garrett county, quit work
in April last over the differential between "heading" and
"room mining" pay.

The miners of the Merchants' Mine No. 3 and of the Con-
tinental Coal Company also struck in April. These strikes
were unauthorized by the organization and were subsequently


settled by the vice-president of the national union. The various
companies agreeing to pay 37 cents for loading after machines
and 41 cents for narrow work, this being the price paid in other
districts, and all the men returned to work.


Early in September representatives of all the employees on
the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad organized in the various rail-
road organizations sent a committee to Baltimore for a confer-
ence with the managers of the road and for the purpose of
presenting their grievances. They presented their grievances,
which were numerous, and the conference continued for several
arbitration committee. This question was the reinstatement
weeks, finally resulting in a complete adjustment of all the
questions in dispute, except one, which was referred to an
of two discharged men and the same was finally settled in
favor of the company by the arbitration committee.

It is reported that the men gained substantial increases in
wages and the adjustment of many minor differences, which
will remove considerable friction in the future.


On November 5 the general committee of the Baltimore
branch of the Order of Railroad Telegraphers met at the
Howard House, in Baltimore, and formulated a request to
be made to the Baltimore & Ohio managers for an increase
of wages and shorter hours at certain block stations along
the system. It subsequently developed that there was no order
for a strike or for forcing the demand other than the attempt
to secure the results at the annual conference with the em-
ployers to be held later on.

Early in January the coal miners of the George's Creek
region were advised, through their foreman, that their wages
would be increased April i to 65 cents per ton. The news made
the men in the region feel very happy, but the operators still
refused to meet the miners in joint convention as they had
heretofore done, since then there has been a decrease of ten
per cent, in certain sections of the region.



The general conditions of employment and business have
been better during the past year than was at one time antici-
pated, but even at that there has been a great falling off in
the manufacturing and building world in production. Of
course, various causes are assigned for this decrease in business.
The newspapers in many instances have declared that labor
organizations have, by arbitrary action, forced many contracts
for buildings to be held up. Others have declared that the lull
is due to a natural reaction, and others still, to the wild stampede
to organization of capital and the over-capitalization of enter-
prises consolidated and watered beyond their earning capacity.
Whatever it may have been, it is now being felt by the
workers in all branches of toil, as well as by capitalists and cap-
tains of industry of high and low degree.

One of the natural results of the flush times of the past two
or three years has been the rapid growth of labor organiza-
tions throughout the country. In this Maryland has shared
fully, and today organized labor in Maryland is stronger
numerically than at any time since 1886. That it is not as
strong in some other ways is due to causes that it is not neces-
sary for us to discuss here; but it may not be amiss to sound
a note of warning to the labor organizations of this city and
State, who are honestly striving to uplift the masses generally
and their own members particularly. The people of this State
are conservative and patriotic. Though we have less mil-
lionaires than other States of like size, we have that which
those States lack, viz : An intense love of home life, fair play
between man and master, and a patriotic confidence in the
righting of every wrong by the peaceful means of argument
and the law. There is and there always has been a greater
degree of friendliness between the employer and employee
in this State than in many others, and if our labor organiza-
tions desire to benefit by that feeling and to progress, they must


conserve it by wise deliberation, educational methods, earnest
sympathy with the employers' struggles, and honest leaders.

The labor movement generally is based on sentiment. A
sentiment that makes for the good of the whole. The demands
for higher wages, shorter day's work, better sanitary conditions,
etc., have their root in the hope that the rising generation may
not have such hard struggles as their fathers and mothers;
the hope to leave the world a little better for having lived, and
the present wish to share a little in these benefits before we

Marylanders will not tolerate labor fakirs nor the policy of
killing the goose that lays the golden egg. Our manufacturing
enterprises and our building improvements are just beginning
to rear their heads. The slow growth of Baltimore is not
altogether due to lack of enterprise or wealth. It is mostly
due to the feeling that a moderate competence, without rush
and struggle, is better and healthier and more conducive to
happiness than the fever to acquire vast wealth and vast re-
sponsibilities. Living is so much easier and cheaper in this
city and State than in others that we do not secure as high com-
pensation for labor done as is paid in New York, Philadelphia,
Boston or Chicago. These facts should be kept closely in
mind by our labor leaders and the organizations they represent
when making their demands. That there are many industries
that are underpaid in Maryland as compared with other States
there can be no doubt. But be careful in making your demands
that you arouse not the spirit of antagonism in the general public,
rather than secure their sympathy and help. The concentrated
sympathy of the public will win as many, strikes as complete
organization and a full treasury, but when backed up by all
three and led by honest men the march will be upward and



The central body of organized labor in Maryland is the local
Federation of Labor, which meets in Baltimore every Wednes-
day night, and is made up of five representatives from the
various local unions in the State, more particularly those in the
city. This central body is directly affiliated with the American


Federation of Labor, and no local union that is not affiliated
with an international or national organization that is not con-
nected with the American Federation of Labor can be repre-
sented in the local Federation of Labor, therefore, it will be
understood that the Baltimore Federation of Labor, as a local
body, only has jurisdiction over those organizations which are
already affiliated with the American Federation of Labor,
except where there are isolated local unions of unskilled labor.

During the year the Baltimore Federation of Labor has had
considerable trouble, occasioned in some instances by dual
organizations, such as the Bricklayers' Unions Nos. i and 2,
or the clash between the Carpenters' and Woodworkers'
organizations. However, these troubles have been to a large
extent adjusted, and at present time the Federation seems
to be on a better footing than for some time past, though the
carpenters' organizations are not represented in that body at
present. The Metal Workers have returned to the Federation
of Labor during the year, but the Bricklayers subsequently
withdrew, the latter being caused by the organization of a
building trades' section, which sought to bring about the adop-
tion of a uniform card system.

During the past year the Stone Pavers of Baltimore city,
who were at one time organized into two bodies, one local union
under the Federation and one under the Knights of Labor,
amalgamated and now all belong to the Federation of Labor.
This amalgamation brought about a better condition of affairs
in the City Departments, where these men were largely em-
ployed in paving and repaving the city.

During the year a suit was instituted for the appointment
of a receiver for Local Union No. 6 of the Amalgamated
Woodworkers' Union. Disagreement among the members
was the cause.

A number of new unions were organized during the year,
including the Waiters and Cooks, Hack Drivers and Barbers.

The barbers organized during the year with the express
purpose of securing legislation similar to the rules given out
by the Board of Health in New York, and it was understood
that they would present such a bill to the present Legislature,
said bill to include such rules and regulations as follow :


'• (i.) Barbers must wash their hands thoroughly with soap
and hot water before attending any person.

(2.) No alum or other astringent shall be used in stick form.
If used at all to stop the flow of blood, it must be applied
in powder form.

(3.) The use of powder puffs is prohibited.

(4.) No towel shall be used for more than one person with-
out being washed.

(5.) The use of sponges is prohibited.

(6.) Mugs and shaving brushes shall be thoroughly washed
after use on each person.

(7.) Combs, razors, clippers and scissors shall be thoroughly
cleaned by dipping in boiling water or other germicide after
every separate use thereof.

(8.) No barber, unless he is a licensed physician, shall pre-
scribe for 'any skin disease.

(9.) Floors must be swept or mopped every day, and all
furniture and woodwork kept free from dust.

(10.) Hot and cold water must be provided.

(11.) A copy of these resolutions is to be hung in a con-
spicuous place in each shop.

Numerous minor difficulties occurred during the year, which
were satisfactorily settled one way or the other, and which are
hardly worth while enumerating in this report. These diffi-
culties include the efforts of the Brewery Workers to install
exclusively union labor in the various beer bottling establish-

One of the pleasant things to record which occurred during
the past year was the increase of wages of the miners of West-
ern Maryland, known as the Georges' Creek region, b}^ the
Consolidation Coal Co., the Black-Sheridan-Wilson Co., and
other companies. The increase was from ten to eighteen per
cent., although during the latter part of the year work in the
mines of that region slacked up to some extent, owing to
the falling off in the demand for coal, and in the Meyersdale
region wages were reduced and the men in Maryland did not
make full time.

The Bureau attempted one year ago to make up a directory
of the labor organizations of the State, with data attached to


the list, which would be of value to the employers as well
as the general public in fixing the status of labor organiza-
tions, and the rates of wages earned by the various mechanics
and work people attached to these unions. This year we have
continued this effort and present in the table that follows,
the most complete list of existing unions in the State of Mary-
land ever heretofore published, and trust that our continuous
efforts in this direction may prove of value to the membership
of unions as well as the employers and the public at large.

In the table that follows we give the names, addresses and
data for 117 organizations in the State of Maryland. Of
these the oldest is the Baltimore Typographical Union No. 12,
organized in the year 1831. Of the 117 unions enumerated,
thirty-one are located in the counties, mostly Western Mary-

The total membership of these 117 unions, as shown by the
reports, is 22,343 in good standing at the time the various
reports were made. The table shows that the membership of
thirty-eight unions work ten hours per day or over ; of thirty-
three unions work nine hours a day or over and less than
ten, and of thirty unions work eight hours per day or over and
less than nine.

The table also shows that sixty-eight unions received an
increase of wages during the years 1902 and 1903, and that the
membership of only six unions had their wages decreased in
that time. The me—ibers of forty-four unions received a de-
crease in the number of working hours in the years 1902 or
1903 of from one-half to one hour.

Of these 117 unions, thirty-four organized in 1902 and nine-

Online LibraryThomas A. SmithTwelfth Annual Report of the Bureau of Statistics and Information of Maryland. 1903. Thomas A. Smith, Chief. (Volume 1904) → online text (page 5 of 30)