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About Will Maupin's weekly. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1911-1912 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 10, 1911)
IN THE FIELD OF LABOR
It is not at all surprising that the
finance, ways and means committee
of the house declined to recommend
the requests of the workers for better
recognition of the labor bureau. There
isn't a union v man in the hpuse, al
though there are enough union men in
Douglas and Lancaster counties to
elect fourteen representatives and
five senators. The workers asked
that the deputy labor commissioner
receive as much salary as the fish
and game commissioner. Refused.
They asked that provision be made!
for a couple of factory inspectors. I
Refused. But we have hog cholera in- j
spectors. and dairy inspectors, and '
cattle Inspectors galore. Thirty-five
thousand Nebraska men and women
working in factories and shops, many
of them equipped with dangerous ma
chinery, and our solons decline to ex
pend a few hundred dollars in seeing
to it that those workers are pro
tected. But, you bet, the hogs and
the cattle and the sheep are pn
tected. Thousands to prtoect the hogs
not a dollar to protect the life and
limb of Nebraska's rapidly growing
army of workers. Thousands for the
farmers' benefit; not a dollar for the
benefit of the industrial army whose
membership makes farming profit
able. And the workers have nobody
but themselves to blame. They'll
never get recognition until they com
pel it and they'll never compel it
by dividing along partisan lines.
That's all right Mr- Farmer; but
it's industrial suicide for Mr. Mechanic.
sure in behalf of the bills, something
tangible would show. The State
Federation of Labor is doing its best,
but it is hampered by the fact that
a number of unions refuse to affiliate,
offering the paltry excuse of expense.
Tfiis leaves the Federation's legisla
tive committee with no 'finances to
support an active campaign in behalf
of the measures so badly needed. But
the committee is doing the best It
can under the circumstances and
angels could no no more.
The labor bills are all prepared, and
by this time next week all of them
will have been introduced. One f
the most important is the one amend
ing the present law establishing the
labor bureau, and the influence of
every industrial worker should be
brought to bear to compel its pas
sage. It will make the labor bureau
of real service to the men and wo
men who vork for wages. As long as
present conditions exist the labor bu
reau is little more than a statistical
gathering machine for the benefit or
the agriculturists. The proposed law
puts some authority into the hands of
Deputy Commissioner Guye, and af
fords a measure of protection to the
The railroad brotherhoods have
shoved a couple of their bills thru
the senate, and have gratifying prom
ise of getting them through the house.
The "caboose bill," which will put
the dangerous and uncomfortable
four-wheeler and the dilapidated box
car caboose out of business, Is one
of the bills that went through, the
senate, after fierce opposition from
the representatives of the railroads.
The "sixteen-hour bill," which merely
repeats the provisions of the federal
law, with one or two improvements, Is
the other one. Routt and Omstead,
representing the Brotherhood of Rail
way Trainmen, are on the job all the
time, and they are getting results.
And they are able to be on the job
because their organization comes
across with the expense money. A
lot of trades unions that ought to be
affiliated with the State Federation of
Labor and. are not, should sit up and
One of the labor bills will make
embezzlement from a labor union or
fraternal society a felony. Under the
present statutes the treasurer of i
union or a fraternal society may rob
it blind, and the organization has no
recourse. The unions should have
the thorough co-operation of the fra
ternal societies in pushing this meas.
One cheering sign of awkward in
terest in the claims of the workers
is the readiness of members of the
legislature to stand sponsor for the
bills labor representatives have pre
pared. It was not always so. Now
there is little if any difficulty in
securing their introduction. If the
wage earners would only get together
like other interests, and provide
some way of exerting a steady pres-
There isn't a single reason In the
world why the factory inspection ani
safety appliance bills should not be
enacted into law without opposition.
But they will meet with opposition.
The one provides for factory inspec
tion that is worth while to the work
ers; the other compels all dangerous
and unhealthy machinery to be prop
erly guarded. We compel farmers
to kill their glandered horses in or
der to protect other horses, but to
date we have permitted sordid em
ployers to put the lives of their em
ployes in jeopardy by using machin
ery far more dangerous to humanity
than glanders is to horses.
The task of drafting an employers'
liability bill worth while is really
gigantic. Representative Evans of
Adams has drafted one that is far
and away ahead of any ever yet pro
posed in Nebraska, but even Mr.
Evans admits that it is suceptible to
improvement. He has asked the ad
vice and suggestions of men who are
most vitally interested in the mat
ter, and a lot of good work has been
put in. When the bill is finally pre
pared it will mean something.
Another important bill drafted by
the State Federation's legislative
committee is designed to put a stop
to grafting employment bureaus by
providing for state license and in
spection, the license and fines for vio
lations to go into a fund for the
maintenence of the state's free em
ployment bureau. It is high time to
put a stop to the robbery practiced by
shysters conducting fake employment
bureaus, and the enactment of this
bill will accomplish the purpose.
The World's Greatest Invention.
A party of men were discussing inventions. "I think
the steam engine is the greatest invention," said one. "I
think the dynamo is the greatest invention," said another.
So it went; one man suggesting one thing, another man an
other. Finally an Irishman closed the discussion by saying:
"Bedad, O'l t'ink th' greatest invention wus intrust."
Think that over! If Adam had invested a dollar at 5
per cent compound interest the day he and Eve left Eden,
there wouldn't be money enough in the world today to square
the account. Study it over, then decide to make interest
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Wageworkers ask your
Fraternal Insurance Order WHY
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How do you know they won't bust to-morrow?
W Demand the Label.
C. E. Campbell, state manager.
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