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About The Wageworker. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-???? | View Entire Issue (March 3, 1905)
W AO E WORKER
A Newspaper with a Mission and without a Muzzle that is published in the Interest of Wageworkers Everywhere.
VOL. 1 .LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, MA ECH -31903 NO. 47
Gokg to Bti!d
A Labor Temple
The Central Labor Union met in regular session Tuesday night
anil occupied considerable time in transacting a small amount of
business. The chief thing done was to appoint a committee to de
vise ways and means for the erection of a Labor Temple in this city,
and the committee is made up of Isaac DeLong, M. T. Castor and
Robert Strain. This committee is going to see what can be done in
the way of rajing money to erect a building for the use and benefit
of the labor unions of the city.
A label committee consisting of Gus Swanson, Walter Swanson
and J. W". Evans was elected. This committee's duty is to spy out
label goods and report, and to use its best efforts to have dealers re
place non-union goods with goods of a similar nature that do bear
the union label.
The organization committee was instructed to go after two or
three of the smaller unions and endeavor to persuade them that they
ought to be represented in the central body.
An amendment to the constitution providing for a better way of
providing revenue was offered and under the rules went over for
The" delegates from the Teamsters' union made explanation of the
trouble with Mr. Gregory and also told of their plans. The explana
tion was very satisfactory to the assembled delegates and the Team
sters had no difficulty in seeing that they have the support of the
unionists of the city. The Teamsters also reported the following
employers of teamsters who were "fair," employing only union team
sters in their work. ,
THE ADAM SCHAUPP COAL CO.
THE F. W. BROWN LUMBER CO.
WHITEBREAST COAL CO.
HUTCHINS & HYATT.
LANDY CLARK. AGENT.
UNION FUEL CO.
BADGER LUMBER CO.
SEARLES & CHAPIN.
The following firms are classed under the "open shop" list, em
ploying both union and non-union teamsters: Dierks Lumber Co.,
John Oberlies & Son. Rock Island Coal Co.
The attention of all union men and women, and sympathizers
with unionism, is called to the above list of "fair" employers. When
union labor begins standing unanimously by its avowed friends, it
-will be better for unionism.
Hereafter the Central Labor Union will bar out smoking during
the time it is in session. The adoption of this rule was not brought
about without some warm discussion, but it finally carried after it
had once been defeated and then reconsidered. The new rule was
made out of deference to two or three delegates who are seriously
affected by tobacco smoke.
The reports of the various unions under "state of trade" were
umisis.iUv intoM-stinir. Most of the' trades reported "fine," and the
rest of them reported from "fair" to "good."
the label league.
AUtA A AUfcA AfAA A A A A A Jfc dHHHHk
The Woman's Union Label League
is going to get busy. Lincoln union
labor should be prepared at any time
now to hear an alarm at the outer
portal3 announcing a visit from a com
mittee of earnest union women who
are out looking up ways and means
to advance the cause of unionism. This
was decided on at the meeting of the
League Monday night, and the commit
tee will be appointed before the next
meeting. It will be the duty of this
committee to visit the different labor
organizations and urge ' upon their
having their wives become members of
members the wisdom and necessity of
the League and advance the cause of
unionism. M. E. McKnight, business
agent of the Teamsters' Union, said
that if he could be assured that every
union man's wife was a member of the
League he would not be fearful of re
sults that' the unions could have any
thing within reason that they asked
for. He recited some experiences he
has had during the last few weeks and
demonstrated that the women were
able to do more practical work for
unionism than most of the union men
Two new members were taken into
the League and several short addresses
were made. The organization is in
good shape financially, but is still suf
fering from a lack of interest on the
part of those who should be mrat in
terested. The League will meet again
on March 13, at which time prepara
tions will be made for a social ses
sion calculated to arouse interest in
the work of the organization.
UP NEXT WEEK.
The label ordinance did not come up at the council meeting last
Monday night, for the reason that the council met and immediately
adiourned in order to participate in the citizens' mass meeting at the
Lincoln hotel. The mass meeting was for the purpose of considering
the Lincoln charter bills now before the legislature.
P.v failine to hold a meeting the council missed seeing a fine
crowd' of union men interested in the adoption of the ordinance re-
miirinf the union label on all citv printing.
Union men of all trades have taken a deep interest in this bill.
and the councilmcn are begining to understand that the unionists of
the city arc in earnest. No open opposition to the proposed meas
ure has developed, but it is known that some influences are working
under cover to defeat it. The first attempt will be to smother the
measure in a committee, but the friends of the proposed ordinance
have made careful provision for all that sort of thing. It is be
lieved that the ordinance will be reported next Monday night, and
all union men interested and all union men should be arc earn
estly requested to be on hand.
ALLIED TRADES BALL.
A Social Success That Also Helped Out
The Treasury a Little.
The Allied Printing Trades ball the
first in the history of the council held
on February 24, was one of the most
successful social functions ever given
by craftsmen in Lincoln. Financially
it was not the success hoped for, but
there will be a neat sum to put into
the treasury of the council. About
sixty couples enjoyed the evening, and
the use of the word "enjoyment" is
warranted by the facts. The ball room
was decorated with the banners of the
Allied Printing Trades Council and
potted plants, and Quick's orchestra
provided the music. The grand march
was led by Mr. and Mr3. Will Bustard
and was participated in by forty-three
couples. The program consisted of
fourteen numbers, with several extras
thrown in for good measure, and each
regular number was named after some
trade, personage or "shop talk." De
parting' from the usual custom the
printers, tried to see how severely plain
the dance programs courl be mace,
and the.relult was a program that was
as neat aslBuy ever seen. The refresh
ments ee served under direction of
a roiaiaiKfe from Capital Auxiliary
Several members of the legislature
were present with tlieir ladies and at
the close of the ball expressed the
opinion that thfey had never enjoyed
a more pleasant evening. The mem
bers were present as the inv'ted guests
of the allied trades.
All in all the first annual ball of the
Allied Printing Trades was an event to
he Ions remembered by those who
were fortunate enough or enterpris
ing enough to' be present.
it CAPITAL AUXILIARY.
Mrs. Marshall, who has been ill for
some time, is reported much better.
Mrs. Brown is on the sick list. Siie
was to hae entertained the Auxiliary
this week, but owing to her illness the
meeting was held at the home of Mrs.
Next Monday , night Capital Auxil
iary will resume its monthly socials
for the printers and their wives. The
first social of the season will be in the
form of a colonial party, and as many
as can are requested to appear in
LABORING MEN'S CLUB.
The Laboring Men's Political club
seems to have gone out of business
since the recent republican primaries.
The club endorsed a long list of re
publican candidates, but lost out. on
every one against whom any contest
was waged. Since then the club has
been inactive. It has been reported
that the club might meet and endorse
a candidate in opposition to Mr. Hut
ton, but the report is denied by mem
bers of the club. Street Commissioner
Anderson, who was an active member,
says: "I believe the club has held it3
The bill giving women the right to
vote for presidential electors was killed
by the house by a vote of 60 to 29.
When' a warm day comes along the
thermometer alwaj'3 rises to the occasion.
The Pittsburg, Pa., builders' ex
change league gained another point a
few days ago in its fight against or
ganized labor when the electrical work
ers, who have been on a strike since
January 1, signed the scale. This
makes six trades that have signed.
The master builders have decided to
ignore the union as a body and intend
that every man before being employed
shall sign the agreement which con
tains the uniform working rules of the
league as modified to suit the trades
that have signed up. This means open
shop in the full acceptance of the
Tell Witt the Wofkingman !
The Lee Broom and Duster company got in its work on the bill
to brand all convict made goods. And the Lee Broom and Duster
company did not nave to give a banquet, either.
The bill has been indefinitely postponed. It onlv had the back
ing of poor workingmen. Tell with the workingman! What right
has he to butt in and ask for something when the legislature is busy
trying to give the railroads and other corporations all they want?
When wiu laboring men learn to keep their peace? Who are
they that they should ask for anything calculated to keep them? Let
them keep their mouths shut and hot have the impertinence to ask
for anything until the corporations get all they want When that
time comes the workingmen will realize the folly of asking for any
T'ell with the workingman !
TAILORS OUT OF POLITICS.
The Journeymen Tailors of America
have sidestepped the effort to commit
their organization to the political views
of the socialist democratic party. An
effort to secure an endorsement of the
party failed at the Bloomington' con
vention. An effort will be made to
amalgamate the tailors and the gar
ment cutters and the tailors appointed
a committee to meet witn a similar
committee from the garment workers.
Buffalo was selected as the next place
STREET RAILWAY STRIKE.
A strike of the employes of the
Houghton County Street Railway com
pany. Calumet, Mich., was inaugurated
on February 25. Seventy-five employes.
including motormen, conductors and
switchmen, refused to go to work until
the company removed new men re
cently employed. A week ago'the em
ployes organized a union, and claim
that since then the company has been
importing non-union men.
NOTICE TO MILL MEN.
There will be a special meeting of
the mill men (U. B. C. & J.) at Car
penters' hall, 130 South Eleventh street.
Monday evening, March 6. All mill
men in the city, union and non-union,
They Killed the Label Bill
Senate File No. 202, the Allied Printing Trades bill, introduced
by Senator Epperson at the request of the allied printing trades, is
dead. On recommendation of the senate committee on public print
ing tne bill was. indefinitely postponed on reberuary 28. The men
who compose the committee on public printing in the senate deserve
to be well remembered by union labor and its friends throughout
the state. The gentlemen in question had a perfect right to recom
mend the bill ior indefinite postponement, but common courtesy de
manded that the committee give the friends of the bill an opportun
ity to explain its merits. The committee is made up as follows:'
M. H. WHALEY, Eighteenth district, Clarks, Chairman.
ELLIS T. GOOD, Second district, Peru.
AARON WALL, Sixteenth district, Loup City.
MARTIN W. DIMERY, Nineteenth district, Beaver Crossing.
CHAKJJSS y. BKEESE, Fourteenth district, Rushville.
These gentlemen are all republicans. All senate committees are
unanimously republican because there are no democrats or popu
lists in that branch of the legislature. Not one of the members of
this committee is a printer, or in anv wise connected with the public
printing business. The committee gave the bill little or no consid
eration, and gave its supporters no opportunity to argue in its favor.
Several gentlemen interested in the defeat of such a measure were
however, very busy around the state house, and being expert lobby
ists undoubtedly exercised an influence against the bill. Tom Ben
ton, whose skill as a lobbyist and whose reputation as an employer
oi non-union printers are well known, was very much interested in
the defeat of the bill. The men who advocated it had no railroad or
Pullman passes to give out.
This bill would have worked no injustice, but on the contrary
would have benefitted labor and protected the state against cheap
and interior work such as it has been getting for the past two years
It was fair in its provisions and in the best itnerests of the public
The Wageworker regrets that the mode of procedure in the leg
islature prevented a record vote for and against the postponement of
the bill. The "committee of the whole" gag is very convenient for
the eminent gentlemen who want to evade rcsponsibilit3r. Under it
they escape going on record with their votes, and thus can help spe
cial interests defeat much legislation in the interests of the people
without incurring any responsibility. '
The Wageworker urges union labor to at least remember the
names of the eminent lawmakers who make up the senate committee
on public printing and who recommended the allied printing trades
bill for indefinite postponement. At least one of that committee has
a great yearning to secure some higher political office than that of
a state senator.
How Lee's Contract
If the Lee Broom and Duster company has given any legislative
banquets this session the fact has been kept very quiet.. But judging
by the activity of union men who are making an effort to secure a
law compelling the branding of all convict made goods,, the Lee
Broom and Duster company is about due to spread a feast.
, Last Monday representatives of the Omaha and Lincoln Central
Labor Unions made appearance before the house iudiciarv committee
and argued in favor of the convict brand bill, showing why they
i i . i i -I, . , . , . . . .
wanted tne Din enacted into law and answering some searching
questions put by members of the committee. The committee treated
the representatives of the central bodies with every courtesy.
Just now the Lee Broom and Duster company is using a con
siderable amount of printer's ink in the shape of "communications"
to the daily press. The broom outfit is opposing: the establishment
of a twine plant at the state prison, and is also opposing any and all
things that may tend to weaken its graft at that institution. In last
Monday's State Journal Representative Ernst had a communication
that makes a startling showing of the Lee Broom and Duster com
pany's methods of conducting its business With the .state. The C6m
munication is long, but it is well worth careful reading and study.
The communication follows:
"To the Editor of the State Journal : I have been furnished a
copy of the penitentiary labor contract which I presume is the one
under which the Lee company is now acting. It is dated April 1,
1902, and expires April 1, 1905. The bond for the contract is, how
ever, dated April 1G, 1903, as I learn by consulting the one on file in
the othce of the secretary of state. ,
lhe contract is worse for the state than I thought. In fact, it
is all one-sided. It was first drawn up to reduce the pay to forty-five
cents a day, and later, when Gov. Savage refused to sign it, the price
was raised to titty cents. Ihen they fixed a system of tasks, to
make a day's work, so that in reality the men are at the option of the
company worked at 'piece work.' Some of them can do the 'tasks
and get a little extra. More of them are unable to do the tasks and
get less pay. According to State Treasurer Mortensen, whose word
will be taken by everyone without question, the men are paid on an
average much less than fifty cents per day, and in that case the bond
is not lived up to. .
"The contract is made up in numbered sections, and in brief here
is what it says. Everyone can judge how much free labor the broom
company gets :
"1. Lee is to have not less than 100 men.
..2. If Lee needs more he is to have up to 250 men, at his option,--
'in preference to any other employment,' except such as are used in
'3. V hetner or not Lee shall be working convicts in excess of
this contract or not, no convict once assigned' shall be taken and 'as
signed to other work without Lee's consent.
"4. Sick prisoners to be returned to Lee when fit for duty.
''5. Lee to have 'exclusive control of convicts assigned by this
contract, subject to the rules, etc. (Whether the whole 250 are
working or not. This is to prevent any other company getting men1.)
"6. This section fixes the hours of labor at 8, 9 and 10 hours per
dav, with a clause about 'tasks,' which fixes it so that at the, option
of the contractor a man unable to perform a certain task has not
worked a whole day. 1 ;.'
"7. Lee to select additional convicts to take the place"xf men
who may die or be pardoned.
"8. Men to work every day except Sunday and legal holidays. '
'"9. Lee to have exclusive right to maintain a broom factory
'with said labor.' (Tie up 250 men whether used or not.)
"10. State to furnish free building and rooms; (heated), power,
live steam to dry brooms, and heat for office and bleach rooms.
"11. Lee to furnish foreman, and state to guarantee the work of
the convicts, and in case of slighting or .poor work, Lee not to pay
for the labor.
"12. Lee to pick out good men to take place of those unable to
learn broom trade satisfactorily.
"13. In case of sickness, or in case convicts are 'unable to com
plete their daily tasks,' then Lee is to pa3 .'only that portion of the
taSk or day's work performed .by said convict or day's work per
formed by said convict on that day.' (This is where they dodge the
fifty cents a day contract.)
"14. State to furnish guards and keepers, 'for the supervision of
the convicts employed under this contract free.'
"15. State to furnish free a runner for each shop, to do errands,
carry wash water, clean up shops daily, and other jobs that the
guards may direct, 'and should said state runner have any surplus
time he shall perform similar duties for Lee.' (So the state throws
in free building, free steam, free heat, free guards and free janitor
"16. Lee to pay fifty cents per day for the convicts actually em
ployed in making brooms.
"17. Lee to pay the state $2.50 per car for loading, unloading
and switching all cars of broom corn, brooms and broom handles,
which price includes the 'bringing in of broom corn from ware
houses as needed.' (Here is some more free work. The state pays
for the switching, and then unloads free, and then handles the stuff
again, as needed all free. How many free men does this take?)
"18. Payments on the contract to be made on the tenth of each
"19. Here the 'tasks' that constitute a day's work are set forth,
so that by any clever manipulation the contract for, fifty cents a day
may be avoided at the will of the contractor. '
"20. New tasks to be fixed in proportion to those already named
in case of changes or new machinery.
"21. In case of fire the contractor is to have reasonable time to
put in new machinery. ,
1 "22. In case United States or Nebraska pass laws to brand
prison-made goods, then Lee is 'not to be holden to pay within men
tioned price,' and may at his option cancel the contract.
"23. Contract to terminate April 1,-1-905.
"The contract is signed by Ezra P. Savage, George W. Marsh,
William Steufer, George D. Follmer, F. N. Prout, Warden Davis,
and Clinton R. Lee. As before stated, it is dated a year before the
$2,000 bond, which is on file at the office of the secretary of state.
"Anyone can see that under such a contract the state is at the
mercy of the contractor. He only needs to use 100 men, but nobody
else can use the others. He is furnished Tree' about as much as he
pays for. And he can at the 'task' work fix the price of the labor to
suit himself. I think this investigation will be valuable to the state,
and ought to be carried further. I do not wonder that money is being
paid out by the contractor to keep the legislature from putting some
thing else in the institution to employ the convicts.
v "WILLIAM ERNST."
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