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About The Wageworker. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-???? | View Entire Issue (May 12, 1905)
I The Wag eworker I
THE WAG EWORKER
A Newspaper with a Mission and without a Muzzle that is published in the Interest of Wageworkers Everywhere.
INCOLN, NEBRASKA, MAY 12, 1905
(i ijt itt itt ifc )tr y i(t
Central Labor Union
An attendance above the average, an interest that was intense,
an .-xpressed determination to stand solidly together and present a
united front, an address from a minister of the gospel whose union
ism leads him to speak without fear or favor this in brief is the re
port of the Central Labor Union meeting Tuesday, night.
For the first time in the history of the local body the delibera
tions were opened with prayer. Rev. Mr. Batten, appearing with
credentials from the Ministers' Association as a fraternal delegate,
was asked to invoke the Divine blessing, and did so while the mem
bers reverently stood.
The routine business of the meeting was quickly disposed of.
The reports of trades was gratifying, ranging from "fair" to "ex
cellent." M. E. McKnight from the Teamsters reported that his union
had been unable to reach an agreement with the employers, and pre
sented a resolution from the local asking for the services of an arbi
tration committee from the central body. Briefly stated the conten
tion is this:
A year ago the Teamsters and the employers were unable to
get together for quite a while but finally met and arbitrated their
differences, the result being a contract that was in effect one year,
ending with the first day of the present month. Shortly before the
expiration of the agreement the Teamsters presented their new wage
schedule and asked for a conference with the employers.. The em
ployers let the matter run along until after the expiration of the
1904 agreement, and then presented a schedule of their own making,
saying that it was what they would pay. The Teamsters immediately
asked for a conference for the purpose of adjusting the differences,
but up to date have failed to secure any concessions from the em
ployers. The employers have refused to meet either as a committee
or as a body with the Teamsters.
At Monday night's meeting of the Teamsters the matter was
discussed in all its. bearings. Then it was decided to ask the central
body to !end its aid to an effort to adjust matters peacefully and sat
isfactorily to all concerned. The Teamsters have become impressed
with the idea that the local employers of teams and teamsters have
tacitly agreed not to treat with their employes, but to arbitrarily
force their scale upon the teamsters without giving them any voice
in the adjustment thereof.
On motion the chair appointed the following committee to visit
the employers and endeavor to
difficulties S. J. Kent, M. 1. Castor, Louis Hale. On motion the
fraternal delegates from the Ministers' association were asked to
designate one of their number to
In this connection it might be mentioned that the central body
was a unit in declaring that he organized trades of the- city were
ready Jo stand to a man behind the teamsters in their efforts to se
cure arbitration of the difficulty. Mr. Kent struck a responsive chord
when he declared with emphasis
ipon the labor I have to sell without consulting me is unfair and
The committee was notified to get to work as soon as possible
and on Wednesday morning it met and began its labors.
Under "good of the order" Rev. Mr. Batten was called on, and
in response made a union speech
tion of the delegates. Rev. Mr. Batten declared that anything which
tended to uplift humanity, that tended to bring men closer, together
in the ties of brotherhood, was worthy of being encouraged, and he
believed in labor organizations because they meant helpfulness. "As
a general thing," said the speaker, "I believe sympathetic strikes to
he mistakes, but be that as it may, there is something about the sym
pathetic strike that appeals to my heart, for it is evidence that men
are willing to undergo hardships and privations in order that they
may be of service to their brothers who are in trouble." Continuing
the speaker said : "I believe that a man's best interests are best
conserved when he forgets his own interests in the great work of
guarding the interests of his fellows. This sentiment was greeted
with great applause. "I know that labor unions have made mis
takes," said Mr. Batten, "but that is only natural because the mem
bers are men. Organized labor has been guilty of crimes, too: but
1 am willing to let history and facts bear witness to the truth of the
assertion1 that organized labor in all its history has never been guilty
of the crimes that have been perpetrated by organized capital."
Rev. Mr. Batten assured the members of his interest in them as
men and brothers, and announced his willingness to work with them
to. the end that mankind would be benefitted and the cause of the
Master served. The short address
ered on the floor of the Central Labor Union, and after adjournment
the delegates crowded around the speaker and thanked him for his
co-operation and his words of encouragement and advice.
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J AUXILIARY SOCIAL.
Capital Auxiliary's May so
clal will be held at Bohanon's
hall Wednesday evening, May
17. Union printer and their
wive are cordially invited to
be present and enjoy a pleas
ant evening. An exceptionally
good program is being ar
ranged, and good music will
Let every printer remem
ber the date and attend the
social. Those who miss it will
miss the time of their live.
J$ jl l 3l j4 J$ 0
SERVANT GIRLS STRIKE
Refuse to Work Under Conditions That
Have Become Unbearable.
New York, May 1. Thousands of
servant in Greater New York have
delivered the ultimatum to their em
ployer "No more coal ranges." Con
sequently, hundreds left their posi
tions. They were out but a short
time. Employment agents Quickly
solved the mystery of the apparently
concerted movement against coal
Inquiry developed the fact that the;
girls and women had quietly devotea
their spare moments during the sum
mer to organizing a general crusade
against the practice of forcing them to
stand over veritable furnaces in kitch
en. "Gas ranges and heaters, or we
quit," was their cry when household
ers began preparing for the use
coal during the winter months.
The servanls had learned a thins
secure arbitration of the existing
work with this committee
that, "To arbitrarily set a price
that met, with.the .hearty, approba
was one of the best ever deliv
a two from those of their number
whose employers use gas exclusively
winter and summer. They determined
that they would no longer be roasted
over masses of heated iron and steel
and that they would no longer put up
with the muss and fuss of coal.
In their campaign, the servants
knew that a gas heater attachment
provided the heat that does not come
from a gas range. They announced
that they did not believe it would be
a hardship on their employers When
objections were made, they promptly
presented a statement of cost, show
ing that it was no greater. Then
they demanded that they be given the
treatment due to all human beings-.
It's Often the Case That
We miss today's opportunities be
cause our eyes are swollen with the
tears shed over yesterday's failure.
We see very little good in life be
cause we are always looking for the
worst of it.
We fail to see our neighbor's vir
tues because we spend our time
searching out his faults.
"Who is that scrawny little man
crossing the campus as if he were
afraid some one would recognize
"O, that's Professor Bumps, the
scientist who has acquired ' thirty
seven degrees and written a number
of books that are used as standard
text books in our leading universi
"And who is that young fellow
that everybody greets with cheers?
"That?" Why, where've you been
not to have made the acquaintance of
Leonidas Mercutio Smithers, the col
legian who invented our university
yell and discovered a new way of
tying an ascott tie?"
STORY OF A CAPMAKER
(By Rose Schneiderman.) .
(Miss Schneiderman led the women
capmakers in their recent success
fu strike for the union shop. She is
a small, quiet, serious, good looking
young woman of twenty years, already
a member of the national board, and
fast rising in the labor word. Editor.)
My name is Rose Schneiderman. and
I was born in some small, city of Rus
sian Poland. I don't know the name
of the city, and have no memory of
that part of my childhood. When 1
was about five years of age my parents
brought me to this country and we
settled in New York.
So my earliest recollections are of
living in a crowded street among the
East Side Jews, for we also are Jews.
My father got work as a tailor, and
we lived in two rooms on Hldrige
street, and did very well, though not
so well as in Russia, because father
and mother both earned money, and
here father alone earned the money,
while mother attended to the house.
There were then two other children
besides me, a boy of three and one of
five.. . . .,
I went to school until I was nine
years old, enjoying it thoroughly and
making great progress, but then my
father died of brain fever and mother
was left with three children and an
other one coming. So I had to stay
at home to help her and she went
out to look for work.
A month later the baby was born,
and mother got work in a fur house,
earning about $6 a week and after
ward $8 a week, for she was clever
I was the house worker, preparing'
the meals and looking after the other
children the baby, a little girl of six
years, and a boy of .nine. I.mahaa;ed
very well, though the meals were not
very elaborate. I could cook simple
things like porridge, coffee and eggs,
and mother used to prepare the meat
before she went away in the morn
ing, so that all I had to do was to
put it in the pan at night.
The children were not more trouble
some than others, but this was a
hard part of my life with few bright
spots in it. I was a serious child,
and cared, little for children's play,
and I knew nothing about the coun
try, so it was not so bad for me as
it might have been for another. Yet
it was bad, thought I did get some
pleasure from reading, of which I was
very fond; and now and then, as a
change from the home, I took a walk
In the crowded street.
Mother was absent from half-past
seven o'clock in the morning till half-
past six o'clock in the evening.
I was finally realeased by my little
sister being taken by an aunt, and
the two boys going to the Hebrew
Orphan Asylum, which is a splendid
Institution, and turns out good men.
One of these brothers is now a student
in the City College, and the other U
a page in the Stock Exchange.
When the other children were sent
away mother was able to send me
back to school, and I stayed in this
school (Houston Street Grammar) till
I had reached the "sixth grammar
. Then I had to leave in order to help
support the family. I got a place in
Hearn's as cash girl, and after work
ing there three weeks changed to Rid
ley's, where I remained for two and
a half years. I finally left because
the pay was so very poor and there
did not seem to be any chance of ad
vancement, and a friend told me that
I could do better making caps.
So I got a place in the factory of
Hein & Fox. The hours were from
8 a. m. to 6 p. m.( and we made al!
sorts of linings or, rather, we stitch
ed in the linings golf caps, etc. It
was piece work and we receive from
3 cents to 10 cents a dozen, accord
ing to the different grades. By work
ing hard we could make an average of
about $5 a week. We would have
made more but had to provide our
own machines, which cost us $45, we
WOMAN'S UNION LABEL LEAGUE SOCIAL.
On Monday evening, May 22, the iWoman's Union Label League
will give a social at Central Labor Union hall, the purpose being to
raise funds to defray the expenses of a delegate to the international
convention in Chicago in-. June. A fine program something out of '
the ordinary will be rendered, refreshments will be served, and the
best of music provided for those who desire to enjoy the merry
dance. The Woman's Union Label League is doing a splendid ser
vice for unionism, and it deserves the cordial support of union men
and women. The admission to the social including everything ,
that goes on inside the hall will be 25 cents. Let every unionist in
the city remember the date and be there, prepared to enjoy the hospi
tality of the League, and at the same time assist the organization in a
splendid work. The attendance should tax the capacity of the hall.
paying for them on the installment
plan. We paid $5 down and $1 a
month after that.
I learned the business in about two
months, and then made as much as
the others, and was consequently do
ing quite well, when the factory burn
ed down, destroying all our machines
150 of them. This was very hard on
the girls who' had paid for their ma
chines. It was not so bad for me, as
I had only paid a little of what I
The bosses got $500,000 insurance,
so I heard, but they never gave the
girls a cent to help them bear their
losses. I think they might have given
them $10, anyway.
Soon work went on again in four
lofts, and - a little later I became as
sistant sample maker. This is a pos
ition which, though coveted by many,
pays better in glory than in cash. It
was still piece Work, and though the
pay per dozen was better, the work
demanded was of a higher quality, and
one could not rush through samples
as through the other caps. So I still
could average only about $5 per, week.
After I had been, working . as, a cap
maker for three years it began to
dawn on me that we girls needed an
organization. The men had organized
already, and had gained some advant
ages, but the bosses had lost nothing,
as they took it out of us.
We were helpless; no one girl dare
stand up for anything alone. Matters
kept getting worse. - The bosses kept
making reductions in our pay, half a
cent a dozen at a time. It did not
sound important, but at the end of the
week we found a difference.
We didn't complain to the bosses;
we didn't say anything except to each
.ether. There was no use. The bosses
would not pay any. attention unless
we were like the men and could make
One girl would say that she didn't
think she could make caps for the
new price, but another would say that
she thought she could make up . for
the reduction by working a little
harder, and then the first would tell
"If she can do it, why can't I?"
Tney didn t think how they were
wasting their strength.
A new girl from another shop got
in among us. She. was -Miss . Besste
Brout, and she talked organization as
a remedy for our ills. She was radi
cal and progressive, and she stimu
lated thoughts which were already in
our minds before she came.
Finally Miss Brout and I and an
other girl went to the national board
of United Cloth Hat and Cap Makers
when it was in session, and asked
them to organize the girls.
They asked us:
"How many of you are there will
ing to be organized"
"In the first place about twelve,"
I said. .We -argued that the union label
would force the bosses to organize
their girls, and if there was a girls'
union in existence the bosses could
not use the union label unless their
girls belonged to the union.
We were told to come to the next
meeting of the national board, which
we did, and then received a favorable
deply, and were asked to bring all
the girls who were willing to be or
ganized to the next meeting, and at
the next meeting, accordingly, we were
there twelve strong and were or
ganized. When Fox found out what had hap
pened he discharged Miss Brout, and
probably would have discharged me,
but that I was a sample maker and
not so easy to replace. In a few weeks
we had all the girls in the organiza
tion, because the men told the girls
that they must enter the union or they
would not be allowed to work in the
Then came a big strike. Price lists
for the coming season were given in
to the bosses, to which they did not
agree. After some wrangling a strike
was declared in five of the biggest
factories. There were thirty factories
in the city. About one hundred girls
The result was a victory, which net
ted us I mean the girls $2 increase
in our wages on the average.
All the time our union was progres
sing very nicely. There were lectures
to make us understand what trades
unionism is and our real position In
the labor movement. I read upon the
subject and grew more and more in
terested, and after a time I became a
member of the national board and had
duties and responsibilities that kept
me busy after my day's work was
But all was not lovely by any means,
for the bosses were not at all pleased
with their beating and had determined
to fight us again.
They agreed among themselves that
after the 26th of December, 1904, they
would run their shops on the "open"
This agreement was reached last
fall, and soon notices, reading as fol
lows, were hung up in the various
"After the 26th of December, 190.
this shop will be run on the open shop
system, the bosses having the right to
engage and discharge employees as
they see fit, whether the latter ' are
union or non-union.",
Of course we knew that this meant
an attack on the union. The bosses
intended gradually to get rid of us,
employing in our place child labor
and raw immigrant girls who would
work for next to nothing.
On December 22d the above notice
appeared, and the national board,
which had known it all along, went
into session prepared for action.
Our people were very restive, say
ing that they could not sit under that
notice, and that if the national board
did not call them out soon they would
go out of themselves.
At last the word was sent out,, and
at 2:30 o'clock all the workers stop
ped, and, laying down their scissors
and other tools, marched out, some of
them singing the "Marseillaise."
We were out for thirteen weeks, and
the girls established their reputation.
They were on picket duty from seven
o'clock in the morning till six o'clock
in; the evening, and gained over many
of the non-union workers by appeals
to them to quit working against us.
Our theory was that if properly ap
proached and talked to few would lie
found who would resist our offer to
take them into our organization. No
right thinking person desires to in
jure another. We did not believe in
violence and never employed it.
During this strike period we girls
each received $3 a week; single men
$3 a week and married men $5 a week.
This was paid us by the national
We were greatly helped by the other
unions, because the open shop issue
was a tremendous one, and this was
the second fight which the bosses had
conducted for it.
Their first was with the tailors,
whom they beat. If they now could
beat us the outlook for unionism would
Some were aided and we stuck out.
and won a glorious victory all along
the line. That was only last week.
The shops are open now for all union
hands and for them only.
While the strike lasted I tried to
get work in a factory that was not
affected, but found that the boss was
Last spring I had gone as a mem
ber of a committee to appeal to this
boss on behalf of a girl who had been
four years in his employ and was only
getting $7 a week. She wanted $1
raise and all legal holidays. Prev
iously she had had to work on holi
days. After argument we secured for
her the $1 raise and half a day, on
every legal holiday.
When the strike broke out, looking
(Continued on Page Four. )
Interest in the work of the Woman's Union Label League is
growing, and the interest of the membership is evidenced by the
constantly increasing attendance upon the meetings. The meeting
last Monday night was the largest in the League's history, and three
new members were initiated. .,
If union men and women were alive to the real value of union
ism they would be more liberal in their support of this splendid
organization which has for its object the upbuilding of union senti
ment and the advancement of the union label. The League's chief
mission is to cultivate a demand for the union label, and although
the local organization has been sadly handicapped by reason of lack
of support on the part of those most interested in this work, it has al
ready accomplished a great deal of good. The members are alive to
the value of the label, and are not only demanding it on what thev
buy, but they are trying to awaken union interest in the label. It
would seem that union men should not be in need of any especial
urging on this point, but it is a sad fact that union men themselves
are too prone to ignore the label on everything that they are not
interested as tradesmen in making. At one union meeting recently
where about 150 union men were gathered, an investigation disclosed
that 35 of the number were wearing "scab" hats. . This is about 25
per cent. . Doubtless an even greater per cent were wearing "scab"
clothing and "scab" shoes. '
There is something wrong about the unionism of the union man
who neglects to demand and insist upon having the label on his hat,
clothing, shoes, shirts, collars, overalls and jacket. It is to overcome
this wrong that the Woman's Union Label League was organized.
There is every incentive to union craftsmen to join this league and
assist it in its good work, for that work is nothing more nor less
than to advance his interests as a craftsman.
The international convention of the Woman's Union Label
League will meet in Chicago on June G, and Mrs. Alice Kent, presi
dent of the local League, has been elected delegate. The local's
funds are low at the present time and at Monday night's meeting it
was decided to give a social for the purpose of raising funds to meet
the delegate's expenses. A committee was appointed to take charge
of all the arrangements, and it is the intention to make the social
better than any yet. given by the League which means something
unusually good. The social will be given on Monday evening, May
22. Next week's Wageworker will give full details.
Klection of officers for trip eneitintr term inrna Violrl urtti f 1 .
lowing result : r
President Mrs. Alice Kent.
Vice-President T. C. Kelsey.
Second Vice-President Mrs. Wright.
Recording Secretary Mrs. W. M. Maupin. , V
Financial Secretary Mrs.' Gus SSvanson. '
Treasurer Mrs. A. Hill.
Sergeant-at-Arms Mrs. Elgin.
Doorkeeper Miss Schaant. v '
Under the head of "good of
were made, and it was the unanimous opinion that the outlook for
tne League s success -was brighter
CAPITAL " AUXILIARY.
Changes Its Date of Meeting and Ar
ranges For May Social.
Capital Auxiliary - No. 11 has been
meeting at the homes of the members
since its organization, but the Auxil
iary has grown to such dimensions
that this method has become unhandy.
At a special meeting held at the home
of Mrs. Maupin Monday afternoon it
was decided to rent Bohanan'a hall
twice a month, and the date of meet
ing was changed from Friday after
noon to Wednesday afternoon. It was
also decided to hold the regular month
ly social on the evening of the second
meeting in each month. ' x
At last Friday's meeting Mrs. H. W.
Smith, president of the Auxiliary, was
elected delegate to the international
convention at Toronto on August 14,
and the sum of $50 appropriated . to
meet her expenses.
The committee having charge of the
April social reported and the report
was very satisfactory. A vote of
thanks was tendered The Wageworker
for its assistance in making the so
cial the greatest success in the his
tory of the organization's social af
Capital Auxiliary No. 11 will have
taken a progressive step when the
next meeting is held in Bohanan's hall
on May 17. On account of the in-1
creased membership, the homes of the
members have been taxed to their ut
most, in order to accommodate the
The ladies have been deliberating
upon this plan for some time and fin.!
action was taken at a special meeting,
held at the home of Mrs. Will Maupin
on May 8. The feasibility of the plan
was almost unanimous and hereafter
the meetings of the Auxiliary will be
held on the first and third Wednes
days of each month at Bohanan's hall
on. South Tenth street. '
. May 13 is the lucky day for the Aux
iliary's market which takes place at
the "old stand," the Keystone Grocery.
The ladies are very indulgent in do
nating their good cooking for so good
a cause, that of making money for the
Auxiliary. We are not beggars, , of
course, as we have some money in the
bank, but we do want to add to the
fund in order to more easily meet our
oblgations further on.
We expect to pay our delegate's ex
penses while she is representing us in
Toronto at the convention next Aug
At our last meeting, held at the
home of Mrs. George Freeman, our
worthy president, Mrs. H. W. Smith
was elected delegate to Woman's In
ternational Auxiliary to I. T. TJ. Mi-s.
W. M. MauDin was unanimously cnos
en alternate. Either one of thesJadies
expect to furnish their own transporta
Do not forget the date of our next.
the order" several interesting: talks
than ever before in its history, - '
social. May 17- The committee are
working hard to make this social a
success, so it is hoped that all printers
and families ' will be present.
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Capital Auxiliary's May so
cial will be held at Bohanon'a
hall Wednesday evening, May '
17. Union printers and their
wives are cordially invited to
be present and enjoy a pleas
ant evening. An exceptionally -good
program is being ar
ranged, and good music will
Let every printer remem
.ber.the date and attend the
- social. Those who miss it will
miss the time of their lives. ,
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Waging a 8trong Fight and Boosting
Fair Firms Day and Night.
The Painters and Decorators are
making things lively for . the unfair
employers, and have instituted a
scheme that beats the boycott a block.
Instead of knocking on the unfair
firms the union men are boosting the
fair firms, and the result is that the
unfair firms are looking for business,
while the fair firms are looking; for
men. Cards bearing the names oi a.
Cornell, Lincoln Wall Paper and Paint
Co., W. N. Sickels and the' Lincoln
Sash and Door Manufacturing Co., all
fn i t flrma am ftolnfr mraul&ted and
union sympathizers ' asked to throw
all possible patronage to them.
The demand for union workmen is
good, and more "square men" could
find employment right now. In fact.
the union Is in better shape than it
was before the late trouble. It has
weeded out the spineless members
who thought more of a temporary
job than they did of their unionism,
and has gained some recruits whoso
unionism was manifest when they re
fused to play the "scab" after being
brought to the city by the misrepre
sentations of the unfair employers.
"That may be a fine poem, Scrib
berly, but I'll be blest if I can un
derstand what it means.
"Thanks, awfully, old man. If it
strikes you that way it's as good as
sold to one of the : leading maga
zines." . . '
Money can buy many things, but
here is a combination that it can not
purchase: A frolicsome dog at the
gate, a laughing baby at the window
and a smiling wife at the door.
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