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About The Wageworker. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-???? | View Entire Issue (March 9, 1906)
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A Newspaper with a Mission and without a Muzzle that is published in the Interest of Wageworkers Every where.
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VOL. 2 LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, MARCH !), l90 NO. 4
THIS SERMON SOUNDS GOOD
. , A Methodist Minister of Lincoln Talks Straight
Prom the Shoulder About Unionism, Giving
Praise Where Due and Not Sparing the Cen
sure When It Is Deserved Rev. W. M. Balch
a Friend of Organized Labor.
One of the best and strongest, and 'at the
same time one of the most 'remarkable sermons
ever delivered from a Lincoln pulpit was the
one. delivered by Rev. W. M. Balch from the
pulpit of Trinity Methodist Episcopal church
Inst Sunday evening. One of the best and
strongest, because it took up a subject of sur
passing interest and dissected it thoughtfully,
arjrumentatively and with exact justice. One
of the most remarkable, because it handled
without gloves a great and growing question
that is so often dealt with in the abstract and
too seldom dealt with wholly without fear or
favor. It left the hearer without a doubt as to
where the speaker stood on the question of
labor organization, and while he freely pointed
. out the mistakes of labor unions he dealt, giant
blows at evils too often condoned by silence.
"The Labor Union and the, Brotherhood of
Man" was the subject of Kev. Mr. Batch's ser
mon, it being the first in a series of four ser
mons on kindred topics. The Wageworker
earnestly asks every union man who sees this
'paper to read the following incomplete synop
sis of this splendid sermon. Then be present at
Trinity Methodist church next Sunday evening
and hear the second sermon in the, series. Last
Sunday's sermon was the talk of a "square
man" who lias studied the union labor prob
lem and is therefore speaking with knowledge.
Rev. Mr. Balch said in part: "'
"The gospel means good news, a main item
in the good news is the brotherhood of man.
For that was news when the gospel was first
proclaimed. As Max Muller has pointed out.
the idea of our common humanity was then so
"entirely hew "that Christianity had to invent
new words to make it known. ;Up and down
the world they went, those earliest heralds of
the cross telling men that humanity is God's
. family and calling them to live together like
"The text marks one of these lines of dishar
mony, the relation of master and man. Vexa
tious in the beginning, vexatious still. Phile
mon, a Christian gentleman, a i friend of St.
Paul, is the master, Onesimus, the workingman.
They quarrel and something like a strike oc
curs. Onesimus forsakes his master and his
work. Wisely he resorts to St. Paul and some
thing like arbitration ensues. Paul sends the
workingman back to the master requiring that
he no longer be received as a servant, but more
than a servant, a brother beloved. ,
"There you have the labor problem and its
solution the problem, the falling out of the
master and servant, the solution, their recon
ciliation in the brotherhood. of man. The chief
difference today is that Onesimus instead of
resorting to the . apostle has joined a labor
union. " -
"That may move us directly to inquire
wherein the labor union approaches and where
in it contravenes the brotherhood of man. Let
me first of all say that I am not going to scold
the union for the unbrotherly and unlawful
things which is often enargeu. v -
"It might be easy to draw up a uite formid
able indictment of this sort, but I don't know
who can come into court with clean hands.
Surely employers cannot, their blacklists are as
atrocious as the unionist's boycott. Surely cor
porations cannot, the mob violence and the ag
gravated. violations of law too often chargeable
to labor unions are only a drop in the blood red
bucket of lawlessness compared .with the enor
' mons crimes and inhumanities of our great cor
porations'. , ;
"Nor can the church itself resent the indict-
ment. It was only a few generations ago that
Crniimer, Ridley, Latimer, as ; Dean Hodges
says, were burned at the stake as non-union
bishops and the amalgamated association of
("ongregationalists and Presbyterians whipped
the non-union Baptists - and. -the non-union
Quakers, beating them with scourges through
. the streets of our chief cities. ,
"And so without denying that labor unions
' might afford an obvious mark for moral brick
" hats now and then, it is still apparent that no
body is competent to cast the first stone.
"'Put Yourself in His Place' is the appro
priate title chosen for a great work of fiction
dealing with the labor problem. But, unfortu
nately, while compelling us to put ourselves in
the non-unionists's place, Charles Reade fails
to put himself in the place of the unionist. 'Put
yourself in his place' is useless' unless applied
all around, but if applied all around it solves
the problem. It is not possible for us all to feel
just alike about these matters, but it is ueces
' sarV for each to understand how others feel
Rem'ber we must really be one family, and in
everv good family it is a common thing to say,
'We alUnow just how brother feels about
those thing's, aiidwe govern ourselves accord -:
inglv.' i '''. . .
e!r Other's point rtf iew -nifty ..disagree,, but
they never quarrel. Presently we are going to
ask the union man to take our point of view
and therefore we must first try to take his: To
begin with as hard a proposition as any, let us
understand his implacable hostility toward the
"Many of us, on the other hand, have gone
to the length of making a sort of a moral hero
out of the 'scab.' As a rule he is anything but
that. We must remember that unionists believe
that their battle for shorter hours, t.nd a higher
standard of living is a battle for humanity anci
civilization and. on the whole that belief is true.
To the nobler natures among them their cause
is a sublime idealism and it is humanly impos
sible for them to look at the non-unionist in any
other light than that which our patriot fathers
looked on the Tories or later patriots on Cop
perheads. Indeed, they are compelled to see
him in even a worse light. However wrong
beaded it must have been to be a Copperhead,
the Copperhead and the Tory were often brave
men who were -willing to lose everything for the
stand they took. But I suppose that the 'scab'
most ofteu. appears to the unionist as a mean
fellow who participates in all the victories of
the labor unionist without sharing in the bat
tles and the losses.
"Quoting Professor T. S. Adams: 'Nine out
of ten non-unionists who receive as much as the
union rate may be justly regarded as parasites
upon the. world of organized labor, reaping
where they have not sown, sharing the rewards,
but not the burdens of combination.'
"Indeed, we of the church ought to be able
of all men to fully understand how the unionist
feels toward the 'scab,' because of the man who'
shares all the amenities of Christian civilization
and yet refuses to join or support the Christian
"That man is a 'scab,' a religious 'scab.' If
I were a laboring man I would like neither sort
of a 'scab.' Yet either sort of a 'scab' is my
brother and your brother and even if when we
cannot admire his attitude toward the church
or toward the union we must still render him a
brother's sympathy, a brother's protection, a
brother's aid, not for the church's sake, not for
the union's sake, but for pur Father's sake.
"The church has learned some lessons in this
line of bitter experience and we hope that the
unions will be wise enough to profit by our ex
perience without having to repeat it for them
selves. , . .
"We used to persecute 'scabs.' Dynamite
not having been invented we burned them at
the stake and by various coercions sought to
enforce a sort of 'closed shop' and to extend
our organization, our idea of brotherhood was
to force the unbrotherly brother to be brother
ly. Now we know the better way is to persuade
him! and if he will not be persuaded then to
treat him as a brother anyhow.
"You will not misunderstand me. I believe
that every workingman ought to joi.n the union,
just as I believe that every man ought to join
the church. But I believe that both church and
labor union ought to be purely voluntary or
ganizations with membership enforced neither
by penalties, nor discriminations nor discourte
sies, but solely by an appeal to conscience."
The speaker declared that the employer
while fighting the closed shop idea on the part
of the trade unions in reality often practiced it
himself, and it is. to beat the employer at his
own game that accounts for the closed shop
sentiment in the labor unions.
He said that many well dressed folks think
of the unionist not only as a hog but a tiger.
They imagine him as a shockingly rough fellow
with a stick of dynamite up his sleeve and a
quart of whiskey down in his stomach. . He
declared that it could not be denied that the
unions have often failed to exculpate them
selves from complicity in crimes of such a mem
ber, but lawlessness and irreligion are not char
acteristic of unions.
Mr. Balch thought that a great injustice
might be done to the unions by declaring that
unionism is purely a class movement and there
fore objectionable. He characterized, unionism
as a riiovement in the interest of the brother
hood of man.
He declared that non-partisan statements de
clared that the unions were more often willing
to arbitrate differences of hours and wages than
employers. He pointed out that by victorious
strikes and by a show of strength the unions
often protected the fair employer who desired
to pay good wages from the cutthroat competi
tion of rivals who, if able to secure workingmen
at lower wages, would result in forcing the fair
employer down to the same wage level when the
latter wanted to pay living prices for help.
He declared that there was more than a cash
relation between workingmen and employers,
and that was cooperation with the highest in
terest in common. He said that there must al
ways be leaders in the industrial field, but to
fulfill the brotherhood of man idea, the leaders
must cease to be masters, but high servants
carrying out a sacred trust.
"Whence came the labor movement," said
he, "I mean not a factional conflict, not blind
selfishness, nor mad fury, but that true labor
movement which is nothing less than the broth
erhood of man. Whence came it Not from
John Mitchell, John Burns nor Carl Marx, for
when I look upon their work I see that they
have merely given direction to mighty energies
that were already surging past from far beyond
them. Notfrom Wat lyler nor Jack Cade nor
the peasant revolutionists of France, Germany
or Russia. All the historic streams of the labor
movement are seen converging toward their
common source, the heart, love, the soul power
of one lowly Man, a plain artisan in rustic garb,
but from His eyes beams forth majesty, from
His lips proceeds wisdom, from His hands move
the energies of God. And with wondering ages
I Cry, ' Is not this the Carpenter? Yes, and the
Carpenters' union is the church f.of our Lord
:an.d the true labor '.movement- is Christianity. ? ,"
AN OPEN LETTER
So That the Peopie Interested May Know
All the Fa 3ts in the Case
The Wageworker has heard a great deal of
.complaint and criticism from business men who
have been' approached 'by its solicitors and
asked to assist in the publication of the
"Friendly List" edition of this paper. Some
of this complaint and criticism comes from busi
ness men who do not -fully understand the
proposition. - Some comes from those who be
lieve that the price is too high, and some comes
from those who do not like the editor person
ally. ' .
To the latter class the,' editor has only this to
say he cares neither for their friendship nor
their business. He asks.no man for patronage
on the ground that the paper needs "support."
He asks no man for patronage on the ground
of personal friendship. He does, however, ask
for patronage on the ground that The Wage-'
worker is a good advertising medium, and that
money invested in its advertising columns will
pay satisfactory dividends on the investment.
The editor will not knowingly accept advertis
ing on any other basis. ;
Some have complained because the solicitors
employed to work up 'the business for 'this
"Friendly List" edition do not live' in Lincoln.
That is quite true. But, the editor made care
ful inquiry as to their integrity and is satisfied
that they make no misrepresentations. If such
can be shown The Wageworker will insist upon
reparation. Some have; complained, believing
that the plan was on a par with the recent
"grafting" scheme of certain professional char
"ity workers who started a benefit performance
for the wiildren's Home Finding Society. Such
is not the ease. These gentlemen are working
for a fair commission on the net profits of the
edition. The editor is perfectly satisfied with
tin", contract. ,
Some have charged that they have been asked
to buy editorial commendation in The Wage
worker's columns. They are mistaken. They
could nrtt buy it at itnyyiee. ... If they -deserve
commendation because of their fairness towards
the interests that this humble little labor paper
tries to represent, they will get it without
money and without price.' There are people
right here in Lincoln who know this from per
sonal experience. They tried to buy editorial,
commendation and they failed most miser
ably. The business men are merely asked to assist
in getting out a largely increased edition of
The Wageworker. In. this enlarged edition
their business will be mentioned not because
they subscribed for a number of extra copies,
but because they have shown a friendly spirit
towards Organized labor. Some business men
of Lincoln couldn't get a friendly notice in this
paper if they bought a million extra copies.
The proposition made is honest, open and
above board. The business man who does not
care to invest is under no compulsion to do so.
If any one of this paper's solicitors makes the
mistake of uttering even one word that could
be construed into coercion or threat, from the
moment the editor, finds it out that solicitor is
out of a r job.
Personally, the editor of The Wageworker
would rather have the friendship and good will
of the fair business men than to have their
money in the way of advertising patronage. He
is not dependent upon The Wageworker for a
living. lie is not begging for "support." When
he can not support himself, he will retire to the
retreat so generously provided by the taxpay
ers of Lancaster county. But he does ask for
patronage on the ground that The Wageworker
is a good advertising medium, and that money
invested in its advertising columns produce sat
We want to make this "Friendly List"' edi
tion a splendid one and its success is already
assured, despite the active efforts of a few
against it. It will be a credit to the editor, a
credit to organized labor and a credit to Lin
coln. Incidentally it will be profitable to more
than the editor it will give extra employment
to a number of union printers and pi-essmen.
WILL NOT FILL THE BILL.
. Service Stripes Will Not Put Flour in the Bin
Nor Buy Coal.
We rejoice that Mr. Hnmpe has again taken
charge of Lincoln Traction company matters in
Lincoln, for Air. Humpe is a gentleman -who
will do the very best he can under the circum
stances. But he will be handicapped as long as
the street railway is "Scudderized."
One of Mr. Humpe's first acts was to intro
duce the "service stripe" system. For each
five years of service a gold band is to be- put
upon the employe's sleeve. Then, beginning
with March 1, 1906, a fund of one-half cent per
hour will be created for payment to those with
one service stripe, payable yearly, and one cent
for those with two or more service stripes. No
tice is given that this is not an obligation on the
part of the company.
It will not do, Mr. Humpe. It does not suffice.--
The employes of tho Traction company
are not looking for charity. They are not look
ing for presents from the company. What they
want, and what they should have, is a decent
wage. The Wageworker charges that the Lin
coln Traction company pays inadequate wages
iand wor.ks its employes in the train service too
I long hours. Service' stripes a.ncl an infinitesi
mal bonus .will not make good the miserable
wasces- the Traction company pays.
Thte; wages paid to street railway employes in
Lincoln are lower than in any other city in the
west. ; The hours are longer, the rules more irk
some, theVservice poorer. Gold lace on the
sleeves anda four-flush play at generosity will
not cure thes defects.
The street .flkilway men are largely to blame
for their condition. If they had the nerve to
organize and make a collective demand for fair
treatment they would get it, for 3;000 organ
ized men and women would back them up in
any reasonable demand. It seems about time
that the rank and file get out from under the
influence of " Johnny-Afraid-of-IIis-Job" ahd
other servile tale bearers for the management
and assert their manhood. If the Traction com
pany will pay fair wages and grant decent
hours we opine that the employes will quite
willingly dispense with service stripes and a
charity bonus at the end of the vear.
WAS IT INTENTIONAL?
Where Does Labor Come In on That Street
A committee of twelve is looking into the
Traction company matter. It was appointed
as the outcome of a meeting at the Commercial
Club last week, called to discuss the street rail
way situation. The committee proposition is
all right, but in its "appointment a very consid
erable element of the interested population was
The people most vitally concerned in a just
solution of the street railway problem are not
all merchants, and lawyers and physicians and
real estate dealers and money loaners not by
a long shot. There are 5,000 or 6,000 me
chanics, laborers, clerks home owners and tax
payers many of them who have just as much
at stake in this matter as the professional men
and merchants. Why was this large class ut
terly ignored in the make-up of that com
mittee? All the business brains in Lincoln are
not confined to men who plead at the bar, sit at
desks or carry pillbags. There are men on the
scaffolds, in the trenches, at the type case and
on the drivers' seats who are mentally capable
of coping with this traction question if given
an opportunity. The Wageworker insists tha-',
the big army of working people be allowed to
have some voice in the solution of this vexed
TYPOGRAPHICAL UNION ELECTS.
After Much Contention the. Printers Finally
Make New Officers, -t,
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Lincoln Typographical Union trifr Sleet
new officers three months ago, but, uke
missed out. So a new election wii., red,
and at the meeting last Sunday it trieOigain,
and this time it succeeded. The election passed
off' without much excitement, although it took
three ballots to elect the executive committee.
The election resulted as follows:
President, Frank M. Coffey.
Vice-President, John Moore.
Financial Secretary, F. H. Hebbard.
Recording Secretary, Albert Strain.
Sergeant-at-Arms, J. G: Saver.
Executive Committee, A. TV Pentzer, J. E.
Marshall. J. M. Leaden.
Allied Trades Council, W: H. Creal, G. E.
Locker, B. C. Gilbert. .
Central Labor Union, II. W. Smith, G. E.
Locker, J. M. Leaden. -
Cemetery Trustees, L. W. Eldredge, Erstine
King, J. R. Bain. ,
Two apprentices wrere admitted to two-thirds
I membership and were duly obligated. The re
port of the financial secretary was interesting.
During February the Lincoln printers sent
r684.90 to international headquarters to help
finance the eight-hour strike, have $138.22 in
the local defense fund and $395.18 in the local
eight-hour fund. ' "
The' case of J. C. Wisely was reported by the
relief committee and proper action taken. It
was reported that "Billy" Wright had met
with a severe accident. He fell through a trap
door and fractured a rib or two. Erstine King
wps 'also reported ill.
The ball committee was unable to make a
final le'iort. owing to the fact that all tickets
i out had not been accounted for, but a partial
report showed that the ball had not proved a
financial failure. On the contrary something
will bo added to the general' fund from that
The eonnnttee. appointed to codify the con
stilution asked for a special meeting, and one
GIVE THEM THEIR DUE.
Faithful Patrol Horses Must Not Be Sold Into
Slavery. ""' '
Frank and Sam, the faithful horses that have
pulled the patrol wagon for seventeen years
have been retired from service. They are up
wards of twenty years old, and if ever two
horses have earned a long rest Frank and Sam
are the two. If there is no method by which
they can be cared for at the expense of the city
during the remainder of their natural lives,
then it is up to a grateful people to provide the
means. The idea of selling these two faithful
servants to anybody who might make them Con
tinue at work is repugnant. They ought to be
allowed to round out the rest of their lives in
Frank and Sam have worked for their board
for seventeen years, and during that time they
earned their board for the few years remaining
to them. The city owes them kindly care whil
they live. The Wageworker can dig up a doll.
to add to a 'pension 'fund for them, and we su
,jest that Mayor Brown take the matter up..
YE GODS AND LITTLE FISHES!
Lincoln's Woman's Club Meets in Special Ses-j
sion to Discuss Matter That Must Be Settled."
Now or the Country Goes to the Demnition-Bow-Wows
Without Recourse Whither Are
w We Drifting, and Why?
If ever there were any doubts about the prac
ticability and the usefulness of the Lincoln
Woman's Club, those doubts may now and for
ever be set at rest. After a long period of com- Y
parative quiet the Home Department of the ,
club has awakened to a realizing sense of the
duty it owes to itself and to humanity, and :l
with an enthusiasm that is deserving of widest
commendation it has plunged into the discus-
sion of a grave question that is pressing for so- f .
lution, and one which has too long been ignored v
in the search- after knowledge concerning a.'v
whole lot of comparatively unimportant prob
lems. ., ; .; ::;;.
No sooner was the attention of the Home De
partment of the Woman's Club called to this'
important matter than it hurried to hold a spe
cial meeting to consider it. The meeting was
held in the club rooms at the city library last
Thursday afternoon, and there and then, with
out any fuss, frills or feathers, one of1 the grav-..
est and most vexed social problems that . has .
been puzzling the minds of sociologists was set
tied beyond a peradventure." . ;
; Was it the problem of the proper care of Chil
dren? Perish the thought!- Was it the prob
lem of preserving the home ' against the"
onslaughts of a greedy ; and conscienceless j.
commercialism?" Out -.upon such a - frivolous -idea!
Was it to discuss the question of the,
employment of women in unsanitary and vile
"sweat shops?" Away with such a foolish no
tion! Was it to discuss the problem of rearing'
up home makers and home providers against
the day when the American home would be1 the
only bulwark between the rule of the god Of
gold and the' rule of a free people? vrbeyery
idea is ridiculous! ' v 5''--:' x .. -
i Why should the Home Department, of the .
vWomajTs i Club qf Lincoln waste its 'preet6ns.
time on such frivolous and nonsensieai pron-V
lems? Other and far more momentous probr
lems press for solution, and one of them was
the problem discussed and settled last" Thursday
afternoon. " '''. '. ' ."' '. ' -
At this special and momentous meeting L. M.
Morse whether "Mr.", or "Mrs." we do, not
know gave a stirring and eloquent address On
that most important of all questions, "Oriental
Rugs and Their Care." ' -
For years we have panted for. a solution of
that question as the hart panteth. for the water
brook. For years have we struggled blindly,
groping in the darkness of ignorance and pray- ;
ing that some man or woman, or some organiza
tion, would take us gently by the hand and lead
us into the bright light that would enable us to '
see just how we ought to take care of the price
less Oriental rugs that decorate our beautiful
castle. Too long have we been fooling away
time on children," and home," and indusrtialism.
and commercialism. Too long have . we '"bee
frittering away precious time on trying to keep
our little ones out of the clutch of the manufac- '
turers who want them to labor in the mills and
factories. Too long have we been wasting sen- .
timental tears on the fancied wrongs of women
and children doomed to lives of blinding and
unrequited toiled. .
A thousand yea, two thousand Lincoln".'.:
workingmen and their wives have fidgeted and
fretted while such idle questions were being -discussed
by the Woman's Club, and yearning
for the time when they could get some badly
needed information concerning the eare of their
beautiful and costly Oriental rugs. Helpless
and hopeless they have sat supinely down iu
their baronial castles, earned by sweat and toil
in workshop and mill, and watched while the
onmiverous moth dug tunnelys and 'made '
ghastly excavations in those priceless Oriental
rugs that decorated their every room. ; -
But, thank heaven, the deliverers have, come ! ,
No more time will be wasted on fool questions
of sociology. No more time will be. frittered v
away on trying to do something for women and -children
who really ought to have sense enough
to take care of themselves. ,
We have yearned, heart hungry and soul
weary, for information concerning the care of. '
the Oriental rugs that beautiful the homes of
our mechanics and artisans, and with character- '
istic energy the Home Department of the. Lin- '
coin Woman's Club has rushed to the rescue.
For all of which let us devoutly offer up' our"
heartfelt thanks, and standing sing the. first .
verse of that beautiful hymn: ,v .'
"This is the day we long have sought, .
And mourned because we found it not!"
A VERY HUMBLE APOLOGY.
The Wageworker was late . last week -:
awfully late. We apologize, and will endeavor
to prevent a repetition of the delay. But the
editor w-as quite busy last, week.' As secretary
of the Nebraska Press Association lie had his
hands full the first three days of the week.f
Then the Western Newspaper Union got sewed
lip with a rush of business. And there you are.
But the delay demonstrated one thing of
which the editor is quite proud. It demon
strated that The Wageworker is looked for.
Sunday he met somethingless than a thoirsan'd
of the subscribers and eycrvv one of them want
ed to' know what "was the matterr with the
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