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About The Wageworker. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-???? | View Entire Issue (Nov. 9, 1906)
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LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, XOVEMBEK-
TIE UMSOM LABOR
The election is over. Workingnien who thought more of their
unionism than they did of their polities, and Avorkingmen who thought
nuyc of their politics than they did of their unionism all of them
have expressed their opinions at the polls. That they were divided in
those opinions was to have been expected, although the division was
But there is one thing on which they can unite the Union Labor
Fair to be held at the auditorium in Lincoln during the whole of the
first week in December, afternoon and evening. It is going to be an
exhibition of union made goods in all lines. It is going to be a grand
social affair. It is going to give unionists an opportunity to meet one
another and have a good time. It is going to be an education even
to the unionists, and much more so to those who are not unionists. It
will be a magnificent plea for organized labor. It is going to be a
grand protest against child labor and against the sweat shops'.
Already the merchants of the city are taking hold, and the indi
cations now are that there will not be booth space enough to accom
modate all of the would-be exhibitors. There is a rush for the concessions.
Some one will get a piano during the fair a union made piano
bearing the union label. '
Some railroad man is groing to get a magnificent gold watch, the
very best that can be found in Lincoln.
The wife of some union man is going to get a magnificent set of
The most popular union man in Lancaster county is going to get
a goldheaded cane, or a suit of union frnade clothes.
The homeliest union man is going to get a prize that will make
him forget that he is homely. '
The handsomest baby boy, born of union parents, is going to get
a prize worth having.
The handsomest baby girl, born of union- parents, is going to get
a. prize that will be treasured through' life.
Some one is going to get a ton- of hard coal, and some one else is
going to get a ton of soft coal. j
Everybody who likes to dance will !be given the opportunity every
evening during the fair and they will dance to 'union made musicf
There will be all kinds of clean amusements. Some of the best
vaudeville stunts obtainable will be presented on the stage.
The Union Labor Fair is going to be a huge success and the
more interest you take in it the greater the success. The dates are
December 3 to 8. Begin talking it over with your friends and neigh
bors, and keep on talking. Arrange your social affairs so you can
attend every evening. Some of the contests are going to be amusing,
and all will be interesting.
And don't forget that the net proceeds are to be made the nest
egg for a Labor Temple fund.
The opening night is going to be a record breaker for Union
Labor Fairs. There will be some big men there men big in the labor
movement. You'll hear some short talks from men, who know the
' ' union game ' ' from start to finish.
The republican workingman and the democratic workingman, the
workingman who is a socialist, and the workingman who is a prohi
bitionist or an independent all of them can unite on the Platform:
"The Union Labor Fair must be a winner." ,"
If you have, any suggestions you think will help make the fair a
success, don't be afraid to make them. It's your fair. If you have
any kicks, for goodness sake don't .make them. Let's get this big
project through Avithout a kiclc
Nowbe a "booster." "Wear the "booster's card" when it is
ready to be given out. Get into the game for all you are worth.
A 1RIEF LOOK AIMJUND AFTER TIE EATTLE
Organized labor has very little to boast about in the returns
from the elections held in Lincoln. With the power to elect two tinion
men by overwhelming majorities they frittered the opportunity away
in the mad whirl of partisan bitterness. "Stand by the old party"
was a cry that only a comparative few could withstand, and rather
than vote for a workingman of their own class on another ticket they
preferred to vote for a .lames Haven lawyer on their own ticket.
Bather than vote for a workingman of their owij class on another
ticket, they preferred to vote for a man whose only interest in their
welfare is to bleed them but who happens to be on their party ticket.
But there were a lot. of democrats who showed their narrowness,
too. Just because Smith and Quick, the labor candidates, woidd not
try to inveigle their fellow workinginen into voting the whole demo
cratic ticket, these pinheaded democrats resented it by scratching
Smith and Quick, and voting for the two republicans upon whom it
was decided to center the fire.
But partisan bigotry and partisan spite was not all. A lot of
men who should have been interested were not. They were too infer
nal lazy to register, and they wouldn't make the effort to get a cer
tificate' on election day. With full bellies and a place to sleep they
take no further interest in life. Tomorrow is to them a day unknown.
With only a day's work between them and hunger, they are content
to let things drift along, not caring to agitate what little gray matter
they have in an effort to right the wrongs under which they and their
fellows suffer every day.
lint, after all, for the first time trying it was not such a bad effort.
Smith and Quick ran far and away ahead of their ticket, and no man
who analyzes the returns can honestly deny that because of their pres-
i ence on the ticket they helped the whole to gain a large vote. But if
I they-had polled one-half of the votes of men who work for a daily
iwage in Lincoln and suburbs they would have been elected. They
didn't poll one-fourth perhaps not one-sixth. The best support they
j received came from the quarters where the railroad vote was the lar
jgest, and even there, despite great efforts and a good organization,
j they didn't get what they had a right to expect.
j "I'll wait till next, year," said one. "I don't Avant a democrat
'elected to the United States senate."
It makes a mighty lot of difference to a AA'orkingman AA-hether
i Xorris Brown or "Billy" Thompson goes to the senate, doesn't it?
jlf Thompson had happened to Avin out, of course it AA'ould mean a re
duction of wages and a lengthening oi the working day. And now
' that Brown is assured of election it means an increase in Avages and
a material shortening of the Avorking day.
Hell Avould haA-e been to pay and no pitch hot if BroAvn hadn't
j pulled through. When the time comes that the salvation-of thiscoun
jtry depends upon any one-man or any one party then God saA-e
But for the first time trying, Avithout organization, Avithout-finan-
ces and Avithout men to perform the necessary work, the result Avas
enough to furnish some small encouragement. A lot of men forgot
i their partisanship and voted their unionism. Next year there will be
iniore. A republican Avorkingman Avill poll more democratic votes
than he could haA-e polled this year, and next year perhaps a democrat
! will be able to poll more A'otes than he could haA-e polled this year.
! Next year, maybe, more Avorkingmen Avill realize that partisanship
doesn't put coal in the bin nor meal in the chest.
The members-elect of the legislature in Lancaster county are not
antagonistic to labor. Xo such fools they! But they. can not be ex
pected to take the interest in furthering the legislation Ave Avant that
our oAvn men. would have taken. ' There will be nonunion men in the .
legislature this time. That means that the labor of eonvicts will con
tinue to throw honest free labor out of employment. There Avill be
no legislation Avorthy the name against child labor. " An employers' -liability
laAv will no- be enacted. There will be no eight hour day
legislation by the officials elected, but while they draw big salaries
they will do less Avork per day than a hod carrier does in an hour.
Will Avorkingmen ever get wise to their OAvn interests?
Of course they will but it seems to be a long time coming.
The men who work for a daily wage are in the majority in Lan
caster county, but they wouldn't elect tAvo of their OAvn number.
But those who have learned the bitter lesson by experience who
have realized the folly of expecting parties run by our' industrial ene
mies to legislate in our interests Avill keep right-on fighting and
hoping. Something has been accomplished in Lancaster county. God
knows it Avas little enough, but it avs something just the same.
Our republican friends told us that we Avere too late asking them
for recognition. .Perhaps. If Ave were,' let us not make the mistake
again. Bight iioav today let the republican leaders be given, to.
understand that union labor wants representation on the city ticket
next spring. Not one of the minor places, but several of the places
that are Avorth while say four or five cou'ncilmen, a city clerk, maybe
a city treasurer. Anyhow a water commissioner who is not only a.
union man himself but will not uphold and stand for a cheap skate
Avhose sense of decency is as deficient as a skunk's odor of sweetness.
Needn't Avorry about the democrats! They are in such a hopeless
minority they Avill nominate anybody avIio asks for it. '
Come on, boys; let's begin right iioav to get ready for the "second
battle." We -yill.Avin one some of these days.
THE STREET RAILWAY MEN.
Efforts Being Made to Reorganize
Them in Thi City.
Mr. Rezin Orr, general organizer of
the Amalgamated Association of Street
and Electric Railway Employes of
America, has been In Lincoln for a
week, endeavoring to reestablish the
local here and arouse some interest la
organization. He has found It up hill
work. A lot of the older men refuse
to even entertain the idea of joining
the union. They are afraid to join,
fearing that they will lose the oppor
tunity of working the longest hours for
the least pay of any street car men
in America. Being blest with the op
portunity of working twelve hours a
day for the magnificent wage of from
$1.68 lo $2.16, they can see no reason
why they should pay out 50 or 60 cents
a month in order to secure an advance
of from 25 to 60 cents per day.
The younger men favor organization,
but the older men kick. A wage that
suffices to Veep them just beyond the
edge of want satisfies them. The best
paid street car man in Lincoln works
an average of 80 hours a week and gets
$14 for it. A printer works at his ma
chine 48 hours a week and gets from
$18 to $21 for It, or works 54 hours a
week as o job man and gets $17 to $20
for it. But a majority of the street
car men oppose organization, while the
printers are thoroughly organized. The
first year men on the Omaha street
railway get better pay by long odds
than the four year men In Lincoln,
but the Omaha men are organized,
while a majority of the Lincoln men
can not see the benefits of organiza
tion. The apprentices in Lincoln's union
,.iti.r i.nnpcs receive better nay per
t .... ... -
hour than the experienced street car
men, and the apprentices work under
better conditions and have no lives in
their keeping like the street car men.
But the apprentices in the print shops
are protected by union conditions.
A union bricklayer works eight
hours a day and makes $5 or more.
The street car men work 50 per cent
longer hours and. receive 50 per cent
less wages. But the street car men
are not organized, and a majority of
them can not see the benefits of or
The union carpenters of Lincoln
work eight hours and make 25 per cent
more wages than the stret ear men
who work 50 per cent longer than the
carpenters. But the street car men
can ot see the benefits of organiza
Despiie the discouragements that
have confronted him Mr. Orr has kept
pegging away, and he is satisfied that
the organization will be maintained,
and that in due time a majority of the
men will realize that it Is to their
benefit to get into It. A few who are
"quillei-s" and 'pikers" will hang out
in order to curry favor with the boss
es. But the street car men, while per
haps more seriously afflicted in this
respect than any other class of wage
earners in Lincoln, are by no means
the only ones who suffer.
THIS SOUNDS GOOD TO US.
A RANK FRAUD.
The young man who gives tip his
good money to learn the barber busi
ness in a "barber college' 'is a sucker.
The "barber college" is a fraud. It
Is a bunco game, pure and simple. As
well think of learning to be a printer
by reading books, or a doctor by
smelling drugs, or a lawyer by bind
ing law books. The newspaper that
advertises "barber colleges" is acces
sory to a huge swindle.
Cigarmakers of Hartford, Conn., won
a strike for an increase of $1 a thous
and. , ,
Railroad Employes Are in the Fight
H. L. Beaty, a Burlington engineer
and a staunch unionist, has grown a
little tired of the misrepresentation of
partisan newspapers. The Journal of
Wednesday morning contained the fol
lowing statement from Mr. Beaty, and
it has the genuine ring. Mr. Beaty
"The newspapers have wrongfully
accused Superintendent Bignell. He
had nothing to do with the sending out
of the Fremont Tribune editorial cir
culars, which were distributed in rail
road centers Monday. That was de
cided upon at the meeting held on Sun
day and neither Mr. Bignell nor the
democratic state central committee
had anything to do with It. The work
and expense was borne by the repre
sentatives of the brotherhood present.
The doors were open and representa
tives of any newspaper could have
gained admittance. It was decided to
cut the two Browns, because that
made an easy combination of names to
remember. The railroad brotherhood
are in politics to stay. They will be
in politics non-pa!rtisan, neither re
publican nor democratic, but support
ing those candidates who will do most
for the railroad men. We wanted
Smith and Quick this time, and while
we may lose this year we will not lose
the next time. We will be better or
ganized. At the present time there
are four railroad brotherhoods In Lin
coin the Order of Railway Conduc
tors, the Brotherhood of Railway
Trainmen, the Brotherhood of Loco
motive Engineers, and the Brotherhood
of Locomotive Firemen. We will or
ganize every branch of the railroad
business from trackmen up in the fu
ture, and we will then be in politics to
the finish. We will get men in the
legislature who will work for our in
terests. Railroad men are getting
tired of seeing sentiment worked up
against them and the railroad com
panies. Do not charge the work done
here to either Mr. Bignell nor to other
railroad managers. That is not fair.
The railroad brotherhoods are the par
ties who did the work."
Meeting Full of Interest and Oratory
But Small in Numbers.
Lincoln Typographical Union met
last Sunday, and although the attend
ance was small the interest was good,
and some magnificent flights of oratory
were indulged in. Incidentally a
finance committee was appointed to try
and arrange some plans whereby the
union's finances could be bettered. The
union lacks several hundred dollars
of toeing without money, but the in
come for current expenses is just a
bit shy. The committee will try and
"Label talk" was the burden of
business. The action of the allied
printing trades council in granting the
label to a certain shop was not en
dorsed, and the printer delegates wer
instructed to report the union's ob
jections. One or two little amend
ments to the constitution were offered
and will come up for consideration at
the next meeting.
The general sense of the meeting
was that, the label was not being
pushed as it should be, and that more
strictness should be observed in the
matter of granting labels.
W. C.- Norton resigned as delegate
to the allied trades council and Mr.
Radebaugh was elected to fill the vacancy.
Women's union label league meets
RIGHT ON DECK.
Capital Auxiliary Secures Oyster Con
cession at Fair. .
No sooner was - it announced that
there would be a Union Labor Fair
in Lincoln than Capital Auxiliary took
steps to secure one of the concessions.
After mature deliberation the organ
ization decided that they wanted to
sell oysters, and it Immediately ap
plied for the concession, which ' was
granted. The ladies will have the use
of the small cafe in the front of the
building, and when the fair opens will
be ready to supply all comers with
oyster stews and side trimmings.
The check stand concession is for
sale to some enterprising union man
The ice cream concession is for sale
to some hustling organization, pref
erably among the union women.
The candy and pop corn concession
is also for sale. All these concessions
will be sold on a percentage basis. And
the first applicants will be given the
CENTRAL LABOR UNION.
Regular Meeting Tuesday Night and
Big Business on Tap.
The Central Labor Union meets in
regular session Tuesday night, and
every affiliated union should be repre
sented in order to be able to act
intelligently in the matter of promot
ing the Union Labor Fair. In addition
to this labor fair project several other
matters of interest will come up.
Among them will be the framing up
of a plan or two that will aid in land
ing the 1907 convention to the Amer
ican Federation of Labor.
It is to be hoped that every affil
iated union's delegates will be present
at the meeting Tuesday night. It
will take the hearty co-operation of.
every union ' and every unionist to
make the Union Labor Fair a success.
ONE THING THAT HURT.
Democratic Literature Without the La-.
bel Wat Plentiful. -
One thing that hurt the candidacy
of Smith and Quick was the foolish,
habit the democratic county commit
tee had of sending out printed matter,
that did not bear the label. Union men
naturally resented this, and the union
candidates felt it. ,
"If their own committee -won't use '
the label they can't expect us to tear,
our shirts for them," was a statement,
made more than a dozen times to the
editor of this paper. , Chairman Bisn-;
op's attention was called to the mat
ter more than once, but without avail.
"I didn't think," was his excuse. Tho
probabilities are that when Mr. Bish
op again offers himself as a candidate
for the city council the fact will be
indelibly impressed upon his mind. ;
L. D. Woodruff, of the Woodruff-,
Collins printery, was. severely hurt;
Tuesday night while trying to board,
a street car. He made a run for the
car and grasped the rail, but the car
kept going faster, and the conductor,,
doubtless thing of his splendid wages,
couldn't see the would-be passenger.1
and din't pull the rope. Mr. ,Wod-'
ruff was dragged quite a distance"
and sustained severe injuries.
The employes of White & Co.'s col
liery, ,at, Wadesville, Pa., who struck
for an advance in wages, have been
ordered back to work by the officers
of the United Mine Workers.
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