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About The Wageworker. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-???? | View Entire Issue (Sept. 19, 1908)
LINCOLN, NEBBASKA, SEPTEMBER 19, 190S
A f RADtS, 11 COUNCIL!)
VanCleave Feels a
Jab From Lincoln
Vice-president Templeton of the
Buck Stove and Range Co., of which
James W. Van Cleave Is president, was
In Lincoln this week. called here by
pressing business. It was the plea
sure of the editor of The Wageworker
to hold a long conference with Mr.
Tenspleton, in company with other
: ... i inorkln Tho m-nrd mnlfns-
ure" Is used advisedly, for Mr. Tem
pleton is a most courteous and affable
gentleman, and the conference was
marked by good-natured, even though
r times emnhatic. controversy. The
conditions that called Mr. Templeton
to Lincoln may be briefly stated.
The Hardy Furniture Co., has hand
led the Buck output in Lincoln for a
number of years. The recent political
an! legal activity of James Van Cleave
has demonstrated to the firm that
while they may be selling a goodly
number of Buck stoves and ranges.
the mere fact. that they handled this
line of goods operated against their
whole business. It must cheerfully be
admitted that the unionists of Lincoln
were lax In their duty to themselves
la not calling the attention of the
Hardy Furniture Co.. to the controver
sy many months ago. In the .stove
business orders are booked many
months ahead. Consequently the
Hardy Furniture Co., loaded up on
Buck goods before it was cognizant of
the circumstances. When it learned
all the facts It immediately corres
ponded with the Buck Stove & Range
Co., and Mr. Teuipleton's visit was
The Hardy Furniture Co.. whose
members are avowedly friendly to or-
ca&lxed labor, acd the managing mem
ber of the firm, Mr. Will Hardy. Is on
record in that regard. Now it finds it
self in the rather peculiar position of
being the "Innocent purchasers" of a
.- big Un. of unfair good and therefore
the victims of the resentment of
trad unionists. Mr. Will Hardy has
stated to several untom men who were
invited to confer with him. that unless
the Buck Stove 4b Range Co.. can ad
just tts difficulty with the unions, the
Hardy Furniture Co.. as a measure of
nnuonlnn will hare tn riisr-nntinue
the line. The statement of this self
evident fact was deemed by the Buck
S'.ove & Range Co to be of sufficient
tention of some member of the firm,
consequently Mr. Templeton came
H. C. Peat, of the Typographical
Union, is the "pestiferous cuss'V that
brought the matter to a focus. When
Mr. Templeton arrived. Mr. Peat and
tie editor of The Wageworker were
Invited to meet him and "talk it over."
Both Mr. Peat aud the editor of this
humble little labor paper bear wit
ness to the fact that the Buck Stove
and Range Co. acted with a full know
ledge of the gravity of the situation
when it sent Mr. Templeton. for that
gentleman is certainly there with the
conversation, and he made a mighty
f c presentation of what good union
men believe to be a very bad case.
Mr. Templeton laid especial stress
upon the injunction granted by the
District of Columbia courts against
the American Federation of Labor, and
insisted that as good citizens the
unionists of Lincoln ought to quietly
submit to "the law." When asked to
cite the" exact statute, federal or state,
which might be violated he side-steu-
M rrarefllllr and insisted that tho
wviua VI iu7 luc I,.
nat do you ask us to do: quer
ied one of the conference, "lay down?"
"No. you ought to obey the law,
and confine your efforts to getting the
- law changed."
"Then, when the court declares the
amended law to be unconstitutional, as
it has about every law enacted in the
interests of labor, we ought to lay
down for keeps?"
Mr. Templeton replied by repeating
a former statement to the effect that
he was not a lawyer.
According to Mr. Tempieton's view
of the ease organized labor should
quietly submit to the District of Col
umbia court and try to secure an
amendment of the laws, forgetful of
the fact that even an attemut to get
the proposed amendment by citing the
Injustice of the Buck injunction would.
under his interpretation of that in
junction, be contempt of court.
x tfr reprewoizuve ol tue
Buck Stove t Range Co., got his wires
slightly crossed tn trying to explain
tie origin of the difficulty. The diffl
culty arose in the polishing depart
ment of the plant among the platers,
polishers and buffers. Business get
ting slack the company proposed
shortening the hours in order to avoid
laying off any of the men. This was
agreeable to the men. But when busi
ness got good the company insisted on
lengthening the hours from eight to
ten instead of adding to the number
and granting a nine-hour day as de
manded. Mr. Templeton declared that
the plant was an "open shop," which,
by the way is a misnomer, further add
ing that an employe was not asked
whether he was union or non-union.
and that there were no union con
tracts. Then he stated that the platers
and buffers refused to abide by the
decision of an arbitration committee
provided for in an agreement failing
to explain how there could be an
agreement between the company and
the union without recognition of the
union. Certainly if there is an agree
ment with the tiuion the agreement
implies recognition of the union, which
is hardly possible in an "open shop."
When Mr. Templeton made the as
sertion that "lots of good union men
goods from the handlers of the unfair
product. He admitted that this would
be only natural, but insisted that this
would be a violation of tbe District of
Columbia injunction. But on this
point he was assured that the matter
had never been mentioned in any
union meeting in Lincoln, and that it
had never been discussed among union
men. Enough publicity had been given
to the injunction proceedings to make
it unnecessary to resort to even the
most remote semblance of an organ
Throughout the whole transaction
the Hardy Furniture Co., has main
tained the most friendly attitude to
wards the unions. It can not, in jus
tice, be asked to sacrifice the eight
or ten thousand dollars it invested in
this season's stock of stoves an in
vestment made before the union men
who were most vitally interested were
active enough to bring the matter to
the firm's attenton. It can only
assure the unionists that un
less the matter is settled between the
Buck Stove & Range Co., and the
unions it will discontinue handling
the line. Nothing more could be
asked or expected. This leaves the
matter just where it started between
the Buck Stove and Range Co., and
the metal polishers.
But, as was stated in the beginning.
it was a real pleasure to meet Mr.
Templeton and to listen to his very-
He was stopped by a ragged and shiv
ering wretch who craved a minute's
conversation. "Bill" paused while his
companion strolled down the street.
Presently- "Bill" came along, minus
".Where's the overcoat, 'Bill?"'
asked his friend?
"O, that poor devil was in hard
luck and freezing, and no place to go,
so 1 gave him the coat because I
didn't happen to have any money with
me. I can get another coat, but he
might, have frozen to death tonight-"
And that's "Big Bill" Mahon.
It was Mahon who attended a meet-!
ing of the National Civic Federation
at the home of Mrs. Potter Palmer in
Chicago, a year or so ago, and made
a speech that attracted national at
tention. After a lot of scientific phil
anthropists had- discussed with great
erudition the industrial problem,
"Bill" was called on.
"Ladies and gentlemen," he said,
"we unionists are. not trying to dy
namite the palaces; we are going to
dynamite the hovels. We are not in
terested in rest rooms and bathrooms
in the factories; we want bathrooms
in the homes. We are not asking for
reading rooms in the factories; we
want wages and hours that will permit
us to have books in our homes and
time to read them. We are not ask
ing for sympathy; we demand justice.
We are not fighting for ourselves; we
How Straus Loves
Oscar Straus, secretary of commerce
and labor in the cabinet of Theodore
Roosevelt, announces that he will
take the stump for William H. Taft.
This announcement appeared in tbe
newspapers of Saturday, September 12.
It is quite natural that Oscar Straus,
cabinet officer, should support the elec
tion of William H. Taft, but the rea
sons for so doing advanced by Secre
tary Straus are proper subjects for
discussion. Here is what Secretary
"As the head of the department of
commerce and labor, I am decidedly
interested in the welfare of labor, and
I regard the Bryan fallacies more dan
gerous to labor than to any other ele
ment in the campaign. His govern
ment ownership of railroads and his
bank deposit scheme would so cripple
industry as to reduce the wage paying
fund even more than his previous fal
lacy of 16 to 1."
Before discussing these points it
might be well to know just who Oscar
Straus is. He is a millionaire dry
goods merchant of New York, whose
acquaintance with the needs and de
sires of the American mechanics and
17IIAT GRAND CHIEF P. ARTHUR SAID ABOUT IT
One of the first and most notorious of Judge William II.
TatVs labor injunctions was the one directed asrainst the
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers in the now famous To
ledo. Ann Arbor & North Mk-htjrau railroad case. In this
inj (Miction Julre Taft enjoined the Brotherhood of Engineers
from refusin: to handle the ears of an unfair railroad, and
not only compelled Chief Arthur to rescind an order issued
under the duly adopted rules of the Brotherhood, but also
''rtMirpvl led' Chief Arthur to issue an order "that was in direct
eoutraventiou of all that the Brotherhood was organized to
This all happened in the early spring of 1893. while Judge
Taft was a federal judge, and P. M. Arthur was alive and
grand chief of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. As
grand chief of the order Mr. Arthur was also editor of the
Journal of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. In the
Journal for May, 1S9.J, Grand Chief Arthur had the following
editorial in refereuce to Judge Taft and his famous injunction.
It is called to the attention of Brotherhood Engineers at this
"Judge Taft lays much stress upon the fact that, as Grand
Chief of the B. of L. E.. Mr. Arthur wields power beside which
that of the autocrat of many a state is iusignifica'nt. It is true
that as Grand Chief of the B. of L. E.. Mr. Arthur has power,
and it is solely by reason of the belief among the members of
our brotherhood that we have a common cause, and that as a
leader he is best fitted to represent that cause before the world.
It is true that even such power may be. as it too often has
been, used for the injury of the people. But it has been
wielded by Mr. Arthur for years, not merely without objec
tions from any influential quarter, but with the greatest ac
ceptance, even to Judges Ricks and Taft. the Ash leys and
others who join with the above gentlemen in their denuncia
tion at this time of what they term labor's autocratic power.
For years at all prominent terminal railroad centers the B. of
L. K. has had social fraternal gatherings, to which the most
learned and able of jurists, governors, professional, political
and civic gentlemen were invited. They laid aside the cares
and duties of the office, home pleasures and engagements that
they might by their presence and words assure not only the
members of the B. of L. E., but the publie, their appreciation
of our efforts, also that they might be in touch with the htim
. ble citizen who six days out of seven have the care of the
traveling public and 'millions of property in their hands.
These gentlemen have at all times endeavored to impress vast
congregations how-thoroughly they? were m aceonl withy and
how highly they appreciated, the noble work we were as an
association accomplishing. They have spoken in the highest
terms of our leader, never failing to commend Mr. Arthur's
conservative poliey, which in the past has adjusted the many
grievances between railway companies and their employes.
Even eminent divines from the many denominations have laid
aside their priestly robes and bidden Godspeed in our mission.
"We were assured by the press that we were engaged in a fealty
for our fellow men worthy the highest efforts of noblemen.
Judge Taft's decision publicly proclaims the members of the
B. cf Xu E. a band of conspirators, and he endeavors to impress
the public of its unfitness to judge of our standing. Thi shas
caused the public press, with few exceptions, to denounce our
mode of protection, and it is. but natural we should hesitate
to pick up again the unfinished work which has claimed Our
attention for the past thirty years. We cannot accept Judge
Taft's decision in any other light than treason to republican
institutions and the liberties of the people. It is, will be, and
ought to be, denounced and repudiated by all liberty loving
men. If the decision stands as the decision of the highest
tribunal of the land, it will be defied and violated by the high
est earthly tribunal the people.
"We believe the members of the B. of L. E. and B. cf L. F.
are what is termed free American citizens, whose- loyalty to
State has never been impeached, and we do not believe we can
be deprived cf the liberty vouchsafed to us by the constitution
without due process of law."
were buying Buck stoves" there was
an instant disclaimer from the two
unionists participating in the. conference.
"Men carrying union cards may buy
Buck stoves, but good union men do
not." said Mr. Peat.
Mr. Templeton gracefully admitted
that there might be a distinction be
tween being a good union man and
merely carrying a union card.
"We want it distinctly understood."
said Mr. Peat, "that this is not the
fight of the Lincoln unionists. It is a
matter that must be. settled between
the Buck Stove & Range Co.. and the
metal polishers. When you get right
with them you will be right with us."
"But why should you make the
Hardy Furniture Co.. the innocent
victims of a boycott T" asked Mr. Tem
He was emphatically assured that
there would not be the remotest ef
fort made towards boycotting the
Hardy Furniture Co. It was merely
pointed out that the attention of the
local firm had been called to the fact
that its handling of the unfair Buck
product operated against its other de
partments; that it was natural that
a union man who resented having the
unfair product flaunted in his face
mould carry thf resentment to the
point ol refusing ihuy other lines of
eloquent, if not quite convincing, pre
sentation of the Buck stove and
Range company's side of the controversy.
NOMINATED FOR CONGRESS.
"Big Bill" Mahon Honored by Demo
crats of Detroit District.
William D. Mahon. "Bill." as he is
affectionately known by thousands of
trades unionists throughout the
length and breath of the land, has
been nominated for congress by the
democrats of the Detroit, Mich., dis
tricL ' "Bill" Mahon is president of the
Amalgamated Association of Street
Railway Employes, and is one of the
staunchest trades unionists in the
world. No man has worked harder
or sacrificed more for trades unionism
than has this big. tender-hearted and
tireless man, Mahon. We can remem
ber when "BiH" Mahon was trying
to organize the street railway em
ployes. He actually traveled via the
bcx car route to get the organization
started, having no money to pay for
riding on the velvet cushions.
One night a few years ago "Bill"
and a friend were walking along -a
quiet Detroit street. It was bitter cold
and "Bill" had on a heavy overcoat
are fighting for our wives and babies."
Here's hoping that this splendid
type of American manhood, this type
of the trades unionist, will be elected
and thus enabled to stand on the floor
of congress and fight for a recogni
tion of the men who tol. We'll take
chances on his more than holding his
own with the representatives of "ves
ted rights," and opponents of trades
WORRYING ABOUT OUR FUTURE.
The editorial writers of the great
American dailies, always unfavorably
disposed toward the organized work
ers, are using up columns of space to
show that the rank and file are disatis
fied with the attitude of Sam Gompers
on the injunction plank in the demo
cratic platform. How awfully wor
ried they are about us. They-"fear"
the beginning of the end of the Ameri
can Federation of Labor. But don't
let those editorials cause you the loss
of any sleep, brother trade unionists.
You may gamble if the writers thought
we were going on the rocks they
wouldn't be hanging out danger sig
nals. They'd just keep mum and let
us slide to our doom. Pittsburg let
ter to Union Laobr Journal.
craftsmen is purely academic. He
never oeiongea to a union, never
served an apprenticeship at any trade,
and never lived among men who
worked for a daily wage, dependent
wholly upon an uncertain state of
trade for employment that would keep
the wolf from his door.
- "As the head of the department of
COMMERCE and labor" savs SW-
retary Straus, "I am decidedly inter
ested in the welfare of labor."
Well, now, let us see about that. Of
course it will be cheerfully admitted
that he is interested in the welfare of
commerce, for he Is essentially a com
mercial man. But what about his in
terest in labor, as it affects the union
men and women of this republic. Let
the records tell the story.
About two rears aeo the union lith
ographers of the country, followins
the lead of other unions of the allied
printing trades, submitted a demand
upon their employers for the eight
hour day. The eight hour" day had al
ready been secured by the printers,
and the bookbinders and pressmen
were already virtually victorious in a
similar struggle. The emolovinz lith
ographers, however, absolutuelv re
fused to consider the eight hour day
proposition, and the lithographers
struck to enforce their demands.
As a result of the strike the lith
ographing industry one of the great
est in the country insofar as the busi
ness of publicity is concerned, was
The striking lithographers would
have won handily had it not been for
the unwarranted and illegal interfer
ence of Oscar Straus, secretary of
commerce and labor and pretended
friend of the workingmen of this
The employing lithographers ap
pealed to Secretary Straus, and with
one stroke of his pen he defeated tbe
hopes and aspirations of the striking
How did he do it?
On tbe pretense that there was a
dearth of skilled workmen in tbe lith
ographing trade. Secretary Straus
SUSPENDED THE ALIEN COX
TRACT LABOR LAW INSOFAR A3
IT PERTAINED TO LITHOGRAPH
ING. AND PERMITTED THE EM
PLOYING LITHOGRAPHERS TO IM
PORT LITHOGRAPHERS FROM
And this, mind yon. when hundred
of American lithographers were walfc
ing the streets, unemployed, and ask
ing only for an eight boor work day I
American workingmen have had
enough and a plenty of friendship like
that. It is the same kind of friend
ship that pretended to be for the pro
tection of American labor bat ha
filled the mines of Pennsylvania and
West Virginia, the steel mill at
Homestead and Chicago and the tube
mills at Youngstown with Hons, Slavs.
Finns and Hungarians who gladly
worked for wages that would reduce
the American workman to tbe level of
the pauper labor in Europe.
Continuing Secretary Straus says:
I do not thick that eves Bryan him-
el wou reclaim that President Roose-
veff-sas itrimkai to labor and I know
from my own connection as a trusted
member of bis cabinet, and I say this
without disclosing any of tbe privacies
of the cabinet room, that whenever
the labor question came np. either is
or out of that room, Mr. Taft's position
has always been for the best interests
of the laboring man."
We hold that any fair-minded and
unprejudiced man win admit that the
men who toil at the forge, the beach,
in the mine, the shop and the mill, who
feed the furnaces and handle tbe throt
tle in short the men who perform the
nerve-racking labor are better fitted
to pick their friends than some man
who sits at a mahogany desk in a
cabinet room or a counting house.
Straus says William H. Taft is a
friend of labor. He says that Mr.
Taft has always been for the best in
terests of labor.
Is that the reason Judge Taft
cinched the union bricklayers of Cin
cinnati because they refused to handle
tbe product of a firm that was injur in?
them as workingmen? Is that the
reason he sent Frank Phelan to jail
for trying to organize railroad men ia
defense of their rights? Is that the
reason he jailed the Ann Arbor engi
neer who insisted upon his right to
cease work when he saw fit? Is that
the reason he unsnrped the functions
of grand chief of the Brotherhood of
Locomotive Engineers and forced that
order to rescind a rule which, in the
judgment of its members, was neces
sary for the protection of the engi
neers? Is that the reason be offered
the chief of the Brotherhood of Loco
motive Firemen the choice between
going to jail and promulgating to the
membership an order written by Judge
Taft himself, which order nullified the
efforts of the organization to protect
and benefit its members?
Theodore Roosevelt and bis atti
tude towards workingmen is not a sub
ject of discussion at this time. Neither
is government ownership of railroads.
Neither Is "16 to 1." But -William H.
Taft is. So is guarantee of bank de
posits. William H. Taft's friendship for la
bor is a matter of record. So is the
friendship or Oscar Straus. So is the
record of a score of bank failures la
Omaha and Lincoln wherein hundred
of workingmen lost their little savings
and lost them beyond recourse.
Uncle Joe Cannon is "defending hi
record." according to the Associated
Press. Cannon most be one of those
lawyers who don't give a darn who
the client is just so they get the at
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