The Wageworker. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-????, March 06, 1909, Image 1

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NO. 48
Among the Live
Here, There
Something more than two years ago
the managers of the then Citizens'
Railway Co. Hdvrtlsed in The Wage
worker that among other reasons why
the union men and women of the city
hould patronize the "white line" was
that the company was not averse to
its motormen and conductors organ
izing. In various ways the manage
ment of the Citizens' company let it
he known that it would welcome an
opportunity to do business with organ
ised employes.. But the motormen and
conductors could not be prevailed upon
to organize. They were getting more
than the Tract'on company men, and
this tickled them almost to death.
What was the use of organizing when
they were already getting the money?
Why pay dues when they got all the
benefits without? Nothing to organ
ization, anyhow!
Now there is a light breaking on
the minds of the aforesaid motormen
and conductors.
A week or bo ago consolidation of
the Citizens Railway Co. and the Lin
coln Traction Co. was organized. As
soon as the merger was completed the
wage scale was given attention.
Did the new corporation decide to
graje up the pay of the Traction men
to the Citizens' standard, or did it
decide to grade down the pay of the
Citizens' men to the Traction com
pany standard?
You are allowed one guess.
Correct! You guessed it the first
time. The standard was fixed at the
lower level maintained by the Traction
company, and now the Citizens' motor-
men and conductors who couldn't see
the benefits of organization and
contract wage schedule are going to
find their wage envelopes short from
$2.50 to $3 a month.
It might have cost them as much as
75 cents a month .for dues perhaps
only 50 cents. And does anyone sup
pose for a minute that if the Citizens'
company men tad a contract wage
scale that the new company would
have dared to abrogate that contract?
If the Citizens' company men had
listened to the advise of old-time
union men who know the game from
Alpha to Omaha, they would not now
be bemoaning a lowered wage scale.
It s awfully hard for union men
to work up any sympathy for the
motormen and conductors who are
going to suffer a reduction of pay
They are getting Just what they
framed up for themselves. But there
will be plenty of sympathy for the
wives and babies who are going to
miss that little old two or three
dollars a month.
We mention the motormen and
conductors in the department of "Live
Ones," not because they are really in
that class, but merely to call their
case to the attention of the real live
tnes who now have ample opportun
ity to say, "I told you so."
The Traction Co. schedule averages
about 1 cent n hour lower than the
eld Citizens' schedule. This means a
loss of about 12 cents a day to the
Citizens' Co. men. Of course that
Isn't much per day, but it amounts to
About $43.80 a year. It would cost
the men about $9 a year dues to be
long to the union, which would leave a
ret profit to unionism of $34,80 a year,
rpeaktng in terms of dollars and cents,
put in addition there would be the
sick benefit, the out-of-work benefits,
the burial benefit, and all the other
benefits of unionism.
Perhaps the motormen and con
ductors of Lincoln will sit up an J
take notice now.
The men and boys who were guilty
that "race riot ' in soum unuuu
couple of weeks ago should be pun
ished to the limit, fhey should bo
punished for two reasons. One reason
is that they foolishly went after the
-ffect instead of aiming at the cause.
Another reason is that Instead ol
venting their wrath on the innocent
victims living in the hovels in South
Omaha, they should have marched in
hodv to the Hanscom rars aim
West Famam dretrlcts of Omaha and
made their protest to the parties re
for conditions in South
A lot of maudlin sympathy, by the
way, is helng wasted on the "poor,
persecuted Greeks" of South Omaha.
It is all coming from the quarters that
and Elsewhere
had no word of sympathy for tho
Americans who were forced by In
human conditions to strike for better
pay and decent surroundings, and then
had their places filled by the imported
hordes from decadent Greece. By the
way, don't Imagine that the "common
workingmen" of South Omaha were
wholly responsible for that so-called
riot. Business men who find them
selves facing ruin because of the Gre
cian conditions of Packingtown did
not bust any suspenders trying to
squelch the riot.
Does it pay to organize? Ask the
musicians. The other night the editor
of this glorious rag of freedom at
tended a meeting having for its pur
pose the organization of a little social
dancing club. The instigator of the
enterprise said:
"It will cost each of us just $4.05 for
the term. That wMl pay hall rent and
musicians. A year or two ago we
could have secured the music we
need a piano and violin for $6.
Now we will have to pay $7.50 be
cause that is the union scale." - ,
"Well, isn't it worth it?" queried
the labor editor.
'Certainly it is," was the reply,
'and I am glad that They are enforcing
a fair scale of prices."
The union musicians of Lincoln pay
$3 a year dues. In just four nights
the increased wage scale makes good
the amount they pay to the support
of their union.
Isn't that a good investment?
A bill that is of Interest to the
allied printing trades has been Intro
duced in the legislature. It creates
a "commissioner of printing" similar
to the positions of oil inspector and
labor commissioner. In other words,
it makes the. governor the commis
sioner of printing and empowers him
to appoint a dep'.ry who shall be a
"competent printer" within the full
meaning of that term. This depart
ment is to have complete control of
?be printing, anil also of the purchase
of supplipa for all offices, including
the legislature.
Another printing bill contemplates
retiring the state treasurer from the
printing board and substituting the
governor, who shall have the appoint
ment of the board s secretary. It is
the general opinion of all who have
Investigated the matter that the bill
first referred to is by far the better
The deputy commissioner of labor
asked the legislature for $500 with
which to finance the holding of a
state labor meeting. The request was
denied. The sum of $20,000, however,
is set aside to finance the fanners'
institutes and the chicken show gets
the usual $1,000.
When the Central Labor Union
meets next Tuesday evening tha
newly elected president, Mr. Hanna
of the Electrical Workers, will prob
ably announce his committee for the
ensuing term. President Hanna may
be depended upon to appoint "live
ones," and then lay awake nights to
frame up schemes to keep them busy.
The Machinists have decided to
wake up and get into the game in real
earnest, and henceforth delegates
from that organization may be ex
pected to attend the meetings.
Wish we had the name of the wise
labor gazabo of New York who
sprung this good one on Judge Wright-
"Why, if Judge Wright had lived
nineteen hundred years ago he would
have restrained the Apostle Paul from
preaching to the Ephesians on the
ground that Paul was interferring with
the business of the silversmiths who
make images of Diana."
That's about the best shot at the
arrogant Wright that we have seen.
If you are interested in the story, just
read the nineteenth chapter of Acts.
Demetrius the silversmith was the
great grand-daddy of the whole tribe
of VanCleaves, Parrys and Posts.
The official organ of the Bricklayers
and Masons has changed its form,
coming now with smaller pages and
more of them, making it more con
venient in size and adding to Its ap
pearance. The Bricklayer and Mason
is one of the best craft journals in
the country.
M ' ttftV r .' ; . ft, l
J it'l v- - ' ''-'- &t
-rf!JKf? V.V' "S jP-- l'1 'ft
William Howard Taft. president
our level best to defeat him, but it
dent here's hoping he'll make the
prove a glad disappointment to
that he would hand as many presidential lemons to organized labor
as he handed judicial lemons when he was on the bench. Of one
thing we are sure, while William Howard Taft is president we are
going to have less of the eecntric and the spectacular, and mor"e
of the sensible and the thoughtful. We'll have less of froth and
more of fact, less of grandstanding and gumshoeing and more
of poise and peace and we hope
If William Howard Taft's
prosperous as Ave hope it will be,
tude and forgiven a whole lot of the wrongs he has done us.
On the whole we. are rather inclined to like William Howard
Taft. True we don't agree on lots of things, but we are agreed that
this is the biggest, the best and the brightest country on the face
of the earth. We agree that what we need and want is less bluster
and more business; less rant and more reason; less contention and
more commerce.
William Howard Taft takes into the presidency a big brain in
a sound body. He is the president of the humblest toiler as well as
of the haughtiest capitalist. He deserves the support and sympathy
of every loyal citizen, regardless of party, in his every effort to
advance the material, the social and the moral welfare of the re
public. If he will talk less about the "square deal" and get busy
with the cards, he'll start something, anyhow. We've grown a little
weary of so much talk about the "square deal." It was pretty
good "patter" to deceive us while we were getting it in the neck.
Now we want a hand in the game,
to cut the cards before the deal
We would much rather have
but Ave lost out. So we 11 accept the William that s there, like a
loyal citizen should and give him the hip-hurrah with a hearty good
We have been told that William HoAvard Taft is, after all, a
good friend of the trades unions. Perhaps. We Avere born in tal
lawav county, Misouri, the birthplace of the original "shoAV-me"
nan. And A hen Ave are shown Ave 're going to take a day off and
hate ourselves for having ever doubted it. If ever a man had an
opportunity to shoAV his friendship for organized labor, William
Howard Taft is the man. If he's got it in stock he can't get it out
on the counter any too soon. If William's administration turns oul
to be a prosperity-breeder, Ave '11
and Ave'll be man enough to give
And if the reverse is true we're going to put the thumb of our right
hand to our probocis, and Avhile wriggling that thumb's companion
digits Ave 're going to IioavI "Ave told you so" in a tone of voice that
Avill shake Abraham Lincoln's tin statute off the dome ol the Lan
caster county court house. And we'd a lot rather grab off a chunk
or tAA-o of Taft prosperity than to be able to say "Ave told you so"
any old day in the year.
But. after all,. William Howard Taft is still a man, even though
president of the United States. If he does not make some mistakes
he'll be the Avonder of all succeeding ages. But here's hoping his
mistakes Avill be little ones, and we" honestly believe they'll be mis
takes of the head not of the heart. -SomehoAV or other Ave've kind-o'
melloAved towards William during
got a lot of sore spots, but Ave 're
as Ave did a month or so ago. We
of these United States. We did
was no use. Now that he is presi
best one we ever had. May he
thousands, of us who were afraid
administration is as successful and
he will be iemembered with grati
and Ave would rather like a chance
seen another William in the chair,
undertake to get our share,
him all the credit that is due him.
the last few weeks. We've .still
not using as much salve and arnica
don't believe, and never did, that
on Page Five.)
Printers and Employers
Have Mutually Agreed
Lincoln Typographical Union No. ;
209 has just closed a contract with i
the largest employing printers of the
city a contract that is as pleasing as
it is satisfactory to both sides.
For several weeks the scale com
mittee of the union has been meeting
with a committee composed of eight
of the largest employing printers in
the city, and these meetings have
been marked by. harmony and good
will. The result is a complete under
standing that will preserve harmony
for the next five years. More than
that, it brings Lincoln up to the class
where she properly belongs in the
matter of printing wages and con
ditions. -
Briefly the' new contract calls for
the following:
A scale of $17 a week for the -job
men,, eigllt hours a day. Time and
one-third f6r overtime for the next
two years from date of contract and
time and one-half for overtime after
the end of the two years for the next
three years. . ,
An advance of 25 cents a day in
he daily newspaper scale for the
next two years from date of contract,
and 25 cents a day more for the next
three years.
But an increase in the wage'scale is
by no means the most pleasing fea
ture of the hew contract, which con
tract, by the way, runs for a period
of five years from February 27,
1909. The International Typograph
ical Union and the Newspaper Pub
lishers' Association have an arbitra
tion agreement whereby strikes are
avoided and through which every
difficulty that has arisen during the
last five years has been amicably
adjusted without the loss of an hour's
time or a dollar of , wages.- Unfor
tunately the employing job printers
have no such association as the pub
lishers, therefore the International
Typographical Union has no arbitra
tion agreement covering the job men.
But in the new contract that has been
signed by the employing printers of
Lincoln and the Lincoln Typograph
ical Union, a start has been nade
towards remedying this situation.
For at least five years to come In
Lincoln any disagreement between
the employing job printers and their
employes will be arbitrated not by
outsiders, but by the parties inter
ested. It is a belief current among
the employing printers of Lincoln
that the "Lincoln agreement" will
sooner or later be as widely known
as the present agreement with the
Newspaper Publishers' Association.
In- addition to the facts set out
above the new contract clears up a
number of points that heretofore have
been in a state of uncertainty. One
of these is the matter of apprentices,
Under the new agreement the em
ployers will co-operate with the union
In securing as apprentices boys who
show some signs of adaptability to
the trade, and when indentured these
boys are to bo trained up to become
skilled craftsmen. In this work the
employers will help, because it means
better workmen in the future.
The interests of the fair employing
printers of the city are safeguarded
in several ways. 1 During every ses
sion of the two committees the best
of feeling prevailed, and while there
was, naturally, many differences of
opinion, not once was there the least
sign of trouble. As a matter of fact,
the good feeling was more than once
a matter of comment. '
Several humorous things happened
during the conferences. Occasionally
the employing job printers would re
tire for a little conference over some
disputed point, and the newspaper em
ployers would put in the time telling
good stories having to do with their
experiences. AVhen the newspaper
employers would retire to confer, the
employing job printers would make
things lively with tales of their ex
periences. All this served to keep
everybody in a good' humor all the
time, and when men retain their good
humor it is never difficult to agree..
ine printing concerns that have
signed the new contract to date are
as follows:
State Journal Company.
Star Publishing Company.
'Press Publishing Company. '
North & Company. -Woodruff-Collins
George Bros.
New Century.
Western Newspaper Union.
Other employing printers have sig
nified a willingness to sign the agree
ment, and it will be present to
them as rapidlyas possible.
The Wageworker congratulates they
employing printers of Lincoln and
Lincoln Typographical Union upon the
success attending the conferences.
The union's scale committee is
entitled to the highest praise ftr
its good work.
Citizens' Company Employee Can See
What They Have Missed.
Without any desire ' whatever to
"rub it In," The Wageworker would
like to call the attention of the motor-
men and conductors of the late Cit
izens' company to the story of the
printers, published elsewhere in this
issue. The printers are organized
and well disciplined throueh lonz
years of experience. They have just
"Signed a contract whereby the lob
men get an increase of $1.60 a week
in their scale, and the machine men
an increase of $1.50 a week for two
years, and then an additional in
crease of $1.50 a week for the next ,
three years.- .. t. r-.
The conductors and motormen of
the Citizens' lino "were practically in
vited by the management to organize,
but they wouldn't do it. They , were
already getting more than the Trac
tion Co. men,-so why pay dues? '
It's i different now. . The Citizens'
scale was lowered &- the Traction
scale when the merger was .: com-'
rleted, and while the dtUpif printers
were getting an increase St'f S cents
a day, and working only eight hours
at that, the non-union: hiotormea an j.
conductors6iTthe Citizens' Co. lines
were getting a decrease of 12 cents
a day, and working twelve hours. "
If this don't put the motormen
and conductors to thinkine-
nothing will.
News Notes About the Helpmates of
the Printer Men.
Mr. and Mrs. O. C. Jones - have
moved to the Pentzer home, 1847
North Twenty-seventh street anrt
Mrs. Jones will entertain the Auxiliary--
on March 10.
Mrs. Charles B. Righter is still con
fined to her home by sickness. '
Mrs. George Freeman is suffering
from a badly sprained ankle, the re- -suit
of falling down the cellar steps.
Mrs. Will Bustard has been quite
sick for the past week.
The Hebbard home is no longer un
der quarantine and Mr. Hebbard can
now eat a meal at his own table. The
house has been under quarantine for
nearly two months.
Mr. and Mrs. George. Locker have
moved out near Normal and will en
gage in the poultry business on a
large scale. The Auxiliary is plan
ning to hold a meeting out there as
soon as the "broilers" are rine.
The committeo appointed to prepare
for a social for the benefit of the
monument fund is hard at work, but
as yet has made none of the details
of the proposed affair public.
It is estimated that i-t will require
about $6,000 to entertain the inter
national convenion of the Typograph"
ical Union, which-will be held in St.
Joseph, Mo., next August. To raise
this money the local union has de
cided to depart from the. established
custom of soliciting funds from busi
ness men and proposes to accomplish .
the purpose by means of an industrial
fair and entertainment at the audi
torium, to be held upon a large scale
and which will enlist the entire public.
After a heated debate the United
Miners of - Illinois have decided to
delve into politics and a special coni
?nittee was appointed to report to the
convention as to what should be the
future political policy of the organiza
tion. This was done after President
Walker had paid his respects to
"Uncle Joe" Cannon, referring to him
ae the "greatest stumbling block in the
world in the path of organized labor."