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About The Wageworker. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-???? | View Entire Issue (April 24, 1909)
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, APRIL 24, 1909
SQUELCEI THAT PROPOSE PMSOM COMTMCT
WV7A fmnffoiw To
The Crescent Manufacturing (.'.. of St. Ixutis. proposes to estab
lish at the Nebraska state prison a factory for the manufacture of
overalls, work shirts ami the cheaper grades of clothing. The com
pany through its-representative, offers to pay the state "." cents a
day for the labor of each convict put into the clothinsr shop the tirst
year. 60 cents a day to each convict serving the second year in the
shop, and t5 cents a day for each convict working therein two or
more years. It also asks the state to furnish l.0 men for nothing
for a couple of months so they can be "taught the trade.'"
The State Board of Public Iands and Buildings is said to be
seriously considering the acceptance of the offer in some form or
other. There is some disagreement as to the price per convict and
the terms of the general agreement, but rumor has it that the board
looks with favor upon the establishment of an overall factory in the
Two arguments are advanced to support the theory that such
a factory should be established inside the prison walls. One is that
the great and sovereign state of Nebraska "needs the money." The
other is that the couvicts must be given something to do. or the
poor thiups will go mad. A wonderful lot of sympathy that is never
extended to a poor devil on the outside who is striving manfully
to earn an honest livelihood for himself and his little ones is forever
beinc handed out in bunches to a lot of lawbreakers who are behind
the bars as a punishment for their crimes against society.
Neither argument advanced iu favor of establishing factories
inside the prison walls is good. In the first place Nebraska is not
yet down to that financial condition when it must depend upon the
labor of couvicts for its support. In the second place, it is not
necessary to put convicts in eometitioii with free labor in order
to provide the convicts with employment. There is plenty of work
the convicts can do that will keep them employed, be advantageous
to the state, and not injurious to honest laborers who are trying to
live honestly and decently. v
Suppose the state establish a clothing factory in the prison and
there make he garments used by the state's wards in the pen and
other state institutions? That wouldn't put prison made goods in
The State Federation of
Labor Meeting in Sight
Else here The Wageworker prints
the call for a meeting to organize a
State Federation of Labor, the call
having been issued by Deputy Com
missioner of Labor Maupin. Mr. Mau
pin holds (.hat such an organization
will be pt service, not only to. the
workers of the stale, but to the bu
reau. It will bring the workers to
gether, and it will put the Bureau of
Labor and Industrial Statistics in close
touch with the workers. The latter
is the chief reason Mr. Maupin offers
for issuing the call. It is his aim to
make the Bureau of Labor and Indus
trial Statistics what It was Intended
to be a bureau of labor and industrial
The call printed elsewhere has been
sent to the local secretary of everr
labor organisation in the state. 1
any have, been missed it is because
the deputy commissioner could not lo
cate. Any local secretary who fails
to receive a formal notice is requested
to consider any mention of the fact a
notice that his organization is request
ed to seed a representative to the
According to reports on file in the
Bureau of Labor Census and Indus
trial Statistics. Nebraska has the fol
Typographical Vnion, 3 Omaha.
International Printing Pressmen and
Assistants' Vnion, S Omaha. Lincoln.
International Siereotypers and Elec
trotypers, 3 Omaha. Lincoln.
International Association of Ma
chinists, $ Alliance. Grand Island.
Fairbary, Lincoln, McCook. North
Platte, Omaha. Beatrice.
International Brotherhood of Elec
trical Workers. 4 Omaha. (2, Fre
Amalgamated Association of Street
and Electric Railway Employes, 1
Wood. Wire and Metal I -at hers In
ternational Vnion. 2 Omaha. Lin
coln. International Alliance Bill Posters
and Billers. 1 Omaha.
Journey mtn Barbers' International
I'nion. 7 South Omaha, Lincoln. Be
atrice. Omaha. Fairbury, Nebraska
Brotherhood of Railway Clerks, 1
Sheet Metal Workers International
Alliance. 1 Omaha.
Cigarniakers" International Vnion. S
Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island,
Coopers' International I'nion. 1 Om
aha. Brotherhood of Leatherworkers on
Horse Goods, 4 Omaha, Lincoln. Fre
Journeymen Tailors I'nion, 2 On
competition on the open market with the products of free labor.
Suppose the state put a hundred or more of them to breaking
stone for macadamizing of the publie roads? That would give the
convicts employment and their work would not compete with the
labor of free men.
Nebraska is too intelligent to bejjin at this late 4ay to adopt
a plan that is being discarded by other states. The prison eontraet
system is so outrageous, so unfair to honest labor, so detrimental to
honest and legitimate business, that one who has given the matter a
moment's thought wonders how intelligent men can consider it for
a moment. The employment of 200 epr.viets on overalls and work
clothes will do more than throw a couple hundred free garment
workers out of employment. It will drag down the wage scale of
thousands of others. ICrw can a manufacturer employing free labor
pay girls and women a dollar or a dollar and a half a day for making
overalls that must be sold over the counter in competition with over-
Stato Federation of Labor
Brotherhood of Boilermakers and
Iron Ship Builers, S Omaha. North
Platte. Havelock. McCook. Fairbury.
Alliance. Grand Island, Linccln.
Bartenders Internationa) Le.icue. ?
Alliance of Theatrical Stage Em
ployes. 2 Omaha. Lincoln.
Bridge and Structural Iron Workers.
International I'nion of Steam Engi
neers, 1 Omaha.
Journeymen Stonecutters" Associa
tion. 2 Omaha. Lincoln.
International I'nion of Vnited Brew
ery Workmen. 2 Omaha (2); branch
International Union Ladies' Garment
Workers. 1 Omaha.
International Photo Engravers'
I'nion, 1 Omaha.
Plumbers. Gas and Steam Fitters'
I'nion. 3 Omaha (2). Lincoln.
Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators
and Paperhangers. o Omaha (2). Be- j
atrice. Lincoln. Holdrege.
International Brotherhood of Black
smiths. 4 Omaha, Grand Island.
Operative Plasterers' International
Association. 2 Omaha. Beatrice.
American Brotherhood of Cement
Workers. 1 Omaha.
International Glove Workers' I'nion,
Railway Switchmen's Vnion, 2 Om
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engi
neers. It Alliance. Beatrice, Chadron.
Fairbury. Fremont. Lincoln. McCook.
North Platte, Norfolk. Omaha, Wj-more.
Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen
and Enginemen, 11 Chadron. North
Platte. Omaha. Lincoln. Norfolk, Fair
bury. Beatrice. Fremont, McCook. Al
Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen.
11 Chadron. Omaha. North Platte.
Norfolk. Lincoln. Fairbury Wyniore.
Alliance. McCook. Fremont.
Bookbinders International Brother
hood, 2 Omaha. Lincoln.
Vnited Brotherhood of Carpenters
and Joiners of America. 11 Fremont,
Fairbury. Beatrice. Grand Island. Hol
drege, Lincoln. McCook. Nebraska
City, Omaha (2), South Omaha.
In additiou to the above there are
Federal Labor Villous, chartered by
the America Federation of Labor, at
South Omaha. Omaha (2); and Fair
bury, There are Central Labor
Vnions at Beatrice, Fremont, Lincoln,
Omaha and South Omaha. Deputy
Commissioner Maupin Invites these
Federal Vnions and Central Bodies to
send delegates to the meeting. A
number of the local unions have auxil
iaries composed of the wives, daugh
ters and sisters of the union men.
Every such organization is also urged
Lincoln, Nebr., April 17, 1909. Believing that an
organization, made tip of the wage earners of the State
would be of benefit to those who. toil in mill and factory,
in shop and in the transportation service, and acting in
for the purpose of organizing a State Federation of Labor.
Census and Industrial Statistics, I hereby call a delegate
convention in the city of Lincoln on June 21 and 22,1909,
for the purpose o f organizing a State Federation of Labor.
Such organizations in other states have been productive
of great good to the workers and, therefore, productive
of great good to the commonwealths. In this connection,
I desire to call attention to the Kansas State Federation of
Labor. This organization is recognized by statute and
there is annually appropriated $500 for defraying the
expenses of the Federation's meeting.
The matter of permanent organization, plan of repre
sentation, dues, rules of government, etc., of the organiza
tion will, of course, be left for the organization itself to
decide. . In order, however, to effect organization,' I ask
each local union in Nebraska to select one delegate to
represent it at the initial meeting. Each delegate should
come with credentials properly signed and sealed by the
local officials of the union. Local secretaries are urged to
promptly report to me the names of delegates thus select
ed, and local organizations are urged to act promptly.
Full information as to program, hotel rates, place of
meeting, etc., will be announced in ample time.
It is the aim of this department to forward the cause
of labor to the fullest possible extent, and to that end it
asks the hearty co-operation of the workingmen and
women of the State. WILL M. MAUPIN,
Bureau of Labor Census and Industrial Statistics.
alls made in a prison at a labor cost of fifty or sixty rents a dayT
There can be but one result the free laborer must soon seek othVr
work. and failing to find it must "go to the bad." and thus nukr
sure of employment, this time behind the prison bars.
The prison eontraet system puts a premium on erirn- and art
as a deterrent on honesty. It is a disturber of a labor market
already in bad shape so bad that thousands upon thousand of
jobless men are walking the streets vainly looking for work that
they may buy bread for hungry wives and little ones.
But strange as it may seem to those who are not misled by
maudlin sympathy or actuated by conscienceless greed, the proposition
to establish an overall factory in the Nebraska penitentiary is beine
considered. It is up to the free workers of the state to express their
opinion of this proposition in most unmistakable terms.
ijjet every opponent of prison contract work write to the State
Board of Public Lands and Buildings at once, protesting against this
injustice. Do not mince words tell just what yon think and jttst
what Vu will do in ease yonr protest is not heeded.
TMe overall and work garment industry in Nebraska is growing
rapidly. The conditions in this trade are none of the best as rir
enmstances are now. They will be infinitely worse if the men and
women now engaged in garment working are forced to work in
competition with convicts. Young women who now earn an aTerage
of 7 a week, out of which they must pay loard. laundry and dress
and live honorably will be compelled to work for less if they are
forced into competition with the convicts in the Nebraska prison.
Society owes quite as much to these honest, virtuous, hardworking
young women as it owes to the lawbreakers the burglar, thr
sneak thieves, the porch-climbf rs the strong-arm workers, the rap
ists and the highwaymen who are confined behind the bars.
In the name of these honest and hardworking young women, in
the name of free workers who are striving to support families and
rear their children so they may become honest. CJod-fearine. intelli
gent citizens in the name of eommon justice. let every worker make
immediate protest against the damnable proposition to enlarge the
already iniquitous prison eontraet labor system in Nebraska.
Among the Live Workers
Here, There and Elsewhere
to send a delegate, and if the re
sponses are numerous enough Deputy
Commissioner Maupin promises to
have some woman well known in the
trades union movement address the
"The organization of a State Federa
tion of Labor will be of great service
to this department." said Mr. Maupin.
It will enable the commissioner to
keep in close touch with labor inter
ests throughout the state, and thus
permit him to collect and publish val
uable statistical information. I have
great hopes that the initial meeting
will be a good one, both in point of
attendance and in interest."
THE LABOR TEMPLE BOOSTERS.
Temple Day Pledges Being ' Signed
With a Hearty Good Will.
The directors of the Labor Temple
Association met in regular session last
Monday evening, and hurried through
a mass of business. The Auxiliary to
the Typographical Vnion reported ac
ceptance of the offer to secure
pledges on "Labor Temple Day," May
12, and further reported that the work
had already begun. Pledges aggregat
ing upward of $200 were secured the
first day, and then less than an hour's
work was performed. The plan looks
like a sure winner and will be if the
boosters get busy as they should.
All certificates of stock paid for to
date have been issued and are being
handed to the owners as rapidly as
possible. From now on the work of
pushing will be prosecuted with vigor.
As rapidly as possible committees will
call on the various organizations and
ask pledges to the "Labor Temple
Day" fund. The Wageworker be
speaks for these enterprising unions
women a courteous welcome and hear
It must be borne in mind that your
pledge does not mean a donation. It
is a subscription to stock that is non-
assessible. and sure to pay good divi
dends in the very near future.
The Fulton Stock Co., has promised
a benefit performance for the Temple
fund in a short time. This will be
profitable if the workers will come
across with a little push.
HEAD THEM OFF.
Owing to the opposition of the musi
cal unions in the Vnited States the
Banda Mexieana, organized in the
City of Mexico, and composed of 75
pieces, will not tour the Vnited
States. Director Roche made efforts
to book the band in New York and
other large eastern cites, but found
the union too strong. Now, if some of
the long haired acrobats who tour
the country with scab bands during
the summer season, could be headed
off, what a great blessing it would be.
Kansas City Labor Herald.
ANOTHER CASE OF CONTEMPT.
As if to show its contempt for or
ganized labor, the tobacco trust has
christened its latest brand of scab
cigars. Judge Wright, after the man
who sentenced Gompers, Mitchell and
Morrison to jail. There are some union
men who persist in purchasing the
Owl and other similar makes of ci
gars, but the fellow who exchanges
his union-made coin for a Judge
Wright cigar will be going the limit,
and a few steps beyond. Kansas City
There ought to be considerable do
ing when the Central Labor Vnion
meets next Tuesday evening. In the
first place there is the proposition
to have convicts from the penitentiary
employed on the new live; stock pa
villion at the fair grounds. In the
second ulace there is the proposition
to install an overall factory at the
penitentiary. If these two proposi1
tions are not enough to arouse the
ire of free workingmen then we con
fess we don't know what will arouse
it. On top of these two propositions
is the proposition to establish a busi
ness agency, with a possible labor
headquarters, and the State Federa
tion of I.abor matter. All in all there
is every reason why there should be
a big attendance of delegates. Any
union man with a clear card is enti
tled to admission to the meetings of
the Central I.abor . Vnion. and now
would be a good time for a bunch of
them to come in and help boons the
good propositions and "knock on the
W. T. Pinnev. former president of
the Musicians" Vnion and one of the
active unionists of the city, is a can
didate for alderman from the Seventh
ward, having been nominated by the
democrats. Here is a bully chance
for the unionists of the city to elect
one of their own number to the city
council one who will always be
"Johnny on the spot" to look after
the interests of the workers. Mr. Pin
ney was one of the foremost workers
in organizing the Musicians' Vnion.
was that organization's first president,
and is a hustler from Hustlerville.
Vnion men will make no mistake in
giving him their active support, re
gardless of political affiliations.
to turn down the proposition to ap
propriate a few dollars for the pur
pose of giving band concerts in the
City Park this summer. Of coarse
not- The wage earners of the city are
about the only ones interested ia free
band concerts. They are unable to
travel during the summer, or to pay
ont money for high grade music Aad
the city council is made op largely
of gentlemen who raa afford to at
tend the high class musical soirees
and hie to the mountains or the lakes
for the summer. Some of these days
the men who make Lincoln win have
adequate representation in the coaa
cil and then the council will do
something for the wage earners.
- The park commission has appro
priated 12(H) for the building of a band
stand in the city park. Now let the
Traction company do the right thing
and supply the band for at least two
concerts a week daring the months
of June. July and August. One coo
cert in the middle of the week aad
one Sunday afternoon would be a big
thing. The Traction company ceold
well afford to pay for the band, as
its revenues woold be vastly increased
by the increased traffic on the park
The faction of the Electrical Work
ers recognized by the American Fed
eration of Labor, better known as the
McNulty faction, does not seem to be
in it to any great extent in this neck
of the woods. There are eighteen
locals in Nebraska and Iowa, and not
one of them pays allegiance to the
McNulty regime. All are with Reid.
A new local has just been instituted
at Norfolk, and it, too, is a Reid local.
The Wageworker is not familiar with
the causes of the controversy but it
can see nothing unfair in the Reid
faction's proposition to leave the
whole matter to a vote of the Inter
national Brotherhood. The Reid fac
tion says it will abide by the result,
but the McNulty faction refuses and
stands pat on its recognition by the
Denver convention of the American
Frank A. Kennedy, editor of the
Western Laborer. Omaha, was one of
the lucky ones in the Tripp county
land drawing. He got inside toe Srt
thousand, which insures him a good
piece of land. And now he aanownees
himself as a candidate for road over
seer in bis Tripp county township.
Those darned Irishmen can't keep oat
of politics to save 'em.
R. E. Perrin. vice-president of Dis
trict Council No. C. Brotherhood of
Electrical Workers, is doing some or
ganizing work in Nebraska. Inciden
tally he is boosting the State Federa
tion of Labor proposition to beat the
band. By the same token, a lot . of
other onion men ought to be boosting
The call for the State Federation
of Labor meeting has been issued,
and already the responses are com
ing In. There are a few eminent gen
tlemen, who arenotankmistx and morn
more interested In partisan polities
than they are in the welfare of the
workers, who are "knocking" on the
proposition to beat the band.
It didn't take the city council long
Next Saturday Deputy Labor Com
missioner Maupin will address the
Sixth District Federation of Woman's
Clubs at Kearney, his subject being
"The Modern Moloch." At Kearney.
(Continued on page S.)
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