The Wageworker. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-????, May 15, 1909, Image 1
c ;t 3 UI VOL. LIXCOIiX, NEBRASKA, MAY 15, 1909 2sO. 6 Y 0 & A S TR AD ESjjgggJ CPU N OL ) Among the Live Here, There New York, May 6 Mr. Frank A. Kates. Lincoln. Nebr. Dear Sir and Brother: Acknonledging receipt of your favor of May 1st. I can assure you that your letter contained very pleasing Information, and I trust that the position taken by the Governor U a correct one. and fair to free la bor, whether organlied or unorgan ized. The letting of. convict labor on shirts and overalls has decreased the prices of making these garments, of which 99 per cent are made by wom en. You can, therefore, realize what injury has been done to the women of our country by prison labor. The Governor of Nebraska will be com mended very highly for the position he takes in this matter. I desire to thank the Central Body of Lincoln, Nebraska, for their prompt action in the matter of letting of the labor of convicts tor the making of shirts and overalls, and I trust that the Governor's positon will be up held by the other four or five mem bers of the Board, which (I see by the Wageworker) were not present when the Governor decided that the labor of the convicts should not be let to make shirts and overalls, and I trust that the C. L. U. of Lincoln and other organizations will keep up their agitations, making It their busi ness to see the other members who were not present, and induce them to coincide with the Governor in his views. We are making strenuous efforts throughout the United States, to have the making of garments taken from the various prisons. In Illinois, it has cost us a great deal of money, and we have by no means yet reached any agreement with the Prison Board and toe Governor of that state. The action of the Governor ot Nebraska is highly commendable, and I trust It will be copied by the governors of the various other states where this class of work is done. But our work will not cease when the garments are taken from the penitentiaries. There are several other crafts that that suffering equally as much, as the Garment Workers are. from the fact that their goods are also made in the penitentiary. I believe that there are roads in Nebraska that will not be made for the next two hun dred years to come, it they are made then, and I believe that the labor ot the convicts saould be used on the muddy roads ot the various states to put them in good condition tor traveling. This T-Hild not interfere very materially with tree labor and would be a great benefit to the coun try. In fact, there are some parts ot the country where the condition of the farmers is not a very prosperous one. and they cannot afford to have good roads, and if the convicts were set at breaking stones and rocks to nuke these roads, it would be ot in estimable value, not only to the farm ers, but to the country at large. If this propositoa could not be carried, the the next best thins, in my opinion, would be the framing ot a law the same as it is in the state of New York, where the convicts man ufacture tor the state institutions all their supplies; and if the supplies eta not be made by the convicts, then, ot course, they are purchased on the outside, but in most cases all of the supplies are made by the convicts and ia this way it does not injure the wageworker by making an article that sells for less than one-halt of that at which tree labor can produce it. The year ot the panic the Stir ling-Reliance Company made a net profit ot $3,0O on convict labor and soid Ti-soods so cheap that not less than a doi. shirt factories in the state ot Pennsylvania were compelled to cicse, thus throwing out ot em ployment from forty to five hundred girls in every factory. You can read ily see what injustice it works in the garment working industry to the em ployes. I am sending you by express pre paid. 100 posters, showing the tickets that are sewed on garments made in toe various penitentiaries. Ot course these tac similes are only a few, but no doubt, the garments are sold ln Lincoln, Nebr, as they are in almost every city of the United States. Also 250 court plaster cases for distribu tion among delegates and members of organized labor in Lincoln, Nebr., and Workers and Elsewhere t thank you in anticipation of this favor. Again thanking you for your inter est in this important matter and urg ing you to keep up the work. I am. with best wishes. Fraternally yours. B. A. LARGER. General Secretary United Garment Workers of America. The many trades unionists of Lin coln who heard Raymond Robins when he was in Lincoln a year ago will be rejoiced to know that he will prob ably attend the State Federation of Labor meeting next month. Raymond Robins is the "livest wire" in the trades union movement. His superior as a public speaker does not exist, and he knows the gime from Alpha to Omega. Trades unionists may well rest content to have their cause presented to the public by this gifted man. Capital Beach will be opened on Memorial Day. and Manager Buckstaff says he is going to make the season so much better than last year that there will be no comparison. Now, if he can only get decent and adequate transportation facilities to the Beach he will have a winner. Lincoln needs something like that, and Manager Buckstaff deserves liberal patronage. It is developing into one of the finest pleasure resorts in the west, and above all it is being conducted along clean lines. No man need fear to send his wife and babies out there for the day and wait until he can get in a day's work and hike out there for for supper and an evening of restful enjoyment. Of course the Lincoln Star sees in the deputy labor commissioner's de mand Tor the union label on his print ing a deep, dark plot to work up a po litical deal. The esteemed Star can see lots of things that never existed. The deputy labor commissioner is de manding he label on the printing of his department tor the simple reason that he wants only first-class work and if it goes to a union shop he won't have to lay awake nights worrying about the kind ot a Job of printing he is going to get tor the state's money. That's all there is to it. the esteemed Star to the contrary notwithstanding. The baseball season was opened with eclat whatever that is last Wednesday afternoon. And the home team hammered out a substantial vic tory. It must have rejoiced the heart The Labor Movement in Europe II. PERSONALITIES It was a privilege to meet such a distinct impression upon of Europe- On a number of occasions I had "tea" in the House of Commons with some of the labor members. One afternoon I pent an hour or more discussing Enelish and American trades unionism with about a dozen of the leaders, among them being Arthur Henderson, M. P.. the chairman of the labor party iu par liament: J. Ramsay Maedouald M. P.. secretary of the labor party; D. J. Shackleton. M. P., chairman Will Steadman. L. P.. secretary Harrv Gosling, member of the Trades Union Congress and member of the London County Council ; George Nickolls, M. P., and Will Crooks, it. P. I also met many of the labor officials who are- at the head of national organizations. several of them having been fraternal delegates to the convention of the American Federation of The thing that impressed me the fact that trades unionists, particularly in England, have de veloped a comnanv of specialists who direct them in their efforts to secure special legislation in parliament or in obtaining conces sions from their employers. . In such matters as child labor, old age pensions, woman's place in the state and in industry, in educational questions, and iu temperance, the British leaders have few superiors in any walk of life. In many cases they are the authorities on these subjects. Organized labor in Europe has learned the value of retaining the services of their leaders long enough to utilize the experience which they have obtained as stu dents of industrial problems. A labor leader on the other side seems to make a profession of his business, which is at it should be. The result has been that labor leaders abroad, as a class, are more effective in legislative matters than are the labor leaders in America. True enough, they have been longer confronted by industrial problems, and having studied them more diligently in the necessity of the case, they have become experienced in these of Manager Green when he looked around and about him and saw noth ing but people. They filled the grand stand, overflowed the bleachers, and made a fringe of humanity three fourths of the way around the fence. And it is well that it is so. Colonel Green is just the kind of a good fel low that we like to see lugging off the money. Quiet, gentlemanly, always seeking to give his patrons the best, he is furnishing Lincoln with a sport free from rowdyism and spectacles calculated to remind one of Coney Island in the old days. Governor Shallenberger pitched the first bail of the season, and Mayor Love gave an imitation of a man try ing to catch it. We are frank to say that Mr. Love can easily make a bet ter mayor than he ever will make a catcher. He called the mayor into close conference before he pitched his first curve up and then down. Then he assumed the correct position, jammed the ball into the palm of his good right hand, and swung his arm gracefully but forcefully. It had such a wide curve the ball, not the guber natorial arm that it deceived the city's chief executive who peered through the meshes of Jimmie Sulli van's mask, and plunked up against the grand stand with a sound akin to that made by a fat man stumbling over a row of glass fruit Jars. Then the governor and the mayor graceful ly doffed their caps to the shrieking multitude and perambulated to the bench. And the season was opened. By the way. the Lincoln team looks good to the old timer who wields this State Federation Meeting Has your local a delegate to represent it at the meet ing called for the purpose of organizing a State Federa tion of Labor? If not, why not?" -.It is entitled to one and it should elect one. You need the Federation; the Federation needs you. Every local union, every central labor union, every Federal labor union all are entitled to one delegate each at the initial meeting. Lincoln, June 21,22-Do Not Forget Those are the dates, that's the place. , Now is the time to get busy and get in line with the progressive workers of other states. The meeting will be a success without you, but it will be a bigger success if you are on hand in the person of a duly accredited delegate. Lots 'of things that need to be done that cannot be done with out organization. It will be a meeting of business not a "joust" OF LABOR LEADERS. the labor leaders who have made the political and economic lite of the Trades I mon Congress ; of the Trades Union Congress; parliamentary committee of the Labor. most in talking with the men was trenchant typewriter. And the grounds they are a dream of baseballistic' beauty. ' Sodded diamond, enlarged1 bleachers and grand stand, better en trances and exits say, it's all right, bo! And here's hoping that the "Greenbackers," or the "Prohibs," just as you please to have it, will set a pace that will make "em all go some to keep in sight. The handsomest church edifice in Lincoln the First Christian church will be dedicated Sunday morning. If you do not feel that you must go to church somewhere else, just attend these dedicatory services, see a church building that doesn't run to steeples, hear one ot the greatest pul pit orators in America, F. M. Rains, and get some inspiration to start on the week with the" determination to do a little more in the service of youa fellows. "I -hear you are taking a lot of in terest in your new home." "That's a mistake I'm paying in terest." MaVtte you think this is a joke. The Wood, Wire and Metal Lathers' Union of Lincoln has served notice that "after June 1 they will charge 3 1-2 cents per yard. This is one of Lincoln's smallest unions, measured by membership, but it seems well able to take care of itself. In the meantime, when you think of it and yon ought to think of it all the time just insist upon having the union label on the goods you buy. matters- There is a solidity in their characters which must im press even an ordinary observer. As a class they are modest and unassuming. Their moral standing is fully as high as the average member of parliament in some respects it is very ranch higher. Aspnblic speakers they are everywhere in demand and. on the whole, they speak more interestingly than the average platform man. In Germany there are a number of women "labor leaders" who are doinsr verv effective service. I was particularly impressed with thir i-o finl manners and the seemed to possess concerning not only the various aspects of the - . . . - . . . - r -i- -v. k.v i ,t. industrial problem m Germany, but their familiarity with the labor ' . - x 1 1 4. . I. . : situation mruuiiiiuui mc runic in Germany, practically all ot the leaders among tne women are socialists. Ilerr Bebe!, leader of the socialists in the German reieh stag. is not the aggressive-looking individual that I expected to find. He is a quiet, unassuming, rather under-sized man, who is thoroughly familiar with the political situation. On the day that I attended the reichstag, the question - under consideration was the banking system of Germany, and it was amazing to find the labor ing men in the German congress holding their own against the .lead ing financiers of the world upon a subject with which they are not supposed to be very familiar. France naturally produces a radical type of leader in the labor movement, although the men who are at the head of the bona fide trades union propaganda impressed me as being fairly conservative as conservatism goes in sunny France. There is no doubt that the radical leaders of labor in France are doing the cause of organ ized labor great injury. In Scotland and Ireland, the leaders have the characteristic which is quite common in the rank and file, that of "heckling" the speaker, which is what one would expect from an Irishman or a Scotchman. As a matter of fact, some of the most interesting experiences which I had during my trip were had in these latter countries. Labor Memorial Day Was Fittingly Observed As usual, a little handful of faithful union men attended the '"Labor Mem orial Service" at the First Baptist church last Sunday evening. Of the 3,000 or 3.500 union men in Lincoln perhaps ten or a dozen thought enough of their dead comrades to meet to pay a tribute of respect to their memory. Those who did attend the services were privileged to hear two splendid addresses, one by a fellow unionist, C. H. Chase, and one by the pastor of the First Baptist church. Rev. Sam uel Zane Batten. Rev. Mr. Batten is well known for his friendship for organized labor and his outspoken ness in favor of patronizing the u&ion label. Mr. Chase was introduced by the pastor as a workingman who followed the same trade as that of the Carpen ter of Nazareth, and Mr. Chase ehoss as his subject the story of Cain and Abel. "Am I my brother's keeper?" asked- the speaker, quoting the words of Cain. Then he quoted Matt Jew 22: 37-39 "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it: thon shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Continuing, Mr. Chase said: "Four thousand years intervene be tween these two events. Abel's death was due to Cain's jealousy, or rather Cain's selfishness, which up to that time had no curb put upon it- A far cry is this from Christ's setting out of the two commandments to the Pharisee lawyer which is such a curb upon human selfishness. We are nineteen hundred years from the sec ond commandment, and human selfish ness is still rampant in the world. It is developed to the highest degree in what is termed the higher walks of life, where organizations are perfected and kept up with a zeal worthy of a better cause, for the sole purpose ot the aggrandizement ot the promoters. and at the expense of those less fav vored. "Against this is set, as one factor in the fight for better standards of liv ing, the trades unions. These are made np of human beings common men and women many of them ignor ant, many of them radical, who see the .wrongs and seek to right them all at once. From these come those plagues of modern civilization, the strikes and the boycott; and from the other side the lock-out and the blacklist. - From an unihought-of source came the antidote for these ut- mitigated evils that have been so fearfully expensive, for in their last Rev. Charles Slelzk intimate knowledge which they! 1 I , .. n-sw.l.l orniM.f trt Tl rt I 1 uuu. --- " .-.-... analysis the cost is taxed Bp to the wage earners." At this point Mr. Chase entered ia- to a history and a description of the union label and what it stands for. and urged his. hearers to help wage the fight for sanitary conditions for the workers, the abolition of child labor and the sweat shop, fair wages for fair work, by demanding the union label upon all their purchases. "This label system."' concluded Mr. Chase, "is a peaceful protest against the greed of grasping exploiters of human labor." Rev. Mr. Batten dwelt at length no on the likeness of the aims of the church and the trades anion, and urged a closer working relation be tween them. He told of his many minglings with the delegates to the Central Labor Union, and spofre high ly of the men he met there, character izing them as earnest, thoughtful men who were striving to secure better conditions for themselves and their families. He spoke of the evils of the sweat shop, and emphasized Mr. Chase's remarks about the true mean ing of the union labeL It was a thoughtful, scriptural sermon that rang true, and its essence was as fine a union labor appeal as was ever hArd in Lincoln. It is to be re gretted that the church was not filled to its utmost capacity by trades unioo- ists. There are hundreds of them, fa this good old town who know a whole lot less about the labor movement and the true meaning of the anion label than this minister of the gospeL Those who heard Rev. Mr. Batten's sermon will remember it, and they will always entertain for him a feef ing of deep gratitude for his splendid tribute to organized labor. Special music was rendered by tae quartette, and this was a most pleas ing feature of the evening's services. TYPOGRAPHICAL VMtOH, Annual Election Takes Place on May 19 and Things Warming Us. The annual election of Liaeoia Ty pographical Union No. 2' win be held on the afternoon of May 15. from 12 till 7 o'clock. The election wis be by Australian ballot and held at tae of fice of the Wood Prim; in Co, Eleventh and X streets, ia the base ment. The chief interest is centered around the office of deiegate. there be ing two to elect and five candidates!. The presidency and the make-? of the executive committee are also stirring up something of a friendly scrap. F. H Hebbard has bo opposi tion for re-election as secretary-creas- Iurer. The committee appointed to arrange for a proper observance of -printers' i Memorial Day has not yet eoarpieced arrangements. It hopes to have every- thing ready so the fu3 prtigraat cas be given in next week's Wagsworker. THEATRICAL MECHANICS. Join With Stage Hands in Putting mm a Benefit Performance. The two local organizations of thea trical men in Lincoln wiU have a Joint benefit at the Majestic on Wednesday afternoon. May 19. and they say it is going to be the biggest tai&g taat er happened ia theatrical circles ia. They ought .to know, farther I are mixed np wita things taeatrical a3 I j A,. t!je artist3 who are in the ei:y that day will contribute to the pro gram, and as there are some bia "headliners"" dated for Liaeoia tia: week the program promises to he something different. The perforo ers always do a Gttie better taaa taeir best when they appear is a beneSt for the boys who set the stage and build the scenery. If yon want to see the best in things theatrical yow wI also have the satisfaction of know ing that yoa are helping; as fine a bunch of wage earners as ever carried union cards and "come across"" when a fellow worker was ia need of assis tance. GOING SOME. During January the Iatersatiosal Typographical Union paid fifty death benefits. It has 320S9. ia its treas ury and !16.44.1S ia the old-sge pen sion fund.