The Wageworker. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-????, September 25, 1909, Image 1

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y;o. fir,
Among the Live Ones
Here and Hereabouts
Among other demands of the street 1
railway men of Lincoln is that of the
abolition. of the "swing run" system.
That thU demand is founded upon jus
tice will be admitted by every man
who has investigated. The "swing
ruu." has already been abolished in
the cities fortunate enough to possess
up-to-date and progressive street rail
way systems. For the enlightenment
of those who do not know what the
"swing run" is we will give an illus
tration: John Smith, a niotorinan living at
Fourteenth and Poplar, must start at
4 o'clock In the morning in order to
get to the car bant at Ninth and K
by 5 o'clock and report twenty or thirty
minutes before taking out his car. He
works from 5:30 a. m. until 9 a. iu
and then takes bis car to the barn
and turns it in. Then he is off duty
until 3 o'clock in the afternoon, when
he must report at the barn and be
ready to take bis car out at 3:30.
Front 3:30 until miduight be is on the
car platform. He is only paid for the
actual time on the car platform, and
thus be is compelled to put in what
Is practically twenty hours to get
taelve hours' pay at an average of
less than SO cents an hour. He is
not paid for the time between 9:30
a, nu and 3:30 p. n.. although he is
practically on duty all of that time.
He is deprived of a chance to ride to
bis work in the morning or to his
home at midnight. His rest is broken
in a way that is injurious to his
health. Now that school has begun
there are motormen and conductors
ho will not see their children awake
for months. The kiddies are in bed
and asleep when papa starts to work
in the morning. They are in school
when papa comes home in the middle
of the day. And they are in bed and
asleep when papa comes home after
n-Klnight The "swifts run.", sjretsni is
inhumane, and it should be abolished.
A committee representing the street
rKy men of Omaha came to Lin
coln Monday evening to ask the gov
ernor to act under the statutes and
investigate, through the labor commis
sioner's office, the controversy be
tween the Omaha Council Bluffs
Street Railway Co. and the striking
employes. The sections of the statute
relating to matters of this kind are
as follows:
"Sec 6928. Duties of Commissioner.
The duties of said commissioner
shall be to collect, collate and publish
statistics and facts relative to manu
factureres. industrial classes, and ma
terial resources of the 'state, and es
pecially to examine into the relations
between labor and capital, the means
of escape from fire and protection of
life and health in factories and work
shops, mines, and other places of in
dustries, the employment of illegal
child labor, the exaction of unlawful
hours of labor front any employee, the
educational, sanitary, moral, and fi
nancial condition of laborers and arti
sans, the cost of food, fuel, clothing
and building material, the causes of
strikes and lockouts, as well as kin
dred subjects and matters pertaining
to the welfare of industrial interests
and classes."
Sc 6933. Seal of Office Hearing
by Commissioner. There shall be pro
vided a seal of office for the use of
said bureau, and the commissioner or
his deputy, for the purpose of making
any Investigation contemplated by this
act. shall have power to administer
oaths, take testimony, and subpoena
witnesses, which witnesses shall re-
Secretary Morrison, of the American Federation of Labor, has
asked Secretary Nagel. of the Department of Commerce to investi
gate conditions at the Tressed Steel Car Works in Pennsylvania, to
discover whether the company is paying its men the wages a highly
protected industry should, lie says in his letter that the steel com
panies made a plea before Congress for the retention of protection
on the ground that, if it was continued, they would be enabled to
pay high wastes, but that if it was taken off they would be obliged
to reduce wages. Congress retained protection, and there is. he
claims, an implied contract between Congress and the steel indus
tries which gives the government the right to inquire whether the
promised reward of protection is being realized by the working
men. Iu the case of the Pressed Steel Car strike, however, it appears
there was no definite wage. To the men was apMrtioued a lump
amount for making a car. out
deducted. The men received
searrelv no to the American
(Miun.) Journal. ,
ceive the same fees as are allowed to
any person testifying in district courts
of this state, to be paid out of the
contingent fund of this bureau. Pro
vided, however. That no person sub
poenaed by the said commissioner or
his Deputy shall be compelled to go
outside of the city or town in which
he resides to testify in behalf of such
Governor Shallenberger was not in
the city, consequently the committee
did not see him. A conference was
held with V. J. Purse, secretary to
the governor, and the whole situation
was gone over. In the meanwhile
Deputy Labor Commissioner Maupin
has spent considerable time in Omaha
familiarizing himself with the situa
tion so as to be ready in case Gov
ernor Shallenberger. as labor commis
sioner, deems it proper to begin the
investigation contemplated by the
If the workingmen of Lincoln are
interested in knowing something about
the financial workings of the Lincoln
Traction Co. they would do well to
attend the meetings of the Central
Labor I'nion. There may some inter
esting information on these points
brought out at the meeting next Tues
day evening, and if not at that time,
then at the first meeting iu October.
There is enough cf facts in this con
nection to startle the easy-going peo
ple of this municipality.
"The law condemns the wretch inhu
man -
Who steals a goose from off the com
But turns the greater rascal loose
Who steals the common from the
- Division No. 322. Amalgamated As
sociation of Street and Electric Rail
way Employes, will meet at Bruse's
hall at midnight tonight. A full at
tendance is requested. C. O. Pratt,
chairman" of the international board,
and Ben Commons, a member of the
same board, will be present to give
the men a little talk along the lines
of organization. The meeting will be
full of interest and information, and
no member of the division should miss
There ate rumors of a neat little
"scrap" being on among the officials
of the Lincoln Traction Co. It is
rumored that Mr. Sharp is trying to
round up enough of the stock to elect
himself president of the company.
Further rumor says that Mr. McDon
ald is tired of the presidency but un
willing to be succeeded by Mr. Sharp
so unwilling that failing to find an
other man who could beat Mr. Sharp
to it he will contest for the place. ' It
is further said that Mark Woods en
tertains presidential ambitions and is
seeking to secure enough control to
beat Mr. Sharp. All of this internal
trouble Is. of course, being kept as
quiet as possible for the reason that
the company is not quite willing to
have its affairs aired before the public
at this time.
The Central Labor Union will meet
at Bruse's hall next Tuesday evening.
Do not forget the date nor the place.
It will pay you to be there.
The street railway men's union held
a special meeting at Bruse's hall last
Saturday night for the purpose of ad
mitting eight new members who were
of which the cost of material was
the difference as a wage. This is
idea of doing things. Minneapolis
so anxious they did not want to wait
until a regular meeting. At the same
session the local decide dunanimously
to affiliate with the State Federation
of Labor.
Among other prominent members
of the union busting organization
known as the Omaha Business Men's
Association is a banker named Charles
McGrew. Is this the same McGrew
who was a national bank examiner
along about 1891 or '92. and who was
so watchful and efficient that he let
Charley Mosher loot the Capital Na
tional bank of half a million rieht
under his nose?. We pause for a
reply. v
The printers of Hastings have a
good live union now. That makes five
Typographical Unions in Nebraska.
Organized Fisher was in Columbus
this week, and the prospects are good
for the organization of a union at that
A lot of complaint has been made
about boisterous conduct on the part
of young men and boys on the streets
evenings during fair ' week. They
slapped women on the backs with
"slap sticks' and tickled them under
the chins with feathers, and a lot of
awful things like that. But that has
been going on for several years, and
the women know it. Isn't it rather
inviting that sort of thing for women
to walk the streets without escorts
during the evenings of fair week?
And if you were escorting a young
lady and some boisterous young blood
snapped her on the back or tickled
her under the chin, and you didn't
haul off and biff him one. what have
you to complain of. anyhow?
Who was the first to reach the pole.
Cook or Peary? We'll take the time
to discuss that question just as soon
as we learn definitely whether Don
M. Love really received more legal
votes for mayor than Robert Malone.
Man of Huge Affairs Admits Good
Results of Union Recognition.
Said Melville E. Ingalls. chairman
of the board of directors of the Big
Four railroad: "For thirty-five years
of my life I have been what you might
cau a targe employer ot la Dor as a
railroad manager. I have seen these
modern conditions grow up under my
eye. My first experience was iu con
trolling a railroad of 175 miles and 300
or 400 employes. I knew every man
on the road; I could call him by name
and shake hands with him. and we
Commenting on the situation at McKees, Rocks, Pa., and the
low rate of wages paid by the Pressed Steel Car Company, the
Secretary of the American Federation of Labor has written a
letter to Secretary Nagel. of the Department of Commerce and La
bor, in which he asks a question that is both pertinent and of gen
eral public ' interest. He declares that during the recent tariff
hearings representatives or iron and steel companies set up the
plea that if the existing rates were continued the benefit would ac
crue to the employes and that if the duties were removed or re
duced the employes would suffer, and he wants to know if working
men who depend upon those companies for support are profiting
from the policy which Congress
garding which the employes of
doubtless welcome information.
It is well understood, of course, that the friends of high pro
tection have proceeded on the theory that labor shared equally with
capital the profits which high protection made possible. Now.
whether at the extraordinary session or Congress thfe tariff was
revised upward or downward the fact remains that under the con
ditions which were established
brandies with the kind assistance of "free trade" Democrats-
prices of most commodities have already been materially advanced.
Moreover, large orders for their products have been placed, not
only with the steel and iron companies, but also with other large
corporations. Yet in some instances the eost of production has re
cently been lowered by reducing the cost of labor, while in others,
notably in the cotton industry, which is prosperous, operatives are
complaining that they are underpaid, and in one important center,
at least, they are demanding an increase of 10 per cent, an advance
which manufacturers contend is unreasonable. But if a high tariff
does not admit high wages and there is no additional increase with
whieh to maintain a higher standard of living, it is elear that
there is a screw loose somewhere
There is still another phase of this subject that rarely receives
the consideration which it deserves. What about a vast army which
sells its services for salaries in distinction from wages! It can
not be ignored, surely. For the most part it is unorganized and in
no position to enforce its claims to recognition under the fruitful
dispensation of our paternal lawmakers. When the home market
is cheerfully turned over to the
spoils are distributed it would
the army comes in. It has seen
of living steadily ascending, but
nessed no corresponding increase
(R. I.) Tribune.
could make all the trade agreements
we needed between hours. There was
no trouble. If anybody had a griev
ance he could call and see the "old
man, and the door was always open.
When I left the active management of
the road we found some 7,000 miles of
railroad and some 30,000 employes,
and the men who worked on the rail
road would have stood just as much
chance to see any one with his griev
ance as he would have stood to get
into the kingdom of heaven. His
only chance was to join an organized
body and deal through committees.
We were always in favor of that in
fact, it seems to me that your trade
agreement is jnst as much a protec
tion to capital as to labor.
Illinois Ten-Hour Law Declared Un
constitutional as Expected.
Judge Tuthill in the Circuit Court
at Chicago last Saturday issued a writ
restraining the state attorney and the
state factory inspector from bringing
any suits against W. C. Ritchie & Co.,
paper box manufacturers, for alleged
violations of the so-called ten-hour
law. which prohibits women from
working in factories, laundries and
other similar places more than ten
hours in one day.
The decision of Judge Tuthill, it is
understood, will be fought in the up
per courts for a final settlement of the
question. The suit, it is said, affects
all other concerns similarly situated
William Duff Haynie, general coun
sel for the Illinois Manufacturers As
sociation, argued the case in behalf
of the compalinant. declaring that if
the provisions of the law are enforced
the constitutional right to enter into
contracts will be denied to them.
Next week The Wageworker will try
to have something to say about this
stupid derision. It will also reprint
an article from the Chicago Public
which will go to the meat of this
"freetVm of contract" delusion. Louis
F. Post has the knack, as no other
man in America has it, of showing the
absurdity of such fossilized conten
Charles B. Righter went to Chicago
last week to transact a bunch of bus
iness first, and then to spend a few
days mingling with old pals of other
days. "Doc" worked in Chicago for
a long time and managed to circum
navigate the "Loop" without getting
lost and didn't pay anything to see
the Masonic Temple turn around.
has pursued. That is a matter re
all the protected interests would
by a Republican majority in both
in the logic of the high protec
vendors of domestic wares and the
be edifying, indeed, to learn where
the standard of living and the cost
it is safe to say that it has wit
in its remuneration. Providence
Little Gossip About
Things In Lincoln
The members of Division No. 93.
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers,
are to be commended for having so
liberally donated to the Y. M. C. A.
building fund. And we hope that
other unions will see fit to do the
same thing. Not all of them are finan
cially able to make an equally liberal
donation, but all can donate some
thing. But it should not be forgotten
that the engineers are not the only
mechanics who have contributed as
an organization to a Y. M.- C. A. build
ing fund in Lincoln. When the cam
paign was on for raising money for
the erection of the present Y. M. C. A.
building the Union Carpenters-of Lin
clno made a liberal donation. The
engineers have merely followed a
good example set for them an ex
ample that other unions would do well
to follow.
Another meeting of well-intentioned
people was held at the city hall last
Monday afternoon. Among other
things considered was that of "doing
something for the workingman. As
usual the old "now that the saloons
have been closed" argument was ad
vanced to support the claim that
"something should be done for the
workingman" in the way of providing
him with a place to spend his leisure
hours. It seems impossible for a lot
of these well meaning people to real
ize that they are insulting the intelli
gence of honest, sober, industrious
mechanics by forever prating about
"doing something for the working
man." The workingman is not asking
anybody to do anything for him; he
would be well content if it were made
possible for him to do something for
himself. He is not asking anybody
to provide him with amusemnet. If
given the opportunity to work for a
living wage be win readily undertake
to amuse himself, and his amusements
will average up pretty well in point
of morality with the amusements of
the well meaning people who are so
anxious t "Ho something for the work
ing man."
With all due respect to the good
men and women who are trying so
hard to "do something for the work
ingman," we have no hesitancy in
saying that this coffee house sugges
tion will not do. There's nothing to
it It will attract the average work
ingman just about as much as a "tea
house" would attract the bridge whist-
golfing women of Lincoln. The aver
age workingman of Lincoln wants to
do things for himself. He is not at
all averse to being helped, but he
rather resents the imputation that he
does not know what is good for him
and should, therefore, be willing to
let other people
tell him what he
should do.
The Star is rather inclined to object
to Councilman Pratt engaging in the
business of bonding his fellow city
officials. The salary of a city coun
cilman is $25 a month. Surely the
Star does not insist that the genial
and urbane Thomas shall subsist on
a paltry $25 a month!
The writer happened to be in Oma
ha the day President Taft was there.
If the president's popularity in Ne
braska is to be measured by the
warmth of the reception in Omaha.
then it is sadly in need of a stimu
lant. There were less than 500 people
at the union depot to cheer him and
even they did not cheer to any great
extent. Several thousand school chil
dren were lined up in front of the
There is pith in the suggestion of Secretary Morrison, of the
Federation of Labor, that the interests that have asked and re
ceived high tariff protection on the ground that they wanted t
maintain an "American"' scale of wages, have made themselves
answerable to the government for the maintenance of sneh a scale.
He requests the secretary f
the condition of the wage-workers at McKees Rocks, to find out
whether the protected Pressed Steel Car Company has lived np t
its bargain with the public.
The public has taxed itself for the health of the ?teel hnsine
at the request of the steel mannfactnrers.
And the public has a right to know whether the bnsiness ha
been made healthy by the sacrifice.
If not by this particular train of losrie. then surely by sam
other train, the people of the United States are boaml to arrive
at a certain destination, to-wit:
The establishment of their right in law and equity to reqair
a fair and orderly administration of protected industries Xe-y
York American.
schoolhouses to see the president go
whizzing by in a $$.000 automobile.
and they cheered, of course. But tt
wasn't anywhere near like the cheer
ing that would have been brought oat
from the same throats if Buffalo BUI
had gone prancing by. The president
visit to Omaha was a chilling frost.
The way to remove the poles frost
O street is to treat with as much
consideration the Traction Co. and the
telephone companies as those com
panies have shown the city. This -thing
of forever considering the well
being of corporations that don't give
a rap about the welfare of the cftj
is becoming a little bit stale. Give
the public service corporations am tee
to remove their wooden and unsightly
poles from O street within a reason
able but specified time, and then go
to sharpening up the axes so as to
bare them all ready by the time the
limit expires.
Perhaps Health Officer Rohde augat
be able to help out some in the mat
ter of street railway service. Of
course he could not compel the coot'
pany to run more cars, nor could be
compel it to extend it lines. Bat it
is barely possible that be might coos
pel the company to run cars fit for
human use. and that woold fceip a
lot. Some of the cars now im service
would be condemned by the Ksman
Society if used for the transportation
of live stock. Perhaps Councilman
Leonhardt would consent to investi
gate and see if some of those filthy,
germ-breeding and baciili-dissribat lag
cars should not be condemned on the
ground that they are a menace to
public health.
Every now and then a Lincoln pa
per throws a few fits of regret -
cause some university professor draw
ing 52.51)0 a year goes to some other
state because of a better salary, aad
bemoans that the state is to niggardly
to pay higher salaries. Every day
workingmen are compelled to leave
Lincoln because they can not pay the
exorbitant rents demanded out of
their meagre wages, bat we haven":
noticed that paper throwing any re
gretful fits over the fact.
Measured by the wage standard ia
Lincoln the cost of living is entirely
too high. Or. the other way aaoot
measured by the cost of living in Lin
coln the standard of wages is entirety
too low. This is not mere guesswork.
J The facts are at band to substantiate
(the assertion. Next 'week The Wage-
worker will publish the results of a
thorough and impartial inveaiigariou-
The rumor that the Ontoha. Lincotn
& Beatrice Interurbaa is about to
proceed with construction work
sounds good, and here's hoping. Bat
when it is completed let us fervently
pray that it will provide aa equipment
something like 1. 00 per cent beter
than that provided Lincoln people- by
the Lincoln Traction Co.
DETROIT, Sept. 2L The Detroit
Federation of Labor recently prac
tically withdrew from the America a
Federation of Labor by voting unani
mously not to comply with the recent
order r f the executive council to
unse-t the Electrical Workers' Cnioa.
The matter will be appealed to the
American Federation convention at
Toronto in November.
commere-e and labor to investigate