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About The Wageworker. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-???? | View Entire Issue (Nov. 20, 1909)
Official Organ of
all Lincoln -Unions
Established I go 3
and Still Growing
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, 'NOVEMBER 20, 1900
ON A. F. L. MACHINE
Seceding Electrical Workers Successful In Effort to Secure
a Hearing on Convention Floor Controversy '
being Thoroughly Investigated
TORONTO, Ontario, Canada, November 16. The first week pi
an American Federation of Labor convention is usually given up
to listening to long speeches, fraternal addresses, and all that sort
of thing. Committees are appointed and committee hearings had,
and it is not until the beginning of the second week that real busi
ness gets under way. I3y that time the committees begin handing
in their reports and work gets under good headway.
Of course the unionists of Lincoln and vicinity are interested
in the case of the Electrical' Workers, and I will undertake to tell
'how things, have progressed so far. i
When we reached Toronto it, was easy to see that the machine
had made every preparation to squelch the seceding electricians,
nd the scheme would have worked to perfection if it had not been
.for one or two things. President Gmpers opened the machine
throttle promptly on time and ruled out a lot of delegates from
city central bodies and from two state federations on the ground
that their charters had been revoked. These revocations were
based on the ground that they had admitted delegates from seceding
or dual bodies. Hut there happened to be a few delegates from
bodips that dkl not have seeeders among the delegates of local
unions at least not when the delegates to the Toronto convention
were elected and from these delegates came protests loud and
deep against this unjust discrimination against loyal union men.
-A. a result these protests and appeals were forced upon the at
' tention of the machine's managers, and the laws committee had) to
t.tn nntlw When the laws committee met it was easily seen
that in order to get at the facts the whole controversy between
nurrinir factions of the electrical workers would have to be
g&ie into. And despite -tha efforts of. the McNulty-Collins faction
to prevent this, the laws committee opened things wide and the
tiirht was on. MeNulty-Collins and others of that faction tried
to be very diplomatic, and while evading the issues as much as
jtossible, left no stone unturned to curry favor with the committee.
The Reid-Murphy adherents offered to submit books, court records
rosters anything that would enlighten the committee, and they
proved beyond a doubt that the first violation of the Denver
agreement was by Peter W. Collins, who violated it before the ink
on the agreement was dry, and got Frank Morrison to endorse it
For three days and nights the committee threshed this over with the
electrical workers themselves. McNulty trusted wholly to winning
favor by playing on the sentiments of the committee, but Collins
tried to frame up evidence that would count.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that Peter W. Collins is
a fool. He is a man of splendid ability. Educated for the priest
hood, he has learned the art of public speaking; widely informed on
the topics of the day he is able to hold his own in a public discus
ion, and deeply interested in holding on to his job,' he naturally
puts his heart into this fight. As a matter of fact Collins made
the only pretense pf a fight that was made by his' side. The rest
put their faith in the machine, which in this particular ease is
managed by M. Grant Hamilton.
On the Reid-Murphy side the fight was a beauty. It is hard to
tell which one of the bunch performed the best, but in my humble
.judgment Chairman Potter of the executive hoard and Viee-Presi
dent Fitzgerald made the most effective pleas. ,
But due regard for the real facts demands that A. L. Urick
president of the Iowa state federation, be giveiT full credit for hav
ing madu the finest impression of them all. The Iowa state federa
t ion's charter was the first one revoked in this fight, and lTrick, yep-
resenting the Des Moines central body, also without charter, made
the plea for the restoration of the Iowa charter. And in making i
he made the fight for the Reid-Murphy faction. For forty minutes
lTrick held the closest attention of the committee and Jhe hundred
interested men in the room, .and there is no discounting the state
ment that he made a greater impression than all the rest put to
gether. Urick has been president of the Iowa stale federation for
seven years, agd if the men of labor in Iowa are wise they will
keep him there for years to come. There are few stronger men
in the labor movement than this modest, unassuming,' but brilliant
cigarmaker from Des Moines. It has been a long time since I me
with u man who has impressed me so deeply.
The committee finished its hearing on the case of the elect rieu
workers and the deposed delegates haturday night, Monday morn
ing the fight was transferred to the Moor of the convention. Th
letter must be mailed before the fight is fairlv started, but there
is safety in this prediction:
The McNulty-l ollms factum will not have everything its own
way, and the chances are that the convention will insist upon th
warring fuctions trying once more to get together. Pending this I'
believe the revoked charters will be restored.
If this is not done, I look to see a breach in the labor ranks
lhat will take years to heal. Those, charters were revoked in the
face of appeal, thus putting the executive council in the attitude of
ndorsing itself in the same kind of an action that brought from
such severe denunciation of Judge Wright and other District of
Columbia judges. If appeal does notiact as a stay of proceedings
a case where a loyal central body5 in interested, why should it
ct as a stay in a court proceeding? A lot of us would like to have
the executive council of the American Federation of Labor answer
that question. , ,
Saturday morning I heard the delegate from Porto Rico I can
not spell his name make his plea for justice for hi fellow country
men. It1 was a terrific arraignment of the imperial policy of our
epublic. and he made a splendid' impression. The resolution he
sked for was adopted without a dissenting voice.
Friday afternoon Mrs. Raymond Robins, president of the-In
ternational Trades Union League, and the fraternal delegate from
that organization, addressed the-convention. Lincoln workers know
how eloquent and forceful her distinguished husband is in voicing
the aspirations and hopes of organized labor. Well, I wish they
could hear the wife ! She spoke .for three-quarters of an hour
amidst silence only broken now and then by great applause. Time
and again scores of strong men in that splendid audience were
seen wiping tears from their eyes as Mrs. Robins pictured the woes
of the women and child workers of the world and made a plea
for help from the American Federation of Labor to the end that
they might be protected from greed and ayarice. I do not wish
to detract one iota from the ability of Raymond Robins himself,
but if he expects to hold up his end in the championing of the cause
of labor he will have to keep going if he remains on even terms
with Mrs. Raymond Bobins. The first thing I am going to work
for after I get back to Lincoln is to have this wonderful woman
peak from a Lincoln platform to the men and women of our
splendid city. ..v. 1 '
I haven't had much opportunity .to watch convention proceed-
ngs as I have been compelled to act as a sort of "whip" for the
prott-stants in this electrical worker squabble. And it has bee;i
a pleasant and exciting job, too. .-v
There was a big temperance meeting at Massey hall Sunday
afternoon, at which time Rev. Charles Stelzle, John B. Lennon, John
Mitchell, Tom Lewis, John C. Harding and ' others spoke. It was
not a prohibition meeting. Neither was it a county option meeting
It was a temperance meeting in all that the term implies, and 1
wouldn't ask to hear better addresses or more fervent appeals for
lean living, decent living and right living". These men appeared,
not as irepresentatives of the Amaftifnii Federation of Labor, but
as individual 'workers trying to frame policies that would benefit
the whole group of toil. It was an inspiring sight. Massey hall.
a beautiful auditorium, will seat 2,700 people, and it was crowded
to the doors. Such meetings are an inspiration, and here's hoping
that many more of the same kind will be held.
Jere Sullivan, the secretary of the International Bartenders'
Union, is one of the live ones of the convention, Jere is every
where, and whenever he lights there is something doing. The joke
he played on "Uncle Sam" Gompers is a good one. When Uncle
Sam started on his foreign tour Jere hove in sight, and just as
the "old man" was stepping on the gang plank Jere handed him a
bottle, saying: It s good, thirty-year-old rye, . and I want you to
take it and use it as medicine." Uncle Sam thanked the donor. A
day or so later, when out on the rolling sea. -, Uncle Sam opened
the bottle to take a little something for the stomach's sake. With
mouth watering in anticipation he pulled the eork, tipped the bot
tle and took- a couple o big swallows of--coco-cola ! Wish
could tell you what Uncle Sam said. And I wish I could tell you
how the label on the bottle read. But you'll have to 'ask. Jere about
We had our picture taken Saturday noon.- We stood in front
of the city hall and looked pleasant while the photographer shot
us. I am going to get one of the pictures and present it to the Lin
coln Central Labor Union. When you see it you will find me lo
cated in the midst of a bunch of labor editors who look like they
were having a good time.
Saturday night I took in 'the first social event I have had
time to handle the "smoker" tendered the printer delegates and
visitors by loronto Typographical Union No. 91. We had a bully
time, and heard 'the presidents of four of the allied tradesprint
ers', bookbinders, sterotypers and photo-engravers. We quit prompt
ly at midnight in deference to the Toronto Sunday law, and just
as the clock struck twelve we stood up, and while our Canadian
.1.. 1 il l 1 n
ineims sang uou save rne King we imeriean reuows sang
"America.". - , , '
Perhaps, a word or two about the Toronto Labor Temple wil
be of interest to Wageworker readers at this time. The Temple
is more than self-sustaining. It pays seven per cent on the invest
ment, and has besides a neat little surplus. The billiard room con
tains seventeen tables. The library is well supplied with good
books, and there are seven or eight i good halls, including a danc
ing hall, or assembly hall, that is sixty feet square aud has a gal
lery on all four sides. The gymnasium is a beauty and the bath
rooms are models of .their kind. I am told that the Temple is the
greatest social center 1 imaginable for the unionists of this tightly
organized town. It is conducted by a board of J control, and every
unionist in Toronto is proud of it. The more I see of the Toronto
Labor Temple the more eager I am to see Lincoln unionists secure
a similar property for themselves. 1
There are no Sunday newspapers in this city. Nor are the Sun
day newspapers from the states allowed in on the Lord 'si day. The
Toronto World issues an edition at II o'clock Saturday night and
calls it the "Sunday World," but that it the nearest thing the city
has to a Sunday newspaper. Everything is shut down save the
estaurants and the drug stores. Only half the usual number ot"
street cars are run, and from appearances on Sunday about every-.
body goes to church. Talk about Lincoln being a "moral town !"
Toronto, with 350,000 people has got' Lincoln skinned a mile, No'
Sunday newspapers, the bars closed from Saturday at 7 p. m , until -
a. m.; Monday,' no Sunday theaters, no Sunday excursions, no .
Sunday concerts nothing but to go to church or stick around
home. And the funny part of it is that it seems to suit everybody ,
I haven't heard anybody kicking about the workingmen having no
place to go on Sunday. Maybe that is' due to the fact that the Sat-:,
urday half-holiday is a fixed institution here. , ,
Say, the coffee, they hand, out to a fellow up in this count rv is 1
something fierce. I am coming back here some day and open up "'
a school of instruction for the purpose of teaching, our Canadian
tnends how to make coffee. But I am told, that they , furnish the '
most generous slugs of whisky imaginable. My '.information i
that a five cent piece will buy more whisky in Toronto than it will
beer in Omaha -and that is eoiner some. . I :-W .
Toronto is, I believe, the best governed city on the North
American continent. It i a city without doing,. V city without
graft, a, city without any extremely poor j and , I am told by those in
a position to know that in proportion to population it has the
largest percentage of home owning workingmen of any city in the V
world. I can not vouch for the truth of this, but the city and. its
people look the part. " :' , . v;
About the only thing that I don't like in Toronto is tht coffee !
Samuel Gompers Is 'getting old. There is no discounting this
fact. And the terriffic legal struggle he has just gone through has
not taken any wrinkles out of his strong and kindly face. But
the American Federation of Labor should begin right now to think,
about his successor. And when that successor is elected the, work- : .
ingmen of America all America owe Samuel. Gompers I a pen-,.
sion that will keep him in comfort as long as he shall live. That !
is his due for the splendid service he has rendered to 'the cause of"
organized labor. ! ' . ' .
There are a thousand delegates and visitors at this convention.,;
To date I have not seen a single one who was under the influence
of liquor. This fact confirms me in, my declaration that the or-
gahized labor movement is doing more to promote the cause of tern- ;
peranee than any other agency. - . ' - ; i, -' V"'..
I am sorry that I can not give Wageworker readers the result"
of the big fight" in this week's issue, but I am confident that the good 1
sense of this splendid body of men will find some satisfactory way
out of the unfortunate muddle into which this electrical worker
fight has put us. But whatever that result may be, The Wage- .
worker is going to stand loyally by the electrical workers of Ne
braska, for a more gingery lot of real unionists would be hard to
find.- ' -' -. . : i -
The convention will hardly adjourn before Saturday evening ,
and maybe it will hold over until Monday. There is a lot of im
portant business to .transact and it takes the convention several '
days to get down to real business. ' . -.. ..' : .
V1.- - WILL M. MAUPINv "
A. F. of L. CONVENTION.
I. The Character of the Delegates.
Bach year seems to raise the stand
ard of the men ' who come to the
convention of the A. P. of L. Those
who have been coming regularly,
year after year, naturally become
more efficient because they are more
highly trained in the things which
make for better Readership. They, are
more tolerant of others' mistakes and
short comings. They are steeled
against mere pettiness. ; They are
more optimistic as to the possibilities
for the workingmen and working
women of America and of the world.
Their grasp of the bigger problems in
the industrial world is larger, be
cause their outlook is broader.
Coming into contact with this type
of leadership, the younger and more
Inexperienced delegate catches some'
thing of their spirit. It is a real ed
ucation to him. He goes back to his
own central body and to his local
with a vision of better things. He
has for . the time being gotten away
from the narrowness of comparative
ly little things, and he returns with
the feeling that this labor problem is
a much bigger thing than he ever
dreamed. Needless to say, it pays
to send a delegate to the convention
of the American Federation of Labor
pays the man who goes and the
body that 'sends htm..!
All of the above applies with pe
culiar, force to the convention now in
session In Toronto. Here are come
together the picked men in the world
of labor. They have risen from th
ranks by sheer force of native ability.
They have come , up through storm
and shock. ; They have been shown
no favor merely because of social po
sition, wealth, or family ; prestige
the things which govern in the selec
tion of other groups, Every man has
earned the place which he now occupies.
To such men 'may safely be en- '
trusted the destinies of the tollers .
of America, not that every : man "is '
a paragon of excellence, nor that they
never make mistakes.- But the good
sense of the entire body usually pre-
vails and errors are soon rectified.
Marvelous is the patience of the
delegates as they listen to long-drawn-out
discussions wich nobody seems
willing to cut off, because , of the
keen desire ' to give every fellow a ,
square deal. And always' does the
right side win, provided, of course,
that it can prove its ; case. ' Some
times, for the moment, technicalities 1
appear to crowd out justice, but
everybody ' recognizes the ifact that
these men will see s that wrongs shall 1
be righted, ultimately, ' even though.
the law' demands arbitrary action in;.,
a particular ' case. ' , . ! . ' , . ; J,
; Organized labor need . not " be.,,
ashamed of , the men Who', compose
this convention. They would measure';;
up with the men in any other delib- ';
erative body. is
"EXPERIENCED MOLDERS." y'
In a recent announcement the Gray
& Dudley Hardware company, of.
Nashville, Tenn., says:
"We have recently made 1 arrange
ments to greatly increase our "stove
and range department, and put on
200 additional experienced molders.
The enormous plant will be operated :
to its fullest capacity and gives us
one of the largest) and most complete
foundry plants In America..: We want
live dealers in- every community to '
handle our line. .We offer you-inducements
that no other stove and range
manufacturer can. Please write us 1
today and secure the agency for.-.
'Washington' stoves and ranges.";
It appears that the '200 additional
experienced molders' are 199 convicts.
The concern has been placed on the ,
unfair list. .
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