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About The Wageworker. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-???? | View Entire Issue (Nov. 27, 1909)
Official Organ of
all Lincoln Unions
Established I go 3
and Slill Growing
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, NOVEMBER 27, 1909
TIE TORONTO GATHERING. WAS A WARMEK
TO age wo
If I were asked what impress d me most during the Toronto
convention of the American Federation of Labor I would answer:
The great temperance mass meeting at Massey hall on Sunday af
ternoon. Rev. Charles Stelle, who presided, and Mitchell, 1 Lon
don and Lewis, who delivered addresses, plainly stated that they
were not prohibitionists, but their opposition to the licensed saloon
was so emphatic as to be an eye-opener to those who may have
imagined that the trades unions of the country are inclined to
oppose the temperance waVe. Five thousand people crowded the
magnificent hall, and it was easy to see that it was an audience
of wage earners. Every time one of the speakers took a rap at
the licensed saloon the great audience cheered to the echo. As
1 sat there and listened to the speeches of John Mitchell, John B.
Lennon and Tom Lewis, I thought to myself: "The American work
ingman is beginning to study this great question from the stand
point of economics, and not wholly from the standpoint of 'per
sonal liberty." Furthermore, it bore out what many of us in the
labor movement have long asserted, that the trades uuions of the
country are doing more than any other agency to promote temper
ance, right living and civic righteousness. There is food for
thought in the great temperance mass meeting of labor at Massey
hull in Toronto during the week of the Federation convention.
Another thing that impressed me was the necessity of trim
ming a few Federation leaders down to their proper size, and of
sending a few international officials back into the ranks until they
cain cultivated some sympathy for the rank and file. It is pos-
SOME GOSSIP ABOUT LABOR'S
BIG (GATHERING UNDER THE RED
CROSS OF ST. GEORGE. .......
doesn't work at all when its working would be against the coun
cil. This may be a broad statement, and you may deem it neces
sary to have some proof to back it up.; Well, here it is: Morrison
held that according to the constitution any city central body ad
mitting delegates from a Reid local automatically lost its. charter.
This on the constitutional ground that city centrals were debarred
from admitting delegates from, "dual or seceding bodies," and the
Reid locals were so classed. All well and good so far. But that
same constitution provides (1) that all affiliated internationals
must pay their per capita to the Federation before the fifteenth
of the month, and (2) that when an international was three months
behind in its per capita its charter of affiliation was revoked and
could only be reinstated by a vote of the convention.- On Febru
ary 24, 1909, the McXulty-Collins faction of the electrical workers
paid the per capita tax for October, 1908, thus under the most
liberal interpretation of the constitution being nine days behind
and therefore without acharten. Buf the McXulty-Collins fac-
that he loses touch with the men he is supposed to represent.
Far be it from me to act as a censor of another man's habits, but
v distinct regard for the truth impels me to make the statement
that I am almighty tired of seeing some big international officers
spending the money of hard working mechanics and trying to lap
up all the booze there is in sight. It is not my place to mention
any names, but the carpenters ought to be sitting up and taking
hot ice. At another time I may think it necessary to call the at
tention of another union or two to some facts. Do not understand
from this that boozing was prevalent at the convention. Far from
it. But a few "big guns" in the -labor movement seem to have
conceived the idea that their chief duty was to dispose of the en
tire visible supply. But there was far less drinking at the Toronto
convention than one usually sees among a similar number of dele
gates attending a republican or democratic state convention in
Omaha, or in Lincoln before the saloons closed.
One other thing was borne in upon my mind the necessity
of convincing a few "big guns" that they are not the entire labor
movement. There is James Duncan, for instance. James is a big
man. all right, all right: but I believe the American Federation
of Iabor would survive his sudden taking off. Pompous to a
great degree, positive to the point of bullheadedness. and quite
sure that unless the mantle of Gompers falls upon his shoulders
' the American labor movement will go to the demnitioii bow-wows,
James Duncan rather gets upon the nerves of the mere men whose
only duty is to pay the per capita tax and perform the menial
duties around the barracks.. When Duncan took it upon himself
to try and tell the labor editors how they should organize, and who
should be admitted ; to membership, he bit off considerably more
than his jaws will ever be able to masticate. However, Duncan is
afraid of one man. and that man is James M. Lynch. Duncan
realizes that if ever he comes up for the presidency of the Feuera
tion Jim Lynch is the man he will have to beat, and it is great
sport to see him jockeying for advantage. When the struggle
comes I'll put my money on Lynch. I've had my differences with
the president of my own international, but I'll cheerfully admit
that for brains, organizing ability and readiness in debate to say
nothing oi his skill as a parliamentarian tliere is uot a man in
the American labor movement who has anything on "Jim'5- Lynch
Dunean knows this, and Duncan is scared. , .
John B. Lennon is one of the strong men in the movement
mm . a.-- . i t -i -.
lie nas Deen treasurer ot tne reiteration tor two uecauesttnu is
president of the Tailors' International Union. He was en rin an
of the laws committee, which heard the electrical workers' con
troversy, and after it was all over the protestants would have
been willing to accept him as the third arbiter, Lennon was posi
ti.ve, but he was as fair as a human could be, and he .was always
courtesy itself. Two or three national organizers on the commit
tee were disposed to throw us -all over the transom without giving
us even a look-in, but Lennon wouldn't stand for It. The more
see of some national o'rganizers of the American Federation of La
bor the less I wonder at the lack of results from all the money we
expend in organization. I'll take off my hat to John B. Lennon
any day in the week.
The so-called Reid faction of the electrical workers have every
reason to feel grateful to the Ohio and Iowa state federations of
labor and to the stiff-spified central bodies that refused to be bull
dozed into throwing out the Reid locals' delegates. If Secretary
Morrison had not taken the bit in his teeth and revoked a lot of
charters the Reid faction would have stood about as much chance
of a hearing at Toronto as a tallow-legged cat chasing an asbestos
rat throueh Hades. The machine had it all framed no t iittci-lv
ignore the Reid-Murphy faction and give the McXulty-Collins
crowd everything in the way of recognition. This would have been
carried out to a finish if the appeals and protests of the two state
federations and of the abolished central bodies had not piled up
with such fierceness that it was soon apparent that something had
to be done to heal the breach. It didn't take Chairman Lennon of
the laws committee long to see that the only way to make any pro
gress whatever was to start from the beginning which meant
taking up the electricians' squabble. And that gave the Reid
Murphy faction their opportunity. When it came to the argument
and the proof the Reid-Murphy faction had all the best of it.
This statement is borne out. by the fact that a convention which
wasn't going to give the Reid-Murphy faction a pleasant look
unanimously adopted u report that was a compromise dating back
to the Denver convention and giving both factions another oppor
tunity to get together. And Reid and Murphy smilingly declare
that the convention plan suits them from the ground up.
Secretary Morrison has some peculiar ideas about the work
ings of the constitution. He holds that the constitution works
"automatically" when the executive council profits, and that it
sihle to keep a man in office on a fat salary for such a long timCjlion had heen reeo?nized by, tin? executive council, therefore the
constitution which worked "automatically" against the Ohio and
Iowa state federations, and some thirty or forty city central bodies,
failed to work the same way againststhe McXulty-Collins faction of
the electrical workers. Secretary Morrison's only explanation is
that the McXulty-Collins faction's money was tied up in litigation.
But that don't go down with those who know the facts." If the
McXulty-Collins faction has a majority doesn't it stand to reason
1 hat it would have as much money as the Reid-Murphy faction?
And the Reid-Murphy faction has more money today than the en
tire brotherhood ever had before the split ; it has paid every sick
and death benefit and financed the best campaign of organization
in recent years. During this time .the McXulty-Collins faction has
failed to give a waiting world any evidences of having paid sick
and death benefits or doing any organization work. Secretary Mor
rison will have to come across with a 'better explanation of why the
constitution doesn't work antomaficall v in the reverse motion.'
But it was. after all, amusing, to s-e the way the Reid-Mur
phy representatives everlastingly put the boots to the McXulty-Col
lins faction in the argument before -the laws committee. It is only
justice, howexwv-to Peter-W1J jSntiiibjJfiauMayiliat 'hmiaa.de, .ajtame
fight against tremendous odds. Collins is a brainy man. There is
no discounting that statement But he clearly demonstrated that
he was about all the brains his side -possesses. McXulty was a
mere "me too" appendage who relied on Collins and M. Grant
Hamilton. There may be electrical workers who can give some
explanation of how a McXulty was ever elected president of their
NEBRASKA STATE FEDERATION
OF LABOR CONVENTION GALL
Lincoln, Nebraska, November 24,
1909. In accordance with the consti
tutional provision I nereby call the
Nebraska Federation of Labor to meet
in annual convention in the city of
South Omaha, on January 4. 1910. The
representation in the convention is as
Each trades council or central body
is entitled to one delegate, and each
local union is entitled to one delegate
foi' each 100 members or fraction
thereof. Proxies are not allowed. The
Farmers' Union, ministerial associa
tions and auxiliaries composed of the
wives, mothers, daughters and sisters
of members of affiliated crafts are en
titled to one fraternal delegate each.
No delegate will be entitled to a seat
in the convention with voice and vote
unless the union of his or her craft is
affiliated with the Nebraska Federa
tion of Labor and all financial obliga
tions of such local union to this Fed
There is every reason why the or
ganized workers of Nebraska should
rally to make the Nebraska Federa
tion of Labor a powerful influence in
the social, economic and industrial life
of the commonwealth. Nebraska's
rapidly growing manufacturing indus
tries render it imperative that better
laws be enacted for the propeor safe
guarding of life and limb, and unless
the workers themselves take the mat
ter In hand there is littli likelihood
of results being accomplished. At
this time I take occasion to point out
some legislation calculated to benefit
not only the workers and their fami
lies, but to benefit, the entire common
wealth: The enactment of a law providing
for the establishment of a state board
of arbitration and conciliation.
The establishment of a state print
ing plant to the end that the state
may, in time, supply school text books,
state supplies, etc.
A revision of the labor laws now
upon the statute books.
A further extension of the employ
ers' liability law. 1
The abolition of the convict labor
contract and lease system whereby
the labor of convicts is put into com
petition with free labor.
The better equipment of the Bureau
of Labor and Industrial Statistics to
the end that the Bureau may not only
advertise to better advantage the re
sources of Nebraska, but may be of
greater service to the vast and rap
idly growing army of women and men
engaged in industrial pursuits.
These are but a few of the impor
tant matters that organized labor
should carefully consider and use the
utmost efforts to forward. The im
portance of organization among the
different crafts is well emphasized by
the results that have accrued to indi
vidual craftsmen from organizations
of their respective crafts. Until such
time as the craftsmen of the state
shall have perfected a thorough or
ganization they can have little hope
of securing legislation calculated to
benefit them. In addition to securing
this beneficial legislation along indus
trial lines, a thorough organization of
the workers will forward the move
ment for the eradication of tubercu
losis and the improvement of the san
itary conditions amidst which thou
sands work and live.
I earnestly urge all organizations
of workingmen to affiliate with the
Nebraska Federation of Labor and be
represented at the convention in
South Omaha on January 4, 1910.
In due time the secretary, Frank P.
Hart, will send out information as to
hotel rates, place of meetings, etc.
The election of delegates should be
reported to him, 824 North Twelfth
street, South Omaha.
WILL M. J1AUPIN,
President Nebraska Federation
brotherhood, and all I have to say is that if there be such I'd like
to hear the explanation. '
In brief the result of the electrical workers' squabble was
this: Everything was to date back to the Denver agreement. Each
side was to select a member of the board of arbitrators, president
Gompers to select the third. These three are to meet the represen
tative of the warring factions and try to effect an agreement.
Failing this a convention is to be held before September 1. 1910,
and both sides must abide by its action. Only locals now in exis
tence may be represented at the convention. The NReid-Murphy
faction selected A. L. Urick, president of the Iowa State Federa
tion, as its arbiter. The McXulty-Collins faction selected Frank
Duffy, secretary of the International Brotherhood of Carpenters
and Joiners. President Gompers selected a man whose name is
Fry, if I am not mistaken. Who he is I do not know. Anyhow,
he didn't select M.1 Grant Hamilton. I like Grant immensely, per
sonally, but as an arbiter he doesn't impress me very favorably.
Reid and McXulty both pledged themselves and their followers to
faithfully carry out the terms of the agreement.
Now doesn't that sound good, especially after being told that
the Reid faction would be accorded even common courtesy V-
As usual the bogy of "socialism" was sprung at every oppor
tunity. The minute something was proposed that didn't 4 suit the
executive council, a lot of fellows would immediately begin tell
ing us that the "socialists are behind this for God's sake don't let
them disrupt the labor movement!" I heard that sort of thin?
until my democratic eardrums fairly ached.. Of course it was de
clared from the usual toadying quarters that the whole Reid-Murphy
faction was nothing more or less than a' socialistic movement
to bust up the American Federation of Labor. The funny part of
it is that a lot ot men making the harge actually believe it, and
a lot of fellows who otherwise appear to be fairly bright actually
swallowed it. It is getting so easy, you know, to holler "socialist"
at the fellow who has the temerity to think for himself now and
then. But it does not make any stronger friends for the machine.
Quite the contrary. , .
Outside of the electrical workers' scrap there was little tf in
terest at the convention. Peace was patched up between the car
penters and the woodworkers ; between the machinists and eleva
tor constructors, and between the warring factions of the car
workers. Of course President Gompers was re-elected unanimously.
Nothing else was thought of. Any man who suggested a change
under present conditions Would have been boiled in oil in front of
convention hall. Morrison, Mitchell and the whole push were also
re-elected. ' . ' ; '
When the committee on boycott reported John Mitchell took
the floor and made a speech that set the convention wild. It was
a speech caTculated to add about seven hundred "years to Mitchell's
sentence, for he hurled definance at the court that has tried to
deprive him of his constitutional rights.. Mitchell was not excited,
either. He spoke calmly and deliberately ; he chose his words with
care. And that is what made' the speech so telling.
The Toronto papers gave the convention scant notice but the
Associated Press, the United Press and the Hearst service had
special representatives there, and as a result the convention was
the best covered in the Federation's history.
The printers proudly claim having the most delegates on the
floor. There were thirty-eight bearing credentials, four from the
International Typographical Union, one organizer and thirty-three
from city central bodies. Thirteen labor editors, all printers., met
and organized the International Labor Press. The purpose of the
organization is to more thoroughly cover the business field, and
to secure something more than nice resolutions of endorsement for
the labor press. Charles W. Fear of the Joplin, Mo., Trades Union
ist, was elected president, and your humble servant was eleeted secretary-treasurer.
This organization purposes cutting some more
ice in the future. .
The executive council, the international officers and the general
organizers all stopped at, the Prince George hotel $6 a day. The
rest of us stopped at the Grand Union, Walker and Daly hotels
$2 a day. . ,
Egan of the Toledo Union Leader was unceremoniously bounced
from the eonvention but he became almighty pestiferous around
Sam DeXedry was on hand with his sledgehammer. Sam has
it in for the "highbrows" and "face cards" and don't care who
knows it. He also has a quiet laugh all to himself every time he
thinks of President Kidd of Columbia Typographical Union, Wash
ington, D. C. It isn't that way with Kidd, however.
Agnes Nestor, secretary of the International Gloveworkers'
Union was chairman of the committee on labels. After she had
reported all the usual resolutions about demanding the la"bel she
sarcastically remarked that if the convention delegates and those
they represented acted out one-half the recommendations it would
keep 'em all busy. And the convention laughed. .
For a man who delivers the goods without making any, tuss
or assuming to know very much, commend us to John Mangan, who
represented the steamfitters and gives Chicago as his residence.
Mangan can say more in fewer words than the average labor
Ike Hornbrook, wTho represented the Evansville, Ind., central
body, is a teamster and is on an ice wagon. It was a joy to be in
his company for his good nature fairly radiates. Hornbrook
weighs about 275 pounds, and it is all good union meat, too.
The veteran of the whole bunch of labor editors, Joseph"" Buch
anan, was there as the representative of the Hearst syndicate.
"Buck" was sacrificing everything for the labor movement when
a lot of us middle-aged labor editors were in knickerbockers. What
he hasn't learned about the labor editor game isn't worth, wasting
time on. . .' . 1
Xebraska had three delegates on the floor Theodore McCnl
lough, who is one of the four delegates of the international Typo
graphical Union and managing editor of the Omaha Bee; Louis V.
Guye, who represented the Nebraska Federation of Labor, and the
writer, who tried to represent the Lincoln Central Labor Union.
The Omaha central body did not send a delegate.
About all the comment we care to make on the Toronto brand
of November weather is that it is fully as bad as the Toronto brand
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