Page images

all that the present condition of business will warrant, and that the same is just and equitable, we hereby endorse said proposition, and agree each with the other to resist the demands for a higher rate or the enforcement of other conditions.

The workmen's agent thereupon sent the following reply:

[ocr errors]

Mr. L. A. WYMAN, Secretary Boston Typothetœ.

DEAR SIR: -Your letter of even date received, and contents noted. As it appears that our scale committee can do no further business with the Typothetæ, the scale has been placed in the hands of Mr. Henry McMahon, district organizer of the International Typographical Union, who will have full charge of the matter from this time.

BOSTON, January 16, 1901.

Mr. McMahon will probably call upon you to-morrow.

Very truly yours,

CHARLES T. TENNEY, Secretary Scale Committee.

On that day also the State Board renewed its offer of assistance. Within the next six days there were five conferences between members of the Typothetæ and other master printers on the one side, and officers of the International Typographical Union on the other. On the 23d the employers' representatives made the following offer:

[ocr errors]

BOSTON, January 23, 1901.

Mr. JAMES M. LYNCH, President International Typographical Union. DEAR SIR: At a meeting of the employing printers of Boston, called this day for the purpose, the following proposition was authorized :

1. A minimum rate of $16 per week for one year from date of agreement.

2. A minimum rate of $16.50 per week for journeymen compositors for two years following.

3. A piece work rate of 35 cents per thousand ems for all compositors, men and women, for the full three years from date of agreement.

Respectfully yours,

J. S. CUSHING, President.

The Boston Typographical Union took action on the same day, accepted the offer as understood at their meeting, and the controversy was regarded as settled. It appeared that nothing remained but to draw up a formal agreement. On January 28, committees representing the respective parties met for the purpose of arranging details, when a misunderstanding arose concerning the status of women receiving weekly wages. The employees claimed and the employers denied, that women were to be placed on equal footing with men compositors. The controversy was thereupon reopened, and a strike was seriously threatened, in about 300 printing establishments, involving nearly 3,000 employees. During the first week of February the employers had interviews with the officers of the International Typographical Union, but no agreement was reached. Mr. Henry McMahon, organizer for that body, stated that the employees understood the agreement of January 23 to mean that the $16 and $16.50 weekly scale should apply to all journeymen and to women who are members of the union, but not necessarily to women who are not members of the union. The following correspondence explains the attitude of the parties to each other at this stage of the controversy:

[ocr errors]

BOSTON, February 8, 1901.

Mr. A. G. DAVIS, Secretary Boston Typographical Union.

DEAR SIR: A special meeting of the Boston Typothetæ and employing printers was held yesterday. The scale of prices submitted by your committee was approved, with the exception of the words" and to women who are members of the union." These words were struck out from the fourth line, according to the sheet herein enclosed, it being understood that journeymen compositors are men. The proposition made by us to Mr. Lynch, and by him presented and advocated at your special meeting, and duly approved and adopted by your body, is therefore reaffirmed, and if an agree

[ocr errors]

ment is reached, it is to go into effect upon the date that said agreement is signed. It is hoped that your organization will confirm its former decision, and that we may hear from you next week.

Yours truly,

L. A. WYMAN, Secretary Boston Typotheta.

BOSTON, February 8, 1901.

Mr. L. A. WYMAN, Secretary Boston Typothetœ.

DEAR SIR: I am in receipt of your favor of even date, notifying me of the action of the Boston Typothetæ and employing printers, held yesterday. I regret very much that such action was taken, as your body must have known that Boston Typographical Union was in honor bound to stand by the weakest of its members. As I have said several times before, the union ratified the proposition submitted by International President Lynch with the distinct understanding that the time scale applied to all members of the union, male or female. Furthermore, the interpretation of the scale as submitted to the Typothetæ imposes no hardship on any employing printer in Boston, and does not materially change existing conditions. It seems to me that Typographical Union 13 has exhausted every honorable means of reaching a peaceful settlement of the question at issue, and that the Typothetæ is responsible for any future action which may be taken.

Sincerely yours,

A. G. DAVIS, Secretary Boston Typographical Union 13.

On the employers' side it was contended that women rarely gave more than two or three years to typesetting, and therefore could not do so well as men who had devoted their whole lives to the occupation, and that the effect of putting them on an equal footing with men would be to exclude them from the chapels. Several members of the Typothetæ consulted the Board, with a view to requesting its mediation in the event of a strike. The men of the union declared that they could not accept any settlement that did not secure the equal rights of female members.

On February 10, 1901, a strike was voted by the union,

in case of further delay on the part of the employers to acquiesce in the terms of January 23 as understood by the union, and the strike was to go into effect when declared by a strike committee. Arrangements were made for declaring a strike on the 11th, but the strike was delayed, on receipt of a request from one of the master printers. Subsequently on that day the master printers held a meeting and voted to accept the union's interpretation. Representatives of both sides thereupon met by appointment, and signed the agreement of January 23, as modified by the union.

The foregoing annual report is respectfully submitted.




State Board of Arbitration and Conciliation.

BOSTON, February 19, 1901.


« PreviousContinue »