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peace and prosperity hitherto unknown in be considered jointly if they are to operate
for the benefit of all. our country Having in mind the many disastrous
Beginning in this spirit, with a recogcontests between those whose interests
nition of the rights of their employees and are identical during the past few years,
the assertion of their own, the Mason I cannot better illustrate the beneficent Builders' Association entered upon its effects of the system than by giving in
corporate existence, and from its inception detail the result of the formation of a
has been signalized by the same spirit of Joint Board of Arbitration between the justice in all its official actions. Mason Builders' Association and the
The bricklayers' strike lasted nearly Bricklayers' Unions of New York City, three months, and its consequences conwhich, after twelve years' tria), has proven tinued to be felt long after it was nomithe most successful instance of that nature
nally ended. in this country. The long strike of the Bricklayers' Committee of the Mason Builders' Asso
On January 12, 1885, the Executive Unions of New York, in the summer of
ciation recommended the appointment of 1884, for a working day of nine hours, was
a Committee on Conference," with a view a memorable event in the history of both of adjusting all differences now existing, employers and employees throughout this
or that may arise, between the members country, for it inaugurated a movement
of this Association and the labor unions." which has already been a blessing to
In accordance with this recommendation hundreds of thousands of wage-workers, the Association appointed the Executive and which must go on with ever-increas- Committee itself to confer with the labor ing good results.
unions and settle all disputes. The mason and carpenter builders of
On April 9, 1885, the Executive Comthe city had in the winter of 1884 talked
mittee reported having held two conferof forming an association among them
ences with delegates representing all the selves, but very little had been accomplished, and the movement might perhaps had resulted in the following propositions :
Bricklayers' Unions of the city, which have come to naught except for the oc
1. Wages to be paid by the hour. currence of the strike which forced the
2. The formation of a Joint Conference Mason Builders into a union to make a
or Arbitration Committee. stand against the Bricklayers' Unions.
3. Rules for apprentices. The first two sections of their Constitu
The Committee also submitted the copy tion read as follows:
of a long letter sent by them to the Brick
layers' Unions, the closing sentence of Section 1. This organization shall be which reads as follows: known as the “ Mason Builders' Association “We fervently hope that we will be of the City of New York."
able to arrive at a conclusion admitting OBJECT
that all laws governing our trade must be Section 2. The objects of this Association
established by joint legislation between shall be:
the unions and the employers." First-To further the interests of the On April 21 the following agreement mason builders, and, in conjunction with was ratified by the Mason Builders' Asother organizations now existing (or to be sociation, and later on by the Bricklayers' formed), promote the interests of the building Unions, and was then addressed to the trade in general.
trade : Second—To adopt such measures for the better protection of employers and employees as shall lead to the promotion of harmony According to agreement, the Joint Arbitrabetween all parties engaged with us in busi tion Committee of the Mason Builders' As. ness, to arbitrate all differences, and so avoid sociation and the Bricklayers' Unions of New the great evil of strikes, which unsettle our York City will meet every Wednesday evenbusiness and drive capital into other chan- ing at eight o'clock at No. 1321 Broadway nels for investment. Third-To demonstrate to our employees tween employers and employees. Complaints
to hear grievances and settle all disputes bethat our interests are identical, consequently will be received either in person or by comall laws affecting the building interest must munication.
Arbitration and Conciliation Practically Applied 117 The following agreement has been entered have been submitted to the Joint Arbitrainto by the above-named organizations re tion Committee for settlement, and that spectively :
no member of the Union should be disNew York, April 24, 1885.
charged for inquiring after the cards of It is hereby agreed between the Mason
men working upon any job of a member. Builders' Association of New York and the
of the Mason Builders' Association. Bricklayers' Unions Nos. 2, 33, 35, and 37, and the Amalgamated German Unions of the
During 1886 the number of delegates City of New York,
from each side was increased to six, a First-That the journeymen and foremen quorum being four members from each who were members of the Unions last sum side. For a lack of business the weekly mer be reinstated on payment of dues to meetings were discontinued, the Commitdate, and by the latter, of dues and assess tee meeting at the call of the chair on ments to date, which shall not exceed fifty either side. Complaints of minor impordollars. Second— That the wages of bricklayers of the year being twice repeated, against
tance were duly acted on, the most serious from May 1, 1885, to May 1, 1886, shall be forty-two cents per hour, nine hours on any
a prominent firm for paying less than the day; Saturday, eight hours, with eight hours regular wages. A committee was appay.
pointed to wait on the firm and state that It is particularly requested that all griev “the Mason Builders' Association cannot ances be immediately laid before the Com- supportany member in paying anything but mittee in order to avoid all difficulties. Union wages.” Thereafter no complaint (Signed)
of the above nature was presented against MARC EIDLIDTZ, Chairman.
any member of the Association. The H. OSCAR COLE, Chairman.
agreement for 1887 was made with but The history of the Joint Arbitration little friction, and was on the same lines Committee from that date to the present as that of 1886. time, as shown by their minutes, is both In March of that year, at the first annual interesting and suggestive. At first the meeting of the National Association of Committee consisted of ten members, five Builders, Mr. John J. Tucker, of New from each side, elected for terms of not York, spoke as follows: " In our efforts less than three months ; weekly meetings for the better promotion of the interests were held, and special meetings at the of all, we have established an arbitration call of the chair, three from each side through a conference held with our men, constituting a quorum. Should the Joint and by that arbitration we cover all disCommittee be unable to come to an agree- putes that may arise in the prosecution of ment upon any question, an umpire was
our work. For two or three years past to be chosen, whose decision would be that process has been going on, and has binding on both sides.
worked very satisfactorily to both sides. At the weekly meetingsmatters of general We have monthly meetings, at which the interest were discussed, and personal griev- members on the other side meet with us, ances were brought up sometimes those and any dispute that may arise during the of workmen fined unjustly, as they claimed, progress of our employment is brought by the Unions; sometimes those of the there for adjudication, and every case that employers unfairly dealt with by the work- has arisen so far has been met and admen; sometimes those of workmen paid justed without any difficulty on either side, less than Union rates by members of the and perfect harmony exists. I look upon Builders' Association ; after which would the very fact of our coming now to this follow a general discussion of views re National Convention as being the comlating to the trade.
mencement of a spirit of unity that is In 1886, after many meetings and dis- likely to pervade our land, and that the cussions and references back and forth success of the movement will grow; and to the Builders' Association and the Brick- from it I think you will find that the conlayers' Unions, finally, on March 24, an dition of our mechanics will be
much agreement for the year, as to its hours, improved through the incentive that will wages, etc., was ratified, with the impor- be given from this body." tant additions that no strike was to be de In January, February, and March, 1888, clared until the matter in dispute should there were many meetings of the Joint
Committee to discuss the agreement for and, in fact, all great and momentous
the men in line, many of them thinking
the winter. Their money was, in many After a number of meetings, the demands cases, not sure of being paid when due; of the Bricklayers' Unions (now number they were put upon in every conceivable ing eight, all being represented on the way, with but little cha of redress, and, Joint Committee, with five from each side in fact, were completely at the mercy of to form a quorum) were presented as fol their employers. Now note the change. lows :
They receive $4 per day of eight hours, Eight hours shall constitute a day's all the year round—even a half-hour being work.
paid for; they feel perfectly secure in Wages, 50 cents per hour.
regard to their wages ; and everything To be paid every Saturday before 5:30 conducive to their interests is carefully
guarded by the annual agreement. It took several meetings to settle this During the twelve years that have important subject, but finally, late in elapsed since the first agreement was March, an agreement was reached where- signed many changes have been made, by the Union carried their point relative questions of a very grave character have to the eight-hour work-day, but gave in on been presented for action, and, although the point of weekly, pay. Thus another it sometimes appeared as if a determined great victory was gained without resort- effort were being made to bring about a ing to a strike.
disruption of the good feeling that existed Early in February, 1892, the proposed between the two bodies, yet in the end agreement for the year was read but no both parties would give way a little, and action was taken.
finally the questions at issue would be The new clauses demanded by the amicably settled (and that was done withUnions made it necessary to hold many out once calling in an umpire). This fact meetings of the Joint Committee before a alone speaks volumes for the justice of satisfactory agreement could be arrived the men representing the two bodies, at, but finally, on April 7, the agreement showing that men banded together for a was signed, and again common sense common cause can and will do justice one guided the Committee in overcoming a to the other. threatened danger.
The history of the bricklayers for the Thus from year to year has this benefi- past twelve years may be that of all cent and salutary work been carried on; branches of labor in our community if they and let us sincerely hope that its scope will only adopt the true principle of setmay become greatly enlarged, to the end tling their grievances by arbitration and that all trouble between capital and labor, conciliation.
By the Rev. B. W. Bacon, D.D.
of the second division of Har- enough in themselves to demand special
nack's great work on "The His- consideration. But a further reason for tory of Ancient Christian Literature," special treatment of the subject, in adembodying the results of his research into dition to the two preceding, may be its chronology, is an event which for sev- found in that which Harnack has been eral reasons calls for more than the usual mistakenly supposed to say in contradicnotice.
tion of the fundamental principles of his In the case of such a master as Har own work. From various quarters we nack, and the principal work of his life, it catch the sound of voices, lifted but yesis hardly needful to say in the usual phrase terday to bewail the seemingly irresistible that in its own department the book is advance of Biblical criticism, which the epoch-making. So much might be said perusal of a dozen pages of the present even before reading. But in the present work, or it may be only of some review, volume Harnack has departed somewhat has sufficed already to tune to the exultfrom the limits of its predecessors, and ant proclamation that criticism is on the discussed the dates of New Testament writ- point of surrender to the ultra-orthodox. ings as well as patristic literature. This Startling news (perhaps "delayed in transenlargement of scope leads him in his pref- mission "), the school of Baur is dead! ace to a statement of the present attitude Harnack is seen bowing to the victor's of New Testament criticism, as determined yoke, and behind him comes the long in part by his own researches, in contrast train of humbled and penitent critics, the to that of the once dominant school of Old Testament critics no less than the Baur. The statement is so remarkable New. for its candor, as well as for the signifi Perhaps even those who have taken cance of the facts stated, that it will bear this view of the book have not overrated still another reproduction :
its importance ; though there should be There was a time—the great mass of the
but little difficulty in showing how compublic is still living in such a time in which pletely they have mistaken its signifipeople felt obliged to regard the oldest Chris
In the history of New Testament tian literature, including the New Testament, criticism it is indeed an epoch-marking, as a tissue of deceptions and falsifications. though not in this field in any proper That time is past. For science it was an sense an epoch-making, book. It comes episode in which she learnt much, and after almost exactly a half-century after the which she has much to forget. The results publication of Baur's “Paulus," at a time of the following investigations go in a “re
when his celebrated theory of the origin actionary " direction still further beyond what - may be called the middle position of the crit- of the New Testament writings, after icism of the day. The oldest literature of experiencing concession after concession the Church is, in the main points, and in most from Tübingen leaders and desertion after of its details, from the point of view of liter- desertion from adherents, was at last ary history, veracious and trustworthy. In almost universally regarded as belonging the whole New Testament there is probably to a past stage of the science, a stage of but a single writing which can be called, in interest chiefly for the equally indispenthe strictest sense of the word, pseudonymous sable and imperishable lessons of method -the Second Epistle of Peter.
which it taught. It comes as the work More than this, he adds: “We are of an author now, it appears, universally without doubt embarked on a retrograde commended for unequaled learning, immovement towards tradition;" for the partial candor, and fearless independence chronological framework in which tradi- ("O upright judge, O learned judge l”); tion has arranged documents from the and thus it may well be said to mark Pauline Epistles down to Irenæus is in a transition from the old criticism to the all main points right."
Its colossal dimensions perhaps
adapt it the better to be the monument in A.D. 54-56 (53–55), and consequently
The Pauline Epis- trast which Harnack so candidly points