« PreviousContinue »
BOSTON LETTER. Business is dull all over town, on the book and job side, with the exception of the state printing office, which has an unusually large number of men at work.
There is an important lesson in connection with the conduct and settlement of the long strike of the textile workers of Fall River, which organized labor as a whole would do well to ponder over. The lesson learned from this, and many other strikes of great magnitude, is that the reason they have been in some cases only partially successful, after great hardship and suffering had been endured by those directly interested, and in other cases had been entirely unsuccessful, is because of the very incomplete and what might be termed “hand to mouth" method of financing strikes which is in vogue in the labor movement at the present time. We have grown in numbers and in power; we have made great progress in our methods of dealing with the great industrial questions which confront us at almost every turn; but, in the humble opinion of the writer, we have not taken advantage of all the resources that have lain within our reach; we have struggled along, work. ing out some great questions, it is true, but deal. ing to a large extent with our own internal affairs, without making sufficient provision for the more important contingencies of general interest such as have confronted us at Lowell, Fall River and other great centers in time of industrial strife. That the "necessaries of life" are just as neces. sary in time of strife as in time of peace is a wellrecognized fact; it is also well known that the average worker, particularly in the industries which pay small wages, is not able to lay by enough to enable him to remain long in idleness; and the great problem that has confronted organized labor has been to meet this condition success. fully and to furnish the strikers with the wherewithal to keep body and soul together. Inadequate financial backing has been the primary cause of the loss of nearly every strike that has gone against us since strikes were first inaugurated. How can this difficulty be met and overcome? Well, here is a suggestion: In case of a strike, involving a large number of men, give the executive council of the American Federation of Labor the right to appeal directly to the officers of all affiliated unions for assistance, and, by agreement and vote of each union so affiliated, make it binding on officers thus appealed to to call a penny assessment each week upon their entire membership, to continue until the strike is settled. Coming out of the treasury of the organization itself the assess. ment would undoubtedly work a hardship, but placed on the individual members it would be so insignificant that the membership would be only too glad to accept it; and a penny a week from almost 2,000,000 members of the American Fed. eration of Labor, with the other resources at its command, would carry any strike to a successful issue. Then this method would bring the strike in question to the attention of every union man in the country, keep it constantly before his mind, and make him feel a personal interest in its suc
cess. Such a plan might well be adopted by the International Typographical Union in case of trouble such as now confronts us at Philadelphia. This would be a good question for the members of the Typographical Journal Correspondents' Society to discuss.
Henry McMahon, ex-president of No. 13, and ex-organizer of the International Typographical Union, was laid up for several weeks with a broken rib, but is back at work on the American.
Union Buster Parry claims 1,000 "open shops." These undoubtedly include many of Boston's book and job printing offices, which were always "open," as well as many others of a similar character. But it would be interesting to know how many shops the 210,000 new members gained by organized labor last year "closed."
A strong fight is being put up for municipal ownership of gas and electric light plants in this city. An order to that effect has already passed the common council and board of aldermen. It is necessary for this to be done two successive years, and then the question can be submitted to the people. Things are going along so swimmingly in this direction that the ultimate result seems assured.
The Globe Relief Association last month re. elected its old board of officers, with the exception of Vice-President John Lutts, who retired in favor of John M. Welch, jr.
John Kopp was elected chairman of the Amer. ican chapel at the January meeting.
B. W. Isfort has resigned the superintendency of the Boston Journal composing room, to accept a similar position with the Curtis Publishing Company, Philadelphia. He has been succeeded by R. B. Vinton, who formerly held that position, but went to the American when that paper started. It is stated that a large increase in salary was the inducement offered in both cases.
E. A. Grozier, publisher of the Post, remem. bered all the "boys" at Christmas time with a handsome silk umbrella. As I have remarked before, printers have hearts, and they appreciate such thoughtfulness on the part of their employers at the joyous Christmas season.
Arthur Whetton, who worked on the Advertiser in the old hand days, is at present employed on a London paper. He is married, and is doing well.
"Sammy" West, who was injured in a railroad accident about a year ago, and who brought suit for damages, has had his case settled out of court.
A substantial Christmas present was sent to the Fall River strikers from the various unions repre. sented on the Boston American, $128.50 being col. lected from all departments, $55.50 from the composing room.
Charles Laux, a well-known Boston printer, is subbing on the New York Herald.
At the January meeting of the book and job branch, Joseph B. Gill was elected chairman; John T. Chalk, vice-chairman; Thomas J. Sears, secretary; Charles W. Ussher, treasurer. It was voted to hold a ball, and a committee of five was appointed to make the necessary arrangements. A committee was also appointed to boom the label. Organizer McPherson made a timely and interest
gether and help Philadelphia Union beat the unfair newspaper it is fighting, and settle our disputes afterward.
I never accept a "knock" at my friends through me as a joke, Brother Bloomer. In that case it is very evident to me that the “knocker" has lost his temper, which is a very bad thing for a "choker" to do. How does that “diagram" frame up with yours?
Dirks didn't "get back," Brother Nesbit. But perhaps he is sharpening up and laying for me.
The politician who is "in the hands of his friends" should keep his eye on his friends' hands.
Congratulations to San Francisco Typographical Union. It has accomplished the eight-hour day.
The Curley tangle is being slowly straightened out.
Those who are satisfied to be average men never raise the average.
Calling a man a brick is not necessarily a compliment. He may be a gold brick.
The last weather report will be the crack of doom.
Debts expand the more they are contracted.
ing address on organization. Refreshments were served. The meeting was a large one, and I am told that the branch is in a flourishing condition.
Secretary Sterling informs me that he has received letters from Minneapolis and Topeka, Kan., inquiring as to the methods employed in and success attending our municipal printing office.
The president, secretary and organizer were the only attendants at the December meeting of No. 13, which came on Christmas day. Being unable to secure a suitable hall for another date, it was decided that the meeting would be held at the sec. retary's office, and simply meet and adjourn,
The eight-hour day special assessment "went" without a ripple in this town.
. C. S. Macfarlane addressed the January meeting of No. 13 on phases of the labor question.
A committee of twenty-five chairmen of our largest chapels has been appointed to consider ways and means looking toward the formation of a woman's auxiliary to No. 13.
International Organizer Scott, Secretary Sterling and Organizer McPherson, of No. 13, attended a recent meeting of Worcester Typographical Union, by invitation. Stirring speeches were made by the visitors, and they were royally entertained after the meeting.
Men "in the know” are of the opinion that the interests of both Cambridge and Boston typographical unions would be best served by a consolidation. No. 13 made overtures to that end some time ago, but there seems to be a hitch somewhere.
If the capital stock of corporations was subject to tax, instead of the actual property held, such as machinery, stock, etc., it would have a tendency to squeeze a large amount of water out of some of our "undigested securities."
Two of No. 13's representatives to the central labor union have been given important committee appointments-Frank K. Foster, chairman of the committee on resolutions, and John T. Chalk a member of the committee on label and unionizing.
The man who is always bowing and scraping to his employer neither increases his own self-respect nor raises himself in the estimation of his employer.
A "fresh" individual, like a glass of beer, grows Alat after standing a while, and leaves a bad taste in the mouth. “Don't get fresh." .
Here is one of “Bob's" latest effusions, induced by a recent election on the Globe:
In the whirly-whirly, and the hurley-burley, vote early, for Perley.
His brow's unfurrowed, free from cares,
His disposition sweet, unmatchable;
The smile that's non detachable. Without discussing in any way the merits of the dispute cetween Philadelphia Typographical Union and the executive council, I believe that the work in that city should be carried forward to a successful issue. A fe... dollars spent, and hard work put in, will, in my opicion, do much more to clear the atmosphere in Phuisdelphia (or any. where else, for that matter) thari useless fights over this or that policy. Internal disputes have never yet benefited a labor union. Let us get to
TYPOTHETÆ AGITATORS. From unfair writers and speakers we hear a good deal about the "agitators," "walking delegates," "highly paid officials," "scheming leaders,” etc., in the ranks of labor organizations. Occa. sionally we hear this sort of guff from prominent members of the typothetæ. With these latter gentlemen, a word.
Do you hope, Mr. Extremist, Mr. Union Hater, and you, Mr. Smasher, to be of any value to yourself, your organization, or the trade, by your campaign of stubborn resistance to everything that may be advanced by the International Typographical Union? If you do, you are doomed to disappointment.
For example, the eight-hour day proposition is not a plaything for simpletons, the child of heated or thoughtless argument, or the instrument of the "walking delegate." In contradistinction to all this sort of thing, the eight-hour day is the outcome of years of thought and serious work, and has a logical, solid place in the history of the organized labor movement. It is not a fad advanced by featherhead unionists on one side, and can not be disposed of by fanatical antagonists on the other side. This fact is recognized by a large number of the conservative members of the typothetæ. They realize that a serious question is before them for adjudication, and that to give it proper consideration requires dispassionate thought and a thorough analysis. The hot. heads, though, are not going to be bulldozed. They are going to do the bulldozing themselves! In the interest of all concerned, it is to be hoped the conservative element will be more active and more forceful in the next convention of the typothetæ. If the hotheads are again to rule, and nothing is done to bring about an amicable long-term inauguration of the eight-hour day, the trade can blame these Solomons for the disaster that will inevitably overtake those who are deter mined to fight. The International Typographical Union has won greater battles than the eight-hour contests will prove to be—and won them, too, when it was not nearly as well equipped as it is today. Therefore, it approaches the contest prepared, if not defiant. At the same time, it is now, as it has been all along, willing to agree to a pol. icy of a slight reduction at short intervals until the full hour is reached.
The action of the radicals of the typothetæ organization will aid the typographical union in its aims. It will give us the eight-hour day long be. fore it could reasonably be expected had our proposals been met in a friendly spirit. This, of course, is mere assertion, but it has more justifi. cation than has much that we see predicted by the trouble-seekers.
On with conciliation; or on with the fight.
ST. LOUIS, MO. The recent Missouri Allied Printing Trades Council convention, at St. Joseph, declared in favor of the amendment of the state text-book law so as to provide for competition, the law at present, thanks to lobby activity, making a monop. oly for the American School Book Company. The union label on text-books plan was abandoned, for the reason that label laws have been invariably held unconstitutional wherever at tacked. In adopting the present plan the council stands on the broad ground of citizens, taxpayers and parents of school children demanding the best. The Missouri-made book is deemed best by teachers and patrons. There are several bills pending following this idea. The label phase will be attended to by organization and the judicious use of the ballot in placing labor's friends in official authority. It being so generally held that label laws are unconstitutional, because constituting class legislation, it follows that anti-label laws would also be so held. Ergo: Put our friends on watch in the offices which have the printing done.
Brother Nesbit has shown an easy way for all ambitious persons to have their "pictur's printed in the paper." And this isn't a "knock" on either Nesbit or Puck's soap, because they're both all right. And that's what makes the way easy.
Indications point to a fine success in the case of No. 8's ball on January 25. The members of Woman's Auxiliary No. 29 and "Junior No. 8". were provided with complimentary tickets.
A copy of the Christmas dinner menu at the Home was received here from Mr. Ferguson. Typographically and gastronomically it was recherche.
The cigarmakers' label calendar is much in evidence.
G. W. Wilson, of the Post-Dispatch, and wife have the sympathy of friends because of the loss of a son on December 12.
A local humorous writer prints a paragraph in which he characterizes the printer as a slave to the style board because he used figures generously and made the writer's effort look like a price
current. The bug under the chip is thus disclosed in the concluding sentence: "The only thing I have against the printer is that he makes too much money." Get wise!
The slang phrase, “rubber-neck,” is supposed to have had its origin in a local newspaper proofroom, the expression being used in derision by a reader who was being watched by his colleagues to prevent shirking tabular proofs.
"I can't make any sense out of this take," said the operator to the copy cutter. “In that case," said the latter, "neither will you make dollars."
Claude McDonald, known from Hell Gate to the Golden Gate, who worked in St. Louis twenty-five years ago and has been for eleven years in the government printing office, visited here recently.
The St. Louis Printer Apprentices Society gave an enjoyable smoker recently, at which there was a good attendance of members and journeymen. Messrs. Witter, Foster, Early, Baker and Hannegan addressed these young men on the various phases of the apprentice question, the talks being interspersed by "Othello's Address,” by President Tammany, and comic songs by Caspar Schmidt. Members of No. 8 will find these meetings de. cidedly interesting.
A delegation of 100 union bricklayers attended the induction into office at Springfield, Ill., of Sen. ator James A. Henson, a union bricklayer.
Peabody, in his valedictory to the legislature, said he favored compulsory arbitration, “subject to review by the supreme court," and a "reasonable” eight-hour law. No wonder some folks are afraid of arbitration. Rational, just, equitable, fair, moderate and tolerable are synonyms of "reasonable." Looks like the "Gov." got hold of a "wrong font."
The great European military struggle of 1854 was referred to by the printer as "the crimson war." Still, all wars are that.
The difference of opinion as to the time of ter. mination of the book and job scale has been set. tled by fixing June 1, 1905, as the date. In the meantime committees will take up the matter of a new scale.
The central trades and labor assembly has been offended by a socialist paper, which, in printing the picture of the assembly's retiring president, placed the halftone upside down and used a bor. der made of dollar marks.
The forensic feast at No. 8's last meeting leaves in doubt which moral is most applicable—the one from the story of the boy who inveterately yelled "Wolf!” or that from the tale of the two small boys who found the nut and called on the large boy to arbitrate.
George Bonnell has resigned from the GlobeDemocrat makeup room and, after a trip to California, will settle in Crawfordsville, Ind., where he will be associated with his brother in the news. paper business.
The board of public improvements is considering plans for the condemnation of several city blocks in the district bounded by Clark and Washington avenues (eight streets) and Seventeenth and Twenty-first streets, with a view to creating public parks, esplanades, etc. This is proposed for the purpose of providing appropriate surroundings for the St. Louis union passenger station, the largest in the world--the largest in the world.
A couple of No. 8's members who are running a printing plant in a small southeast Missouri town, unorganized, were given a job by a local railroad men's union, with the request that the label be used thereon. The explanation was made that, though union men, they were unauthorized to use the label. The railroad men were shown union cards, and then ordered a line put at the bottom of the job, certifying that the work was done by " , member of typographical union."
Governor Douglas has directed his efforts to a settlement of the textile strike with commendable promptness.
The retiring governor of Colorado undoubtedly enjoyed the pungent remarks of the incoming ex. ecutive on the occasion of the delivery of the lat. ter's inaugural address. “Let the galled jade wince!"
"After an election in Colorado the politicians get together and decide who was elected,” says a local republican daily. President Roosevelt is given credit for compelling Peabody to recede from his position. Don't play ahead of your turn.
That the public recognizes two sides to the la. bor question is indicated by the space given by the most prominent magazines to the subject. Such publications as the North American Review, the Review of Reviews and World's Work have articles in their January numbers.
A number of Porto Rican girls employed in a local factory, where they were also fed and
UCK Decause rice was discontinued as a part of the fare.
A committee is endeavoring to secure an ade quate hall for No. 8's meetings.
In reading the interesting Jacksonville (Fla.) letter in the January JOURNAL I encountered the name "S. J. Triplett." Stonewall Jackson Triplett! What memories are recalled-(cheese it! or they'll guess your age).
The prevailing inordinate use of "psycholog. ical” is gently rebuked by Editor Fuchs in The Stick for January—and at the "psychological mo. ment,” it seems.
The spring campaign was opened at the January session-vividly.
“His Joblots" is jobless.
"The aim of war is peace.” And the aim of the strike is the abolition thereof.
In setting up a report of the Mississippi state government's financial condition the operator spelled it "fiascal year."
The Toronto club is still "onto."
Presumably with the purpose in view of increas. ing the attendance at the meetings of No. 8, there was an interesting display of daylight fire works at the January session. Several of the bombs detonated so much as to rattle the win dows, etc. One feature of the exercises was a realistic verbal battle, wherein the attacking party poured a withering enfilading fre into the ramparts of the enemy, after the bulwark had been destroyed and the parapet badly dented. The confidential intercourse between the belligerents since
the smoke of battle cleared away leaves the onlookers in doubt as to whether the battle were sham or real.
The Post-Dispatch is putting in a double-deck linotype.
The first word in "Wm. the Conqueror” was marked spelled out. And the compositor says they are getting too particular.
The feminine practice of "ratting" the hair is not unionism.
While consulting the city directory recently I encountered the name “Coriolanus J. Foster, printer." It's lucky for “Josh” that his predatory constituents did not get on to that during the campaign.
McBeth, of lamp chimney fame, is having trouble at Marion, Ind., because of his declaration for the open shop. Macduff is "laying on,"
Crawford's theater is enjoying a boycott because of a strike of stage hands.
Three shoe factories have quit the state penitentiary because the price of convict labor has been raised from 50 to 60 cents per day. They will now doubtless hire children for less and feed themselves. Why is a factory inspector?
N. 0. Nelson, a wealthy manufacturer of this city, has amended his co-operative scheme so as to refuse profits during 1905, and places himself on a salary basis at a figure below several of his employes.
The Kansas legislature has passed a law making the office of state printer elective, the election being called for January 17, and also providing for the state ownership of the printing plant.
The Missouri State Federation of Labor concluded its convention at Joplin on January 12. H. A. Fratcher and Charles W. Fear, both members of Kansas City No. 80, were elected statistician and member of legislative committee, respectively. A resolution was adopted asking Governor Folk to pardon Fred North way, who is serving a term in the penitentiary for being implicated in the dynamiting of street car tracks during the St. Louis strike. The election of Thomas Sheridan as president was held to be a repudiation of the socialistic element in the convention. The convention advocates the appointment of a state board of examiners for bartenders.
How many local unions are aware that there is a law in the International Typographical Union law book (section 75, general laws, page 58) which says: "Apprentices, upon entering offices under the jurisdiction of the International Typographical Union, shall be registered by local unions?" It is quite common for propositions to be submitted at conventions covering matters which are already law. Let's all "read up."
The bromides have not been effective in the case of Adjutant-General Bell. A more thorough diag. nosis will doubtless indicate the necessity of an operation-surgical.
A delegation of indignant business men stormed the office of the street cleaning department to know why the downtown streets were not cleaned of snow. The commissioner explained that he was unable to procure sufficient men to work in the streets in zero weather for the lawful wage, $1.50 per day, and offered to sign the vouchers if the protestants would secure the necessary labor. The offer was not accepted.
Speaker Hill of the Missouri house of repre. sentatives has announced committee appointments. Messrs. Austin Biggs (republican) and Michael Keenoy (democrat), both members of No. 8, are thus placed: Biggs-Railroads and internal im. provements; fire, marine and tornado insurance; banks and banking; labor (chairman); militia. Keenoy-Commerce and manufacturing, immigration; engrossed bills; enrolled bills. Mr. Keenoy fared very well at the hands of an opposition speaker.
"2 B, or not 2 B: that is the question,” soliloquized the galley boy, not being able to decipher the operator's "take" marker. J. J. Dirks.
cial secretary of Colorado Springs Union No. 82. He is seventy-two years old. Congratulations are extended by his many friends.
Dayton Union has contributed $76.75 to the Cummings memorial fund-more than 50 cents per member. No. 57 is one of the smaller bodies of the International Typographical Union that is never delinquent in any movement of benefit to the craft.
According to the record of one of our residents, there were 74 admissions, 48 vacations and 22 deaths at the Home from the beginning of 1904 until its close.
Handsome brass tablets were placed over the old inscriptions on each side of the portico of the main building the latter part of December. The tablet on the north side bears the inscription, in raised letters: “Trustees, A. D. 1891: Amos J. Cummings, F. A. Pelton, J. J. Dailey, G. W. Morgan, J. D. Vaughan, W. S. McClevey, W. Lambert, Co. lumbus Hall, A. Donath, W. H. Parr, W. Aimison, E. T. Plank, J. G. Woodward.” The tablet on the south side of the entrance reads: “Union Printers' Home. Erected by the International Typographical Union, A. D. 1891."
U. R. STRULY, Colorado Springs, Colo.
NOTES FROM THE HOME. The stage in the assembly room has been enlarged and furnished with a new drop curtain representing an attractive harbor scene. New wings and flies have also been added.
Samuel S. Harrison, admitted from Butte (Mont.) Union No. 126 last October, died in the hospital annex, from pulmonary tuberculosis, December 24, 1904. Mr. Harrison was well known and esteemed by the craft throughout the country. He was for many years a proofreader on the PostDispatch, St. Louis, Mo., and was a noted contributor to the labor press under the nom de plume of "Fair Play." He was also a prominent musician, playing several instruments, his specialty being the violin. Two surviving brothers are connected with the Walter L. Main circus. Funeral services were held at the Home, conducted by Rev. E. Evans Carrington, and interment was at Evergreen cemetery.
Ahamo Woman's Auxiliary (Omaha, Neb.) sent the residents cigars and fruit cakes last Christmas. St. Louis, New York, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Columbia (Washington, D. C.) and other unions sent cash gifts to their Home members. All these presents were thoroughly appreciated, and the recipients return thanks. Several chair cushions, sent to the venerable "Bob" Middleton by a big-hearted member of No. 49, were distributed, as per instructions among occupants of the third floor, as Christmas gifts. The Denver men were not for gotten. They all return grateful acknowledgments.
Charles S. Rogers, admitted last May from No. 21, vacated December 27, and returned to San Francisco, much improved in health.
The Christmas and New Year holidays were duly celebrated by the raising of “Old Glory,” bounteous turkey dinners and unpacking of gifts by mail.
e involuntarily acted the part of Santa Claus. Charley Carter's illustrated contribution about the Union Printers' Home in the New Year magazine issue of the Colorado Springs Gazette was one of the best ever written on the subject. Among the pictures was a photo of the writer.
J. A. J. Birdsall, a former aged resident of the Home, from Little Rock, Ark., but who vacated about a year ago, with the determination to "hoe his own row" somehow, was recently elected finan.
QUESTIONS OF LAW. Believing that discussion of law in THE JOURNAL has a tendency to perfect same, I would like to call attention to the lack of provision in some of the laws for the proper and beneficial results. Section 30, International Typographical Union gen eral laws, provides for admission of applicants, “rigid examination as to the competency,” etc. This can be enforced where the applicant can be reached by a committee of a local union.
Now, section 31 allows an applicant in a far. away section to subscribe and swear to member. ship before a civil officer duly authorized by law to administer oatlis. No provision is made for examination of such an applicant. Any one with union experience can see where the International Typographical Union will get the worst of the proposition under this section.
Section 32 provides that the organizer can issue blanks to printers under certain provisions, forward their names to THE JOURNAL for publication, and, no valid objections being presented, after the lapse of thirty days, these parties are issued certificates of membership, all for the princely sum of $2 each. No provision made for examination. Verily, this is making competent or incompetent members of our fraternity with a vengeance. If you are in town, and want to join, you pay down $5 in good hard coin and-stand examination. Rigid! If you are in the country, and want to join, you pay down $2 in like coin, and-no ex. amination. “You pays yo' money,” tra-la-la-la!
Section 36 provides that a foreman must be a member of the local union where he works. Under the jurisdiction of a Texas union I saw a chapel refuse to allow the foreman to participate in chapel meeting, the claim being made that it was a local law. How's that? R. W. WALKER.
Fort Worth, Texas.