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Newspaper Page Text
FEDERATION OF LABOR ROASTS REDFIELD
WANTS PROBE TO INSURE SHIP SAFETY
Twelve years ago the steamer Gen
eral Slocum burned in East river. A
thousand perished. Public anl press
clamorously insisted the federal
navigation laws should be so revised
that greed could claim no other sac
rifice. The laws were not changed.
A week ago the Eastland overturn
ed at her pier. A thousand perished.
Public and press are clamoring for
changes in the navigation laws that
will insure safety. They will not be
changed is the prediction. The pub
lic will forget its demand.
After public and press now forget
to plead the cause of safety for sea
men and voyagers just as they for
got soon after the General Slocum
had ceased to be first page news the
Chicago Federation of Labor will re
shoulder the burden of fighting for
safety on the lakes.
In two unanimously adopted reso
lutions the C. F. of L. yesterday sol
emnly pledged itself to force the issue
until the responsible blame is placed
for the Eastland disaster and until
the powers that be in Washington are
aroused to the understanding that
the lives of seamen and passengers
are worth considering.
The federation wants other unsea
worthy boats removed from service
out of Chicago and fears its cry will
again fall upon deaf ears.
'It is a crime to permit 3,800 peo
ple aboard the Christopher Columbus
between Chicago and Milwaukee,"
said the executive board's report,
which said that many hig boats run
ning out of Chicago had not a.sea
man or practical sailor in the crew.
The federation will go direct to
President Wilson. It wants a white
investigation of the Eastland, not a
whitewashing one. ft wants an im
mediate cessatioa of the tactics of
Sec'v Redfield and what was by one
fman termed a "farcical self-vindica-
The resolution introduced by M. L.
Johnson and passed asks Pres. Wil
son to appoint a commission of three
to give a real investigation, one in
which the people of Chicago can pat
some faith. This committee would
be composed of a naval expert who is
not identified with the steamboat In
spection service, a Chicago alderman
and a representative of labor or the
Another resolution instructed the
federation's officers to petition Pres.
Wilson to at once thoroughly investi
gate not only the Eastland disaster
but the whole field of steamboat serv
ice inspection and to see that ship
owners or government inspectors did
not escape responsibility. The with
drawal of Sec'y Redfield from Chi
cago is desired. , ,
Victor Olander, president of the
seamen's union, was several times
given an ovation.
r "The federation is not seeking re
venge, but protection," it was stated.
"It wants Uncle Sam to take a les
son from the Eastland, even if the
fate of the Gen. Slocum, the Valencia,
Monroe, Pere Marquette and scores
of other boats have not brought home
to him the need for better Inspection
"Sec'y Redfield's sneering, sarcas
tic, disinterested attitude would get
on the nerves of a Whitechapel mur
derer," said the executive committee
in its report" ,
"Nothing can be gainedSy trjtag'
the devil if the court is-to be held in
hell," said the committee. A request
that Pres. Wilson at once recall Red
field and give a real investigation fol
lowed. "They will plead that the Eastland
was different from all other ships,"
said Olander. "They will say such an
accident can never happen again.
They said before that this could not
happen. We want regulatioife which
will make disasters impossible oo. any