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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, January 12, 1916, NOON EDITION, Image 10

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-01-12/ed-1/seq-10/

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CHARGE THAT R. R. STRIKERS
WERE SELL-OUT VICTIMS
Charges that big Illinois Central
and Harriman system shop strikers
were victims of a "sell-out" by high
union officials are thrown open.
They are printed in a pamphlet-supplement
of the Blacksmith's Jour
nal, official organ of the Internation
al Brotherhood of Blacksmiths and
Helpers issued yesterday from office
of that union in the Monon building.
The charges to date have been
made only in closed meetings of of
ficers and members of the unions in
volved. Also there have been secret
hearings by the American Federation
of Labor Railroad Employes! dep't
Charges of a sell-out were first
aired in a letter of James W. Kline,
international president of the black
smiths, to the vice presidents and
business agents of his union. It was
sent out-June 29 last year, a few
weeks before the long-drawn I. C.
strike was called off by official order.
Kline questioned calling the strike off
without a referendum of the strikers.
He wrote in part:
"There are already charges of a
sell-out. To that I may say the
money Vas there all right, if they
could find any one to take it I had
the chance myself at one time and
I know if they would give it to me
they would give it to others. Of
course, we have the right to expect
that onev general officer is just as
honest as another, in that respect,
and I make no charge. But I am say
ing that if an investigation is
brought about these questions (of
why the strike should be rushed to
an end by order of general offifficials
instead of a referendum) would be'
asked. I understand by some one in
the west that they have some very
dangerous information. I would be
glad to have it brought out and let
us see where we are at If there are
?ny crooks in the movement we had
better know it."
Wm. H. Johnston, head of Inter.
Apk'tl of Machinists; M. F. Ryan, head
of Brotherhood of Railway Carmen;
and John J. Hynes, head of railroad
sheet metal workers' international,
are officers by whose order big strike
was called off. It had lasted nearly
four years with operating and stock
losses of several million dollars to
the I. C.
Pres. Johnston of machinists is
charged with staying away from
strike territory and not lending hand !,)
nor voice actively; killing publicity of
strike by choking off Clinton Bulle
tin, edited by Carl Person, in effect
destroyed by letter from machinists'
international office; early willingness
to accept terms of "unconditional
surrender," and of "treason to the
men on firing line" through failure to
send available funds to them. Kline
says:
"Local lodges of machinists as
sessed themselves on their own ini
tiative. They were not assessed by
the grand lodge. Under the law of
the machinists' union they were com
pelled to send this money through the
grand secretary-treasurer for distri
bution. The money was sent Thia
money was munitions of war. The
men who dug into their pockets for
it were entitled to Tiave the money
promptly distributed. This was not
done. I charge Johnston with the re
sponsibility." Details of a conference of Carl Per
son, strike secretary, and J. A. Buck
alew, vice president of machinists,
with Johnston, are told. Johnston, it
is said, offered to turn to Person 25
per cent of all self-imposed assess
ments raised by machinists.
'Terson argued he had no more
right to take 25 per cent than 50.
He said it was all raised for men on v
strike. Under the law of machinists' V '
union, it had to go to the grand lodge,
but not to be kept by them, but to
be distributed according to terms of
ttie givers. Person charged Johnston
with wrongful conversion of money
given by workingmen to a cause."
Kline has been on trial before A. F.
of L. railroad employes' department
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