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The Labor enquirer. [volume] (Denver, Colo.) 1882-1888, December 16, 1882, Image 4

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“We will renew the times of troth and jus
Condensing in a fair, free commonwealth
Not rash equality, but equal rights."
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Entered at the Denver postofiice as second
class matter.
. J ' ■ ——~ =
The Labor Enquirer is published every
Saturday. It will be devoted to the discus
sion of all subjects which tend to educate,
elevate and advance the laboring classes.
Politically, it will support only the friends
of labor.
Subscription rates, $1.50, in advance.
All communications must be addressed to
The Labor Enquirer, 370 Larimer Street, j
Denver, Colorado. ' . :
Our name denotes our mission, and it j
is not a misnomer, but the objects and j
aims in detail, the line of policy we shall
pursue in relation to the leading ques- j
tionsof the day which relate to the work- !
ing classes, cannot be gathered from iH
alone, and, as is the custom of. the in- 1
augural number of any publication, we j
desire to lav down a few of the things
we will or will not support, and from
this groundwork we shall draw our mode
of dealing with all kindred matters,which
we may now omit, or which may in the :
future arise, endeavoring to hew always
straight to the line, honoring the right,
respecting the truth and fearing nothing:
We shall endeavor to' bring in under
the shelter of the wing of organization ,
nil classes of producers, recognizing ,
Jknowdedge and true moral worth as the
only standard of merit. To secure j'
to the laborer by legislation and
other honorable means a fair remunera- j ,
tion for their services, a shortening of .
the houl-s cf labor, and the means and ]
opportunities of enjoying an equal share ] 1
of |he prosperity created by their ih
dqstry. We shall strenuously oppose
the giving of land to railroad and other
corporations, advocating the reservation
of such to the actual settler. We shall :
demand the repeal or modification of all
laws which do not affect in an equal ]
degree labor and capital; shall insist]
upon the enactment of a law giving the ]:
mechanic the first lieu on the products
of his woqk for all wages due him, and I.
the passage of a reasonable and just* ox- j i
eruption law in Colorado. We shall 1 s
insist u/pon the abolishment of the con-, 1
tract system on national, state and mu
nicipal work. We shall advise the sub-1
stitution of arbitration for strikes, where
such a course is possible. We shall labor
to secure for both sexes the same pay
for the same work; and, as an
entirety, our aim shall be to strive for j
the general benefit of all who- work for j
wages, believing that in so doing we are
striving for the good and prosperity of:
our general government.
All the foregoing, and much more, will
be thoughtfully considered and carefully
placed before our readers; and to that
! eiid we shall endeavor to obtain the
latest information on all subjects of in
terest' to our friends, and shall make
efforts to secure as coadjutors the intelli
gent and thinking people who are with
us and of us.
With this we extend to you the hand
of fellowship and brotherhood, and refer
you to other matters of interest in these
Secretary Meldrutn has awarded ths
contract for doiog the state printing for the
next two years t > the Times. This was d ine
simply because the bid of the Times was the
lowest and best made.—Times.
/ There is a slight inaccuracy in the above
paragraph which the Ne *s desires to overtake
before it get* cold. We desire to correct and
aniean the second sentence, that it mav r»-ad
correctly, and as follows; “This was done
simply because the bid by the Times was the
■result of a political job ” Nothing bu: the
chftraetersstic or proverbial modesty of the
so-called afternoon paper prevented it irom
makiog the statement quoted. This would
have been honest, and of course the Times
cpuld not, and be consistent with its record
say so. It is high time that a halt was
made in the state printing steal, and it being
directly in the line of our duty, the News
will make it a part of its duty to" call the halt
now. The Times did not have the lowest of
the bids read before the secretary of state,
and the News is prepared to prove this broad
statement to be trne. It is time that this
jobbery and knavery should stop. It has
become too common, this sort of business, in
that branoh of the “grand old party” now
controlling the state to be held from public
view. Printing should be done for the state
just as it is done for the merchant. Any other
maimer of bidding is dishonest. When a
company or corporation contracts to do work
fot the state at a figure far below that which
it costs them, io many instances, to purchase
the stock fr>m the wholesale dealer, w« have
no hesitation in sayingkthat"fraud” is written
across every sentence of its contract. The
charge b a bold one, but we stand ready to
mak •it good. We challenge the jobbers in,
this ease to disprove figures teat we may
present. Right here and no-v the News gives
fair warning to the incoming secretary of
state that he has a duty to perform in this
printing bu-iness which cannot and must doi
be overlo >ke I The Times proprietor is
Oettine cm his isjnorano-e., Its snide bid
amounts to this and nothing mme. Tbi-
; statement of tec's is susceptible ot proof,
j Is there any dimofi'ion upon the part of the
I outgoing r incoming secretary or state to
I leceive b ? —News
“Thus bad begins and worse remains
I behind.” That the News is strong in the
l position it takes in the above extract we
; are satisfied, and that it can prove the
! statement made to the effect that the
j Times did not have the lowest bid
| opened by the secretary of state we are
I also ready to believe ; but the question
i is. will the proof be brought forward'.’
It has been more than a week since the
matter quoted appeared in the News, and
there has been nothing done. If the de
sire of that paper reaches no further in
the direction-of reform than the mere
correcting of the language used by the
Lawrence street concern, it appears to
us that the skin is very thin. An item
appeared in the News subsequent to the
above to the effect that the Times “did
not care-to discuss the question.” This j
sounds very much like the last gasp of
the vanquished, or the natural outcome
of an “amicable settlement.” When a
journal makes pretentions to being the
organ of honesty and upright adminis
tration it doesn't seem the proper thing
to us for it to make such bold charges as
are contained in the foregoing extract '
and then quietly drop the matter, simply
because “the Times does not care to dis
cuss the question.” This is not a matter
for discussion, but a piece .of swindling
and rascality that should be brought out
in all its minutest particulars into the
broad open light of day, and the culprits
punished in a manner they deserve. We
are sorry to see the News, whose course
in exposing the frauds in municipal
matters we have entertained the greatest
admiration for, after firing one hot shot
into the piratical craft quietly stuff the
swabbing stick back in its gun and with
draw from the held, as if defeated.
That there is fraud in the matter of giv
ing out the state printing everyone who
knows ought of the subject is perfectly
satisfied. When an institution takes
composition at lit cents per 1,000 ems
and pays 40 cents for the work, and then
builds a brownstone structure on the
profit, there must certainly lie a discrep
ancy somewhere. We sincerely trust
this matter will not be allowed to rest
here, but that the facts in substantiation
of the News’ assertion will be brought
forward and the proper steps taken
toward punishing the guilty parties.
We may have more to sav on this subject
next week.
To those workingmen who belong to
trades that have no organization we de
sire to say a few words : Organize your
selves into a protective and benevolent
society as quickly as possible. Truly,
“in union is strength.” No man, be he
union or non-union, will have the hardi
hood to stand out in the face of history
and say this is not true, particularly true
of the wageworker. We know there is
a cry against trades unions, but who,
started that cry, and who keeps it up till
the woods ring? The very men who bene
fit bv the lack of your organization.
This you know. It is true there are work
ingmen, a few land, thank God, a very
few), who are opposed to organization :
but who are they ? In nine cases out of
ten they are men who have been ex
pelled from unions for some low, sneak
ing action, such as is not countenanced
by any upright mail in any walk of life,
and the tenth man is the one who by his
compromise of principle and manhood
has managed to “stand in,” so to speak.
Do not heed these men; thev are the
vipers, the warts and scabs on decency
and honesty. _
That it is beneficial in all respects to
be organized is proven by the good ac
complished in many ways—the protec
tion awarded from grinding monopolistic
corporations, the elevation of morals in
the ranks, the raising and keeping up of
the standard of good workmanship in
the skilled trades, the promulgation of
honesty and temperate conduct among
all workmen, and a general elevation of
the people. A man, because he belongs
to a trades union, need not go around
armed with a pair of Colts’ navies and
look blood and daggers at every employer
he meets. Unionism is not communism,
and it is a mistake to think that the
words union and riot run together.
There are some narrow-minded, poorly
posted people in all classes who cannot
disassociate the word union from strike.
This is another great mistake. The day
for hasty striking has almost gone by,
we are happy to say, and the principle
of just and fair arbitration is now the
ruling idea. All the strong and success
ful labor societies ia the country to-day
descry strikes and advocate only peace
measures by the system of arbitrating
between employer and employe. Sure
ly, no just man, be he the greatest mag
nate or poorest laborer, can see aught in
this but right. Certainly, we have the
right to organize and be prepared at all
times to move inj bur own behalf. No
body thinks it sjuch a sin for railroads
and other corporations to combine for
protection and benefit. And here is an
j other good featuite in organization : near
ly all, and all dan, have a benevolent
scheme connected with their society, by
which a member is taken care of in sick
ness or misfoi'tuhe, and his family pro
vided for in the event of his death. This
of itself should make you earnest in the
matter and hasten your tardy steps to
the goal of comparative security. Now, |
we call upon you to move in this matter, j
you, the representative men of the few !
unorganized trades in Denver. If you
need assistance in bringing about the
much desired end, call upon the organ
izing committee) of the Trades Assembly,
or show your willingness in the matter
and they will cfill upon ;you. The ad
dress of the chairman of this committee
can be had and will cheerfully be given
upon application at this office.
.. In closing, let us call attention to one j
other matter. The Knights of Labor
have assemblies in this city and others
in vari'ais parts of the stale. We need
not tell you that this society outnumbers !
to-day any other in America., and is j
growing at a rate that would astonish the j
unsophisticated. Its aims and objects;
are benevolence and the elevation of the
working classes. Its doors are not open P
to any and all, neither does 'it make an i
effort to pull anyone into the fold; but j
if you are the right kind of a man, you i
can become a member by so bearing
yourself as to prove worthy.
The manifest tendency .of material ;
affairs in this country is toward the con-,i
centration of capital in corporations,
which ape endowed with a principle of |
life infinitely greater than that of those
who organize and control them, and
which by the consolidation and mere
weight of money are enabled to crush
individual enterprise and subject to their j
use and benefit the profits of the labor
of the great mass of the people. The
most active and tyrannical form that
these corporations, or artificial person- j
soilages, take is that of railroad com
panies. In the short period of a few I
generations they have grown so numer
ous, so powerful and so aggressive that
they are not only able to regulate the
j)rice of the products of the soil, and
thereby the reward of the labor of nearly
every citizen, but the politics of the i.
country as well and the course of legis-j
lation from the ordinances of a town 1
council to the laws enacted by congress, i .
It was contended at first that the num
] her of these corporations, their wealth, ]
their collicting interests, and the spirit
of competition, if not of active hostility
*' i
that would inevitably arise from these
causes between them, would go for to
neutralize their power and insure the
safety of society. But those who held
these opinions were mistaken. As rail
road companies with antagonistic inter
ests multiplied in any particular section,
their managers inaugurated the practice
of pooling their business and the profits
arising from it ; or. in other words, arbi- j
trarilv fixing rates, sufficiently high to
support all the contending roads and di- :
vfiling the profits. This was a <l*-ath
blow to the idea of competition. The j
more roads there were, the higher neces
sarily became the rates.
i But pooling lias its limits. It lias been
carried as for as it can be carried ad- ’
vantageouslv to the railroad companies, j
There are getting to be too many roads I
and the division of profits under the
most exorbitant rates is getting to be
too long. Consequently, the theory of
what are called the territorial rights of a
company has been invented and ad
vanced. This is the new claim set up by
President Porter, of the Chicago & j
Omaha road, in his discussion with Presi- >
dent Mitchell, of the Milwaukee & St.
Paul road. It means that it shall be rec
ognized as an established principle in
railroading that the main lines have ex
clusive rights in a special territory ; or, to
be plainer, that to avoid both competi
tion and pooling between too many roads,
the continent shall be divided into dis
tricts, within which certain roads shall
have the privilege o'f plundering the in
habitants by extortionate freight and
passenger rates, without let or hindrance,
and shall be sustained in their assump
tion of exclusive arbitrary power by
other roads.
It does not make any difference, in this
connection, what the original matters in
discussion between the officers of the
, two roads named were. This new claim
i put forward by the president of the
i Omaha road presents clearly enough the
• present status. At first it was said that
the people of the Omaha road had lost
their heads. But it is gradually trans
piring that they have the sympathy and
wdll have the support of the officers of
a majority of the leading roads in 'the
country. It is probable, however, that
the claim will not be recognized at once.
The people must be given time to be
come accustomed to the idea, which finds
its counterpart in history only in the
Asiatic practice of giving provinces to
satraps, and the Roman practice of giving
these to pro-consuls to be plundered.
Oxe of the moist talked-of things in
this city is high rents, and public opinion
and discontent has had less effect in the 1
wfiy of remedying the evil than could a ]■
dumb man in attempting to talk Long’s !
peak down to a level with the plains. |
' Our daily papers frequently indulge in a
j column or two upon the subject of!
] houses vacant, houses filled and the new
ones going up, but they never get down i
into the merits of the case and give the J
principal feature of the ease ; which is, j 1
that this unparalleled extortion and rob
bery on the part of Denver landlords is
slowly but surely sapping the life blood
of the city’s prosperity. People come
here from the east and like our city and ;
j climate, and would settle among us, but \
!as a large per cent of those are of only ]
moderate means and rent their houses 1
where they now reside, and would of ne
cessity he renters here, they are kept!
! out by the impassable barrier erected by
the men who own and manipulate the ]
dwellings of the city. And this even is ]
j not the worst feature of the business. 1
Within the past few weeks there has
foeen a large number of people who t
j have to work for their living and are not 1
j able to pay high rents, packed up their '
: goods and shipped to other towns in and j
| 1
1 out of the state, where they can get just!
. - i
as much for their work and can save ]
fromJjv) to sl.) on a month’s rent ; and if
there is not a change for the better soon,
take our word for it. there will be such
an exodus of this class of people from
Denver that the landlords and mer
! chants, who, in reality, here, as well as
in the older sections of the country, reap
their revenue from them, will awaken to
the folly of bleeding them to death in 1
one short season. We are eternally
bored to death with schemes to bring
the rich man from the east and induce
him to invest his capital here, but it were i
far better to take some honest steps to- j
ward keeping those here already at |
home in the city. We have no hesitancy j
in calling the rates charged for all 1
classes of houses in this city downright
extortion and robbery. When a man
asks more than a fair compensation for
the gifts of our universal God he is an
extortionist, and when, through the i
power of combination, the landlords of!
Denver compel the man who is too poor :
to maintain his .own dwelling to pay j
those extortions, it is unadulterated rob-!
bery. We know houses in Denver]
which {lay the owners 48 per cent on j :
their investment, and 2o per’cent is :
among the lowest figures. Now, it is -
said this is none of our business; what’s
a man’s own he can do with as he likes. '
and we needn’t rent the houses unless
we want to. That is not the question.
It is, does the future prosperity of Den
ver amount to so little that for the sake
of present gain it should be eternally |
damned by a combination of shark land- j
lords and owners of cheap shells on '
leased lots The city to-day is as
spotted with empty houses as Arizona is ,
with cactus, and still the prices of rent
are kept up. If a reduction is not made
soon the deplorable issue we have pre
dicted will result.
We clip from the last issue of the |
| Irish World the following strong lan-1
i guage, which i§ quoted from an address I
delivered m the city of New York, by |
Right Rev. John Hughes, while speaking ]
upon the condition of the poor in Ire- J
and, in 1847 : “The rights of life are j
i dearer and higher than those of property ]
and in a general famine like the present
there is no law of Heaven nor of nature
I Il* a l forbids a starving man to seize on
bread wherever he can find it. even
though it should be the loaves of propo
sition on the altar of God’s temple. *
Let us be careful not to blas
pheme Providence by calling this God’s
famine. Society, that great civil corpor
ation which we call the state, is bound
so long as it has the power to do so, to
guard the lives of its members against
being sacrificed by famine from within
r as much as against their being slaughter
! ed by the enemy from without. Uut
, the vice which is inherent in our sys
tem of social and political economy is so
subtile that it eludes all pursuit, that you
cannot find or trace it to any restponsibh
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