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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, October 31, 1914, LAST EDITION, Image 9

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-10-31/ed-1/seq-9/

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Judge Neff a Human Being. I
don't feel 'like giving three cheers for
a judge, but there's one down in
Cleveland, Ohio, who happens to be a
human being as well as a good judge
and my hat's off to him.
His name is William B. Neff, and
he found a way to make the law pro
tect human beings as well as prop
erty righ'ts.
Here's the story. Several hundred
school teachers in Cleveland decided
to affiliate with the American Federa
tion of Labor. The school board
adopted a rule that no teachers who
were members of a labor union could
teach in the Cleveland schools. Judge
Neff issued an injunction restraining
the superintendent, J. M. H. Fred
erick, from carrying out the rule.
Frederick tried to get around the in
junction by failing to reappoint cer
tain teachers, some of the best in the
schools. He gave other reasons than
the fact that they voted in favor of
the union.
Judge Neff yanked Frederick up
for contempt of court. After a 11
days' trial Judge Neff found Frederick
guilty of contempt and withheld sen
tence to give Frederick a chance to
put the teachers back on the pay
roll, telling the superintendent that
if the court had the power it would
reinstate the teachers, and advising
Neff to right the great wrong by re
instating them himself. '
Judge Neff gave Frederick a lec
ture from the bench he will never for
get. He said the board had no right
to pass the rule; that the teachers
ciple of the rule was un-American,
unpatriotic and unjust
"Labor unions are lawful organiza
tions," he said. "It is grossly unjust
to legislate in any way against those
who toil. Labor is the only property
the workingman brings to market,
and it is all he has to sell
"Tie anjj-umoa resqlujion of .the
board was vicious in its principles as
well as subversive of constitutional
liberty. If the board can validly dis
criminate against labor unions, then
it may discriminate because of race,
or color, or nationality, or creed, or
for any other arbitrary reason."
Labor is property; our supreme
court says it is property; a teacher's
skill is property. Deny the worker
the opportunity to sell his labor, or
the right to make a contract for his
labor, and he will starve.
Anyhow, three cheers for Judge
Editor Day Book: I read that ar
ticle in Thursday's Day Book (Wants
Foreigners Barred). I would like to
state that I am English and have
been in this country ten years and
have done lots of traveling. I have
been five years in Chicago, but am
sorry to say I have not been lucky
enough to have two American friends
who would spare the time that is re
quired for me to take my second
papers out. Why don't they make
everybody become citizens, like they
do in England. When a fdreigner
has been in England seven years he
can vole for members of parliament
and then becomes a citizen. A
Editor Day Book: The world is
in a bad state. There are too many
poor and too few rich folks; there are
too many ignorant, starved and cru
elly treated, for the few that are wise,
well-fed and free. Nature and labor
are easily equal to our necessities,
especially with the improvements of
this day, yet too many cannot find
work, and the few who do work have
more than their share and are often
poorly paid.
Some of the rich are slothful and
eager to escape their share of the
bardgn-jpf life, rand, their injujgence,
mi una i aiiniii i irn llilTifrlifctoiiifiiMMHMiilHtfMMafrtai

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