Newspaper Page Text
THIS PAGE > ♦ Is Devoted to the Activity and Interests of the Trade Union Educational League (T. U. E. L.) North American Section of the RED INTERNATIONAL OF LABOR UNIONS * (R. I. L. U.) the Yale. l Represents the Left Wing of the Labor Movement. Its Purpose Is to Strengthen the Labor Unions by Amalgamation of Existing Unions, Organization of the Unorganized, and by Replacing Reactionary and Class Collaboration Policies with a Unified Program for the Transformation of the Unions Into Organs of Revolutionary Class Struggle for the Overthrowal of Capitalism and the Establishment of a Workers’ and Farrrt ers’ Government. - DISTRICT 18 SHOT TO HELL ST SCAB SCALE Starvation Cure with Fakers’ Aid Did It RILLCREST, Alta.. Can.—A sam ple of the crafty coercion that is be ing used by the coal operators to force over the wage cut in District 18 of the U. M. W. of A. is given in the circular letter sent all the employes of the Hillcrest collieries. Especially to be noted is the smooth way of arguing that if the min ers only take a cut in wages, they will get lots of work. This is the same poison that is being whispered into the ears of workers everywhere now, and it should be spotted by any body at the moment the boss begins it. The circular, in part says: Baiting the Hook with Jobs. “What justification can there be for the present wage of 72c an hour as a minimum for ordinary labor outside the mine, all other rates being higher in proportion? You may hold out for high wages, but you get little or no work as evidenced by the fact that during the past twelve months you have only averaged a total of about 43 full days’ pay. The coal operators have lost money and you have de pleted your savings, but your paid agi tator has flourished thru it all on money you provided him with. Busting the Contract. “There is ample precedent to term inate a contract which has availed the worker little, prevented the operator from obtaining business, and is there fore today an ineffective document which was forced upon us last fall against our better judgment,, as evi denced by the letter addressed to our employes at that time, outlining the business position of the coal indus try. “It has been suggested that we post a scale of wages conforming to the Fernie wage scale, and this we have no hesitation in doing. You will therefore find the revised wage scale posted at the time keeper’s office, and our mine manager will be at his of fice ready to sign on any men willing to work on this basis. As soon as a sufficient number of men are signed on, we will again open up our mines.” Fakers Don’t Care. In the face of this attack Sherman, the district president, does nothing; John L. Lewis does nothing, and the union is going to hell in District 18. FAKERS SLEEP WHILE COMPANY UNIONS GROW Head of Metal Trades Not Interested By LAURENCE TODD, (Federated Presa) WASHINGTON—(FP) April 20- Growth of company unions, under whatever name, does not alarm Sec retary Berres of the metal trades de partment, American Federation of La bor. Despite the steady shrinkage in total membership in metal trades un ions of the United States, Berres con tends that the labor movement is es sentially as strong as ever, and when a crisis shall come it will rally in overwhelming force. Berres’ attention was called by the Federated Press to the New York Trust company’s announcement that “works councils” tiave grown In num ber from 12 in 1917 to 814 at the present time, covering plants which now employ 1,177,000 persons. “The number of wage earners af fected by the works councils,” says the New York concern, which presum ably is the financial agency of some of the greatest employing groups, “is now approximately 25 per cent of the total trade union membership. In view of the fact that only one-fifth of this country’s wago earners are mem bers of trades unions, the rapid growth of works oounctls suggest the poMrtbtlity that their development by Metal Polishers Gain by Strike in Spite of Police DETROIT—(FP)—The Metal Pol ishers’ union is gaining strength in its Detroit strike at the C. B. Shepard Co. plant. Picketers charged with as sault and battery hare been acquitted. The employers are bringing case after case against the union members. MUCH DEBATE OF NEEDLE WORKERS IN ’MEDIATION 9 Governor’s Commission a Place of Talk NEW YORK, April 20.—Announce ment of the joint board of the Cloak and Dressmakers’ Union, Internation al Ladies’ Garment Workers, that the dressmaking shops of New York with their 30,000 workers, will again be on strike unless the sanitary label is sewn into all garments is one of the two features of needle trades news this week. The other is the protract ed hearing going on before Governor Smith’s mediation commission for the cloak trade. At the hearings a debate is taking place between counsel for the em ployers, both jobbers and contractors, and counsel for the International Ladies’ Garment Workers' Union, over the issue raised by the details of un ion control of the shops and the rival demands. Issues Raised. A flat increase of 10 per cent in wages is also demanded and the in stallation of the 40-hour week in the cloak trade as it now prevails in the dressmaking trade. The issues of piece work and the right of employers to discharge that had been raised by the bosses re ceived much attention in the argu ment before the commission. Piece work has inherent defects. It means constant bickering over piece work prices. The union had agreed to lim itations on the right to strike in re turn for employers’ guarantees against unwarranted discharges. The union stands fast on the principle that no worker may be discharged without adequate review of his case by the two parties involved. Guarantee of 32 Weeks. In a formal statement of its de mands which the union laid before the commission one of the most import ant clauses Is one insisting that manu lcturers deposit financial guarantees for the 32 weeks’ work a year called for by labor. The jobber is made the responsible party by the union and iB required to guarantee that the work ers employed by the sub-contractors to whom he farms out his work, be properly taken care of. In the case of those jobbers who are organized into the two boss as sociations —the Industrial Council of the Cloak, Suit and Skirt Manufactur ers’ Protective Association and the Merchants’ Ladies’ Garment Associa tion—the guarantee is provided thru the pledges of these two bodies. Hearings are continuing and are keenly watched in the needle trades. War Plans Speeded. LAKEHURST, N. J.. April 19.—With 68 officers and men aboard, the dirig ible Los Angeles soared from its han gar’today on a scheduled six-hour test flight which 1b to determine the fit ness of the ship for its second flight to Bermuda tomorrow. recognizing the mutual interests of employers and employes, bus to a great extent removed the necessity for unionism.” That the bank is referring to com pany unions us works councils is in dicated when it states that more than half of the employes affected by the councils are in large of over 15,000 employes each, and that over 25 per cent of them are In the metal trades, while the lumber and printing Industries are next In number of these councils. Three forms of works councils— committee, association and "indus trial democracy” or legislative and cabinet organ,zation—are described. Building Trades of Cleveland May Walk Out with Glaziers CLEVELAND—Twenty thousand un ’«u building tradesmen may be in volved in a major strike ol|' tho in dustry in Cleveland within the next 30 days following on a strike of un ion glaziers, new In its sixth week. The strike began March 1 when the union, with a 51.25 scale and a 44-hour week, was turned down on a demand for a $1.50 scale and the s ; day week. The glaziers immediately organized a co-operative company but the bulk of the glass work has been postponed. Contractors are considering impor tation of nonunion glaziers, which it is believed will precipitate a general ba:lding strike. The Building Trades Employers’ Assn, offers financial sup port to glazing contractors in their ef forts to break the strike, UNION OFFICERS IGNORE MINERS’ JOB COMPLAINTS • Agreement Works Only One Way in Mines By A MINER (Worker Correspondent) BENTLEYVILLE, Pa., April 20— Many of the favorable conditions formerly prevailing have been lost by the miners in District Five since the officials signed the last agreement. The excuse given for not fighting the company is bad times and fear that the company will shut down the mines. On the Bentleyville Branch there are ten mines, only four of which are working,, but still these cowardly officials say it is better than nothing. The first condition that the miners lost was a rule in the mines that if a man worked in a wet place he receiv ed $5.00 extra in two weeks. One day the company cut off this extra $5.00 and the men refused to work unless they could get their well earned money. Wet Work Not Paid as Agreed. They took it up with their commit tee but failed to reach any agreement with the bosses. They then took it up with the board members and were given the decision that if the bosses wouldn’t pay, that they would have to put the men in dry places. This the men accepted right; away. The pit boss put them in other places and hired new men who had been out of work about six months. .These men were glad to get jobs under any conditions and none of them received one cent extra for working in water. That was the settlement made by our “good” officials. The Drivers' Complaint Ignored. Our drivers had been used to start at 6:30 in the morning to leave the stable. The mine developed so far that the drivers could not reach their working places at seven and the com pany fired one driver for not starting at 7:00 o’clock as the agreement call ed for. In fact some of these driv ers had a good hour’s way to travel underground before they reached their working places. This was also taken up with the company without any result, so they called upon their board member for help. He notified them that if they could not reach their working places at seven they should leave the stable earlier or else he could not do any thing for them in case they got fired and now the boss takes care of the firing part. Wating for Cars—To Help the Boss. The four mines still operating are only working from two to four days a week, so the bosses are trying to get as much coal out on these days as possible. To increase their tonnage they have some picked men working every day, mostly the bosses’ favored men. They fill all the empty cars in the mine from the coal knocked down by the miners the day before and when the latter come to work they have to wait from two to four hours before they get their first car. The miners called a special meet ing to stop this practice and also to stop the method used by the bosses of doubling up two men in one place. They elected a committee to meet with the bosses, but as usual they failed to get any results. Again they asked their board mem ber to cotne and help them in their fight but he told them to do the best they could, he could not help them be cause the company would shut down the mine if they stop these practices. Tho company refused to give the min ers any satisfaction because they know they can get much more favor able decisions from the officials. No Protection from the Union. Every day some new bad condition and not a word of protest from our officials because they say we have an agreement for three years and We should be glad we are working. How ever the miners are beginning to see the point and getting ready for the fight, if the officials will not fight the miners are apt to take matters into their own hands. Herrin Miner Killed. HERRIN, 111., April 20.—His skull crushed by a falling boulder, James Specia, 42, employe of the Consolidat ed Coal Co., Mine No. 7. was instantly killed today. jHe Is survived by his widow and a aon. < < THE DAILY WORKER STEEtWORKERS VICTIMIZED BY “SAFETY FIRST" Open Shop and Speed Up in Pittsburgh By THOMAS (Worker Correspondent) PITTSBURGH, April 20.—" Safety first” committees have become the pet angel of the steel trust. In reality they are nothing but “open shop” prop, aganda committees trying to force their dope on the workers, nothing is ever given for the benefit of the work ers. Here Is how it works out in the mill where I am employed. There are paid men who go around the mill every day of the week preach ing how much better the place is now than it was ten years ago, and try to convince the workers that they are in heaven, but it is the opposite, it is the worst hell It Is possible to Imagine “Safety Committee” Always Blames the Workers. This safety committee is supposed to try to cut down accidents and give reasons when an accident takes place so that men could avoid them in the future. That is what they say they are doing, but there is nothing of the sort. What they do is to put the blame on the shoulders of the work ers, for every accident which takes place. Regardless of whose fault it is, the workers are called careless. There was a young worker fired be cause he had received a few cuts on his hands in one week. Another was fired because he refused to handle heavy bars with an injured hand. There wae another worker whose job it was to oil the rolls over which white hot rails run. He could not oil them while the rails were running, so he told the foreman to stop them, which he did, but not long enough for the worker to finish the job with the result that a hot rail went clean thru his body and killed him. At the next “safety meeting” a paid speaker of the company came and stated that a man had been killed, and as much as the company regretted it, it is mainly thru his own carelessness and that he had no business in that spot; this, altho he had been ordered there by the foreman, and then the speaker went on to state the difference in the accidents now and ten years ago. “All Time Want More Work.” A good many of the foreign born workers can see that the safety meet ing is a speed-up meeting. I spoke to one today and altho he could not un derstand the English language very good or even speak it. I asked him what he thought of the meetings he said, “All time want more work.” So you see the impression that he got. The company has its spies all over the plant who will report any talk of a union that they hear, and some excuse is Immediately found to fire the one who advocates organization. / The wages are so low that the work ers have barely enough to live on and if any sickness takes place they have to trust to charity of others. If you are injured too bad to be able to walk to work, the company will send the ambulance to fetch you and take you home again In the evening In order to keep discontent at a minimum. The main point is they are afraid the men will organize once again to better their conditions. They have done it once and they will do it again. It Costs Like Hell But Unions Must Go, Says New Haven Line WASHINGTON (FP) Farming out locomotive repairs by the New Haven railroad, to avoid dealing with its shop unions ns ordered by the rail labor board, cost 140 per cent more than the work In. its own shops. This Is attested by experts for tho interstate commerce commission. From July 1, 1922, when the shop strike began, until the end of 192.1, the New Haven paid $3,310,798 for contract work, which could have been done in Its own shops for $1,397,634. The American Locomotive Co., the Bal dwin Locomotive Co. and tho Bethle hem Shipping Corp. get most of the loot. the DAILY WORKER? Ask him! Does your friend subscribe to Shoe Repair Men . Strike for Raise NEW YORK—(FP)—Shoe repairmen In the United Shoo Rebuilding Co.’s shops are following their fellow work ers in Klein shops in striking for $lO increase in wages and better condi tions of work. The workers in Klein shops won their Increase recently. Men from the United shops complain that they must work for from $22 to S3O a week, work hours a day, and havo other disagreeable features. Wage Dispute Kills EAST ST. -LOUIS, IH.. April 20 Three lives were snuffed out when a dispute bet wen Peter Totsh, business agent of the Plumbers’ Union, and Chrlstpoher C. Glvaltney. plumbers' helper, ended in a rain of bullets. Giv altney shot Totsch. and then police man David Mohler, who ran at him. He himself was killed by detective George Burns. The men were quarrel ing over $lO owed to Givaltney by Totsch. PRIZE FIGHTERS AND PREACHERS USED TO KEEP PACKING HOUSE SLAVES ENTERTAINED “ PROPERLY” By TOM MATTHEWS (Member of Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen.) The strike ot lD2li-1922 taught the meat packets many lessons in the art of keeping wage-slaved satisfied and unorganized. The methods range all the way from prize fights to preachers’ sermons. “Anything to keep them satisfied” has replaced "Treat 'em rough” as the motto of the packers in handling the slaves. Thus Cudahy's. Omaha plamt, for instance, has its "Cudahy Athletic Club.” During the winter season boxing matches (prize fights) are put on for the edification ot the slaves with popular stfirs in the fistic art on the programs. The arena is located at the plant, and the workers are duly im- pressed with the regard the company has for their entertainment and “wel fare.” During the summer months base ball games between various depart ments will replace the prize-fighting exhibitions. The packers have learned that “union loyalty” can be replaced with “department loyafty.” So Cuda hy’s pork butchers, far example, will meet Cudahy’s mechanics on the diamond with the slaves from each department rooting for their respec tive warriors. Armour Uses Sky Pilots. Armour’s Omaha plant has gone in pretty strongly for “Iwwling leagues,” but since it Is obvious that not all the slaves can bowl, that always-ready servant of capitalism, the sky pilot, has been rushed into the breach. In this particular instance the “Reverend Brown” delivers his regular sermon. Like all good, sincere Christians the reverend appeals to his hearers to be honest and industrious, which is an other way of telling the workers to be loyal wage slaves and put their faith in “god” rather than in the might of organized labor. Dold Teaches “Co-Operation" Dold’s Omaha plant has its “fifty fifty club” to emphasize the idea of “partnership” between employer and employe. The latest stunt of ifliis particular company union aggregation is a co-operative grocery and -meat market at which Dold’s slaves can' buy their foodstuffs at wholesale prices. In this respect the Dold Pack ing company is going a step farther than the Big Fhve. “Why should we pay profits to small grocers and butchers, when we can sell to the men at no cost to ourselves and keep them satisfied,” is the way the Dold company reasons. Dold’s company union (fflfty-flfty club) numbers among its officers workers formerly active in the Butcher Workmen’s Union and promi nent in the 1921-22 strike. Packing house leaders can be bought cheaply, but such company union traitors in the various plants are being exposed by militants of the Workers Party and Trade Union Educational League, who alone know how to combat such class collaboration poisoners. Swift’s For "Welfare” Swift and company has its ‘'em ployes’ welfare and benefit associa tion.” This is a form of group insur ance administered by the company in, much the same manner as 'are the company unions in the other plants. Swift’s Omaha plant looks after the welfare of Its slaves in more ways than one, as will be related in future articles. Against organization and class sol idarity the packers have mobilized preachers, prize fighters, religious and national antagonisms, company unions, co-operative stores, moving pictures, wage increases, insurance, social clubs, baseball and bowling teams, among the schemes to keep their 200,000 wage slaves divided and satisfied. Working in close tho perhaps un conscious co-operation with them are the bootlegging and gambling dens such as thrive in all meat packing centers. • • • • NOTE:—Packinghouse workers in the various centers are urged to write of their experiences to the T. U. E. L. page of the DAILY WORKER, particularly on such questions as: Is the 42J4 cent scale for common labor adhered to? Is there any sentiment for organ ization? , Are such schemes as described above, company unions, etc., used in your district? Do religious and national antagon ism keep the workers divided? Are they used openly by the packers? Or any othsr problems or ex perience which will throw further light on the situation in the meat packing industry. Chicago Structural Iron Workers May Go on Strike for Raise Bridge and structural iron workers will meet in the next few days to take action on their Chicago wage scale. The existing rate of $1.25 an hour expires May 31. It is understood that sl.37Vi could be obtained without much trouble In the new agreement but $1.50 Is demanded. There are 2.600 members In the union, which handles all the important Iron and steel construction in Chicago. Whit* Plains Barbers Win WHITE PLAINS, April 20. Boss barbers of White Plains have yielded without a strike to the union's de mand for an hour off a day. Shops hereafter will close at seven, instead of eight at night during the week nights and at nine instead of ten on Saturday. Prloea to customore will be increased slightly. ANTHRACITE SCALE CONVENTION SET FOR SCRANTON ON JUNE 29 The. United Mine Workers Journ al publishes the following notice of an anthracite scale convention to be held/ on June 29: “ At a recent meeting of the Tri- Disftrict boards, it was decided to cam the anthracite scale convention for June 29 at Scranton, Pa. Inter national President John L. Lewis v/rill preside at the convention. The present wage agreement between the United Mine Workers of Amer ica and the anthracite operations will expire on the last day of Aug ust, and the Scranton convention will formulate the demands that will be laid before the operators at the joint conference held during the summer.” Anthracite miners—“ All aboard for Scranton on June 29th!” WATTSCORES FARRINGTON IN STATEMENT “Come Personally and Put Watt Out!” SPRINGFIELD, 111., April 20.—John ■Watt, progressive secretary of Sub- District No. 4, of District No. 12, U. M. W. of A., who has been ordered re moved from office illegally by Frank Farrington, district president and his “appointed” underlings, has issued a statement burning up Farrington for his illegal and autocratic rule as pres ident, a position Farrington is accused of having stolen in the last election. The statement follows: “Frank Farrington has built a fire that surely will burn him before it dies out, and now realizing what he has done, he attempts to mislead the membership of the mine workers un ion to cover up his illegal action, the kind of action that he so loudly com plained of when John L. Lewis took the action that he did in the Alex Howat case. Farrington seems to have forgotten the records made in the Howat case, but he shortly will be reminded of them. “Farrington forgets the records he made in his efforts to make a district settlement for Illinois. On Constitutional Rights. ' “You talk of constitutional authority, will you kindly explain to the rank and file where you or your board got the constitutional right to do to Free man Thompson what you did do? In face of former rulings you and your board have made? Will you show me where you and your stool pigeon got the constitutional right to infer that you had thrown me out of office for insubordination? Cite what section of the sub-district law gives you or any one else that right? “You say to me that ‘failing to com ply with these instructions you will be expelled from membership in the United Mine Workers of America.’ Will you do that constitutionally or automatically as the other acts of yours have been? The Back Salary Farrington Grabbed. “You do not like to coine to mass meetings because you would see the membership that is paying your S9OO train fare bills for three months, and your S6OO hotel bills for three months and your $1,600 telegram bills for three months (while traveling so you state) and also your back salary of over $1,200 for the 1922 strike which you so generously done without (nit). Come out and see what they think of you, their great leader. “You might explain to the rank and file gathered there whether you ’split’ with onyone around for allowing the Lester mine to operate, as was said in letters that were exchanged be tween you and President Lewis. Preparing for a Wage Cut. "You might tell the membership If you are now being used by the coal operators to cause a condition that may bring about a reduction in wages and if you contemplate making a sep arate wage agreement. Ask Walter Nesbit what he told our sub-district tellers about you and the separate wage agreement. “J call on you. the mighty, fearless leader of District No. 12, if your are not personally satisfied with the choice for secretary that the rank and file of Sub-District No. 4 has elected, to come over to my office at 221 South Fourth street, and personally (not by proxy rats) put Watt out of office.” FYn- the member of your union and yovr shop mates, send in a sub. Page Three HOW THE WAR INVOLVED THE LABOR UNIONS Became a War Between Patriotic Unionists By A. LOSOVSKY (General Sec’y. of the Red Interna tional of Labor Unions) Not only by the emptying of the ranks of the unions did the war attack the trade union movement, but this process also changed the old ideology, creating a new one, the Ideology of the war period. This ideology in dif ferent countries had different names, but mainly it was called “war social ism.” What was the main feature of I this ideology which was created by | the leaders of the trade union and political movement during the war? We think it can be characterised in the following short formula: "Father land, first of all.” Let us remembered that at the beginning of the war one of the most talkative syndicalists of France, Gustave Harve, who turned over to social patriotism with lighten ing agility, has explained this evolu- i tion in the following way: “The workers” said he, “were caught by the iron hand of the war j by the throat, raised into the air and ■ thrown back by the strong hand to : the ground, and they felt first of all their own ground. Every one of the workers who was thrown by the hurricane of events fell to the ground of his own country.” Anarcho-Syndicalists Also Discovered A "Fatherland” We have to say that although the reformists of all countries as it was already mentioned in the social sense, have been believers in evolution, but in their own personal viewpoint, they have been developing In an entirely i different way. In this case we may rather use the conception of rerolu tion than evolution, for they have been changing their views literally over night. And this may be said not only about the reformists but also about a very great number of anarcho-syndicalists, who suddenly, somehow, began to feel that they had a “fatherland” although anti-patriotism was previously their hobby. The Division on Milltary-Diplomatle Coalition The military Ideology of the labor movement brought great changes in the relation of forces. The modern war is not a war of small groups, or small armies. Modern war is a war of masses, a war of nations in the real sense of the word. It is a war of industry against industry. The tactics of the working class In this war, the tactics of its unions, the methods of struggle, play a decisive role in the modern war. Not withuot reason did the garrul ous Lloyd George in 1916 say to the metal workers, “In this victory on the northern front won by the British army, you, metal workers, played a great and decisive part.” Yes, the in fluence of industry played a decisive role in the war. The growth of milit ary industry explains the numerical changes of the unions beginning in 1916-17. But, on the other hand, this growth also explains the lowering of the level of the labor movement, for in the war industry, which was the basis of war and which concentrated all workers not gone to the front, the conditions of work were such that those who participated in it were in fact ideolo. gical and political participants in th« war. A War Between Unionists When we talk about the war b» tweenSSYance and England on one side ano*jGermany on the other, we have to talk not only about the war between the two groups of bourgeoisie, but also the war between the social ists and trade unions of these fighting countries. Here, the war was not only in the sense that the workers had been organized into unions and sent to the front and ordered to fire at their comrades with machine guns. The war which began in 1914 started a war also between the trade unions of the allies and the unions of the central powers. It started a polemic and au Ideological fight where the re presentatives of one side—the allies, tried to prove to the German trade unions, that they were traitors to the principles of international socialism when they were supporting the kaiser, and Legien, the leader of the German unions, tried to prove that the traitors were the unions of the allies, because they were supporting the bourgeoisie allied to the Russian czar. • • • The above article is taken from Loeoveky’a excellent book, “The World'* Trade Union Movement” the most intereating book written on the varloue union movements of the world. Send 50 eent* to the T. U, E. L., 1113 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, 111., and the book will be sent you poetage paid. ““~~-““*■* Soviet Suee United States. WASHINGTON, D. C., April 20— The Soviet Russian volunteer fleet hae brot suit against the United Stifles government for $10,000,000 before the court of claims, to recover the value of the Russian ships confiscated by the United State* during the war.