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The labor argus. [volume] (Charleston, W. Va.) 1906-1915, May 24, 1906, Image 1

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""~ Nq u j C HARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA, MAY l\, 1906. $1.00 a Year in Advance
& Open Letter Issued by President J
jg Federation o
1 Right to Protest?Equal Earnings 1
| of Labor Leaders?The Closed S
% to Non-Union Men?Tradi
f Immigra
(jjVades-unionism aims to all'oitl j.m
:? worKers un opportunity 10 :q>ialo
a liberal proportion o! the
jtirable tilings of life; it quickens th
jjfjjjr intellects by giving them the | in
I w. time and opportunity l'or|*ii
ijpW iiltni-c; it gives them some- lis
llg for which to be truly thank- ;
and its entire program pre- |K
H the way lb rtlie enliven inent j^|
1 atlocs more. Thousands of J1/:
jflfcii, emancipated., from the j01
JRWif the mine, the mill, anil f80
W orkshop, through its ellbrtjij!
blessed toilay, and myriads oi'l )l:
Idisli voices will lie raised in
d liosannas in the futftre pro,- 111
iining their redemption from a
iilition that stunted life and me1i- S1
il coming generations. The 111
lih eii are one of the special cares
[lie labor union; their salvation . ft'
111 industrail slavery during their 01
tier years will make it possible
tliein to become strong men r:i
1 women, intellectually, physdIv
and spiritually. In this tlie tiions
are obeying the command of
hi who said: "Inasmuch as ye "
I e done it unto one of 1 he least ';i
those my brethren, ye have done. ,!l
; imto me;" "SuiVerlittlechildren, ri
; il forbid them not, to come unto
for such is the kingdom Of
The* women a re another special ,
re of the trades-uniou, and their j 'I1
I crests are zealously guarded by ?'x
r organizations of the Tvorkers.f h"
a- them is demanded blithe con- ;ul
: lions l hat will enable thlin to live;
|i mspoited from the world," so)
at future generations wVI1 rise up!
f. .1 call them blessed. i 1
Our cause is built on tie Strang, 1111
oad foundation of humanity. On it
ois are open and our hands al l w
tys outstreched in welcome to the 1,1
mildest and oppressed of earth. cu
' 4>ur mission is the redemption of
e workers from the bondage of 1"
. lust rail slavery;' and we welcome 111
y, e eo operation of all lovers of to
'' 'i mkiiul. f1
lake all great reform movements, s"
< ; ides- unionism has had and has s'
' Bins hitter oppenents. It is con- w
ually reviled and imjlligiied in t'l
most opprobrious manner. Its to
I'^Bireseutalivok are calumniated !'
' 1 oiiint iii.ivii..itiniI 1 \ 11 ..i....11 ie
_ >.(iuvviki t v ?",? j Mill
tHniii<(iiirin<x minds 1h?oh U?m-?iv? tl s:l
I unwarranted attacks ami lu>- Nl
" iif unwittingly poisoi icd against ol
' . cause built upon tli broadest. *v
H-ihIe foundation of Immunity. '
I ad;?s-unionism is accused of 1,1
B:. nny and lawlessness. Its op- I'1
Mi cuts are always active. '1'lie 111
Si-lie press and ever . available **
I niuel of publicity is i iscd t c> Ituil
! Sir delianeos and dd-uuiu-iutions to
r H.adcast against the (labor unions **
:-Sd their representative- Faults lu
-W an individual are* always the w
injnal for an attack ujx u the or- 1''
JjRuzation, and the ofljic als of the
ll&oiis a it? accused of ijiu-iting, aid- al
vb5. and abetting eriinje. The j>o
ijarni of the oppone. V- of organ 01
j (p1 labor and ot tin.ye w ho sup- 111
cliSt and lielieve. in sijic'i a policy sa
jjjiiot only ridiculous,: but unjust.
jtftthe same attitude was displayed
TB other cast's, or did t he unionists
fejmliate and use the ...Vame policy,
ploutinual cry wouh go up for
f ji- destruction and bolition of ot
' Auks. churches and ganizatiois tc
every description 1. i reason If ti
-jf" mistakes, faults, j] id ofttiirJs n<
A I I I i
imuel Gompers of the American
f Labor.
or All?No Color Line?Character
hop?Relation of Union Men
^-Unionism and the
isdenieanors of some of their
It is really a virtue of theirs that
ie labor unions clo not retaliate,
it have been exceedingly long
im-iing ill I Ills, IliaCUM', lliasiUUCll
the offenses proven against; even
eirindividual mcmbei-s aw outi
inhered a hiiiulioil per cent, or
ore by many busiucss, mercantile,
atcrnal ami even religions organatious.
It is notjnst to judge an
gauization by the misdeeds of
me of its ineiultcrs. Its desirae
achievements, its ellbrts in l>eilf
of worthy objects, and its
eals are better measures of judgent.
The rfeeoid of trade-unionism
leaks for itself, and while it has
any opponents, it has had and
is many defenders, among t'liem a
Hiilly proportion of the great of
ir laud; some of whom have passI
away, while others still live,
lising their voices and contribntg
their support in the p round gain
i of its doctrines. Trailes-unnisin,
in seeking to establish the
Brotherhood of Man," is a mighty
ctor in perpeluatinsr the belief in
1 ol r> .....
aiiced religions iiiovcifnents have 1
gj^Bninitered like experiences. The ol
Christian Church itjiconntcred SI
Hi 'in I opposition. J ti. Founder 1M
S'^wns despised and rejecti?d ol' men'' ls
. Hi died the death of a <0111111011 *1
t li,, . 11... j-.11 . i"<i
nn-iur. Ills iUllUWlTi^ M LTl'tlC-< ?
1 of all manlier ol' heinous ;c"
ines. ainl martyrdom ^ was their "
annul inheritance. Other reimis
societies met similar expel ires.
as did scientists ami other
vanned thinkers, Mfhose only
me was a desire to advance the '''
wests of society and iBiank ind in
leral. ' tl
At all times ami milder all eir- u
111 S. 1 -lit OiW IViivo inoinr 1 lliif. * I ... i. lit
it' "Fatherhood ol' God."
; yLiK'noN.
It is sometimcs forgotten that
Jo labor union is not the labor
jestiou. J I' cyery labor union.in
jistonce was v. iped out, tile labor
esuc 11 won;>l still iie" present^
d tli it, too, in a more aggravated
in t lan it is to-day. Ill ca n not
do nied that unionism lias
ougl it nearer a solution of the in
istri il problem.. it is easier and
are j atisfaetory to ileal with men
lleet ively than to attempt to deal
itli 1 hem as individuals:. As a
atte of fact, in this day; of great
u po ate interests, individual eonaeti
ig has practically goiie out of
actflce. Furthermore, jif workgmfn
were to bo denied the right
organize and to elect rebresentaves
to care for their interests,
icli denial could only result in a
ate of individualism whibh would
id in chaos and anarchy. It is
ic fact that this right still I lielongs
i them that makes our JVnienean
I'e so free from so-called ; Harehist
propaganda, and which accounts
r the small response on the part
the American workii igmeu to
ioil appeals. II seems almost su rlluous
to add that tra'de-union
111 does not endorse the plea, for
le disruption of our /American
rm of government. J Nowhere
in he found more loyal citizens
inn in tlie ranks of organized lai
Till; lilltUT TO l'KOTKST.
W e are not opposed tJ> employ's'
associations that sire! organized
r the purpose of saljeguardhig
le interests of their nieimbers. liut
e deplore "union smashing" alinces
of iiny kind that deny the
nie right to us. W'e jwould relent
fully suggest that! Ministers
the Gospel, who are 'associated
itli such organizations/ are idenlied
with societies to wjhose mom iship
an adherent ofj organized
Iior. who believes in' strikes is
>t eligible-, and that in j' he line-up
hit'll is taking place U|twoeu eapil
siiul labor, these Ministers seem
be against us. Therje are tim<>s
lii?i o stciL-c is i list i liable. (toil
*!p us il"tlio ?l:iy sli >11 i?|l evi'i- coine
lien the right to protest is denied
e workingmaii. In so far as
ese organizations stand for law
id order, we are with them, hut
their present altitude, w liich
ily makes for class distiiieiins.
el ass privileges laid as a relit,
class hatred, we ire diametcally
opposed to then .
THE K.M t'l.OYMRS' ".i'AI.Kl.M
The manager or superintendent
' a great corporation '.who re rises
deal with the elected rep rest* a tares
lot' the trades-uniia who may
at lA in the employ co-polit
. li
ration tloi-s not sootu to lvalizt
, > that he himself, is the elected 01
; appuintol representative of a mini
lier of sfcho k holders, thus pmelieal
1-- t
i,v ueeomiijig i Hi- business agent m
"walking Idelognte" of his corporation.
Talking human nature us out
; lituls it, it would Ih> only natural
; for that si pet intendent to la* prejudiced
ug-.iinsi the workmen who,
representing his fellow-employes,
dared to present a grievance in
1 their bell ill'. To avoid this un
' pleasant and almost unenviahh
I discrimina tion, organized lahoi
[prefers to appoint to this dillieull
task a ma > who cannot be touched
i.by the corporation because of lii>
I aggressive interest in behalf of it>
I employees.
Certain misconceptions in regard
io the position taken by the trades
unions 011 the question of equal
earnings f jr all workmen, the ooloi
line, a "1 iltor trust," anil laborsaving
machinery have made it
.difficult for many Ministers to declare
for organized labor. For tin
; benefit of such we would respect|
fully subjnit the following state
: incuts;
The 1111 Lous do not demand e<|iial
learnings for all workmen, thus reducing
till' skilled workinen to tin
level of the lowest. They do insist
that a minimum of living wage
lie paid; but there is nothing in
1 the laws bf the American Federation
of Labor or any o'f its alliliated
unions thtat prevents an employei
from payjngany employee as much
i as he plejases. Nor in connection
with this'do the unions insist upon
i the employment of incompetent
men. VjYTiere agreements exist,
the employer can hire any man he
pleases in compliance with the
terms .of the agreement. Where
110 agreeihent exists, the union exercises
no jurisdiction in the matter,
hut in either case the employer
j lias every right to discharge the inj!
competent, shiftless employee.
Tili e A t n o rica n 1>"ed? fa i i oiTTIT T.:T
bor does (not draw the color line.'
inn' do its a (Tib" ated I and
i iiitomutibnal unions. A union
; that does cannot be admitted into
alViliatiop with this body. A porj
tidn of 't'ljte pledge taken l>y every
candidate for membership reads:
"I promise never to discriminate
against a fellow worker on account
of color, creed or n tionality."
i Colored men are someliincs'rcjcct,
ed , but this is no discrimination in
such cases, its white men are more
; often treated, in a like manner.
I Kven in the South, where race hatred
is so prevalent, the negroes
have been admitted into the tradesunions,
while they have been
I barred from other organizations
that are4,antagonistic to organized
labor. The color barriers have
been br< ken down by labor unions,
and not his color but his character
bars the negro when he is barred.
um it-sAviM; m ac ii [Maty.
Trades.unionism does not antagonize
labor-saving machinery. It
welcomes all such innovations. It
; docs believe, however, t hat such
machinery was intended h> be a
blessing, and in order thai it may
not become a curse, a shorter work
day is advocated, so that a gigantic
proportion of labor shall not be
displaced and thus become suller:
ei*s instead of recipients of some of
tlic benefits gained by modern invention.
not A "J.Alton ti.tst."
Trades-unionism is not a "labor
trust." A trust excludes the many
for the benefit of the few. Tradesunionism
opens wide its doors to
every workingman in the craft,
frequently reducing or abrogating
the initiation fee in order to make
it easier lb the candidate. A
trust is a close corporatian : a
trades-'mion diligently seeks new
membei-s. Its otlicers are not high
salaried officials. They are? usually
underpaid, when one considers
the character of the work and the
other demands which are made upon
them, 'file business agent of a
labor union reeeives as his salary
only the rate of wages which prevails
in his craft. The international
officers, who carry great responsibilities.
which demand executive
ability of a liigli order, receive
only what is paid an ordinary
clerk in the ottice of a corporation.
It will be interesting to note that
the term "walking delegate" had
its origin in the action of a Xew
York labor union which refused to
pay tjie car-fare of its business
The ''.walking delegate" does not
have unlimited power in the matter
of railing a strike. The men >lo
not '.ltlitidly follow his dictates.
The ^ business agent ran order a
strike only \\ hen the question has
Iteenivoled upon l>y the members
1 of the union, lie then simply
AXXOl'NC'I'JS the strike. Some,
times he is given power to order a
.strike let the men themselves, in
i an extraordinary ease, but even,
under sueh eireuinstances the ae- .
t ion must 1h- endorsed by those di
reetly eoneerned. It is not his
business to 'stir up trouble" for
peaceably iuelined workinginen.
lie is'eousiderod Vf>e most stiecessi
fill business arcnt wt.a l-.w..... ?.!
-n- .? .1\' rtVVJW
meant work. Frequently In- winks
at open violations of stipulated
agreements on the part of the employe-.
in order to prevent Ti strike,
lie is really the "pastor" of liis
union. lie visits the siek, he finds
work for the unemployed, lie cares
for those in distress of any kind.
Ill AKAI'IKU OK I.Allots l.l'.A IIKltS.
The ollicials of organized labor
are men of uni|iiestioiied character. ,
As in al I ot her organizat ions, tin-I
desiinlile men will at times succeed ;
in securing an otlicc, tint in the
great democratic labor inoveinent
such men can be easily removed, !
and are removed. Character, stability,
perseverance and unselfish-;
ness are essential qualities in the
men who retain official positions in
a labor union. Many of these officials,
business agents, local officials.
and ollicials of national and in
ternal ional unions are luomlicrs
and officers in the various churches.
Moreover, their efforts as unionists
are directed to secure improved
temporal conditions for the
workeis. that will make it possible
for them to direct their attention
to things ideal, beautiful, snirit mil.
It h:i.s been siikI is now asserted
thai labor unions admit immoral
land oven virions 111011 to member
ship. The charge is malicious.
Trades unions havo oharaotor <|iial- i
ilications. and mon aro roipiirod to
lio snhor, stoady and industrious
workmen'* before membership can j
lie gained. It would lie foolish to
assort that the trades-unions did j
not have immoral and even virions
members, but not to a greater extent
than other organizations that
are supposed to have a higher :
sta ndan lot' et hies.
It is not fair to condemn the |1
trades union and trades-unionist.
It is not fail to always judge them
by their woi-st, when all other institutions
and their devotees are;
judged by their best. M
Tit K 'h'l.OSMt) KIIOI?."
The principle of the so-called 1
closed shop" is accepted in everyday
business life; why may not an j,
organization of worUingnien simi
larly make a bargain with an '.
organization of employers'?
The dealer will agree with the
manulael urer In handle only a
certain kind of goods. This is considered
perfectly legitimate. Why ,
duos il seom uneonstitutiiual when
precisely the same bargain is !
entere<l into between the employer
and his employeesf The lalior ,
union says to the employer: "We
will agree to furnish yon with com
potent men at. so much per day. ,
We can control the men in our
organization. They will abide by
the contract that we shall make. ^
We cannot control the men who '
are outside of oil r organization, so
we ask you to employ only our (
men. thus making; your shop a
union shop. If these outside men '
will agree to make the same con
tract with you that we have made,
we shall be glad to have them come ,
into our organization, thus k,v,"K ^
them tlw same privilege that we
enjoy."' j.
Tlie average employer who lights
so st reniioiisiy for the "(ioil-gi veil "]
right" of the non-union workingmen
to exercise his privilege of re i
maining out of the union if he so ,
desires, declaring that his shop j
must lie an -open shop" for free ]
men. will usually debar the man
who.exereeseil the same CJod-giveil
right 11\ becoming a member of
the trades-union, so that practical- '
ly his bosteit "open shop" policy
neans a "closed shop"' to the '
why i.Ala.!: i nioxs auk not ,
Iiut.it may lie aigued. the trades
union is unincorporated, so'tliat an
employer cannot hold it to its eon- i
t met. while lie himself is liable to
damages. This is not true. It is
well known that an unincorporated :
[continued on page 4]
In His Address to the Convention o:
of Labor a
Object of the Federation is to Securi
Laboring Masses?It Does Not I
the Best Interest of t
Gtizens?Labor E
The following is the Annual Report
of President Nagent,y of the
West Virginia State Fedeintion of
Labor, submitted by him to the
Wheeling Convention, which put
forth Labor's claim in West Virginia
in a fair ami impartial manner.
ami the recommendation which
it contains should meet the careful
consideration of all concerned:?
To the Officers and Delegates of the
West Virginia State federation
of Labor:
It is my privilege at this time to
submit to you and the members of
our organization my annual report
and such suggestions and recommendations
as 1 believe worthy of
your consideration in the interest |
of those we represent .
One year ago you honored me j
with the responsible position of
President of the West Virginia j
Stale Federation. I found on taking
charge of thvalVairs oftheoflice
that the organization was dcmoral !
ized, and no well defined plan in
existence to bring together t he variotis
branches of organized labor
for the protection of our tneinbei's
in West. Virginia.
There was represented at the last
annual convention lull one central
body and seven local unions.
In order that some intelligent
and effective plan of action alight.
be agreed upon to strengthen the
State organization, if was decided
to hold a special convention last'
There was represented at the
special convention, two central
bodies and sixty local unions. If
is gratifying to report to you that
at the present time there are alii 1iated
four (-1) central bodies and
one hundred and forty (140) local
unions. This is an evidence of renewed
interest among our meinl?ors
lo become thoroughly organized.
<'onsidering the many obstacles;
to overcome, we believe that the
state Federation hits made enough
progress to arouse every member of
Liu- labor movement in this State to
renewed efforts lo have every local
ami central union to become affiliated.
It depends largely on your
active support to bring about this
much desired result.
One thing especially lias lieen
been brought to my attention and
impressed itself on my mind and
that is. the number of men who are
memljers of the various labor mi
inns anil wliintn mil. seem In i'lille
realize tin? necessity of having a i
State Id-deration of babor, the olj- |
ject. for which State branches arc i
jrganiz.ed and their power to prolect
the rights of t lie laboring poo- :
pie, when properly managed.
The raphl evolution of industry, ;
the introduction of labor-saving!
machinery and the concentration
if capital undei tin' control of few?r
men each year compels us to or- 1
^iinize for our own protection.
To meet" the new conditions of
mi' industrial development we
must organize, and when organized
ive should secure a fair share of
.lie results of our labor, improved
auditions of employment and a
diorter work day. In fact, these
ire the principal objects for which
abor unions are orginized.
State branches of the \meriean !
federation of bailor liavea mission
w hich as a part of the general la
Mir movement are organized lor at
east three purposes.
1. To create a sentiment in faror
of labor unions and to impress
311 the minds of the people that labor
unions are instituted not to'en ourage
disrespect for the law but
lo educate our inemlierN in regard
to their duty as loyal citizens of
3Ur country.
2. To promote a strong sentiment
in favor of the union label,
the emblem Of organized lalior.
On this subject it is only necessary
to call your attention to the fact,
that different labels and designs
are used by business men to promote
their business and increase
the sale of certain products. \
f the West Virginia State Federation
t Wheeling.
: Legislation for the Protection of the
Stand for the Impossible, but for
he Greatest Number of
lemands Fair Deal.
j You can rout lily understand if
every tailoring 11jn.1v apd woman
was true to the principles of lid Kir
unions, tliey would purdia.se none
lint those articles bearing the un|
ion lubel. This would further the
interest of the laboring people by
raising the standard of wages and
improving conditions of employment
in many industries which are
now unorganized.
?. The other important object
of the State Federation of Lalior is
to secure legislation to protect the
interests of the tailoring people of
West. Virginia.
To do this successfully, wesliould
have the eo-operation of the Railroad
Brotherhoods and in addition
to this enlist the support of those
engaged in farming.
It should be borne in mind that
we are not seeking privileges for
ourselves inui wo aro not willing
to grant to others. Wo aro not donianding
special privileges. Wo
aro not and do not propose to ask
for such legislation as will bo regarded
as strictly promoting class
interests. Wo insist, however, in
having laws that will give the laboring
people of this state 'equal
opportunities with every other
class of people in West Virginia.
There are numerous laws that
should lie enacted in our- State'and
I take this opportunity of suggesting
a few ol" the measures that
should lie considered by the'next "
A , law prohibiting the employment
of children under the age of
lb and then not more than 48 hours
per week.
A law to increase the safety appliances
011 railroads in order that
accidents may he reduced to a minimum.
A law to improve the sanitary
condition of workshops, mines and
factories and provide a sullieient
number of competent men to make
a proper inspection and enforce
t I... 1.
lyllli JttWS.
A law to fully protect the right
of lalioring people to organize and
lie members of labor unions.
A law to increase the number of
competent mine inspectors to make
frequent inspections of mines in order
that the frightful slaughter of
human lives in the mine!) of West
Virginia may be prevented.
A few of the measures needed
have lieon enumerated. The best
method of securing such legislation
should receive your careful .consideration.
There are many men elected to
our Legislature who profess sympathy
for the laboring people but
when elected fail to support measures
that we want enacted, either
because they do not understand
our desires or have no interest in
our people except to secure our
support on election day.
There is 011c sure way. of securing
sncli legislation as we should
have and that is to elect men from
our own ranks to represent us. If
either of the dominant parties will
nominate from our ranks a reason
able number of men its candidates
for the legislature, we will then
have a lair representation to protect
our interests.
If these parties fail to nominate
men from our ranks, then we
should provide means to have our
our own men nominated and see to
it that they arc elected.
These are questions that should
inb rest not only the laboring peoT
-e but should interest every business
and professional man of our
It is a well known fact that
West Virginia has mineral enough
in its hills and mountains to make
it one of the leading industrial
states of our country. Those interested
in the industrial development
of this State should have a
greater interest in its welfare than
to merely devise methods how to
secure the greatest number of dol[

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