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MONTANA LABOR NEWS
PUBLISHED EVERV THURSDAY AT 120 EAST BROADWAY BY THE SILVER BOW TRADES AND LABOR COUNCIL rIt>8H < Imillltiou of II A F «•slw and Voicing the DfimunU of the Trade Union Movement Right* Devoted to the luter SUBSCRIPTION PRICE $2.( PER ANNUM The publisher time. es the right to reject or Copy of this paper will be sent to the advertiser. ke dvertlsing contracts at any icatlons of Interest to Trades Unionists side of the paper, reek. The right of îrved by the publisher, munlcations to The Montana solicited. They should be briefly •h this office not later than >r rejection of all commuul but wrltte Tuesday noon of each cations is • I ust i 'Visio Add ret all Labor Ne Box 1411», Butte, Montana. Names must be signed to items (not published, if so requested) good faith. We do not hold ourselves responsible for the views or opinions of correspondents. Subscribers who Change their addresses, or fail to get their paper, should Imme diately notify tills office, giving both new and old addresses. i second class mall matter May 23rd, 1921», at the Post Office Butte, Mon der the act of March 3rd, 1879. guarantee of Entered 1 ii ££> ♦♦♦ ♦♦♦ » ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ THANKSGIVING The Thanksgivings for blessings received in the past and for the prosperity of our nation would seem slightly out of place at a season like this. It is true that many of us can be doubly thankful for the little that we have and we doubt not that the hearts of all will be thankful. We can also give thanks for the love of friends and family. But above all this Thanksgiving should be one of dedi cation and thanks for what our country might be it some of the spirit of those who celebrated the first Thanks giving on our shores were to manifest itself. Lowell expresses this 1932 Thanksgiving spirit in these lines: New occasions teach new duties; time makes ancient good uncouth; They must upward still, and onward, who would keep abreast of Tnith. Lo, before us gleam her campfires; we ourselves must Pilgrims be, Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly through the desperate winter sea, Nor attempt the Future's portal with the Past's blood-rusted key. LABOR MUST FORGE THE WAY The fifty-third convention of the American Federation of Labor, which opens in Cincinnati on November 21, meets under more serious conditions than has confronted any of the preceding conventions. Over eleven millions of able-bodied working men and women are totally unemployed. A large portion of them and their dependents have to rely on public and private charity for food, clothing and shelter. Competent authorities declare that around six millions of children are suffering malnutrition because of the dis tressed conditions of the unemployed workers. Moreover, the employed workers have suffered great dimunition in their living standards because of part-time employment and reduced earnings. The right to work, declared by the last convention to be necessary for the liberty of the workers, remains a phantom right because those who own and control in dustry refuse to recognize it. Business leaders admit then- complete bankruptcy in methods to stop the depression and start recovery. It evidently remains for organized labor to provide the plan necessary to end this bankruptcy and bring about employment for all the workers. According to William Green, president of the Ameri can Federation of Labor, the job of ending the tragedy of economic paralysis will be among the major tasks of the A. F. of L. convention. In an editorial in the current issue of the "American Federationist," Mr. Green says: "The opportunity of leadership by Labor holds un paralleled possibilities. "Organized society has thus far been primarily concerned with providing protection for property rights—but unless society develops proportionate concern for social welfare and assures opportuni ties for a good life to all, our social structure will col lapse from incompetency. "Responsibility falls upon Labor to organize wage earners for their economic and social progress and thereby to promote higher levels of living for all society. We cannot plan for Labor's progress with out considering the relationships and structures into which wage-earners fit, so we have to go outside those matters which concern Labor primarily to the larger problem of industrial and governmental pol icies. "New problems will come before the Cincinnati convention which must be met in the light of changed and changing conditions. We must not be so wedded to precedents that we fail to see new as pects of human justice. We want continuity not necessarily of practices, but of ideals. We need to turn unreservedly to organization of workers in the unorganized industries and to the es tablishment of standards assuring social justice in our democracy." The Cincinnati convention, speaking not only for or ganized labor but for all working men and women, will undoubtedly meet the requirements of the hour and forge the way from depression and unemployment to jobs and social justice standards for the entire body of wage earners. ii SIX MILLION UNDERNOURISHED CHILDREN On many occasions during 1931 and 1932 the Ameri can Federation of Labor has pointed to the existence of six million children suffering malnutrition as one of the strongest reasons why federal, state and local govern ments and the owners and managers of industry should adopt whatever measures are necessary to provide work BUY ANY CAR BUT A FORD for the millions of unemployed and thus enable parents to give their children adequate and proper food. During the presidential campaign the existence of these six million undernourished children was used in litera ture and discussion criticizing the Republican administra tion. The United State Public Health Service was cited as the authority for the figures. In his Indianapolis speech, President Hoover declared he had a letter from the Public Health Service denying having made such a statement. This was in effect an impeachment of the figures used by organized labor. The fact is that Mr. Hoover himself first presented these figures to the public, before one of his own con ferences. In opening the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection, Nov. 19. 1930, Mr. Hoover said: "Statistics can well be used to give emphasis to our problems. One of your committees reports that out of 45,000,000 children * * * 6,000,000 are im properly nourished. The committee of the Conference referred to by Mr. Hoover was the Committee on Special Classes, whose chairman was Dr. Charles S. Berry. In his report to the Conference, occupying 15 pages of the official proceedings, Dr. Berry, under the heading, "Significant Findings," said: There are in the United States * * * 6,000,000 children (approximately) of school age who are mal nourished. In addition to Dr. Berry, the Committee on Special Classes was composed of ten outstanding authorities on child welfare. Campaign orators may have embellished these figures with colorful pictures of underfed school children "faint ing at their desks," but that embellishment does not refute the fact that six million children suffer from lack of food. The Public Health Service maÿ not have made the original statement. But it was made by responsible authorities of the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection and originally given to the public by Mr. Hoover himself. » • > SWEATSHOP EVIL CONTINUES The expressed determination of Wilbur L. Cross, gov ernor of Connecticut, to drive sweatshops from that state merits the complete approval of all patriotic citizens. According to W. J. Couper, deputy commissioner of labor, the sweatshop brigade of unscrupulous and low wage employers leaves New York to escape the 48-hour week law and other stringent factory regulations and in vades Connecticut, which permits a 55-hour week and which, "until recently, at least, was noted for lax enforce ment of its rather low legal standards for employment. The sweatshop employer hires a low-rent loft, puts in a few sewing machines, gets women's garments cut ready for sewing from New York, and hires women and girls at very low wages to do the work. "Some of these employers," Mr. Couper said, "lit erally pay no wages at all. Under the pretense of hiring learners they get girls to work for nothing for two or three weeks until they learn the business. At the end of this period the girls are discharged and replaced with another group of deluded learners. The employer thus gets his labor for nothing. Others, not quite so brazen, pay unimaginable low rates. The girls are lucky if they get $3 at the end of a hard week and are rolling in wealth if their pay check amounts to $6. Mr. Couper's investigation of these cesspools of in dustry also revealed that the shops are very unsanitaiy and that many of them carry no workmen's compensation insurance, which leaves the' employes without legal pro tection in case of injury or death. Moreover, the owners often violate the 55-hour law and work their employes 60 to 70 hours a week. The courts are disposed to treat the violators of the hours-of-labor law leniently and have imposed fines in some instances at the disgracefully low figure of $14 and costs. In concluding his indictment of sweatshops, Mr. Cou per said : •• » "Sweatshops are the gypsies of industry. As they move from place to place they are no asset to any community, a detriment to all. Their low wages will in time reduce all wages, will destroy purchasing power, kill retail trade and retard, if not forever pre vent, business recovery. Sweatshops are the sewer rats of industry. They carry the industrial plague. Three groups of shirt factory girls in Connecticut have gone on strike under Communist leadership. From these sweatshops so cial unrest and Communism may spread through our state and country. The American Federation of Labor has persistently fought for the elimination of the sweatshop evil so poignantly described by Mr. Couper. The sweatshop is not confined to Connecticut. Its tentacles extend to other states. The monster will spread further unless outlawed by public opinion and crimped by strict factory labor codes. Organized labor will welcome the co-operation of pro gressive forces everywhere to drive the evil from our in dustrial system. u Northwestern University Head Takes Cut to $18,000 EVANSTON, ILL.—(P.P.)—Presi dent Walter Dill Scott of Northwest ern University, the Methodist-Big Business school, will have to struggle along on only |18,000 for the present college year. He shares in the 10 per cent wage cut imposed on jani tors, night watchmen and everybody else in the institution. Professors It had been stated earlier that the i smallest wages would be cut the hired under contract are also cut, retroactive to Sept. 1. Employes not on the teaching or research staffs are cut as of last July 1. least and the biggest ones, like Scott's $20,000, would be slashed the most on a percentage basis. Scott's influence with the board of trustees is believed to have saved himself and the other big dips in the univer sity treasury from that plan. TIMELY AND UNTIMELY OBSERVATIONS (Coi Page One] During the admin : I mied tu grew before, istration of my distinguished prede cessor, grass grew only in Central Park. That grass is gone. What was not smothered out by the horde of unemployed who used to sit and sleep on it was eaten by the liquidated nurse maids of Central Park West. Liquidated policemen subsequently devoured the keep-off-the-grass signs. Liquidated members of the Stock Exchange even licked the grass off the landscapes in the adjacent Metro politan Museum of Art. "However, while Central Park is again the barren rock that emerged from the Atlantic in the long ago, green grass grows all around Fifth Avenue and the avenues paralleling and intersecting Fifth Avenue. The Biblical injunction, 'Lead us into green pastures,' is fulfilled at last. I point with pride to the Democratic party which fulfilled it." Blah, blah, blah—two stuffed shirts minus heart and brain calling each other names; this was the presiden tial campaign of 1932. Oh democracy, what atrocities are committed in thy name! * » » Well, the shouting is over. The pouting and knouting is yet to come, for Roosevelt's election will change exactly nothing. The victorious Dem ocrat and the defeated Republican working men (if they still have jobs) will go to work the day after at the usual hours and the usual starvation pay. The victorious unemployed will be as footsore hunting a job the day after the election as he was the day before the election, and so will his vanquished brother in joblessness. Whether Kansas went Republican or Democratic will not change a penny on 30-cent wheat. Nor would cotton have jumped from five to six cents had Texas gone Republican. What a naive people we are! Tens of millions hardly know where their next meal is to come from. Industrial equipment worth tens of billions is rotting and rusting in idleness. Food to support mil lions is eaten by maggots, weevils, and rodents, while children go hungry. Millions of bales of wool and cotton glut warehouses, while patched overalls arc becoming the fashion for both men and women. Side tracks are crowded with idle engines and cars while every high way is crowded with footsore hitch hikers. The whole thing is an in sult to intelligence, a challenge to civilization, an affront to ordinary horse-sense and common decency, and we get excited over what par ticular nonentity will broadcast the customary inanities from the White House during the coming four years. * * * When the history of this epoch is written it will be found that we are living in the very midst of the GREATEST REVOLUTION OP ALL AGES. World war, which very likely was Sut the overture of the revolution, the world has little more than riot, eruption, explosion and turmoil. Gov ernments come and go. Century-old monarchies become democracies, or sink into dictatorships. Kings and ministers are bowled over like so many nine-pins. Laborites chase Tories; Social Democrats chase Junkers: and are chased in return. Since the beginning of the However, irrespective of the most violent changes in the heads and character of government, the only change in the condition of the under lying population is that from bad to worse. The reasons for this non-change ability in a rapidly changing world are easy enough to see. Every ex isting government, be it called monarchy, republic, democracy, or dictatorship, is a capitalist govern ment, whose chief function is to prolong the present economic or der—that is, the very system re sponsible for the deplorable condi tion of the masses. In other words, we have new firm names on the show windows, but the goods on the inside are the same. The capitalist nations of the world are bankrupt, not because they have the wrong governments, but because Capitalism is bankrupt. Putting new shingles on the roof of a structure whose foundation is crumbling will not save the structure. England is just as bankrupt under MacDonald as it was under Baldwin. Italy is just as bankrupt under Dictator Mus solini as it was under King Umberto, or whatever his name may be. Ger many is bankrupt under von Papen as it was under Stressmann and would be under Hitler. And by the same token, the United States will be just as bankrupt under Franklin Roosevelt as it was under Herbert Hoover, The basis of capitalist society is j FEDERAL SUITS ARE HINTED IN PROTEST Page One] of New York City and published in part in his recent book, Georgia Nigger. With the letter is a long memo randum detailing the Spivak allega tions, for consideration by the three members of the commission—E. L. Rainey, chairman; G. A. Johns, and Vivian L. Stanley. The commission is asked to say whether it upholds the practices outlined; whether it is prepared to defend them in public; whether Commissioner Stanley's re ported statement that "Georgia does not feel that the state owes anything to the convict" is the commission's official attitude. Signers of the communication are: Dr. Broadus Mitchell, member of Johns Hopkins university faculty, Balitimore; Dr. Elbert Russell, dean of Duke university, Durham N. C.; Robert S. Keebler, attorney, Mem phis; Dr. James H. Dillard, Char lottesville, Va., president of the Jeanes-SIater Fund for Aid to Negro Schools; Dr. George E. Kirehwey, former warden of Sing Sing prison; Prof. Edwin M. Borchard, Yale uni versity law school; James Weldon Johnson and William Pickens of the National Association for the Ad vancement of Colored People; Oswald Garrison Villard, editor of The Na tion; Dr. Harry P. Ward, chairman of the American Civil Liberties Union and Arthur Garfield Hays, its general counsel. Charges set forth in the letter follow: 1. Suspension of convicts by wrists and ankles in stocks in Early county; stocks used in Monroe and Madison counties; convicts "put in barrel" in Banks county, this punishment evi dently being similar to that inflicted on Arthur Maillefert in the recent Florida case. 2. Convicts "restricted of move ment" in Clarke, Lowndes, Seminole, and Decatur counties. In Seminole county, Spivak photographed a boy "restricted of movement." A pick handle was thrust between the bound hands and feet of the victim, which left him in a position of excruciating pain. Another photograph of a boy in a similar position, apparently un conscious, was taken in Decatur county. 3. "Stretching" in Early county. Here, the letter declares, "Spivak photographed Warden J. D. Williams lacing a handcuffed convict to a concrete post. A rope was tied to the links in the handcuffs. This rope was then cast about another post and the convict was stretched until the rope was taut and his arms were almost pulled from their sockets. With the convict in this position the rope was tied around the second post and the victim left stretched in the sun." 4. Convict photographed in Deca tur county wearing spikes riveted around his ankles. These weights cause "shackle poison" from infection, and prevent the convict from getting any real rest; whenever he tries to turn in sleep the spikes force him to wake and raise his legs to turn over. 6. Convict photographed in Mus cogee county with an iron collar around his neck, and shackled to his bunk with a chain. Six unexplained deaths are cited. George Johnson, 27, died in Clarke county of tuberculosis, according to the memorandum; evidently no at tempt was made to move him to a hospital until too late. Robert Lee Battle, 16, died in Madison county chain gang; "unknown cause," said coroner's verdict. George Neal, life termer in Chatham county, died in great pain after writing the commis sion that the authorities laughed when he asked for medicine. Charlie Riggins, 22, died four days after admission to Pulaski county camp. John W. Kendall was shot to death on Turner county prison farm, "ac cidentally by J. J. Conner." John Smith was "killed Sept 6, 1929," at Stateboro. (C'intlmidl fro r production for profit. Retain that foundation intact and the structure above remains intact. Well, there are no more profits. The foundation is gone and with it goes side-wall, roof, flag-pole and bunting. But of all this the American mass es are as unaware as the two presi dential contestants who recently rent the night air with their schoolboy talks and vocal grimaces. Airplanes hum overhead. In far-off Samar kand, Asiatic women discard veil and mount Ford tractors. Russia dedi cates the completion of its Boulder dam, opens a few more River Rouge plants—and we get a new chauffeur for the Washington ox-cart! * Oh well, the election accomplished one good thing at least. It revealed the identity of the forgotten His name ia Herbert Hoover. man.