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The Pensacola journal. (Pensacola, Fla.) 1898-1985, October 20, 1919, Image 3

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THE PENS ACOLA JOURNAL, MONDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 20, 1919.
T--F w "- - - m,, i ,
. 3 sw?,r fc fiCi- &tttIMMti&tt KJ I ;
ORGANIZED LABOR
FIGHTINC IT'S MOST
CRITICAL BATTLE
(Continued from Page 1)
XEtv YORK The longshoremen happily returned to work. A mighty cheer went up from this group when
lecUlon was made to end the strike. They were no happier than the thousands of shipping men affected.
Ine lonssauiciucn omn.u ucu uji neuuj uu snipping, it wui ui&a wbsksio ao away wim me congestion caused
the several days' lay-off of dock men.
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era of capital, who some weeks ago
encouraged the steel ' corporation ' to
hold out firmly against labor In the
hope Of breaking the back of the union
labor movement,
President Gomper'a words of warn
ing that they : must either deal now
with the conservative leaders of the
present union labor structure or find
themselvear face to face with the I.
W. W. and Bolshevikl elements, who
unlike the Al F.: of II leaders, will not
argue or appeal, sent a chill down the
sDlnes of some of the members of the
employers' group who have stood
firmly against recognition of the'
union, collective bargaining, arbitra-
tion, and otheri well-known demands ,
of labor.
Mr. Gompers, in his plea to the In
dustrial conference for adoption of the
steel ..strike arbitration , resphrtlon.
said: ,
'Tou dislike us sufficiently not to
wish to meet with us in pur represen
tative capacity: you may not want to
enter into agreements with us, but let
me say this to you: You will either
come to agreement with us, pr you
will destroy the ability of our men In
our movement to stand up for the
right. We will be discarded as im
potent, or unfaithful, and if you dis
card us. If you decline to enter into
agreements with us, you will have
somebody to deal with and you will
not find them arguing and appealing
to you.
"The resolution which the labor
group has offered Is of such a char
acter, to meet a critical situation, to
curb this widespread discontent from
extending to help in tranquillzing the
conscience and Judgment and the ac
tions of the people of our country to
try. and establish better relations be
tween employers and employees,
workers and employees, as to commend
itself to you, and I trust the vote will
be to carry this resolution unani
mously. In any event, we shall feel
now and for the future that we have
done our whole duty."
The labor representatives at the In
dustrial conference called by Presi
dent Wilson, who are daily bargaining
with the representatives of the em
ployers and the public for a better
measure of justice for the workers,
shrink from the thought that the sud
denly called strike in New York rep
resent the real attitude of labor.
They resent with equal force the
suggestion that these walkouts carried
out under doubtful authority are a
true indication that the American
"Federation of Labor Is loosing Its
grip on the workers.
But President Gompers in his ad
dress of Tuesday to the industrial
conference, and the other labor repre
sentatives in Interviews, frankly ad
mit that if the employers' representa
tives continue unyielding it will
weaken the hand of the present con
servative labor leaders and encourage
the men with I. W.' W. and Bolshe
vik! tendencies to to insurrection,
which may lead directly to a reign of
terror in the field of labor.
The diligent efforts of paid agents
of the big corporations and the I. W.
to destroy the organization and dis
cord in the ranks of labor In an effort
to destroy the organization and is-
credit the present leaders of the A.
F. of was declared today by Wil
liam H. Johnston, president of the
machinists' international union, who
is attending the Industrial conference,
to be chiefly responsible for the sud
den walkouts of the longshoremen and
express drivers in New York. This
activity of the forces seeking to de
stroy labor as at "present constituted,"
he added, was one of the primary rea
sons why the steel workers declined
to accept the advise of President
Gompers to postpone their strike until
after the industrial conference, as
urged by President Wilson.
"No fair-minded " or well-informed
person will, I feel certain, take any of
the recent sudden walkouts of the
workers in New York or elsewhere as
representative of the attitude of the
A. F. of I or organized labor In gen
eral, or as showing any real Inability
of the A. F. of L- to control its affili
ated units," said President Johnston
today.
"There are two very powerful ele
ments which the A. F. of X now has
to combat in the Interest of the labor
ing men, 4the public and tho country
as a whole," he , continued. "One is
the I. W..W. men who, under claim of
having renounced their former Ideas, '
get into the-unions and then stir up
strife and clamor for strikes. . The i
Ident of the railway employees de
partment of the A. F. of L-, protesting
against the hastily called strike In the
Altoona railroad shops.
"These unauthorized strikes are do
ing a great deal to injure the cause of
labor," declared ' Director General
Illnes. "They are creating the baslj
fdr the argument, which Is being urged
more and more, that.it is nonsense to
recognize labor organizations, or try
to deal with them because, the organ
izations will not obey their own rules,
and, therefore,, they make the orderly
handling of business impossible. I am
not willing to accept this view. I be
lieve these unauthorized strikes are
due to temporary states of mind which
will disappear and which will be suc
ceeded by a due appreciation of - the
undoubted fact that labor organizations
never' can succeed In accomplishing
Important things which they ought to
accomplish in behalf of labor until
they obey their own rules. Neverthe
less, every Instance of this sort fu
nishes another argument for those
who are opposed to organized labor
and every railroad employee who par
ticipates In a strike of this sort is
making a weapon . to be' used by the
enemies of labor organizations."
If a railroad shop is to shut up
every time there is a momentary dis
agreement between the local manage
ment and the local employees, before
there is any chance to Investigate the
matter In an orderly manner, every
body might as well give up trying to
run the railroads. On the other hand
If every time there is such a disagree
ment, the management must do what
the employees demand, that will also
be the end of the railroad operation,
because every thoughtless act of this
sort will stimulate other thoughtless
acts and the situation will get worse
and worse and become impossible."
These sudden labor walkouts, which
the A. F. of I is trying to stop. ' to
wards which the public is becoming
very resentful, are the result of a
general feeling of recklessness, "care-
freeness" and indifference among the
workers brought about by relaxation
from the war strain. President Daniel
J. Tobln, of the teamsters interna
tional union, who is attending the
industrial conference, as one of the
labor group, declared today.
' "This feeling of recklessness is much
more prominent among the workers of
Europe, particularly those in England,
than it is in this country," said Presi
dent Tobin. "The airplane raids ars
over; the people were insufficiently
nourished during the war; the war has
been won; every household lost men in
the war, and there is a general feeling
of relaxation and indifference to every,
thing. The men would as soon quit
as work, and it takes very little to
start a strike. That feeling spread all
over Europe and is now spreading
among our working people.
"But it should not be confused with
I. W. W.-ism, because the 'American
laboring man is a patriotic citizen and
would throw out an I. W. W. in a
minute. Remember that all during the
war all union men stayed right at
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work, right back of the government in
the fight against Germany. It is only
a temporary feeling with the workers,
I believe, and will soon disappear."
- The American labor movement does
more to maintain industrial peace be
tween employers and employees than
any other means devised. President
Gompers told the industrial confer
ence in an address a few days ago.
, "I will not pretend to say that all
our agreements and contracts with em
ployers are held inviolate and that they
are not sometimes broken," said Presi
dent Gompers. "Our organization has
agreements with thousands and thou
sands of employers. They have worked
out satisfactorily."
Many employers are on the same
footing with the I. W. X.'. Mr. Gom
pers said. "The I. W. W. says, 'we will
enter into no agreement with cmp'.oy
ers. The employers say, 'we will enter
into no agreement with the employees."
He then warned the employers' group
that if the steel strike is not arbi
trated through organized labor, it will
be but a short time before the em
ployers of the country will have to deal
with other representatives of the
workers who, unlike the A. F. of I,
will not argue and appeal but will de
mand and obtain or destroy."
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other element is composed of profes- j
elonal .' agitators hired by detective
agencies retained by the big corpor- i
atlons, ' who get into the unions and
lead movements calculated to give J
the labor union movement a black eye!
with the public and put the men at
the mercy of their employers.
"We have . been doing - our utmost
to break up this system employed to
destroy the unions. We have found
that large numbers of these men move
about from place to place sowing the
seeds of discontent and committing
acts detrimental to organized labor.
Recently after we got the proof on 118
of these men in one city and fired them
out of the union, we found they moved
in. a body to another city where a crit
ical labor situation was developing
and were Industriously at work trying
to destroy the union there.
"I suppose there never will be a
time when It will be possible for the
A. F. of L. to absolutely control newly
organized unions, like those which re
cently struck suddenly in New , York,
but every Xair-minded man knows that
thoroughly ; organized unions do not
go on -strike before giving full oppor-'
tunity for amicable settlement, and
thaf isolated cases of Ill-advised
strikes are no criterion of the pur
poses of the A. F. of L."
.- Unauthorized strikes have done a
great deal to injure the cause of labor.
Walker D. Hlnes.. director general of
railroads, declared a few days ago in
a letter to Bert M. Jewell, acting pres-
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