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Tbc Qcm Worker ctwida for
Municipal Ownership of public utilities and will make every effort to force this great issue to the front in Boise, as in line with" the most progressive thought of the day. Public utilities by their very nature should be monopolistic in character and a private monopoly is intolerable. A monopoly must be owned and conducted by the people as a whole in their govern mental capacity just as the postal business is conducted. , The Gem Worker is demonstrat ing its fitness to survive and is one ol , tf 1 * most prosperous weekly publications in the State of Idaho. It is receiving splendid support from the forces of organized labor, not alone in Boise but from the unions of every section. The fact ***** ** represents the labor organ izations of the State gives it a high standing as an advertising medium which up-to-date business men are quick to recognize by patronizing its advertising columns 1 41 BOISE, IDAHO, APRIL 29, 1915 ( $1.00 Per Year. Yol. II. No. 48.) 5c a Copy MOVE FOR PUBLIC OWNERSHIP THE EMBARGO. City Council Takes Initial Step Looking Toward Municipal Control of Water Works and Power Plants SEATTLE SOME INTERESTING FACTS FROM CITY OF Municipal ownership of public uti ities is the burning issue in Boise today, and The Gem Worker is the only paper in the city that is out in the open for the success of this great movement. Municipal ownership cuts out all the overcapitalization, upon which interest must be paid; it cuts out ex pensive manipulation in the interest of favored stockholders; it cuts out huge profits that private ownership demands, as it only aims to take suf ficient money from patrons to pay running expenses and provide for rea sonable improvements. There is no argument against municipal owner ship and every argument against pri vate ownership with numerous com panies under ruinous competition, or with one gigantic company that has been formed by a merger that includ every form of stock manipulation known to high finance. The new city administration is al ready taking steps to forward muni cipal ownership of water works and electrical power and every good and loyal citizen should rally to their support. . At the city council meeting held Wednesday ofternoon, Councilman Eichelberger brought up the matter ' regard to both of these propo He said that in view of the power merger the people in his opin are now in favor of Voting a ei in sitions. ion, bond issue for the purpose of estab lshing water works and a power plant. Councilman Finni'gan staged that he had learned from Mr. Weymouth of the government service, that the government power would be allotted to districts and it was argued from this that the city could make arrange ments to secure power from the dis trict in which it was located, and we cannot see why it could not be made a district itself. At present the city has contracts with the power companies, but these need not interfere with the taking of initial steps for municipal owner ship, as the companies have been very lack in their good faith in keep ing the contracts in the past. Municipal ownership of works is now the general rule in American cities and a city is not in the progressive class that permits its people to be exploited by a private corporation in this great necessity. And especially is it imperative that the city of Boise take advantage of the splendid natural advantages and opportunities that lie at c|ur very door for a water supply. It may not be generally known but there are great publicity bureaus at work to discredit municipal own ership, and the power plants of south ern Idaho have a publicity bureau at work in their interests. The press of this section has been flooded for months past with literature from this bureau. One of these national bureaus dealing with the situation in Seattle is called to time by Councilman Erickson, of that city, in a commu nication to The Public, of Chicago. Mr. Erickson points out that the charge for eleetrical power in Seattle is practically only one-fourth what it was before the installment of the nfunictpal plant". Such a reduction can be made in Boise, The Gem Worker herewith oresents Mr. Erick son's communication in full, as fol lows : water MUNICIPAL OWNERSHIP IN SEATTLE (From The Public.) Seattle, April 2, 1915. There has lain in my basket for some time a copy of the "Traction Bulletin. This publication contains a tirade against Municipal Ownership in Seattle, quoted from the Seattle Times. It is simply a sample of vili fication and misrepresentation that is being dished out here constantly. The majority of people in this city pay no attention to this constant vilification of our publicly owned utilities. During the last year and a half the public service corporations, through their papers, have kept up a continual fusillade of abuse and misinformation concerning our public utilities. The principal subject of attack has been our light and power plant Before the people voted bonds to build a light and power plant u»ers paid twenty cents a kilowatt hour foe light in their home«. Power rate» #ere much in the same ratio. When the Municipal plant was put in operation these rates were immediately cut in two. Numerous reductions have been made since the plant started, until the minimum rate for residence charge is five and one half cents a kilowatt hour, with a rate of two cents for all consumption over 45 kilowatt hours in one month. The minimum rate also has been reduced from one dollar a month to fifty cents a month. It has been necessary for the private corporations to meet the various re ductions made by the city. The direct result of that has been to squeeze large quantities of water out of the Puget Sound Traction Company stock. It is this continual forcing of rates down to a reasonable basis that causes the organs of this company to cry out against our municipal light and power plant. They very rarely write anything concerning our light plant without be moaning the burden that is being placed upon the taxpayer. Of course, you understand that if it really would place a tax upon the ppor taxpayer these corporations would be the last to complain. It is because it accom plishes just the opposite, and places more of the burden upon the corpora tions and other wealthy interests, where it properly belongs, that they complain. One purpose in the constant attacks upon, our light and power plant was to influence voters in our last election. March 2. Since Seattle abolished the ward system, the corporations have lost control of our City Council. The election last fall appeared to have a .decidedly reactionary trend, and it was thought possible by carrying on a steady campaign of opposition to our publicly owned utilities to elect three councilmen of reactionary stripe. The campaign carried on undoubtedly had some influence, as the most reaction ary and outspoken candidate against municipal ownership received the largest vote of any of the twenty-two candidates in the primaries. ■The reactionary forces were elated at this result, and the majority felt confident that the plans they had laid would be successful. But the primaries had the effect of arousing, the progres sive element in the city. Josiah yol lins, who received the largest Æte, had been a member of the Legislature. His record in that body was given wide publicity, and an enthusiastic campaign carried on in defense of our publicly owned utilities. As a result of this campaign, the tables were re versed in. the final election. Collins was overwhelmingly defeated. The most progressive municipal ownership advocate of all the candidates was elected, and with him two others who were the least objectionable of those who were in the final contest. Quite a number of questions involv ing our publicly owned utilities were placed before the voters in the form of charter amendments and propositions. Some of these did not do so well from the municipal standpoint as we had hoped' but on the whole the results were satisfactory, and showed the public sentiment of this city strongly progressive. One resolution which was submitted in regard to our light plant was calculated to show the temper of the people in regard to the management of that institution, and it was carried in our favor by a vote of two to one. Our water system, which is owned by the city, is so completely entrench ed in the people's favor that very little opposition manifests itself against that institution. It has been such an Unqualified success that any effort to attack it would meet with no favor whatever. There are few cities, if any, in the United States that h^ve such a magnificent water supply as the city of Seattle. And when the distance which it is carried is taken into con sideration, there is probably no city in the Union that furnishes water cheaper. Our municipal street car system is only in its infancy, having been op erated but a few months. It is but part of a system, consisting of two lines which are located in the outlay ing districts. Until these lines have been brought into the heart of the city and some extensions made into out lying districts, no judgment can be passed as to how successful it will be. Because the Traction Company and other corporate interests realize that it will accomplish in the trans portation of passengers what our light plant has done in its field, every ob stacle that cm be devvised has been used to Mock it« completion. OLIVER T. ERICKSON. I .11 lulls any 7 WHO OMWS THIS OCSAH MtyWAf iU»^ i V A h —Taylor In Loo Angolos Timoo. Intended Snub Proves to Be a Complete Failure Bakersfield.—The.. Evening „Calif ornian makes the following on the refusal of University of Penn sylvania authorities to permit Presi dent Gompers to speak in a hall at that institution: "It is not encouraging to find a great educational institution like the University of Pennsylvania retusing to grant to Samuel Gompers the right to use one of its halls in which to address the students. It is encourag ing though to note that, learning of the policy of the university authorit ies with reference to Mr. Gompers, 500 students showed tbeir resentment by assembling to hear what the presi dent of the American Federation of Labor had to say. "Pin-headiness is about the only word that fittingly describes the at titude of the Pennsylvania college faculty. Samuel Gompers has been comment Oklahoma Farmers Are Told of Unionism Oklahoma City.—Acquaint the far mers with the purpose of trade union ism and offset the campaign now car ried on by anti-union influences, is the advice of the Oklahoma Labor Unit, which notes that the farmer in fluence in the state legislature is of ten against the industrial worker because of this lack of understanding. The Labor Unit gives this advice, which can be applied by unionists to all classes of citizens; "The past session of the legislature brought very forcibly to our mind one fact, and that is that before we may expect to secure all the demands of labor and in the shape we want them, we must undertake an educa tional campaign in the rural districts. "We, the members of organized la Compensation Act Is Passed' In Colorado Denver, Cold.—A compensation law has been passed by the stale leg islature. About the only value the bill possesses is the fact that it es tablishes the principle of compensa tion in this state. The act contains four different kinds of optional insur ance, and students of this question believe the law will provvc unwork able. The law takes effect the first of next August, it is urged that by the time the general assembly again convenes, January, 1917, the demand for a genuine compensation act will be universal. The new law exempts farm labor and domestics, as well as employers who employ less than four workers. Four forms of insuring for com pensation are left open to the em ployer—insurance in the state com PAINTERS TO AMALGAMATE Toronto, Ontario.—The four locals' of painters in this city are disenssing amalgamation, and at a mass meeting addressed hy International President Hedrick it was agreed to instruct the officers of the locals to draw up a plan that mqy be submitted to the interest ed organizations. one of the greatest factors for good in the labor movement that the world has ever known. He has ueen con servative to the extent of nullifying the influence of the reckless element within the ranks of labor and he has been radical enough to steadily bring about a betterment of conditions af fecting the working people of the na tion. For a university to declare that such a man shall not have the ear of the young men who are being educat ed there is to declare for a narrow policy that cannot but discredit not only the governing body but the in stitution itself. "The Pennsylvania college author ities cannot snub nor humiliate Sam uel Gompers by refusing him permis sion to address the students but they can write their institution down as one not broad enough to attract the favorable attention of those who have boys to educate." bor, know that organized labor is never selfish that nothing, is asked for that is not backed by many good and sufficient reasons; that has for its object the making of life better worth the living. In the cities and towns organized labor is pretty well under stood but out in the country, to a very great extent, it is quite different. "Most of the literature the farmer gets gives only one side, the employ er's side of every question, and the re sult is we find members of the legis lature opposing labor measures whom we feel sure would not do so had they been made to understand them and to know what organized labor's objects are. Union men of Oklahoma must awaken in this regard and apply the remedy that is needed—ouhlicitv. pensation insurance fund, which is created by the new law; stock com pany insurance, mutual insurance and the carrying by the employer of his own risk, on filing of a bond with the industrial commission to guarantee compensation payments if the neces sity arises. The industrial commission makes rates for insurance in the state fund. Disability indemnity to be paid under the law is based on the average week ly wages of an employe, but cannot exceed $8 per week. In case of death the maximum amount to be paid is 82,500 The law will be administered by the newly created industrial commis Other duties of this board con • lOtl sists of making investigations in in dustry and the settlement of differ ences between capital and labor. RESTORE SEVEN-DAY WEEK Albany.—By a vote of 86 to 21 the state assembly has passed the Knight bill exempting certain employes from one day rest a week law. Among those exempted are enmloyers of salt refineries and employes of mercan tile establishments whose hours of labor a week are limited by law. Teachers Want Pension Philadelphia—Teachers in this state are interested in a oension bill to be introduced shortly in the state legis lature. According to the terms of the bill, tne state is to be the administrator, but the fund is to be provided by the teachers. There is a consitutional prohjbition against the state granting pensions except for military services. It is proposed to overcome this by increasing teachers' salaries propor tionately to make up their contribu tions to the retirement fund. . Teitchers who contract to teach for For Eight-Hour Day Scranton, Pa.—In an editorial the eight-hour day, the Republican of this city says: "Mining, and particularly coal min ing, wher« pockets of gas as well as treacherous roof are always a men ace, is conceded by every one to be a hazardous occupation. The confine ment in the dark chambers and gang ways, where the air is never as pure as at the surface, tries the stamina of even the hardiest men. "It has been the contention of the mine workers that in occupations such as theirs can do as much in a shorter day, through more strenuous effort, than if compelled to labor for nine or ten hours. In addition, be ing more alert and fit during the en tire period of a short day they are vigilant in the observance of safety measures." on Risk Fund Law Valad Madison, Wis.—The attorney gen eral has ruled that the laws creating the state life insurance fund and pro viding for state management of the life fund for policy holders in the state is constitutional. He also rules that the laws providing for insurance of state and municipal and school district property by the state and cre ating the public school teachers' re tirement fund are constitutional. He declined the state treasurer's repuest to bring suits to test these laws. The first claim against the state life fund, which is $1,000 on the life of Dr. George Keenan, of Madison, who recently died, has been filed and now will be paid by the state treasurer. Rush to Alaska Feared Washington.—Fear is expressed by the Alaskan engineering commission that a stampede to work on the Alaska government railway, 'will; result in thousands of laboring men reaching the territory and finding that there is no work to Chairman thority for the statement that about 400 positions will be open during the next few months, and that about 40,000 applications have been made for these positions. do. Wi illiam C. Eddes is au Want Records 0. K. Boston,—Fear of publicity caused a majority-of the members of the state house of representatives to vote for an amendment to the compensation law which reduces the time an em ploye may secure benefits after he is injured. The bill was rejected o!n a standing vote, 55 to 68, but a de mand for a record vote resulted in the bill's passage, 116 to 99. Cause For Typus Fever Washington.—No epidemic of typus fever has been threatened in the Unit ed States, according to surgeons of the public health service, who say that typus comes from unsanitary living conditions, principally lack of facilities for bathing. Will Organize Painters Boston.—The international officers of the Painters' union are assisting in an organizing campaign, now being conducted throughout this city. The initiation fee has been reduced and it is believed the membership will be increased 5,000. Sip the Mothers' Bill Albany.—Gov. Whitman has signed tilt bill to permit mothers with or phaned children to be paid the same money for their care that would be paid to orphan asylums. Your watch will keep time if re paired by W. C Perry, Jeweler., 709 Bannock St, Opp. P. O.—Adv. any period between July 1, 1915, and June 30, 1915, are to pay into the state treasury for the pension fund the following percentages of their salaries: . First five years, 4 per cent: second 3 per cent; third, 2 per cent; fourth, lper cent This would make the payments as follows: First five years, $50 a year; second,, $45; third, $30; fourth, $15. The payments are to be retained from salary warrants. A teacher re tiring without being eligible to sion shall have all contributions funded with 3 per cent interest. max I mum pen re Pass City Pension Bill a a Harrisburg.—The state senate has passed the bill to require Philadelphia to establish a pension fund for vet eran city and county employers. The bill now in the house for concurrence in the charges. The pension age limit now fixed in the bill is 55 years, and an employe to be eligible for its bene fits must have served the city or county twenty years. An employe retired on pension is to receive 50 per cent of the amount of his salary in service. For the support of the fund city and county employers to contribute 2 per cent of their pay monthly. The mayor, comptroller, city treas uerer, and two representatives each of the city and the county employes are to constitute a pension fund com mission. are Accident List Decreases Madison, Wis.—During the past year the number of accidents in this state have decreased «from 30 to 60 per cent, largely through the guard ing of dangerous machinery, reports the Wisconsin industrial commission. It is stated that during the last four teen months 21,374 accidents causing disability for more than one week occurred in the 10,000 factories and workshops in Wisconsin, costing in compensation for loss of wages and for medical and hospital attendance $1,936,(a.v). Call For Labor Denied New York.—Sir Courtnay W. Ben nett, British counsel general here, says his office has no knowledge of reported requests for workingmen to be sent by this country to Great Britian to take the places in industrial establishments of those who are at the front The council general says he has been deluged with inquiries, but he knows nothing of the proposed rangements. ar Engineers Make Gains Chicago—The local union of steam and operating engineers has signed an agreement with the Cook County Brewers' association, which provides for an eight-hour day and a wage rate of $24.50 per week. Overtime is to be paid at the rate of time and ^ one-half. A board of conciliation is created and the agreement remains in force until February '28, 1917. Bartenders Make Gains Lynn, Mass.—Bartenders' union has signed an agreement with the sociation of its employers which pro vides that only union men shall be employed. The mimimum wage rate is placed at $21 per week, which shall not exceed fifty-seven hours. Mem bers of the union shall be entitled to one week's notice, in writing, before discharged. as Want A Labor Temple Agusta, Ga.—Trade unionists of this city want a home of their own and at the central body's last meet ing a committee was appointed to in quire into and report on. building a labor temple. DIRECT VOTE FOR SENATORS Trtnton. —Gov. Fielder has signed a bill amending the election laws by providing for the direct primary se lection of candidates for the United States Senate. Ed. Price has been nominated a delegate to the International Typo graphical Convention which convenes at Los Angeles, California in August. Mr. Price is well known in union cir cles and is a faithful worker in the cause. Local I. T. U. members should rally to Mr. Price's support at the election in May.