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The Gem Worker speaks to and
lor the organised labor member ship of Idaho. It has a loyal and progressive constituency — the workers of the State. It stands for progress and achievement; for the rights and brotherhood of man; for the development of Idaho and for the prosperity of all. There can be no better advertising medium and we solicit the patronage of pro gressive business firms. The Gem Worker is the stead I fast advocate of municipal owner ship of public utilities, as it be lieves this to be the inevitable American policy of dealing with monopolistic enterprises that serve the pubilic We make no war upon private capital, but advocate a prin ciple that Is fast becoming recog nized as the true one for the management and control of enter prises of this character. ^7/k dll à BOISE, IDAHO, JUNE 3, 1915 ( $1.00 Per Year. 5c a Copy Vol. HI. No. 1 .) NEW PLANT A WEEK t Cities Are Taking Over Eieebfic Power and Other Public Utilities at Rapid Rate !.. « ; The Kansas City Star of a recent date contains a valuble article ; ; ! ! on the subject of municipal light plants, which shows that the cities \ • ; of the United States are fast becoming owners of their own lighting ; j ! I plants. One new city a week joins the march of progress and the ! ■ ^ movement » «gathering constant momentum. It is only a question • > ;; of a short time when municipal ownership of the lighting plants will ; ; « I i 4 > . » supersede private ownership. ;; ... There are conditions which make it imperative that Boise take ;■ ! I up this subject at this time, with the full determination to enter the ! ! ! ! list of progressive cities, as the completion of the Arrow Rock dam ! [ I ! places the national government in the position of having a large source • • ! i of power for which it has no use. To the end that advantage be taken . • • • of the present situation the Municipal Ownrship club has been or- • • • ■ ganized and is Vorking faithfully and should be supported by every « ' ; ' loyal citizen. The article in the Kansas City Star deals with many facts and ; | goes into some details as to the success of municipal plants where es ; ; tablished and is worthy of consideration by every one interested in ] ! the subject, and we print it herewith practically in its entirety, as l ! follows: \ « • Owned Electric The Progress of City Owned Electric ity Ride across on an evening train— you can tell from your car window the municipally lighted towns and j I Aside from economy to its consu- i mers, every town has a second inter est in cheap lights—the banishing of dangerous and inconvenient 'dark streets, black streets that shorten the town's day and play and business and make a bad advertisements cities. With modern methods and attentive management, electricity is very cheap ly produced today. With well light ed street part of the welfare of the whole people, a municipal plant meets the problem from a more healthy point of view than that of a private company looking cm cheap street lights as a "concession," either forced or voluntary. With cheap electricity the difference between well lighted and ably not always be sighted easily in the bookkeeping of a company run» for dividends, a bookkeeping wjieje fixed chafges run and where the promot ers, may have been skilled men of fi nance and stock juggling. IOLA AND FORT SCOTT TWo Kansas cities give example. Iola has 120 are lights. Iola has mu nicipal plant Fort Scott has not half that many. The Fort Scott plant a municipal one? The arc lights, an swer "No." And truthfully. ' ^ The present rate of increase of mu nicipal light plants in the United States is one a week. Nor does one remember that the municipal''owner ship .question, once fiercely assailed and fiercely defended was ever settled on the stump. ' In Kansas just now twelve citv own ed plants are under construction. Kansas has 108 and Missouri 65 muni cipal plants; Ohio has lit plants, Michigan L08, Illinois 98, Minnesota 99 and Indian» 72. The municipally owned lighting plants in the United-States and Can ada now total fifteen hundred. Thus the city in business, whatever its ills, is growing out of trouble which peo ple as individuals and cities as muni cipalities have had with public ser vice corporations. In a day of ascending prices, elec tricity is getting cheaper. At a re cent convention of manufacturers of electrical goods, a prominent manu facturer said that in the last ten years an approximate reduction of. 50 per cent had been made in'the cost of pro ducing electricity. ' He was arguing for a reduction in rates as lengthen ing the life of private ownership of light plants. LENGTHENING THE ARC LAMP'S LIFE Increased efficiency of power plants has lowered the cost of producing electricity. Here the highly efficient steam turbine has taken the place of the old style engines. Line losses in transmission have gradually been re duced. The abvent of fuel oil en gines in both the large and small in stallations has proven its great econ nomy over steam plants. The modern arc lampp now requires a renewal of carbqns after burning from 120 to 130 hours, while a few years ago the old style of arc lamp required a renewal every six hoiirs. This and other .im provements tending to reduce the cost of electricity, have made possible the installation of many municipal lighting plants in towns of from three to eigh hundred population, where cost of poorly lighted streets' is remark slight. But that difference can formerly it was felt tha operation was probibitiv ■m Many of the smaller cities of Mis souri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebras ka have taken advantage of the high 1 i : ly efficient fuel oil engines in reduc I ing the operating expenses. Several i "internal combustion engines" are on the market. The oil burned in the en gine is an ordinary fuel oil, weighing about seven and one-half pounds per gallon and costing on an average of from two to two and one-half cents per gallon. The power generated is used both for operatic^ pumping ma chinery and running motors for the lighting load. Wherever fuel oil is available, as it is in the Central and Western states, this cheap fuel has greatly reduced the cost of operation. In one installation in a town of 1,700, Russell, Kas., the cost of the oil per kilowatt hour at the switch board, when the engine was running at full load, was two-tenths of a cent. The plant is a combined water and ligthing installation, and in one month from July 15 to August IS, 1911, when the water consumption was at its highest, the total cost of operating the entire plant fot fuel was $40.34. That city plant is operated at approx imately one-eigth the cost oT many plants in other cities of the same pop ulation. In a recent report to the en gineers who designed the plant the city officials advise that under muni cipal ownership they have better rates from insurance companies, better economy and well lighted streets. ijkT VA CENTS PER KILOWATT The town of Russell spent $85,000 in a high type water and light plant, which proouced electricity at a cost of one and one-quarter cents per kilo watt hour at the switch-board. In encouraging local mills and elevators electric current is sold by the municip ality to these institutions institutions at one and one-half cents per kilowatt hour. in the Scarrjtt Budding in Kansas City is a firm of engineers who have themselves installed seventy-five mu nicipal lighting plants in the West, the firfn of Burns & McDonnell. "Municipalities have found nicely lighted streets, modern, ' up-to-date electrolier lighting posts and other form of street lighting valuable as sets in advertising, a municipality. A stranger cannot visit such cities as Des Moines, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Seattle and Tacoma without being im pressed with their system of street illumination. "A few years ago when many of the larger cities desired better street lighting they were forced to put in their own plants. Not many of these earlier plants provided for commer cial lighting, feeling that it could not be handled as advantageously as the Street lighting, btit the success of handling the street lighting led to ex pansion into commercial lighting. "Both Joplin and St. Joseph have their own municipally owned street lighting systems that have proven so satisfactory that steps have recent ly been taken in both cities toward extending and improving the plants to do the commercial lighting. In both these municipalities the private owned companies have repeatedly made overtures to the cities in their efforts to acquire a municipal- plant. "0tber cities without undertaking commercial lighting, in addition tô' the street lighting, furnish light, heatjand power to public buildings, schools, for the operation of water works plants apd such uses that greatly reduce the expense of operation. • A few such cities are Richmond, Grand Rapids, Nashville, Fort Worth, Bay Citv and Goshen. Some of the larger cities en SLOWLY BRINGING HIM DOWN. ✓ sc \ % \ p ö 4_ ° fa^ tl •Oi* v : -i?W J ïÆ "Vi 6» &*a> wr JEST y A* f Jr* 1 OE 0V It /Ä j % 7 (A V : I' lX\ ;v m is -, S v & —Reynold* in Portland Oregonian. gaging in both commercial and street lighting are Seattle. Tacoma and Fort Wayne. The notabfe success in these municipalities can be taken as an illus tration of a large number of other plants throughout the country. "At Tacoma the city purchases the 'current from a water power company at 1 1-4 cents per kilowatt and retails it at a minimum rate of 6 cents, mak ing a net profit of 40 per cent. The city now has a generating plant under construction. Many high grade steam plants generate current at as low as 1 1-4 cents. 4t is estimated that the plant in Kansas City, Kas., generates current at approximately this figure and the rate established for house use is 6 cents per kilowatt hour. A THREAT AND A 40 PER CENT i REDUCTION : ."At Seattle the report of the Super intendent shows interesting data since the installation of the municipal plant in 1912. First; when the agitation for a municipal plant begun and it looked as if it would be, constructed, the pri vate company made a reduction of 40 per cent in their rates, dropping them to 12 cents per kilowatt for house use. When the municipal plant began mak ing contracts for residence lighting in September 1905, the Seattle Elec tric Company again lowered its rates, tnaking a general decrease of ,16 2-3 per cent. In 1911 after the municipal light and power plant reduced its rates owing to the good financial showing made by the plant, the Seattle Elec tric Company again lowered its rates, making another reduction of 10 P er cent, due directly to the municipal light and power plant- The instal lation of the municipal light and poW ed plant in that city has forced the. company to three reductions in their rates since 1902, the first of 40 per cent, second of 16 2-3 per cent and •M-S-M* ■fHHm+W44 444+ Remedies Suggested By Attorney Comeford j: :: To United States Commission on Industrial Relate ;; :: ., 1. Secure industrial peace—substitute the council-table for Ute >• • • pitched battle called the strike or lock-out, by compulsory collective ; ; ; [ bargaining. • .. . 4>a* smatiLi > jfVVdMF.dfrJntfLMn*'' ' ! 2. Prohibit the operation of private employment agencies and ., , stop the abuses created by them by governmental operation of all • * * • employment agenda. ' ! < * 3. Public opinion is the Supreme Court in our country.....Its de- ; ; ' ; citions are final and binding.. The public are entitled to the uncolored ;, ! ; facta. Stop the poisoning of the public mind through paid publicity • * •• by establishing a system of government bulletins through which the J ; [ public will get the truth. « . * <*■ A"j <. * S ; " < > ' ' . 4. Increase the efficiency of the Department of Labor, enlarge ! 11 its powers, appropriate enough money to furnish a speedy and effective • ■ - > opportunity for voluntary arbitration in all dispute» between capital ; [ ' ; and labor. ■ ( S. Stop the granting of governmental functions to employers in times of strike or lock-out: (a) The practice of citiea allowing employer« of labor in times , .. of industrial controversies to appoint and pay men who are worn in • •' ; as special policemen should he stopped; • i • • ■ ► (b) The state should not permit strike-breakers to become apec- ; ' ; ; iat deputy sheriff. This delegation of authority on the part of the . > state carries with it the privilege of carrying arms and is a menace to ; ' ; ; the public peace and causes lawlessness: J * (C) F • > others designate ; £ come special deputy* 6. In ail cases of alleged contempt of court, whether brought J ; ; in the state or Federal courts, a trial by jury should be granted to the !. i . accused, 4 ' ? hot permit gunmen and; j; paid by the employer to be- ' *nt y the W H 4W Wl ,W Wt. third of 10 per cent. The rate of the municpal light and power plant is now 7 cents for the small users of electric current and 4 cents for users of over sixty kilowatts. This makes a total reduction to the consumers of 65 per cent since 1902, if the consumer takes light of the municpal plant. The aver age business rate charged by the mu nicipal plant is 3 cents per kilowatt: The average power rate for factories' is 2 cents and as low as 1 cent for large users. The municipality has combined steam and hydro-electric development, but many of the cities with steam installation entirely have been able to make equally low' rates and this is possible even in the smaller "At Riverside, Cal., with a popula tion of eighteen thousand, the muni cipality has a steam plant which has been operated by the city for sixteen years. - A statement of their financial showing for the year 1911 showed the total receipts for lighting, $97,427.67 ; receipts from power sales, $47,133.30; total for light and power, less $747.10 for rebates and discounts, $143,813.87. This is the result of one year's oper ation, with total vale loun fibc haror attug expenses, Including maintenance, improvements and extensions, «were $86,838.98, leaving a net revenue from the operation qf $55,974.89.' The city now plans extensive improvements, and the installation of equipment of a higher efficiency, extending the lines to several suburban districts and the laying of conduits in the business part of the city* all of w hich will cost $439,000, and thif entire improvement will be met without voting, any addi tional bonds against the municipality, but will be taken care of out of the accumulated profits. The nieder light ing rates are seven cents for house use and 1.7 cents for power use." i 444+ A. R. LAWSON WAS WRONGED Vigorous Words on Colorado Situation by Barry San Francisco—Under the caption, "Real Colorado Justice," Editor James Barry of the Weekly Star discusses the Lawson verdict in the following vigorous manner: "This week a Colorado jury sitting at Trinidad condemned John R. Law son to spend the remainder of his life at hard labor in the Colorado peniten tiary. It was a great Rockefeller vic tory, and will brighten the halo of glory ant} piety that plays about the Rockefeller heads, Lawson is a labor leader, and was found guilty of der in the first degree in connection with the death of John Nimrno, a deputy sheriff who was killed in a bat tle with the strikers in October, 1913. Not that Lawson actually killed Nim mo; no. but he was the leader of the strikers. Nimmo was killed in one of the Ludlow fights, being one of the deputies stationed at the Ludlow tion house. Those deputies got into a fight with a number of strikers, and during the fight Nimmo was shot through the leg and bled to death. Lawson was charged with the killing of Nimfo on the theory that he in charge of the tent colony and in command of the strikers. "The information upon which Law son was tried was filed by the attor ney general of Colorado, who con veniently forgot or neglected to file other information against the state militia for the wholesale murders at Ludlow, and aginst the Rockefellers and other mine owners, who were re sponsible for the whole business. The authority of the state of Colorado was given to the mine owners—including the Rockefellers—and they used that authority ruthlessly and savagely. "If Lawson spends the remainder of his life in prison at hard labor, is it just that John D. Rockefeller and his aides should be at liberty? And what answer will the state of Colorado fake when ft charged, as it will be charged, that a laboring man can not get justice in that state? It is mere mockery to ask workipgmen to obey the law and to respect the law and the courts, when juries owned by special privilege bring in such verdicts as the one in the Lawson case." ing that tion, as tion the a bill are era! to the as act the on to mur sec w as ; a the REJECT COMPROMISE 1 j it Chicago—Tlie various Carpenters' unions of this city have concluded their referendum on the employers' compromise wage scale and have re jected same by an almost unanimous vote. a five cent increase. A compromise offer of 2Y, cents, together with othçr demands of the employers, was re jected by the unions' officials, who said it was not necessary to submit them to a refendum. A strike fol lowed and the employers, backed by certain newspapers, raised a hue and cry against the officials, who then Stated if the compromise was resub mitted they would prêtent same to the membership. These workers asked for This was done, with the result as above stated. National Organizer Lakev of the Brotherhood of Carpenters is quoted' as saying that if thé employers' offer "had been $1 an hour it would have been defeated just as unanimously." One section objected to by the union ists provided that a representative of the employers shall spend Saturday morning in the office t>f the Carpen ters' district council. At this time the Council transacts its important busi ness, and the workers show that under this clause a private detective would have to.be admitted. Another clause provided for a svstem of registration in the employers' offices which would ; bn of on of j: ;; >• ; ; .. ., • * ' ! a year— a tidy sum. the workers say to use against them in case of strike. ed of an net VlN BIG VICTORY ; ; ;, • * J MINERS Harrisburg, Pa.—Organized anthra cite miners in this state have won one . of their taost important victories by * the passage of the Catlin bill in the state legislature. The act is designed to bring these workers under the pro vision* of the recently enacted work men's compensation la»'. Courts have ruled that coal companies are not re ' onsible for the acts of mineforemen, who are held to be agents of the state <*■ because the state authorities issue cer tificates to the foremen. Therefore, rule the courts, the companies do not have the right of free selection. The Catlin bill shifts the responsibility from the state to the qwners as fol lows; "The mine foreman, assistant mine forefhen, fire boss and any person placed in charge of the pumps or any part thereof shall be the agent of the A"j owners and operators and such own <. ers and operators shall employ them * S and discharge them at will." Another provision permit* représen tatives of the families of victims of ; " miné accidents to examine witnesses < > at coroners' inquests. Thev are de ' ' nied this privilege under the present ! • ■ ; [ , • •' • • ; ' ; ' J J !. -a j; ' | aw . LABOR UNIONS WIN LONG FIGHT Secure Favorable Laws Is State of Pennsylvania Harrisburg, Pa.—A workmen's com pensation act was passed in the clos ing hours of the state legislature, again proving organized labor's claim that constant agitation will bring suc cess. For years the trade B9NRI union movement has demanded this legisla tion, which has been resisted by the -L mining, railroad and other colora tions. The defeat of these forces was complete and the bill, together with suplemental measures, were passed unanimously by the senate sfs oppo nents realized the folly of further opposition and recorded themselve» as "friends of labor." The legisla tion was quickly concurred in by the house, where it had to be passed upon the second time because of slight amendments. As an additional notification to cor poration lobbyists that the people's voice was heard, the senate approved a conference committee report on the Catlin bill to bring anthracite miners under the compensation system. Thi«t bill was fought by coal operators, wh<^ insisted that because the state issued certificates to mine foremen they were relieved of any obligation. The workmen's compensation bills are seven in number. One is the gen era! measures covering the subject of __ workmen's compensation, one pro- " vides for its administration, one cre ates a state insurance fund, two relate to liability and mutual iifttirance, one exempts domestic servants and agri cultural workers and the seventh is' the constitutional amendment permit ting a compulsory compensation law, as the nresent proposed law is elec tive. The main bill nrovîdes that the act shall apply to all accidents occur ring within the state, irrespective of the place where the contract of hiring was made. Compensation for total disability shall not exceed $4,000, to be paid during the first 500 weeks after the fourteenth day at a rate of not more than $20 a week nor less than $5 a week. - Partial disability on the basis of 50 per cent, to run not longer than 300 weeks. Payments shaif not exceed $10 a week. Compensation to alien dependent widows and chil dren not residents of the United States shall be tworthirds of tile amount pro vided in each case for residents. * payments shall be HATTERS REFUSE JUDGMENT New York — The Hatters' union will not pay the judgment Of $1835, 000 secured by Loewe & Co., Dan ebury hat manufacturers, and recently indorsed by the United States court. This decison was reached bv the United Hatters of North America in convention, last week. 1 The unionists voted, however, to raise a fund for the relief of the indi viduals whose homes and bank ac counts have been attached under the judgment. j This resolution adopted declares: "The United Hatters of North America deny the statements of D. E.' Loewe & Co., and the attorneys for the Anti-Boycott society that this or ganization has agreed to pay the judg ment in this case and hereby declares it to be our purpose nbt to aoply. any funds to the satisfaction of this judg ment. ; "But this organization pledges its assistance to the members affected by laid judgment and resolves further that an assessment of. one oer centum bn the dollar of the weekly earnings of the members of this organization on and after July I. be assessed and the money realized shall constitute a fund to be used by .the officers of this organization for thé relief and benefit of members affected 'by said judg ment." \ HOUSING BILL PRAISED ' Philadelphia —Secretary Newman of the housing commission praises the hill passed by the legislature intend ed to eliminate differences between the eommissian and the common councih regarding aooropriations and the use of funds. The secretary, irt his report. said that drastic methods of improving among the poor havei been taken the last year by the com mission, in the face of "indifference and inability of the city to deal with . the problem.' said, that many owners who declared they could not improve their tenants' homes were themselves living in homes assessed at Howard of $25.000. The new code, he believed, will re move one of the great evils of the for eign section, room crowding; will put an end to cellar dwellings and will compel property owners to install water supply and toilet facilities It was discovered, he Worcester, Mass.—At a conference with the state board of arbitration, coal dealers in this city declined to ** act collectively on the question of the wage demands of their workers, pre ferring to act with their employes or a committee representing the union. The Coal Teamsters' union has beet» conducting a vigorous organizing campaign and declare they are now in -a position to enforce their demands.