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This Paper Has Been Duly Made the Official Organ of The Idaho State Federation of Labor
A* tiie officiel organ of the new ly organized State Federet on of Labor the field of The Gem Work er will become Statewide and ita circulation will extend into every section of the commonwealth...The paper will endeavor to fullfil it* mission and to be at all times a worthy and valiant exponent of the rights of Labor and an earnest champion of the measures advo cated by Organized Labor in the interest of humanity. There can be no better advertia* 1 ing t medium than The Gem Work' er, which is the endorsed organ of the forces of Organized Labor of Idaho. And the question of ad vertising is a mutual one. Those business men who patronize the columns of a Labor paper are en titled to the patronage of union men. They extend their invitation for vour patronage through your own medium. Consider this fact when you make your purchases. à 41 4 BOISE, IDAHO, THURSDAY, MARCH 23, 1916 Vol. m No. 43.) ($1.00 Per Year. 5c a Copy ORGANIZE IDAHO STATE FEDERATION OF LABOR Delegates Assemble in Boise and FoiW noovim/iv aaa wi«v * w Central Body Under Auspices of the A. F. of L. V reports of the committees, the dele This week has been the red letter This week has been the red letter week of the Idaho Labor movement, for on Monday, Tuesday and Wed nesday was organized the Idaho State Federation of Labor by District Or ganizer C. O. Young, known through out the nation as "Dad" Young by all union men on account of the years which he has devoted to the cause and the friendly interest which he manifests in every member of the forces of organized labor. He, with eight faithful fellow-workers formed the first labor council of the state of Washington, and for many years now he has been the A. F. of L. organizer in the intermountain district. Mr. Young opened the meeting in this city in a brief speech which aroused much enthusiasm and paved the way for the important business of the sessions. The sessions were held in Labor Council rooms in the Sonna building and the accredited delegates represented the larger labor centers of the state and were as fol lows; A. W. Muir, G. W. Wilklow, Abe Foster, A. H. Brown, George Mc Cauphey, F. M. Thompson. J. E. Rose, Pocatello; M. P. Villeneuve, Burke; Ernest Beckman, J. C. Verline, Wal lace; Robeft Lewis, Twin Falls; R. C. Bradley, Paul H. .Spangenberg, L. O. Nichols, G. A. Brasted. F. P. Mc Daniels, E. F. Caton, J. D. Brown, A. W. Kool, Frank Clayton, Ray Farns worth, R. O. Murray, Boise. In his opening address, Mr. Young claimed he viewed the meeting as the most important gathering that ever assembled in the city of Boise as it marked a distinct milestone in the march of labor. The problems with which the Federation deals are the vital problems of humanity itself and this State organization will bring in closer unison all the forces of organ ized labor of Idaho and will unite the various unions and industrial centers in the common cause for the moral and social uplift of all the elements of society and for the betterment of home conditions and a more enduring patriotism, all embracing in its com mon fellowship.. The demands of laborers for em ployment; for reasonable working hours and for healthful conditions are the basic rights upon which organized labor rests and a denial of these is a denial of the very right to live itself. The vitality and strength of the nation and of the race depends upon the vitality and strength of the workers. For upon the well-being of the workers depends the moral, intel lectural and physical well-being of humanity. The prime motive in the organiza tion of the State Federation is to ad vance just and humane ligislation and prevent legislation that is detrimental to the cause of labor. The represent ation present is an assurance of the organization of a successful and pro gressive State Federation. / At the conclusion of the speech re cess was taken until afternoon, when the convention again assembled and was called to order by E. F. Caton, who had been chosen temporary chair man at the morning session, with P. H. Srangenberg as secretary. At this meeting the committees were appointed, as follows: Rules of order—George McCough ey, Pocatello; Roy Carson, Boise; Robert Lewis, Twin Falls. Constitu tion and by-laws— M. P. Villeneuve, Burke; A. H. Brown and A. W. Muir, Pocatello; A. W. Kool, Boise; J. C. Verline, Wallace. Ways and means— Earnest Beckman, Wallace; J. E. Rose, Pocatello; J. D. Brown, Boise. Resolutions— F. M. Thompson, Poca tello; H. P. Cummack, and R. C. Bad ley, Boise. Press—Abram Foster, Pocatello; L. O. Nichols and F. P. McDaniels, Boise. As ih«rg was little business that could be attended to until after the reports of the committees, the dele gates went sight-seeing. They visited address them Tuesday morning, Other state officials were visited and the state house, where they met Gov ernor Alexander and invited him to the capitol building itself was thor oughly inspected and much admired by out of town delegates. A trip was then taken over the city in street cars over both of the local lines, making both the Thirteenth street and Hillcrest loops, and from the latter going to the natatorium, where they viewed the white city ami the plunge and the pleasant surround In the evening there was a social session held in Moose hall, open to all union men and their ladies. There ings of Boise's favorite and famous resort. were some 400 people in attendance and a splendid musical and oratorical program was carried out, opening with a few brief remarks by President j ^ ^ "v J/Û a m Sid *• .As, ■ / —Photo by Stamper. Delegates to Idaho State Federation of Lahor State House Steps on Caton, followed in order which Caton, followed in order by Piano duet, Miss Hazel Camp and | of Helen Cal ver Address J. A. Davis Address. M. C. Verline, Walla ■ <■ Addres M. G. Sholtz Violin Solo Address .... Address. Vocal Solo Whistling Solo Address . The above the average and were heartily applauded, while the brief speeches were all in an optimistic vein regard ing the work in hand and the future of the labor movement. Especial mention must be made of the brief remarks of Organizer Young, who closed with a dramatic recitation of the poem entitled "The Bridge Build Albert J. Tompkins A. W. Muir, Pocatello Ernest Beckman, Wallace —.....Mrs. Fred Rosene .Fred Rosene .C. O. "Dad" Young musical numbers were far er. The meeting closed with dancing and superb lunch, which was provided by the ladies of the Boise labor move ment. At one o'clock the party dis persed to their respective homes hav ing enjoyed an evening, long to be re membered. Tuesday Morning The morning session was called to order by President Caton, and the business program was temporarily laid aside, while Governor Alexander was ushered into the meeting and briefly introduced by Mr. Caton, who stated that while he differed with the Governor on partisan lines still he recognized him as a staunch friend of labor, who had co-operated with the Labor Legislative committee in all plans for the betterment of the con ditions of the workers. Governor "' K,t * speech dealing in his outspoken man ner with the affairs as they exist. He stated that as organized laboring men the assembly were their brothers' keepers and it was their duty to start at the bottom of the ladder and work in the interests of common laborers j and see that thew , were organized and got better wages for the work they wete d< ing. Fourteen years ago, he j sta,pd ' Ile was ma y° r of Bo 's« ! c, ' nin!0n laboring men then were paid SC per day. Then, he said, they bought overalls at 85 cents per pair and now paid $'.25 for the same grade overalls. Then, he said, they bought shoes at $2.50 ç pair and for shoes of an inferior grade thev now paid $4.00. yet in the face of such a raise in wear ing apparel and a similar raise in food products, the common laboring men are asked to continue to work for should be geting not less than $3 'hich he declared they j day. He told the union men it was up to them to help the common labor j er get the needed raise in wages to maintain himself and Ills family. a j $2.50 per day, he favored organized labor and that I its influence was powerful and should ) be exercised in the right direction. The Governor further declared that of business men, he stated, which it most always was. All classes were or ganized and continually on the firing line for what they wanted from the state and legislature and organized labor should also be in tile front ranks with its demands, which he felt were justified and should receive considera tion. Thc speech of the Governor's was well received and met with frequent applause and was the subject of much favorable comment. After the speech, the convention settled down to business, disposing of routine matters quickly. The entire forenoon was devoted to considera tion of the proposed Constitution and by-laws, which had been reported by the committee. On motion these were read and adopted one by one and were still under discussion when the noon recess was taken. Tuesday Afternoon After disposing of communications and other routine matters, the con vention again took up the discussion of the Constitution and by-laws, which were carefully considered and unanimously adopted in a final draft. Then followed the election of officers for a period of one year. A division of the state was made in three dis tricts, as follows: First district, the counties of Boundary, Kootenai, Ben ewah, Latah, Nez Perce, Lewis, Sho shone and Clearwater; Second district, Idaho, Adams, Washington, Canyon, Gem, Ada, Owyhee, Boise. Elmore and Lemhi, while the remaining coun ties comprise the Third district Each district has a Vice-President. The of ficers were chosén unanimously -as follows: President, E. F. Caton; Secretary-Treasurer, P. H. Spangen berg, while the district Vice-presid ents were respectively named by the delegation from each district and J. C. Verline, of Wallace; A. W. Kool, of Boise; A. H. Brown, Pocatello. The next meeting place will be Boise and the session will be called for the week following the opening of the next Legislative session. The entire delegation went to the steps of the State Capitol building, where a group picture was taken. are Wednesday's Session The morning session, Wednesday, was devoted to the presentation of resolutions and discussion of the same, which continued into the after noon session. In all 18 resolutions were adopted and these will be dealt with more fully in future issues of this Briefly summarized the paper. resolutions were upon the following subjects: Dealing with the unionizing of printing establishments. Concerning compulsory inspection of overhead electrical construction. A request that Central Organizer C. O. Young remain in Idaho to form all unions possible. Dealing with the emergency em ployment act. In the matter of gathering data concerning the minimum wage scale for women. Concerning the standardization of wages and hours of labor in all lines of work. To have the executive committee assume jurisdiction over the labor press and make it official organ of union laborers. In the matter of a law requiring an examination of steam plumbers and fitters. Notice -of labor's attitude on the Burnett immigration bill. Urging a workable compensation tion a success, others. act. Dealing with co-operation in ob taining favorable legislation. Urging, co-operation between the state federation and the farmers of the state. In the form of amending the law of direct primaries as to permit free expression of choice without declar ing party affiliation. Endorsing the Gem Worker as the only labor paper in Idaho and etitled to the support of all union members in the state. The thanks of the visiting delegates to the union men, their wives and families of Boise, and also to the citi zens who helped to make the conven E. F. Caton was elected delegate to the National A. F. of L. convention to meet in Baltimore and A. W. Muir was elected alternate. Under the head of good of the or der speeches were made by General Organizer Young. Russell C. Massey. Marcus Day and E. F. Caton and NIGGER IN WOOD PILE He Joker in Colorado Arbitration Law Now Disclosed William I.. Chenery in Chicago Herald Western Wisdom The nigger in the Colorado wood pile has at last been uncovered. The situation revealed would be comic if it were not so vastly important. For nowhere in these United States could one find a more perfect example of the unwillingness of a state to profit from even the most bitter experience. Many people imagined that the loss and ignominy and suffering which arose out of the coal strike two years ago had taught Colorado the essential lesson. An era of good feeling, it was hoped, ^vould supersede the bloody struggles of. the past. John D. Rockefeller Jr. seems to have evinced a genuine conversion, leaders, however, are of the old intol erant temper. They have just now given an amazing exhibition of their feeling. The minor When the coal strike was past the Colorado legislature appeared to he planning for the future. An arbitra tion act was adopted and industrial peace was promised for the long fu ture. That law has now been tested. Tt seems to possess the claws of the tiger. The peace it might bring would he the pax Romana, the undisturbed quiet of conquered people. The Colorado Way Several hundred I smeltermen at Leadville. Colo., struck a few weeks ago. According to the arbitration law they should have given thirty days' notice before quitting their jobs Governor George A. Carlson very much roiled by the strike, expressed his feelings in a proclamation which follows: was He warm "The striking smeltermen at Lead ville are guilty of a brazen and in solent defiance of that provision of the industrial law which compels thir ty days' notice to the industrial com mission before men can go out upon a strike. The strikers are foreign ers, and it was thought for a time that their ignorance of our language caused an inadvertent violation of this law's most important provision. "The industrial commission, there fore, requested the Austrian consul | ; to translate the law's provisions to amazement of all. knowledge of | 4k: fhe law met with insulting and defi ant refusal to obev it. action was surprising indeed, for heretofore both emnlovers abd cm This course of ! ploves have willingly abided by the law's provisions. The course of ac tion by men vho claim the coun try's protection and enjoy its ad vantages presents a most sinister as pect and calls for the firmest en forcement of the law's penalties. "I am informed that these men. be cause of their numbers, feel safe in their present criminal conduct. Thev are following foolish counsel, for, if the local police are unable to enforce the court's mandates, the entire ma chinery of the state government, if necessary, will be brought into ac CONTROL THE WATERTOWER (Milwaukee Leader) The United States Geological sur vey shows that the total available water powers in this country are cap able of doing the work of about 28, 000,000 horses. It just happens that this is about the total horse power now used in all the manufacturing Thus was organized the great State Federation of Labor with 27 unions affiliated with a membership of 1172, The meeting adjdurned sine die at 5:20 p. m. A smoker was held in the evening at Labor Hall, where speeches in a humorous and serious vein were made and a general social time enjoyed. The gavel used for the organiza tion meetings was a handsome one, made of Idaho wood and presented by the Carpenters' union of Twin Falls. Abe Frank and John Jedlick each presented the convention with a box of cigars. tion promptly and effetcively." Involuntary Servitude Compelling men to work is close to involuntary servitude, scqeuently Governor Carlson will probably collide with the United States Constitution—the Constitu tion sometimes goes in Colorado— if he actually attempts strikers back to the smelters. Bui forgetting the arrogance of the nor'» 1 very Con* to drive ths gover* medieval edict., consider for i moment its serious consequences. The strikers who wished to do sd have left the Leadville district, ac* cording to the announcement of th< American Federation of Lahor. Th« authorities were unable to àrrest 600 men at once on account of the lach of jails, and so contented themselveft with picking off a few ringleaders But the men are unorganized and' unable to speak English, and there fore those arrested are in a poor posi tion to defend themselves in court Governor Carlson and Attorney Gen eral Farrar may easily "make pies" of tfhem—unless the exam govern ment of Austria-Hungary intervenes. The only tiling which achieved, however, will he an injury to the cause of arbitration. The Colorado law. because of its friends ill be was under suspicion. Noiw it will have the active enmity of every labor Organization in the rountrv. Not only that, but honest, iitst svstems of I arbitration will also be Industrial tien bn-k into tbe distance, er-endine experience of a wolf in sheep's clothing. susnected. has been shoved Tt is the nev A Blow at Peace Last September the journeymen tailors of Denver wished to strike. Unlike the men in Leadville, the tail ors obeyed the law. Their griev ances were submitted to the state industrial commission, elapse of many months the commis sion has announced that the men have just cause of complaint. They ma y now ,cga,ly strike! The tailors 'experience also injures After the the cause of industrial peace. Labor | w ' 11 feel tllat arbitration is purely a ; scheme of gaining time, merely a | P ar t of the strategy used against the workers. The wrongs which are ! done, the follies which are counte nanced in Colorado, moreover, are paid for by many innocent communi ties. Quiet justice is harder to attain in Chicago because of injustices con summated at Denver. So it is that industrial war. like all war, is part of an endless circle. The bitterness which arose from the coal strike two years ago gave occasion to new irritations. These in turn pre pare the way for new strikes. Colo rado is storing up trouble for the nation because a few influential men are unwilling to let the past bury its evils. They insist upon exacting ven geance today, and tomorrow the in nocent will suffer. plants in the United States. Along with this information we are also told that at the present time about 15,000, 000 electrical horse power is generat ed in the United States for lighting, manufacturing, transportation and other pruposes. Of this about 6.000. 000 horse power comes from failing water. The federal government has the en gineers required to direct the building of the dams, the placing of the motors and the distribution of the power from these government owned water falls. Once this was done, the public would be intrenched in the strategic center of American industry. Elec tric power for transportation, manu facturing, light or heat, wherever used, would not only be a source of almost boundless revenue, but, far more important still, an instrument with which to control the industry which lives by use of this power.