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The toiler. (Cleveland, Ohio) 1919-1922, August 20, 1920, Image 7

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88078683/1920-08-20/ed-1/seq-7/

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FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 1920.
Contracts, Consistency and-Organized Scabbery
By H. E. Keas.
From an editorial in "The Railroad Train
man," (official journal Brotherhood Railroad
Trainmen) January, 1918 number, pages 61, 62
and 63; (quoted in part, we take the following
"This seems to be the paramount idea.
Make the other fellow behave but let us do as
we like. It is unnecessary to say that this con
dition of mind leads to the unrest and dis
satisfaction that are causing much of the
trouble of this time.
"Our railroad employes are made the vict
ims of this sort of reasoning. The public re
alizes what discontinuance of railroad service
means and instead of following the course
usual in arranging its own difficulties so that
everybody may have an even chance in the ad
justment, it takes the position that railroad
employes must give service (emphasis ours.)
This is the flat decision without qualification.
That wages may not be equal to the cost of
a reasonable living or that service conditions
may have become unbearable do not enter into
the decision; all the public is interested in is
to keep the roads in operation
"As a fair sample of this sort of opinion
we quote: 'Permanent machinery for
virtually compulsory arbitration of rail
road wage disputes must be provided. The
fact that such machinery existed would
two-thirds Settle the problem, for it would
impose a steady counterbalance upon the nat
ural inclinations of the men to take full ad
vantage of their tactical position. Knowing
the question would come before an impartial
tribunal, with power to render a binding de
cision, they would not be likely to make de
mands that the circumstances did not justify.
" 'Knowledge that the men are not now
under such a restraint is naturally disturbing
to the public.' "
. "It reads well if one is not directly affect
ed nor particularly intersted in the welfare of
the men to be 'forced to work.' But analyze it
and see if it is as fair as it pretends. We
haven't 'yd; found that 'impartial' tribunal
"The railroad men have not taken full
advantage of their tactical position. They have
stood by their agreements and paid the price in
reduced living standards, but they cannot keep
it up and it is unfair to demand they be forced
to do so.
" 'A binding decision' reads well, but re
gardless of how it reads, men cannot be forced
to work against their will unless 'they are
sentenced,' which is exactly what the propo
sition herein quoted means....
"The railroad organizations cannot con
sent to lose' their only means of securing what
is fair. If they lose that right they lose their
bargaining power and become useless to them
selves; in fact, they become a menace to their
members." (Emphasis ours.) .
Excerpt from an article in "Christian Sci
ence Monitor," June 21, 1919, from its Cana
dian News Office, regarding action of brother
hood executives in "Winnipeg strike:
"James Murdock, vice-president of the
Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, has left
for Minneapolis and Chicago, where, he said,
he proposed to secure members of the organ
ization to "take the places of those trainmen
who went out contrary to the agreements of
the brotherhood. 'We have a membership of
186,000, and I can bring 5000 members to Win
nipeg to uphold our pledged agreements, if ne
cessary,' he said." (Emphasis ours.)
Signed statement issued April 9, 1920, at
Cleveland, Ohio, by chiefs of the four big trans
portation brotherhoods, denouncing yardren's
"The present strike of men engaged in
switching service was orginated in Chicago by
a new organization that has for its purpose
destruction of the Brotherhood of Railroad
Trainmen and Switchmen's Union and in its
inception has nothing to do with the wage
question, but was a demand for reinstatement
(Continue on page 14.)

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