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The labor journal. (Everett, Wash.) 1909-1976, December 10, 1909, Image 1

Image and text provided by Washington State Library; Olympia, WA

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88085620/1909-12-10/ed-1/seq-1/

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Mention the Journal to ths
merchant who solicits your patron
age through these columns.
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Every Evening 8:15, Matinees Saturday ana ounaay
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Overalls and etc., until
January 1, 1910
Whole O'Sullivan Rubber Heels . . 40c
Ladies' or Gents'
Half Rubber Heels eljC
Devoted to the Interest
Erdman Act Shown To Be a Very
One-Sided Proposition.
Erroneous Reports Are Sent Out
From Railroad Headquarters.
Mayor Daniel w. Law lor, who has
been engaged as counsel by the switch
men, gave to the press the following
si affluent :
"The railroad managers' committee,
fully realizing the tone of public opin
ion and fearing if, arc making a con
certed effort through newspaper items
and editorials to charge the switchmen
with unfairness because they have de
clined to submit to arbitration under
the Erdman act. The switchmen could
easily retort by saying truthfully that
the managers ale in no position to make
this complaint for the reason that the
managers from the very commencement
of the controversy have, refused to
make any advance or consider any sug
gestions relative to an increase in
wages. With regard, however, to arbi
tration under the Krdman law. anybody
who reads that statute will readily un
derstand why the switchmen have con
sistently refused to proceed under it. It
is a very catchy and taking proposition
to claim that where two parties have a
controversy they should he willing to
submit to arbitration. The arbitration
provided for under the Krdman law,
however, is hedged about with legal
provisions which would strip the switch
men of all power to legitimately press
their claims, ami it would put them
completely in the power of the railroad
companies. Admitting that the decis
ion were favorable to the switchmen,
tlie railroad companies, under section 4
of the Erdman law, could within ten
days after the filing of the award in
the clerk's office of the circuit court of
this district file exceptions and take
an appeal to the circuit court and if
the decision still went against them,
they could take an appeal to the cir
cuit court of appeals. This would delay
tin- final decision for a period of from
one to two years. It would be unlaw
ful for the switchmen or any member
of the switchmen's union to strike, or
in any way aid a strike. Under the
first proviso of Section of the act. it
is provided) 'That pending the arbitra
tion the status existing immediately
prior to the dispute shall not be
changed.' This means that during the
period just mentioned the switchmen
would be compelled to work at the old
schedule of wages and under all the eon
ditions of which they DOmpMbl. In
other words, if the switchmen were to
put their heads into this noose they
would be compelled to accept the pres
ent schedule and present conditions for
a period of from one to two years, and
WOllId) suircndier the (rigflit to strike
during that time. President Taft, when
a judge, said in one of "his famous de
cisions that the right to strike is one
of the most precious rights of man
hood and of citizenship. In view of the
operation of the arbitration clause of
the Erdman act, the switchmen would
lie untrue to themselves and to those
whom they represent if they accepted
it. The moment the public understands
that the switchmen have not refused
arbitration but have refused arbitra
tion under the Krdman act and have re
fused to commit suicide, the attempt
of the managers' committee to enlist
public opinion against the switchmen
will fail.
"MAYOR I). W. I.AW 1.1 H!.
"Attorney for Switchmen."
If the present strike shall be ol long
duration the general public trill near
■nrh Si this Hid man act. The news i
papers already have intimated that
this status will he invoked should the
threatened strike ol the trainmen ma
lerallzc. The public should l>ear in
mind the provisions of this act as ex
plained al>o\c and how one sided a law
it U'comes when fully understood.
No |sims are being spared by the
officials on both sides to present a
favorable case lie fore the jury—the
American public. It is fully realized
how important a thing is public senti
■Mai and that it bear* a veiy import
ant part in the final settlement of the
trouble. The defense of tlie railroads
is piteous. They say they cannot afford
to (>ay the increase dcmandisl and that
the employes are unreasonable and ar
hitary. This in spite of the fact that
railroad earning* in the past few year*
have liven phenomenal. No one knows
hotter than the railroad managers that
enough moiiev has been spent in the com
pa rati vely short time that the strike
has lasted ill cllorts to break the strike
to pay this increased demand for many.
Mitchell and Virginia Hotels Employ Japs.
Mr. Business Man, Where Would You Get Off If all Firms in the City Employed Asiatics?
many months. This has been true of
nearly all strikes, but the argument has
been advanced that to meet the <!<■
mands would tend to create arrogance
among the men and encourage them to
strike on any and all provocations. And
this argument is really believed by
many people who ought to know better.
Men do not strike because they have
a love of stirring up trouble. A strike
is not a long holiday hut a grim re
ality Weeks of idleness with wife and
children suffering is not enjoyed by the
striking men in overalls, hut is a ter
irihle sacrifice which they are willing
to make for the betterment of their
conditions and a consequent higher
standard of living for their loved ones.
Believe this, dear people, once and for
all, these men know what they are do
What are these men striking for? In
substance, for just this: One day in
seven to be spent as they see fit (and it
should bo theirs by all right), decent
hours of labor, and the same compensa
tion that skilled men in other indus
tries receive. And how their demands
have been misrepresented. Why, the
railroads said, they get ,*lO4 a month
now. Nothing about those days of
overtime required a month to earn that
imount. There are many men in the
railroad service who ,h> not see the
families for weeks and many more who
never see their homes by daylight.
These men want to out down those ex
tra hours of service and ask for an in
erase of six cents an hour that they
may work shorter hours without re
ducing their pay envelope. They ask
for a full hour for dinner —not as has
been represented for double t Ime for
the dinner hour but just for a full
sixty minutes and they exact a pen
alty for working into the sixth hour
only to insure that sixty minutes.
Preposterous, isn't it, that they should
make jsuch an unreabonajble demand.
How many skilled artisans would stand
for a noon hour cut in two? They ob
ject to being "Oslerizod" when they
reach the age of forty. Of course, the
railroad companies expect them to be
able to retire at that age with a compe
tence for life.
Do you think any of these demands
are unreasonable? Officials of the
switchmen's union are authority for the
statement that a conference was held
a few days ago in the city of St. Paul.
At that conference were representatives
of the switchmen's organization, rail
road representatives, American Federa
tion of Labor officials, the governor of
Minnesota, the mayor of St. Paul and
business men from Minneapolis and St.
Paul. Thq entire situation was gone over
in detail and at the conclusion of the
conference the concensus of opinion
among the business men present was
that the switchmen were both reason
able and just in their demands. Every
man with a sense of justice and who
wants to see the men who help to make
possible the successful o|w»ration of
these great avenues of commerce re
ceive the share of what they prodlic,
will agree thai men never struck in a
more just cause,
The switchmen have awful handicaps
to OVWOOme. They have only their la
lK>r power and the sympathy of their
friends to pit against all the resources
that millions of money can call to their
aid. All the old familiar WSSpOM that
capital knOWI M well how to us,- are
U>ing called into play. Strikebreakers.
I'inkertons. skillful press agents whose
million it is to poison the mind of the
general public through the columns of
tin- daily pres-. The same oh! stories
of deserting strikers All the men they
need. Trains moving as usual. Reports
intended, of course, to dishearten the
strikers and break the back of the
strike. And as usual, the corporations
of the country have heeded the distress
signal of the railroads. Within forty
eight hours of the inauguration of the
strike came the new* of factories elos
ing. mines shut down. Of course, they
were out of fuel, or out of supplies,
'with the strike but two days all it
I was only too obvious that the intent
! was rather to intimidate the woiking
I men of the country as well as the Imsi
ness interests by furnishing them with
a sample "I "hat they mig'lit e\|xvt
if the strike continued. Tin- monied
interests know well that it i» easier to
reach s man through his stomach than
to spend breath arguing the merits of
of Organized Labor
the controversy. Polities] campaigns
have natply demonstrated the wisdom
of the former course.
No fnr the switchmen have con
ducted themselves Admirably. They
proved they had an organization that
amounted to something when they an
swered the strike order to ■ man. There
have been no desertions, They have
established their headquarters and have
remained away from the railroad yards.
Tlie strikebreakers pni to work by
the companies and protected by armed
guards have 1 n and will continue to
be unmolested as far as the striking
switchmen are concerned The railroads
might as well save themselves the ex
pense of Pinkerton detectives as far as
danger of molestation to property or
person is concerned. The strikers have
adopted a course which must commend
itself to everybody except the railroads,
who would perhaps welcome an out
break, which would furnish an excuse
for the injunction, the friend of all
The local switchmen are standing
loyally by strike orders to a man and
are not worried by the importation of
strikebreaking switching news. Well
they know thai practical railroad men
do not engage in strike breaking. They
have 110 fear of winning this conflict
if outside interests give them fair play
and allow them to fight it out will) the
railroads. They only ask a square cut
of the cards and a chance to get their
side of this dispute before the public.
It is a campaign of misrepresentation
they fear not the truth about their
working conditions and what they are
fight ing for.
That the present strike may have
its complications, they admit. It may
be a long way to the end and if it is
much will depend! upon the attitude
of the men engage ! in other branches of
railway service. They have the sym
pathy of their brethren of the road in
this figlit. It has been hinted that
there i> some antagonism between the
switchmen and the railway trainmen,
but nothing could Ik> further from the
truth. The trainmen are with the
switchmen heart and soul in this fight
for better conditions. Put the time may
soon 0-trlve when this sympathy must
take more tangibly form and it is hard
to foretell what may happen. One
thing seems certain anil that i~ that the
railroad men generally have made up
their mind- thai this strike must be
won The railroad men in the different
organisations are bound by a common
cause and are coining closer together.
The tendency of tie time is toward
closer affiliation an.l it is not hard to
forecast one mighty railroad organiza
tion as tin' result of this conflict,
whether the present struggle be won
or lost. Kvents are moving rapidly in
the railroad world and upon the rail
road workers themselves will depend
the outcome of this straggle. Will they
stand or fall together is the question
that is agitating the minds of organized
labor everywhere. Which side are you
on in this struggle, the side of might
or right ?
Thursday pjorulng. Press reports
have it that between twenty sad thirty
striking switchmen returned voluntarily
to work in the Northern Pacific yards
at Hilly aid. Wash. The switchmen.
Iw ho are in constant communication
with all points affected by the strike,
'state that there is not a word of truth
in the report. Inasmuch as there are
only fifteen switchmen employed in the
yards at Ilillyard at normal time- it
would appear to the casual observer
kind of fanny that nearly twice the
nunilier of men out should go back to
' work. The press agent who concocted
that yarn had a vivid imagination.
One engine is at work this morning
in the local Northern Pacific yards I
with one strikebreaker. The Great
Northern yard engines are somewhat
batter equipped in point of numbers,
but the work these green strikebreakers
are trying to accomplish would make
the Qods wasp
The report sent out from the jobbers'
association of St. Paul that sixty-six
were at work in the >ards and
that traffic conditions were about nor
mal, sounds very fishy. It is apparent
that the St. Paul jobbers are making a
grandstand play for orders from west
em merchant s.
These reports are not worrying the
strikers as it is not hard to fathom
the motives for these reports. The rail
roads had the strike hroken seeording
to their own statements the second day
of the strike.
.lust what action the American Fed
eration of ljibor will take in this strike
is not definitely known The officials
I arc watching the situation very closely,
. however, and President Compels is in
Chicago conferring with other union
In an Important report made by Prof.
Irving Fisher, of Yale University, to
the National Conservation Commission,
and just issued by the government
printing office at Washington, it is ex
pressly and unequivocally stated that
the most careful investigations show
that the eight hour day results in a
higher individual and general efficiency
both as to quality and quantity of pro
duct. Professor Fisher say-:
"The present working day is a Strik
ing example of the failure to conserve
national vitality. In order to keep la
bor power unimpaired, the working day
should be physiological —i.e.. it should
be such as would enable the average In
dividual to completely recuperate over
night. Othrwise, instead of a simple
daily cycle, there is a progressive .Ie
terioration. A reduction in the length
of the work day would be a chief means
of improving the vitality of workmen,
as well as the worth of life to them.
"The fatigue of workmen is largely
traceable to their long work day and
serves to start a vicious circle. Fatigue
puts the workman in an abnormal
frame of mind. He seeks to deaden his
fatigue by alcohol, tobacco, exciting
amusement-, and excesses of various
kinds. The momentary relief which
he thereby obtains is purchased at the
expense of an increasing susceptibility
to fatigue, resulting sooner or later in
complete depletion of his vital energies
and in the contraction of tuberculosis
or other fatal disease. The decrease
in the length of the working day has'
not diminished the total output.
"An instance in which the eight hour
day superseded the nine hour day with
entire success is the ease of the Salford
Iron Works, of Mather * Piatt, at .Wan
chester. England, which changed to the
eight-hour day in 1803. As the, firm's
products were subject to keen compe
tition in both home ami foreign mar
kets, it was obliged to look carefully
aftf the labor cost, and its conclusion
that such cost did not increase in con-!
sequence of the reduction in working j
hours was reached after extremely ac
curate comparisons by accountants,
who of course took into consideration
the saving in consumables, wear and
tear. find. etc. The bureau of labor
inquired of Messrs. Mather & Piatt if
they were still on the eight-hour basis,
and received a reply* dated May 24.
11104. in which they stated that -
" 'Our experience since the first year
|in which it Ml ight hour system)
was tried has fully borne out the con
clusions then arrived ai. and we are
fully satisfied that as regards the com
parison between eight and nine hours
per day. the balance of advantages is
in favor of the shorter period, (a)
"•In ISU4. the hours of labor of
about 4.'t.lMH» workmen in British gov
ernment factories and workshops were
reduced to forty-eight hours per week.!
Of this lumber, ls.ooo received a re
duction of five- and three fourths hours
a week, and 24.300 had their time re
dined two and one-half hours a week.
With no change in pi rates the work
men were able to earn as much as
formerly. Day workers received an In
oreased hourly rate of pay to make
their earnings per irepk of forty-eight
hours equal to those per week of fifty
hours. It was not found necessary to
increase the number of day workers,
"In 1800 the owners of the great
Zeiss optical goods factory at bna.
Oermany. introduced the eight-hour day
( and them made careful records of the re
suits, in loo.'i it was announced that
although the aggregate number of hours
worked had decreased 15 per cent the
output per hour had increased 10.2 per
cent, (c)
"At LiegS it was found in a sulphuric
acid establishment similar to a foun
dry (bi that shortening the working
day from eleven hours to ten. from ten
to nine, and so on gradually down tec
The followng telegram was received at the local switchmen's Union
in the Labor Temple this afternoon:
Switchmen's Headquarters, St. Paul. Dec 9- 3 p. m.—Everything at
a standstill at Minneapolis and St. Paul, t ompanies arc trying to fill
places with strangers. No success. Condition;, bright. We shall win.
Is the official organ of the Trades
Council, and is read by the labor
ing men and women of Everett.
I saven ji»i i -half, resulted in each
i case, in an increase of the output.
"The Solvay Process Company, of
Syracuse, installed in 1802. a system of
three eight-hour shifts in place of the
two previous shifts of eleven and
I thirt|f%»n hours} respectively. It was
stated by the assistant general manager
lin 1005 that the change had consider
ably lessened the wear and tear on the
men, and that they could be called on
to do their work at their highest state
of rjffleiency, which had not been pos
sible on the two-shift basis. President
Hazard of the company writes:
"'ln general. I can say that the r
-nit- of the change from a twelve-hour
shift to an eight hour shift were vory
satisfactory and have continued to be
I so. While the immediate result was
!to considerably increase the cost pel
.unit of product, tin' efficiency of the
| men gradually increased, so that a'
| the -nd of about i ['•■ year the firs- in
crease has been nVIcoUM and the .- .si
per unit of product fell to a point ever,
lower than hail In en obtained Wider
the twelve-hour shift, and fnrthr i.
time consumed per unit of product h.i .
since been so reduced that we ate to
day Tiid for some lime hay been upd
ating with a suallci number of hours
per unit of product than we bad under
tiie twelve-hour shift.'"
"Further proof of the benejfits of the
three-shift daj is turuished by the rec
ords :t the Sohaj Mutual Benefit As
-.1 iat:on for 180] and 1004. The d.ys
I hut per man by si.-kness rjaeh year
'cli (rom se\ ' n ai:d one half days in
l!*T>l to five and one half days in 1004.
1 "It is not maintained that in all
i eases productivity will lie a- great in
eight hours a- in nine. Cases to the
contrary could also be cited. The point
to be insisted upon is not that it is
I profitable to an employer to make the
work day shorter, for often it is not.
but to show that it is profitable to the
nation and the race. Continual fatigue
is inimical to national vitality, and
however il may a I feet the commercial
profits of the individual it will in ttie
end deplete the vital resources on which
national efficiency depends,
"In the interests of this efficiency, a
longer time at noon for lunch is usu
ally necessary. The present economy
of lunch time is short sighted, tends to
food bolting, indigestion, a *iow sy and
'tired afternoon, and inferior work. This
has l«"jn shown by actual expeiienee.
"The accident bulletins of the Inter
state Commerce commission contain fre
quent records of disasters caused by the
! long hours of railway employes. Tn
a recent bulletin, No -7 two collision*
are attributed to the mistakes of em
| ployes who liavo been on duty much
longer than the Instinct of safety should
allow. CMlisatssj No. .'!. which killed
two and injured thirteen, was due to
the mistake of a station operator who
had been on duty from 7 a. in. to 3:30
p, tn. and who had returned to duty
at S p. m. The collission took place at
12:30 a. m.. the next morning.
Nothing but union made tobacco at
the Labor Temple cigar stand. Try the
Sew union made cigarette tobacco, Gold
FOR SALE—Ren 1 Estato Blanks Short
form for time transaction. News Pub
lishing Co.. 2012 Rockefeller Aye.
STAMP NO. 224.
(Published by order of Everett Trades
Cataract Market.
Market at 2000 Hewitt.
Market at 40th and Colby.
Crescent Market.
Washington Meat Market, corner of
Wetinure and California.
No. 47.

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