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United labor bulletin. (Denver, Colo.) 19??-1915, October 08, 1909, Image 2

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Incorporating' Union Label League Bulletin
Published Weekly by
The Only Official Organ Endorsed and
Owned by Organized Labor in Denver. I
affiliated with State Federation of Labor.
This publication Is managed by the Busi
ness Committee of the Union Label League
of Denver, and has no other authorized
t The Business Committee reserves the
right ts reject any or all advertisements.
Business Committee.
A. Parish. August Beck. J. N. McKenzie.
Luella Simmons, E. R. Hoage.
Address all communications to
W. D. Henderson Secretary-Treasurer
P. O. Box 759. Fhone Gallup 267.
Individual Subscription SI.OO Per Tear
By Unions 60c Per Year
Publication Office 1748 Stout St.
Vol. IV. OCTOBER 8, 1909. No. 9
International Lea guc
League Ho. 1, Denver, Colo.
League Ho. 2, Pueblo, Colo.
League Ho. 3, Salt Lake City, Utah.
League Ho. 4, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
League Ho. 5, Kansas City, Mo.
League Ho. 6, St. Louis, Mo.
League Ho. 7, Minneapolis, Minn.
League Ho. 8, Peoria, 111.
On Friday night the Label League
held a very interesting meeting, the at
tendance being better than usual.
Upon reports of unions, the Garment
Workers reported signing up one more
place to use the label, the Bailey &
Allen shirt factory on Arapahoe street.
They took in 45 new members, which is
another great gain for their union. Mr.
Bailey of the Underhill-Bailey overall
factory bought an interest in the place
on Arapahoe street and immediately took
steps to have the factory adopt the use
of the Union Label. In so doing he
proves to the working people that he
desires to run a union place. He is not
only a fair-minded man towards his em
ployes, but proves himself a booster lor
Colorado, he not being like many of our
supposed public-spirited citizens —boost
by voice and then use goods bought else
where. In the stand that has been taken
by this firm all union men and women
should give them their support, and in
that way show our appreciation towards
those who are our true ana tried trie*.uo.
The goods this factory produces are
equal, if not superior, to any on tne mar
ket at the present time, so in purchasing
the same you know you will not be wear
ing sweatshop garments. So boost the
ones who are your friends.
We are also pleased to announce that
the Garment Workers’ Union was the
first to subscribe for the United Labor
Bulletin as a union, they sending in their
list before any committee waited on
them. Wish we had a few more like the
•Garment Workers.
The Machinists reported that they ex
pect to start out for an eight-hour work
day in the near future.
Credentials for delegates were receiv
ed from the Waiters’, Lithographers’ and
Bakers' unions.
The Bakers reported that their entire
membership had subscribed for the
United Labor Bulletin.
Brewers and Malsters’ and the Beer
, Drivers’ unions also reported having sub
scribed for the union paper.
BrooH Makers reported having taken
the Union Label away from the Craffey
broom factory on account of a cut in the
wages of the men.
The Waiters presented the following
communications from the management
of the White City and the head waiter
at that resort, which is self-explanatory.
The Cooks and Bartenders received simi
lar ones:
♦++ + ♦
Denver, Colo., Sept. 9, 1909.
Mr. J. W. Dolan, Business Agent Walt
ers’ Union, 1628 Stout St., Denver,
Dear Sir —Replying to your favor of
the Bth, I beg to advise you the service
of the waiters furnished by your Ix>cal
has been satisfactory this season.
Wc* have had very few complaints, and
the same has always been rectified to
our satisfaction, after you have investi
gated the cases. Like all large bodies
of men, there are some that are not de
sirable, as you well know. But those
cases have been so few that we are en
tirely satisfied with your services receiv
ed through your Local. Yours very
MENT CO., by Frank Burt, General
Denver, Colo., Sept. 11, juuy.
Board of Trustees, Waiters’ Union No.
14, Denver, Colo.:
Gentlemen—As the White City is clos
ed I, as head waiter, wish to thank you
and your organization and Mr. Dolan,
business agent, especially, for the
i I'iMNl II good judgment you have
used townnTH—ltu\ and the White City
management, in securing competent,
steady waiters, and extra waiters, some
thing you can he proud of.
The same crew opened the season
that was here to-day when it closed. I.
ns head waiter, tried to do justice to all.
I have no complaint to offer agalnsl any
one. If at any time 1 can do a good turn
tor anyone or for Waiters’ Union No.
14. I will he glad to do so. Sincerely
+++ + +
October 1, 1909.
To the Union Label League, Greeting:
At the last regular meeting of the
Denver Trades and Labor Assembly a
motion prevailed for the secretary to
send a communication to all local organ
izations, requesting each member thereof
lu assist the Plumbers, Steam fitters and
Helpers’ Union and all other organiza
tions to help to secure employment for
their members, especially those whom
the employers are fighting to establish
their open shop policy .and against the
The Trades Assembly earnestly re
quests .each and every organization to
ask at all times for and demand that
every man working at any kind of work
to see that he has a union card and ask
him to produce his card.
Please read this letter at least two con
secutive union meetings, and ablige, ira
ternally yours,
Recording Secretary.
+++ + +
President Geo. Hally of the local
Building Trades Council has left for
Tampa to be attend the National Build
ing Trades Council convention, which
convenes in that city October 11. This
is their second annual convention.
+ + + ■*■ +
Metal Trades Council meets the sec
ond and fourth Tuesdays at 432 Charles
building. President, Nicholas Ludwig,
756 South Sherman avenue; E. Muessle,
secretary. 1463 Yates street.
+++ + T
Sheet Metal Workers held a very im
portant meeting at Trades and As
sembly hall Monday night, and after a
very lengthy argument it was decided
that they would take Into their union all
skilled mechanics in the city that were
willing to mecome members. All of the
hoys are at work again and everything
looks very favorable for a successful
+++ + +
Tobacco Strippers held their meeting
at 5:30 Tuesday, in Cook’s hall. The
attendance was very large. There was
quite a lengthy talk about the seventh
annual ball, and the same was deferred
until their next meeting. The Label
League delegates were not present, but
a favorable action was taken in regards
to subscribing for the union paper, and
at the next meeting there will be final
action taken on the matter. Four new
members were admitted to the union.
Everybody working and union getting
along in nice shape.
(Continued from Page 1.)
12 positions on this track, and at each
|K)sition a group of men who perform
one step in the process of completing a
car. Every position is allowed, say, 20
minutes. If the gang at position eight
is slow or has difficulties in getting out
its stunt it holds up the whole proces
sion, and every man in the earlier posi
tions loses time. Gang eight always
wants car B from gang seven the min
ute it is through with car A; and gang
seven always wants gang eignt to be
through with car A by the time it fin
ishes car B, so it can take car C from
gang six. If time wages were paid, and
a car erected in a stationary position, all
the delays would fall on the company,
and only constant prodding from a fore
man would keep a loafer or a greener
at high speed. By means of piece v ages
and a track down the erection aisL, one
gang drives another. The installation
of such a system, even in a few depart
ment as was done at McKees Rocks,
was bound to provoke some friction at
the start.
"But pessing, punching, and riveting
steel plates of all shapes, is not so easy
to reduce to a piece rate standard, as
the tonnage which runs through all de- ;
pahments of a steel mill; therefore the 1
piece-rate pooling system was installed,
•formerly the men were paid, ana some
i still are paid, by straight piecework
either as individuals, or in small gangs
of two or three men. A price card was
lasted so that by keeping track of how i
many pieces they turned out, they would 1 1
know how much was coming to them at 1
the end of a fortnight. There two or
three men worked together, this would
Oe divided between them according to i
the hourly rating of each.
“The first attempt of the company was ;
to lump all the men in general pools;
but this was abandoned. At the time of
the strike there were about fifty-two
pools, ranging from 10 men to 150 each. ,
The track system with 380 men was split
into three pools. Each man in a pool
was rated at so much an hour. This rat
ing, the company states, was a minimum,
which he would get ir any event if he
put in full time. In most cases, I take
it .all the riveters in a pool had the
same rating; similarly all heaters, help
ers, etc. What more eacn man made be
yond his rating, depended on the gross
work turned out by his whole pool.
Workings of the Pooling System.
"The charges brought by the men
against the way the Pressed Steel Car
company applied this system are many
and definite. Since the strike, the com
pany has offered to look into and adjust
any ease of individual grievance brought
before it, but has flatly refused to take
them up before an impartial board of ar
"In tli* first place, the men charge that
they have no means of checking up what
is coming to them. No piece rates are
posted ns under the old system. They ;
<*on’t know what the pool is going to get ,
per piece for any of the work Jtdoes.
nor the lump sum due it at the end
fortnight. They claim the hourly rating
is not a guaranteed minimum; that many
of the men have received pay far under
what they understood their rating to be,
and that foremen and superintendents
have refused to tell others what their
rating was. Further, it is alleged, that
where a lump sum is paid for a series of
operations done by different gangs in
completing a car, no money is paid any
of the gangs until the whole series of
operations is completed. As some pools
have included as many its 300 men, it is
manifestly impossible for the men to
keep track. Their pay envelopes show
on the outside merely the check number,
and the amount inside —neither the
man’s rating nor the number of hours
he has worked, nor the hours due him
under the piece pool system, nor tne
amount arbitrarily deducted from his
earnings by the company for insurance.
Rumors that foremen put dummy names
on the pool sheets have been current,
and the charges of graft which have
been common talk for years in McKees
Rocks, are not of the sort to give the
men off-hand confidence in the account
ing department. So far as checking up
their pay envelopes goes, they claim
they could be cheated out of their eye
teeth by the company—or by any dub
of a bookkeeper. And the company has
taken the position that if they did not
like what was in their pay envelopes
they could quit.
“In the second place, the men charge
that the pool piece system as it has oeen
put in force in Shoen is a heads-I-win
tails-you-lose proposition. The company
never stands to pay on a car more than
the fixed labor cost which it wants to
pay. Thus, one gang may do its work
on a certain part. If another gang spoils
that part, the first gang loses also on the
spoiled piece. ‘The pool’s paying for it’
—that is the cry in the mills. ‘Here’s a
gang foreman makes a mistake, said
one of the strikers’ committee to me.
‘Say he hasn't read his blue print proper
ly, and the gang has to tear out the'
rivets. That’s the fault of the company’s |
agent, isn’t it? Well, the whole pool
has to suffer. I know of a case wuere
15 or 20 sides of a car were misriveted
because the foreman made such a mis
take. “O hell,” he said, “that’s in the
j pool.’’ Another time, the center-sills on
some cars for a Mexican railroad had to
oe cut apart to place the draw bars in.
The men weren’t to blame, but it went
onto the pool. The pool’s got to right
all mistakes.’ Again, say 50 men are
working in a pool. Every 10 men oper
ate a machine and one machine breaks
down. It may be the fault of the men
operating it, or it may be a flaw in the
machine. In either case, their lost time
comes out of the pool. On the track sys
tem not one gang, but all would be held
up; and the pool would lose. The same
if there’s a shortage of material. These
are the men’s charges. Officers of the
company told me that they didn't have
shortages of material, that parts of the
machines could he quickly replaced, jjfnu
that if there was a long tie up of a gang,
it would be laid off so the lost time
would not fall on the whole pool. Presi
dent Hoffstot, however, when I /put the
case of the 50 men, five machines and
one broken, to him, could see nothing
unjust in making the 40 other men bear 1
the lost time instead of the
‘They want all the fat and none of the j
lean with it,’ he said. Those were part i
of the terms under which ;i man was em- 1
ployed in. the Pressed Sieel Car com
pany. The inference here again was
that if he didnt like it, he could quit.
“Besides not knowing what money
was coming to them, and feeling that the
company was taking some that was j
theirs, the men were sore at what they I
individually got. Here was a man witn ;
five years’ experience, who claimed he
drew out of the pool the same pay as a.j
greenhorn, no matter how much work he
turned out; there a machine runner on
a still machine who two pays ago re
ceived less than the heater boy who
worked with him; here again men run
ning the same machines, the same hours
and drawing different pay. The strikers’
committee collected a large number of
pay envelopes, showing the amounts re-!
ceiverl .and taking the men’s statements
as to the number of hours they had
worked. Some of these cases were pub
| fished, and the company in reply stated
that its books showed the men worked
1 less time than they claimed. The men
had no books.
"This wage trouble was not in any
one group. It ran from yard laborers
up. A pressman, who had been five years
In the works, told me he earned SSO,
$55 and S6O a fortnight under the old
system. His last few pays ranged lrom
$22 to S2B.
"Under the name of the Fidelity Land
company the Pressed Steel Car company
owns 200 double houses in Schoenville.
These rent for sl2 a month for four
rooms, well ventilated, but without water
in the houses. The rent money is taken
out of the pay envelope of the boarding
boss; and when this is not enough, the
claim is made that it has been taken out
of his lodger’s pay. A laborer can not
afford to rent one of these houses unless
lie fills it with lodgers. That is their
purpose—lodging houses. To quote Mr.
“ ‘The house boss is the representative
of the company who is in the most im
mediate touch with the foreign element.
He is the “pasha” of Hunkeyville. The
opportunity for extortion is ready to
hand and the fact that a number of
noiise bosses have been discharged in
dicates that the officials tried to cope
with the situation hut without success.
One house boss had himself made jus
tice of the peace, and in that position
made money hand over fist.. Another was
a specialist in women. A third invemea
a new source of revenue. Whenever a
wedding, or christening, or other festiv
ity. was held in one of the company’s
When a Merchant Stands for Union
Principles, He Deserves the Patronage of
Union Men.
We are Union Men and All of our Men’s Shoes
Bear the LABEL.
819 Sixteenth Street
houses, he collected $6 as a special fee.’
“Similarly, a constant source of irri
tation to the foreigners, has been their
treatment by the special company police.
Mr. Koukol cites instances also where
fees were demanded of ignorant work
men for certificates to secure benefits
under the insurance system instituted
by the company in May.
“Enough has been said to indicate the
temper with which the men resented
what they believed to be the gouging of
their pay envelopes.
“The reports of violence have been as
greatly exaggerated as the reports pub
lished by some newspapers, that the
Pressed Steel Car company kills a man
a day in its works. Ten men only were
killed in these works the year the Pitts
burg Survey studied accidents in Alle
gheny county. The company, however,
has a general reputation for considera
tion of Hunkie-llfe, very much in keeping
with the contempt it accords its em
ployes industrially—as machine tenders,
rather than men. These employes it Had
gathered from the four ends of the earth;
and it had seen to it that there was no
trace of unionism among them. The
strike was of unorganized men, and at
the start no man had any more contro;
over the action of his neighbor than i
have over a crowd on the street. State
police and deputy sheriffs were called
in; stones and shots were exchanged; a
score of men were jailed and five men
lay in the Ohio Valley hospital.
Strike of the Unorganized.
“I visited McKee’s Rocks a week later,
and throughout that week remarkable
order had been observed by the strikers.
They had held great outdoor meetings
daily without surveillance or outburst
of any sort. These meetings were in
tne open, a mile from the works, un a
ridge of ground overlooking the Ohio
I river, known as tne Indian Mound. Here
i one, two. three thousand men sat on the
ground in a circle, while men on a saw’
horse, with a little American flag stuck
on a stick, addressed them in four, five
and six languages. However, it started,
and however it was o end, this was on
that day, a strike o: peace—of the na
tions together. And not the lease won
derful element in the situation was the
five or six men of the American commit
tee. in the circle of foreign faces. They
1 /io,. neiHir. Ai/zvif the Hunkios be
fore. Some of them had not struck.
Most of them had been repair men and
electricians, not affected by the i>ooling
system. They were there wdth the Slavs.
‘They have? got the w’hole of us to fight
now,’ was the way C. A. Wise, the chair
; man of the American committee, put it.
(He was in the axle department, and not
j affected by the pools.) ‘We are trying
to be men among men.’ ’’
! This description from an impartial in
vestigator gives a clear idea of the sys
tem pursued by the company. “The right
to quit" was the only one the men could
use in order to call the attention of the
public to their wrongs. It was evidently
a surprise to the company when the men
! utilized that right en masse Instead of
I individually.
There was no excuse on the part of
the company for such treatment of the
j men. All the railroads are feeling the
stimulus of more prosperous conditions
and are placing heavy contracts for steel
cars. This business of building steel
cars is practically a monopoly in the
hands of three or four companies.
The newspapers recently mentioned
that one railway alone had placed orders
for more than $7,000,000 worth of new
, equipment and another great road lor al
most an equal amount.
Does anybody suppose that the steel
companies have any difficulty in secur
ing good prices from the railroads? Cer
tainly not. There is no reason on earth
why they should not treat their men fair
ly as to wages and conditions of work,
and there is every reason why they
should and yet have ample profits.
The inhuman system of driving men
like cattle, underpaying them and ref*is
ing to listen to their grievances and to
adjust their wrongs, is eventually ruin
ous to the employer as well as the men.
Were the grievaces of these employes
of the steel company adjusted according
to modern peaceful methods, the com
pany would escape a costly strike and
earn even greater dividends than under
a system of oppression.
What seems to he needed is a man
ager with a strong intellectual grasp of
modern industrial conditions and fore
men who will be made to realize that
their jobs depend upon fair treatment of
the men.
Labor efficiency is a peculiar problem.
Unless the highest efficiency is secured
the capital invested in a big plant will
not bring in the best results. Labor ef
ficiency being n human attribute is se
cured by recognizing that workmen are
not machines, but something far more
subtle and complex. Tbe best labor re
sults are secured from fairly paid men,
who work reasonable hours, are sure of
their jol* as long as they do good v/ork;
men *vho have the right to organize and
who are Invited to bring any grievance
to headquarters with the certninty that
if will ho adjusted, and they will not be
dfscrmlnated against for doing inis.
When workmen are treated ns rational
beings they register the highest point of
labor efficiency. They take an interest
in their employer and help to build up
his business because he sets the example
of taking an interest in them. Discon
tented, overdriven, and underpaid work
men never give the highest labor ef
ficiency. It is impossible that they I
Bnlghtened employers seek to secure
labor efficiency by treating their em
ployes fairly. They remove nine-tenths
of the dangers and losses of strikes by
removing the causet which would lead
the workmen to suc.i extreme action.
On the other hand, the men are in no
position to meet the exigencies oi mod
ern employment unless they are organ
ized into unions and are jointly responsi- !
ble for carrying out whatever they prom
ise to do.
The employer who rightly understands
modern condition of labor prefers to '
weal with the representatives of the j
union of his employes. He recognizes
the impossibility of dealing successfully
with an unorganized mob. The union
is his protection and safeguard just as j
much as it is the men's. The union is
the employers’ guarantee against hasty
strikes and irresponsible action by the
men. Wlhen these Slav workmen organ- j
ize unions—as they surely must —they i
will be able to secure arbitration anu aa- !
justment of their wrongs without strikes.
True, an employer must be honest anu
just as ready to deal fairly with his men
when he recognizes their right to organ- i
ize and confer with him, hut what em
ployer will admit that he desires to he j
Acceptance of unionism means the
peaceful adjustment of grievances, but
it also means great increase in labor ef
ficiency and the saving of the immense ,
expense of such strikes as that at Me- !
Kee's Rocks.
The public is concerned in the keeping j
of industrial peace. This was most forci- |
bly brought to the attention of the tax- |
payers of McKees Rocks. For instance. :
if 6,000 strike-breakers were brought in |
the 6,000 on strike—and their families — !
were likely to become public charges. I
This was not a pleasant vision to the !
average citizen of that community.
The county had to bear the expense
°f the mounted constabulary. The stat* I
would have borne the expense of the |
militia had it been called out.
Finally, the taxpayers—merchants and !
citizens in other walks of life and hav- j
ing nothing to do with the steel plant—
were liable if the property of the com
pany was destroyed.
All these things tended to accentuate
interest in the strike and helped to form
public opinion. The Slav workmen weie
not the only ones who condemned the !
steel company for Its assertion that its !
business was strictly its private concern j
and it would do as it pleased.
The company makes this blustering j
assertion, yet at the first hint of trouble
brought about by its own mismanage
ment. expects the city and county to pro
tect It and foot the bill
The time is coming when the public
will inquire In case of such strikes.
What was the provocation? Who gave
it? It will punish the one who gave the*
provocation, not the one who had man
hood enough to resent Injustice.
Much might be said of the pending
struggles of the organized workers with
the steel company and with other com
binations, but these are the struggles of
men who have already vindicated their
right to organized unions—men who are
trying to uphold a standard of American
living won through unionism. They will
win, because no more than temporary
defeat is possible for them. It is the
strange and hopeful spectacle of these
unorganized Slav workmen finding cour
age to strike, which rivets the attention
of those who study industrial develop
ment. They, too, will organize unions,
and In that lies their best hope for the
♦♦♦ ♦ ♦
Smoke the I>a Belle cigar and boost
home industry.
♦♦♦ ♦ ♦
Man comes into the world withomThis
consent, and leaves It against his will.
During his stay on earth, his time is
spent In one continuous round of contrar
ies and misunderstandings. In his in
fancy he’s an angel, in his boyhood he’s a
devil; in his manhood he is everything
from a lizard up; in his duties he’s n
damn fool; If he raises a family lie’s a
chump; if he raises a check he’s a thief,
and then the law raises hell with him;
if he’s a poor man, he's a poor manager
and has no sense; If he’s rich he’s dis
honest, hut considered smart; if he’s a
politician he’s a grafter and a crook; If
he’s out of politics you can’t place him
as he is an undesirable citizen; If he
goes to church he’s a hypocrite, if he
stays away he’s a Hlnnor; If ho donates
to foreign missions he does it for show,
if he doesn’t he’s stingy and a tight
When he first comes into the world
everybody wants to kiss him; before he
goes out they all want to kick him. If
he dies young there was a great fortune
before him; if he lives to a ripe old ngc,
then, of course, he’s living to save fun
eral expenses.
Life’s a funny thing, isn’t It? —Ex.
MERIT and a SQUARE deal
Endorsed by Denver Trades and Labor Assemble. Union Label
League, Denver, No. 1.
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