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United labor bulletin. (Denver, Colo.) 19??-1915, October 22, 1909, Image 1

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INJUNCTION REFUSED—A GREAT
VICTORY FOR ORGANIZED
LABOR.
As announced in our last issue, we '
would publish the court's decision in full ,
where the Master Plumbers' association ,
prayed for an injunction restraining the
Plumbers’ and Steam Fitters’ unions ;
from attempting to get Btrike-breakers
to quit their jobs, and also fighting
against the open shop. We herewith pub- i
lisb Judge Allen's decision in full. This ,
is the first time in the history of our ,
country where the court attempts to stop
proceedings in the beginning and sug
gests that the parties to the controversy
get together and settle the same by arbi
tration. but the same could not be done
and Judge Allen’s decision follows—a
great victory for organized labor:
STATE OF COLOR AIX),
SB.
CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER.
IN THE DISTRICT COURT.
No. 47306.
THE JOHNSON & DAVIS PLUMBING
AND HEATING COMPANY. ET AL
AND MASTER PLUMBERS OF
DENVER. COLO., Petitioners.
VS.
THOMAS E. BURKE. GENERAL OR
GANIZER LOCAL UNION NO. 3.
AND THE UNITED ASSOCIATION
OF JOURNEYMEN PLUMBERS.
GAS FITTERS. STEAM FITTERS
AND STEAM FITTERS’ HELPERS
OF THE UNITED STATES AND
CANADA. A VOLUNTARY ASSO
CIATION. ET AL.. Respondent*
BE IT REMEMBERED. That upon, to
wlt. the 7th day of October. A. I). 19<»9.
the same being one of regular Juridical
da>s of the September. A D. 1909. term
of t-aid court, this cause came on regu
larly for hearing on the petitioners' ap
plication for un injunction herein, the
parties hereto appearing by their resp«-ci
iv«* counsel, and after th« settling of tbe
pleadings and Iwfore the introduction of
evid* nee. the lion. George \V Allen.
Judge of said court, before whom said
cause was being heard, made the follow
ing statement, to-wit:
"The court desires to make some com
ments with reference to this matter, that
we may be fairly understood.
"The court observes that it is probably
the case thst th** parties interested in
this litigation misconceive the practical
results of any orders that the eourt might
make in the premises in this case The
court Is led to make these sugg< -lions
from the scope of the complaint and the
answer filed The court observes the
Impossibility, the futility of the court of
endeavoring to t«k«* testimony upon all
these various matters that nr** presented
In the bill of eotuplalnt and the answer
thereto, with any hope of determining
the important controversy and the ques-,
tions of dispute which appear to have
sent, the parties in Interest In this case,
to court
"This court may make orders requiring
individuals and corporations to obey the I
law. to desist from violating the law. and
the court may make orders which have j
for their object the prevention of a'
breach of the peace, of intimidation or of .
the unlawful Interference with the per
sonal rights and privileges of another, i
In other words, the court may make such
orders requiring nil persons to behave
properly nnd respectfully toward each
other, nnd to require each Individual to
obey the law. forbid him from violating
the law nnd requiring him to conduct
himself townrd others with propriety.
Such things the court may order.
"The court apprehends that such or
ders would fall far short of settling and
determining the controversies that ap
pear to exist between these unions and
the various Individuals making up the
unions, and the various Interests that are
Involved In this litigation
“I do not desire that the parties in In
terest will misapprehend what the court
may do, the results and consequences.
"These pleadings present serious ques
tions to the court—questions which this
court cannot determine; and when this
court shall have finally finished the
cause— whenever this court has made
whatever final order It may make in the
case, according to the presentation made
by the bill of complaint and the answer
filed herein, all of the parties In Interest,
on both sides, will go from this court with
no nearer a solution of the troubles that
have been the occasion of this contro
versy than they are near of solution to
day.
"A well organised, a lawfully conducted
labor union Is a benefit, to the laboring
Interests of tho community, of the state
and of the nation.
vitally Interested In lnbor unions. The
business Interests of tlie country, In a dif
ferent degree, nro alike Interested In the
organizations of the country, nnd tills vi
cinity nnd this community, called unions.
UNITED
Labor Bulletin
Boost the Label
VOL IV.
The business methods and the manner of
conducting their business affairs, is, gen
erally, stable. It is built upon a founda
tion which has, for its principal element
and characteristic, the Just and fair deal
ing between labor and capital—between
the business Interests and the laboring in
terests. It Is. generally, as ft is conduct
ed in each and every community of this
state, founded upon propositions that
have been considered, well matured, and
which are regarded as the safest, the
best, the most productive of harmony, the
most productive of prosperity; and it is
in the recognition of aggregations of cap
ital. for strength, it is in the organiza
tion and aggregation of labor for strength,
and Its protection, and it is with a view
that each shall deal fairly with one an
other. It is with a view that labor
unions—plumbers' unions, carpenters'
unions—that each and all of the unions
! composed of persons engaged In the vari
ous trades, vocations and business af
fairs. organizing themselves into unions,
shall conduct such unions with fair and
proper consideration and the construction
of all these various interests —the union
itself, and the various interests involved
in this action, and they have to do with
all the business interests in this com
munity. They can do for good or bad. ;
just as they please and have force and
♦-fleet eitner way. They can have well
i organized unions, as is contemplated, reg
ulated and conducted according to law.
or they can have unions that are disor
ganized. In which there are domestic
troubles, in which the parties composing
jthe union cannot agree. The} have
trouble. It is not the proper way to do
business. I have no doubt, to start with,
thut the intention of all is to do right.
That is what they should do; but they
i»re not mtffirli ntly with one
another.
"Such controversies as this will tend to
■ \our prejudice as unions, as individuals,
as business nun, concerning ail the in
ti rests which you represent. It will all
, i.e detrimental to you. whatever the or
-1 d« rs may be In this case, unless you rec
< noth’ them among yourselves in some
way. Unless you can go along in har
mony. the unions will disintegrate; they
will lose their influence; you will, each,
as a union, lose your strength: you will
lose your respect for the community that
you live in. among the trades, among
business men You will lose respect for
one another, because you cannot live in
l*eac«* and harmony, and you cannot ptos
jh t . You will become disheartened, your
unions will become disrupted and you
will all l»e separated and broken up ami
the general interests from the country.
, from a business point, and in every way.
! w ill have to be reorganized under such a
! state of facts.
"Now. tlie court cannot reach these
i things at all Do not be deluded and de
ice! ved. These controversies presented by
this complaint and this answer, are such
that you gentlemen ought to go and settle
' among yourselves, it is the only way that
i >ou will ever, satisfactorily to yourselves.
I determine these questions. It is the fit
I and proper subject for arbitration among
1 you people who are Interested in this
cause. What is the use of taking your
time? Ixjok at tlie number of people who
appear to lie interested in this coin ro
vers} you of the various interests in this
community, that each and all represent
and must lie Interested! Think how seri
ous this controversy is to yourselves in
dividually, your business and trade. Why
don’t you reconcile It ?
"Now. the advice of the court is that
you go away in peace and go and com
promise all these matters that are troubl
ing you, apjioint some committee or some
body to hear your troubles, that are in
terested in your affairs, that will take an
interest and look Into It. that will be un
prejudiced and unbiased and will try to
Intelligently settle these controversies
between you? It Is not only In the Inter
ests of yourselves, but in the Interest of
the things that are most dear to you, the
growth and prosperity of this community
In which you live —because, without such
growth ami prosperity your business is
not profitable, either as a laborer, artisan,
business man. contractor or whatnot.
You do not know what you nro doing.
You are not sufficiently serious of the re
sults and consequences of such contro
versies. I am afraid you have not seri
ously considered these things. I hope
you will..
“There Is not a thing set up. In either
the bill of coniplnlnt or tho answer, but
what Intelligent, impartial, fair-minded
nnd honest men could settle among them
selves without appealing to the court;
nothing but fair-minded arbitrators could
dot ermine fairly and honestly between
man nnd man among nil the parties In
DENVER. COLORADO, OCTOBER 22, 1909
1 forested in this controversy, without your t
coming to court —a place where you w’ill t
get no satisfaction with reference to <
these matters in which you are most i
deeply Interested. Do not be deceived, l
because the court may issue an iiijunc- s
Lion requiring A and B to behave them- t
selves, requiring them to bbey the law, 1
requiring them to desist from interfering i
witli their neighbors in violating the law
and desist from intimidation. All these £
things the law justifies the court in in- :
terfering with.
“Even though the court does these i
things, of what avail is that to you? What s
avail is it to a man to order that he shall I
not steal, that he shall not lie, that he c
shall not commit any of the offenses i
known to the law ? Nothing, except, per- t
haps, to require that individual to behave (
himself.
"Suppose the court issues an injunction t
requiring a union to behave itself, ana 1
all of the members thereof —what has
, that to do with the business interests i
that are involved in this controversy? It 1
does not reach it. What fruit does it c
bear, that is of any aid or sustenance? i
None whatever. It will be said. Well. I
this side can go on then and do business <
as it pleases.’ That sort of liberality is |
not what you are here after, at all. That ]
is not what you want. You know that ‘
you have got to have a business inter- t
course and business relation with the !
other side, in a manner that will be sat- t
isfactory to you and your business, else i
results are not accomplished. And it L <
the same way with the other side, to- <
. : wards you.
"Now. if it is the desire of all these j ]
l parties for this court- to go to work ana
■ investigate this matter, the court will M
. undertake to do it fearlessly and will un- i
dertake to discharge its duty fearlessly i
' when it gets through.
: i "The oourt has seen fit to make these <
■ j voluntary suggestions as it believes, in t
i the general interests of all and for the
• good of all that are interested in this
• cast*. If you are willing to take these
Miggesttons and abide by them. I am sure
* | It would be the beat thing you could ail
do. If you do not wish to do so and would
' prefer that the court shall make this in-,
. i vestigation today, as it can. under the i
■ ! law. we will proceed with the case. But
! I when you get through, you will hold your
■ 1 peace. You will obey the law. all of you.:
1 but you will not be satisfied. It will not |
* I have accomplished that which you all de
sire*— harmony, good fellowship among j
! your unions, in all of the business inter-J 1
• i ests in this community. You will not be j 1
I j satisfied with any of these things, when
.the court gets through, but you will prob- J
’ j ably obey the orders that this court ma> |
" I make.
i j "Now', what will you do? if you want
to go and arbitrate this matter, the court .
r will give you an opportunity to do so." j
1 After statements by counsel for the re- j
i apective parties hereto, the respondents ;
. j accepting the suggestions made by the
. court and the petitioners rejecting the j
i same, the court made the following re- i
. marks:
’ "The very interesting and somewhat j
animated remarks of counsel on both
; sides, tend to confirm the court iu its i
1 judgment as to the suggestions made this ;
‘ morning, that it is a matter that should ;
i be arbitrated —arbitrating and settling j
. not only the matters that the court may j
i try in this case and determine, but all j
: of the matters which appear to be in con- j
s troversy between the parties in interest. |
r ■ The court believes it should be done. The |
) court is willing to insist that it shall bo .
- done. The court is willing to asstime the j
* responsibility of directing that it be done, j
L and an opportunity will be afforded the
- parties in interest in this case, to get to
gether now, when court adjourns for tho
' noon hour, nnd appoint a board of arbi
tration and settle these controversies,
t which I am confident would be in the in
- terests of all concerned.
“In this world the last person that a
man ought to undertake to fool, is him
self. He may try to fool other people,
i but he should never fool himself, if ho
- knows he is doing it.
> “That is about the position that the
» parties are occupying in this case. They
- are fooling themselves if they do not go
i and arbitrate these matters and settle
*■ these controversies. I know enough about
the business Interests of this community
i to know that that is what you all need
* today, more than anything else. It is of
. very little satisfaction to you to make
• faces at your neighbors, or accuse your
. neighbor of doing wrong or saying that.
- in a quarrel or controversy between your
- selves, the other fellow is to blame.
- There Is very little satisfaction In.that;
* but there is some satisfaction in promot
ing your business interests, atul I know
• what will promote your business inter
ests. You are blinded to your own inter-
I ests. or you would go and do this.’’
"The court is making these suggestions
voluntarily nnd In your Interests. You
I enn accept them as such, or not. Just as
i you think proper. They are made In good
faith. You are not looking at these ques
tions impartiajty '.and In your own inter- i
ests. I am sntiafk d both sides to this i
controversy anp Winded in their respect- i
ive interests, •• been doing wrong, i
both of you. ajad I am satisfied, from the (
statements tuAde your attorneys, i
while you nuiwnot. any of you, have vio- t
lated the law, chat yo j have been wrong- i
ing yourselve® f
Now, go and|prMtrale this matter. Your l
attorneys on either side are willing that j |
you should. The ®ourt understands their i
duty. They aroi each, trying to discharge i
it faithfully anß tjpey will continue to do i
so. in accordanceiwith your suggestions, i
If you tell them lo go on and try this
case, they will prop - d and they will work .
faithfully for you. Rut when they get
through, remember vs hat the court has
suggested to you.
“It costs you ttfjrtiri: g. tnese scattering .
remarks that the {court is making, but I ,
hope they will sell you to thinking. ' (
"I want to to you people
who are interesfljjd in the business af
fairs In Denver, 1 with home, the resi
dences of and your families,
where you expect%o continue to live and
prosper and raisefyour children and edu- ,
cate them, wherewou hope to be in pros
perity. now, then, continuously—where
you hope for prosperous business in this
community. I want :o say to you that all
the people have llgeir ♦•yes upon you. and
you, you plumber*, you business men in ,
the plumbing busttiess. you artisans, you
mechanics, your employes, all of you, the
community wants sou to settle this mat
ter. and you are a part of this community.
What is the interest of the balance of the
people, is your interest also.
"The difficulties that the trades and
the business interests of this community
are in and have seen since last spring j
are commonly observed and generally
commented upon,’ and it is not only a
detriment, but it 1* an absolute nuisance
to thi6 community and you are the peo
ple that are responsible, in part, for this
public nuisance arid the troubles that ex
ist now in the traftes and different voca
tions and industries in this city and com
munity. You knr-* it bpH you know the i
i court is telling you the truth, and you
■ are all. hiore or less, to blame, and there
' are many more, outside, that are just as
i much to blame as ;ou are. and it is time
that you had some sense and some good
I judgment. You are, none of you. making
S any money—excuse me for publishing
! your business, but you know it. You are
losing money. Why? Because of these
I controversies in this community. You are
j distracting, disheartening capital in this
! community when it is in the interest of
I all you to promo! the investment and the
credit of the city You are injuring the
j business interestj- and that is not your
desire. You are .Rowing your passions
and your prejudit -s to control you. You
; are not rational, ny of you—that is the
| plainest way to put it.
Now, begin to ook within yourselves.
Take the beam out of your own eyes be
! fore you underta eto remove the mote j
from your broth 's eye. lx>ok within
! yourselves. your business. Throw
; aside your prejm ces. Go to work and ;
! arbitrate this ma er like good, law-abid-'
j !ng citizens, like people who are inter- 1
' os ted in the busii *ss affairs of this com
| munity. You wil be pleased with it. I
iam satisfied, in : >ur business interests
| You will command more respect among
' your neighbors for having done so. The
j community at lar e. as well as the busi
j ness interests, w; l approve of it and be
| glad to hear it. V hy. they would be fair
■ lv ringing bells f r joy. in this commu
; nity if they could lear. or if all the news
papers could pub'ish truthfully that all
I these labor troubl s and controversies in
Denver had been settled, that there were
no internal strife and that every busi
ness interest wer at liberty to proceed
and conduct Its i:(fairs without interfer
ence. There would be joy everywhere
and so much bett- r for yourselves.
“Now. go and do this.”
.STATE OF COLORADO.
ss.
CITY AND COI N PY OF DENVER.
IN THE DISTRICT COURT.
October 9, 1909.
No. 47306.
THE JOHNSON A DAVIS PLUMBING
AND HEATING COMPANY. ET AL.,
Petitioners,
VS.
UNITED ASSOCI VTION OF JOURNEY
MEN PLUMPERS. GAS FITTERS,
STEAM FITTERS AND STEAM
FITTERS’ HELPERS OF THE
UNITED STATES AND CANADA, A
VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATION. ET
AL.. Respondents.
ORAL RULING OF HON. GEORGE W
ALLEN. ON PETITIONERS' AP
PLICATION FOR AN IN
JUNCTION.
“Courts have tho power to grant in
junctions and there Is no Inflexible rule
to guide the court In the exercise of that
power. It is a power lodged with the
judicial discretion of the court. There Is
r,o power in government that is so defi
nitely assigned to that discretion, in any
department, as in the courts of the coun
try. It is a power that has come to the
courts from the laws of England, from
the common laws of the world wherever
and at whatever time it appears to be
I
necessary to have courts and tribunals
to determine controversies or disputes
between individuals. The history of juris- j
prudence does not show any case where
that power in the courts was limited to
the extent of a prescribed, definite rule '
under which the courts should exercise
the jurisdiction.
"What is the reason of the lodgment of ‘
such power, unlimited, in the courts? It
is because of the confidence that the peo
ple of the various governments of earth. '
from the earliest history, and for the rea
son that the people and the government
of the United States have implicit confi
dence in the honor and the integrity of
their judiciary: and with this confidence
thus reposed, do the people of the United
States of America proceed, in an orderly
manner and discharge the various voca
tions in life and their duties to one an
other as fellow men; and with this con
fidence in the courts, the sovereign pow
ers of government have declined, even
though sometimes urged to, by definite
rule, limit the powers of courts in the
granting of injunctions. With that confi
dence common to the people whom they
represent, with that confidence common
to the Congress of the United States and
common to the Legislatures of the vari
ous states representing the people in
their sovereign capacities, they have de
clined to limit the powers of courts of
equity in granting injunctions to the ex
tent of fixing any definite rule under
which that power should be exercised.
“It is an extraordinary power, and the
more extraordinary and the more cau
(Continued on page 4.)
MUST AFFILIATE.

The Locals Must Join the Central
Bodies.
Hereafter all unions affiliated with the
American Federation of Labor must af
filiate with the section to which It pro
perly belongs, also with the Central
Labor Council and the State Federation
of Labor or give up its charter.
Such is the ruling of the executive
council of the American Federation of
Labor, carrying out the instructions
given them by the Denver convention ol
j the American Federation of Labor.
Since the above law was passed last |
November by the national convention of {
the A. F. of L.. a few unions have re
tused to affiliate with their local central
uodies and State Federation. This has
resulted in a number of jurisdietitmal
disputes. The unions outside of the cen
tral body have no way of meeting the
representatives of other unions. The
result has been a general lack of under
i standing and resulting friction.
Commenting on the decision of the
executive council of the A. F. of L..
] Frank Morrison made the following
| statement:
i "In many instances the .local uuions
have the idea that their representation
in the central bodies and state federa
tions is entirely optional with them, and
;i failure of a number of locals to be rep
resented is due to this impression.
“At the Denver convention of the Am
erican Federation of Labor a resolution
was introduced offering an amendment
to the constitution of the American Fed
eration of Labor requiring the executive
officers of all the national and interna
tional unions to notify their local unions
that they must affiliate with the state
federations and central bodies.
"At the last meeting ot the executive
council the instructions of the conven
tion upon this resolution were taken un
der consideration and I was directed to
communicate with the officers of the na
tional and international unions, in the
line with the recommendation of the
convention."
CEMENT WORKERS.
Cement Workers have recovered from
the effects of their strike and lockout of
this season and now are over 100 hundred
strong. Owing to the good work of Bros.
and Spencer, their union can
now be considered one of the best in our
city. They have succeeded in adding to
their list of union contractors three more
and they are among the largest contract
ors iu the city. These same men, when
in the masters’ association would not
have anything to do with a man who held
a Building Trades card, but now they will
have no other. Local No. 54 expects all
other crafts to call for their card and they
will also call for others and In the future
we expects to have a first-class local and
in that way we can help build up others.
“Side-Tracked,” the greatest “tramp"
play ever written, will be the bill at the
Curtis next week, starting Sunday mat
inee. October 24th.
DO IT NOW
ISIo. 1 1
EMPLOYERS LIABILITY
(By C. A. Irwin.)
In order that we may somewhat appre
ciate the need of legislation for the pro- i
tection of employes, let us pause and re- i
fleet upon the present state ot our laws i
governing the liability of employers. The
law is that a master is bound to use rea
sonable care to prevent accident or in
jury to his employes. 11 he does this he
is not liable, but if he does not, he will
be responsible for the damages resulting
from his neglicenee or wilful wrong, un
less the servant assumed the risk or con- j
tributed to the injury by his own negli- j
gence. In the absence of special statutes
the master is not liable for injuries in
flicted by a fellow servant, nor by a con
tractor to whom he has entrusted the
work.
An employe is said to assume the risk
when he knows, or by diligence might
know, thereof. In such cases he can not
recover. In other words, an employer
may recklessly and wantonly create a
dangerous place to do his work and fur
nish the most unsafe implements for his
workmen, but if driven by hunger and
cc Id to continue in the service in order
that his dear ones at home may not per
il h. he receives an injury or is killed, the
law says to him that he assumed the
risk. It may be true that to quit the job
meant starvation, but the law says: "You
voluntarily continued, if you didn't like
the job you ought to have quit.” It also
says to the employer: "You may, with
impunity, set death traps for your em
ployes; you may catch and kill them like
rats in a trap, but if you can show that
they knew, or ought to have known, that
you were likely to do so, you shall be pro
tected. without reference to the injuries
inflicted and without reference to the
ease with which you might have pre
vented the slaughter."
The law of contributory negligence is
that there can be no recovery for dam
ages caused by the negligence of another
if the injured person by his own negli
gence contributed proximately to the
damages. That is to say. an employer
may by criminal carelessness set in mo
tion the most dangerous agencies, with
full knowledge that the danger could eas
ily be removed, but an employe injured
thereby can not recover if in a moment
of carelessness he is injured thereby. It
is axiomatic that all men are sometimes
1 careless and some men are generally
careless, but the law in its wisdom says
to the workingman: "You were careless,
| just as everybody knew in advance you
J would be, and for this you must bear the
burden." It says to the master: "You
knew that all men are careless most of
the time and some men most of the time.
You knew someone would inevitably be a
victim of your negligence; it is true you
could easily have removed the danger;
it is true that you have slain your fellow
inan to save a trifling expense to your- 1
self and thus increase your profits; it is
true that this rule of law permits you to!
traffic in human blood, but if you can j
show that along with your wanton wrong \
went just a little bit of human fraility in !
your victim you shall be exonerated."
The fellow servant doctrine furnishes >
another loop-hole for the employer to es
cape his just responsibility. A common ;
foreman is a’ fellow servant within the
meaning of this rule, for whose negli
gence the master is not liable. If the
workman disobeys an order of his fore
man he is discharged; if he obeys and is j
injured by the negligence of the foreman
it is the negligence of a fellow servant
for which he can recover nothing.
By letting a contract to an independ
ent contractor the master escapes liabil
ity. Hence it is that in railroad construc
tion work and in the erecting of large
buildings and in many other classes of
employment the laborer who receives an
injury generally finds that he has to look
to the contractor who is irresponsible In
a vast number of cases.
In a number of states the legislatures
have passed laws for the regulation of
the master’s liability for injuries to
servants. And many special statutes
have been enacted with the view of pro
tecting a particular class of employes
against certain definite dangers, such as
the law requiring the use of automatic
couplers. the law requiring frogs,
switches and guard rails to be blocked,
dangerous gearings to be boxed, and
many others of a similar nature. The
practical value of such legislation has
been slight.
The courts have generally held that
these laws do not deprive the employer
of any defense that they had before. In
other words, these remedial statutes
have been construed out of existence.
Courts have been largely created by
the business interests which employ
labor, and they have remembered their
creator. You c»nt blame them. Even a
dog will lick the hand that feeds it.
Why should a public officer be less kind
ly disposed towards his meal-ticket? I
do not mean to reflect upon the Integrity
-Incorporating the |||
sKfenver Label League 1
i[ Bulletin
i ibjujr\
* S !H -'nis
Owned and published by
the League |
No. 1, in the interest of I
Organized Labor. I
of the bench. Judges are seldom cor
rupt In the strict sense of that word. In
uprightness they will average well with
the rest of mankind. But they are gen
erally men whose education and associa
tions have inclined them favorably to
ward capital and against mere men.
They are not selected from that portion
•a the profession who have given care
ful and open-minded study to social
questions. They belong to the "safe and
sane" element of their profession. Their
j minds are too often steeped in preced
: ents and too seldom instinct with hu
' man sympathy. They are good men
! gone wrong on the relation of labor to
I capital—gone far wrong on the relative
value of men and money. Instead of re
garding capital as the servant of man.
they proceed as though man ought to be
and is the slave of capital. Hence in
construing statutes on this subject, they
reason from wrong premises ana tnere
fore necessarily arrive at wrong con
clusions.
Let us briefly consider a few illustra
tive recent decisions:
Missouri has a statute declaring that
all railroad switches, frogs and guard
rails shall be blocked, punishing railroad
officials neglecting or failing to comply
with its provisions and declaring that
all persons injured by reason or a rail
ure to comply shall be entitled to re
cover their damages," etc. A man was
working for the Missouri Pacific com
pany as a switchman. In the course of
his employment he was violently thrown
against an unblocked guard-rail sc that
his arm was caught and he was run over
and injured by his arm being thus
caught and held, which it would not have
been had the statute been complied with.
He sued for damages. The supreme
court of Missouri held that he should be
defeated on two grounds: First, that he
assumed the risk because he ought to
have refused to work if he was not satis
fied with the conditions, and second,
that the statute was intended to prevent
employes from getting their feet caught
and not prevent their getting hands and
arms caught, therefore he could not re
cover. The violation of a positive stat
ute counted for nothing. The maimea
and mangled man counted for nothing.
The fact that he could not quit his job
without condemning wife and children
to hunger and want counted for noth
ing. The protection of capital was para
mount to the rights of man.
A short time ago a car repairer in the
employ of the Colorado & Southern Rail
way company was engaged in repairing
♦ ars on a side-track situated very near
the main track. The usual and only
place where a drink of water could be
obtained was at a water tank on the op
posite side of the main track from
where the man was at work. One morn
.ling he started for a drink, diagonally
i across the track toward the tank. Three
, | hundred feet to the north was a public
I street crossing. Beyond the crossing an
approaching train. He knew that there
J existed a city ordinance forbidding trains
within the city limits to run faster than
. twenty miles per hour, and another
. quiring all trains approaching a public
! crossing “to ring the locomotive bell suf
, flciently loud to warn all persons of the
approach of such engine, and to con
, tlnue to ring such bell until the engine
and train shall have passed the cross
. j ing." He had good hearing, and no bell
was ringing. To cross the track and get
out of reach of the approaching train he
must travel twenty4*ve feet. If the traiu
was running at a lawful rate of speed
and he walked at an ordinary gait he
would be twenty-five feet beyond tho
, point of danger before the train could
r reach the place where he crossed, e\ *n
though it were at the public cross ig
when he started. He was very bmy
t and started for his drink and the train
stole silently upon him at the rate of
fifty miles an hour, striking him witu
the end of the pilot beam and killing
, him instantly without sounding any
alarm whatever. The court tool the
case from the Jury and held that h- was
negligent In assuming that the train
, crew would obey the law. and In onset
, that the train crew had a perfect rignt
to run him down and kill him like i wild
beast because he took It for granted thut
they would observe the require moors of
, the city ordinances and of com mot; pru
, deuce. The . udge was u kind-hearted
man, he sympathised with the widow
and five hungry children, but he fol
. lowed established precedents and exon
( orated the defendant. That decision left
, a grief-stricken widow penniless and flv«
helpless children objects of public char
. Ity; it Is justified, the slaughter of ern
, ployes, by soleless corporations 1 do
. not blame the judge. I bluuie the sys
t tern. I blame tho standard of morality
and law that values the privileges of the
employer above tho rights of tb« era-
I ploye. I blame the sentiment that Judges
men by what they own and not by what
they are.

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