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United labor bulletin. (Denver, Colo.) 19??-1915, December 24, 1909, Image 1

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Comment on Events
in the Labor
“In the opinion" of Judge Greeley W. Whitford the Shark Law is
unconstitutional. What do you know about that?
Truly our system of law-making is a huge joke, when a lawyer temporanly
wearing the judicial ermine can undo the work of one hundred other learned men.
most of whom are lawyers, and say that these men are a bunch of ignoramuses
who do not know their business when they pass such a law. And that is practically
what these decisions, declaring laws unconstitutional, mean.
Aside from the general reputation for fairness and knowledge of the law of
Judge Whitford. which, to say the least, is certainly not of the best, upon what
excuse of authority can any half-baked lawyer, serving his first term, or last term
for that matter, as a judge, presume to have a better knowledge of the law than
the lawyers who compose the judiciary committees of the two branches of any state
or the national legislature?
The judiciary committee of the last general assembly, in both senate and
house, was composed of a number of lawyers who rank far above Greeley W'.
Whitford. They passed upon the constitutionality of the Loan Shark favorably
or it would never have been reported from their respective committees with recom
mendations “that it do pass.’* Upon this recommendation both branches of the
legislature passed the law. from whence it had to be passed upon by the attorney
general of the state before the governor signed the bill making it a law. Surely
these lawyers know as much, some people will say more, about the law than ever
Greeley Whitford does and yet. by virtue of holding the office of district judge,
this man assumes power to declare this law unconstitutional.
How much longer will the people stand for this usurpation by the judiciary,
this tra\es!y upon justice, this mockery of the will of the people?
How much longer will people stand for corporation hirelings, sitting as judges,
destroying every law that is enacted to protect the people from the extortions of the i
corporations, whether by unjust charges or from injuries by accidents or any other
form of tyranny?
Truly our judicial system is rotten to the core and needs revising. Our judges
at the present time have arrogated to themselves far more power than any mere
king or emperor reigning over a constitutional nation dare assume. The idea of
one little old district judge having the power to undo the work of the whole executive
and legislative branch of our state government would be excruciatingly comical were
the results not so tragic to the working people.
It took nearly two months to try this test case of the loan shark law, postpone
ment after postponement was taken, heaven knows what for. but this we do know,
that some thousands, of dollars were ready to be used to defeat this law when
before the legislature, and that Representative Bellesfield. the labor man from
Pueblo, had to watch over it night and day to see that the bill was not tampered
with as was the case with the law passed by the preceding legislature, when a
“joker” was inserted by somebody, somehow, making the law inoperative in towns
of more than thirty thousand population. We also know that Mr May of the firm
of Whitford and May was the council for the defense who made the plea that the
law was unconstitutional, the Whitford in this case being Clay 8.. a brother of the
We also know that Judge W'hitford was both biased and prejudiced, and
plainly showed it in the boycott case against Devlin, the striking iron molder. over
ruling every point made by Devlin s attorney.
We also know that District Attorney Willis V. Elliott could take quite a
prominent part in prosecuting, being on the job himsell to try and hand it to
Devlin, but this paragon of perfection whom a lot of fool union men supported
last fall was conspicuous by his absence on the prosecution of the loan shark law.
leaving it to his assistant. C hiles, who has of course taken an exception and been given
sixty days to take an appeal. This may be taken if some one pushes it. but. judgirtfc
by the past, we can look for no prosecution for violations of the labor laws if the
district attorney can possibly get out of them. This has been amply demonstrated
by Elliott in the cases brought by Labor Commissioner Brake for violations of the
municipal eight-hour law', every case of which he has had killed.
This whole bunch are closely allied with the influences that Judge Ijndsey
is showing up in his “Beast in the Jungle" stories. The laboring people will
never be able to get anything resembling justice in this country until they vote to
gether to kick the rotten corporation crowd out of office.
(By R. E. Croskey.)
It teems that <he committee of twenty
that have in charge the matter of amend
ing the city charier, do not w ant an organ
i/rd labor man to Ire nominated as one of
the proposed three water commissioners.
This is the usual policy when the unions
get mixed up with “the best people." as
they term themselves.
Ihe committee of the I rades Assem
bly that was appointed to investigated the
"water proposition" did such good work
that these "best people" were glad to fall
in line with it. »'or a long time these
Ward Clubs. Christian Citizens Union
„nd Municipal Ownership League floun
dered along and really did nothing prac
tical towards evolving a practical scheme
to beat the Water company in its pro
posed grab of either a new franchise or
several millions of extra dollars that they
proposed to charge the city for their plant.
A committee of the Trades Assembly
was appointed and the members of this
committee have so far shown themselves
to be more than equal to the task, getting
data on the subject that the members of
these other various committees did not
show that they were able to gel. and sys
tematizing the fight so that practical results
could be achieved, and now forsooth, the
members of the committee that have so far
demonstrated that they are the most com
petent men on the job, are not quite the
proper people, you know, to have placed
one of their number as a water commis
Organized labor has shown the way,
and by the eternal gods the committee
from the Assembly should stand pat and
DF.MAND that one of their number
should be named as a commissioner.
The committee of twenty is a four-cor
nered affair, having an equal number of
Labor Bulletin
Boost the Label
its members from the Trades Assembly,
the Christian Citizens’ Union, the Munici
pal Ownership League and the Ward
Clubs, five members from each.
Ihe committee from the Assembly
have caucused and have presented the
name of P. J. Devault to represent organ
ized labor. I have known P. J. Devault
for many years, and if there is a more
honest or competent man in the state of
Colorado to fill one of the three commis
• sionerships I shall have to be shown who
he is.
P. J. Devault has carried a union card
for upwards of thirty years, and there has
never been a questionable act done by him
in his many years in labor’s service. He
is an educated gentleman, far above the
average, and equal to any man that will
be named from any source, for office as a
P. J. Devault once served as assessor
of } eller county, one of the most intricate
counties of the state to assess, and he
showed himself not only fully competent
to fill this position, but he is pronounced
the ablest assessor that this county has e>er
had; in fact, his valuations are the stand
ard upon which the major part of the
property in this county is valued at to-day.
He won his office by the strength of his
personality and the respect that the voters
of that county had for him. Running on an
independent ticket he beat l>oth the Demo
cratic and Republican nominees over three
hundred votes. Devault is in addition to
his scholarship a man who has had ex
periences of the world that few men have
the opportunity to gain. It may not be
generally known, but he is one of the men
who accompanied General Grant on his
famous trip around the world.
The majority of the committee of twen
ty want to switch the name oT Devault for
that of Andrew Chalmers.
Andrew Chalmers is a good, able man.
He has served as president of the Denver
| Trades Assembly, and made a good re
cord as a supervisor of the city, but he is
now a business man. and if he has shown
any interest in labor in recent years I have
failed to discover it. He was named as
an honorary member of the committee to
entertain the delegates to the American
Federation of Labor convention, held in
Denver. I was present at nearly all the
meetings of this committee but I failed to
see Mr. Chalmers at any of them. I have
nothing whatever to say against this gen
tleman any more than that he. at the pres
ent time, is not a representative of organ
ized labor, and we want and must have
an active member of labor’s cause and not
a passive "has been.”
Outside of the labor members, there are
some good men on this committee of twen
ty. men who have been fighting for years
for an honest city and state administra
tion and for clean politicis, but these gen
tlemen seem to be tainted with class preju
dice ; they do not seem to think that any
body but a "business" or "professional"
man is capable of holding public office.
As a matter of fact, some of the ablest
public servants this state has ever had
have come from the ranks of labor. It is
true that once in a great while an organ
ized labor man is elected to an office that
he is not quite big enough man to fill, but
these are few and far between, and our
enemies make the most of it when such a
calamity occurs, but what about the fail
ures among the business and professional
men that are constantly occurring? Peo
ple seem to take these as a matter of
course, so that it causes no comment what
ever. The ability of a public officer
elected from the ranks of labor has to be
above the average of our public servants
to satisfy labor’s critics, and as a general
rule it is. The members of organized
labor in our last legislature had no trouble
holding their own in both the senate and
Organized labor and the Trades As
sembly committee must make a determined
stand and insist that one of the proposed
water commissioners is an active card man.
because it is the only guarantee that we
have of having union conditions prevail,
should the proposed purchase of the water
plant by the city be successfully consum
♦ ♦♦♦♦
In no form of thought has the wisdom (
of ages manifested itself when creating
adage or proverb than In that which it
shows how great achievements come
from %mall beginnings. It would almost
seem that throughout the ages, the
smaller the beginning of any great move
ment of importance, the greater the re
sult when the fullness of time decreed a
harvest. Though this is marked by many ;
modern instances, no instance is more |
pronounced than that exhibited by the i
origin, rise and growth of the Interna- l
tlonal Association of Machinists. Start- 1
Ing very humbly a little more than a de- i
cade ago. it has reached proportions not i
dreamed of by Its founders.
This organization had a very humble i
origin Indeed. It came into existence i
without any beating of drums, or any
great revolution of nature. The sun did !
not stand still, neither was the veil of
the temple rent. Nothing occurred but 1
Its o\yn creation. On a May morning in i
1NS8, or to t>e more accurate, on May the I
sth. five machinist were at work be
neath a locomotive! in the shops of East
Tennessee. VirginUl and Georgia railroad
in Atlanta, Ga.. ar. : as is usually the
case, when men he- • a job of this na
ture. the opportunity i? taken advantage
of to discuss matters of current interest
or importance, splr; yarns and have a
quiet social time f-neralfcy. These five
tnen. however. har-Vned to be of a seri
ous turn of mind nd discussed matters
of importance to their craft. Among
other things that came up for discussion
was the advisability and necessity of
craft organization The necessity of this
impressed itself so strongly upon their
minds that they and there decided
to form a Local t nion of Machinists.
A meeting was i.eld that night and the
germ that came nto existence beneath
the locomotive materialized, and an or
ganization was formed.
It bore the euphonious name of the
United Machinist and Mechanical Engi
neers. and bore it until the first conven
tion of the new rganization was held,
this taking place a year from date, and
in the same city, namely: in Atlanta, in
May. ISSS. Though only a year in exist
ence the organiz. 'ion showed 34 lodges
on its register, nd had penetrated 14
states, which sta s sent representatives
to the convention
The next cot ention was held in
Louisville. Kv ginning on May sth.
IS9O. when the a>~ >ciation showed on its
roster 91 lodges. - presenting every state
in the Union, as veil as Canada, three
lodges having bi ti established in that
country, nameky »t Stratford. Montreal
and Winnipeg. e organization having
now assumed an lternationnl character,
the name was eh. ged from National As
sociation of Mac nists to International
Association, whirl name it still bears.
A great many onstitutional changes
took place at th. Pittsburg convention,
which in no sma degree contributed to
the success of the »rganization today. Up
to this time th. more silent features
were those of a aternal or secret so
ciety. with very 1 Lie to identify it as a
trade union, but he change above re
ferred to altered is and it became more
closely identified vlth the labor move
The next conv. ion was held the year
following in the yof Chicago, and by
this time the V xican line had been
crossed and the organization had 253
lodges. This wa in 1593.
No convention as held in the year
1594. as the men 'rship, by referendum
vote, decided it ■ a unnecessary, so the
next convention is held in Cincinnati,
beginning May t. . 1595. At this con
vention 436 lodg. were on the roster.
It was at this c ivention that the next
great forward stei was taken, for the or
ganization made . plication for member
ship in the Amor an Federation of La
bor and was acc< »ted. It may be said
from now on the International Associa
tion of Machinists became thoroughly in
touch with the great labor movement of
this continent; i was also decided at
this convention that future biennial meet
ings should be h d. Governed by this
rule the next convention was held in
Kansas City. Mo in 1897.
The next convention was held In Buf
falo in 1899. and It was here decided
that in view of the splendid work done
in Canada by the organization, the next
■ convention was held in the City of To- j
: ronto, Canada, on Monday. June 3d. 1901. i
I and continued in session until June 17th. j
• This was the year that our organization >
• was conducting the nine-hour movement i
» throughout the country, a great many
t strikes being on while the convention
i was in session. It became necessary for
? quite a number of the prominent dele
- gates to return to their respective locali
; ties in the interest of the men on strike.
: The machinery of our organization was
i considerably reorganized, and quite a j
[ number of new features added. One of I
s these being the adoption of vice-presi
r dents as organizers.
J The next convention was held in the
city of Milwaukee, Wis., in the year 1903,
? beginning Monday. May 4th. and con
-1 linued In session for 12 days. This was i
• a notable convention, being one of the
largest ever held in the history of our \
' organization. Two more vice-presidents;
■ were added as permanent organizers and j
• this was the last convention where the ‘
• Grand Lodge officers were elected upon
1 the floor of the convention.
1 The next convention was held in the i
• city of Boston. Mass. This was the first
s convention held after the adoption of the ;
1 referendum system for electing Grand;
? Lodge officers. At the time of the con
vention no result had yet been an
i nounced as to whom the new officers
. might be. Later the Election committee j
s was enjeined from counting the ballots, j
? which resulted in many of the present j
» officers serving four years on a two-year'
t term.
1 At the Boston convention it was de- j
; elded to hold the next convention in the \
. city of St. Louis, whenever the member
• ship decided to hold a convention by ref-
1 erendum vote. The result of this vote
was in favor of calling the convention, i
; which convened in St. Ixiuis. Monday.
. September 9th. 1907.
> This being the 12th bienuial conven- j
> lion of our association it was called to \
•- order in the Druids hall. St. lwouis. Mo..
- at 10 o’clock a. m . Sept. 9th. and lasted j
i to Sept. 19. 1907. There were many
- changes made in our laws at this ineet
• ing. One of the best laws that was
- adopted was the Day's Pay Assessment,
which was to run for three years, begin
• ning with January. 1908. each member
was to pay an amount equal to a day’s
i pay. this was to be payable each year for
! three years, and at that time our mem
bers were fully employed all over the
• land, as the country was at the height of
i its prosperity, but the delegates had
• hardly reached their homes, and got fair
. ly rested up from their trip, when the
• panic came on and hit our members
about as hat'd, if not harder, in some lo-
L calittes. than any other craft, but as we
- were nearing the time for the Denver
• convention to be called to order we
- could look back over the past two years
l and point with pride to the splendid nian
- ner in which our organization weathered
i the storm. During that time we have
f had several expensive strikes to fight,
t which terminated in our favor. We fur
ther paid every obligation that was con
« traded by our organization, as well as
i paying several thousand dollars in death
benefits to our deceased members, and
- at the conclusion of the St. Louis meet-
I ing it was decided that the convention
• would convene in Denver. Colo., the sec
t end raonday in September. 1909.
No. 20
Wage=Earners Should Vote
As They Talk.
+++ + +
In previous issues of The BULLETIN we have attempted to point out some of
the iniquities of the present laws regulating the liability of employers for personal in
juries to employes and to illustrate by example the injustice of those laws in operation
as applied to indi\iduai cases. Such illustrations can be continued by the thousands
without exhausting the records of industrial accidents for a single month. Our pur
pose has been accomplished if we have succeeded in arousing the interest of those who
have read these articles in the important question of securing adequate protection for
employes. Organized labor has been so constantly engaged in trying to secure a fair
day’s work, and in trying to perfect their own organizations that it is not surprising
that they have given so little attention to the other question.
Unionism is now so well established among laboring men and women, and labor
is so well organized that it is high time to agitate this question until adequate protec
tion to life and limb becomes an accomplished fact. The American people are justly
proud of our industrial progress, but industrial progress is purchased too dear if it is
obtained at the price of industrial slavery. The business world has so controlled and
manipulated legislation and judicial decisions in this country that those who toil with
their hands are producing an amount of wealth which would have seemed fabulous in
any previous period of the world’s history, but when the toilers have produced the
wealth, the schemers take it away from them. In trying to obtain just laws for the
physical safety of employes, we encounter the same difficulties and meet with the same
obstacles which prevent just laws for the protection of men against capital in every
department of industrial activity. What is needed is to revolutionize popular opinion,
to establish new standards and hold up before the people new ideals of human great
ness. It is necessary to instill into the minds of laboring men and women a just sense
of the essential nobility of mere manhoed and womanhood, and a just appreciation
of the real dignity of labor.
Why should fifty thousand men toil and sweat in unsanitary conditions and in
unsafe places to work in order to enrich the Armour family Why should the Penn
sylvania coal barons be permitted to reap millions upon millions, which they never
earned, but which unjust laws permit them to wrest from the honest toil of men who
slave and drudge in the darkness and danger of a coal mine Why should men.
women and children in every department of human activity produce the wealth and
then not only turn it over to a non-producing class but produce it under unsanitary
and dangerous conditions which can be easily remedied? This ill adjustment of the
relations of labor to capital can be remedied in only one way, and that remedy will
come, if it comes at all, by the laboring people themselves becoming politically active.
Let the members of organized labor study industrial and social conditions in America
and compare those conditions with the conditions in the various countries of the world.
Let them study American laws upon the labor question and compare them with the
laws on the same subject in other countries and they will discover, if they have not
discovered it before, that there is less industrial freedom among the wage-earners of
America than they themselves have realized. This knowledge would be a stepping
stone to that political activity which is necessary to secure sound legislation and im
} partial courts.
So long as you continue electing corporation magnates to make your laws and
corporation lawyers to interpret them, the present deplorable conditions will continue.
No one but a fool would expect such men as Aldrich and Cannon and Hughes and
Guggenheim to legislate for the protection of employes against their employers. He
would, indeed, be a fool who would expect a lawyer whose professional life has been
devoted to the service of utility corporations in stealing franchises, corrupting the
ballot, unjustly influencing courts and legislatures, manipulating juries, counselling
and advising claim agents, whose business it is to fix the evidence in advance and in
making it safe for corporations to injure, defraud and kill their victims. I say. he
would be a fool who would expect employes to get much sympathy from such a man
when he has been elevated to the bench.
The remedy is plain, you need to wake up and those who think they are awake
had better pinch themselves to make sure of it. Stop bowing and cringing and scrap
ing before the idle rich: stop worshiping at the shrine of the golden calf; stop taking
off your hats to thieves in high places; stop voting for those whom you know will do
all in their power to further fasten the chains of industrial slavery. Organize for po
litical action: vote for your own interests and not against them. When your interests
are at stake, stand together; forget petty differences but never forget that you are
members of a great body of employes who are the victims of hard conditions created
by vour masters. Make yourselves felt as a political power and you can secure
sound laws. Every laboring man and woman should feel a sense of personal humili
ation and shame that they sit quietly by and permit American legislation for the pro
tection of wage-earners to lag a generation behind the legislations of Europe in so
many respects, 'l ou have relied upon politicians and they have betrayed you; you
have relied upon the public press and it has misrepresented you; you have relied upon
the pulpit, and it has misunderstood you. If you would succeed you must rely upon
yourselves. Sustain your own cause at all times and at all hazards; fight the enemies
of that cause at all times and under all conditions; and give no qu^"3er
LODGE NO. 47, I. A. of M.
In the early '^o s there were a few ma
chinists in the city of Denver who or
ganized themselves into a local organiza
; tion which was more of a social organiza
tion than a labor organization, for at
that time the National Association of
Machinists had not been organized. This
did not take place until May 5th. 1S8S.
On Nov. sth. I$9". Denver Lodge No.
-17 was organized and worked under the
jurisdiction of the National Association
of Machinists until the reorganization of
the parent body, which took place at the
convention held in Louisville. Ky. The
change was made ou May llth. 1891.
since which time the organization has
been known as the International Associa
tion of Machinists
The local in Denver has grown from a
handful of members until at the present
time the local has a good standing mem
bership of 550. The organization has se
cured several increases in pay for its
members, also good shop conditions. The
local pays a sick benefit, which is a great
help to its members when sick and in
need. At the present time the lodge is
just recovering from a 10 months' strike
of its members on the Denver & Rio
Grande railroad, which we are pleased to
say terminated in favor of all concerned.
Have just succeeded in securing a new
agreement with a three-cent per hour
raise on the Rio Grande railroad, also a
new agreement and four cents per hour
Increase on the Colorado & Southern
Incorporating the
Denver Label League
H dims
Owned and published by
the Denver Label League
No. 1, in the interest of
Organized Labor.
railroad, a new agreement and three
cents per hour increase on the Union
Pacific railroad, which makes these rail
roads pity 40 cents per hour in Deliver.
We. are initiating new members uud
reinstating dropped members at each
meeting and expect to see our member
ship increase very fust In the next year
as machinists are beginning to realize
that it is to their best interest to be
come members of their craft.
The local main tains an office at Its
headquarters in s<>J Club building. where
all traveling members report when ar
riving In the city and ascertain the con
ditions and chances for employment.
All of the railroads in this city tele
phone to this office when machinists are
needed, also quite a number of the con
tract shops In the city do the sume, ami
in that way we keep our members pretty
well employed and we hope in tbu near
future to see the machinists in the con
tract shops in this city receiving the
same increase in pay as our railroad
brot hers.
♦+♦ ♦ +
A justice of the Supreme court of N»-v
York declares that a wife is not ouUllet
to more than half what bur hushatu
earns Hut, blesa your heart, what a«
count does the average woman take of
the uverage things a mere Judge may
say? Hands off!

Obey punctually, speak frosty. The
answer of Jeremy lleotbeui, the groat
English law critic, when asked what
constitute* a cood ettiieit.

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