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The Dignity of Labor ♦ ♦♦♦♦ The need of adequate laws requiring employers to safeguard employes not only from personal injuries which result from industrial accidents, but from personal * n " juries resulting from unsanitary conditions; and the need of adequate laws reasonably compensating those who are the victims of such injuries, seems so plain that we some times marvel at the remissness of our legislatures. Those who are accustomed to the idea that the prime object of government is to protect men. women and children, can not understand why any agitation should be required to obtain proper employers lia bility laws. It is my opinion, however, that little progress in this direction can be hoped for until the public has been educated up to the idea that man and not money is the basis of civilization, and that the true governmental ideal is the progress of humanity, instead of the dollar mark. Employes have no right to expect mere class legislation. They have no right to expect that laws will be enacted and enforced for their protection, unless such laws can be sustained upon the broad principle of the greatest good to the greatest number. The rights of employers must be respected; public welfare must be considered and the fundamental doctrines of personal liberty must not be violated. He is no friend of ■wage-workers who for the purpose of obtaining a little cheap and temporary popularity advocates measures which violate the underlying principles upon which society’s prog ress is based. It is our contention that the European system of employer’s liability laws is not only the best for employes but that, in the long run. it is the best for em ployers. and immeasurably the best for the protection of society and for the progress of civilization. The great difficulty in the way of such legislation in this country is the corrupt state of public opinion. For generations, in this country, large capitalists, whose fortunes have been cre ated by unjust and monopolistic laws, have endowed universities, employed writers of great ability, and orators of genius to corrupt and pervert public opinion. Nearly •every large university in this country has been subsidized by ill-gotten wealth, to preach and teach the gospel of money. Nearly all of our text-books on political economy have been written by men in the employ of those who are called “captains of in dustry.** We send our boys to high school and college, where they read in their text *books and hear from their professors innumerable discourses upon the text, “Labor is a commodity which is sold in the market and which manufacturers have a right to buy the same as they buy their machinery and their raw material in the open market of the world.’* Reasoning from this text, they argue that the only interest of the employer in the labor which he buys is to get the most of it that he can at the l*a*t expense to himself. The doctrine that labor is a commodity, to be bought and sold in the market as raw material of industry utterly ignores the human element which underlies the entire labor problem. This doctrine, followed to its legitimate conclusion, would reduce all wage-earners to a condition of slavery, worse than the African slavery of the period before the war. for the reason that the employer would buy the labor but not the la borer; and. therefore, when the laborer should become disabled from any cause, he could be freely cast aside and the labor of some other person bought in the open market. The folly and wickedness of this whole system of political philosophy is be- , cause it ignores the fact that the laborer is a living human being and not a dead com modity. We buy raw material, we buy or rent machinery, but we employ men. The progress of civilization depends upon the general average of progress of all of the peo ple. whether employers or employes. The only useless members of society are the idle, whether they be the idle rich or the idle poor. Before much can be hoped for in ihe way of legislative protection for the workers of the world, a public opinion must be created which will dignify labor. Nothing else is of use in this world. We hear much about the captains of industry, but the real captain of industry is the man w’hose muscle and brain has converted the raw material of nature into the manufactured product of genius and skill. A few days ago Senator Rush of Denver was reported by the morning News as saying that the objection to P. J. Devault acting on the water commission was that Mr. Devault was not a representative man. The senator’s objection is based upon the idea which we have been trying to combat. If he is correctly quoted, he does not believe that mere manhood is the basis of civilization, that men are to be judged by -what they are and not by what they own. A representative man! What is a repre sentative man? Surely, it is not a man of sordid mind, calloused heart, and coarse feelings, who has been able to take advantage of his less cunning, less fortunate or more scrupulous neighl>ors. to acquire and enjoy a fortune which his own industry xiever earned. A representative man is he who thinks most, feels the noblest, and acts the best. We will never be a civilized people until public opinion has been so clarified that men shall be judged by character and not by the accident of clothes and fortune. Let us keep ever in mind the great idea of the poet-thinker. Emerson. “The true test of civil ization is the kind of men a country turns out.” When public sentiment can be moulded upon Emerson’s idea, we will have no trouble in getting sound laws for the protection of labor. In the meantime, let organized labor continue to agitate and study and think and dream of that ideal until it shall become reality. After all, an ideal is but the perfection of that which is. It is the highest con ception of that which ought to be. An ideal is like a mountain whose base mingles imperceptibly with the surrounding earth, but whose summit pierces the sky. The only hope of labor is to keep your eyes upon the summit, and keep climbing. Organized labor is engaged in a great warfare for the rights of man. Often when I contemplate the situation, my mind involuntarily reverts to the great civil war. During the days of anti-slavery agitation, the North was divided into many hostile camps. There were those who looked for peaceable emancipation, and there were those who advocated a peaceable dissolution of the Union. There were others who tolerated slavery as an ineradicable evil, and there were those who declared that God had created the black man to be the natural servant of the white man. But when the first shot was fired upon Fort Sumpter, a united North took up arms for the preserva tion of the Union. Cincinnatus became a commonplace example. The farmer left his plow in the unfinished furrow-. The clerk hastily dropped his yard-stick on the counter. The village blacksmith closed his little shop and nailed across the door a rough board upon which was rudely printed the words “Gone to the War.” All past differences were forgotten in the supreme necessity of saving the flag. Shoulder to shoulder they went forth to do. and if need be. to die for the great cause. They fought for the freedom of an alien race. You are engaged in a struggle of more far reaching and vital importance. The cause of labor is the cause of humanity itself. Your warfare is for the es tablishment of justice, the preservation of your own firesides, and the progress of civil ization. You itiay never be called upon to bear arms for the cause. You may never have the opportunity of marching in that cause to the grand wild music of war. Yours may be the humbler and more prosaic task of fighting with ballots instead of with bullets. God grant it may be so. But your duties are no less imperative. Your, task is no less noble. The greatest battles are not fought with powder and ball. “After all,’* said Victor Hugo, “the sword is but a hideous flash in the darkness, while right is an eternal ray.” Emulate the spirit of the men of *6l. Forget every thing else but industrial freedom and social progress. “United we stand, divided we fall." In the hour of need may you not be among the number of those “n >ho have been weighed in the balance and found Wanting.** By C. A. IRWIN. UNITED Labor Bulletin Boost the Label VOI-. IV. DENVER, COLORADO DECEMBER 31, 1909 COMPULSORY ARBITRATION. (By Samuel Gompers.) The very terms arbitration and com pulsory stand in direct opposition to each other. Arbitration implies the vol untary action of two parties of diverse interests submitting to disinterested par ties the question in dispute or likely to come in dispute. Compulsion, by any process, and par ticularly by the powers of government, is repugnant to the principle as well as to the policy of arbitration. If organized labor should fail to appreciate the dan ger involved in the proposed schemes of so-called compulsory arbitration and con sent to the enactment of a lav- providing for its enforcement, there would be in troduced the denial of the right of the workers to strike in defense of their in terests and the enforcement by the gov ernment of specific and personal service and lal>or. In other words, under a law based upon compulsory arbitration, if an award were made against labor, no matter how unfair or how unjust, and brought about by any means, no matter how questionable, we would be compelled to work or suffer the stated penalty, which might be either mulcting in dam ages or going to jail; not one scintilla of distinction, not one Jot removed from slavery. Arbitration is only possible when vol untary. It never can be successfully car ried out unless the parties to a dispute or controversy are equals, or nearly equals, in power to protect or defend themselves or to inflict injury upon the other party. It is our aim to avoid strikes, but I trust the day will never come when the workers of our country will have so far lost their manhood and independence as to surrender their right to strike or re fuse to strike. We endeavor to prevent strikes, but there are some conditions far worse than strikes, and among them is a demoralized, degraded and debased manhood. The right to quit work at any time and for any reason sufficient • for the workman himself is the concrete ( expression of individual liberty. Hence any curtailment of this right by and through the law or by and through con ; tract enforced by law is in a fact a nega tion of liberty and a return to serfdom. ' The industrial conciliation and arbitra | 1 1 ion law of New Zealand, the law creat ing and governing the Indiana Labor Commission and Arbitration Board. I copied from the laws of 1897 nnd issued iby the Indiana commissioners, and the arbitration law of Illinois, as well as an act concerning carriers engaged in in terstate commerce and other employes, approved June 1, 1898. along with other information from this and European countries show that the kernel of all this species of legislation is a desire to pre vent strikes by punishing the strikers. Our existing form of society is unques tionably based upon manufacture, com merce and transportation, and anything that disturbs the industries is resented and means are sought to prevent a re currence and to clothe it in such a garb that public opinion will accept it and permit its execution. The industrial courts of France are. ns I understand it. organized much in the same way. The bill to prevent strikes which was introduced in the German reichstag at the instance of the govern ment had the same underlying motive, and practically the same, of attaining this purpose. In the law adopted by the Hungarian diet we again meet the same purpose to prevent strikes by punishing the strikers. The question of extending the master and servant laws of Sweden to the industrial workers of that coun try was under discussion in the Swedish ricksdag and was for some time fiercely combatted by the lovers of liberty of that country, but it was finally adopted, and the other day a strike on the street cars in Stockholm was suppressed by sending several of the strikers to prison for long terms. Coming now to our own country we find that a bill was introduced in Con gress which would admit of every train being mnde a mail train, and which, un der the postal laws would have subjected the strikers in railroad transportation to imprisonment for delaying the mails. Through the efforts of the railroad brotherhoods and the American Federa tion of I,abor the bill failed. Then fol lowed the Introduction of the Olney ar bitration bill, which provided fo~ arbitra tion. voluntary in submission in its ini tiatory stages, but with compulsory obe dience to the award; that is, the award was to be enforced by a direct penalty for the individual violating the same. The Indiana law has the following provi sions; “An agreement to enter into arbltra . tlon under this act shall bo in writing and shall state the issue to be submitted nnd decided, nnd shall have the effect of an agreement by the parties to abide by and perform the award." It will be observed thnt this may be called voluntary entered into. The par ties agree from the very beginning that ( if they, for some re , son sufficient to i themselves, should decline to abide by and perform the award they are willing t that the judge alone, without any jury t and without any limit as to time, may send them to prison jnr'l they shall con sent to perform the labor which the ■ award enjoins upon them. The thought i underlying this law is that the individual < man may alienate his right to liberty, i and it is. therefore, destructive of the fundamental principl* of the Republic i of the United States. It is equally dan gerous with the New Zealand law. the : Hungarian statute or he proposed law of Germany because St aims at tying the worker to transportat: n upon which he works. The Manufacturers' association, of the South, in 1900, decide to submit to the legislature of each of the Southern states 1 a law providing for term contracts, the violation of which would be punished as a felony, and that they did this with the • specific purpose of preventing strikes and of the mine, the factory or the means of inviting Northern capital. When their attention was called to the fact that they , were as yet not “bothered” by labor or • ganizations they answered: ‘‘That’s true • and that’s just the [ reason why we de i cided to take steps to prevent the forma tion of any and to stop strikes in the • most effective manner All these schemes are reactionary In 1 their character. I believe that the reason why many well-meaning, honest and conspicuous men and women favor some form of com pulsory arbitration Arises from the fact that their attention] has been called to the refusal to arbitrate on the part of some large corporations or other employ ers of labor. It is felt that the rest of ’ the public are made innocent sufferers ' and victims and that there ought to be some way to give th# public the facts in 1 order that it might be known who is ac 1 tually to blame. |Whenever they are ' asked “Do you want to send a man or r woman to jail for Quitting work?” they immediately answer: “No, no/’ What they seem to is that these oor • porations or employers who refuse to ar bitrate shall in some way be compelled to do so. This is manifestly impossible. Laws that are “jug-handled,” even if possible of enactment and execution, invariably have the handle so placed that the large ’ corporations and employers of labor keep j hold of the handle Commissions with power to examine and report would 1 seem to be more ir line with what Is ac tually desired: but ' would call attention [ to the fact that even these have in them a feature dangerous to liberty because 1 from them there may come, and some times do come, reports which have a tendency to warp public opinion and pre pare It for measur* ? which, without such preparation, the public would unhesitat ingly repudiate. | We shall insist upon the right to quit work whenever th. conditions of the la- bor are irksome to us. If we should I commit an error —which is likely—then we will be the sufferers more than any other or all other ueoples and we shall ' have learned by th: error to avoid them 1 in the future. But I repeat with all the 1 emphasis that I c n command that we 1 shall always insist pon our right to quit work for any reason or for no reason at all. + 4- ♦ ♦ ♦ , ILLINOIS TRADE UNION WOMEN STILL Ob THE FIRING LINE. * No question of -neral importance to the American pul c today is greater [ than that set forth in the work and ef , forts of the mem rs of the Women’s Trades Union 1jpwl£ e of Chicago in their i endeavor to upho' the Illinois 10-hour , law. which is no" >eing held up by an , injunction, the ca* having been taken ! to the Illinois Supi me court. Previous to the passage o: this law late last spring, there was bsolutely no restric tion as to the nun >er of hours women should work, no protection whatever along this line lor s thousands of strug gling wage-earning '*omen. For over half a century Englan has had protection for the physical ei irance of its women, having limited th day’s work to 10 hours. A few of he more progressive states of our country have succeeded in passing laws Urn ing the hours of women workers, bni a close observance will show that th< laws are constantly being violated. W can look at homo here in our own g *at city and see the imperative need of organized labor and the most rigid enf. cement of our state laws governing the work of women and children. Referring to the Illinois 10- hour law, in her at’dress before the Chi cago Federation of .abor. Raymond Rob : bins said: "Judge Richard Tuthtll held this law to be unconstitutional and ordered a writ of Injunction to *sue restraining the state factory Inspec'or and the state’s at 1 torney from enforcing its provisions against the violation! of W. C. Ritchie & Company. The learned judge is quoted in the press as follows: “ ’The law as it now stands,’ said the court, ‘virtually relegates women back to dependence. “ ‘This law seeks to prohibit her from working more than 10 hours a day if she wishes to, and I think that in that re spect it deprives her of her right to ex ercise the right of contract which is given her by the constitution.’ "As these alleged quotations have been generally commented on in the public press, and as they have not been denied, I shall assume they are correct. “While the whole practice of enjoin ing the enforcement of criminal laws by the low’er courts is vicious in the ex treme, the chancellor has for this prac tice precedents to spare. Further, inas much as the Supreme court of Illinois 14 years ago decided an eight-hour law for working women unconstitutional; to have rested, his action upon Ritchie vs. The People would have been a reason able excuse. But for these comments, as quoted, it is difficult to speak with patience. They are so ignorantly stupid as to be more worthy of some idle ig noramus than a learned judge. Is the honorable chancellor really ignorant of the fact that this law, instead of ‘relegat ing women back to dependence,’ in fact protects her from barbaric exploitation and provides a genuine foundation for her free contract? Does he really not know that such laws as this mark the progress of civil and industrial freedom for women, and the absence of such laws are an index of the savage conditions of the industrial organization in relation to working women? “Is the learned judge ignorant of the fact that no woman has lawfully worked in a factory longer than 10 hours in England for over 60 years? Has he ever beard of the commonwealth of Massa chusetts, where for 35 years no woman has worked in a factory legally for a longer time than 10 hours in any one day? Has no one ever told him that as a community becomes interested in in dustrial justice that these laws are en acted, until 22 of the most enlightened states of this Union now have such laws upon their statute books? "Did Chancellor Tuthill never hear of the greatest social decision ever render ed by the Supreme court of the United States? Does he know nothing of the luminous brief filed in that case for the I state of Oregon, prepared without com ! pensation by one of the greatest advo i cates of this country, and quoted ap provingly by Justice Brewer in render ing the unanimous decision of that tri bunal in the case of Curt Mueller vs. The State of Oregon? • • • Where are the provisions in the constitution of Illi nois upon this subject that are not in the constitution of the United States, or in the constitution of the other 19 states that have held such legislation constitu tional? Echo answers where? "My friends, let this question of pro tecting working women be discussed wherever two or three are gathered to gether. Let meetings be called for this purpose in every considerable town in this state. “Let Ritchie’s welfare work and Tut hill's law be associated in the public mind as the common enemies of the womanhood and the homes of Illinois.” —M. Emmilinne Pitt. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ SUSPENDER MAKERS’ UNION. ♦ New York City. N. Y., Dec. 29. 1909. To All Union Men and Friends. Greeting: The above organization begs leave to call to your attention the fact that it has been organized for sev eral years and succeeded in urging upon some of the manufacturers to place the union label on their products. As a local directly chartered by the American Federation of Labor, the sus penders made by our members bear the union label of the American Federation of Labor. We would therefore ask that when either you or your friends are purchas ing suspenders that you will insist that the same bear the union label. By complying with our request you will be aiding not alone the members of the Suspender Makers’ Union, but ad vancing the cause of union-labeled prod ucts generally. You will readily understand that un less the manufacturers or retailers find that there is a demand for the union label they will consider it of no import ance. which will result in destroying the conditio) s which we now enjoy after years of struggle through our organized effort. In order to maintain these condi tions and to still further improve them, we appeal to you for your co-operation. Trusting this will be impressed upon all of your members and their friends and hoping to reciprocate, we are. Fraternally yours. Suspender Makers’ Union No. 9560. P. S. —No product Is to bo considered union-made unless It bears the UNION LABEL. DO IT NOW No. 21 Comment, on Events in the Labor World. BY R . E. CROSKEY Get Together and Stay Together. The members of the Advisory Committee that has in charge the amending of the city charter must get together and stay together; there is altogether too much at stake to allow of differences and disagreements now. The Trades Assembly did right, however, in making Senator Rush and his coterie of political manipulators “show their hand." The fact of the matter is that Rush and his political affiliates wanted to play a little "politics” and inject the split in the Democratic party in Denver into this matter of amending the charter and the water question in general, to the advantage of their wing of the party. This business must stop right now, for this is not a party question, but a question that affects the good government of this city regardless of mere politics, which, by the way. is the curse of city governments. The committee of the Trades Assembly has come in for some unjust censure by Senator Rush, because, forsooth, they happened to mention one of their number for nomination as a water commissioner. And why not? Perhaps it would have been better if the Assembly had been consulted in this matter and its endoisement gotten before the candidate’s name was submitted to the advisory committee. But, however, this is a small matter. The fact is the lawyers and “best people,” you know, do not quite take to the idea of organized labor naming its candidate for any office. These people want to do this for us, with the usual result that some labor man is chosen whom organized labor does not want very badly, because he is not the man who will throw his shoulders back and make a good stiff fight for labor principles. Mr. Faulkner was objected to, and Senator Rush and his friends commenced flirting with Mr. Devault as the “man most qualified” for the nomination. The labor committee voted and selected P. J. Devault as their candidate. Then, presto, Mr. Devault was in Cripple Creek during the miners’ trouble; he was a county official in those strenuous times and did his whole duty honestly, faithfully to the people who elected him, and did it well. But he was considered a friend of the Western Federa tion of Miners; in fact, he was elected mainly by ihe votes of the members of that splendid organization, and this was considered by Rush et al, as being detrimental to his candidacy. What do you think of that for an argument? Great Heavens! The fact that a man having the courage to stand up and oppose the rottenest gang of crim inals and scoundrels that has so far ever debauched the history of this or any other state’s government, should be ample reason for the man being selected as just the right man to lead a movement for good government. Mr. Rush says that all the advisory committee wants is a laboring man “who will measure up with the other candidates for commissioner.” If this is so, Mr. Rush and his associates had better get busy and find two candidates for commissioner that will measure up with Mr. Devault for honesty, integrity and ability; and they will have to hunt a long time before they find them. Mr. Devault is a student of practical mechanics. When he built his houses recently he did not have to hire an architect to draw the plans; he drew them hitnself without the help of anyone. He is an electrical engineer, he is fully competent to figure out any obtuse problem in mathematics, and for honesty and integrity there is not a man in this city who can possibly stand higher. He is a man that can’t be bluffed or bulldozed; he amply demonstrated this when he had the courage to fight the infamous Peabody and the state officials when serving as the assessor of Teller county. Mr. Devault can stand alone in any company. Mr. Devault cannot, however, be used as a tool by any set of politicians, and there’s the rub. Mr. Rush and his cronies want a man nominated who will be a tail to their political kite, and that is the true history of why he. as chairman of the ad visory committee .used dirty political methods to “jockey” Devault’s name from being voted on when he knew that it would be accepted by the committee. Mr. Devault is a good platform speaker. He will fight all the way for organ ized labor and is just the proper man for organized labor’s candidate. Of the work of the water committee—they have done splendid service. In fact, in my opinion, it is the ablest committee that has worked for the Assembly for many a day. Some orator in the Assembly said, last Sunday, that “they are not politicians,” which is quite true; but, my Friends, don’t you think that it would have been better for the Assembly if some of them had been trained politicians? In my opinion Rush lead our men into a trap that could have been avoided if there had been just one “politician” on that committee. Boys, we have been fighting the enemy with “honesty and integrity” for a num ber of years now, and we have been getting whipped quite regularly with his better knowledge of political tactics and his unscrupulous use of them. Is it not time that we began to fight the devil with fire and show that we can go just as fast as the enemy? Rush succeeded in getting just what he wanted—a chance to get into print and say that the unions “were peevish” because one of their number was balked from getting a job. A great many of our enemies are laughing up their sleeves at this; and. to say the least, it does not help the Trades Union movement any. Mr. Rush should be eliminated from the advisory board and this committee should get together again and go on through with the splendid program it has mapped out. There is altogether too much at stake to allow this “family quarrel” to stop the movement that has been started and carried so ably along. For this reason there should be a reorganization of the advisory board; if there are any objectionables on this board they should be patriotic enough to withdraw, regardless of who they may be. What do the members of this “advisory committee" represent? Ihe five labor members are representing about 25,000 voters, the other 15 members are supposed to represent about an equal number more; therefore, it is another old case of the “tail swinging the dog." Our boys are the biggest part of the committee, and yet they are outvoted by allowing some nondescript organizations to affiliate on equal terms with them on this "advisory committee.” That is where the first mistake was made. But. however, it is useless to discuss this phase of the matter now. There is no doubt that a few politicians, who practically have lepresented little or nothing, have made themselves the dominating power on the advisory committee. These fellows, however, have been shown that they cannot further run the committee, and that should be sufficient. What we want are results; we want the charter amended as proposed, and the average union person does not care how this is done. We want labor represented on the Board of Water Commissioners, and. as it looks at the pres ent time, the committee that has had this matter in charge so far. regardless of whs? they do or do not represent, is the most available body to push these measures through to a successful conclusion. And our own committee wants to understand that their personal feelings of resentment against the indignities that have been put upon them by Rush and others must not stand in the way of the charter being amended. We must be men: no baby play should be tolerated and no quitting allowed. Our committee has rendered splendid service so far and they must go on through and fight it out. Incorporating the Denver Label League Bulletin La ie|o wned and published by I .J. Denver Label League No. 1, in the interest of Organized Labor.