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The Connecticut labor press. (New Haven, Conn.) 191?-1921, November 22, 1919, Image 1

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- v.
VOL. vn, NO. 11.
CT of OTflTfl&TCQ
Labor s
While the Cost of Digging Coal
Went Up 44 Per Cent, the Price
of Coal at the Mine Went Up
130 Per Cent, and the Cost of
Living Soared at Least 76 Per
Washington, Nov. 21. Here are facts
that show clearly the case for the or
ganized coal miners. They show that
while, the mm? owners have reaped
profits by thousands, the miners have
gone on digging coai for the nation un
der wage conditions that were intol
erable and under a fluctuating schedule
of work that made mining- about the
most uncertain industry in the country.
i The story frankly the case for the
miners was told by Edgar Wallace,
spokesman for the miners in the east,
and not restrained by the court order
issued in Indianapolis. MrJ Wallace
recounts the miners' story from a back-
- ground of long years spent in the mines
and in the service of the miners.
"In the 1916 contract," said Mr. Wal
lace, "the miners were given 64 cents
for pick mining, 52 cents for machine
. mining and $2.98 per day for day labor.
The average selling price of coal at the
mines was $1.25 per ton.
.. "By mutual agreement a raise was had
in August, 1917. On October 6, 1917,
the so-called Washington agreement
was effected. Including the voluntary
" increase of August, thisv agreement
brought the 64-cent rate up to 84 cents,
" the 52-cent rate up to 72 cents and the
. $2.98 rate up to $5.
"The pick men represent 33 per cent.
' of all men engaged in mine work. Their
- wage increase was 29 per cent. Machine
' men comprise 40 per cent, of the total
force and their wage increase was 38
per cent. Day labor constitutes 27 per
cent, of the total number of men and
their wage raise was 68 per cent. Forty
; four per cent, was the average increase.
"The same agreement fixed the aver
age selling price of coal at $2.45 at the
mines, an increase of almost 100 per
cent. In . February, 1919, the fuel ad
t ministration lifted the price- restrictions
v and since then the prise has gone to $3
'er ton' making the increase in price
for- the operators; in the neighborhood
t. of ,130 per , cent over the 1916 price.
' They have absorbed the difference be
," t weer the 44 per cent, enhanced labor
. cost and the 130 per cent, enhanced sell
i ing price of coal.
"Certain large operators in the union
fields, t where the mines now are Jdl.e,
also , are. large operators in the non-
umoii' licius. v sri ucse ' iterators were
" - largely responsible- for precipitating the
strike, in the-hope of reaping enorm
ous profits in their non-union ' proper
ties during the strike." "
Among owners of this character Mr.
, Wallace named the" Peabody Coal com
pany, ; the Colorado Fuel & Iron com
, pany and the United States Steel Cor
' poration, the latter two nbt being mem
. bers of the operators' association.
' . Mr. Wallace produced figures to sub
. stantiate the ! miners' .contentioa that
actual wages earned are at a point that
denies the miners a standard of living
acceptable to American workers.
"The only official figures for 1919 are.
those compiled by the Iowa state othc
ials," Mr. Wallace ' continued. "These
figures show that ' from September 30,
1918 to September 30, 1919, the aver
age, earnings of the Iowa miners were
. $850 per year.1 The period on which
this .calculation is made contains. one
month and eleven days of war produc
tion, in which the rate of production
ran higher than it now runs, i
- "Top wages for miners' during the
peak production year of war time were
$1,300 ' per year. This is the average
- wage of the Illinois miners during the
time when production was stimulated by
war demands. It is true that some men
' earned much more than this average,
but that only emphasizes the fact that
some earned much less. In Iowa the
average yearly earning during the war
time peak was $1,280.
"But let me call particular attention
to the fact that since the armistice the
average working time of the miners has
fallen to below 50 per cent, of the
possible working "time. Apply that con
dition to any other trade, or to any pro
fession, and contemplate the result. This
reduction of working time is. due to
causes over which the mine workers
have no control. Lack of cars is but
one of a number of causes. "The miners'
bread bill and clothing bill, is subj ect to
no such periods of lapse.
"It will help to make the situation
clear if I say that the mine operators
could afford to pay the increases asked
and could reduce the working day to
meet our demands, and, on the basis of
present prices make a profit larger than
the profit made in 1916. When the
miners charge that the operators are
guilty of profiteering they are speak
ing by the figures.
"From the beginning of the effort fto
negotiate in connection with the present
dispute, the operators refused to present
to us any counter proposals. This was
in direct contradiction of the practice
that had been established for years.
Thr- insisted that the miners should
continue to work indefinitely at an in
adequate wage. At the last minute they
agreed to negotiate, without reserva
tions, providing the miners would con
tinue to work, but, from experience the
miners knew that would mean continu
ing indefinitely under conditions they
were determined nbt to bear. They
knew the operators never would con
sent to pay a higher wage rate while en
joying an abnormal profit that absorbed J
the fair wage the miners are entitled to.
"Let me go further into the matter of
working time in the mines. In the peak
year, during the war, considering trans
portation break-downs and other emer
gencies, the miners were able to Work
only1 228 days. In normal times the
average number of days worked per
year goes down from 180 to 190. But,
in the 228-day year we were able, not
only to produce all the coal needed by
industries running under war-time pres
sure at top speed, tb fill all demands for
bunker coal, to provide ships having
, bunker capacity with coal in our ports
(Continued on Eighth Page.)
Important Meeting of New Ha
ven Local to Be Held Tonight.
Class for Officials.
The New Haven Local of the Clqth
Hat and Capmakers' Union will elect
officers at the meeting in Trades Coun
cil Hall tonight. This organization
continues tosend money each week for-
tne Denent or tne striking capmakers in
St. Louis. The trial of President Zari
itsky, Carolyn Wolfe, the general or
ganizer, and 53 of the St. Louis strikers,
has been postponed because Judge Dyer
uiu not care iu try ine case. a ne ue
fendants are charged with contempt of
court. The defendants had- protested
against the cases being tried before
Judge Dyer on the ground that he was
prejudiced and had committed himself
when he referred to the strikers as in
significant individuals. Benjamin Lev
enthal of the New Haven Local. did not
go to, the football game last Saturday
with the other labor officials but he was
satisfied as he won half a week's pay
on Princeton. .
The Capmakers' Union . announces
classes in' New York for labor officials
and some of the New Haven officials
may go there for- lesbsns. Two courses
are at present given for th officials, one
on the methods 6f industrial control
and the other on modern history, from
the discovery of America up to the
present time, including the industrial
history an.d the history of the labor
movement.. , .
The science of industrial control is of
recent . origin anil includes a review of
the development of ' our present indus
trial system: and : the modern methods
of management, both from the single
establishment in thet individual industry,
and those economic institutions which
serve to control the exchange of serv
ices and goods between the individual
establishments and; industries. The
courses will wind up, with, a review of
the tendencies revealed by scientific re
search for change in the present meth
ods of industrial control.
Austin, Texas, Nov. 21. This city,
together with several others in this
state, are being swept by a wave of anti-
unionism that would cover its tracks by
the so-called "tlopen' shop." The antis
are organizing ' open shop" associations
ami? sk&tik itheH' brand , of low wage,
long hour. "Americanism." The trade
union, movement in these localities has
steadied their lines and is successfully
resisting the attack against them.
East Liverpool, Ohio, Nov. 21. Ital
ians employed in local tin mills are told
that if they join the steel ' strike, they
will be deported, declared Organizer
Cinqua, organizer for the United Mine
Workers, in a speech in this city.
The .trade unionist said he is inform
ing the Italians-of their rights and that
this peonage will react on the mill man-'j
' : .
Monthly Gathering- of New Haven
Local Some Scale Boosts
in New England.
The New Haven Local of the Typo
graphical Union will hold its monthly
meeting in Trades Council Hall tomor
row. When seen by a reporter for The
Connecticut Labor Press, President
Ballard said he did not know of any
special business that was to come up.
The bulletin published by the New
England Typographical Union shows
that wages are going up throughout
this territory.
In Concord, N. H., there was an in
crease of $6.50 for both job and news
workers. Hand men get $30.50 and
machine operators -$32.50.
Worcester Union has negotiated a
new book and job scale calling for $29
per week, with a bonus attachment of
$2.50, making the rate $31.50. This is
a $9 increase over the old scale and an
increase of $15 in two years.
Providence book and job printers have
received a voluntary increase of $4 per
week, bringing the new minimum to
$28. At a special meeting of the union,
called for the purpose of considering the
voluntary offer, the officers were in
structed to continue negotiations for an
other increase, as the membership feel
that the present rate is too low.
Pawtucket . Union has negotiated a
new newspaper scale, in effect Novem
ber 1, which makes the rate $40 per
week. This is the highest scale in New
England to date, and the members of
No. 212 are to be congratulated on the
progress made in Pawtucket. With
this increase of $8 the newspaper work
ers in that city have raiesd the scale
$15 in two years.
Brockton Union received an offer of
$30 per week from the publishers in that
citv which is an increase of $6 per
week. The union voted not to accept
the offer and both parties have now
settled down to arbitration.
Providence Union has presented a
new scale to the local publishers, call
ing for $45 for day work and $48 for
night work. The hours to be the same
as at present, with the provision that
the lunch period of 30 minutes on both
day and night shifts be included in the
eight hours.
Waterbury Union has presented new
scales for both branches of the trade,
calling for $40 and $45 for 44 and 42
hour weeks.
Portland Union has a scale commit
tee drafting a new newspaper scale,
which wil be negotiated in a few weeks.
The members of New Britain Union
were granted.an increase of $3 per week
over the prevailing scale the first week
of September.
Ole Hanson and William
Denouncement of the
of" L. Men Who Have Always Fought the Radicals Antagonism
Aroused No , Help to Co-Operative Effort Against the Common
Foe Gompers' Loyalty Questioned and Judge Gary Whose
Corporation Refused to Heed National War Labor
Board's Ruling During the War, Declared a Hero by
Vandervoort, a Member of that Board
Members of organized labor in New
Haven who heard Ole Hanson, foe of
the "Reds", and William H. Vander
voort, a member of the National War
Labor Board speak before the State
Chamber of Commerce in Woolsey Hall,
Wednesday evening, got the surprise of
their life and came away firmly im
pressed with the idea that the State
Chamber of Commerce has about as
much use for organized labor as it has
for the Reds themselves.
Both speakers, according to the im
pressions received by the labor men
present, hold the view that organized
labor as represented by Samuel Gom
pers and the American Federation of
Labor is cut out of about, the same
cloth as the L W. W. and other "Red"
organizations and that it is entitled to
about as much consideration at the
hands of the community. !
Remarks strongly antagonistic to the
A. F. of L. brand of organized labor
were received with hearty applause from
the gathering and the fond love and ad
miration which was so strikingly man
ifested during the war by the class of
citizens represented at the meeting ap
peared to have vanished into thin air.
Both speakers, said a prominent la
bor man in discussing the meeting,
'tnnlr tht attihir1 nf TatA attnrnpvs for
the interests opposed to organized labor.
No attorney appearing at the state legis
lature as the recognized attorney for
the employers' associations ever took a
more decided stand in opposition to or
ganized labor than did these men.
bamuel Gompers was vigorously at
tacked and even his attitude during the
yorty-Fotir Hour Week to Go In
to Effect May 1, 1920 Trouble
With Register.
Charter to Be Opened Report by
Cominsky Election of
Officers Soon.
Considerable business was transacted
at the monthly meeting of the Printing
Pressmen's Union, Local 74, of New
Haven. The working conditions which
have been existing in the press room of
the New Haven Register were consid
ered and the paper was given a definite
period in which to adjust the condi
tions. The paper failed to do this.
The local committee took the matter up
with the owner, John Day Jackson, but
no agreement was reached. The local
committee voted to have its New Eng
land representative, Joseph A. Dart, call
upon Mr. Jackson this week and ad
just matters It is hoped the matter
will be straightened out with but little
friction. ' ,
The Local has ballotted upon - four
propositions before it of great impor
tance to the organization.. One was
for a 44-hour week to take effect May
1, 1921. This was agreed upon by the
international board of directors of the
printing trades' and the employers or
ganizations. The Local opened its
charter for a short period for organi
zation work and has increased its mem
bership. When the charter is closed the
initiation fee will be increased.
The Local has dismissed its commit
tee on contracts and agreements which
have been settled by the Local and the
master printers. The Local has met
with the representative of the National
Folding Box Company and a satisfac
tory agreement was reached. The con
cern called for a special rate on wages
due to the class of work turned out in
the establishment. The Local was rep
resented by a committee of interna
tional representatives, Joseph A. Dart,
New England representative, and Wal
ter A. Johnson, Connecticut represen
tative. The rate decided upon was $30
per week on two-color machines, $28
on single color machines and $24.50 on
platen presses. When the committee
was dismissed, it was given a vote of
thanks, as was also the representative.
The committee on the newspaper end
will not be dismissed until the end of
the negotiations have been reached with
the New Haven Register. lhe meet
ing was very largely attended and it is
hoped future meetings will be a draw
ing card for members. Brother Louis
Cominsky, delegate to the New Haven
Trades, Council, read his report of the
meetings of that body. The report was
a very interesting document and the
members were instructed to notice the
recommendations made by Mr. Comin
sky. All members are requested to attend
the meeting in December when officers
will, be elected. Nominations are as
follows :
President Edward C. McMahon (no
Vice-President Charles J. Gerard,
William C. O'Brien.
Secretarv-Treasurer Walter
Johnson (no opposition).
Trustees Louis Shapiro, Herbert E,
Winters, James Quinn, Joseph Coyle.
H. Vandervoort Include Organized Labor in Their
"Reds" in a Manner Highly Distasteful to A.F.
J war, which won commendation from all
at that time, was questioned as to its
"Organized labor of the A..F. of L.
type has been the bulwark between the
industrial interests of this country and
the radicals from the beginning and in
antagonizing it the State Chamber of
Commerce is doing a great work toward
defeating the very object which it is
endeavoring to attajn." '-'
It is generally recognized by all fair
minded persons that organized labor has
fought the I. W. W. and kindred insti
tutions vigorously from their inception.
No longer ago than last June the con
vention of the A. F. of L. in session at
Atlantic City most effectively killed
every measure introduced from radical
sources and proved the radical element
to be a negligible quantity within the
rahks of the A. F. of L.
Since that time a strong fight has
been waged to purge local organizations
affiliated with the A. F. of L. of every
member who supported the radical
movement. At no time could any one
with justice maintain that the A. F. of
L. and its affiliated unions manifested
toward the "Reds" anything but a most
strenuous opposition. It has done more
to curb the evil than any other organ
ization or class of citizens in the coun
try. Members of organized labor in New
Haven attended the meeting Wednesday
evening with a feeling of regard and
admiration for Ole Hanson for what
he had done toward ridding Seattle of
the "Red" domination. They came
away with a decidedly altered attitude
Polishers . Who Went X)n Strike
September 4 Determined to
Stick Till They Win.
The polishers in the . polishing room
at Winchester's, who . went on strike
September 4 because their requestfor
an increase of wages to 75 cents an
hour was refused, are still out on strike,
and will remain put, they state, until
granted a wage which will enable them
to live decently. It has taken years to
gain the efficiency and skill ih this
branch of polishing possessed nmfhe
men involved, and it will take otnersas
long or longer to become proficient.
The men feel certain that if the proper
officials of the company would investi
gate the , past and present output and
quality of production in the heavy pol
ishing room, and do it thoroughly, there
would be a mutual settlement of the
present difficulty at an early date.
The men are meeting every week so
that they can keep in touch with each
no demands made
by coal Drivers
New Haven Newspapers Said
They Were to Ask for $9 a
Day Meeting Last Night.
The New Haven Union of Tuesday
and the Journal-Courier of Wednesday
said that the coal drivers of New Ha
ven were not satisfied with a wage of
$35 a week and through their union
were going to demand $9 a day. David
J. Geddes, business manager of the
Local of the International Brotherhood
of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Stablemen
and Helpers;, said that no demands of
any kind had been made and he was
unable to say what demands would be
made. The misinformation spread by
the newspapers caused considerable un
favorable comment to be made about the
The Local met last night in Trades
Council Hall, when about 200 new
members joined the organization and a
list of officers was placed in nomina
tion. The election will take place a
week from tomorrow. Before last
night's meeting the Local had a mem
bership of between 50 and 60.
The Eastern Marine Workers' Asso
ciation, of which Mr. Geddes is also the
business manager, will hold a meeting a
week from tomorrow.
Washington, Nov. 21. A report by a
congressional investigating commission
shows that the government pays men
more than it does women for the same
kind of work. For women typists the
rates range from $1,000 to $1,099 a year,
while men doing the same kind of work
receive from $1,100 to $1,199. Women
statisticians with a college training
start in as low as $1,200, while men are
paid $1,800, $3,000 and $4,000.
The report refers to "the weaker bar
gaining power of women" in connection
with this condition.
Sergeant-at-Arms William Moeller.
Correspondent to Connecticut Labor
Press and American Pressman Frank
Meldeberger, William Purcell, Frank
Walter A. Johnson, secretary and
treasurer of the Local, has changed his
postoffice box number to 939.
and the co-operation and friendliness
which they had felt toward the State
Chamber of Commerce and its efforts
to fight radicalism had been changed to
one of deep resentment.
In addition to Ole Hanson's none
too kind references to the organization
which they represent they had listened
to particularly scathing attacks from
Mr. Vandervoort. The latter also ex
tolled Elbert H. Gary, head the United
States Steel Corporation, together with
others, as heroes who upheld the prin
ciples of Americanism m their bitter
opposition to organized labor.
During the war, when production
was of such paramount importance,
Judge Gary's steel corporation refused
to recognize the ruling of Mr. Vander
voort's board relating to the adoption
of the basic eight hour day. It may
be that Mr. Vandervoort considered
Judge Gary a hero at that time, but he
failed to remark upori it publicly then.
His laudatory remarks now are sig
nificant because they emphasize the
changed conditions between present and
past. They indicate a resumption of
the cordial relations between big busi
ness and the men who were so willing j
during the time of stress to recognize
labor's rights.
Take it all " in all the demonstration
staged by the State Chamber of Com
merce appears to have been unfortun
ate to say the least and in the opinion
of local labor leaders this sort of thing
will do more to stir up antagonism on
the part of the loyal workingman than
any other course that could be pur
sued. j
labor men hear
.about health:
' '
Trades Council, Votes to Hold
Mass Meeting, Following
Prof. Fisher's Address.
One of Most Interesting Discus
sions Ever Listened to By That
Organization's Delegates.
The New ffaven Trades Council at
its meeting, Thursday evening,' listened
to one of the most interesting addresses
ever delivered' before that body when
Prof. Irving Fisher of Yale discussed
the subject of health insurance.v
Professor Fisher, who is a nationally
recognized authority on the subject,
presented its scope and advantages to
the worker in an exceptionally clear and
concise manner and his remarks were
enthusiatsically applauded at their con
clusion, followed bv a rising vote of
Later a motion made by Delegate
Guetens of the Cigarmakers' Union that
a committee be apointed to arrange for
a mass meeting under the aucpices of
the New Haven Trades Council for the
purpose of discussing the "subject pre
vailed. President Ornburn appointed
upon that committee Delegates Patrick
F. Q'Meara, John Moakley, Eugene
Treiber, August Striby and Joseph J.
Reilly. .
Lack of space prevents a detailed re
port of Professor Fisher's remarks in
this issue but further attention will be
given to the subject in these columns
later. He pointed out thfej. advantages
accruing from indemnification, which is
the vital principle of all insurance, in
demnifying the worker for the loss
suffered from lack of employment dur
ing illness, and the additional advantage
gained from the prevention of illness
which follows the adoption of health
insurance. The latter, of course, results
from the higher standard of health un
derstood and maintained.
To get the greatest benefit from health
insurance, the speaker said, it must be
made universal and to be made univer
sal it must be made compulsory. Here
arises the objection that this interferes
l with personal liberty but, as a matter of
fact, not all compulsory measures are an
interference with liberty. Compulsory
education was quoted as an example,
bitterly opposed at first but later wel
comed because it was demonstrated that
it was for the good of the entire com
munity and, rather than being a de
privation of liberty it was in reality a
provision for the liberty of children of
illiterate and unintelligent parents.
Health insurance, he added, is Itera
tive because it liberates the individual
from the grasp of the insurance com
panies which do, whether they have to
or not, charge extortionate fees for pro
tection. The workingman, above all
others, benefits from health insurance,
he declared, and they need .to be edu
cated to its desirability. They will get
it just as soon as they demand it and no
The advantages accruing to the work
er and his family through the protec
tion afforded by health insurance were
detailed at considerable length and the
various plans of its adoption were dis
cussed. "The expense in the most popu
lar instances is divided two-fifths upon
the individual, two-fifths upon the em
ployer and one-fifth upon the state.
Many Violations in New Haven
Reported to Allied Council.
December Elections.
The New Haven Allied Printing
i raaes council held a regular meeting
on Monday evening at its headquart
ers in the Insurance Building and con
siderable business of importance was
transacted. Reference was made to
several prjnting officers in the city vio
lating ine ruies. governing tne use of
the label in these establishments rela
tive to, the employment of union men
m the different branches of the trade.
It is hoped the conditions will be ad
justed between the council and these
establishments and if they are not the
labels will be withdrawn.
Walter A. Johnson, secretary and
treasurer of the council, read his .re
port of the convention of the -New Eng
land Allied Printing Trades ., Council
which was held in Boston and which
he attended as a delegate. ,
. Thomas J. Poll reported as one of
the committee to' investigate various
violations in some of the shops. The
council has taken steps to have these
matters remedied. The council has been
very lenient during the last few years
because of the war and the effects ef
the war but it sees no reason whv the
conditions cannot be improved now. An
nouncement was made, that the council
would see that all rules and regulations
would be lived up to in the. future.
the nomination and election of offi
cers will take place at the December
meeting and a full attendance of dele
gates is expected.
John "You work hard. How manv
hods of mortar have you carried uo
that ladder today?" .
Bill Hush. man. I'm foolm the
boss. I've carried this same hodful iid
an' down all day - and' he thinks Fvc
been workin'." ' , s
Youngstown, Ohio: Nov. 21.-.Soanish
influenza has broken out among strike
breakers housed in the mills of the
Carnegie Steel company and the Brier
Hill - comoanv. Hosoital officials ' an-
$QSmrkhat ix cks Aave , taken
to the-hospital froni the Carnegie plant
and three from the other milL;1 The
"free and independents", have been living-in
the plants since the strike started
on September 22.
San Francisco, Nov. 21. "The labor
group," says Ithe Seamen's Journal,
"walked out of the national industrial
conference because the spirit of abso
lutism that died with Louis' XIV has
been reincarnated and has found a voice
in Gary and the other f eudary lords
ot the United btates who profess to be-
heve that they are, the industry of
America and that those employed there
in are "mere serfs."
New Haven Barbers Name Repre
sentatives to Derby Meeting.
Banner Out Again.
The Barbers Union of New Haven
has chosen the following delegates to
the annual convention of the Uonnecti
cut fitate Barbers Protective Associa
tionto be held in Derby on December
o : u. Gneco, Anthony Merlmo. Joseph
Escolano and Paul Brickman. This
convention will be the most important
gathering m Derby since the Princeton
tootball team was there the night be
fore the game in New Haven. The
Local Union has "decided upon a cam
paign to round up the non-union barber
shops m the city numberms: nearly 25.
The unions big banner which was so
effectively used recently in front of a
shop will be carried in front of the
non-union shops, this banner is .dec
orated with the emblem of the union
George Arena is one of the latest bar
bers to start a- shop and he has a union
card. He does all the work himself.
He bought a ticket for the Yale-Princeton
football game for $2 and took a
chance on a dull day for trade in order
to get a chance to see the game. . But
as the game was played on Saturday
which is the busiest day in the week iiv
the barbers calendar about every one
but George knew that his chance of see
ing the game was about as slight as
Yales chances of rushing the ball after
Princeton's 20-yard " line was reached.
About the time that automobiles were
rushing through George street headed
for the Bowl, customers began to arrive
in George's place and the room was full
about the time that Braden made his
kick-off. Arena still has the ticket for
the game and it is quite a curiosity for
as far as known it is the only one in
the city that was not used. If the bar
bers ever give a fair this ticket will be
placed on exhibition. ;
Charles A. Cioffi, the cartoonist-barber,
is now located in Worcester and
he writes that he is embellishing the
rocks and other scenery over there with
pictures of artistic clothing.
Pine Bluff, Ark., Nov. 21. Organized
carpenters have raised wages to 92yi
cents an hour.
Worcester, Mass., Nov. 21. A dispute
between the Worcester Products com
pany and its employees has been ad
justed. These workers are . affiliated
with the United Brewery, Flour, Cereal
and Soft Drink Workers.
Anti-Strike Legislation Secured in:
Roundabout Way -Union La
bor Had Premonition of What
Was Coming When Act Was
Passed in Congress Section 9
Was Aimed at Profiteers.
A new situation hi.
fL application, of the Lever
food control act of 1917 to a strike
u3ng u rounkbout wayithe
United States has evolved anti-strike
legislation which, had it been propSed
as such, would have brought forth a
storm of discussion, for it would have
involved consideration of the funda
mental relations of labor, capital and
public. It is. believed that the Lever "
law would, not have passed if it . had ",
been designated as something more than
a war measure. ";
In the discussion in the House dur
ing the summer of 1017 fi,.. -
lack of prophecy regarding the numer- r
uu.4 Pases or tne biH. Labor, moral
rerorm, political crin .
adjustment, all were read into the pro-'
visions by apprehensive members, of
Congress. Based unon th ih; ,
better distribution conservation and
production of food, the bin branched off
into many matters contributing and af
fecting the handling and
of vital necessaries, which were inter-
related and hardly separable.
Representative Lever nf 5snntti -
olina, the author of the bill, is now a
memoer ot the federal Farm Loan
Board of the Treasury department, hav- -
ing resigned from Congress. He sees
his war-time measure now drawing
great load. He himself orouosed that
the House write into the bill Section 9
under which the Department of Justice
has been proceeding in the coal strike
case. Soon after the debate hetran h
realized that unless fuel were included
tne law would not be wholly effectual.
The country had to have- an ademiat
distribution of fuel in order to insure
a steady supply of food.
This Section 9 was not framed with
the intent of applying it to any such
situation as has called for the present
test . It was primarily aimed .at profi
teers. However, earlv in the framing
of the; bill, and of this particular anti
strike section, the question sf its effect '
upon organized" labor was raised. s '
Representative Edward - Keating of
Colorado endeavored- to amend the Ler
er act so that it would-Tiot be inter- ;
preted ih any way to effect Section 6 or
Section 20 of the Clayton anti-trust law,
protecting organized labor. His pro- -posal
brought out comments now en-'
lightening in view of the present use"
of the law.' - " ; -v',;.--.-.-, : . , . . - ::.
. . Representative Keating, in calling the -attention
of the House to- the neces
sity of making the Lever biH safe for '.'
labor,; said? "If you adopt this amend- '
ment, what will you do? . The bill pro- "
vides heavy , penalties for anyone con
spiring to limit production, of food or
the transportation thereof. That pro
vision will remain ia force, but the pro-' '
visions of thex Clayton Anti-Trustl law,
which permit members of labor unions
to; quit work in order to improve their
working condition, in order to shorten
their hours, in order to secure increased '
pay, will also remain in force. : . "
"I submit to the members "of this
House that every sponsor for the bill '
having declared that it is not the pur
pose of the bill , to nullify the provi
sions of the Clayton Anti-Trust law, and
the representatives of organized labor,
having expressed the desire that this act
should be clarified, it js only fair that :
the amendment that I have suggested
should be adopted. ' '.,
"Section 6 of the Clayton Anti-Trust
law provides that the labor of a human
being is not a commodity or article of '
commerce ; that ' nothing contained m
the Anti-Trust law shall , be construed '
to forbid the existence and operation
of labor, agricultural or horticultural
organizations. Section 20 provides that'
no restraining order shall be issued by '
any court of the United States for the'
purpose of interfering with the usual '
lawful operations of organizations of
farmers and workmen.".
When it was intimated on the floor
that Representative Keating virtually .
intended to exempt labor from punish
ment for violations of the Food bill, he
answered that he wanted it distinctly
understood "so that every judge may
know it, that when a man strikes for
the purpose of shortening hours, better
ing working conditions, or securing an
increase in pay, he must not be dragged '
before a court and charged with con-
spiracy to limit transportation and pro
duction. These are two separate and
distinct offenses and 'the - gentleman
from Colorado' is perfectly1 willing the
workman or the farmer or the lawyer
who conspires to limit production shall
be brought under this act: but he ob-
jects to having the workman's rights,
rights for which labor has struggled for
hundred years, set aside under the
plea that you are conserving .the food :
supply of this country."
Then came Mr. Lever s summing up
on the proposed labor amendment in
what was termed the best short speech
that had been delivered in the House
in years., it deteated tne amendment
aimed to protect labor. He said in part : -
"Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that
this House sometimes goes very far in
imposing upon the intelligence and
patriotism of . certain classes of our citi
zenship. The action in which the gen- -tleman
is interested (Section 9) pro- ,
poses to do this to punish those who
conspire, combine agree, or arrange
with any other person to limit the facu- - "
ities for transporting, producing,, man-,
ufacturing, supplying, storing, or deal-;
ing with any necessaries. What are
necessaries ? Food, feed and fuel the '
things that the human family must,
above all other things, have at all times,
and especially in time of war. What
else? It proposes to punish those who
conspire, combine, agree, or arrange
with any other person to , restrict the
supply of any necessaries. . What else? ,
It proposes to punish those who con
spire, combine, agree, or arrange with
any other person to prevent, limit, or
lessen the manufacture or production of
any necessaries.
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