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THE LABOR STANDARD, JANUAKV 101 0.
11 DAMS ONPROGRESS Fair Weather Unionists Retard Labor's Advance. MENDICANTS OF INDUSTRY. Workers Who Are Willing to Accept Benefits From Trades Organizations Without Aiding In Their Support. Loyal to No Principle. In a recent strike by women, the pur pose being to secure an increase of wages from $8 to $10 per week, several of the young women involved were conversing upon the subject in a street car, says a writer in Shoe Workers' Journal. The main idea of this group was how best to secure the raise in wages and at the same time avoid paying dues to the union. To secure a raise in wages through a union and then refuse to support the union that secured the raise is not new, but this is the first time the writer ever kuew of a "plan being con cocted to avoid all obligations to the union which was to secure the raise even before the raise had been secured. It did not seem to occur to these young women that the two dollar weekly increase was worth having or that, inasmuch as it required a union to obtain it, it might also require a un ion to protect or retain it. Nor is this idea peculiar only to these young women. Working people have always been too prone to avail themselves of the strength of labor unions temporarily for the purpose of redressing the more pressing grievances of the immediate present and, having accomplished this much, then abandon the union until menaced by stne new oppression. In the meantime it often suits their fancy to speak disparagingly of the union as being "weak" or "no good," when, as a matter of fact, if the union is weak it is simply and solely because those who are under obligations to it and who are morally bound to support it have refused to give it any support. A beggar is one who solicits alms while offering nothing in return and is sometimes styled a mendicant. A wage earner who tries through union to get advanced wages and who avoids giving anything to the union in return may properly bo termed an in dustrial mendicant. These industrial mendicants are very largely responsible for the fluctuations in the membership of trades unions. They flock in temporarily when there is a melon to be cut in the shape of a raise in wages, and as soon as the raise is secured they flock out again. If all the wage earners who ever joined the unions remained true mem bers labor would be nearly completely organized or perhaps wholly. The precentage organized would be so very large that to be a nonunionist would be unfashionable and perhaps uncomfortable, and all remaining out side the union would join. The industrial mendicants are quite numerous in the shoe trade. They have made an unenviable record of being in and out of all unions many times, but loyal to none. They have retarded organization to a remarkable degree, for the reason that whenever business conditions make for extension of the union membership the first work to be done is to gather in the industrial mendicants once more, and in doing this much valuable time is consumed. If the trades unions were able to hold their gains in membership from season to season, so that the gains made in the new season would be net gains, progress would be much faster and op portunities to improve wages and con ditions would be vastly more numerous. UPHOLDS THE BOYCOTT. Right to Withdraw Patronage Cannot Be Enjoined, Says Mitchell. "The fight must continue to uphold the boycott," said John Mitchell in a recent interview in New York. "Not because the laboring men have any particular love for the boycott," he added. "Indeed, they have no more love for the boycott than for the strike. Both are extreme measures of defense forced upon the wage earners by un just conditions. The workers fully realize that the boycott and the strike are means to be used to maintain their rights and promote their welfare when seriously threatened by hostile, greedy and unfair employers when no other remedy seems available. It is not the strike or the boycott itself which mat ters so much as the recognition of the lawful right to employ either or both when necessary. "With the boycott cleared of wrong ful charges and misapprehension and recognized as a lawful right we will find its use diminishing. It will be a power held in reserve and used only when no other remedy is adequate. "Even if we had been guilty of un lawful conspiracy and coercion and in timidationwhich we were not sure ly there should be some more adequate punishment than by a process of in junction. In fact, existing laws do not provide greater punishment for these offenses; and I submit that if we are guilty of thorn we should be tried by due process of law before a jury of our peers and, if found guilty, punish ed as the law provides rather than be subjected to the caprice of a judge who solely determines the sufficiency of the charges, the guilt of the defend ant and who imposes punishment as his whim may prompt." Reverting to the boycott as a means of remedying wrongs, Mr. Mitchell sjaid: "We have always held, and we. still hold, that laborers or other citi zens have the right to withhold or to bestow their patronage as they choose; that they have the right to advise friends and sympathizers of this ac tion and of the reasons therefor. It is hardly necessary to state that in the case of the workers the unfair attitude of the dealer in question has always been the reason for the withdrawal of patronage. "It has been made clear that he re fused to pay the standard rate of wages and to agree to other equitable conditions which the workers seek through organizations, and hence the withdrawal of patronage. The boy cotts declared by other citizens have sometimes been placed for other rea sons, and they can safely be left to a defense of their own actions. "The boycott is by no means a weap on used by workers alone. It is one of those inalienable rights which are at times used by all people. The right to withhold or withdraw patronage is one of those things which can neither be enjoined, forbidden nor punished. Upon us, however, the attempt has been made by the courts to have the boycott declared unlawful and a con spiracy and hence subject to a judicial decree and punishment." THE STATE CAPITOL The Labor Press. Again I may refer to the splendid service rendered our movement by the labor press of America. In no country on the globe are there so general or so effective publications purely devoted to the interests of the wage earners as are issued by the men of our move ment. The service of the labor press in organizing and uplift work cannot be calculated in dollars and cents. It is our duty as trades unionists not only to give them our moral support, but the more substantial assistance that they may live and prosper and be of still greater efficiency to help in the Btruggle for justice and right From President Gompera' Report. In 1871 the General Assembly ap pointed a commission to contract for and fully complete a Capitol building in Hartford, and appropriated five hundred thousand dollars, authorizing the city of Hartford to appropriate and issue bonds to the extent of one million dollars for the same purpose. The commission accepted the pres ent site from the city of Hartford, and the plan of Mr. R. M, Upjohn of New York as a design for the building. In 1873 the plan was changed to a design for the present fire-proof building, and five hundred thousand dollars additional appropriated by the State. A new 'commission was also appointed. In 1875 this was supple mented by a further and final appro priation of one million dollars. The General Assembly opened its from ground to top of roof, ninety-two feet eight inches; to top of crowning figure, two hundred fifty-seven feet two inches. The offices of the Comptroller, Treasurer, Commissioners of the School Fund, Adjutant-General, Quartermaster-General, Insurance Com missioner, and Superintendent of the Capitol are on the first floor. On the second floor are the Senate Chamber, Representatives' Hall and coat-rooms, and the offices of the Gov ernor, the Secretary, the Highway Commissioner, the Clerk of Bills, and Engrossing Clerk. On the third floor are the Supreme Court room, the office of the Reporter, the State Library, the Tax Commis sioner's office, and the offices of the Attorney-General, Factory Inspector, STATE CAPITOL AT HARTFORD, CONN. first regular session in the building in January, 1879, but it was not fully completed until somo months later. The entire cost, including heating and ventilating apparatus and such statuary as was placed at the time of: erection, was $2,532,524.43, and the cost of the furniture was about one hun dred thousand dollars more. The rooms used for offices and by committees are numbered from 1 to 80. The Senate Chamber and Repre sentatives' Hall, on the second floor, and the State Library, on the third floor, are not numbered. The dimensions are as follows: Extreme length, two hundred ninety-five feet eight inches; width of central part, one hundred eighty-nine feet four inches; of wings, one hun dred eleven feet eight inches; height the State Board of Education, Railroad Commissioners, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Dairy Commissioner, and the Commissioner on Domestic Animals. The ladies' parlor is also on this floor. On the fourth floor are located the offices of the State Police, Bank Com missioners and Commissioner on Building and Loan Associations, the State Board of Charities, and the Board of Education of the Blind; the other rooms are used for committee purposes during the sessions of the General Assembly. On the fifth floor are the offices of the Connecticut Prison Association, the State Board of Health, and a number of committee rooms and storerooms of the different departments; also the Capitol restaurant. FIRST WOOLEN MILL IN UNITED STATES, SEYMOUR, CONN, Erected by Gen. David Humphreyi 1804,