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THE LABOR STANDARD, JANUARY, 101O.
13 unjust to workmen Loss Entailed by Injury Should Not Be Borne by Them. -THE ACCIDENTS OF INDUSTRY Cost Should Be Charged Against Ex pense of Operation Law Ought Not to 8uppose That the Toiler Assumes "Risk of Business." Discussing the proposed plan of the New York Central railroad to pension its employees, the New York American says: The announcement of the New York Central Railroad company that it is about to introduce a pension system for its superannuated employees will generally be regarded as a good exam ple and a measure of justice that all great employers of labor should fol low. This matter of providing for old age out of a man's surplus of earnings in his working years should be dealt with on a businesslike basis and should not be thought of as having any tincture of condescension or gratuity. If the New York Central people im agine that they are bestowing favors and earning the gratitude of their em ployees their false attitude in the mat ter will induce false methods and viti ate the whole pension scheme. Workingmett will not welcome the idea of being treated as objects of charity. If a wornout railroad man is to have as good treatment at the hands of rail road corporations as an old horse gets from a good farmer it will be because railroad employees have, on the whole, won their way to a position whore such treatment can be demanded. It is worthy of remark in this con nection that Mr. Adelbert Moot, presi dent of the New York State Bar asso ciation, said a sound legal word for railroad and other employees in a speech in Buffalo. Speaking of the enormous number of accidents to life and limb suffered on railroads and in factories, Mr. Moot said that in a case where the accident is due neither to the special negligence of the employer or the employee, but to the mere inevitable "risk of the business," it is grossly unjust that the injured workman should bear the mon ey loss entailed by the misfortune. He said that, in spite of the ancient English rule to the contrary, the law ought not to suppose that the "risk of the business" is assumed by the man that takes the job. Such risk and the losses caused by it should be thought of as a part of the natural cost of the undertaking. And it should be charg ed, not against the workman, but against the business itself. That is to say, railroad companies ought to make provision for paying, and ought to be made to pay, adequate money damages for all the injuries in curred by workmen in the ordinary course of railroading. The cost of such accidents should be regarded as a part of the fixed charges of the railroad business. Pensions providing for the inevitable march of a man's years should no doubt be comprehended under the same rule and the same reasoning. Following a similar line of reasoning, the New York Times has the follow ing: There could hardly be a more impor tant task for a legislative committee properly constituted as to the inten tions and capacities of its members, that is than the investigation of the whole subject commonly described as "employers' liability." Past practice and laws, dealing with industrial .acci dents and the responsibility for them have been and for the most part still are grotesquely unreasonable, illogical and inefficient and, while cruelly un just to the worker, have been no real protection to the employer, in spite of the fact that he was the one who de vised and perpetuated them. Until very recently the employer's one aim and effort has been to limit his direct liability when he could not avoid it altogether, and in the execu tion of this purpose there has grown up a great system of precedent and law, with the three foundation stones of "contributory negligence," "the fel low servant rule" and "voluntary as sumption of risk." For each of these principles there is something of excuse and even of reason, but as they have worked out in combination the em ployer pays his money to lawyers in stead of to injured workmen, and then he pays it again as a member of the community in which he lives in sup porting as paupers the direct and indi rect victims of accidents whose claims his lawyers are hired to fight. The lia bility insurance companies have still further complicated the problem and diverted still more of what may be galled the accident fund from its legit imate use. Now there is a growing inclination to abandon entirely the venerable foundation stones just mentioned and to build up a system of remuneration and support based on the idea that ac cidents are a natural and inevitable part of every business and that the cost of such of them as cannot be pre vented by intelligence and care should be added to and then drawn from the price of that business' output of prod uct. In other words, the consumer is to pay for the men worn out in indus try exactly as he does for the ma chines that are worn out. He does that now in a way, and a very bad way it is, but he is to do it better, more economically and as a matter of natural obligation instead of as a re luctant or extorted favor. SEAMEN MAY AMALGAMATE. British Labor Leader Plans Worldwide Union of Sailors. Havelock Wilson, leader of the Union of British Seamen, is now in this coun try to organize American seamen on new lines so as to form an internation al union of seamen in America and Eu rope. Addressing a mass meeting of sailors at the port of New York, Mr. Wilson outlined his plan as follows: "I am sent here at the request of the seamen of Great Britain to make prop aganda for the great international fed eration of seamen. For twenty years the Federation of English Shipowners has kept the British Seamen's union in a state of demoralization; but. deter mined to improve conditions for the seamen, the leaders have been active in forming branches in Bremen, Ham burg, Kiel, Antwerp, Norway, Sweden and Belgium. Following the example of the British employers, the American employers have been waging an active war against the unions of seamen on the great lakes. Recently many con ferences have been held by the repre sentatives of the powerful shipping in terests in London for the purpose of giving to the campaign against the sea men's unions international scope and to make the proposed international war as relentless and as systematic as possible. "The following international de mands will be decided on by the pro posed great conference of representa tives of the seamen of the world to be held in Copenhagen next year: "First. Uniform wage scales for long aud short journeys. "Second. The number of the ma chinery personnel to be regulated by the amount of coal carried. "Third A representative of the Sea men's union shall be present during the selection of a crew to safeguard the interests of the men." WAR ON CONSUMPTION. Labor Unions and Fraternal Societies Join In the Fight. According to a recently issued state ment by the National Association For the Study and Prevention of Tubercu losis, three international labor unions with a membership of upward of 100, 000 and nine fraternal and benefit or ganizations with a combined member ship of nearly 3,000,000 have during the past year enlisted in the war against consumption in the trades. A year ago only one fraternal organiza tion, the Royal league, and one labor union, the International Typographical union, maintained institutions for the treatment of their tuberculous mem bers. Since Jan. 1, 1909, the following fraternal and benefit organizations have taken up the consideration of the disease and in some instances have de cided to erect institutions: Brother hood of American Yeomen, Order of Eagles, Improved Order of lied Men, Modern Woodmen of America, Knights of Pythias, Royal Arcanum, Work men's Circle, Knights of Columbus and Foresters of America. The inter national labor unions which have join ed the fight against tuberculosis are the International Photo-engravers' Un ion of North America, the Interna tional Printing Pressmen and Assist ants' union and the International Boot and Shoe Workers' union. The first sanitarium to be erected for the benefit of workingmen was built by the International Typograph ical union in connection with its home at Colorado Springs. The Internation al Printing Pressmen and Assistants' union has recently decided to erect a similar sanitarium, and steps are now being take to open such an institution in Tennessee. The International Photo-engravers' union, while not conduct ing a sanitarium of its own, pays for the treatment of its tuberculous members in institutions in various parts of the country. The Internation al Boot and Shoe Workers' union is recommending to its members that they ally themselves with the various organizations united in the fight against tuberculosis. All of these fraternal organizations and labor unions are also carrying on campaigns of education among their members. In this way over 3,000,000 men and women are receiving instruc tion through lectures, through official papers and by literature expressly pre pared showing the dangers and meth ods of prevention of tuberculosis. It is a campaign of prevention which will bring to these various unions, fra ternal and benefit organizations mil lions of dollars in the saving of lives and the cutting down of payments for sickness and death resulting from tu berculosis. The recent national fra ternal congress estimated that 50 per cent of the death losses from tubercu losis could be saved to the various unions and fraternal organizations of the country. The National Association For the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis announces that it has rendered all assistance possible to these various movements among the labor men and fraternal organizations and stands ready to co-operate as far as possible with any society of this character. Jap Labor In California. According to the thirteenth biennial report of the bureau of labor statistics of California, extracts of which are re published in a bulletin issued by the department of commerce and labor, there were approximately 45,000 Japa nese in California in September, 1908. It is stated that the Japs showed a tendency to increase as a factor in all lines of labor throughout the state, es pecially in the larger centers of popu lation. The Chinese population also seems to be gradually leaving the ag ricultural fields and turning toward the cities and towns. HARTFORD PRINTING CO, Every Kind and All the Latest and Best Styles of . . . PRINTING AT 16 STATE STREET. A LABOR PAPER is a $ far better advertising f 4 m Aflinm 4-linvi anir ni. fr j, jucuium uuoii m J vri I dinary newspaper in com- J parison with circulation. J A Labor Paper, for exam- pie, having 2,000 subscrib J ers, is of more value to the business man who ad- vertises in it than ordi- nary papers with 20,000 subscribers. Printers jjj Ink j UNIONISTS BE CONSISTENT HAVE A LOOK FOR THE LABEL, Under the Leather of All Union Hade Soft and Stiff Hats. she 0 a mmmm m ED EEJUSSSOlHEiii EH H mmmmnsm w UNION MEN Patronize the advertisers in The Labor Standard. It. ,1 SlMi A era a d 1 m si u HiothA & a ( a A. C 64,AJb