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THE LABOR STANDARD, JANUARV, 1910.
CONQUERING What Trades Unions Have Done to Lessen Human Misery. SOCIAL UPLIFT THEIR AIM. Dr. Warn Gives Credit to Organized Labor For Its Work In the Preven tion of Poverty by the Removal of Its Dominant Causes. Dr. Frank Julian Warne, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and long an earnest student of social and Industrial questions, takes up in the current number of the Metropolitan Magazine in the course of his study of "The Conquest of Poverty" the par ticular part played in that warfare by the labor unions. He takes the gen eral position that the primary and dom inant causes of poverty are not indi vidual or social defects of character, but those economic forces over which the individual victim usually has no control, and he makes the claim that It is chiefly to the labor unions that the credit is due for the prevention of poverty by the removal of its causes that is, the regulation of factory man agement, the provision of safety appli ances and the general enforcement of better sanitary conditions. The record of death and casualty in the industries of the country is briefly reviewed, and authorities are quoted to show that were the same precautions taken and care exercised as in certain foreign countries a vast proportion of the ac cidents would be avoided and thou sands of human lives saved. From this Dr. Warne is led to a con sideration of the movement for a change in the American law and prac tice concerning the employers' liability for accents x,to workers, and he says that the brunt of the struggle for the prevention of industrial accidents is being borne by the labor unions. In this connection he gives the following table, not as a complete showing of the relief work of labor organizations, but as a suggestion of what is being done: FEDERATION UNIONS. Death benefits $1,257,244.29 Sick benefits 593,541.34 Unemployed benefits 205,254.31 Traveling benefits 51,093.86 Death benefits (members wives) 31,390.00 Tool insurance 5,871.63 Total $2,144,395.43 Strike benefits 2,550,000.00 Total $4,694,395.43 Railway brotherhoods 5.000,000.00 Grand total $9,694,395.43 An interesting feature of Dr. Warne's article is the statement which he pre sents as showing the attitude of the unions on the subject. Thus he quotes John Mitchell, ex-president of the Unit ed Mine Workers, as saying: To understand what the trades unions are doing to combat poverty it is neces sary to consider the causes of poverty. Poverty is the result of unemployment, low wages, disease, accident and misfor tune. The trades unions have sought, with marked success, to remove poverty by se curine for the wage earners a rate of wages sufficiently, high to enable work men and their families to live in a man ner conformable to American standards. They (the unions) have accumulated large funds which are used to relieve workmen and their families who may be in distress as a result of accident, death, sickness or unemployment. Last year there was paid for the relief of the unemployed members of trades unions out of the funds in the union treasuries not le3s than $5,000,000. This expenditure does not include several millions of dollars paid in strike and lock out benefits. James Duncan, first vice president of the American Federation of Labor, in his statement of labor's campaign against poverty enumerates the reduc tion of the working hours per day and the increase of wages as the most im portant contributions toward the cause, and he adds: lcs has been changed by trades unions re ducing working hours per day and to three-quarters or two-thirds instead of full time, so as to keep all employed: also in refusing to reduce wages during dull times. Again, experience proves that the toner who is not overworked and who receives fair compensation for his labor is a sober, thrifty living citizen, wnicn laci gives him n hotter chance to ruard acalnst pov erty. Thus again, prevention being better than a cure, we score. Judged from any standpoint, trades unions are penorming their share in the campaign against pov erty. TRADE INSTRUCTION. Labor's Educational Committee Wants Mechanics Taught In Schools. An official report regarding the alms and objects of the committee on industrial education of the American Federation of Labor has been made by John Mitchell, chairman of the committee. The movement, it was stated, is not a trades union movement particularly, but is the first of the kind started by the American Federation of Labor. Chairman Mitchell says in his report: "National associations for the pro motion of industrial education have been started from time to time, but this is the first time the American Federation of Labor has gone into the matter. The committee has gone into the subject exhaustively and finds that many manufacturers be cause of the specialization of the dif ferent departments of the trades find it very hard to get competent superin tendents, owing to the difficulty of finding all around mechanics who have learned everything about any particular trade. "We will agitate for the teaching of the principles of mechanics in the public schools. The high schools, for instance, teach pupils how to prepare for the professions, but as there are more people in mechanical trades than in the professions they should also, we believe, teach the principles j of mechanics. "A man, for instance, may know that a joint at a certain angle is stronger than at any other angle with out knowing the reason why. Another man will know why that joint is stronger. This man will be more valuable than the first man. Ambi tion to excel would be stimulated if mechanics had a better opportunity of knowing the principles of a trade as well as learning one branch of a trade in a routine way. In the end this would be better for both employ ers and employees. "A number of recommendations on the subject will be made at the com ing meeting of the committee in Washington, which will be submitted at the next meeting of the American Federation of Labor for approval be fore we ask for legislation on the sub ject." Union to Establish a Loan Fund. Minneapolis Typographical union No. 42 is considering a new constitution and bylaws, a most important feature of which is the establishment of a loan fund for needy members. This is being established to circumvent the loan sharks who have preyed on work ingmen in that city. Under the pro posed law members will be able to borrow up to $50 if they can get three sureties, and loans must be paid back in weekly installments. A member se curing a loan of $50 is required to pay into the treasury $2.50 a week, for $25 he must pay $1.50, while for $10 and less borrowers are required to reim burse the treasury at the rate of $1 a week until the full amount of the loan is paid. While there is no fixed inter est charge, borrowers are required to pay $2 for a $50 loan, but there is no additional fee except a penalty of 25 cents a week for defaulted payments. The revenue derived from fixed charges and penalties brings the rate of profit up to about 10 per cent a year. GOOD PLAVS AT III THEATER The Best Products of the Amer ican Stage Now Being Pro duced at this Playhouse. Ever since the Schubert productions have been booked at the Hartford Theater, a noted change has taken place in the personnel of the audien ces. Those that cared for the "blood and thunder" variety are now among the missing, and have made room for those that enjoy that which is sound and edifying. To be sure much is of fered that is "light and airy," but does not savor of trash and horseplay. Manager Jennings is and always has been most exacting in the keeping of the theater in a manner that offers every comfort to the playgoer. The installation of chairs in the balcony was welcomed by those who prefer that section of the house, and the courteous uniformed ushers are ever ready and alert. The reserving of seats by telephone receive the most exacting considera tion, and as good service rendered as though the patron called in person. "The Midnight Sons." "The Midnight Sons," after its re markable run at the Broadway Thea ter, New York, is to be seen at the Hartford Theater for three days com mencing Thursday, January 27. Lew Fields, who, in conjunction with the Schuberts. is responsible for this mam moth production, will send here the original cast of 125 persons. Some idea of the enormity of the play may be gained from the fact that one scene alone that of the Merri Murry Thea ter employs 100 supers. There is another scene that of the banquet to the four "midnight sons" in which 50 men are seen. The male chorus alone numbers 48. The cast of principals includes Maude Lambert, Lotta Faust George Monroe, George A. Shiller, Jo seph M. Ratliff, Harry Fisher, Taylor Holmes, Florence Martin, Linden Beck- with, Vernon Castle, Gladys Moore and fifteen others. WANT SHORTER DAY. Leather Workers on Horse Goods Start Eight Hour Movement. A resolution introduced by Interna tional Secretary-Treasurer John J. Pfeiffer of the International Brother hood of Leather Workers on Horse Goods at the recent A. F. of L. conven tion has given due notice to the saddlery industries of the United States and Canada that the rank and file intend the establishment of the shorter work day. The committee on resolutions concurred, and the convention not only indorsed the entire subject matter thereof, but pledged its moral support to the leather workers on horse goods in their efforts in this direction. Ac cording to General Secretary-Treasurer Pfeiffer the locals throughout the United States and Canada intend to make the fight for the eight hour day during the ensuing year. The organization occupies a very prominent place in the labor move ment. Throughout its entire period of affiliation with the American Federa tion of Labor for the past twenty years at no time has it become in volved in any jurisdictional dispute. A universal eight hour day has been the goal of years of faithful organ ization and upbuilding. The state branches and central unions in the A. F. of L. will be notified to at once start an agitation in their respective localities in the interest of the leather workers on horse goods. Connecticut Trust and Safe Deposit Co. Cor. MAIN AND PEARL STREETS, Hartford, Conn. CAPITAL $300 OOO. SURPLUS $400,000. Banking Department. Accounts opened with Individuals Societies and Companies. Sale Deposit Vault. Boxes to Rent from $10 upward. Trust Department. Acts as Trustee under Will, Administrator of Estates, Etc. M. H. Whaples, President. J. P. Wheeler. Treasurer. H. P. Redfleld, Asst. Treas. A. P. Day. Secy, and Mgr. Trust Dept. T. M. CROWLEY ' Agent for HIGH GRADE PIANOS. Leader of CROWLEY'S ORCHESTRA. r; First-class Music Furnished for Balls, Sociables, etc. Teacher 6f Violin and Cornet. 204 SMITH STREET. DOES IT PAY? c . - . , borne may be ioonsh eaougn. to ass "Does It Pay to Have Shoes Kesoled I" There might hdve been some reason for such a question when leather was about half the price it is now, and when shoe menders charged double what I charge. I double the life of any pair of shoes for 75 cents. I double the life of ladies' shoes for 50 cents, Children's shoes 40 cents. Eubber heels 25 cents. Goods called for and delivered. 'Phone or postal. MAX FRIEDMAN, 385 Trumbull St. STOP A BOY SUNDAY and get the HARTFORD SUNDAY POST It's going to be the NEWSIEST BRIGHTEST CLEANEST Fire Cents Worth of Sunday Paper Ever Published in Connecticut SPECIAL STORIES SPECIAL ARTICLES SPECIAL PICTURES and All the News DON'T MISS IT!