Chicago's Capitalists Fighting Organized Labor
(Copyright, 1904. by Frank O. Carpenter.I
K tHICAOO. March IS. (Special Com
I I respondence of The Bee.) ChN
I I cago Is tho great 1101111 center of
labor and capital In the Unltei
States. Its record of strikes ex
feeds that of any other city. It has about
200,0(10 men In Its trades unions and It ha
been and Is now largely ruled by the mail
In the overalls. At the same time the cap
Itnllsts are good IlKhters. They have
ntudlcd trades union methods and within
the pant few months have combined to
gether In a great association to protect
themselves. Nearly every business has Ha
local organization of employers, and these;
have afllllated with the great city associa
tion of employers, whloh Is now opposing
a solid front to most of the demands ofl
The Chicago Employers' assoclitlon rep
resents a capital of thousands of million
of dollars. It Is backed by Marshall Field
ft Company and the great department
tore, by the millionaire' pork packers and,
the steel magnates, by the street railways
and by about 2.000 other compnnlts and
Individuals handling altogether a number
of workmen far In excess of the army of
the T'nlted States.
This association Is running Its campaign
In opposition to organised labor on much
the same lines as those which organi7ed
labor lins used to defeat the Individual
employer. It has brought a new feature
Into the labor question and ono which
promises to extend to every city of tha
United States. Simitar associations are be
ing organized In many places and they may
In time form part of a great national asso
ciation embracing the whole country.
The Chicago Employers' association cnnj
command no end of money and It li rend
to spend freely to protect the Individual
workman or tho Individual employed, lup
plylng the latter with funds to reimburse
him for losses In case of strikes and evert
carrying him flnnnelally at tho banks. It
will protect him or the workman In the
courts and bring the best legal tnlrnt In
opposition to any fight with organised la
bor. Tho association has a secretary who Is
paid a salary bigger than that of a United
Btates senator.- lie holds much the same
position In regard to the association as
Samuel dumpers does to tho American
Federation of Labor or John Mitchell to
the United Mine Workers, and has In fact
been named the "walking delegate of the
Millionaires' club," The reel name of the
man Is Frederick W. Job, and his pro
fession Is that of a lawyer. lie is an Illi
nois man and a graduato of Ann Arbor,
lie Is, I judge, about 40 years old. Is six
feet tall and weighs 200 pounds. lie I big
headed and broad shouldered, having the
muscles of an athlete and the Jaw of a
bulldog. He looks like a good fighter and
as far as I can learn Is proving himself so.
I met Mr. Job In his office In the Mar
quette building on Dearborn street and had
a long chat with him about -the Kmployers"
association and tha labor conditions here.
In response to my question as to the asso
ciation, he said:
We are a combination of employers'
onions rather than an association of Indi
vidual employers without regard to our
businesses.' The association does not want
Individual employers as members, although
there are cases where such are taken in.
It Is rather an affiliation of the representa
tives of employers' associations. For In
stance, tho laundry owners of Chicago
have an organisation, the manufacturing
confectioners have on organization and the
brass manufacturers and the picture frame
makers have each an organisation. It la
o with nearly every branch of business.
Wo are made up of all these organizations,
as such, and If an Individual employer
wants to join us we tell him to Join the
employers' organization of his own busi
ness and to be represented through It."
"Then you are to the employers' associa
tions much what the American Federation
Of I.alxr Is to the different trades unions?"
"Yes," said Mr. Job. "save that our field
la confined to Chicago and Its neighbor
hood, and also that we believe In the laws
and In doing all we ran to enforce them,
and this the trades unions do not."
"Is your association avowedly opposed to
all organized labor?" I asked.
"As such labor la now constituted and
operated, I say most emphatically yes.' "
was the reply. "We do not object to men
Combining or organising to better their con
dition so long as they do nut break the
laws as regards the public, their employers
or their fellow-workmen. We Insist that
every man should have the right to work,
that every employer shall have the right to
employ whom he pleases."
"Do you aim to do anything as to filing
wages and prices?" I asked.
"Not at all."" replied the secretary! "That
la ft matter for the employers and their
men. or It may be for the associations of
the different branches of trade and the men.
All that we want Is the preservation of
our principles as to the enforcement of tho
laws In the protection of the public, of the
employer and hla business and of the lights
of the men to work whether they belong
to a union or not. We don't rare for more
laws. We are satisfied with those already
on the statute books. What we want is to
have the laws enforced.'
. . ,
IHIM.I HII.MI.IIIM III! ll III I ' IT " ' ' " " ' ' "
FREDERICK W. JOB, SFXTRETARY OP
"What has been your chief fight, Mr,
"We are fighting for several things," was
the reply. "In the first place, we want the
open shop; second, we want no sympa
thetic Btrlkea; third, no restriction of output
or of personal industry, and, fourth the full
enforcement of the public laws. I think
we have gained our point as to sympathetic
strikes and that we are In a fair way to
make the open shop the rule In Chicago,
If we have not alreudy done so. In ninety
cades out of every hundred we have won.
We are making it possible for the nonunion
man to work In Chicago and possible for
his employer to hire him without fear of
being boycotted or otherwise injured In his
"Do you admit members to your associa
tion who have the closed or union shop?"
"No, we do not. We are ready, however,
to come to the support of such men If they
have trouble with organized labor and want
to reform and Join us."
"Give me some Idea of the extent of the
trades unions of Chicago."
"We have .several hundred unions," re
plied Secretary Job, "but I believe that
from 50 to 80 per cent of their members are
Involuntary ones. They have been forced
or coaxed Into the unions and are afraid
to leave them. If I had the power of
emancipation President Lincoln had when
he freed tho slaves, if I could send forth
an edict which would enable the members
of the trades unions of this country to
desert the ranks of organized labor with
out fear of violence or ostracism, I firmly
believe that four-ftfths of the trade union
ists would leave."
"You will see that this Is the case." Mr.
Job continued, "If you watch any election
In which the labor vote constitutes an Im
portant element. Th;t vote Is never half
so large as anticipated."
"It Is because the men, voting as they
pltese, secretly change their ballots and
throw them against their own candidates,
because at heart they are slek of the
thralldom to which they are yoked."
"Is Chicago a dangerous place for a
worklngman who does not belong to a un
ion?" "It has been so at times, and I will not
say that It Is not so now under certain con
ditions," replied Secretaary Job. "I could
cite many Instances of men who have been
assaulted and maimed because they have
opposed the will of the unions and some
In which men have been murdered. I have
heard of union meetings where men were
forced o assent to the doings of their
leaders, and where they believed their lives
would be In danger If they did not. There
have been many outrages on nonunlonlsts,
as, for Instance, we had recently a pub
lished case of a nonunion printer who was
thrown to the floor by a party of union em
ployes In one of our saloons and the ques
tion there debated whether it would not be
better tj break the man's arms or his An
gers one by one that he might be Incapaci
tated fur work. The police rescued that
"Now, such things may not be done by
the leaders or the better element of the
unions, but I believe they are Instigated by
them, and wo have It alleged that there la
"In what classes of labor so such condi
CinCAOO EMPLOYERS' ASSOCIATION.
tions obtain?" I asked.
"They have obtained In almost every
class," waa the reply, "and that even
among the women trades unions. One odd
case was that of a nonunion girl In a West
Side factory, who was guilty of the heinous
offense of wanting to earn her living In
her own way. The union girls wanted her
to Join them, but sho would not, und they
then appointed a committee to assault her.
Now, the nonunion girl wore a bright green
silk waist, und this was the mark by which
she was known to the committee. She was
followed as she went homo one day by tho
members of the committee, and they re
mained outside her house waiting to nssanlt
her when she might come out. The house
In which she was living was a two-story
flat and she had the upper apartment. After
a time a girl in a green waist appeared nnd
started down the street. It was about
dusk. 6he had not gone far before the
members of the committee pounced upon
her und scratched and pummeled her to
their taste. She objected strenuously nnd
screamed again and again, but It was some
time before they learned that they had
got the wrong girl. Another green-waist
maid lived In the lower flat, and it was she
who came out first.
"Yes," continued Mr. Job, "the women
are quite us bad in union matters as the
men. Take, for Instance, a strike which
occurred In the plow works at Springfield.
The union men left and nonunion workmen
were put in their places. Violence waa
apprehended and the employers carried the
nonunion workmen home in closed cars.
6oine of the wives und female friends of
the strikers got in the curs on the plea of
wanting to ride, and after they were well
on their way they went for the nonunion
men with their hat pins. They came near
killing one man whom they struck too near
"But such coses, Mr. Job, should not be
charged to the unions," said I. "They are
merely the acts of hot-headed Individuals."
"Yes, you might think so," waa the re
ply. "I know that the labor leaders claim
they do not counsel violence, but every
one here knows that Is not true. I have
an Incident in my mind now which I know
to have occurred, but which 1 do not
want to locate. I won't say that it was
or was not In Chicago; but it was In one
of the big cities of the United States. A
street car strike was in progress, and
the leader of one of the striking unions
talked thus to his men:
" 'Now, my nu n, remember. In the con
duct of this strike we want no violence!
No violence! Suppose, for Instance, you
should see several Joints of gas pipe lying
near the car track, and someone suggested
that if the pipe was joined and laid on
the track so that one end of It would
touch the trolley wire and the other the
rail, thereby forming a connection which
would make a short circuit and burn out
the trolley wire, don't let any such act
be laid to your doors.
a bund of puid sluggers here who are used
as wrecking crews to commit acts of vio
lence In behalf of organized labor. The
hospital records will verily this."
" 'Or If anyone should tell you that
you could wreck the underground cable
by throwing rocks Into the manholes and
I know there are piles of rocks near some
of them don't let Buch an act be laid
to your doors.
" 'Again, my men, some persons may
tell you that If you throw In cement and
sand and rock It will ruin the tracic.
Now, I understand there are warehouses
near the track where there are barrels
of cement, and you know very well If
this Is mixed with rock, sand and water
It will harden, and if thrown Into the
manholes it will hold the cables. If you
did that It might hurt tho company, stop
the cars and we might gain the strike,
but, boys, we want no violence, no vio
lence. If anyone does that, let us see
that It Is not laid to our doors. I hop
you have understood me correctly.' "
"But, Mr. Job, do you think your em
ployers' association Is really making mat
ters better? Have you done anything?"
"Wo have done a great deal, and we
are going to do more. I have told you wo
have given the nonunion man tho chance
to work, and we have protected the em
ployer In numerous instances. Take th
Kellogg strike, in which 600 men left
work and tried to prevent the business
of the plant from going on. The em
ployers had put nonunion men In their
places, but the Teamsters' union Joined
them and would not deliver goods nor per
mit others to deliver to them. We inves
tigated the matter and waited upon the
mayor, who Issued a proclamation warn
ing the teams to keep off the streets In
the vicinity of the Kellogg plant. We
had policemen go along with the wagons,
and we saw that the goods went in and
out, regardless of the demands of the
union. Before that strike 90 per cent of
tho men In the Kellogg plant were mem
bers of the union. The shop Is now a
nonunion shop, and it has 550 contented
men doing the same work that 60O strik
ers did, and at the same time turning
out 25 per cent more of a product."
"We have had a number of similar cases,
continued Mr. Job, "in which we have
helped the employers, and we are ready at
any time to defend the rights of the non
union men. Take the case of Chester B.
Bllsh, who was a nonunion elevator boy
In one of the downtown buildings. He
was threatened, bulldozed and bluffed by
the unionists, but his father wrote a letter
to this association and wo came to his pro
tection. When tho unionists saw that the
power and wealth of the employers' asso
ciation was at the command of a simple
colored boy, whone existence the associa
tion had never draamed of until he became
bold enough to work as a nonunion man.
they began to realize that the employers of
Chicago proposed to protect not only them
selves, but all unorganized labor as well.
"Again, take the recent street car strike,"
continued Mr. Job. "The strikers had
promised there would be no disturbances,
but there were hotheads out In force to
stop the cars, and the union teamsters tried
to block the road. It was largely through
tha employers' association that 1,600 police
were put on duty In the strike territory,
and through It all other teamsters were
kept out of the way. The result was that
the cars ran and the men were protected.
When the coal teamsters struck in sym
pathy and refused to haul coal to the street
car power house, the employers' association
undertook the delivery of that coal and
sent Mie wagons, guarded by policemen, to
deliver It. The result was that the street
car companies won their light for the open
"How about the people are they with you
m this matter?"
"I think they are." replied Mr. Job. "In
the street car strike they were entirely so,
and they have been so In most of our other
fights. We are not waging a war of of
fense, but of defense. We have no chip on
our shoulders and we do not seek quar
rels, although we are ready to fight if we
have to. Before the association was formed
our newspapers here were somewhat apa
thetic on labor questions, but since then
at least one-half of them unite in Indorsing
our methods. The same is true of the poll
ticiar.8. and I think our work has also
aided the Judges In showing them that their
Injunctions to prevent such outrages have
the Indorsement of the best of the business
element of the community..
"We are not only doing good here, but
also in other cities of the United States,
where we are looked upon as the originator
of this movement. We are helping to or
ganize them, and In doing so we feel that
we are approaching the nearest practical
solution. of the present Industrial problem."
FRANK a. CARPENTER,
Rich American (abroad for the first time)
-Say, I'm told you're an expert on fixing
up coats of arms and titlea and all that
sort of thing for a fellow, and I'd like some
'kind of handle to my name. '
Expert Something suggestive of the
source of your family wealth?
Rich American No, I'm afraid you can't
Use that. I made my money In the er
Expert Just the thing. I'll attach
pump handle to your name, Chlcaga
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