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Trainmen in possession of these facts.
“There can be no mistaking the position of the Brotherhood in this matter. Other organizations of the same kind have preceded this one, and after doing all they could to wreck our organization they have fallen of their own impracticability. The new movement already has been gathering in the 'progressive' wreckers, and will undoubtedly start out with every force at its command to wreck the present organizations.
* There many members of the Brotherhood who will remember the trail of disaster that marked the progress of the American Railway Union. This is the same thing only it proposes to be wider in its scope.”
At the present writing the convention has been in session two days with upwards of two hundred delegates, representing, it is estimated, upward of 175,000 wage earners. An incident of the second day's proceedings may be considered a very correct keynote of future deliberations: “ Lawyers are parasites on parasites," shouted Daniel De Leon, the New York leader of the Socialist Labor party. “They live on the blood-money of the capitalist. There is not a dollar of interest money that is not tainted with the blood of the laboring man.” Now, this all came about from the fact that one Boudin, a lawyer, wanted to be seated as a “fraternal delegate without a vote.” We submit that it is a little bit difficult to see what harm a “delegate without a vote" could do, but it must be there was some hidden dynamite in the attempt somewhere, because it had the effect of dividing the forces into Boudin Socialists and Debs Socialists, and as long as we don't know Boudin, we are sorry he lost out. Hayward, of the Western Federation of Miners, was there as chairman, and we venture the prediction that he stood ready to fall toward the winning side. Of course there was a hot fight over this point and the report of the proceedings states that Debs was there but did not make a speech. Whether this statement was a piece of humor on the part of the reporter or not, we cannot say, but it's a pretty hard tax on the imagi
nation to think of Debs being in a convention of that kind and not making a speech. No mention is made in the reports of the presence or absence of Moyer in the convention, so it is easy to suppose they are holding him back as a joker to take the last trick, whatever that is.
So far, however, our prediction in June CONDUCTOR is coming true-it is really a socialistic gathering under an industrial guise. These malcontents who've gathered there are many of them the ones who in times past and at all times since, have taken every opportunity and done everything possible for them to do to socialize the American Federation of Labor and the railroad brotherhoods. In the former we know they are in an insignificantly small minority, as shown in their convention proceedings, and in the latter a few scattering socialists are to be found, still in our conventions they never make a peep.
But gatherings of this kind, however much we may doubt the avowed purpose for which they are called, have a deep and serious significance. That is to say, if we leave out of account the Debses, Moyers, Haywoods, Boudins, DeLeons, and men of that stripe, whose connection with it is at least questionable, we can but admit that many are there because they see a cause for it, because they see a danger to the country which they would fortify it against. Because they see the lamentable rotten
in gigantic financial institutions like the Equitable Life Assurance Co., whose very existence and strength was nurtured in the divine institution of home; they see great and splendid municipalities, like Philadelphia, “corrupt and contented”; they see great corporations and trusts controling the necessaries of life, inordinately rich already, grasping and pinching the consumer to the point of a life and death struggle for existence, that they may add a few more millions to their vast holdings, giving point and vitality to the saying, that the "rich are growing richer and the poor poorer”; piling up riches in defiance of moral law, and ofttimes in defiance of or in spite of the law of the
It is somewhat curious to note how some great editors of great daily papers having taken a stand against some innovation or reform, continue to show and voice their opposition long after the merits of the reform have been proven beyond peradventure.
The New York Sun has never yearned to hug crganized labor to its bosom, but it seems not to be at all opposed to showing the good results of it in a negative way, which of course is something, and we may hope for better things from it in future.
Referring to differences in wages between the two periods represented in the latest census reports, the Sun said:
“The statistics of the census of 1900 showing the average annual income of American wage earners as $438 are accurate but entirely misleading when used in illustration of the meagre earnings of the ‘laboring classes,' or for the purpose of showing the impossibility of social decency on such an income. There is an endless number of modifying conditions, and the fact stands that, taken as a mass, our wage carners, compared with those of other lands, are far from being objects of pity. They have, moreover, in their possibility of organization, a lever by which, if it be rightly and wisely used, they may raise the general standard of their economic wellbeing. This, due in part to their organized effort, has already been done. The average wage shown by the census
of 1880 is $347, as compared with $438 in 1900.
No such tabulation of averages is possible with those millions whose means of livelihood brings them into a group which is soinetimes classed as salary earners, in distinction from the wage carners of mills, factories, shops, construction work and similar enterprises.
They consiitutute, in general, a clerical force, and for the purpose of this consideration there may be grouped with them some hundreds of thousands of small shopkeepers and professional men, clergymen, lawyers and others, whose income, whether fixed or variable, is the equivalent of often no more than a meagre salary. A large percentage of this group is doubtless represented by the store clerks, both male and female, in our large cities. Yet the number of small proprietors, of clergymen and even of lawyers, whose annual income is less than that of the average street cleaner ($684 per year), or the average horseshoer ($938 per year), and no higher than that of the average laundry worker ($496 per year) is very considerable. This entire group appears to be forgotten, both by society in general and by that labor unionism which insists so strongly that its primary object is the improvement of the social and moral condition of toiling humanity. The girl at the ribbon counter of a department store, the poorly paid bookkeeper at his desk, the country clergyman with his meagre salary and a family to educate,
and the small proprietor struggling for Trainmen's Journal very truly and a bare living out of the profits of his pointedly remarks: limited sales, are all as much a part of This is one of the greatest exhibitions that 'toiling humanity'as the New York
of stating a truth and then begging for bricklayer, who demands that after the
the betterment of those who will not first of next month his wages shall be accept it that has been offered by any. 70 cents an hour, and who is to get it
one, including the Sun. because he can and will strike and paral
Labor organization stands as an open ize industry if it is refused him.
example of what can be done by united In the increased cost of his own living
action, It is true that there are isolated the wage earner pays a part of the in
employments wherein organization apcrease which he secures by his demands under threat of a strike, by a strike, or
pears impossible. The same thing was
once said of the railroad telegraphers, through the sense of fairness on the part
yet they built up a powerful organizaof an employer who voluntarily increases
tion by keeping at it. wages because he can afford to do so. The 'capitalist' and the 'greedy em
Every occupation mentioned by the ployer' pay their part. There is little
Sun as suffering, because the organized doubt that those who suffer most, those
trades have raised their wages, can be upon whom the burden falls most heav
organized if the employes will agree to ily, those perhaps who pay the greater
make the same sacrifices as the others part of that increase, are í hose having a
had to make. The strongest, best manpractically fixed income of $5 to $8 per
aged organiziations we now have were week.
stamped out time and again except in We offer
spirit, but they are now in position to argument whatever against unionism's purpose to obtain
take care of themselves. for its members the highest possible
It is neither excuse nor necessity that wage. But neither unionism nor society
is responsible for the non-organization at large should forget that while a frac
of the classes mentioned. The idea that tion of labor's greater gains may come
certain employments cannot be organized from the pockets of its employers, a very
is settled in the minds of the employes large share of them comes directly from
in the unorganized occupations, and those who, though unable to speak
until it is removed they will all remain forcefully for themselves through organi- just where they are, unless they go backzation, are quite as much to be regarded
ward. 'toilers' are the members of The Sun has neve
ver had many good powerful labor unions.
It is the poorly words for labor organization, but in this paid clerk and the struggling salesgirl instance it has said some things that who pay for an appreciable share of the ought to convincc every wage worker laboring man's holiday."
that it is labor organization or nothing To which the Editor of the Railroad for him.
COMMERCE AND TEMPERANCE.
Somewhere in the great thought-world there lies dormant thoughts which we believe will some day be vitalized into. such activity that temperance will not be looked upon as a far-away utopian dream. The splendid and heroic men and women who have given practically their whole lives to the cause of temper
ance have, we believe, done much good, but it is a lamentable fact that the mighty destroyer stalks abroad in the land with great vigor and destructive
The mandate of the civil law proclaiming prohibition, is seemingly of questionable value. Prohibition seems not to prohibit. Where it has been tried
the verdict in every case seems to be that there is certainly as much intemperance and much more deceit, and the revenue derived from the licensing of saloons is lost to the community. We know that some there are who would call such "taint ed” money, but we believe no morality or immorality can inhere in money, and it seems to us that the taint idea may safely be abandoned. But into the temperance question and fight there is now entering a mighty champion in the guise of Commerce, who, let us hope, will be a potent factor for good. The demands of this factor are urgent and far-reaching; it has use only for clear heads to guide willing hands; its mandates can be carried out by none others, so that the tipler, the occasional drinker, the habitual drinker, or the old soak, are gradually being put out of the race. In other words, the business interests of the country find it absolutely necessary to take into large account the personnel of its doers, and with correct and far-reaching logic it tells them that their habits and actions must conform to standards of morality and right living which experience has shown to be most consistent with progress.
It may be argued by some that temperance thus gained comes as a sort of by-product and not as a positive virtue of business activity. In a measure this may be the case; nevertheless, we submit that if a man's life is saved by mistake he is just as much alive, or if a person is killed unintentionally, he is just as dead as though killed intentionally.
The Memphis (Tenn.) News-Scimitar recently spoke editorially along these lines as follows, but particularly of railway employes:
“Did you ever stop to think that temperance reform is a work taken up by the business world? Sound business tenets teach temperance, commercial success demands sobriety.
Some time ago the Chicago & Alton Railroad Company issued rules for its employes forbidding them to visit saloons, race tracks, dance halls, or other resorts where liquor is sold or gambling permitted.
bigoted and narrow
minded idea of some self-important railroad official. On the contrary, the order was demanded on grounds of hard com
The responsibility of railroad companies are greater than those which rest on other corporations. They are essentially public servants who have the lives of a large number of people constantly in their hands. The slightest lapse of memory, the slightest inattention or indifference on the part of any one of a great number of their employes may at any moment cause the loss of hundreds of lives. It is necessary that these men should have steady and sober habits and that their minds should always be active and alert.
These R. R. Officials say that “All the things which are prohibited either tend or might tend permanently or temporarily to impair a man's physical and mental power.'
It is a business matter. The railroad requires the best service the man can give. The service depends upon the habits of the man. Therefore the prohibition.
The railroad company is not trying to reform men. It is not heading a crusade against vice or immorality. It is engaged in the railroad business. If that business is injured or affected by the bad habits of an employe, either the employe must quit his bad habits or quit the employment of the company.
Sobriety is a commercial necessity and in all lines of business the rules against intemperance are broadening and becoming more strict, and thus the commercial spirit of the age is ministering to moral reform.
‘A man,' says a contemporary, 'may pooh pooh sentiments about temperance and morality. He may say he will drink what he pleases and go where he pleases. He may say the company is interfering with his personal liberty. It matters not. Everywhere he goes the necessity for sobriety and steadiness of habits confronts him.
“The employe is free to do as he pleases so long as he pleases to be decent. Which is, after all, the true measure of personal liberty.
Anyone, however obtuse, can grasp these can in no possible way fit him for the significance of ethical principles responsible duties on the rail. There is when expressed in terms of dollars and no doubt that in a certain sense these cents.'
rules do abridge individual liberty, but It cannot be said that there is any- it is also well to remember that being thing wrong in the principle of em- saved from ones self is sometimes a ployers passing rules against strong most extraordinary kindness and that the drink, If it interferes with personal more complex and tense our civilization liberty on the one hand, it may break grows the more subject to collective up a personal habit on the other which rights is individuality of action. If a places the habitue in a more abject man with inherited or acquired taste for servitude than can be forced upon the liquor can be kept from indulging that dependent employe by the most in- taste by the promulgation of rules to exorable boss."
which he must conform in order to What the News-Scimitar says about retain a position in which he can take the rules on the Alton have generally good care of his family, surely the lack been adopted by all roads. Perhaps of such liberty of action should be they do not say in so many words that welcomed with reverential gladness. men must not visit race tracks, dance With the mighty forces of business halls, etc., but it is generally predicted arraigned against the drink evil, the that if a man spends much of his lay- temperance leaders should take on new over time in saloons, that the natural courage, and the members of the railadjuncts to them will at no very distant road brotherhoods should aid the work day get some of his spare time and that in every possible way.
It will be remembered that the Senate, sentiment against it and against which before adjournment in March, appointed one cares to take an open stand. a committee on interstate commerce to The dangerous aspects of special privihear evidence on the question of further leges are being understood by the people regulation of the railroads by the Federal and they are letting it be known by Government. This committee has just their representatives in Congress. Specfinished a thirty-day sitting, has ex- ial privileges under tariff laws, enacted amined 123 witnesses, of whom about in the past, were no doubt of ultimate twenty were railroad officers, the five good to the country, regardless of the members of the Interstate Commerce fact that a few men piled up enormous Commission, and the remainder com- fortunes in taking advantage of them, posed of men engaged in various kinds but when men or corporations take adof business. This, it seems to us, was vantage of domestic laws, either by really the only thing to be done under twisting them to their own advantage the circumstances, yet it must be con- or by totally disregarding them, the fessed it was much like hearing testimony procedure becomes a matter of internal in one's own behalf. Practically every policy and economy which more vitally witness declared emphatically against affects all the people. Of course, just the giving of rebates or the granting of how to make this sentiment effective any favors under a purely personal dis- and bring about the enforcement of the guise. This was really as well known present adequate law without fear or before the hearing as after, but it is favor is a problem which confronts the nevertheless a declaration in which there whole people; and it is probable that the is a wholesome sign of progress, as it whose people, rather than their legislators shows clearly that there exists a public will have to solve it. If there existed an