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of lack of capacity, practical sense, and responsibility in union leaders.
Corruption and blackmail-offenses that, to whatever extent they actually exist, are infinitely more injurious to the unions than to the employers victimized.
The employers' associations and citizens' alliances have been organized, ostensibly at any rate, to combat, not unionism, but the evils enumerated. Labor leaders retort that employers are guilty of all the practices of which they accuse the other side. There are sympathetic strikes of employers well of workmen; blacklisting is merely another name for boycotting, and it is defended (even by some courts) precisely as Mr. Gompers and Mr. Mitchell have defended “limited boycotting.” Contract-breaking is by no means the monopoly of unions, and the labor movement is no more to be condemned on account of the ill-considered action of raw and inexperienced men than the business world is to be condemned on account of the endless litigation arising from default, violation of agreements, and sharp practice in business transactions. There is “grafting" in the unions; is there none in business and in public employment ?
It is felt however, by the truest friends of labor, that the leadership and management of the unions call for greater ability and wisdom than is often displayed. Miss Jane Addams has been warning unions of the danger of corruption, of the baleful influence of commercialism, while Dr. Graham Taylor, another leading settlement-worker in Chicago, has told labor that it has nothing to fear nearly so much “as the failure" of its representatives and officers “to appreciate how responsible they are, and will sternly be held to be, for the use they make of the power they are conceded to have.”
It were a waste of space to descant upon the immorality and inexpediency of contract-breaking. The slightest intentional breach of an agreement voluntarily made is a severe blow at collective bargaining and the cause of unionism. No responsible leader excuses it, and
a makeshift which sagacious men of affairs are bound to repudiate.
To give M. Guyot's own solution in a few words it consists in setting up labor exchanges, in making the existing unions contractors-sellers of labor. The employer is no longer a “master;" let him also cease to be a “patron.
At present owing to the false conception of the proper relation between capital and labor, the employer thinks that by paying wages he buys labor. Among free men wages buy, not labor, but the results of labor. Why, asks M. Guyot, should not the unions enter into contracts to sell to employers, wholesale, the results of a certain amount of labor? Raw material is bought wholesale, labor is bought at retail, and this being an unbusinesslike, antiquated arrangement, it naturally produces friction and trouble. Employers should contract for so much finished work, and the unions should undertake to do certain work for a definite price and divide the income. The workmen should combine in joint stock societies to produce and deliver such and such goods. Employers would then go to union headquarters for labor, or the results of labor as they go for raw material and machinery to those who supply them.
M. Gouyot endeavors to show that this plan would do away with strikes, restriction of outputs, lockouts, etc., but the point of interest in this connection is that it frankly accepts the exclusive-contract idea, the union shop in a modified form. And this proposal comes from a stanch individualist who is opposed to all paternalism, all oppression, all injustice! The dictum that the open shop is the corollary of individualism and freedom is thus open to serious doubt.
OTHER PHASES OF THE LABOR PROBLEM.
But while the open shop issue has of late over-shadowed other cardinal questions, the latter have not lost their importance. Among these may be named:
The sympathetic strike.
Contract breaking and general charges
fairminded citizen supposes that organized labor as a whole is chargeable with the practice of repudiation. The sympathetic strike is, however in different category.
Legally, it is plain, there is no distinction to be drawn between a “selfish” strike and an “altruistic" strike. Since a free man may quit work for any reason whatever, or without any reason at all, unless he has bound himself by a contract not to, it follows that a strike for the purpose of aiding some other trade or element is as legitimate as a strike for a direct personal reason.
If compulsory arbitration is ever establishe it will not be confined to sympathetic strikes. Yet, from a practical, “business point of view, the demand for recognition and collective bargaining is utterly inconsistent with the reservation of the right to strike out of sympathy. What employer will deal with a union which refuses to sign away the rig:it to strike in sympathy with other men's employes?
It is not to be sure, easy for the unions to give up the sympathetic strike. What, they ask, would become of their idealism, of their noble motto, “An injury to one is the concern of all?” But the real question is, whether, in the long run, labor's interests are best subserved by the unrestricted freedom of striking, or by agreements with employers
containing anti-sympathetic strike clauses. Altruistic strikes will never be sanctioned by the business community, and industrialism has its own ideals and standards. Not all lawful things are expedient or advisable.
Finally, the developments of the present phase of the unionist movement have impressed labor leaders, impartial judges and lawyers, and soberminded
generally with the need of greater certainty and co
herence in the laws or interpretations of law applicable to industrial conflicts. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that nothing is settled in this branch of jurisprudence, and the decisions are confused and confusing. In some cases the old principle of conspiracy has been so applied to modern conditions as to render doubtful the legality of cencerted strikes when the purpose is to compel an employer to do what he would not do without such pressure.
On such questions as peaceable picketing, boycotting, liability of organizations for unauthorized acts of officials and agents,
even members, the differences are ex ne and he less.
Labor has been urged to acquire the status of corporate bodies, on the ground that responsibility should accompany power. As a rule, the unions shrink from incorporation and the real reason whether they are fully conscious of it or not, may be found in the chaotic state of the law bearing on their rights, powers, and liabilities. They apprehend continual litigation and malicious attacks upon their funds. The most law abiding of them do not know how far they may go, and where they must stop. It is sufficient to refer, for illustrative purposes, to the Wabash injunction, so called, which restrained the officers of one of the best managed unions from calling a strike which the men themselves had authorized and directed them to call. The order was subsequently dissolved, but it is, nevertheless, regarded in certain circles as a precedent.
Among the newer aspects of the industrial movement the legal ones yield to
in importance and gravity. There are
now pending in the courts of Illinois, Colorado, Connecticut, and New York the disposition of which will affect in no slight degree the course and tactics of union labor.
BY JOHN P. BROSIUS.
My text will be found in the 6th chapter and the 1st verse of Ecclesiastes and 59th chapter and 14th verse of Isaiah. Taken in the order above they read as follows: “There is an evil which I have seen under the sun and it is common among men.” “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the street and equity cannot enter.”
The foregoing is a very striking arraignment of the unjust manner in which verdicts in
courts are rendered against the railway companies though neither the son of David nor Isaiah had reference to public carriers when they used the words I have borrowed from them. In those days, travel was by other means than steel highways, and when a man had hired a donkey to transport him from one town to another, he did not on arrival at the end of his journey go to a lawyer and have him enter suit against the owner of the donkey for personal damages to his anatomy and ask that the courts give him a roll of filthy lucre from the pocket of the donkey's master and then throw in the donkey for a "lagniappe.”
The attitude of a great many people, at this time, toward railway companies is such that I cannot understand just where their conception of right ends and where their sense of wrong begins.
Here in the great state of Texas, verdicts against the railway companies are rendered that veritable legalized robbery, and many a confidence man has “done his stunt'
" behind prison walls, whose little game, worked on some hayseed from the forks of the creek, was lily-white in comparison with some of these bunco games worked in the name of the law on railway companies.
The whole state seems to be animated with a desire to sue a railroad on any pretext that may suggest itself; and then, when the railway offers evidence in rebuttal, they call upon each other to witness the high-handed methods of the railways that won't stand to be fleeced without making a protest.
Our legislature seems to be composed of patriots who evidently think their whole duty is discharged with a halo of glory around it when they enact a few laws wholly inimical to the interest of railways. The outside foes applaud and say, “Sock it to 'em, sock it to 'em." All the while the wooly hat brigade forgets that but for the railways the great state of Texas would be about as well known as is some of our new possessions in the Pacific. They yell about the man with the hoe and his 'wonderful accomplishments in redeeming the prairies from the jackrabbits, prairie dogs, cactus and sagebrush, but they ignore the fact that but for the railways the man with the hoe would "homeward plod his weary way" in some of the older states, and Texas would still be like our neighbor to the south-not much in the agricultural line. Also they forget that it took many dollars to build these great lines and open up to the people the fertile lands, and that they are justly entitled to a fair per cent on their investments, and that because they are railway companies they are entitled to a just decision in all controversies the same as in an individual difference. Instead of that being the case, it is a generally voiced sentiment that a railway company is a legal object of prey and it is a conceded right to get a stake out of them “nolens volens.'
Now I'll give some pen-pictures from the past and present history of railways in Texas.
A rumor is handed around that a certain railway is to build into the state. A little 2 x 4 newspaper at Post Oak Corners proceeds to demonstrate how absolutely necessary it is for the railway's welfare that they should take in Post Oak Corners. The inhabitants of that embryo metropolis arise en masse and “whereas" and "resolve” and be --if they don't get that road. A jingo shyster lawyer who has secured a thousand acres of land in the vicinitythe same having formed a portion of his fee for defending a cattle thief baron in
a questionable transaction-arises and let me go to Washington, I'll make says: “Feller citizens, here's this great things howl in Rome, and don't you Whangdoodle and Bubbletown ralerode forgit it." He went to Washington, and a gwinter bild inter Texas and a pintin the con men and others plucked him till to God knows whar. Maybe to our he resembled Pat's woodpecker after nabor town of Jimplecute. Now,, my Pat had blowed all the feathers off him, feller citizuns, air we gwine to low this the only difference being in the amount ter be dun. No, sir, we air gwine to of gray matter in the head, and the bring that ere rode rite here to Post woodpecker had him bested about a Oak Corners, its nateral pint."
1000-ton train-length. Sufficient to say, they got the road, Our little burg of Post Oak Corners and shortly after the advent of the put on metropolitan airs, having reached "kyars” evidences of modern civiliza- fair proportions after the advent of the tion began to loom up on the every day road. Later on, another line builds to social life of Post Oak Corners. The Handy Andy in the next county. A fuzzy-lipped dude hides his sun-burned bow-legged cow-puncher passes through neck with a picadilly collar four inches Handy Andy and for five cents buys a high, wears a yard-long neck choker can of antiquated salmon that had been of the same color as Biddy's petticoat, in stock since the first prairie schooner and the lassies get face-powder and other sailed into Handy Andy. The bowevidences (?) of civilization, etc., etc. legged cow-puncher drops by Post Oak The town booms. Dad and Mam get Corners on his way home and says to “store” clothes and are “muchly in the one of its merchants: “I buy salmon push.” Furniture, carpets, and other for five cents a can at Handy Andy and accessories to a comfortable life are you fellows over here want to charge brought in by the road and are purchased ten cents for them.” The merchants and moved into a house built of lumber lay it all on the railroad and arise once the road has hauled. Formerly an 8 x 10 more, and their battle-cry is “Unjust tent was the paternal abode, but that's discrimination," and they call unto the now a thing of the past.
Commission for “help against the PhilisThe merchants of the aspiring burg have a great kick coming when they Now, our commission has again rehave to pay the railway company for duced the rates on cotton against the bringing their merchandise to them and protest of many thousand railway emthe whole body, instead of being thankful ployes whose earnings are the very lifefor being dragged from their obscurity, blood of the towns in which they live.
to be afflicted with a desire to Here is a study for you: A Texas far“kill the goose that laid the golden egg. mer goes to his cotton field in the morn
Now comes our jingo shyster disciple ing, followed by his wife and a lot of of Blackstone and demands that the tow-headed youngsters, some so small citizens of his district reward his labors that their little underpins are hardly dein their behalf. “Feller citizens, I am as veloped enough for them to walk. They big a jackass as ever went to Austin and work all day and at night time go into I wanter go too." They sent him, and a clapboard cabin, and the little ones his actions proved that he was a wise are ready to fall down on a quilt or any child, for “a wise child knoweth its own old thing and seek rest. father:" and he certainly made good Later on some crank says nothing but his claim on pedigree. At the conclu- 15-cent cotton goes, and then a lot of sion of his term at Austin he returns these pumpkin-headed men of might reto his home. His
solve to burn the product of the hard longer and have a “C” slit in them. labor of their wives and little ones That stands for Congress. “Feller citi- before they will sell for less and take the zuns, give me my just reward. I got the money and provide a more decent living commission for yer that will make the for their families. Then they pat their raleroads treat yer rite, and now if you'll bullet-headed cranium and mentally say:
“Great head you are; you put the 'coup de grace' all the same on many of them.” And then gets on the outside of half a pint of bug poison, and the like unto him the world never saw before. Again, Old Timothy Hornyhand has a few hogs he concludes to send to the market and goes to the agent, who politely informs him that the road will charge so much. Oh, but you ought to hear him swear and denounce the robbing railway company! But on his way home he stops and loads up his wagon with a lot of old ties or bridge timbers that have been taken out of service, generally making it convenient to have an empty wagon when he reaches that point as long as there are any timbers left.
Later on he drives some old sway back horse or spavined yearling on the track where the first train passing will have a chance to grade up the pedigree of said animal. In the fulness of time he hands in a claim. The railway digs up the long green to plaster the wounds made by Dobbin's tragic death.
It used to be supposed that Texas was the home of a fourth-rate breed of cattle called long-horns, but that is a mistake, as the records of the stock claim agents of the different roads show that we only raise Herefords, Durhams, Jerseys, and other high grades of cattle. The railways also buy $2.50 grass off of 50-cent acre land, and that too when these owners would go into court if necessary and swear there had not been a blade of grass on the land in ten years.
And the personal injuries. 0, Lord! A poor, ambitious detective was chasing a two-bit negro crap-shooter, when the darkey ran to the railroad yards and
dodged among the cars. The bright reward in view so dazzled the vision of the poor detective that he couldn't see a string of cars the switchman had kicked, and he got his anatomy bruised and the crap-shooter escaped, causing the poor detective to lose the reward; but there is “balm in Gilead” yet, and the railway will foot the bill, Hannah, and don't you forget it. I've been in court in some of these personal injury cases, and at times my feelings, while listening to the evidence of plaintiff's witnesses, have been similar to those of an old time parson who once quoted David, “I said in my haste, all men are liars." Then gazing into space and apparently oblivious to the presence of others, he said, “Well, David, had you lived till the present time you could have said this after due reflection."
These are only a sample; a volume might be written and the half would not be told. These people talk about watered stock, Wall Street finances and unlawful combinations with a flippancy equaled only by their ignorance, but they will do the same things themselves they charge against the roads, only on a smaller scale, as their brains would not stand the expansion necessary to a more successful effort.
Some day our state legislature may be composed of men who will not see justice throttled merely because it is a railway that asks for a square deal at their hands. Treat them fair and many of the causes for complaint against them will soon be a thing of the past. When this is done, Texas will lead all her sisters in the race for supremacy and her lone star be the brightest in the galaxy of our nation.
ADDRESS OF MR. E. A. MOSELEY, Secretary Interstate Commerce Commission, before the Master Car Builders
Association at Manhattan Beach, N. Y., June 19, 1905. Since the last convention of your asso- standards and rules, so far as they affect ciation a great forward step has been the interchange of cars, are better obtaken in the matter of safety appliance served today than they have ever been equipment, and I believe it is not too before. much to say that the Master Car Builders' The Johnson case, to which I called