« ForrigeFortsett »
The convention adopted as its legislative program for 1916 the following measures,1 and instructed the legislative committee to introduce bills relative to these matters at the next session of the legislature:
1. Initiative and referendum.
2. Home rule for cities and towns.
3. Elimination of the word "proportional" from the State Constitution where it relates to taxation.
4. Prevailing rate of wages for teamsters and laborers on public works and more effective legislation providing that citizens be given preference in public employment.
5. Instruction in agriculture and aid to wage-earners in acquiring homesteads.
6. Reduction of the waiting period to ten days in cases of accident in industry; compensation for full time of incapacity if it continues for 28 days; increase in the maximum weekly compensation to $14; prohibition of private companies from writing compensation insurance; extension of period during which medical attendance, hospital service, and medicines may be furnished.
7. Non-contributory old age pensions.
8. Removing from the poor authorities the administration of the law providing for aid for mothers having dependent children.
9. Placing all employment agencies, public and private, under the supervision of the Board of Labor and Industries.
10. Limitation of hours of labor of children between 14 and 16 years of age to five hours a day when the public schools are in session, and making attendance at a session school for a part of the day compulsory.
11. Eight-hour day for women in manufacturing and mercantile establishments.
12. Three tours of eight hours each for paper mill operatives.
13. Six-day week for employees in hotels, restaurants, and lunch rooms.
14. Referendum on public ownership and operation of street railways.
15. Free State University.
16. Amendment of the eight-hour law so as to prohibit a seven-day week.
17. Forbidding employers to impose fines for tardiness or spoiled work greater in amount than the loss.
18. Making the office of Labor Commissioner elective instead of appointive. 19. Amendments to elevator operators' license act.
20. Reduction of cost of electricity.
3. CONVENTION OF THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE BRANCH,
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR.
The Massachusetts State Branch, American Federation of Labor, held its Thirtieth Annual Convention in New Bedford on September 20-24 inclusive. The credential committee reported that 276 delegates were in attendance. Addresses of welcome were delivered by Edward R. Hath
Of these measures, the third, seventh, sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, and twentieth were new all of the other measures having been included in the legislative program for 1915.
away, Mayor of New Bedford, and Arthur M. Harriman, President of the New Bedford Central Labor Union..
The reports of the Executive Officers called attention to the fact that the organization had enjoyed greater prosperity during the year 1915 than during any previous year of its history. The number of local unions. affiliated with the State Branch had steadily increased since 1912, when arrangements for full time service of the Secretary-Treasurer were made, and when permanent headquarters for the organization were secured.
According to the report of the Secretary, 33 central labor unions and 402 local unions were affiliated with the State branch at the time of the convention, and during the fiscal year ending in July, 1915, 27 unions had become affiliated with the organization.
The Executive Committee reported that during the year all records had been surpassed in the number of charters issued to new unions in Massachusetts by the international unions, and that these newly chartered unions were widely distributed over the state, indicating a growing disposition on the part of the wage-earners, both men and women, to seek to secure, through organization, increases in wages and more favorable working conditions.
The work accomplished by the Legislative Committee of the organization and reported upon at this Convention has already been discussed in the preceding section of this report. Much of the time of the convention was spent in a consideration of the report of this committee and of the legislative program for 1916. A report, of great interest to the delegates, made by this committee, was to the effect that, so far as they could judge, the fraudulent use of union labels is entirely forbidden by law, and, that to prevent such use, it remains only for the unions to be vigilant.
NUMBER AND MEMBERSHIP.
1. INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS.
The national or international organization 1 is formed by an affiliation of local trade unions, the members of which are generally employed in some specific trade or industry. Once this international union is in existence, however, it is its function to assist in organizing, whenever and wherever possible, other workers in the occupation over which it has jurisdiction, and to aid in securing to its members favorable conditions as regards hours of labor, wages, regulation of work, etc. So close then is the relationship between international and local unions, that no considerable statement concerning the local trade unions of Massachusetts would be complete unless it dealt, however briefly, with their affiliation with the respective international bodies of which they are the constituent parts.
An inquiry into the number of international organizations having one or more affiliated locals within the United States disclosed 141 such bodies; 110, or 78.0 per cent, of these internationals exercised jurisdiction over at least one local union in Massachusetts, while of approximately 31,000 local unions existing throughout the United States, 1,425, or about 4.6 per cent, were located in this State.
The great majority of the international unions in the United States are affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, which bears to the internationals in various trades and industries substantially the same relation that they, in turn, bear to their affiliated locals. The Federation also has its own independent membership, as any other international body would have, and this comprises in addition to numerous state and district organizations, 504 local trade and federal labor unions. It will readily be appreciated then, that the greater number of organized workers are affiliated with it, either directly through its own locals, or indirectly through the locals of affiliated internationals. Of the 141 internationals having affiliated locals in the United States, 106, or 75.2 per cent, were affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, and of these 80, or 75.5 per cent, were represented by one or more locals in Massachusetts. Of the 1,425 local organizations in the State, 1,164, or 81.7 per cent, were affiliated with the Federation, either directly or through the 80 affiliated internationals having chartered locals in the State, while the number of
1 As used in this report the terms "international organization" and "international union" include, for purposes of brevity, both national and international unions.
members in Massachusetts so affiliated was 189,902, or 78.0 per cent of the 243,535 organized wage-earners of the State.
The aggregate "paid-up" membership of the American Federation of Labor in September, 1915, was 1,946,347.1 In computing the membership, it should be stated that the Federation includes only those for whom a per capita tax has been received; thus, members involved in strikes or lockouts, or those who were not employed and for whom no tax was received, are not represented in the total membership here given. Massachusetts, with 189,902 trade unionists affiliated with the Federation, furnished 9.8 per cent of the membership reported.
There were 12 internationals each of which was represented in Massachusetts by affiliated locals having an aggregate membership of over 5,000 members. The internationals are listed in the following table in the order of their aggregate membership, and there is shown opposite the name of each organization the number of its affiliated locals in the United States and in Massachusetts, and the aggregate membership of its affiliated locals in this State.
National and International Unions Represented by over Five Thousand Members in Massachusetts at the Close of 1915.
1 See "Report of the Proceedings of the Thirty-fifth Annual Convention of the American Federation of Labor,"
2 In addition to the organizations having over 5,000 members in Massachusetts, listed in this table, there were five organizations, each having more than 25 locals in this State, but having an affiliated membership of less than 5,000.
As last reported in 1914.
The five international organizations ranking high in point of membership in Massachusetts were: The Boot and Shoe Workers' Union, with an affiliated membership of 28,805; the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, with 18,782 members; the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees of America, with 15,975 members; the International Association of Machinists, with 11,633 members; and the National Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Stablemen, and Helpers of America, with 11,556 members.
The relative rank of the different organizations, on the basis of the number of affiliated locals, does not wholly correspond with their rank on the basis of membership. Thus, the international unions having the largest numbers of affiliated locals within the State were the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, with 151 locals, the Boot and Shoe Workers' Union, with 72 locals, and the Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers of America, with 62 locals. In addition to the three just named, there were 14 organizations (five of which do not appear in the table) which were represented by over 25 affiliated locals in Massachusetts.
For purposes of comparison, the number of locals in the United States is also shown for each of these twelve organizations. The representation by locals in Massachusetts was especially large in the case of the organizations of boot and shoe workers. Thus, 66.7 per cent of all locals in the United States affiliated with the United Shoe Workers of America, and 49.0 per cent of all locals in the United States affiliated with the Boot and Shoe Workers' Union, were located in this State. In these two cases the percentages were naturally high, for the reason that a considerable portion of the boot and shoe manufacturing in the United States is done in this State.
The number of locals, as classified under each occupation elsewhere in this report, does not represent invariably the number of locals in Massachusetts affiliated with any international having jurisdiction over that occupation, for in some cases a local union, or group of locals in the same occupation, may have become affiliated with more than one international body, while in other cases, several closely related occupations may be under the jurisdiction of a single international.
2. DELEGATE ORGANIZATIONS.
Introductory. - Nearly all of the local organizations in Massachusetts, while affiliated with their respective international organizations, are at the same time affiliated with what this Bureau has found convenient to desig