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Second. Men with families residing at points where they are employed but who do not own homes.
Third. Young men who have no family and married men whose families do not live where they have been at work, and who are known as "floating" mechanics.
After the settlement of the general strike on March 17, 1885, and the adjustment of the lockout among the shopmen in August, 1885, several minor disputes took place at various places upon the Gould system of railroads, especially in the machine shops and car shops of the company, and the men were in a continual spirit of unrest. The troubles were accentuated on February 18, 1886, when a foreman named C. A. Hall, in the car department of the Texas and Pacific shops at Marshall, Tex., was dischargedfor alleged incompetency. Mr. Hall was prominent as a union man in Marshall, and his discharge without notice and investigation was claimed to be a violation of the agreement of March 18, 1885, made at the settlement of the previous strike. This claim, however, was contested by the company, which held that the agreement only provided for notice of intended changes in the rates of wages. The employes who were Knights of Labor claimed that many other violations had taken place on the Texas and Pacific Railroad, and on March 1, 1886, the shopmen and the trackmen on that road came out on strike.
The Texas and Pacific was under the control of the Missouri Pacific, or the Gould system, in 1885, but in 1886 it formed no part of that system because it had been placed in the hands of receivers, and it was contended that therefore the Missouri Pacific could not be held responsible for the policy of a road no longer under its control, and it was also contended that the receivers should be free to operate the road according to their best judgment, unfettered by the
promises of a former administration. Nevertheless, on March 6, 1886, the shopmen on the Missouri Pacific Railroad, and all leased and operated lines, generally obeyed the call and came out on strike in sympathy with the employes of the Texas and Pacific Railroad. During the entire month of March all freight traffic was practically suspended on these roads, and it is estimated that about 10,000 men were out of work, nearly all of whom were strikers.
On March 28 the strike was declared off by Mr. T. V. Powderly, Grand Master Workman of the Knights of Labor, on the understanding that negotiations would be perfected between the officers of the road and the representatives of the employes, but after the men returned to work the officials of the railroad declined to treat with the men collectively.
This strike is recorded as lasting fiftynine days, or from March 6, 1886, to May 4, 1886. It was ordered by the Knights of Labor; first, for recognition of the organization; second, it was extended to other sections in order to obtain sympathetic support. It terminated unsuccessfully for the employes. Eighteen thousand two hundred and forty-two men were employed before the strike; 17,141 were employed after the strike; 11,521 were directly involved in the strike; 2,602 new employes were engaged after the strike. The loss incurred is estimated to be $700,871 in time to employes, and $3,185,228 to the railroads.
The average wages for the employes before the strike were: shopmen, $2 per day; switchmen, $2.15 per day; teamsters, $2.50 per day; firemen, $2.34 per day. This same average of daily pay remained the same after the strike, with the exception of the switchmen, whose average was increased to $2.43. The working hours per week ran from sixty hours for shopmen to seventy hours for roadmen. (To be Continued.)
“In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!"
WOMAN LABOR IN GERMANY.
By HANS FEHlinger.
NE of the most serious problems of the present industrial system is the employment of women as wageearners in the fields, factories, and shops. There is nothing objectionable about the mere fact that women are at work at most of the occupations in which men are engaged, yet there are some distinct social or economic evils accompanying woman labor. First, is the employment of married women, which usually means the neglect of the home, if not of young children. Second, is the low, and often wholly inadequate, rate of remuneration. Partially dependent upon this, but introducing also serious economic consequences, is the competition of women with men, which means in many instances underbidding men with a comparatively high standard of life which, in turn, tends constantly to lower the plane of competition.
Recently published official figures show that in Germany the total number of persons employed in gainful occupations increased from 20,770,875 in 1895, to 26,827,362 in 1907. Exclusive of domestic servants, the female population engaged in earning a living increased from 5,264,393 in 1895, to 8,243,498 in 1907. In the last census year 26 per cent of the female population of the empire were occupied in some trade or profession, as compared with 20 per cent in 1895.
The table below shows the number of women wage earners in the main classes of occupations.
effective legal protection of agricultural work-people. In most of the States forming the German Confederation AGRICULTURAL WORK-PEOPLE HAVE EVEN NO RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION AND ASSEMBLY, so that they can not make any effort to better their condition. In Prussia there still remains on the statute book a law of April 24, 1854, under which agricultural laborers render themselves liable to a year's imprisonment if, "by taking concerted action with a view to causing persons in the service of a certain employer or number of employers to go out on strike, or with a view to obstructing the work of such persons, they endeavor to compel either the employers or the authorities to do certain things or to grant certain concessions." This medieval legal status and the miserable conditions of living induce many thousand male agricultural laborers to wander to the large cities and manufacturing centers; thus a dearth of labor is caused and female labor is employed in the fields in an increasing extent.
Food, drink, and tobacco
Railways, postal and tele
in all parts of Germany,
doubtless many evils conn
employment, especially as
certain principal industries and trades in 1907. The figures do not include members of the employers' families, doing subsidiary work.
The number of female wage-earners exceeded the number of men in five groups of trades, viz.: Textiles, clothing, laundries, etc., hotels and restaurants, and general labor.
Of all female persons employed in gainful occupations in 1907 in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, commerce, and general labor 2,777,253, or 34.9 per cent, were married, as compared with 1,023,738, or 20.1 per cent, in 1895. The proportion of married women among the female wage-earners increased from 14.9 per cent to 18.4 per cent. In the manufacturing industries the number of married women employed as wage-earners rose from 139,805 in 1895 to 269,097 in 1907; 111,753 of them were employed in the textile trades. The labor of married women is much more important in Germany than in the United States where,
according to the twelfth census, only 769,477 married women were at work. The marked difference existing in this respect between the two countries is to be accounted for partly by the greater material well-being of the working classes in America and partly by difference in moral standards.
Millions of wage-earning women in Germany are eligible to membership in trade unions, and these inillions would considerably improve their working conditions if they joined the unions. Yet it is a very difficult task to bring the women workers within the folds of unionism. Labor statistics show that in 1910 the militant trade unions affiliated to the "General Commission" (a body similar to the American Federation of Labor) had 161,512, and the Christian trade unions had 21,833 female members. The number of wage-earning women belonging to the Hirsch-Duncker trade unions is not known; at any rate it is very small.
LABOR ON GUARD
By SAMUEL GOMPERS.
The price of liberty is intelligent knowledge and eternal vigilance. The people, and particularly the workers, can not always trust to political mechanism or past achievements. The struggle for justice is no place for weaklings. The passive by-stander may share the benefits, but he bears no burdens of the battle to secure them. If Labor wants industrial and political justice and liberty, legislation and administration in the interests of the people, it must pay the price, the price of hard, constant, and persistent effort. A fair control over the preliminary movements gives strategic power in the fight. Now is the time to seize that power. Now is the time to be up and doing. With concentration and integration of the industrial organization, government has extended the scope of its functions to control and regulate conditions of production. The degree and kind of control must be determined by the legislative body; not nullification, but application and enforcement are the domain of the executive and judicial departments. For years big business has controlled all three divisions of the State. In a democracy, such as exists, at least in theory, in the United States, the final arbiter of industrial and political relations must be the people.
Six years ago organized labor, aroused by imminent peril to its economic freedom, made certain demands of the political parties. Unheeded, it carried the case directly to the people. Rousing and molding public opinion to an intelligent knowledge of conditions made advantageous changes in the election returns, resulting in the election of fifteen members of Con- . gress who hold trade union membership. They are as follows:
As a result of this achievement of organized labor politicians gave some heed to registered public opinion, but the workers, the people themselves, must be progressive. One victory must be followed by another, and then more and more, for many grave wrongs remain unrighted—many rights yet to be attained. With this purpose in view, the Atlanta Convention of the American Federation of Labor passed by unanimous vote the following instructions to the Executive Council:
"The Executive Council is hereby further authorized and directed to take such further action as its judgment may warrant to secure the enactment of such legislation at the forthcoming session of Congress as shall secure the legal status of the organized movement of the wageworkers for freedom from unjust discrimination in the exercise of their natural, normal, and constitutional rights through their voluntary associations.
"And the Executive Council is further authorized and directed that in the event of a failure on the part of Congress to enact the legislation which we herein seek at the hands of the Congress and the President, to take such action as in its judgment the situation may warrant in the presidential and congressional election of 1912."
In compliance with the imperative direction of the Atlanta Convention just quoted, the Executive Council has formulated planks to be submitted to the political parties for incorporation in their respective platforms, and a committee of the Executive Council was appointed to wait upon the political parties and present these demands to the Platform Committees. In a later issue of the AMERICAN FEDERATIONIST and through other means of communication, these propositions wil! be presented for full consideration byour fellow-workers and fellow-citizens, and the actions of the parties on these subjects will be given the fullest publicity.
Meanwhile each central body, as well as each member of organized labor, has a part to perform in inaugurating, as well as watching, political movements in the locality. Political control is the result of a great system, built up of various spheres of influence. Party domination begins with the ward boss, extends to municipal, county, State, and then Federal agents. To secure agents responsive to the common welfare, organized labor must attack these agents of the interests wherever they may be entrenched.
Organized labor must see to it that trade union men are nominated and elected to municipal, county, and State offices; that trade union men represent its interests in the State Legislatures, and in Congress. Let organized labor's slogan live in its deeds
Stand faithfully by our friends,
Oppose and defeat our enemies, whether they be
Candidates for President,
For Congress or other offices, whether
Executive, Legislative, or Judicial.
Get Busy! Stand True!