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OCT 27 1916
or America in 1915---Prosperity Year.
A Prosperity that's based on National Peace and Progress. lts true foundation is the solid majority of America's real citizenswho do the Nation's Work-who wear the uniform of use-the sturdy overall.
The Overall That Put The O. K. in OshKosh
is worn by over a million men on the National Prosperity Route-railroad men, mechanics and farmers.
Extra quality-extra comfort and protection-22 per cent oversize where ful ness is needed. Generous pockets, Stitching is permanent,
All Oshkosh B'Gosh Overalls are made of strictly no-fade, vat-dyed, mill-shrunk denim. Suspenders, attached fabric, or deJachable elastic.
Most live dealers sell Oshkosh B'Gosh Overalls. If you can't secure them in your neighborhood, mail us $1 with your correct size. We'll send them parcel post, prepaid. If you're dissatisfied in any way, we'll replace them with a new pair.
OSHKOSH OVERALL CO.
OFFICIAL ORGAN BROTHERHOOD RAILWAY CARMEN OF AMERICA.
Published Monthly at 505 Hall Building, Kansas City, Mo. Subscription $1.00 per year in advance. Advertising rates made known on application. Entered as Second-class Matter, September 27, 1912, at the Post Office at Kansas City, Missouri, Under the Act of August 24, 1912. The Brotherhood Railway Carmen of America is not sponsor for, nor inferested in, in any way whatever, any souvenir or special program publication of any kind. W. J. ADAMES, Editor and Manager, Kansas City, Mo.
To Our Members Everywhere, Greeting.
REPORT OF DELEGATES TO THE THIRTY-FOURTH ANNUAL CONVENTION OF THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR.
The opening ceremonies were preceded by the usual parade of delegates from the headquarters hotel to the convention hall. The procession, which traversed the principal streets of Philadelphia, was headed by President Gompers, the members of the Executive Council and an immense band of musicians from the various musical organizations of the city which naturally created a profound impression, business being prac tically suspended along the line of march. Addresses of welcome were delivered by the mayor of the city, Rudolph Blankenburg; Geo. H. Ulrich, president of the Philadelphia Central Labor Union; Joseph Ritchie, president of the Building Trades Council; James H. Maurer, president of the Pennsylvania State Federation of Labor, and Frank Feeney, chairman of the Committee on Arrangements of the Central Labor Union of Philadelphia.
There were 373 delegates present representing national and international unions, state bodies, city central unions, trade and federal labor unions and fraternal organizations with a voting strength of 19,920 votes.
Your three delegates were present at all sessions and took an active part in all matters dealing with and pertaining to the Brotherhood and everything in general, voting on all questions from the viewpoint we considered our constituents maintained and in accordance with the declared policy of our Brotherhood on various general matters
which came before the convention in the form of resolutions, etc., as will be seen from further consideration of this report.
In compliance with the constitution, President Gompers appointed the various standing committees of the convention, assigning members of your delegation to the two following important committees: President Ryan, Committee on Resolutions; Delegate Adames, Committee on A. F. of L. Office Building.
The annual report of the Executive Council, which comprises the reports of all the officers of the Federation dealt exhaustively with every conceivable phase of the trade union movement and its activities, economically, socially and politically, all of which received the close and continued attention of every delegate.
It treated exhaustively the following important subjects: International War and Peace; International Federation of Trade Unions; British Trade Union Congress; The Situation in Mexico; Home Rule for Ireland; Irish Labor Movement; Movement in Cuba; International Congress on Occupational Diseases; President Gompers in Puerto Rico; World Congress on Unemployment; Conservation of Natural Resources; Labor DayLabor Sunday; Sunday Rest Movement; Mothers' Day; National and International Unions; State Federations of Labor; City Central Bodies; Striking Affiliated Local Unions; Organization of Women Wage Earners; Labor Forward Movement; Organizers; Co-operation in Related Industries; Better Co-operation in Strikes and Lockouts; Freed from Trust Law, Injunction and Contempt Abuses; Massachusetts Model Labor Law; Eight Hours; Child Labor; Safety Appliance Inspectors; Safety Appliances; Bureau of Labor Safety; Occupational Diseases; Employers' Liability and Workmen's Compensation; Wage Increase for Postal Employes;
Postoffice Clerks and Night Work; Amendment of Postal Savings Bank Laws; Teamsters and Postoffice Employes; Parcel Post; Automatic Stop System for Railroads; Amendment to Hours of Service Law; Piecework; Taylor System in Government Service; Physical Examination of Government Employes; Seamen's Legislation; Immigration; Convict Labor; Government Construction of Railways in Alaska; Public vs. Private Construction of Naval and Other Vessels; Regulations for Loading Vessels-Protection of Longshoremen; Panama Canal Rules and Regulations; Marine Hospital at Seattle; Hetch-Hetchy Bill; Old Age Pension; Unemployment and Vagrancy Laws; Conciliation, Mediation, Arbitration; Weekly Rest Day and Saturday Half Holiday; Citizenship for Puerto Rico; Suffrage in the District of Columbia; Employment of White Women in Asiatic Cafes and Stores; Government Ownership of Mt. Vernon; Industrial Education, Vocational and Trade Training; The Danbury Hatters' Case; Printing Trade Union Legislation; The Law and Just Judges; Legal Department, American Federation of Labor; Popular Government; Proposed Welfare Amendment to State Constitutions; Municipal Ownership; United States Commission on Industrial Relations; Organized Farmers and the Agricultural Credit Bill; Seizure of Michigan Copper Lands; The Situation in the Mining Field; Shingle Weavers-Change of Title; Glass Bottle Blowers-Extension of Jurisdiction; Railroad Telegraphers-Application for Extension of Jurisdiction; Longshoremen-Application for Extension of Jurisdiction; U. B. of Carpenters-Amalgamated Carpenters; Amalgamation of Steam Shovel and Dredgemen; Cigar Makers-Stogie Makers; Brewery Workers-Coopers; Plate Printers-Printing Pressmen; Stove Grinders-Sheet Metal Workers; Machinists-Elevator Constructors; Blacksmiths-Bridge and Structural Iron Workers; Plasterers-Carpenters; FiremenEngineers; Lithographers-Printing Pressmen; Photo Engravers-Jurisdiction Over Newspaper Solicitors; Lithographers-Lithographic Press Feeders; Hod Carriers-Cement Workers; Upholsterers-Carpet Mechanics; Blacksmiths-Tunnel and Subway Constructors; Tunnel and Subway ConstructorsCompressed Air Workers; Electrical Workers-Theatrical Stage Employes; Flint Glass Workers Machinists; Teamsters - BrewersBakers-Laundry Workers; Electrical Workers-Engineers; Carriage and Wagon Workers - Blacksmiths; Upholsterers - MachinistsMetal Polishers; Electrical Workers; Brick Makers Seceding Local Unions; Unwarranted Extension of Jurisdiction and TitleJourneymen Tailors; Carpenters-Sheet Metal Workers-Building Trades Department; Bricklayers - Affiliated Building Trades; American Federation of Labor Departments; Ladies' Garment Workers' Strike; Printing Pressmen-Chicago Newspaper Publishers' Association; American Federation of Labor Exhibit, Panama-Pacific Exposition; American Federationist; American Federation of
Labor Weekly News Letter; Labor Press; Lecture Bureau; American Federation of Labor Library; Free Text Books; Uniformity of Text Books; Retirement of Vice-Presidents Mitchell and Huber; President White's Declination to Serve as Vice-President.
The report also contained an appendix dealing with several other matters, chief of which was the report of the two delegates, Messrs. Mahon and Bland, who went to Europe to investigate labor conditions on European municipally owned railways. The report as a whole should be obtained and read by every student of the labor movement.
Some idea of the subjects discussed can be obtained when it is stated that the daily proceedings, including the report of the Executive Council, covers 497 pages, copies of which can be secured from Secretary Frank Morrison, 801-809 G Street N. W., Washington, D. C.; price, 25 cents.
One hundred and sixty-seven resolutions were introduced and acted upon; 103 were adopted, 20 were not concurred in and 32 were referred to the Executive Council for investigation and further consideration, while others dealing with the same subjects were combined.
Time and space precludes the possibility of referring in detail to all the numerous and varied subjects discussed and the action taken on the above mentioned resolutions. However, the following are some of the more important matters dealt with to which it is deemed advisable to call especial attention at this particular time:
That affiliated national and international unions shall explain thoroughly to their membership the power of the union label, and to advocate and insist upon the proper union education of all trade unionists as to their duties in demanding union label goods.
Upon the resolution dealing with the subject of American laundries and restaurants conducted by aliens, the convention recommended that all trade unionists and their friends should patronize union restaurants and laundries, and in connection with the general subject-matter, the convention reaffirmed the declaration of the Seattle convention as contained in Resolution No. 28 of that convention, as follows:
"Resolved, That we favor a literacy test, so that immigrants may be required to be able to read and write the language of the country from whence they come, or in some language or tongue."
All organized labor was urged to insist upon and work for the publication of all school books under strictly fair conditions, particular attention being called to the fact that the textbooks and maps gotten out by the Rand & McNally Company of Chicago are published under non-union conditions.
Organizers and affiliated organizations were asked to inaugurate an active campaign for the organization of school teachers throughout the country.
A special request was made for the active co-operation and support of all organized labor for the Commercial Telegraphers' Union of America in its effort to organize the men of that calling.
Assistance of the organized labor movement was pledged to the Cigarmakers International Union in its effort to organize the employes of the American Tobacco Company.
Directions were given for renewed efforts to organize the stenographers, typewriters, bookkeepers and office assistants, recommending to all trade union officials who employ such workers that they give active support and assistance to the unions of the calling already organized by the following
"(a) To assist in the organization of their own workers; (b) when employing new workers apply to the union for those already members, if any such are out of employment and competent for work required; (c) to periodically look for the union cards of their workers, so that they will assist the struggling unions in keeping their members' dues paid without unnecessary effort; (d) to enter into union shop agreements with the union where the union is in the habit of making formal agreements; (e) to give extra work done outside the office to union mem. bers where possible."
Endorsing the Casey Bill, H. R. 17,855, or legislation of similar import acceptable to the organized farmers for the establishment of an industrial alcohol commission, and an appropriation by Congress to demonstrate conclusively the practicability of farm alcohol distilling.
Requesting the active co-operation of all affiliated national and international unions, state federations of labor, city central bodies in behalf of the United Brotherhood of Leather Workers on Horse Goods, in its campaign for organizing the men of the trade.
The convention condemned the use of of ficial seals of the organizations of labor by privately owned papers, and called upon all state bodies and city central bodies to withdraw all seals now being printed in privately owned papers. The various departments of the A. F. of L. were asked to take similar measures with their respective local councils.
In dealing with the effort to organize the employes of the various state institutions controlled by the State Board of Administration of the State of Illinois, to secure for them one day's rest in seven, reasonable compensation for labor performed, an annual vacation of at least two weeks, adequate housing facilities for employes, a practical tribunal for the redress of grievances, the convention declared in favor of similar agitation being conducted through the proper channels, such as the State Federations of Labor, the city central bodies, and the A. F. of L. organizations, in the other states throughout America,
It was recommended that every effort be made by the A. F. of L. and state federations and city central bodies for the passage of laws by the various state legislatures for the free textbook system.
It was ordered that the state federations and city central bodies should be requested to use their best endeavors to have laws enacted by the different state legislatures requiring that in the workshops in which are employed upholsterers and mattressmakers who work on furniture, mattresses, railway cars, and automobiles, the filling material shall be picked in separate rooms, and also that the use of materials for the filling of mattresses which are injurious to the health of the people shall be prohibited.
The Congress of the United States having designated the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day, the convention recommended that the state federations and city central bodies should urge upon their respective legislatures the enactment or adoption of laws or resolutions for the various states, designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.
The state federation and city central bodies of the Pacific and inter-mountain states were urged by the convention to be vigorous and energetic in their efforts to secure the enactment of such legislation as will prohibit the employment of white women under any conditions by Asiatics.
That every assistance possible be given to the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis in promulgating its campaign of publicity and that all affiliated organizations are urged to bring before their respective state legislatures or other law-making bodies the necessity of better provisions for the prevention and cure of tuberculosis and more rigid inspection of housing conditions, more adequate provisions for sanitary conditions in workshops and other places of employment, and more extensive and suitable provision for the proper care and treatment of those suffering from tuberculosis.
Two resolutions particularly affecting our organization were presented by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and the Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers of America on the time-worn, threadbare subject of jurisdiction over carmen. These were referred to the Committee on Adjustment who later reported thereon, recommending that a conference of representatives of the organizations interested be arranged for by the Executive Council not later than ninety days after the adjournment of the convention. To this recommendation, your delegates, through President Ryan, strenuously objected on the ground that these conferences, if held, would be unproductive of results and a useless expenditure of time and money, as we didn't propose to surrender one iota of our jurisdiction as outlined in our constitution or relinquish any of our rights now firmly established and univer
sally recognized, to organize carmen in whatever capacity employed coming under the jurisdiction of the car department on railroads, any more than the United Mine Workers would consent to relinquish jurisdiction over carpenters, hoisting engineers and mechanics of all kinds employed in and around mines in the mining industry.
A viva voce vote was taken on the motion to adopt the committee's report, which resulted in 80 votes for the affirmative, or the committee's report, and 72 in the negative. The vote on division being so close, your delegates demanded a roll call, which was supported by a sufficient number.
Owing to the lateness of the hour, it then being about 11 p. m., the day prior to the last day of the convention, and there being a great amount of unfinished business to be transacted, your delegates, after some discussion, withdrew their demand for a roll call, the committee's report providing for a conference consequently being adopted. Needless to say, the statements made on the floor of the convention will only be reiterated at these conferences, but as the constitution of the A. F. of L. provides for such proceedure in such cases, we considered it the wisest policy, especially under the above mentioned circumstances, to acquiesce.
Another matter particularly affecting our Brotherhood was the changes to the constitution affecting departments of the A. F. of L. submitted by the Executive Council, which, if adopted as submitted without amendment, would have practically nullified the effectiveness and usefulness of the Railroad Department which, as at present constituted, is conceded by all progressive unionists to be the only really effective department chartered by the A. F. of L. As President Wharton of the department deals fully with this feature in his excellent report, which follows, we refer you thereto for further information in connection therewith.
Other subjects of great importance in which your delegates took a keen interest were those dealing with the subjects of the "Shorter Work Day" by legal enactment, and the European war, which came before the convention in the form of several resolutions, and the report of the Executive Council, all of which were referred to the Committees on International Relations and Resolutions.
It is to the credit of the delegates and bespeaks much for the solidarity of labor in this country, that this delicate subject of the war could be discussed freely and intelligently without creating discord or contention in a body of men, such as a convention of the American Federation of Labor, composed, as it is, of many and varied nationalities, many of whom are disposed to have more or less sympathetic leanings towards the several belligerent nations by ties of blood or lineage.
The entire subject was disposed of in a manner that reflected credit upon the self
control, good sense and good judgment of the delegates.
The committee in their report, which was practically unanimously adopted, made the following declaration:
"Upon that portion of the report of the Executive Council under the caption, "International War and Peace," pages 48 and 49, the committee reported as follows:
"Your committee is in full accord with the presentation of fundamental principles, the sentiment of which appeals to the higher instincts and ennobling human attributes of mankind and clearly represents labor's declaration that independence, liberty and justice for all mankind are paramount under all circumstances.
"Your committee holds and desires to give expression to the following summaries as our interpretation of the statesmanlike expression of labor's attitude upon this important question: Back of all wars of conquest is the spirit of brutality, greed and commercialism. Back of all revolutionary wars for redress of wrongs is the spirit of independence, liberty, justice and democracy. We declare against the former under all circumstances. In the second instance we emphasize the vast difference between the two kinds of wars and affirm that in the case of oppression, if the people have constitutional means of redress of wrongs and for obtaining liberty, justice and a fuller democracy, such means should be exhausted before resort to arms is justifiable. Where there are no constitutional means of redress available for the people and their destinies are governed and controlled by despotic or hereditary rulers who subordinate the interest and welfare of the toiling masses to the further enrichment of those in control of agencies of power, if the people resort to arms as the last means to obtain the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, justice and freedom, we have no words of condemnation."
The committee also made, among other things too numerous to mention, a declaration as follows:
"Let us not forget that sordid greed which profits by lack of proper safeguards, sanitation, low wages, etc., here as elsewhere in the industrial field and in transportation, takes more human lives, maims more human beings, causes more sickness, want and privation than have resulted from any previous war or may result from this war."
On the question of what President Gompers styled "The Principle Involved in How Best to Establish the 'Shorter Work Day'," which came before the convention by the introduction of resolutions favoring direct legislation methods for shortening the work day for all workers by legal enactment, either by statute through state legislatures or the adoption of shorter work day amendments to state constitutions through the medium of the Initiative and Referendum in such states where it exists, much discussion transpired, as will be observed by the verbatim report of same printed elsewhere