Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

To this the President replied that the matter will receive every consideration, and the Secretary of State, after giving the papers in the case careful consideration, will take such action as may be necessary to safeguard the rights of Jan Pouren. Secretary Root has already taken action, and thus far extradition prevented. It is earnestly hoped that the right of asylum in our Republic for political offenders may be fully sustained in this case.

We recommend that this Convention endorse

the

action of the Executive Council in this case, and take such further action as in your judgment may prevent the extradition of Pouren.

a

York while the Council was in session. The following letter was prepared in accordance with the action of the Executive Council and forwarded to the Prestdent:

"Washington, D. C., Sept. 12, 1908. "Hon. Theodore Roosevelt, President of

the United States, Oyster Bay, N. Y. "Sir: By direction of the Executive Council of the American Federation of Labor, now in session in this city. I have the honor to bring to your attention the subject-matter of a resolution adopted by the Executive Council, urgently requesting that you should exercise your great power to intervene and prevent the surrender of Jan Pouren to the Russian government.

“Pouren came to this country during the period of the revolutionary upheaval in Russia in 1906, he having succeeded in escaping from Russia after the defeat of the revolution. The representatives of the Russian Government, having discovered

his

whereabouts, induced the federal authorities to have him arrested on charges of crimes committed in the Baltic Provinces, requesting that he be turned over to the Russian authorities to be held under such charges. He is now in prison awaiting the outcome of the proceedings, Commissioner Shields, after proceedings extending over many months, having decided in favor of the Russian Government.

"A strong movement is now under way to oppose Pouren's extradition, upon the grounds that the right of political asylum is at stake in this case, the first of its kind on record, and a protest mass meeting in his behalf was held at Cooper Union, New York City, last night.

“The Executive Council is in hearty sympathy with the purpose of the Pouren Protest Conference and the movement to oppose his extradition, and by authority of the Executive Council I addressed a telegram to the chairman of the protest mass meeting last evening, advising him of the declaration of the Executive Council in this matter and, further, that we would appeal to you to exercise your great power to prevent a political refugee being surrendered by our Republic. Earnestly hoping that this matter may receive your favorable consideration and prompt action, I have the honor to remain, “Very respectfully yours,

“SAMUEL GOMPERS,

“President,
"American Federation of Labor."

1

A. F. OF L. OFFICE BUILDING. Several Conventions have had the subject of adequate and appropriate office rooms for our Federation under consideiation, authority having been given to the Executive Council to take action for the erection or the improvement of a building containing suitable quarters.

Acting upon this at our meeting in September, we outlined course for the matter to be submitted to our directly affiliated local unions for consideration and vote. Our action is set forth in the following circular letter of President Gompers: "Office of the American Federation of

Labor, Washington, D. C., September 21, 1908. "To the Directly Affiliated Local Unions of the American Federation of Labor:

“Dear Sirs and Brothers: The conventions of the American Federation of Labor have on several occasions considered the subject of constructing a building in Washington, D. C., the nation's capital, where the affairs and business of the great labor movement of America may be conveniently and efficiently carried on; in other words, the construction of

structure which would be a home for the general offices of the American Federation of Labor. Various projects have been considered, but up to this time none have been deemed feasible or practical.

“Adequate offices in office buildings cannot be obtained in this city owing to two facts-first, rents in modern office buildings are exceedingly high, and there is not one office building in Washington in which a sufficient number of rooms adjoining each other can be obtained. Committees of the Executive Council have given this subject their careful investi

[ocr errors]

forty-eight hours after the meeting to the undersigned. Returns received later than October 21 will not be counted.

"Fraternally yours, (Signed)

"SAM'L GOMPERS, "President American Federation of La

bor."

by

Voting blanks were issued to the locals. Eighty-nine local unions sent in their vote, 2,075 members voting in favor of the proposition, 294 members voting against. In addition, six unions sent in votes as having voted “unanimous" in favor, four unions voting "Yes" in favor, one union voting “unanimously" against.

The votes as returned are open to the inspection of this convention. We recommend

that this subject-matter, together with our recommendation, be referred to a special committee, the appointment of which to be authorized by this convention, to make report thereon before our adjournment.

JAMESTOWN AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR EXHIBIT

GOLD MEDAL AWARD.

gation and consideration, and at the meeting of the Executive Council it was decided to submit the proposition to the unions directly affiliated by charter to the American Federation of Labor for a referendum vote. The proposition is as follows:

"That a sum not exceeding $50,000 be loaned from the defense fund for the erection of a building for the American Federation of Labor; that the directly affiliated local unions shall select referendum vote three persons who shall act as trustees for the local unions, who shall have power of attorney, and in whose name a mortgage shall be given to the full amount of the money loaned from the defense fund for the erection of the building referred to; that the American Federation of Labor shall annually pay over to the defense fund from its general fund not less than $2,500 until the entire loan has been liquidated; that the above proposition shall become effective only when ratified by a majority vote of the members of directly affiliated local unions voting upon the proposition, and then only to become effective if ratified and approved by the forthcoming convention of the American Federation of Labor which is to be held at Denver, Colorado, November 9-21.

"In connection with this matter it may be well to say that there is now in the defense fund the sum of $104,885.09, and that should an emergency arise by which the money loaned from the defense fund should be needed there can be no doubt that nearly the entire amount can be raised at short notice and money obtained from other quarters as mortga upon the structure.

"The Executive Council desires me to assure the local unions that the proposition is not only one which would safeguard the funds, but it will be of great advantage to the great cause of labor.

“The local unions are required to consider and vote upon this proposition at the first meeting after the receipt of this notice, and return all votes, both in favor and against, on the enclosed blank. Do not fail to give the exact number of votes cast in favor, as well as the exact number of votes cast against the proposition, and have the enclosed ballot signed by the President and Secretary of your union.

"Secretaries of locals will forward all returns of the result of the voting within

as

Acting upon the authority of the convention, we authorized President Gompers and Vice-President Morris to make every preparation for a most extensive exhibit at the Jamestown Exposition. It was of the most instructive and interesting character, including in its scope the history of the American labor movement, its growth, and the magnificent results obtained for the betterment of the workers in all fields of activity.

It was of an economic and sociological character, well as

the finest union label products. It was a gratifying spectacle to view our exhibit in Jamestown during ou; Norfolk convention, when the men of labor and students beheld that in one of the large buildings not only that large space was devoted to the American Federation of Labor exhibit, but that it aroused the deepest interest of all visitors to obtain an object lesson of the scope of

ur work and our achievements. The exposition authorities have granted to the American Federation of Labor the gold medal and diploma for the exhibit. To much credit

not be given for these results to President Gompers and Vice-President Morris.

can

CONCLUSION. We urge our fellow unionists to still greater effort in organizing the yet unorganized workers, so that not only our movement may be strengthened, but for its beneficent influences upon the toilers and all our people.

With our movement extended, and unity, fraternity and solidarity more thoroughly exemplified; with our unions establishing a system of higher dues and corresponding benefits, continually greater advances will be made in the material, social and moral uplift of all, and make for the greater success and permanency of our labor organizations and in full afiliation with the American Federation of Labor.

The legislation so necessary at the hands of our federal, state and municipal governments should be pressed to a successful conclusion, and by the common concert of action on all fields of activity will bring to our cause its fullest fruition in the establishment of a better and a higher life, not only for the toiling milions, but for all our people.

Fraternally yours,
SAMUEL GOMPERS,

President,
JAMES DUNCAN,

First Vice-President, JOHN MITCHELL,

Second Vice-President, JAS. O'CONNELL,

Third Vice-President, MAX MORRIS,

Fourth Vice-President, D. A, HAYES,

Fifth Vice-President, DANIEL J. KEEFE,

Sixth Vice-President, WM. D. HUBER,

Seventh Vice-President, JOS. F. VALENTINE,

Eighth Vice-President, JOHN B. LENNON,

Treasurer, FRANK MORRISON,

Secretary, Executive Council American Federation

of Labor.

The motion was seconded, and carried by unanimous vote.

President Gompers announced the ap. pointment of the following special committees:

SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON LINCOLN'S CELEBRATION: D. A Hayes, James M. Lynch, W. D. Ryan, D. G. Ramsay, Edmond F. Ward, Jo. Evans, J. Mahlon Barnes, Nellie O'Boy, Elias Breidenbach, T. C. Kelsey, Hugh Kirk, John T. But. ler, D. J. Tobin, Howard O. Smith, Hugh McDonald.

SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON A. F. OF L. OFFICE BUILDING: Frank Duffy, Frank M. Ryan, R. E. Woodmansee, John R. Dunne. P. J. Flannery, Louis Kemper, Melvia Richter, J. W. Kline, James T. McHugh, Victor Altman,

Herbert Crampton, Frank L. Rist, Joseph A. Franklin, Thos. J. Curtis, Géo, P. Foster.

President Gompers announced the following changes in the membership of committees:

Delegate John E. Longstreet on Committee on Local and Federated Bodies in place of John P. White.

John P. White, Committee on Boycotts in place of R. E. Woodmansee, who is not in attendance.

Patrick D. Daley, on Committee on Secretary's Report in place of John Weber, who is not in attendance.

Harry Thomas, on Committee on Education, in place of Charles W. Fear, who is not in attendance.

John Carey, on Committee on Local and Federated Bodies, in place of John H. Brinkman, who is not in attendance. David McLennan,

on Committee on State Organization, in place of Santiago Iglesias, who is not in attendance.

Delegate Mangan-Is the report of the Executive Council, aside from the portion already acted on, still before the house?

President Gompers-The different subjects considered in the report will be distributed and referred to the appropriate committees.

Delegate Mangan-I desire information in regard to Resolution No. 66 of the Norfolk Convention. The resolution refers to the controversy between the steam fitters and the plumbers. Is the Building Trades Department, to which that matter has been referred, subordinate to the American Federation, or is it a co-ordinate body?

Vice-President Duncan-The course followed will be that the subject-matter will be referred to the proper committee. The committee will report to this convention whether or not it recommends that the matter be referred to the Building Trades Department. The Con

Delegate Mahon-I move that that portion of the report calling for the appointment of two special committees be adopted at this time, and that the Chair be instructed to appoint the committees.

vention will then take action on the report of the committee.

Mr. Montgomery, for the Local Committee, announced the program of entertainment for Wednesday, and stated

that the special train for Colorado Springs would leave the Union Depot at 8:30 a. m.

At 12:30 the Convention was adjourned to reconvene at 2:30 p. m.

SECOND DAY-Tuesday Afternoon Session

The Convention was called to order at 2:30 p. m., Tuesday, November 10, President Gompers in the chair.

or

ABSENTEES: Kline. Sullivan (John), O'Brien, Sanders, Richardson, Thomas, Feeney, Costello, Williams (J. J.), Cruickshank, Coombe, Lawlor, Hart (E. F.), Price. Potter, O'Sullivan, Wilson (James), Quinn, Alpine, Paravicini, Mahon, Clark (W. W.), Byrnes, Longstreet, Hatch, Walter, Young, Lynch (Patrick), Smith (W. J.), Garrett, Maloney (P.), Welch, Hood. Moore, Peterson, Chavey, Witt, Piggott, Chrisman, Hart (Charles E.). McKee (Anna), Leonard, Carroll, Nutt, Gass.

fealty to the movement of the people in their leaders, and the non-partisan campaign accomplish the desired resultspeace and prosperity to the faithful.

“WILLIAM J. GILTHORPE."

“Washington, D. C., Nov. 9, 1908. "Samuel Gompers, Frank Morrison and James O'Connell, American Federation

Labor Convention Hall, Denver, Colo.

"The Central Labor Union of the National Capital sends you greetings and best wishes. We love you for the dinner you will miss.

“SAM DeNEDREY,

“Secretary." “Springfield, Mo., Nov. 10, 1908. "American Federation of Labor Convention, Denver, Colo. "Fraternal greetings.

We heartily recommend President Gompers' re-election to his present

office for interest taken in recent campaign. "CHARLES DAILY,

"President, "C. W. CARTER,

"Secretary: "Coach Painters' Union 375. President Gempers-At the session yesterday it was decided to refer the question of the contested delegation from the Electrical Workers to a special committee of five to be appointed by the chair. I have selected the committee and have submitted the list to both Mr. McNulty and Mr. Reid. They both agree that the committee is an eminently fair, just and capable one. I will therefore read the names of the committee:

Joseph M. Weber, of the American Federation of Musicians; R. P. Rubin, of the Brotherhood of Railroad Telegraphers; John Lennon, of the Journeymen Tailors' Union; D. S. Fitzgerald, of the Amalgamated Street and Electric Railway Employes; James A. Roach, of the International Iron Moulders' Union.

The special order of business is the deferred report of the Committee on Credentials.

Secretary Morrison read the following report of the committee on the creden

On motion of Treasurer Lennon the reading of the minutes of the preceding session was dispensed with.

Secretary Morrison read a communication from Mr.

Charles F. Garfield, President of the Chamber of Commerce, Rochester, N. Y., in which the American Federation of Labor was invited to hold its next Convention in that city. Mr. Garfield stated that the Mayor of Rochester joined with him in extending the invitation; that a convention hall would be provided free of charge to the Federation, and that the Chamber of Commerce Building, including

assembly hall, would be at the disposal of the Convention.

Secretary Morrison read the following telegrams:

“Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 10, 1908. "John R. Alpine, or President Samuel Gompers, Denver, Colo.

"Extend 'to President Gompers and assembled delegates best wishes for successful deliberations in the Convention.

"Sincerely,

"W. F. COAKLEY, "Representative-elect, Missouri."

“Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 10, 1908. "Samuel Gompers, Convention Hall, Den

ver, Colo.

"Your work has left its impression on the country. Be nothing daunted by defeat. Remember Robert Bruce, emulate his example, and victory for organized labor will come. May harmony in the Convention be the renewal of pledges of

an

B.

tials of the Operative Plasterers' delega. tion:

We have received credentials from the Operative Plasterers' International ASsociation for John Donlin, Peter G. Cook, James O'Connor and John G. Twyford, as delegates to this Convention. They are not entitled to seats, however, in view of the fact that charter has not yet been granted to this association.

Labor, or by any national or international organization, connected with this Federation, shall, while under such penalty, be allowed representation or recognition in this Federation, or in any Central Body or national or international union connected with the American Federation of Labor, under the penalty of the suspension of the body violating this section."

[ocr errors]

Delegate Mangan moved that the delegates of the Operative Plasterers be allowed seats in the Convention without a vote. (Seconded.)

Secretary Morrison-The Operative Plasterers are anxious to become affiliated with the American Federation of Labor. Their application was received at the headquarters too late to correspond with the various international organizations that might have similar jurisdiction. It occurred to me that, as the various building trades are represented in this Convention, it might be well to refer this application to a committee of five from the building trades for the purpose of arranging a satisfactory line of demarcation between the organizations that have protests in at the present time, or any other organizations that may be of the opinion that the Plasterers' claim of jurisdiction is an infringement on their jurisdiction. For that reason I move to amend the motion made by Delegate Mangan to the extent that it be referred to a committee of five to be selected from the building trades, The question of seating the delegates will then come up on the report of the committee.

Delegate Mangan-I will accept the Secretary's amendment

The motion of Delegate Mangan, amended by Secretary Morrison, was adopted.

Secretary Morrison read the following from the report of the Committee (redentials:

We have credentials for T. W. Rowe, from the Ohio State Federation of Labor; J. F. Tobin, from the Muncie, Indiana, Trades Council; W. W. Davies, of the Belmont County, Ohio, Central Trades and Labor Council, and Frederick Shane, from the Toledo, Ohio, Central Labor Union. These gentlernen members of the American Flint Glass Ilurkers' Association, and

recommend that they be not seated as dele. kates, our recommendation based on Section 5 of Article IV of the Constitution of the American Federation of Labor, as follows:

“Xo organization or person that has sereded, or has been suspended, or expelled by the American Federation of

Delegate Ford-I move you that the report of the Committee on Credentials be concurred in. (Seconded.)

The question was discussed by Delegate Mahon and Mr. Rowe, of the Flint Glass Workers' Union.

When Mr. Rowe had spoken the full time allowed under the rules Delegate Kemper moved that his time be extended. The motion was seconded and carried.

The question was further discussed by Mr. Rowe, Delegate Klapetzky. Mr. Shane, Mr. Tobin, Secretary Morrison, Vice-President Mitchell and Vice-Presi. dent Hayes.

Treasurer Lennon in the chair.

The question was further discussed by Vice-President O'Connell, Delegate Lewis (T. L.), Vice-President Duncan, Delegate Walker (J. H.), and President Gompers.

On motion debate was closed. The motion to concur in the report of the committee was carried.

Delegate Lewis (T. L.)--I move that the time limit for the introduction of resolutions, except by the unanimous consent of the Convention, be fixed at 5 o'clock next Thursday. President Gompers-That is the

law now, but if it is agreeable to the Convention it will be ordered that, , inasmuch as we will have no session of the Convention to-morrow, that day ought not to interfere with the opportunity of the delegates to introduce resolutions, and the time limit will be extended until Friday evenirg.

Delegate Lewis--I object. The law fixes the time limit at 5 o'clock Thursday.

Delegate Fairgrieve-The Constitution states that the time limit shall be the end of the fourth day's session. There is no session to-morrow.

President Gompers-Delegate Fairgrieve has interpreted the Constitution correctly.

The following resolutions were introduced and referred by President Gompers to the various committees:

as

on

are

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »