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district called "Dominguito," at Arecibo, after which the police took care to conceal their names, and it is not even known today who did the clubbing.
At Humacao, five countrymen were clubbed and a gathering was dispersed. At San Lorenzo, a meeting was violently dispersed by the police. The police were openly doing the bidding of the owners of the sugar estates. They live, eat and drink in quarters provided for them on the estates and sugar mills.
Governor Yager promised that he would give the unfortunate country folk protection against illegal onslaught, but the next day the police exercised violence to a still greater degree. The landowners bankers and stockholders with the help of the capitalistic press are daily spreading untruths against the strikers. The Governor turned over to the police the whole rural region and these in their turn have forbidden that there should be any public meeting, gatherings, parades, and that not even groups of ten persons on the highways and barriers of the whole Island, though it were shown that such gatherings are of an orderly and peaceful character.
Martial law was practically declared by the police, and attacks upon the persons were accumulating rapidly to the discredit of the police who kept on terrorizing the country people.
The representatives of the A. F. of L. were forbidden to call open-air meetings of the workmen throughout the rural zone.
When I asked the Governor to interfere with the violation of the Constitution by the police, he gave me assurance that he would do it, and that he would give me a copy of his order, but he has not made good his promise up to the present time, and thus it is that the wish of the police is secured, namely, that of breaking the strike of the poor country workers through fear and intimidation, through persecution and the "stick." The Bureau of Labor is only an agent of the government which stands in favor of the landowners in this connection.
In a statement given to the press it is quoted as saying: "The landowners have proved themselves to be possessed of the confidence and regard which this Bureau has for them and for which we are sincerely grateful toward them."
The following telegram was sent by the Chief of the Bureau of Labor:
"Domingo Santos, Fajardo, P. R. Mr. Brd Manager of the Fajardo Sugar Company. h officially informed the government that workingmen are not fulfilling their part of the contr which makes it therefore void. I trust all dif ences will work out REGARDLESS of strike (Signed) Bills."
This telegram was sent after the Sugr Growers' Association and Corporations ha agreed not to sign any terms of agreemen with the workers or agree upon any wage scale. More than 1,000 country workers is Fajardo filed complaints duly sworn to be fore a judge protesting against the attitud of the Chief of the Labor Bureau in cor. bination with the landowners.
February 28, according to the repeated re quests from the different towns on strik I concluded that it was necessary for me t pay a visit to different towns and cities, t take advantage of an unusual opportunit to organize agricultural workers into t most powerful organization in the Island.
I requested the organizer of the Cigarmakers' Union, and some other officers. organized labor in Porto Rico to accompar me in order to be able to hold a meeting r each of the towns in the eastern and souther parts of Porto Rico which are on strike.
On February 28 we left San Juan and th first town where we stopped was Yabucod. There were about two thousand men o strike. They have been denied the constitutional rights of speaking and assembling when they want and where they legally please, and at the time we reached Yabucoa the workingmen had been unable to hold meeting during the two weeks they ha! been on strike.
I requested the local committee of the strike that the tribune be placed in the Plaza, and while I was speaking, I was ordered by the Chief of Police to leave the place on the ground that the mayor of the city, who is interested in business and the main enemy of the strikers, had not given his permission to hold the meeting there. I had to come down from the tribune, and then it was placed in one of the extremes of the town.
From Yabucoa, I sent to the Governor of Porto Rico tllowing telegram:
b. 28, 1915. Hon. Arthu to Rico, San Juan, P. R
When I was speaking at the plaza of this town the police told me I had to dissolve the meeting because the Mayor said that there was not permit to hold the meeting at the Plaza. He refused many times to give permit. Santiago Iglesias, Gen. Org. A. F. of L."
After having held a monster meeting at Yabucoa, at which all the orators and I did our part, and where the conditions prevailing are notoriously prejudiced against the strikers, we proceeded to Maunabo. From Maunabo I had to send the Governor of Porto Rico the following telegram:
"Maunabo, Feb. 28, 1915. Hon. Arthur Yager, Governor of Porto Rico, San Juan, P. R. Agricultural workers of Barrios, Palo Seco, Lisa, and Matuyas had to return back their homes because police prohibited them to walk town certainly to prevent them to attend a labor meeting where the Labor Federation representatives were going to address the people. Santiago Iglesias, Gen. Org. A. F. of L."
The Governor of Porto Rico up to this date, March 3, has given no answer to the two telegrams quoted. At Maunabo we did all we could to help the strikers and to bring the parties to terms, and we reached at last an agreement by which the hours of labor for the agricultural workers were reduced to nine and wages of 50 and 55 cents per day were increased to 80 cents.
15 After having held a meeting there and leaving all things settled at Maunabo, and the agreement signed, we proceeded to Guayama, where we also held another meetding lasting to 1 o'clock March 1, and in which two lawyers participated who are actually in sympathy with the strike, and who have co-operated in the agitation and maintenance and defense of the same.
On March 1 we left Guayama and went to Ponce via Salinas. In view of the conditions prevailing in Ponce and the necessity for our returning to San Juan as soon as possible to pay attention to some other important matters, we had already decided not to take part in the meeting of Ponce and had already taken the automobile to return. But a commission composed of members of the local unions of Ponce, among whom were officials of the Cigarmakers' Union 449, requested us in the name of that organization and of the agricultural workers to take part in the open-air meeting, and then we
agreed that the automobile would remain near the place where the meeting was to be held to be taken by us immediately after having done our duty.
The meeting was opened in the evening at half past seven, and the members of the organized labor movement participated. After I had spoken for about an hour, and was making the statement that the police could not be placed on an impartial and independent position while having their quarters in the premises of the sugar mills and plantations, while eating and drinking with the bosses, while using the horses of the sugar mill owners under the pretense of guaranteeing the properties, I was brutally ordered to leave the tribune, while the Captain of Police Fernandez Nater cried: "This meeting has finished."
Then the police were ordered to dissolve the meeting, the workers were shot and clubbed. The result of this social crime committed against the people was a poor man dead and several wounded. Organizer Rivera Martinez, myself and all my fellows from San Juan in the commission were arrested and placed under a bail of $2,000. From Ponce I sent the Governor the following telegram:
"Hon. Arthur Yager, Governor of Porto Rico, San Juan, P. R. Last night police dissolved a peaceful meeting while I was speaking, shooting and clubbing poor peasants. One dead and several wounded. Seven labor representatives and myself were jailed accused of riot. This fact is very deplorable and respectfully protest against unnecessary and unjustifiable disregarding of constitutional rights. Santiago Iglesias, Gen. Org. A. F. of L."
No answer has been given to the quoted telegram. We remained in jail up to half past 12 of the night of March 2, when we were provisionally set free under bail of $300 each. We returned to San Juan.
The offices of the Federation in Ponce were searched by the police who violently broke the locks of the desks and took papers and documents of the strike committee.
If the federal authorities do not take rapid and energetic actions in favor of the American Constitution and in behalf of the Porto Rican laborers, we fear that the labor organizations may be swept from the Island, and the workers revert to the old days of peonage under Spanish domination.
Trade unions are the bulks of modern democracies.-Wm. E. Gladstone.
MAKE UNIONISM EFFECTIVE
By JOSEPH F. VALENTINE,
¡President of International Molders' Union of North America
ESOLUTION No. 34, adopted at the Seattle Convention of the American Federation of Labor, directs attention to one of the vital factors connected with the success of the trade union movement, which can well be discussed more frequently than it has been with advantage to the wage-earner.
To say that as workmen we organize to strike would be a misstatement, but to say that we organize so that we can act unitedly in all matters affecting our terms of employment, and that at times we find it necessary to strike, would probably be an accurate definition of our purposes. When we do strike it is with the object of securing some condition to which we feel we are entitled, and to secure this our reserve strength must be sufficient to carry us through a period during which the employer's mind gradually reaches a stage where consideration of the contest leads him to believe that a basis of agreement can be reached which he is willing to accept.
This period may vary from a few days to many months, but during all of this time, whatever it may be, the workmen must either be supplied with food and shelter or surrender their effort because of sheer exhaustion. Strikers can not exist on enthusiasm, courage and loyalty to a principle alone; they must eat and be clothed as well, and their wives and children must not lack food, clothing and shelter. From some source the strikers must be given financial relief.
If there is one thing that stands out prominently in the history of our most successful trade unions, it is that the nature of this financial relief, its extent and regularity, has had much to do not only in the winning of their strikes but, what is as important, in the successful negotiation of trade agreements with employers. The moral effect of a substantial reserve in the trade union treasury is a powerful one upon workmen and employers alike. The very fact that workmen will contribute money year after year
for the purpose of self-protection conveys the impression that there is something substantial about the men and their organization. There is in it an evidence of practical methods and definite purpose which unquestionably influences the employers' mind, for whether he be antagonistic or not, he appreciates the difference between sound financial systems and happy-go-lucky methods. It occasionally requires more time for some groups of trade unionists to learn the lesson that each group must prepare itself in advance for the day when it may be suddenly called upon to meet the problems arising from a rupture of working relations with employers, and to learn the lesson as some workmen have, is to pay an exceedingly costly price for a course in the school of experience.
There are some self-evident facts which every trade unionist must face when a strike lengthens into weeks and months, the strikers must be supported from the funds of their own organization, or from donations from the members of other trade unions or from the public. Funds from some source must be available or the strikers must surrender. Trade unions are proverbial for the generous assistance which they render to each other, but it would be a fatal policy to feel that we need not heed for tomorrow, because if trouble comes others will donate funds they have accumulated for their own protection, and give them to us to use, even though in our own improvidence we have neither been willing to pay adequate dues into our treasury, or husband our funds during good times.
We are allies in this great trade union movement of ours. We believe in uniting our moral and financial strength, and we teach the doctrine that the weakest must be protected by the stronger, but we can not cause the weakest to feel that others will always come to their rescue if they fail to make proper efforts to strengthen themselves. An ally on the battlefield, full of courage but without ammunition, is more of
an incumbrance and a source of danger than a supporting strength and when the campaign is on, when the battle line is far flung, there can be but little sparing of ammunition for the unprepared ally.
But after all it is not argument but experience which supplies the surest guide. The history of trade unionism in America is an open book. It contains the record of national trade unions which, from the date of their birth, have gained in strength and it also tells us of organizations once powerful in numbers which have passed out of existence. In addition it tells the story of the organizations which compose the A. F. of L. and the degree of success which each is making in securing improved conditions for its members. It tells us of some organizations which accomplish more than others, qualities of leadership, sound methods of organization play their part in this, but I am probably well within the facts in believing that the financial system adopted has been a prominent if not the most prominent factor. Looking the field over as it is today we find that the international unions, without exception, whose members pay the highest dues and accumulate adequate defense funds, are making the most progress, while
OLLOWING closely in the wake of the Danbury Hatters' case, the decision in the Kansas Labor Statute Case (Coppage vs. Kansas), handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States on January 25, 1915, has been taken by thousands of citizens as but another evidence of the economic bias of our judiciary and of its utter failure adequately to adjust ancient. legal principles to the intricate industrial life of today.
the organizations with the poorest financial systems or basis lag furthest behind in the march towards improved terms of employment.
THE KANSAS LABOR STATUTE CASE AND
THE SUPREME COURT
AN ANALYSIS OF THE POLICE POWER OF THE STATE
By HARRY W. LAIDLER, Ph.D.
The Kansas decision in substance declared unconstitutional a state statute which prevented an employer from forcing an em
The experience of the International Molders' Union of North America for the last fifty-six years of its existence has proved to its members that their progress can be measured by the changes in their financial systems. They were weak when their dues were low. They suffered defeat when victories could have been won had their been funds to support striking members, and they set their feet upon a solid foundation only when they determined to pay sufficient dues to assure every striker the payment of a definite strike benefit regularly every week, whether the strike lasted for weeks and months and even years, for I have in mind a strike where for twenty-nine months our members were on strike before a settlement could be reached with the employer and the settlement was a victory.
Personally, I am of the opinion that one of the weakest spots in our movement is the inadequate dues paid by some trade unionists, and their failure during good times or peaceful ones to accumulate funds for the day of trial.
ploye to agree not to join a trade union during his term of service. By this decision it is thus seen to be perfectly legal for an employer to cease relations with (or "boycott") a worker, if he does not "boycott" union labor. The conclusions reached are even more adverse to labor than are those in the famous Adair decision of 1908, which, according to many labor leaders, virtually legalized the blacklist.
From the purely labor standpoint, however, it is doubtful whether the decision will have great practical effect, inasmuch as neither the Kansas statute nor the statute of
any other state is likely to prevent an employer so inclined from discriminating covertly or otherwise against a union man. Its chief importance, from the standpoint of those interested in social legislation, lies in the limits laid down therein to the exercise of the police power of the state, limits discouragingly narrow, if we consider only the majority opinion.
One ray of hope that labor might obtain from the majority view is that, if the court held to the same conception of that which constitutes coercion, when asked to interpret the meaning of the boycott clause in the Clayton Antitrust bill, even the compound boycott might logically be considered legal under this act.
The facts of the Coppage case are briefly as follows: In 1903 a Kansas statute was passed making it a misdemeanor for any employer to require a worker to agree not to join a labor union or remain as a member of such, as a condition of obtaining or retaining a position. On July 1, 1911, T. B. Coppage, superintendent of the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway Company, at Fort Scott, Kansas, requested A. R. Hedges, a switchman, to sign an agreement that he would withdraw from the Switchmen's Union of America and remain outside of its ranks so long as he was employed by the company. Hedges refused to comply and was discharged. Legal proceedings followed. The case finally reached the Kansas Supreme Court, where the constitutionality of the statute was upheld. On January 25 of this year the Kansas judgment was reversed by the United States Supreme Court, Justice Pitney rendering the decision. Justice Holmes dissented on the same grounds as in the Adair Case of 1908, and Justice Day issued a separate dissenting opinion, concurred in by Justice Hughes.
Justice Pitney contended that the statute in question constituted an interference with liberty of contract guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, and thus must be deemed to be arbitrary, "unless it be supportable as a reasonable exercise of the police power of the state." A statute, he declared, may be sustained as a legitimate exercise of this police power if it is passed to prevent coercion and to promote the public health, safety, morals or general welfare of the people. No coercion, however,
here appears the plaintiff was absolutel free to choose whether he wished to reta his membership in the trade union or t keep his job. The act bears no possible relation to the public welfare, etc., "beyond the supposed desirability of leveling inequalitie of fortune by depriving one who has pro erty of some part of what is characterize. as his 'financial independence.'" An en deavor so to level inequalities would de:: to citizens the right of private propert. guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendmen since inequality is the inevitable result of .. system of private property.
Justice Holmes, as in the Adair case, to . a more enlightened view and showed th. the statute, far from interfering with fre dom of contract, might be looked upon actually preparing the way for such frerdom. He declared:
"In present conditions a workman may re unnaturally believe that only by belonging to union can he secure a contract that shall be to him. If that belief, whether right or wrong, ". be held by a reasonable man, it seems to me tha may be enforced by law in order to establish equality of position between the parties in 2. liberty of contract begins. Whether in the long ru is wise for the workingmen to enact legislation of: sort is not my concern, but I am strongly of opinion that there is nothing in the Constitutio the United States to prevent it." (Italics are authors.)
Justice Day, in opposing the major: view, declared that the right of contra. was not absolute; that those who attack t legislation have the burden of proving th it conflicts with some constitutional r straint or that the public welfare is not sub served by the legislation; that the loc legislature is itself a judge of the necessi: of such legislation, and that the legislature enactments might be set aside only if the can be shown to be arbitrary and capriciou Since this statute simply protected t legal right of an employe to join a union, " passage could not be considered an abus of legislative power.
The Justice also declared that the cour had no right to inquire into the motives the legislature and that even if the obje of the statute was that of equalizing th relative positions of contractual parties, of protecting "those who might otherwise' unable to protect themselves," no substa tial objection could be raised.
Justice Day scoffed at the assertion th..