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the rest of the people in the country towards United States from lawless aggressions until the preservation of the Nation.
the Mexican Government can perform that The third mobilization that is necessary is duty which it owes as a neighboring nation. spiritual. In order to make sacrifices for I cannot tell what the future may bring forth America we must be sure that our stake in in this situation, but, for my part, I shall be the country justifies it. Our institutions most happy if the necessary security of our must be so just, our arrangements so fair, people can be obtained without the killing of that every man in this Nation will realize another Mexican man, woman, or child by how completely his opportunity and that of American arms. And those who criticise the those who come after him rest upon the con- Mexican policy of the Administration must be tinuing prosperity of the Nation as a whole. prepared to accept the alternative and say that
The military mobilization will take place their choice is to make war upon these people easily and need not be upon a magnificent who have willed no act of aggression upon us, scale in advance. The industrial and spirit- to invade their country, and to spend years in ual mobilization ought to be constant and as the occupation of a foreign soil, and in a toilsome wide as the country.
effort, expensive of life and treasure, to imUpon the foreign policy of the Adminis- press our alien civilization upon these people. tration I must be brief. There are two ele- Upon the European situation I shall say ments of it which need a word of discussion- that it is better for the people of the United Mexico and the European war.
States not to be involved in that vast destrucThe Republic of Mexico, lying south of us, tion if it can be honorably avoided, and better was for years ruled by a dictator who oper- for humanity for the United States not to be ated the country in the interest of a class and involved, in order that when the end of the left ninety per cent of the people of the struggle comes there will be one great and nation unable to read or write. The con- persuasive Power in friendly relations with all of cessions of the rich were largely privileges to the belligerents, inspired only by high motives enslave the poor. And finally, as in France of humanity and friendship, to aid as adviser at the time of the great Revolution, the plain and counselor in the terms of readjustment people of Mexico resolved that there was necessary. nothing divine about the order which fattened The course of any Administration in such the few at the cost of the many. They re- circumstances would be difficult. Not only volted. Deprived of education, untrained in is this the greatest war in history, but it is a the arts of government-making, the people war involving new agencies of attack and of Mexico have struggled to express in insti- defense-a war in which one set of countries tutions their idea of the rights of man. It are isolated and not unnaturally seek new has been very disordered, sometimes very means to equalize the disadvantages of that wrong-headed, frequently characterized by isolation. Our situation is further changed counter-revolution, its leading spirits appar- by the fact that our own relations to foreign ently suspicious of one another.
countries, industrial and commercial, are great revolutions of the kind there in prog- infinitely more intimate and complicated than ress can be unattended by these misfortunes. they were at any previous time, and our Our misfortune has been that between us and traditional isolation from European systems these struggling people there was a border of politics is less insured by geographical eighteen hundred miles long. Some Ameri- considerations than it used to be. can owners of Mexican mines, some American The course of the Administration has been proprietors of Mexican concessions, some to regard itself as, in the nature of the case, Americans who look with longing eyes on a trustee, for the time being, of the rights of Mexico as Naboth’s vineyard, have urged neutrals.
neutrals. It has, in the language of Senator that we should intervene, that we should Root, refused to concede that the invention add the destructiveness of our force to the of new ways of committing forbidden acts desolation which has gone on there for years. changed the law with relation to them. And
Sometimes there has seemed to be no so where mere property was involved every stable government in Mexico to which we violation of the rights of neutrals has been could turn to maintain the peace of our bor- followed by protest; and where life was inder cities ; and at present an armed force of volved--the life of our citizens-a firm American soldiers is on Mexican soil solely demand has been made for immediate recogto protect the people and property of the nition of our plain and undisputed rights.
BRIDGEPORT AND THE EIGHT-HOUR DAY
BY MARY DEWHURST
F the Supreme Court of the United and violence as though a half-degree of heat
States upholds the Oregon law which had been added to the temperature or an inch
limits all labor in all industries to ten to the year's normal rainfall. hours a day, the principle that any trade If the whole land should come to the eightbecomes a dangerous trade under excessive hour day, it will be a very good thing or a hours of labor will stand incorporated as part very bad thing for these United States, which of our Constitutional theory of government. need not concern us here ; but, good or bad, Other States may be expected to enact simi- the growing sweep of the shorter day needs lar laws; but, while in the courts the judges to be understood. For such study à town and the lawyers are debating and determining where the schedule is in general operation the nice points of legal doctrines, along comes a makes the best laboratory. Bridgeport, stupendous fact, like the great war in Europe, Connecticut, is such a town. For nearly a and, without fiat or force, places the shorter year its workers have earned their daily bread working day within the eager grasp of Ameri- in eight hours. This is how it came about: can labor.
In 1914, when the great war broke out, “ If the war lasts another year, the big Bridgeport was a typical New England manuindustries of this country will be run on an facturing center. With the exception of the eight-hour day," so the Commissioner of Union Metallic Cartridge Company, a branch Labor, Mr. Wilson, is reported to have said. of the Remington Arms and Ammunition
Such a prophecy is little less than astound- Company, its industries were mainly those ing to those familiar with the bitter industrial of peace. Corsets and machinery were its struggles of the past. If such a change has staple products. For these labor was never come, or even if it be very near, the most in stringent demand, and employers could startling thing about it is the quietness and always count on surplus workers to stiffen ease with which it has made its way. Remem- requirements and lower the wage scale. ber that the eight-hour day has been the bone A year later conditions were overturned. of fiercest contention for more than a gener- America was flooded with war orders, and ation. Corporations have sworn, and still Bridgeport awoke to find itself the munition swear, that they will die if subjected to it. center of New England. The “ Arms ComLabor has waged bloody warfare to get it—in pany," as the Remington Corporation is called, vain. Remember that in 1877 the eight-hour hastily completed and put into operation men ran a locomotive forty miles an hour there one of the greatest arms plants in the into the Pittsburgh roundhouses where the United States, the largest single factory of Pinkertons slept ; that in 1885 the Chicago any kind in Connecticut, under the same genHaymarket tragedy resulted from urging eral management as the Union Metallic Car"eight hours.” And now industry is being tridge Company, its allied branch. On the eight-houred as peacefully as if the land were pay-roll of the Metallic Company in 1913 had having a change of climate. Already Alaska been 3,200 men. In 1916 it and the Arms and thirteen States have the eight-hour day Company together employed over 12,000. in all mines, and eight States and Alaska have The town's population jumped from 102,000 legislated for it in reduction works, smelters, in 1910 to 150,000 in 1916, with another and the like. Last year's report of the New 10,000 expected during the coming year. Jersey Department of Labor showed that over With the Arms Company as pacemaker, 25,000 workers in twenty-four factories re- every machine shop in the city, corporate or ceived for the first time the eight-hour day. private, has increased its working force. The The four brotherhoods of railway opera. Bridgeport Brass Company, formerly busy tives, 450,000 men, have made a concerted with hub caps for automobiles, has doubled demand for the standard working day; the its capacity in order to fill war orders. Mills anthracite coal-miners, 175,000 of them, formerly urning out parts of machinery, made "eight hours” ne of their recent door-knobs, or musical instruments are rushed demands. Munition factories throughout the with work on war supplies. All of Bridgecountry are mostly running on a three-shift, port is either making munitions, making parts eight-hour basis. All with as little bloodshed of machinery to manufacture munitions, or
making money feeding, housing, clothing, staggering under orders for three-ton trucks and amusing the army of laborers that for England. Unlike the Remington compaoverflows the town. The whole city is blown nies, it belonged to the local branch of the big with a war order boom. Land, houses, National Association of Manufacturers, an food, and, most of all, workers, are at a pre- association which had publicly announced mium. Near the big factories houses are its opposition to the forty-eight-hour week. being completed at the rate of one a day. Flushed with earlier success, the machinists Dormitories for 4,000 women have been built decided to try for victory over the Locoby the Remington concern, and dwellings for mobile Company in order to break the 500 married men. It is estimated that solidarity of the manufacturers. To frushomes for 7,000 families are needed at once. trate a strike, the company's managers put
Furnished rooms are almost impossible to into operation on July 31 a profit-sharing obtain. Rents have increased proportion- scheme said to advance wages about thirately more than wages.
Machinists are most teen per cent. Union leaders rejected this, in demand and have the strongest union. and insisted upon eight hours with ten In two years their membership has jumped
Refused by the company, it from five hundred to three thousand, and was then up to the leaders to incite and their pay from thirty cents an hour to fifty organize the men. As part of their camcents. Still unsatisfied, their slogan now is paign they printed and distributed free to for “a cent a minute "-sixty cents an hour. machinists all over Bridgeport ten thousand Unskilled labor, formerly glad of a steady copies of a little newspaper entitled " The wage of $10 a week, now puts on airs and Labor Leader," which carried across its face swaggers off to find $15.
verses like these : Full credit for this state of affairs is taken “We mean to make things over, we're tired of by organized labor. Employers are inclined toil for naught, to admit that without labor's concerted action
We haven't enough to live on, nor even an hour the gains to the workers might not have been
We want to feel the sunshine, we want to smell so quick or so large, but claim that such a
the flowers, steady succession of victories could have been
We know that we are worth it, and we mean to brought about only by the pressure of the
have eight hours." law of supply and demand. The full power
These jingles, together with the arrest of of that law and its application to the Bridge
three leaders for attempting to address their port situation make interesting reading. Trouble started on July 12, 1915, with
men at noon in a vacant lot rented: by them, the iron-workers in the up-going Remington
fired the employees of the Locomobile ComArms plant, who struck against being classed
pany so that they organized their membership and paid as carpenters. The millwrights nearly one hundred per cent and went out on
strike. On August 9 the company offered joined them, and on July 20 the machinists
a choice between the bonus plan and the in both the Arms Company and the Cartridge Company's shops voted to join the strike for
eight-hour day with ten hours' pay. On increased pay, the eight-hour day, time and
August 13 the men voted for the eight-hour a half for overtime, and double for holidays day and returned to work. and Sundays.
With these victories came the capitulation The general manager of the Remington of Bridgeport so far as the munition factories plants had little means of knowing the true were concerned. True, the Manufacturers' state of affairs—that the union leaders were Association met on August 14 and voted doing the tallest bluffing of their careers, that almost unanimously for the fifty-hour week, hardly more than five per cent of his machin- but when the Arms Company announced its ists were organized. But he did know the willingness to employ all men blacklisted or immense volume of the company's contracts, dropped by other factories the end was in that millions hung on his ability to deliver the sight. Isolated strikes but served to tighten goods, and that he could not afford to haggle the workers' determination as, one by one,
the with his workers. On July 24 the Reming employers went down in defeat. A partial ton concern granted its workers the forty- outline as given in the “ Survey” of December eight-hour week, an increase in wages, and 4, 1915, sums up the daily strife as follows: the three-shift, day and night, schedule.
August 20—Six hundred Bryant Electric By this time the Locomobile Company was Company workers strike for eight-hour day and
BRIDGEPORT AND THE EIGHT-HOUR DAY
improved shop conditions. Turnbull Company Hall, and announced that they had come to grants a fifty-five hour week with sixty hours' seek union organizers to show them how to pay; no strike reported. Wolverine Motor Com
win. Nearly one hundred per cent of the pany grants forty-eight-hour week; no strike.
Warner girls struck, joined the International August 21-Siemon Rubber Company work
Association of Ladies' Garment Workers, ers strike. Connecticut Electric Company workers strike. Coulter & McKenzie Machine
and within three days returned to work. Company workers strike; demands granted in
They had gained their forty-eight-hour week, one hour.
twelve per cent increase in pay, promises August 24—Holmes & Edwards Company that no girls under sixteen years should be men return to work at fifty-five hours' pay for employed, and a reduction of fines and thread forty-eight hours' work. Five hundred workers expenses and recognition of the Union. out at Crane Valve Company demand $3 for Although they did not know it, they had eight-hour day instead of $2.50 for nine hours.
also gained for their sisters in the smaller American Chain Company men out. Sixty men factories the same conditions. On August 25 out at Spring-Perch Company. Canfield Rub
the Batchellor, Crown, and La Resista Corset ber Company workers strike for forty-eight
Corhour week, higher pay, and better shop con
Companies conceded the same terms. ditions.
set-making has long been a foremost industry August 25--Bridgeport Metal Goods Com
in Bridgeport. From this time forth the corsetpany gives forty-eight-hour week with fifty-five makers mean to work but eight hours a day. hours' pay. Canfield Rubber Company grants Following the corset workers came the eight-hour day. Connecticut Electric Company strikes of the laundry women. These were workers return; granted fifty-hour week with brief and uniformly successful. Bridgeport fifty-five hours' pay.
now has a well-organized laundry workers' August 31 - American Graphophone Company union with the highest pay and shortest hours gives forty-eight-hour week and 20 per cent of any city in New England. increase. Bryant Electric Company strike set
Twenty-six thousand women returned to tled; workers get forty-eight-hour week with fifty-five hours' pay.
work during one week in Bridgeport after
having won the eight-hour day. Not all of And so on, and so on, until in two and a the twenty-six thousand were forced to strike. half months fifty-five strikes were called. The revolt of a part made victory for all. The while in many shops strikes were prevented city's employers in every trade were obliged by prompt concessions. Net results would to meet the standard. “ Have you the eightseem to run to an average of eight hours with
hour day ?” a customer demanded of a salesthe same pay as for nine or ten. Machinists
woman at one of the largest retail stores. and highly skilled men have done even better. “ Sure, we have,” she beamed ; "got it last Unions in all industries are the rule rather summer along with the rest of the town. No, than the exception. Even the Jitney Drivers' we don't have a union, but we can always Union grew out of Bridgeport's object-lesson leave and get a job in the Arms Company if in the value of organizations against individ- we like." uals. In the daily papers appeared and still That “job in the Arms Company” lies at run advertisements reading : “ WANTED the bottom of all Bridgeport's industrial conALL-ROUND MACHINIST; FORTY-EIGHT-HOUR flict. The employers are always conscious SHOP ;" or, · MEN WANTED-EIGHT-HOUR of it and the workers never forget it. “ The SHOP."
worst thing that ever happened to Bridgeport While the men were fighting for eight was the coming of the Remington Arms hours in the munition factories a curiously Company,” declared a retired manufacturer, sympathetic movement developed among the ex-mayor of the town.“ They've completely women. Union leaders have always admitted upset the labor market, demoralized it. Why, the difficulty of organizing women. They now, when you want to hire a man, do you are looked on as the sluggish and inert ask him for references and what he can do ? members of the labor body. Bridgeport I guess not. He makes his demands on you women hardly merit that reproach. On Au- about time and wages and takes or leaves gust 10, just after the machinists had won in the job as he likes.” the Remington and Locomobile plants, three " Yes,” broke in the banker, “ things used thousand women employed at the Warner to be all right in Bridgeport before the RemBrothers’ Corset factory marched out of the ington people came here. We never had buildings, down the main street to Eagle agitators marching down our streets, stirring up our workmen to demand double wages change. To the men it has had the material and short hours. They've actually offered to effect of improving their health and decreastake on any men laid off at other plants for · ing the amount of drunkenness, which was making trouble. I don't see what we're very great indeed,” and “here is positive coming to."
evidence that the bane of this country, “I have a letter in my pocket,” said an- drunkenness, can be traced to the inhuman other manufacturer, written to one of my hours of labor." own machinists, asking him why he kept on Again, in commenting upon the general working long hours for poor pay, when the Australasian standard of work, the forty-eightArms Company stood ready to give him for hour week: “ It is a remarkable fact that, in eight hours more than he now earned in ten. spite of high wages and short hours, the conThat letter is signed by one of the Remington sumption of spirits has greatly decreased in the officials. I had to raise the wages, of course." colonies. Indeed, the active agitation of the
Along with testimony like this should be publicans against the eight-hour day proves put that of the shopkeeper, that never were that they did not anticipate any increase in their his accounts so numerous and so short ; of profits through the increase in the comforts the savings banks, that deposits have mounted of a laboring man's life.” with each month of high wages, so that every
The brief sets forth American experience bank has had to stay open one night in the by quoting a report made to Congress by week to handle workmen's accounts; and of the United States Committee on Labor the amusement makers, who are coining (1901-2) (House Report No. 1793), which money. Morning performances have been confirms the argument that “the additional given at some of the “movie" houses to leisure given to labor in every instance of meet the demands of the shift which knocks the shortening of the work day has resulted off at eleven at night and goes to work at in a decrease of intemperance among laborthree in the afternoon. The one publicers," and goes on to the flat statement that library has doubled the seating capacity of the “proposition that without variation the its reading-room. In the morning this room elimination of intemperance, poverty, pauperis filled with husky young men who probably ism, ignorance, crime, and the accompanying never were in a library at that time of the evils, moves parallel with and proportionate to day before. For the first time in their lives the increase of the social opportunities of the a space for reading, for leisure, has occurred. laboring class, stands without impeachment of It's not surprising if they are still a bit its historical accuracy." shamefaced about being seen with a book Against this testimony Bridgeport's police instead of a dinner-pail. “ Gotta go some
force is inclined to point to the forty-one per where,” growled one burly workman to cent increase during the first part of 1915 in another, as they climbed the stairs to the arrests for crimes growing out of intemreading-room. “ A man can't sit in a room perance. Investigators place in rebuttal all day.”
facts to prove that of the seven licensed
dance halls in the city, in three liquor is In support of argument in the Oregon openly sold ; that none of the public school “ Ten-Hour-a-Day" case now pending before buildings is used as a community or social the Supreme Court there has been filed a center; that the Young Women's Christian remarkable brief which sets forth in novel Association has just made an appeal for funds language " the world's experience on which to increase their admittedly inadequate facililegislation limiting the hours of labor is ties; that the City Planning Commission has based.” In this brief it is contended that reported that with “the great increase in "the good effect of the shorter working day population there has been very little increase is conspicuous by the growth of temperance, in park acreage ;” that many workmen are which results automatically when working unable to bring their families to the city hours have been reduced.”
because of lack of housing accommodaThe brief quotes the book of an English tions; and, finally, that up to a very recent steel manufacturer, - The Shorter Working date no action seems to have been taken to Day," describing the reduction of hours from develop, either privately or from a comtwelve to eight in a manufacturing establish- munity view-point, public recreation or to ment in Northwich, England, as follows: “We attempt the public supervision of private have never had any reason to regret the amusements.