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non-union, but things look brighter than ever for the organizing of this office. There is a good demand for the union label in this town, and if continued Mr. Raeder will soon see the error of sticking to the “open shop" idea.
My next work for the organization was in Oly. phant, Archbald and Carbondale. The two former are coal mining towns in the anthracite region, and under the jurisdiction of Carbondale Union. I was successful in organizing the Olyphant Ga. zette and Archbald Citizen, weekly newspapers, and thereby adding five members to the Carbondale Union.
From there I went to Pottsville, where I was called to adjust some local trouble that existed. In this I was successful. I found there a real, live union, with members who take an interest in the organization and are hustlers in union label agitation. They are now working in the last year of a four-year agreement, and are making prepara. tions to meet the employers when it expires.
From Pottsville I went to Lancaster. After a week of hard work in trying to build up that union I found that at this time it was impos. sible to accomplish anything in the line of organi. zation. The scale in Lancaster is $11 per week, nine hours per day, for printers outside of the or. ganization. The hodcarriers of this town are or. ganized, and receive $15 for eight hours' work, but even this don't seem to have any effect on the printers of Lancaster. However, I hope that some day they will wake up to the fact that their only salvation lies in getting into the organization.
The week beginning March 7 I was in Harris. burg, where the meeting of the state federation of labor was held. With the aid of Messrs. Griffis, of Philadelphia; Garren, of Erie; Dunkle, of York; DeGour, of Reading, and Newbold, of Scranton, who were delegates to the convention, I succeeded in organizing the Printers' Label League of Pennsylvania. The first meeting of that organization will be held in Philadelphia in June. I also looked into a complaint from that town to head. quarters of violations there. True, thing are not what they should be there, but as the agreement with the proprietors which has been in force for four years expires in December, I deemed it ad. visable to not interfere at this time, as the feeling is general that the cause of complaint can be bet. ter adjusted at that time.
My next work for the organization was in Sun. bury, where I was sent by President Lynch to ad. just a scale of wages which the local union was negotiating. After a meeting with the members of the union, they left the matter in my hands, and in a few days I was able to report back that I had succeeded in having signed for one year the scale which they presented to the proprietors, which car. ried with it an increase of $2 per week per man.
In conclusion, I desire to express my sincere thanks to President Lynch and Secretary-Treasurer Hays for their valuable assistance in my work, and to the officers and members of local unions in cities I have visited for their many acts of kind
Fraternally submitted, Scranton, Pa.
Joseph P. GIBBONS,
To the Officers and Members of the International
Ladies and GentLEMEN-I herewith submit my report as organizer for the fiscal year ending May 31, 1909. The year just closed has been one of steady improvement in the places I have visited in my official capacity. It is a source of much satisfaction to be able to report to the membership that conditions at this time, especially in the book and job branch of the trade, are in better shape than they have been for years. The position of our organization today is stronger than ever before in its history, and, unless some unforeseen calamity happens to change the present outlook, the future growth of the International Typographical Union and the betterment of conditions under which our membership is at present employed should be such as to cause much satisfaction to all who are fortunate enough to have the honor and privilege of being affiliated with the strongest and most progressive trade union of the present age.
The past twelve months have witnessed the closing up of several of the eight-hour strikes that had been long drawn out. Two strikes have oc. curred in cities that I have visited. These, how. ever, were unavoidable, because of the attitude of the employers. In both instances it became a question of either surrendering to the advocates of the non-union shop or making a stand for the principles for which our membership made the greatest battle ever witnessed in industrial circles. On the whole, however, the reputation of the International Typographical Union is such that the employers who would rather fight it than deal with it are the exception rather than the rule. Two cities where the attacks of the typothetæ
most vicious and prolonged--Detroit and Louisville-are today in splendid shape so far as the typographical union is concerned. The typothetæ in both Louisville and Detroit suffered the loss of two of their most energetic and aggressive members during the year. In the former city, Frank C. Nunemacher, who, besides being a member of the executive committee of the United Typothetæ of America, was the leading spirit of the local branch, withdrew last June. In an interview with Mr. Nunemacher at the time, he made this statement to the writer: "I felt that I had gone as far as I could with them. Many things were done that I couldn't approve of. They refused to follow my advice. I told them if they went along the way they were going they were bound to be disrupted in a short while." In the light of existing conditions in the ranks of the United Typothetæ of America at the present time it is evident that Mr. Nunemacher knew what he was talking about at that time. In Detroit the proprietor of one of the largest printing offices in the city, in spite of the threats of the typothetæ to put him out of business if he withdrew from the organization, unionized his plant from cellar to gaeret. Previous to the unionizing of this plant, five journeymen were employed. At present between twenty and twenty-five members of No. 18
find employment in this office. The unionizing of the Mack plant can be attributed to label agitation, especially in the show printing branch, which is pretty conclusive evidence that it pays to adver. tise the label.
It is but a question of time when Detroit will agai become the 100 per cent union ty, so far as the printing business is concerned, that it was prior to the beginning of the eight-hour battle in 1905.
The beginning of the fiscal year found me in Cincinnati, where I had been ordered by President Lynch, in response to repeated requests from No. 3 for the services of an organizer. In my report to the Boston convention I stated that conditions were such in that jurisdiction that it would take at least a year to bring about any change for the better. Developments later, however, convinced me that. about the only way any improvement could be brought about would be to keep an ganizer in the field continuously and for an indefinite time. Demands for the services of organ. izers made it necessary for President Lynch to send me elsewhere, with the result that my work in Cincinnati was invariably interrupted at times when plans that had been laid to bring about some change in favor of the union were about to be consummated. Continued absence of the organizer from Cincinnati resulted in the work of reorganization being placed in the hands of the local officials.
While in Cincinnati I started movement against several large non-union publications, among them the Wine and Spirits Bulletin, printed in Louisville, and the Bar and Buffet, printed in Cincinnati. Hundreds of letters were sent out with reference to these publications, and, while none of them have as yet been unionized, the agitation is still being kept up by officials of No. 10 and No. 3, and, if perseverance counts for anything, these magazines will no doubt eventually find their way into union offices.
My first trip out of Cincinnati was to Elizabethtown, Ky., to look after the interests of the International Typographical Union in the case of William Alberts, a member of No. 10, who, at the instigation of the Louisville Typothetæ, was being prosecuted on account of his activities during the progress of the eight-hour strike in Louisville. Mr. Alberts was captain of the pickets. While escorting a rat named Hill out of town he was arrested on a trumped-up charge of highway robbery. The typothetæ used every means at its command to have Mr. Alberts convicted of the charge, Secretary Hamilton, of the Louisville Typothetæ, even going so far as to assist the commonwealth's attorney in the prosecution of the case. After a jury trial lasting one whole day, Mr. Alberts was acquitted, the jury being out only five minutes. This was in June. After his acquittal Mr. Alberts was rearrested on a charge of false swearing. He was released on bail and the trial set for the November term of court. This necessitated an. other trip to Elizabethtown in November. That it was simply a case of persecution on the part of the typothetæ was so apparent the judge of the
circuit court of Hardin county dismissed the case without permitting it to go to trial.
On June 8 I went to Knoxville, Tenn., to investigate conditions in No. u's jurisdiction for the executive council. The members of No. In had been on strike for about a year, along with the members of the allied trades. I endeavored to secure a settlement of the difficulty, without success. The employers, while admitting they were greatly handicapped because of their inability to secure competent printers, stated they were determined to carry on the fight. After going over the situation, I made several suggestions as to the further carry. ing on of the fight, and recommended to the council that No. 111 be given every assistance possible in carrying on the fight against the unfair offices.
From Knoxville I returned to Louisville to investigate conditions and make a report to the executive council on the strike situation in that city. About a month's time was spent in Louisville put. ting into effect changes ordered by the council in the conduct of the fight against the struck offices, made necessary by the need of reducing expenditures in such places where eight-hour strikes were still in progress.
On August 15 I received a telegram from Presi. dent Lynch ordering me to go to Mayfield, Ky., where No. 621 was having some difficulty with the proprietors over a new scale which had been submitted some time prior to the above date. On reaching Mayfield I found that the employers had declared for the "open" shop and nine-hour day, and had refused to consider the new scale. The members of No. 621 had had the eight-hour workday and had been working under a signed agreement with two of the three offices for a year previous to the presenting of the new agreement. After doing everything in my power to secure an amicable adjustment of the difficulty, I was compelled to ask the executive council for permission to call the members of No. 621 out of the Mes. senger and Monitor offices. After suspending publication for several weeks because of his inability to secure printers, the proprietor of the Monitor office finally unionized his office and the members of No. 621 returned to work. . The fight against the Messenger office was carried on vigorously, but, owing to the support given the paper by the manufacturers' association, and the bitter feeling that existed against trade unionism in general among the business men of Mayfield, and the abil. ity of the proprietor of the Messenger to find unprincipled men who were willing to take the places vacated by the members of No. 621, the fight was made a hard one. After familiarizing the memo bers of No. 621 with the work of carrying on the strike against the unfair office, I turned the situa. tion over to them.
On September 25, 1908, Secretary Hudson, of Knoxville Union, wrote President Lynch asking that an organizer be sent there to look over the strike situation. On October 2 President Lynch wrote me requesting that I go to Knoxville, in. vestigate conditions there and report to him. I went to Knoxville immediately, and found that the members of No. 111 were doing little or nothing in carrying on the fight against the unfair offices. Despite the lack of label agitation, conditions in Knoxville were in fair shape. After going over the situation thoroughly, several meetings of the union were held, and the members were given to understand that they must immediately get busy and keep up an active label campaign if they ever expected to bring the non-union offices into the fold. They were also told that further assistance from the International Typographical Union executive council would depend upon the activity they displayed in trying to bring about some improvement in local conditions. A member of No. III was selected to take full charge of the label work.
On my return to Cincinnati I received a letter from President Lynch, asking me to investigate a difficulty Typographia No. 2 was having with the Freie Presse, over the discharge of the chapel chairman. This matter was looked after immediately.
November 13 I received a request from Presi. dent Lynch that I go to Mayfield, Ky., and investigate conditions in that jurisdiction. Found our affairs in good shape, everything considered, and recommended that No. 621 be given further special assistance.
November 23 I went to Washington C. H., Ohio, where President Osbon, of No. 646, had asked for the assistance of an organizer in securing agreements with the employers of that city. On my arrival in Washington C. H. I found that a new scale had been presented to the employers, who had refused to consider it. After spending almost an entire week in an effort to secure recognition and the adoption of the new scale, I was informed that the employers had decided to refuse to recog. nize the union or have anything to do with the scale of wages. A strike resulted. Every office in the city was affected. The strike would have been of short duration had the members of the union been loyal to their obligations. In spite of the fact that, up to the time of the formation of the union, printers were working ten and twelve hours a day for $6 and $8 a week, and the printers themselves were loud in their complaints of the conditions under which they had long been compelled to labor, when the time came to make emphatic protest against the injustices they were struggling along under, about half the members of the union deserted. This made it possible for the publishers to make a fight. After a few days had elapsed the Record-Republican signed the union agreement and the members of No. 646 returned to work in that office. Being the only union in the city, No. 646 was compelled to carry on its fight against the combined efforts of all the employing interests, who were bitterly opposed to unionism getting a foothold in Washington C. H., single handed. A paper, The Union Printer, was started by the organizer, and much good was accomplished in the way of changing public opinion and making friends for the typographical union. Matters elsewhere demanding my attention, the carrying on of the fight against the unfair offices was turned over to the officers of No. 646.
March 24, 1909, I went to Chillicothe, Ohio,
where No. 502 was having trouble with the proprietors over the signing of a wage scale. No. 502 had been organized only six months at the time, and the scale was the first that had ever been presented to the employers. After several days, during which numerous conferences were held, agreements were signed by five out of the six offices in the city-two daily papers and three job offices. The securing of the agreements marked the beginning of a new era for the print. ers of Chillicothe. There had been practically no change in conditions in the printing trade for twenty-five years previous to the adoption of the union scale. Printers were working all kinds of hours for anything they could get for their servo ices.
Columbus Union having asked for the services of an organizer, President Lynch instructed me to visit that city, investigate conditions there and make a report. I found conditions in No. 5's jurisdiction in splendid shape, especially in the book and job branch. After the receipt of my report, President Lynch decided that the work that was needed to make Columbus a 100 per cent union city typographically could be done by the local officers.
From Columbus I went to Cincinnati to attend a meeting of the allied trades, at which the Inter. national Typographical Union executive council, as well as the executive board of the Interna. tional Printing Pressmen's Union of America, were present. This meeting was for the purpose of go. ing over the situation in Cincinnati, to see if some plan could not be devised to bring about a healthier condition of affairs in the book and job branch of the trade. Some good will, no doubt, result from the meeting.
Bay City (Mich.) Union having asked for the services of an organizer to help adjust the diffi. culty they were having with the employers over the adoption of a new wage scale, President Lynch asked that I give the matter my attention. After several days of meetings and conferences I was successful in securing the adoption of the new scale for a period of three years. The scale raised the wages of the book and job printers from $13 to $15 and also provided for a raise of $2 a week for all newspaper printers.
This concluded my work for the year. In closing, I desire to express my sincere thanks to Presi. dent Lynch and Secretary-Treasurer Hays for their valuable assistance and courteous treatment, and to the officers and members of subordinate unions in those cities I have visited in my official capacity for courtesies extended.
Fraternally, Detroit, Mich.
W. S. HAIGHT.
ORGANIZER HAYES. To the Officers and Members of the International
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN—The following is a brief summary of my work during the fiscal year closing May 31: At the conclusion of my report to the Boston convention I mentioned the fact that the outlook was favorable to organize the printers of Parkersburg, W. Va., which place I subsequently visited (while on a mission to Marietta) and formed and installed a promising new union. I held two conferences with proprietors of the Marietta Times and the managers of two job establishments, explained the advantages of operating union offices, and endeavored to obtain their sig. natures. Later the Times and one of the job plants signed agreements.
After considerable correspondence I visited Warren and discussed unionism with the printers individually. Found a great lack of knowledge of International Typographical Union affairs and no small amount of prejudice. But persistent and patient discussion brought results in the formation of a local union, which includes every printer in the city, and the adoption of the eight-hour day and a minimum scale without much trouble resulted.
The next place to receive my attention for or. ganizing purposes was Washington C. H., which place I visited when the
way was prepared through correspondence, and a union was formed composed of all the printers in town. Unfortunately, a strike occurred in that city some time after organization, which was in charge of Organizer Haight, who will, no doubt, report in detail regarding the controversy.
I had been in touch with the printers in Chilli. cothe for some time by exchanging correspondence, and finally visited that town, interviewed all the men and women in the trade, and organized a local which included all but two of the printers in the city. Shortly thereafter the new union secured the eight-hour day and a minimum scale.
I had been making some efforts to get the Hungarian printers of Cleveland into a local, but they could only be reached through an interpreter. Just about the time matters looked favorable to securing an organization a strike and lockout was precipitated without my knowledge. Shortly there. after I organized them, with the understanding that the International Typographical Union would not be expected to support their strike. They had had a social organization among themselves and used the funds of that body in their contest. The two Hungarian daily papers were in bad shape for several weeks. Their matter was set up on typewriters, zinc etchings were made and the dailies is. sued in handbill style. Soon near-printers, who had turned waiters, musicians, laborers, etc., in Eastern cities, began to appear, several members ratted and the strike was broken. The strike could have been avoided if our Hungarian friends had been less excitable. The union will probably have to be reorganized.
The next union I formed was in Urbana. For more than two years I had been firing letters into the "black belt," the same being that long stretch of territory of over a hundred miles between Toledo and Springfield and west of Findlay to the Indiana line, but without tangible results. Twice I visited Bellefontaine and finally secured suf. ficient names to form a local, but one or two left
town, several more reconsidered their decision, and the plan fell through. Later I visited Urbana and formed a temporary organization, but that broke down as soon as I left, several active spirits leaving the city. Then, after two months of fur. ther letter writing, I invaded the district again and succeeded, by bringing the active printers of Bellefontaine into Urbana, in establishing a union. Now a vigorous label campaign will be inaugurated in that district, and I am reasonably certain that in the coming year there will be considerable progress made in organizing the western part of the state.
That the power of the label is more keenly appreciated by employers and business men than frequently by our own membership is demonstrated by an incident that is worthy of note. Late in November I was instructed to proceed to Marion, an unorganized town, and investigate a report received at headquarters that the union label was being illegally used in that city. The communication received by the secretary of Marion was anonymous, and I am morally certain that it ema. nated from the proprietor of an office, who was jealous that a competitor was securing an advan. tage over him. After thoroughly probing into the matter the fact developed that a local amusement manager operating theaters in a number of places had had his printing done in Fostoria, in a union office entitled to use the Tiffin label, the Marion office having lost the work. Again, a Bellefon. taine proprietor assured me that if the label was introduced in that town he would be compelled to organize his plant, but that he would oppose a union being formed as long as possible. So long as no office used the label he was subjected to no loss from that source. A Steubenville manager declared that he would not run his office twentyfour hours without the label. Many similar testimonials might be offered to turn the increasing efficiency of the "little joker."
During the year I was instructed by President Lynch to assist the following local unions in secur. ing new wage agreements: Steubenville, where an increase ranging from $1 to $4 per week in the minimum scale was obtained; Lancaster made no request for an increase, but experienced some trouble in signing up at old rates, but was finally successful; Dayton secured an increase of $2 per week on newspapers, and in Akron the minimum was advanced ranging from $1.70 to $3.10 per week. Also aided President Freeman, of Binghamton (N. Y.) Union, in securing an agreement with a large office satisfactory to Cleveland Union, the Binghamton Union having secured the cooperation of a large patron to adjust the controversy with the aforesaid concern.
I held numer. ous conferences with representatives of firms that had differences with our membership, as follows: The Werner Company, of Akron, without result up to the present; the Roller Company, at Canton, without securing a settlement; the Leader Company, at Alliance, no settlement; Democrat Company, Lancaster, agreement reached; Times Com. pany and a job office, Marietta, unionized; also fol. lowed instructions of Springfield officials regarding a local office, and matters are working out satisfactorily.
A number of local unions fell into a condition of lethargy or required attention because of internal matters. Revived Painesville Union and got members to settle their delinquencies; adjusted matters between Niles Union and a local office; obtained agreement from Fremont members to pay arrearages to International and hold charter; arranged some misunderstandings regarding assessments to International and inoculated more active ity into Canton Union; investigated the grievance of a member of Sandusky Union, which was dropped; investigated complaint of misuse of label on part of an Alliance office and settled the trouble; adjusted an apprenticeship complaint in Lisbon Union; advised with Lorain Union regarding disputes that arose in two of the offices. On account of members leaving the city, Elyria Union was about to surrender its charter, only about five remaining. I went to Oberlin and got five printers in that place to join No. 645, as well as two new applicants in Elyria, thus placing the union on a solid footing again.
In the past year I attended the Youngstown and Toledo state typographical conferences and addressed the members on some phases of organization work. Despite earnest appeals made to delegates and visiting members at those gatherings, I regret to report that very few have responded in the matter of extending support to the organizer in unionizing the country printer. Worse still, there are some others who, possessing a very superficial knowledge of industrial and economic conditions, to put it mildly, are prone to ridicule and actually oppose spreading knowledge of trade union prin. ciples into the rural districts. They are imbued with the penny wise and pound foolish notion that it is time and money wasted to endeavor to educate the country printer regarding industrial problems and endeavor to gain his friendship and support. Apparently they would rather have the ruralist remain a constant source of supply to unfair employers.
I will admit, as a general proposition, that our rural fellow craftsmen are a problem in themselves, who not infrequently would try the patience of a confirmed fatalist with their petty prejudices and fossilized conservatism. But, nevertheless, they must be reached and enrolled under the banner of the International Typographical Union, no matter how indifferent they or some of our own members may be, for a number of very important reasons, among which I shall enumerate only three, viz.:
1. When trouble is precipitated in any city or establishment, where do the proprietors go to recruit strikebreakers? To the small country town to coax unsophisticated and ambitious young fellows from their $9 and $10 jobs to take positions (temporarily at least) at double the wages. The sudden affluence and the thoughts of the amusements and enjoyments that they only read about attract them and they fall an easy prey to the blandishments of unfair employers, who later on
poison their minds against unions and probably hand them a bunch of watered stock to completely enslave them. Not only during the eight-hour strike, but right now unfair employers have agents or friends (sometimes engaged in selling supplies) acting as procurers for their ratteries in the small places, and I know several large concerns that are almost continuously advertising in country papers for all-around printers. Do you want those print. ers or do you want the rat shops to draw upon them continuously?
2. Owing to low wages, cheap rents, and other minimized items of expense there have sprung up in many small towns commercial and job establishments that are becoming formidable competitors of offices in the larger cities, where fair wages must be paid and rents, taxes, etc., are proportionately high. er. I might mention a dozen small places in which there are growing offices supported almost wholly by mail order business obtained by price slashing. “I can go into the city of Cleveland and take catalog work away from any office,” the proprietor of a good-sized plant in a country town about a hun. dred miles distant said to me. “We have all the work we can handle and intend to increase our capacity.” Later, when this gentleman learned that I was a labor organizer endeavoring to form a union and establish a decent wage rate and the eight-hour day, he lost his temper and used bad language, announcing that everybody was satisfied and happy around there, and if they weren't they could get out, and that they didn't need any "trouble breeders and agitators" hanging about trying to create discord, etc.
3. Sit down in a conference with proprietors of union establishments and argue that the members ought to have more wages, and what do you hear? You learn all about the low wages that are being paid and the long hours that are worked in this, that or some other burg; how the margin of profit is being wiped out by unfair competition, and how you should go after the unfair concerns and compel them to recognize union conditions, and not ask the union offices to operate under still greater disadvantages by paying still higher wages.
It would seem to me that none of our members ought to be so obtuse as to be unable to appreciate the self-evident fact that their conditions are largely governed by the existing general situation, Non-unionism is a millstone around organized lalor's neck, and it is a matter of self-preservation, as well as good business tactics, to say nothing of serving a high ideal, to lighten that load, to uplift the under dog, and prove to the world that the printers thoroughly understand the fundamental principles upon which organized labor is based.
Despite my desire to condense this report and present only the concrete facts, it is already, becoming longer than I anticipated. In conclusion, I request the membership in Ohio to give a little more attention to the proposition of unionizing the unorganized towns this year than they did in the past.
If we had not secured the new unions mentioned above (exclusive of Parkersburg), there would have been an actual decrease in the Ohio membership. It was reported by International of.