Слике страница

best working conditions that it is possible to create within a very short period of time.

The year closes with the finances of the organization in a most healthy condition, and the coming year should show an increased balance in the general fund as well as in that of the old age pension fund.

Speaking of the old age pension fund, it is my belief that if the members of the International Typographical Union desire to erect a building in which to transact the growing business of the or. ganization they could make no better investment of a portion of the money in the pension fund than to purchase property in the headquarters' city and erect thereon a building for permanent headquarters. The International could pay to the pension fund as rent an amount equal to the interest that would be obtained thereon through investment in bonds or other securities and at the same time give absolute protection to that portion of the fund so invested. This would guarantee to the fund a permanent reserve to the extent of the money invested and in addition thereto the advance that would be sure to accrue to the value of the property in the future.

All correspondence between officers and mem. bers of local unions and the secretary-treasurer is handled with the greatest possible dispatch, and I can not too strongly voice my appreciation of the way that business has been conducted by the of. ficers of subordinate unions. Neither can I too strongly thank both the officers and the members of subordinate unions for the uniform promptness and courtesy exhibited by them in all their business transactions with the secretary-treasurer's of. fice.

Wishing the International Typographical Union that great measure of success which it so eminently deserves for its future, and with kind regards, I remain,


[blocks in formation]



The executive council this year initiates its convention reports. This report will not by any means cover all of the business transacted by the executive council during the fiscal year, but will deal only with a few of the most important features, comprising those which the executive council believes to be deserving of special mention, most of which cover subjects that will receive considerable attention from the delegates to the St. Joseph convention.

The proposed insurance or increased burial benefit features of our organization have been receiving a great deal of attention not only from the executive council, but also from a large number of our members in various sections of the country, and the executive council in this report un. dertakes to show to the delegates and members what the expense of certain features, if adopted, will be. With the figures submitted by the executive council the delegates and members can readily figure out what would be the cost of any amount of insurance or burial benefit the International might desire to pay.

The old age pension that is being paid by the International Typographical Union has received so much favorable comment, both inside and out. side the organization, that the council believes it worthy of special mention in this report and that the International Typographical Union should take advantage of all the advertising that can accrue to it from publicity in connection with this feature.

Another thing which the executive council has taken up that has never been discussed before by delegates in convention assembled is the in

creasing value of membership in our organization. Every benefit feature added to our system makes membership in the International Typographical Union more valuable, and the executive council believes that new members being admitted to the union, or suspended members who are reinstated to their former affiliation to the organization, should pay therefor a price more nearly commensurate with these benefits than has been the custom in the past, and, therefore, makes mendations along these lines.

Believing that the work of organization in Cuba, Porto Rico and Mexico, as recommended by the Boston convention, will result in nothing but dissatisfaction to a large majority of our members, and an

expense to the International far beyond what the benefit promises to be, the executive council has incorporated in its report not only its own ideas on what the St. Joseph convention should do, but has copied extensively from communications received from people who have had experience with the organizations that have been formed in these sections. This for the enlightenment of the delegates and members.

As directed by the Boston convention, the executive council has taken up the question of the printing of return cards on envelops by the United States government, and, in this report, sets forth what the postoffice department has to say upon this subject, and also copies from the report of the Third Assistant Postmaster General recommendations that have been made to congress along the lines which we desire should be followed, although these recommendations do not go so far as wish. It is hoped, however, that in the near future


congress will take some action that will eliminate entirely the printing of return cards for business firms or private parties who order stamped envelops direct from the government.

In addition to the above, the executive council in its report touches on the change of officers during the past year, the appeal cases handled, the security of International Typographical Union funds, removal of headquarters, the New Orleans' case and the arbitration agreement. Amendments to the present laws or new laws will be submitted to the convention for consideration looking to carrying out the recommendations made by the executive council.

CHANGE IN OFFICERS. Owing to the resignation of Secretary-Treasurer Bramwood, on February 1, 1909, it became necessary, under section i, article vii, of the constitution, for the executive council to appoint his successor, and, at a meeting of the executive council held on that date, Vice-President Hays was appointed to the position made vacant by the resignation of Mr. Bramwood.

Vice-President J. W. Hays, on February 1, 1909, tendered his resignation to the executive council because of his appointment as secretary. treasurer, and the same was accepted. The vacancy caused by the resignation of Vice-President Hays was filled on March 24, 1909, by the appointment of George A. Tracy, of San Francisco, Cal., to the position of first vice-president.

By virtue of his appointment as secretary-treas. urer, J. W. Hays also became trustee of the Union Printers Home and was subsequently elected secretary-treasurer of that institution.

organization as an insurance feature should be in the nature of a death or burial benefit as now paid. This will leave us free from complication with the insurance laws of the various states and will be a matter of great economy in the administration of the insurance funds. It is more than likely that if we take up the matter of straight life insurance, issuing policies as is done by insurance companies, the courts will then hold that our organization should come within the laws enacted in the various states for the protection of the people against wildcat insurance companies. This would necessitate maintaining a considerable sum on deposit in a number of states for the protection of our policies and would otherwise add materially to the cost, while guaranteeing no additional security to our members.

There are many other points to be considered, not the least of which is the fact that many of our members carry insurance at the present time to the extent of their financial ability, and that insurance provided by the International Typographical Union would be, for a time at least, something of a burden. In the opinion of the executive council any insurance or mortuary-benefit scheme that provides for a sum larger than the amount at present paid must be arbitrary; that is, the insurance must be taken and paid for by every member of the International Typographical Union. As to the expense that will be attached thereto the council believes that no better figures could be obtained than those which may be deduced from the following table showing the number of deaths that have occurred within our ranks since the inauguration of the death benefit policy:

[blocks in formation]


The subject of insurance for the membership of the International Typographical Union was before the Boston convention on several propositions: No. 117, page 247, Boston proceedings, presented by Delegate Berry, of No. 16; No. 118, page 247, Boston proceedings, presented by Delegate Koester, of Denver; Proposition No. 104, by Delegate Lynch, of Ottawa, Kan., page 224, Boston proceedings, and Proposition No. 146, by Delegate Piner, of Chicago, on the request of a member of No. 16, page 191, Boston proceedings.

On recommendation by the committee on laws the convention referred all these propositions to the executive council with the intention that the whole subject matter should be investigated. At least, that is the interpretation placed the action of the Boston convention by the executive council.

The investigation of life insurance or the payment of an increased mortuary benefit, as ducted by the council, convinces the members of the council that insurance for the members of the International Typographical Union is feasible and that the main question is as to the expense per member. This investigation also convinces the council that any sum paid to the members of the


*For seven months only.

From this table it will be seen that had we paid a death benefit of $1,000 from the inauguration of this benefit feature the actual cost per member for the payment of the benefits would have been $12.6223 per year.

The figures contained in the table, however, seem to suggest that this would be hardly a fair basis from which to compute the cost at this time. It will be noted from the above table that during the past seven years, when our membership has been at its height, the average death rate has been lower than previously. This may be ascribed to various causes, not the least of which is prob


ably the improved sanitary conditions which our efforts have brought about in the workrooms where our membership is employed. It is, therefore, believed that figures based on the average membership and deaths for the past seven years would be more fair, and this shows that the cost for the payment of the $1,000 burial benefit for that period would have been $12.01 per member per year.

The basis is made $1,000 per year, not that the council recommends that this amount of insurance shall be provided, but that the estimate may be more easily figured.


TO TEST THE MEMBERSHIP. In the opinion of the council there should be a flat burial benefit of $1,000 per member or graded benefit ranging from $200 per member to $600 per member according to length of membership. In the opinion of the council death benefits should not be made payable on the death of a member unless said member has been affiliated with the organization for at least six months.

If a graduated burial benefit of $200 to $600 were put into effect and the claims of our present members considered from the date of its adoption, allowing these benefits to new members six months after initiation, the same could be carried at the rate of $7.20 per year, or 60 cents per month. Under this plan all who were members at the time of its inauguration would be entitled to the full benefit of $600. New members of six months to three years' membership, benefits $200. Three to five years' membership, $400. After five years' membership, benefits $600.

Articles appearing in the official magazine dur. ing the fiscal year show that there is a wide diversity of opinion on the part of the members who have thus far expressed themselves as to the wisdom and necessity for an insurance provision or for a mortuary provision greater in amount than that now provided. Comparatively, the discussion has been confined to a few members, and the position of the great bulk of the membership is not known. A benefit providing for $1,000 at death, or a mortuary benefit of from $200 to $600 represents most important undertaking, and it will be better to delay the enactment of it until we are sure of our ground. It may be well, therefore, to obtain the sentiment of the membership as to the insurance or mortuary benefit, and this can be easily accomplished on the ballot on which the laws enacted by the convention will be submitted to the referendum vote. The questions might take the following form:

Are you in favor of a mortuary benefit of $1,000 per member payable in case of death occurring six months after affiliation with the organization at an approximate cost of $12 per year?

Are you in favor of a mortuary benefit ranging from $200 to $600 graded according to length of membership from six months to five years, the cost to be approximately $7:20 per year?

Are you opposed to an insurance or mortuary benefit greater than that now paid?

The answers to the first two questions could be taken together as indicating a desire for some insurance scheme or mortuary benefit, and if the

vote on these two questions exceeded the vote on the third question the first two questions could again be submitted at the biennial election of officers, which occurs next May, and the membership could then decide between the fat benefit of $1,000 and the graded benefit of from $200 to $600. Then the executive council could submit the necessary laws to the 1910 convention and these laws would in turn be submitted to the ref. erendum for consideration and ratification or rejection. Thus the entire insurance idea or increased mortuary-benefit scheme would receive thorough discussion on the part of the membership, would be before the referendum three times and the final verdict could be taken as representative of the educated thought of the membership on the proposition as submitted.

It will be noted from the above that in figuring the cost of insurance on the propositions men. tioned the cost given is just about the actual amount that would be paid out in benefits were either of them adopted. It is, of course, realized that there will be additional cost attached to the execution of the laws providing for the payment of the increased benefits in the way of preparing and keeping at headquarters a full list of our membership, which will be


for the perfect security of the organization. There would also be some extra expense attached for clerical work, office rent, etc.

For this reason the executive council has not taken into consideration the $75 burial benefit now being paid and believes that under the new plan a portion of this amount should be set aside to pay the additional expenses and provide a reserve fund to guarantee our membership against additional cost, should there be an abnormal number of deaths in any year from pestilence, accident, or other causes. In other words, 5 cents per month per member of the amount now paid as per capita tax should go into a reserve or guaranty and administration fund.


OLD AGE PENSIONS. To cover the various cases and questions that have arisen during the year the executive council has found it necessary to make a number of decisions concerning the old age pension assessment and the payment of pensions. These decisions are reproduced herein to familiarize the membership with them and for the approval of the convention. With possibly one or two exceptions the decision of the council in each instance has proven uniformly satisfactory to the interested applicant and the endorsing union.

1. Any member suspended or expelled for nonpayment of dues and subsequently readmitted as a new member on the payment of the regular initiation fee of the local union will not be entitled to the old age pension until twenty years after the date of his last admission.

2. A member who stands suspended or expelled can re-establish continuous membership when he is reinstated by paying all International dues and assessments he owed at the time of his suspension or expulsion, and International dues and assessments from the time he was suspended up to and includ. ing the date of his reinstatement, provided he was not during the time of his suspension or expulsion tional Typographical Union is the only strictly American union having such a benefit.

The International Typographical Union law provides for $4 per week or $208 per year to each of its pensioners, numbering at present 542, or a little more than i per cent of the membership. Under the rules of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers (an English organization) any member in the United States who is 55 years of age, who has been twenty-five years successively in the society and who through age or infirmity is una. ble to obtain the scale of the union, or who is unable to follow his usual occupation, is entitled to a superannuation benefit of $2.10 per week. If thirty years a member, $2.40; if thirty-five, $2.70, and if forty years or upward, $3. This society has been paying old age pensions for fifty-eight years and in that time has disbursed for that purpose $9,957,881. At present

has 5,598 pensioners or 5 per cent of its total membership (10,084), the yearly payment to each member being $115.28. In its American council the soci. ety has 2,821 members, of whom 210 or 7.4 per cent are receiving the pension. The Amalgamated Engineers' Monthly, which is issued in London, England, had this to say upon the subject of pen. sions in its issue for December, 1908:

guilty of ratting or any violation of union rules and regulations, and provided further that rein. statement is not sought for the purpose of obtaining the old age pension.

3. The council holds that continuous membership for the specified period must have been established prior to the taking effect of the old age pen. sion law-January 1, 1908-in order to entitle applicants to the pension or any beneficial features of the International Typographical Union. In other words, continuous membership can not now be established by the payment of arrearages for the purpose of acquiring a right to the beneficial features of the International Typographical Union.

4. Active members of subordinate unions who are not seeking work at the printing business, or who are following other pursuits, must pay 45 cents per month as International per capita tax and in addition thereto the pension assessment upon the minimum scale of the local union, but in no case shall the amount paid for the pension as. sessment be less than 30 cents per month. All members who are receiving, the old age pension must regularly pay per capita tax, amounting to 45 cents per nth, and in addition thereto 30 cents per month as the pension assessment, the total monthly payment to the International Union from such members to be 75 cents.

5. An inmate of an institution maintained by the state who spends ninety days of each year at his home outside the institution is a resident of said institution until he completely severs his connection with it, and is not entitled to the old age pension during the ninety days he is on his fur. lough.

6. All inmates of the Home, under the law, must be active members in good standing and during the time they stay at the Home should be considered as continuous active members of the or. ganization. The law exempts members at the Home from the payment of International per capita tax and specifically states that they shall be considered as members in good standing. A member, therefore, completing his twenty years' continuous active membership at the Home would be entitled to the old age pension, provided he can meet the requirements of the law in every other particular.

7. The pension law as it now stands does not give local and International officers any control over pensioners as regards the use of their pensions. In the opinion of the council a pensioner is at liberty to spend his money in any way he sees fit. If a pensioner is not totally incapacitated for work on account of his age and incapacitates himself by constant debauchery it would then become the duty of the local officers to make a specific report on his case and ask the executive council for a ruling. All inembers on the pension roll who can obtain work are expected to accept same.

LOOKING FORWARD. Is the pension assessment too large? Are we collecting more money for the fund than is needed for the present and the future? These questions are receiving much thought, and a reduction in the assessment or an increase in the pension is being urged in some quarters. In considering this matter at the present time we should bear in mind that a large portion of the balance now in the pension fund was the result of the one-half of one per cent assessment collected previous to the time we commenced paying pensions, there being over $70,000 in this fund when the payment of pensions began. Our own experience with the pension fund has been too limited to permit of accurate deductions being made therefrom. Let us, therefore, observe the workings of the pension plans of foreign trade unions, as the Interna

Whilst there is probably no other benefit to which, and for which, the members more cheerfully pay, yet it is well to keep in view the problem of superannuation as it grows from year to year. When it is noted that of the is 6d (36 cents) per week contributions, 7d (14 cents) is due for payment of current superannuation benefit, with. out in any way augmenting the superannuation fund for future benefits of present payers, the growing seriousness of the said benefit is apparent. And it will be a problem to be discussed in the not far distant future how the inauguration and extension of state old age pensions shall insure some relief to the society from the burden of su. perannuation expenditure, as well as augmenting the income of the recipients of that benefit.

The by-laws of the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners provide that any member in the United States district who is 50 years of age, in good standing and incapable of earning the usual amount of wages in the locality in which he is employed, shall be allowed $2.80 per week for life, if he has been twenty-five years successively in the society; and any member of the same age who has been continuously a member for eighteen years shall receive $2.45 per week for life. After a member has been placed upon the superannuation list he can not, however, receive the benefit if earning more than half the rate of wages. Under the rules a member who is more than 50 years of age, if he continue to labor at carpentry and is not able to obtain the prevailing wage-rate, is permitted to work at a reduced rate. The society pays out yearly $210,841 to 2,172 superannuated members (3 per cent of a total membership of 68,735), the average disbursement annually per pensioner being $97.07. The

aggregate expenditure for superannuation benefits in the past forty-one years was $1,822,417. In the United States district there are 5,673 members, 57 (1 per cent) of whom are in receipt of old age pensions. EXPERIENCE OF OUR BRITISH BROTHERS.

In this connection, the experience of the British Typographical Association will be of value. One of the fraternal delegates to the convention of the American Federation of Labor was Herbert Skinner, general secretary of the British Typographical Association. Mr. Skinner, while in America, visited Indianapolis en route to Denver, and while in the headquarters' city was the guest of the International Typographical Union. The International officers took occasion to discuss with Mr. Skinner the old age pension idea, and gleaned from that gentleman much knowledge that was of value. Believing that this knowledge should be placed before the St. Joseph convention, Mr. Skinner was asked to set it forth in a communication so that it might have consideration by the proper convention committee. The communication fol. lows:

Salford, LANCASHIRE, May 15, 1909. James M. Lynch, President International Typographical Union:

RE OLD AGE PENSIONS. Dear MR. LYNCH-I should like to have replied earlier to your letter of February 14 last, but as our treasurer had in hand the duty of bringing up to date what are deemed to be most valuable ta. bles showing the working of our superannuation fund, I felt it would be best to wait until this had been done in order that you might have the newest information.

I am sending under separate cover three copies of report containing the tables referred to (pp. 26-27). The figures in the table show that for superannuation benefit the cost per member of our association from 1881 to 1908 has gradually in. creased from 25 334d (557/2 cents) to ios 9720 ($2.59). During the same period the membership of the association has increased from 5.362 to 20,254, showing that the liability per member has been gradually growing. In 1881 and until 1888 the amount apportioned to the fund was i penny (2 cents) per week; in 1889 this was increased to 12d (three cents) per week; in 1892 to 2d (4 cents); and in the second half of 1906 to 234 d (5% cents) per week; from the commencement of 1909 the amount per member per week allocated to the fund is 3140 (672 cents). Our experience has shown us that those who initiated the benefit in 1881 greatly underestimated the amount of the increased liability that would accrue as the fund became older.

Last June we passed a rule providing that if the money reserve of the superannuation fund falls below £go per superannuitant the executive coun. cil is empowered to levy an assessment of 6d (12 cents) per member each half year until the reserve reaches that amount.

You will see by the reports I am sending (p. 21) that we have a considerable income as interest on investments, which we should not get if we had not a reserve fund.

I do not know that I can usefully add anything further. The tables I am sending give our ex: perience in a concise form, and if desired you will be able to make use of them.

I desire to express a word of congratulation to the International Typographical Union on having started an old age pension. This and the Union Printers IIome are priceless boons to the printers of America, and I trust they will always be maintained. Respecting the old age pension, however, I may say that our experience has proven to us the necessity of extreme caution in handling the financial aspect of the benefit; otherwise it might in the course of time be found that an unduly heavy burden has been cast upon members in or.

der to fulfil the obligations undertaken by the union.

With every good wish for the success of your 1909 convention and for the continued prosperity of the International Typographical Union, and trusting that the latter will always be what it now is-one of the finest organizations of workers in the world, I am,

Yours faithfully,

(Signed) H. SKINNER. The copies of the report containing the tables referred to will also be referred to the convention committee on pensions for the consideration of that committee, and, later, for the consideration of the convention.

Another fact worthy of mention in this connection is that in seventy of the leading trade unions of Great Britain there are 13,383 pensioners, who receive $1,249,492 annually—an average of $93.36 per beneficiary.

The report of the Scottish Typographical Asso. ciation for the year ending December 31, 1908, which has just been issued, shows 102 members on the superannuated list of that organization. Pensions amounting to approximately $11,650 were paid these pensioners during the year 1908. The maximum amount of the benefit is $130 per year. This association has a total membership of 4,453, of which almost 2/3 per cent are on its pension roll. The secretary of the Scottish Typographical Association, in commenting on this benefit in his report, had this to say:

At the inception of the superannuation scheme the subscription was fixed at i penny per week, and this continued in force up till ist January, 1904, when it was increased to twopence per week. At 31st December, 1897, there was a balance lying at the credit of the scheme of £2,962 6s 5%d, but at 31st December, 1907, the amount at the credit of the scheme was only £967 35 7d. The income for 1908 was £2,236 68 142d, and the expenditure £2,326 os 8.42d, showing a deficit of £89 145 7d on the year's working. This is one of our best schemes, and we must be prepared for the greatly increased expenditure owing to the difficulty of our veterans being allowed a chance to earn their live ing in this age of cut-throat competition and under. cutting.

MUST EXPECT ADDED LIABILITIES. In the foregoing we have the experience of for. eign trade unions with the pension system. A11 of them are paying a smaller pension than that of the International Typographical Union, yet all are distributing enormous sums yearly among their pensioners. What will the pension payments of the International Typographical Union aggregate in the years to come? How shall we prepare for the future and be ready for any emergencies? Let us quote from the March issue of THE JOURNAL:

With the passing of each year, and as the number of members reaching the age of 60 increases with the constantly advancing years, and the requirements that go with employment become more onerous, we must expect corresponding increment in the list of pensioners. It is now known that a large number of members who are legally entitled to the pension have not asked therefor. Trade conditions may further change and these men be deprived of employment. With these facts in view, let us not reach hasty conclusions. The increasing balance in the fund is not a cause for worry. It is safeguarded in every possible way, and, like the reserve fund of large insurance so

« ПретходнаНастави »