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SAYS IT'S A JOKE.
Striking Machinist Circulates Remarkable Hand Bill Telling of Railroad Strike at Portland, Oregon.
There must be quite a proportion of the union machinists of the northwest Pacific Coast who did not favor the strike on the Harriman lines of railroad. At least one might be pardoned for reaching this conclusion after reading a hand bill which was recently printed and circulated at Portland, Oregon, by one of the strikers. The contents of this hand bill will undoubtedly be of great interest to machinists in other parts of the country and is given herewith in full. Those who may read this hand bill should keep in mind the numerous and lengthy statements of the union leaders that the strike would be won "hands down," that it was won "before it started" and other similar expressions calculated to befog the reasoning of the uninformed.
"When in the course of human events, a situation arises where the pride of a labor leader conflicts with the interests and welfare of a large number of men, women and children—
It becomes the duty of some person to butt in, as it were, and see if everyone is getting a quare deal. A few of us have entered on this thankless task, not with the expectation that you will love us therefor, but just so we can grab our job back like the rest.
There is no reason to dispute the statement of the officials of the road, that they have enough men to carry on all necessary work. Anyone can see for himself. The situation is daily getting better for the rail
road and only the absence of a sense of humor keeps a number of pickets at the shop gate holding the empty sack.
It is useless and unjust to blame anyone for this condition. The trouble did not originate at this end of the road, but it is up to us to end it, and in the settlement we will take no advice from outside labor leaders. The railroad managers have always treated us fair in the past and will surely do so in the future. So revolt while the revolting is good, let the empty sack drop and go home and get our overalls. The old man will give us a square deal; he can see the joke, all right.
"If any section of society endeavors to prevent any man from working and enjoying the product of his work that section of society is unjust. If any organization undertakes to prevent any man from working when he will, where he will and at what wages he will, that organization violates the essential rights of labor."-Reverend Lyman Abbott.
PRIVATE CLUB OR ORGANIZATION BARRED.
There is a certain analogy between the railway service, the postal service, the police service and the army. The man who enters employment of this kind cannot be allowed to place himself at the disposal of a private club or organization in, such a way that he may be compelled (or feel himself bound in honor) to desert his post at the command of an outside executive. His first duty lies to his service, and he must learn to get his grievances redressed by reasonable methods. It should be a condition of the railway service that no employe should be entitled to strike. —(London Economist.)
MURDER FOR “PRINCIPLE."
Who Proclaimed the Principle? Those Who Incite and Defend Criminal Acts Should Be Repudiated.
The New York Times.
"I am guilty, but I did what I did for principle,” said James B. McNamara, confessing to the murder of twentyone human beings in the blowing up of the Los Angeles Times Building. Principle! Precisely. It is the general belief that McNamara committed these murders for a "principle"-the principle that labor union law is paramount in this country, that it is superior to the laws of the land, and that murder, arson, riot, and the destruction of property are permissible methods of enforcing union demands. But who ordained and proclaimed this principle, by whose orders and in whose interest did the McNamaras commit their savage crimes? Those questions are by no means answered by their confessions. The investigation must go deeper and further.
Gompers a Conspicuous Offender.
The "principle" of organized labor upon which James B. McNamara acted has brought the unions into conflict with the law in four ways, chiefly: First, by murders, the blowing up of buildings, and the destruction of property; second, by a resort to violence to prevent men willing to work from taking the places strikers have left; third, by the boycott, the attempt to destroy business and bring ruin upon employers who presume to disobey the commands of labor; fourth, by open contempt of court and persistent defiance of the tribunals of justice, and in this Mr. Gompers
himself is a most conspicuous offender. The question now to be asked-and labor must answer it is whether the federations and the unions are going to persist in these lawless courses, or whether, after the terrible warning of Los Angeles, they will mend their ways. Does Mr. Gompers intend to pursue the path he has heretofore followed? Will he, by his example and by his language, continue to give labor and the general public the impression that he sympathizes with lawlessness and not with law; that he, too, puts the "principle" of his organization above the foundation principles of this Government? Mr. Gompers has labored with unflagging zeal to procure amendments to the laws with the undisguised purpose of exempting labor from the consequences of criminal acts. He has sought to have the law declare that the right to do business shall not be considered a property right, to the end that boycotting may cease to be illegal. He has sought to have labor exempted from the provisions of the anti-trust law, seeking thus to put the most arbitrary trust in the country in a position where it may freely pursue its oppressive and ruthless policies.
Astonishment Not An Answer.
Mr. Gompers asserts that organized labor has a membership of two millions. If Mr. Gompers does not mend his ways, if he persists in upholding the "principle" that unionism is above the law, the public must and will conclude that he believes a majority of the organized wage earners to be men of depraved and criminal minds. That is a monstrous belief. Yet if it is held by Gompers it will be held by others. Labor can vindicate itself against this terrible imputation only by repudiating Gompers, by repudiating all leaders who preach or practice according to the McNamara "principle," who incite to criminal acts or refuse to condemn them. Labor cannot go on in the McNamara
way and in the Gompers way. The Los Angeles savagery makes that impossible. Nor can it clear its skirts merely by expressing astonishment and dismay when a labor murderer pleads guilty. Nobody can draw up an indictment against a labor union, but the courts have already hinted that continuing membership in a union which habitually employs lawless methods may raise the question whether all members not known to have protested against criminal measures should not be treated as accessories. There cannot be two classes of society in this Republic-one organized in support of the principle of murder, riot, and destruction and the other at all times exposed to these outrages. With the lawful purposes of the labor organization the greater part of the people are in entire sympathy. But they will not put up with repeated and defiant applications of the McNamara "principle." Mr. Samuel Gompers, as the chief man of organized labor, must make his decision and make it quickly. If he elects to declare his adherence to the McNamara principle, he cannot expect that two million Americans, or anything like two millions, will be willing to follow where he leads.
Striking garment workers of Cleveland have been trying to get their old jobs back. The strike here has failed, despite its lawlessness, just as it did in Chicago. Strike leaders now say their international union has spent $300,000.00 in the fight and can stand the strain no longer. A committee sent by the international organization broke the news to the Cleveland strikers and advised them that the treasury was depleted and that no more money could be depended upon.