Слике страница
PDF
ePub

that she can not stand upon her own resources but must look to the union; that her enthusiasm will not get her recognition of her splendid service, but that she must band together with all the teachers in order to attain promotion.

This practice impairs efficiency, destroys harmony and hampers discipline. Under such conditions the teacher will cease to think of the children first. She will always be looking for betterment of conditions for the teacher.

The inner circle which controls this union is openly rebellious against those in authority, and this spirit engenders into the child's mind will cause him, in turn, to be dissatisfied, contentious and rebellious, and he will not respect law nor order.

The most sacred things that God has placed in our care, the mind and soul of a child, are put in jeopardy, made the tools and playthings of a selfish faction with nothing beyond its own interests in mind.

The official who takes a stand against these things will be censured by the press. The press is not always independent, for it has something to sell and policy must be considered. He will also be harassed by so-called patrons' clubs, which have never given the matter sufficient thought to see and realize the underlying danger. In fact, most of their information has been carried to them by their children, and this is where the union makes a political asset of your child.

Sentiment Often Controlled It will seem that public sentiment is against the courageous official. Let him remember that public sentiment is often a controlled opinion. His associates will often betray him, and cause him to almost lose confidence in mankind.

Let him be mindful of the fact that very often these associates have political aspirations, and have heard the great bug-a-boo, “the labor vote.”

The man who takes a positive stand against this great evil may think at times that the world scorns him. But, today of all days, it is time for him to remember that principle is far more valuable than policy.

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE

INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEE

Edward K. Nicholson, Counsel Bridgeport

Manufacturers' Association

On June 15th, A. D. 1215, the feudal barons of England wrested from King John, Magna Charta, the earliest English example of a constitution guaranteeing personal rights and privileges. During the seven centuries which have followed there has been the constant ebb and flow of a tide of human liberty, libety which has at times degenerated into a demand for anarchy, liberty which demands freedom of action without the reciprocal obligation of responsibility for action. It has been and is a hard lesson to learn, that liberty without law is license and that license only exists so long as it is stronger than law. The English Magna Charta, the French revolutionary cry of "liberty, equality and fraternity,” the Declaration of Independence of the American colonies are all based upon this theory of freedom of individual action, but the government evolved resulted in a liberty counter-balanced by responsibility; equality, as being not only “I am as good as you are” but "you are as good as am ;” and fraternity, recognizing duty as well as right.

The relations of the employer with the employed must recognize this historical, social and economic requ!rement. The employer has rights to be observed by the employee; he has obligations toward the employee. The employee is entitled to certain treatment from the employer, but conversely he must perform the obligations which he has assumed by virture of his employment.

Violence in Bridgeport Foundry Strike Early in August of this year there was a strike situation exisitng in the foundries in Bridgeport, Connecticut. All of

Address to the Twentieth Annual Convention of the National Founders' Association, November, 1916.

the men in nine foundries had struck, their demands being almost identical in each case. There were three chief demands; one, for the eight-hour day; another for an increased wage; and the third for the recognition of the shop committee. While the demands were couched in somewhat different terms for the different factories, these were the basic demands. The founders had refused to accede to the demands; there was picketing, both of the peaceful, persuasive kind and of the more violent nature; there were threats and intimidation, not only with the few men that desired employment but with their wives and children; there was every species of the usual form of attempted injury to the business of the employer.

Injunctions Not Always Effective About the 10th day of August the firm with which I am connected was asked to advise the founders with regard to some action which might be taken to protect them in an attempt to open the foundries. It was recognized at that time and at that meeting that while injunctions had been granted in many states and on many different occasions which restrained striking employes from picketing, threats, intimidation, etc., the injunctions were rarely successful, in that it was possible for the results to be accomplished by methods which did not openly violate the injunction. After considerable conference it was suggested that suit be brought by some of the founders against individual defendants asking for damages for injury to property.

Suit is Brought Against Molder's Union On the 12th day of August there were four suits instituted, one each by The Pequonnock Iron Foundry, Inc., The Manufacturers Iron Foundry, The Bridgeport Deoxidized Bronze and Metal Co., and The Monumental Bronze Co. These actions were brought against The Local Union 110, International Moulders Union of North America, as a voluntary association; against J. R. O'Leary, a Vice-President of the International Moulders Union, who was recognized to be in charge of the strikes in Bridgeport; T. F. Duffy, the local representative of the American Federation of Labor; James A. Loveday, the financial agent of the Local Union; all of these men being sued individually and not as officers of their unions; and a large number of individual strikers who had participated in acts calculated to injure the business of the individual plaintiffs. The Union and the four men mentioned were defendants in each suit; the other defendants in each suit were the particular men against whom proof was had in connection with the particular action in which they were named. The suits asked each for $50,000.00 damages. The allegations covered a conspiracy to prevent the operation of the foundries; the threat to call a strike, the picketing, the acts of intimidation, all tending to prove the attempt to injure the founder's business.

Under the attachment proceedings which are permitted in an action of this kind in the State of Connecticut there was attached the real estate of the defendants who owned real estate, the bank deposits, whether savings or national, of those defendants who had bank deposits, and in the case of Duffy, his body was attached and a bond given by a surety company for his release pending the trial of the action.

If judgment can be secured it means that there will be used, to satisfy the judgment: First, the money of the defendants which has been attached in the banks; and second, the real estate which has been attached. In addition to this, at the time of judgment, defendants without property can be arrested and placed in the County Jail, either to respond to judgment or take the oath prescribed for poor debtors, which is that they have not over $17.00 exempt from attachment. O'Leary was not in the city at the time the actions were started. He remained out of the city until after the return day, and then, upon the issuance of a supplementary attachment, left the city and has remained away, thereby removing from the strike the influence of the International Moulders Union as represented by him. The body of Duffy was attached and he was released under bonds. Instructions were given to the sheriff that he should make no arrest where it would act, in his opinion, as a hardship upon the individual defendant or his family.

Action Not Peculiar to Connecticut Immediately following the institution of the proceedings a vast amount of discussion regarding them took place in the newspapers, the general impression being that this was an action which was peculiar to the State of Connecticut by reason of its laws with regard to attachment. So far as the attachment is concerned prior to trial, this is true, but there is no reason why actions identical in their nature should not be brought in almost every state of the Union, and if judgment can be secured, execution be taken out upon the property of the individual defendants.

The theory of the action is that which was expressed in the early part of this address, that there are reciprocal duties between the employer and the employed, that the employee is no more permitted to injure the property or affect the liberty of the employer than is the employer permitted to affect the property or the liberty of the individual employee. Whether or not there be a Workmen's Compensation Act in the State of employment, if the employer is so negligent as to cause injury to the employee, the employer must pay for it; on the other hand, if the individual employee shall injure the employer the law must be so that he will be compelled to pay for it. · The Individual Union Member Should be Held

Responsible For His Own Acts Since the birth and development of the Trade Union there has been a continuous attempt, on both the part of the employer and of the employed, to make the organized Union responsible for the acts of the Union or its members, evidently under the theory that the majority of the employed are not financially responsible, so that they cannot respond to a judgment. This has permitted the individual employee to hide behind the Union; if he performs acts of violence and is arrested it is the attorney for the Union who defends him, and if there is a fine or a bond upon appeal it is the Union which pays the fine or puts the bond and forfeits it. If, by reason of the acts of the

« ПретходнаНастави »