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of the United States relating to manufactures, and this table is found on page 306 of that volume:
Wage earners in establishments
with specified number Prevailing hours of labor per week.
of hours. Average
Percent of total
This table shows that only 523,625 wage-earners out of a total of 6,615,046 work 48 hours a week or less. This is a percentage of 7.9 having what might be called the eight-hour working day; those who work between 48 and 54 hours a week amounted to 7.3 percent; 54 a week, 15.4 percent; between 54 and 60 hours, 30.2 percent; an even 60 hours a week, 30.5 percent; between 60 and 72 hours, 5.2 percent; and even 72 hours 1.8 percent; and over 72 hours, 1.7 percent. The number of workers represented in this table is more than one-fifth of the total of workers in the United States between the ages of 10 and 60, and, therefore, the table is clearly representative of prevailing conditions except that the large element of agricultural labor is not represented in these figures. Therefore, it is obvious that the percentage of eight-hour workers out of the total workers in the United States would be very much smaller than 7.9 percent if a complete canvass of all labor was made.
It is difficult to assume that less than eight percent of the workers of the United States can be tortured into a force which compels the idea that the eight-hour day is a social concept.
It is clear from the table that in the manufacturing industries more than 76 percent of the wage-earners worked between 54 and 60 hours per week.
Organized labor is shortsighted in its attempt to force the eight-hour day in any phase on the country. The cost of production under an eight-hour day would prevent the United States from controlling its own markets, or from entering into competition for foreign markets. This would result in a depression in industry, and the first man to suffer would be the worker himself. On the other hand, the increased cost of living would become an extremely serious problem and even with the heavy increase of today it is impossible to predict how high the cost of living would go.
If the cost of production is arbitrarily increased the cost of living will inevitably increase proportionately or to a larger extent. We have seen that the eight-hour day means increased cost of production, and it is simple logic that an increase in the cost of living must follow. The worker will be the chief sufferer under such conditions.
The cost to the manufacturer is not measured merely by the increased wages paid out. It will increase his other expenses. With 365 days in the year there are about 300 days of work. But the manufacturer pays interest for 365 days of the time. If another sixty days is taken out on account of reduction in hours there will be then only 240 days of work in which to meet the overhead expense of 365 days, thus increasing the cost of operation to the manufacturer, who must charge the added cost to the consumer. The added cost of railroad repairs and expenses will increase the cost of transportation, increase the cost of carrying goods from the farmer or manufacturer to the merchant or consumer. The consumer will have to pay it.
Through every walk of life the eight-hour day would increase the cost of living, and the very first to realize this would be the wives of the working men. They would find that the eight-hour day means a heavy decrease in the purchasing power of the weekly or monthly wage.
Looking at the eight-hour proposition from the point of view of the railroads, it is worth recalling a statement recently made by President Elliott of the New Haven. He said:
“There are about 30,000,000 men at work; if they work 10 hours a day that is 300,000,000 hours a day, or 93,600,000,000 hours a year. If they work eight hours it is 74,088,000,000, or a difference of 18,720,000,000 hours a year. At eight hours a day this means that 7,400,000 more men must be employed to do work that could be done by the 30,000,000.”
There is no humanitarianism involved in the present agitation for an eight-hour day. It is not a question of granting more time for recreation to the worker. It is purely a question of wages, and the penalizing of an employer for activity in his industry. The grave question is the ability of the country to stand the increased wages demanded under the guise of an eight-hour day.
It means, as we have pointed out, increased production cost, decreased output, increased cost of living, decreased competitive power, and decreased ability to hold our own or our foreign markets. THE GRAVITY OF THE QUESTION CANNOT BE EXAGGERATED, and it is the misfortune of the country that there should be brought to the support of this propaganda political expediency and necessity.
Sound Eight-hour Logic The farmer is neither an object of pity nor subject of charity. He is not asking for special favors nor class legislation. He has practiced the eight-hour law ever since Adam was driven out of the Garden of Eden, eight hours in the forenoon and eight in the afternoon, and the rest of the time he just works. The Grange seeks the "greatest good to the greatest number," and believes that this principle might well be followed by our lawmakers. It is neither right nor just for our national Congress to enact laws for a few at the expense of the many. Arbitration is the only fair and just means of settling disputes when the parties thereto cannot agree. No legislation should be enacted that even tends to create class feeling or widen the breach which now exists between capital and labor. Capital should be made to understand that it is helpless without labor, and labor should realize that it could not exist without capital.Penna. State Grange.
MOLDERS' UNION CONTRACTS FOR PICKETS
A New Union Scheme to Hold the Members in Line
In The Review for January there was given a statement of the actions brought by certain foundries in Bridgeport, Conn., against Local Union No. 110 International Moulders Union of North America and certain individuals, on the ground of conspiracy to destroy the business of the foundries. These cases have not been tried though the attachments are still in existence; practically all of the striking employees have returned to work; and there is at present little or no labor trouble in the foundries in Bridgeport.
There have been certain actions taken by the Union, probably as a result of these suits, which it is believed are of even greater interest than those in question at that time and which show the lengths to which the labor unions will go in order to forcibly maintain control over their members.
On September 21st, 1916, three men brought suit against a Bridgeport Company, its President, Superintendent and one of its chauffeurs alleging that they had falsely complained to the prosecuting attorney of the city of Bridgeport that these men had been guilty of a breach of the peace, as a result the men had been arrested, and after hearing, had been discharged. The men each asked fifty thousand dollars damages. Actions were commenced under pleadings drawn in the office of the attorneys for Local Union No. 110 and were simply for the purpose of harassing the Company which was one of the plaintiffs in the original actions. Nothing further has been done, and it is believed that nothing further will be done as the facts upon which the complaints were based are not true, and a trial of the cases would not in any way do the plaintiffs any good or do the defendants any harm.
A more interesting situation is disclosed by an action commenced by Local Union No. 110 against The Monumental Bronze Company and certain of its employees, Anton Sombody, Mike Krug and John Sakuc, on January 12th, 1917. The plaintiffs claim that a contract was entered into between the Union and Sombody, Krug and Sakuc on the 21st day of September, 1916, of which the following is a copy:
“THIS CONTRACT of employment made the 21st day of September, 1916, by and between Local Union No. 110, International Moulders' Union of North America, party of the first part, and Mike Krug, party of the second part.
WITNESSETH: That party of the first part employs and the party of the second part enters into the employment of the party of the first part as solicitor, with duties to procure members for said party of the first part, and agrees that he will devote his best energies and exclusive time in soliciting for and in increasing the membership of said party of the first part; that he will devote to said efforts not less than five hours a day; that during the period of this contract he will not engage himself in any other employment whatever.
The duration of this Contract is for one year from the date hereof; that the compensation is seven (7) dollars a week, and same shall be in lieu and in full of all other claims, compensation, strike benefits and other benefits whatever otherwise provided for by reason of the membership of said party of the second part in said party of the first part.
This Agreement shall not be deemed altered or amended, suspended or annulled at any time, except by an instrument in writing. However reserving the party of the first part the right to cancel the said agreement at any time whenever such party shall be displeased with said parties of the second part services of which said party of the first part shall be the sole and only judge. Witness the parties hereto. Local Union No. 110, International Moulders
Union of North America
(JAMES J. Muldoon, President. Per J. R. RowBOTHAM, Secretary.
( Mike KRUG, Party of the Second Part.