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employers. What excuse have we to offer if we permit the same practice in our own organization?'”
“All reports indicate that there is a general move of disruption going on in the organization at the present time, and it will probably result in the loss of a great many members. On February 1st, 1917, the organization had a balance on hand of $51,256.57. They owe to local lodges $21,000.00.”
Michael J. Herlihy, convicted of exploding a bomb in the . New York subway on October 26th last, has been sentenced to not less than ten years nor more than twenty years in prison. Herlihy was financial secretary of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees, and the explosion occurred during a strike which that union was conducting against the subway company.
The Adamson law, providing ten hours' pay for eight hours' work, applicable to certain specified classes of railroad employees and passed by Congress under the coercion of the railroad brotherhoods, has been held constitutional in the United States Supreme Court by a divided bench. The decision holds that while the railroads and their employees engaged in interstate commerce are conducting a private business, yet such operation is charged with a public interest, and this public interest is paramount to the interest of either employer or employee. Therefore, while employer and employee can enter into a contract regarding terms and conditions of employment, when their failure to agree imperils this public interest, Congress has the right to step in and fix these terms for them. After Congress has so acted, neither the employer nor the employee has the right to order a lockout or a strike. While the law in question relates only to railroad companies, the decision appears broad enough to cover all public service corporations. Prior to the handing down of the decision, the railroads, in view of the national crisis, granted the demands of the men, so it had no real bearing on the situation.
The decision, however, has no application to wages and working conditions in strictly private industry.
CHICAGO UNION GRAFTERS CONVICTED Closed Shop Union Proves an Effective Means of Extortion
for Dishonest Union Officials
The March Review was just going to press as Michael J. Boyle (Umbrella Mike) and fourteen of his co-defendants in the so-called “labor graft” cases were convicted, and could, therefore, do no more than make mention of the fact. Since then, sentence has been pronounced. Boyle was fined $5,000 and given one year in the house of correction, the maximum sentence for the charge; Cleary, his assistant, $500 and sixty days' imprisonment; and the rest of the defendants were given fines of from $500 to $3,000 each.
The trial was in the Federal District Court and the charge was a conspiracy in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Law interfering with the shipment of materials in interstate commerce. According to the testimony, the electrical workers unionized the local plants. As the union restrictions became more and more burdensome, the firms found themselves unable to meet competition. To remedy this condition, the unions undertook to eliminate competition by preventing the installation of equipment by concerns not included under the closed shop agreement. The boycott was effected by means of threats, violence and destruction of property. It likewise furnished a most effective weapon for extortion.
Michael J. Boyle, according to the testimony, was the leading spirit in the conspiracy. Witnesses told how he called strikes and blackmailed building owners and contractors at will. He is reputed to be worth in the neighborhood of $350,000, all accumulated during the past few years, although his salary as business agent never exceeded $50 per week.
Rival Unions War An interesting bit of testimony was that of J. F. Nichols, the business agent of a rival union. He said he had had a break with Boyle and that afterward his local, No. 376, and the one controlled by Boyle, No. 134, were continually at war.
“After your break with Boyle did you attempt to secure work in the loop?” asked Special Assistant United States Attorney Albert L. Hopkins, in charge of the prosecution.
“Yes, I tried,” was the answer, “and I had lots of trouble, too. We tried to get the job on the Chicago Telephone Company Building, but we couldn't get it.”
“Did you have any conversation with Boyle?”
“Yes, I met him in South Chicago. He told me that I couldn't do any work in Chicago. He was the czar. He said he was going to push us out into the lake. He told me that on several occasions.”
“Did you ever meet Raymond Cleary?”
“Yes, some of my men were working on a building job. Cleary came up with a delegation of professionals and tried to force my men off the job.”
“What do you mean by professionals?” asked Mr. Hopkins.
“Sluggers and gun men. He had about a dozen with him. On account of the trouble we had, the contractor cancelled the contract and we lost the job.”
One of the victims who testified was Benjamin J. Rosenthal, of the North American Building. He contracted with an eastern firm for a specially made telephone switchboard. Then he was notified by Boyle and J. F. Nichols, business agents of the union, that the Chicago union did not allow the installation of materials made outside of the city.
“I told Boyle that the switchboard was made in a union factory in New Jersey.”
All Right If You Kick In “When the switchboard was delivered, Boyle called a strike. I went to him and tried to argue and he replied:
“Well, it'll be all right if you kick in.'
“ 'How much? I asked him, and he said, “ 'It'll have to be $10,000.?”
We finally agreed on $3,000. I declared I would only pay half of it down and the other half when the job was finished. Boyle wanted it all down in advance, and when I objected he said:
“Don't you trust me, don't you think I'm an honest guy?”
"I told him that after dealing with him I wouldn't trust anybody. I gave him $1,500 on April 5, 1912, and on May 14th I gave him the other $1,500. May was the date that many of the leases of the tenants were to start and this was one of the reasons that we paid Boyle so that it could be completed by that time.”
“We paid $100 to get the charging board put into the Ward Baking Company garage,” testified R. R. Shepherd of the Cutler-Hammer Company. “I told Boyle I had $100 for him. 'Not for me,' he said. “Let Cleary have it.' So we paid the money to Cleary. The transaction was in the Marquette bar.
George K. Young, owner of a flat building in 75th street, had some electrical wiring done. The union men who did the work were not in Boyle's union, so Boyle told Young it would have to be removed. He refused, but not for long. The plate glass windows in his store were broken three different times. After the first time, the insurance company refused to replace them. He testified to paying Boyle $250 finally to settle the difficulty.
Minister Pays $200 to Boyle at Saloon Rev. Robert 0. Thomas, pastor, Roseland Presbyterian Church, testified that Boyle demanded $200 before he would allow work to proceed on his church. He did business with Boyle at Johnson's saloon, 333 West Madison Street.
Joseph Symanski, an electrical contractor, said his life was threatened by Boyle for employing members of a rival union. He won Boyle's friendship eventually, he said, by the usual bribing.
George Kuhlmeyer, a member of local 134, said when Boyle was endeavoring to get $2,000 from the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company to take off a boycott he, Kuhlmeyer, interfered with his game and tried to settle the matter through a vote of the local union. Two days later he was badly beaten up.
W. H. Bell, district superintendent, of the Westinghouse Company, testified to a number of conferences with Boyle in an endeavor to get him to lift the boycott. He mentioned a $1500 contract which had cost his company $5,000 to fill because of Boyle.
Frank Getchell, an electrical engineer, testified that in many cases switchboards manufactured in other cities had been shipped to Chicago, taken apart and put together again without change in order that the time of the union men might be charged for.
E. B. Kittle, sales manager, Sprague Electric Works, Watscessing, N. J., testified:
“My firm had a contract to furnish the switchboard for the Rand-McNally Building and the apparatus was shipped to Chicago and delivered at the building. Mr. Boyle promptly called a strike of the men. I entered into negotiations with Boyle and was told that the board could not go in.
“F. J. McNulty, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, was present and told Boyle that the board was made in a union shop and bore a union label and that it was all right to put it in. Boyle defied him and said that it would not go in.
"Finally I had to pay Boyle. I gave him $500 in the bar of the Great Northern Hotel.”
Boyle Identified in Court Albert L. Hopkins, in charge of the prosecution, asked Mr. Kittle if he was sure of the man to whom he had paid his money. Kittle arose from the witness chair and picked out Boyle, who sat behind Edward R. Litzinger, his attorney. Then he continued:
"It was a case of junking a $12,000 switchboard or paying this fellow $500. I decided to pay."
A $20,000 Bribe The largest bribe mentioned was that given to Boyle by the Chicago Telephone Company. “Boyle told me he could arrange to prevent strikes,” testified Horace F. Hill, VicePresident, “but he said it would cost us a lot of money. At
s chair and he had paid hisked Mr.