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foremen's clubs, etc., and will do much, it is expected, to stimulate interest in modern foundry practice.
The Convention Banquet was unusually successful. Two hundred and twenty-three were present, by far the largest number that has ever attended. Some remarkable motion pictures of the war were exhibited and two stirring patriotic addresses were given by Governor Charles S. Whitman, of New York, and Reverend W.Warren Giles, of East Orange, N. J.
Attendance at the Convention again reached the high record mark, and never before was so much interest shown at all the sessions.
Space in this number does not permit of more than a digest of many of the papers. Most of them will appear in full in future issues.
REPORT OF COMMISSIONER MCCLINTOCK
At the time of our last Annual Meeting the Association was giving support in combatting strikes to the shops of 29 members, from which 1231 molders and coremakers were on strike. Of that number, 10 shops are still retaining N. F. A. contract molders.
During the year the support of the Association has been given 13 members located in 12 towns, from which 572 molders and coremakers are on strike. In every instance these strikes have been or are being combatted to a successful conclusion.
Closed Shop Ultimate Aim of Union Officials Despite the assurances of the President of the American Federation of Labor that the closed shop demand would not be pressed during the duration of the war, this has been entirely disregarded by the molders' union. The molders' union is pressing the closed shop issue to the fullest extent in its power. It is well to keep in mind that the closed union shop is the attainment desired most of all by the union officials, as their troubles in collecting dues and assessments are eliminated the moment the union and the employer come to an agreement to employ none but union men. The necessities of the nation are in their minds subordinate to the need of the labor union for
In analyzing the causes of strikes involving our members this past season, one finds the refusal of the employer to concede union control the main point of contention. The wage question as a strike issue has been unimportant, as the law of supply and demand for labor has taken care of that.
The Hamilton Strike At the present moment this Association is aiding at Hamilton, Ohio, in combatting one of the most vicious strikes in its history. Our member there is working on extremely urgent and important Government work to the extent of 80% of their capacity. It is one of three plants in this country capable of producing this equipment. It has operated open shop for many years. The wages and hours were better than the union scale for that district. The equipment and shop conditions will compare most favorably with those in any shop in this country.
After weeks of the most vigorous organizing effort, but 22 out of a total of 126 molders could be induced to join the union. Their men were not interested in the union, as their pay was better than the scale set for union shops. The union officials then decided to have a union molder disobey shop rules to any extent necessary to bring about his discharge. This was done, and the local union promptly voted the shop on strike. By resort to violence and rioting, molders were prevented from continuing at work. The local peace officers refused to act in maintaining law and order. The Governor on being appealed . to, stated he was powerless to act, as the State National Guard had been taken into the Federal Service.
This condition continued for four months, when the foundry was placed under the protection of the Federal Court through the issuance of a permanent injunction against the molders' union.
The United States District Court in granting the injunction against the molders' union, commented on the situation in the following language:
“The conditions in Hamilton were well known, and demanded vigilance and prompt action on the part of the guardians of the law, to avoid disturbances. Had they met the situation fearlessly and at the threshold, wrongdoing could have been prevented and this case would not be here. It is always a grave reflection on peace officers, when, on account of their dereliction of duty, citizens of their community are forced to appeal to the courts to maintain the supremacy of the law and to give the protection such officers are bound by oath to afford. The ministerial arm can act more quickly and is no less powerful than that of the courts, and should be prudently, impartially, and, if need be, vigorously employed. If the Ohio statutes do not sufficiently provide for the speedy and sure removal of such derelicts from office, amendments ought quickly to be made that such may be done."
Our member in Hamilton is patriotically meeting the gauge of battle thrown down by the molders' union, and is staunchly defending the right of the individual to work without contributing to the union.
Condition of International Molders' Union
Based on income for the past six months, the average paid membership of that union has been 44,000. The U. S. Census for 1910 gives the number of male molders and coremakers in the United States as 137,262. Including Canada, a conservative estimate would place the total number at present at 150,000. The union therefore, embraces about 30% of the total number. .
The income to their national treasury for the year ending Sept. 30, 1917, was $664,767.48. Disbursed for strike benefits, $444,270.85, management and other expenses, $317,585.21. Excess of disbursements over receipts, $97,088.58. The general fund of the national union is now entirely exhausted,
and money is being borrowed from the benevolent funds to meet current bills.
In making report to the molders' national convention, their president dwelt at length on the serious condition of their finances, referring to it as the most critical in the organization's history.
During the year they have increased their dues from 40 cents to 60 cents per member per week. It remains to be seen whether or not they can hold their present membership under this increased cost.
In referring to the Metal Trades Federation, President Valentine reports "no general movement involving joint action was set in motion and that there was no repetition of the Los Angeles or Erie, Pa. enterprises."
You will recall that five years ago this month the molders' union headed a movement of this federation to make Erie a closed shop town. They started what they called “the union forward movement,” but after 15 months of riot and bloodshed, and the expenditure of $204,665 in strike benefits, it developed into a union backward movement. The attempt of the molders' union to strike jointly with the machinists', pattern-makers', blacksmiths', boiler-makers', etc., has been a boomerang.
Further reference to this report discloses that the rapid increase in the use of molding machines is causing the union serious concern. The union's president states that they have found almost universal opposition to the establishing of day work wage rates for machine operators.
Their president calls attention to the difficulties experienced in attempting to organize certain types of non-union shops where a substantial part of the output is produced by machines and handymen or semi-skilled workmen. The report adds that while "it is possible at the present time to rapidly increase the membership in certain localities, the officers are making no effort to bring about this organization because of the certainty that organization of these molders will be followed immediately by discrimination, lockouts, or strikes.”
Various resolutions were introduced with reference to committing the national union to making the eight-hour demand take precedence over increased wages and changes in shop conditions,-all of which were voted down. The convention went on record as favoring the eight-hour day and instructing the incoming officers to make every effort in their power to bring this about wherever possible.
The experience of their national officers in forcing the eighthour day by strikes has thus far been disastrous. There is also a large element among their membership more interested in increased pay than in shorter hours.
During the five year period covered by this report, 48 new local unions were organized and 63 were discontinued,-a loss of 15. The total cash in the various benevolent funds in the hands of the national officers on Oct. 1, 1917, amounted to $154,318.00.
Foundry Methods Committee
The use of molding machines and improved equipment has been greatly stimulated by your Committee on Foundry Methods. The bulletins issued by this Committee have called forth exceedingly favorable comment from our membership, and many firms which have heretofore given the subject little thought, are now taking the matter up vigorously. The greater part of Mr. Wright's time during the past year has been devoted to this important part of our work, which is helping many of our members to help themselves. We know from practical experience that the difficulties in combatting a strike are very materially lessened in a shop using up-to-date equipment and modern methods, as compared to the one where obsolete equipment and antique methods prevail. The work along this line is of profit to our members, and a saving in expense to the Association. It has the further advantage of breaking the hold of the union on the foundry industry.
As you are all aware, the labor shortage the past season has been abnormal, and the difficulties in supplying men to our members in trouble have correspondingly increased, but in every instance where the Association has been called upon for aid, we have furnished men, put the shop in operation, and it has been kept in operation.