« ПретходнаНастави »
succeeded, however, in forcing the old party aldermen to consent to raising the rate of taxation for city purposes from 12.1 mills to 16.2 mills. We cut out every unnecessary salaried employee; reduced the police force to the minimum necessity. In less than seven months we had the city safely inside the legal limit of indebtedness; in four months' time, city warrants which had been discounted all the way from 20 to 30 per centum, passed at 95 per cent, and in eight months they were passing at par.
The city of Butte, in the spring of 1911, was one of the filthiest in the country. Butte is now one of the healthiest cities of its size in the United States. Inside the city limits (excepting tuberculosis cases), the average death rate to population was 32% lower from May, 1911, to May, 1913, than from May, 1909, to May, 1911, and the monthly average of cases of infectious and contagious diseases has fallen from 60 in 1909-10, and 73 in 1910-11, to 27 in 1911-12 and 36 in 1912-13.
THE MILWAUKEE MUNICIPAL ADMINISTRATION. (By Emil Seidel in "What we have done in Milwaukee.")
The Socialists under Mayor Seidel were hampered in their work by the fact that several departments of the city were not completely under their control, that the city possessed only a limited measure of self-government, that they had inherited a large and indefinite municipal deficit, and that certain appropriations made by a previous administration had to be provided for in the budget. Moreover, many of the new departures originated by them were hardly capable of establishment in the short space of two years. The following are a few of the actual accomplishments: An inventory, a modern budget, and monthly financial statements were adopted, with a sound system of bookkeeping and crosschecking; a Bureau of Economy and Efficiency was organized, with a reorganization of the department of public works and a consequent saving of public money in various directions, for example, the reduction of the cost of asphalt pavement from $2.30 to $1.35 per square foot; a social survey was set in motion, with the appointment of various active commissions, among these being commissions on housing, tuberculosis, child welfare and the unemployed; an eight-hour ordinance was passed applying to all municipal work, the wages of street laborers were raised from $1.75 to $2.00 per day, and the police force was forbidden to take sides in the case of a strike.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE MILWAUKEE
BY CARL D. THOMPSON.
The following is a partial list of the labor measures introduced or put into operation by the Milwaukee Socialist administration:
1. Raised the wages of all the city laborers from $1.75 per day to $2 per day, and thus fixed the minimum scale. 2. Established the trade union scale of wages for all skilled employes of the city.
3. Established the eight-hour workday by ordinance for all public employes, whether working for the city or by contractors employed by the city.
4. Union labor employed exclusively in all departments wherever mechanics are employed.
5. Raised the wages of 132 employes on the Sixteenth Street viaduct to the union scale.
6. Helped to settle the garment workers' strike.
7. Secured the union label on every piece of public printing.
8. Passed an engineers' license ordinance, for which the engineers' union had been fighting for twenty years. This ordinance forces every engineer to pass an examination, thereby elevating the conditions of the engineer and protecting the lives of thousands of working men and women against careless and incompetent workmen.
9. Passed an ordinance licensing every elevator operator in the city. This ordinance forces every operator to pass an examination, thereby elevating the conditions of the operator and protecting the lives of thousands of patrons of elevators every day against careless and incompetent workmen.
10. Under the county administration the Grand Avenue viaduct was built by union labor.
11. Through the influence of the Socialist members of the County Board of Supervisors the new County Agricultural School will be built by union labor in its entirety.
12. Through the influence of the City Purchasing Department the H. H. West and Siekert & Baum printing and bindery establishments were organized.
13. All horseshoeing done only in union shops by order of the Department of Public Works.
14. Secured an addition of two days "offs" for the policemen each month.
15. The new police and fire alarm posts were cast in a union shop and bear the label of the Molders' International Union. And, incidentally, the posts cost $10 apiece less than the next lowest bid of a non-union shop-thus saving the
taxpayers $6,000 on the 600 posts and giving us the union label besides.
16. Wherever possible, this administration has done the work of repair, remodeling and building by direct employment, employing union labor.
17. All sprinkling wagons are now repaired and painted directly by the city by union labor, and for the first time in the history of the city they bear the union label.
18. All street refuse cans bear the label of the Sheet Metal Workers' and Painters' International Unions.
19. Every bridgetender in the city, numbering eightyeight, organized, and where they formerly worked 22 hours in a shift, the majority are now employed on a twelve-hour shift, and all will be placed on a twelve-hour shift as soon as possible. An attempt was made to increase the wages, but this was defeated by the combined Republicans and Democrats to a man voting to kill the increase. By a parliamentary trick they succeeded in laying the matter over for two weeks, thereby defeating the increase.
20. Every fireman, engineer, oiler, coal passer and helper in the city and county buildings now belongs to his respective union. Every man is now carrying a union card. And, besides, the men now have one day off in seven, something never before enjoyed, as they formerly worked seven days per week.
21. The C. F. Comway Company of Chicago bid on the asphalt street paving and was the successful bidder, but the administration was informed that this firm was fighting union labor in Chicago for the past three years. The administration succeeded in persuading this firm to yield to union demands and organize its men, not only in Milwaukee, but also in Chicago, thereby materially assisting the engineers and other trades in the street paving industry.
22. All elevator operators working for the city and county have been organized into a union known as Elevator Operators' Union No. 13803 and affiliated with the Federated Trades Council and the American Federation of Labor.
23. The elevator inspectors were induced to join the union of the elevator constructors of Milwaukee.
24. Garbage and ash collectors have been organized through the assistance of the administration.
25. This administration inaugurated a thorough and systematic factory inspection to insure steady improvement of sanitary conditions of labor.
26. Established a child welfare department to help in the problem of childhood through the teaching and assistance of mothers. Reports printed in all papers.
27. Established a tuberculosis commission to help the people in the fight against that dread disease.
SCHENECTADY MUNICIPAL ADMINISTRATION.
Vote for Mayor in 1911-Lunn elected.
Vote in 1913-Lunn defeated.
Fusion-9136, including Republican, Democrat.
Vote in 1915-Lunn elected.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF LUNN'S FIRST TERM. (From the Mayor's message, February, 1913.) City's Operating Cost Reduced.
"The present administration began its term with a budget some $37,000 larger than the budget of the year 1911, but the budget for 1912 included items for bond redemption and interest, amounting to $60,000 above that for the same item in the budget of 1911, thereby making the 1912 budget actually less in the way of operating cost for the city's business. We were able to do this by cutting expenses at every point possible in the interest of true economy. Superfluous positions were eliminated.
Laborers given another Wage Increase.
"Notwithstanding the increase which was made by the administration at the beginning of 1912, raising the pay of laborers from $1.75 to $2.00 per day, we have made still another advance, so that laborers hereafter shall receive $2.25 per day."
Other definite accomplishments of the administration were the appointment of a maternity and infancy nurse, and the establishment of a municipal lodging house, municipal store, dispensary, dental clinic, and department of chemistry. The milk inspection was reorganized, a board of public welfare was established, and arrangements were made for a garbage disposal plant with collection of garbage and ashes at the city's expense.
5. PROBLEMS OF AMERICAN
RECENT DECISIONS REGARDING THEM.
The Constitution and Platform of the Socialist Party are in every case authoritative regarding specific problems. Space forbids the printing of these herewith, but they always may be obtained from the Socialist Party on application.
In the following pages we mention only a few of the problems upon which opinion within the party has not yet crystallized, or upon which declaration has been made so far by other means than the constitution and platform.
1. POLITICAL VERSUS DIRECT ACTION.
a. Socialist Party.
The following extracts from the Constitution of the S. P. as approved by referendum in 1912 set forth the party attitude in this matter:
"Art. II, Sec. 1. Every person who subscribes to the principles of the Socialist Party, including political action— shall be eligible to membership in the party.
Sec. 6. Any member of the party who opposes political action or advocates crime, sabotage, or other methods of violence as a weapon of the working class to aid in its emancipation shall be expelled from membership in the party. Political action shall be construed to mean participation in elections for public office and practical legislative and administrative work along the lines of the Socialist Party platform."
Section 6 above was opposed by a large minority in the party. Although it was passed by referendum a substitute of contrary import was also passed, but the latter action was declared void by the party authorities.
(Representative party discussions on political action may be found in "The Socialism of To-day," p. 221-228, and on sabotage in pages 381-388 of the same book.)
b. Socialist Labor Party.
"We therefore call upon the wage workers to organize themselves into a revolutionary political organization under the banner of the Socialist Labor Party." (Platform of 1916.)
"Declaration in favor of revolutionary political action of the working class under the Socialist banner, without any fusion or compromise on candidates or Socialist principles, whatever." (Irreducible Minimum of Principles in Basis and Form of Unity, 1916.)
The following extracts from the resolution adopted by the convention of 1912 make clear the official attitude of the Socialist Party regarding labor unions:
1. "That the party has neither the right nor the desire to interfere in any controversies which may exist within the labor-union move