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8293.10 LABOR BULLETIN
NATIONAL TRADES ASSOCIATIONS.
PRICES OF FOOD IN CANADA AND MASSACHUSETTS-BORN LIVING IN
LABOR LEGISLATION. RELIGIOUS CANVASS OF BOSTON.
RECENT LEGAL LABOR DECISIONS. CURRENT COMMENT.
PREPARED AND EDITED BY THE
BUREAU OF STATISTICS OF LABOR.
CHAS. F. PIDGIN, Chief.
18 Post OFFICE SQUARE.
NATIONAL TRADES ASSOCIATIONS, ..
Introduction, . . . ..
Boston Labor Bureau, . . .
and citizens, . . . . . . . . . . . MASSACHUSETTS-BORN LIVING IN OTHER STATES, . .
INDU SORIAL BETTERMENTS, . . .
S. M. Jones Company, Toledo, Ohio, .
Thomas G. Plant Company, Roxbury, Massachusetts,
Number of persons reporting church preference, .
Church attendance, . . . . . .
Employer and employee, .
Child labor, .
Carriage and cab drivers,
Cigar box makers, ...
Bottlers and drivers, .
Bartenders, . ..
Failures in Massachusetts — Employees in Electric Light and Power Stations
- Strikes in France - Wages in Italy - Leather School in London - Boot
The tendency of contemporaneous practice in the direction of concentration of action through organization, in the adjustment of differences between employer and employee, is exemplified in the numerous comparatively recent movements among establishments in various lines of manufacture, looking to the formation of associations having the power to act in the interest of individual members, with the assurance of the support of all of their constituents.
The underlying sentiment which actuates the members of these organizations is that the union movement among the working classes needs to be met by “ powerful, well-disciplined, and broad-minded organizations of employers.” *
The literature of most of these organizations is temperate and conservative in discussing the labor situation of to-day; the right of workingmen to organize, and even the desirability of such action, is admitted.
They recognize the evolution of the workman from the position where he labored alongside his employer and could at any time express his dissatisfaction with the order of things, if any were felt, to his position of to-day, when, in the service of corporations and great combinations of production, his chances for obtaining a hearing and securing redress for his grievances are becoming more and more uncertain.t
The workingman's efforts to better his condition by emulating his employer in combining with his fellows for mutual benefit and protection are not condemned. From the employers' side, however, it is claimed that the immediate result of this combination has taught the workman the force of organized action, and that the acquisition of power by a class hitherto totally unused to it, combined in some cases with misguided leadership, 1 may have led to many excesses and abuses, which could only be averted by the organizing of employers.
* The National Metal Trades Association: What It Is, p. 19. † The Employment Bureau. J. C. Hobart, p. 4. | Ibid., p. 4.
The transition of labor movements from local organization to national combination has been paralleled by the experience of these trades associations; and no greater tribute to the successful organization of the working classes can be paid than by the admission, in an address by one of the best thinkers among employers of labor (Mr. J. C. Hobart, of the Triumph Electric Company, Cincinnati, Ohio), that organized labor is " probably the most perfect organization known." He urges that employers are poorly equipped at the outset if their organization is inferior to that of the labor element,” and he insists that the former " must form strong locals in each trade, unite into national organizations, and affiliate those nationals into the American Federation of Employers,” * precisely along the lines blazed by the labor organizations.
Mr. Frederick P. Bagley, in an address before the National Conference on Industrial Conciliation, under the auspices of the National Civic Federation, at Chicago, December 17 and 18, 1900, said : " The rapacity and cupidity of employers have forced labor to organize to protect the individual. The extreme action of organized labor has made necessary organization of employers ... in order that the rights of the individual manufacturer may be preserved ;” † and he claims that as a result of these movements - there is a mutual regard for each other's rights, born of a respect for the power that each knows lies latent in the other's organization.” [ This is confirmed in the case of one of the first manufacturers' national associations formed, the organization of the men and the organization of employers having modified each other and prevented extremes on either side. The same speaker said that: “ Each requires the other to maintain an equilibrium. No one class can be trusted to represent the interests and lawful rights of another ... because it could not comprehend its wants, desires, and aspirations."
Mr. Bagley also said that: “ In industrial adjustments the necessity for organizations of employers is already felt by labor leaders as well as by advanced employers themselves;” and his prediction that “the next great change in the evolution in the relationship of labor to capital will be the organization of employers, not for aggression, but to modify and co-operate with organizations of labor,” seems to be in the way of fulfilment, when compared with the official declarations of many of the recently organized manufacturing interests that the object of such associations is "to secure and preserve equitable conditions in the workshops of our members whereby the interests of both employer and employee shall be properly protected.”
These organizations of employers have grown in number and membership very rapidly during the past two years, and are variously known as Trades' Associations, Citizens Alliances, Employers' Councils, and Employers' Associations ; but whatever they may be called, they simply represent the organization of employers to meet the demands of the labor
element, as indicated in the foregoing explanations of the aims and nature of these associations.
The first organization of this nature was the Stove Founders' National Defense Association, originated in 1886, with a membership of perhaps 40 out of a possible 225 stove manufacturers, and which has successfully maintained industrial peace through arbitration since its formation. The arbitration committee consists of three employers and three workmen. The membership of this association has increased since its formation, and the defense fund is now so large that the admission of establishments to membership is at a very high cost to themselves, as they are required to pay into the defense or reserve fund in proportion to the amount previously paid in.
The organization of the National Founders’ Association in New York January 26, 1898, followed, and this body is strongly active at the present time. The headquarters were subsequently removed to Detroit, Michigan, where they are located at the present time. The membership embraces 495 establishments, and, in addition, 42 branches located away from the main offices. The word " member,” as used herein, covers the membership of a firm or corporation composed of one or more persons.
For purposes of administration, the territory covered by this Association is divided into eight districts, each of which has a District Committee, which elects its own chairman and vice-chairman ; and these officers from all the districts, together with the president, vicepresident, and treasurer of the Association, constitute the Administration Council.
The districts are as follows:
1. The New England States.
3. Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Dis. trict of Columbia.
4. Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
5. Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and Cali. fornia.
6. Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.
7. Provinces of Ontario and Quebec in the Do. minion of Canada.
8. Virginia, West Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.
On August 21, 1899, the National Metal Trades Association was formed, with headquarters in New York. Later they removed to Cincinnati and opened for business June 9, 1902. An extended notice of this organization is given, because it probably exhibits more generally the latest phases of the new movement among employers than any other association formed for similar purposes. The two organizations previously mentioned served as a guide for the formation of this one, in fact, it was projected by manufacturers who were members of the National Founders' Association, and who wished to extend the influence and methods of the latter to additional departments of their business where were employed artisans other than foundrymen.