Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

great people of olden times. They were She had endeared herself to the Flemish carried through the streets, and angels people by her goodness and charity. On were represented by children with wings, this tablet it was written that she was of and statues of St. Filomena and the a cheerful disposition, kind to her servVirgin were carried by women all in white. ants, and affable to strangers. In the afternoon the procession was more We saw the beautiful pictures of Mena religious display, guilds and orphanages ching, and our last visit was to the famous taking part, the priest carrying the Relic belfry of Bruges, from which we could see through the streets. Crowds had assem all the country round and look at the wonbled on each side of the procession kneel- derful arrangement of bells whose beautiing as the priest passed by.

ful chimes we had listened to with such We went three times to Ostend and delight. Blankenburg for sea bathing. We thought Our holiday was spent without a drawwe should like to go and see another back; all had been happy and harmonious, country, so we started very early one enjoying every moment of the day. By morning and went for two hours by the being a party of twenty I had got from boat on a long, straight canal, bordered the Burgomaster reduced fares, feed, and with trees such as we see in Dutch pic- trips, and, wonderful to say, the cost of tures, then by train, and across an arm of board and lodging and traveling had been the sea to Flushing and over to Middle- under £3 for each girl for ten days spent burg, where we saw the peasant women in Belgium. going to the Fair in their national cos Nineteen years of the life of our Club tumes.

have brought us many friends and much Besides all these excursions, we had happiness both to the members and to the some delightful days in Bruges. We visited workers. Some disappointments there the Cathedral, where we were shown much must have been ; but they are forgotten that was interesting, among other things in the many good results of our work. the leaden plate found in the stone coffin We can think of the good lives of so under the skull of Grenhild, the sister of many of our girls, whether they are still our King Harold, who, after the death of in the Club or are happily married, who her brother at the battle of Hastings, in are aiming at making their homes come 1066, had come to Bruges vowing herself up to the high standard of their Soho to a virgin life, and died there in 1087. Club.

[graphic][merged small]
[graphic]

The Outlook and the Philippines As this portrait shows, Mr. H. Phelps Whitmarsh is young, but his experience of life in unusual phases has been remarkable. Readers of his vigorous book, “ The World's Rough Hand," know that his adventures have taken him three times around the globe, and that he was five years at sea before he became of age. Then he explored the interior of Australia, engaged in pearl-diving in Borneo, and met with many exciting incidents throughout the East. That he can write picturesquely, forcibly, and attractively. The World's Rough Hand ” proves. Last August Mr. Whitmarsh sailed from San Francisco for Manila as the special representative of The Outlook in the Philippines. He will furnish our readers, in a series of twenty or more special articles, with a clear, impartial, and first-hand account of the people and conditions of the islands as he finds them, and will thus do for the Philippines what Mr. George Kennan has done for Cuba by his two series of letters in The Outlook. The editors of this journal are sure that Mr. Whitmarsh's energy, thoroughness, and skill as a writer will make his articles an exceedingly valuable contribution to American knowledge on a subject of continuous and increasing importance.

AMERICA'S WORKING PEOPLE

BY CHARLES B. SPAHR

unions better led

manned

VIII. The Trades-Union Movement in Chicago Fortunately, the first trade-union leader Wilson I had the pleasure of meeting a English

I talked with in Chicago had been brilliant young editor of the Chicago a union man in England, and “ Record,” Mr. Sikes, who a few years ago

was able to compare the English graduated from the University of Minneunions with the American. The contrast sota, President of his class, and President made was singularly sharp. “ The trades of the Minneapolis printers' union. When union leaders in England,” he said, “ are, Mr. Wilson spoke of the trades-union as a rule, superior to those in America, officials entering different professions in but the rank and file of union men in this this country, I naturally recalled that two country are superior to those in England." of my own acquaintance in New York It was Douglas Wilson, of the International had studied law while at the head of their Machinists, who said this; and when he unions. There are others,” he remarked explained the situation, the sharp con- significantly, showing me a law book in trast, that seemed a paradox, was seen to his desk. be the inevitable summary.

Nothing further was needed to explain Generally," said Mr. Wilson, they

the often boasted superiority

The American have trained men at the head of the Eng unions better of the English trades-union lish unions. Many of them are Scotch

leaders, and a few more words men, whose families have partly educated made equally clear the general superiority them for the ministry or the law, but who of American trades-union membershave been forced to go to work because among whom hope and ambition are comfunds have given out, or something of that possessions. • The trouble with sort." These men, he went on, can never American trades-unions," said Mr. Wilhope to become professional men. The son, “ is that nearly everybody thinks he only field for their ambitions is in their is able to run a union, and therefore critiunion. They can rarely even go into cises and forms combinations against the business for themselves. * Business in men who are in.” Pretty soon the pres. England is all run in old grooves, and it ent officials are ousted, and new ones are is hard for a new firm to start.” Political installed, who in turn give place to others. openings are also relatively rare. There In this way the management of American fore the brightest men remain in the trades-unions suffers from the constant ranks of labor, become leaders, and are changes of officials, just as the manage“ kept in office by their unions year after ment of American district schools suffers year.”

from the constant changes of teachers; but The contrast between these conditions the general intelligence of American unions and those in America hardly needs to be gains by the rotation, just as the general stated. The trades-unions in America intelligence of American school districts are constantly losing at the top. Not only

Not only is increased by the fact that a third of are the ablest members constantly going the families may contain some member into business-as employing printers, cigar- who has taught school. But the changes makers, carpenters, and the like--but the in the management of American unions officials are constantly receiving political is the smallest part of the ferment here appointments or entering the professions. that is lacking in the old country. " In Only a day or two after my talk with Mr. England," said Mr. Wilson, “ there are

mon

attack

men who carry the same union card and trades-union hostility toward machinery, number that their grandfathers carried.” he admitted not only the truth of PresiHere nobody belongs to the same union dent Schwab's charge that English unions as his father, and few expect their sons sometimes struck against new machinery, to have even the same trade with them- but also admitted that he had known Ameriselves. “In England the union is a relig can unions to do the same. The coopers, ion. Women will go to the groggeries on he said, had a long strike against machines pay-day to get from their husbands money for making barrels, and it was finally comto keep up the dues to the union.” This promised by allowing machines to be used chance remark led up to another contrast in making certain barrels and not in makmade between English and American ing others. The cigar-makers had had unionists. “Here," he said, "nearly similar strikes. These strikes he did not every man shows up the morning after attempt to defend. He believed that pay-day, but there lots of the men used opposition to machinery was shortsighted. to have a 'blue' Tuesday as well as “ The more intelligent unions,” he said, Monday. They say it is better now, but especially in trades where a great deal when I was there, the workman who didn't of machinery is used, accept it as inevidrink beer was laughed at. I remember table." He fully recognized, however, the that when one young fellow was converted, fact that trades-unions were as likely as and stopped drinking, an old Yorkshire other organizations to put the employman said of him, “He used to be a ment of their own members above the good workman, but he is naw workman public good, Their hostility to machinery now.' ... There is enough drinking here, was on all fours with the manufacturers' but it is hardly to be mentioned with the hostility to foreign commerce with manudrinking there, where women as well as facturing countries. men go to the public and booze.” Before Mr. Wilson, in his advocacy of tradeshe had finished on this theme he had

The

unions, would only admit that made graphic the official statistics show Socialist they shared in the general selfishing that English working people drink

ness of class organizations; but more than twice as much as American. there were not wanting labor leaders who When summed up, the whole contrast denounced unions as criminal. These between English and American unions labor allies of extreme capitalism were followed closely the lines of the contrast uniformly advocates of extreme Socialism. between English and American society. It was my fate while in Chicago to meet If the organization that is best adminis almost as many Socialists as trades-union. tered is best, the scorn of our English ists, and the enmity shown between them critics may be justified; but if the organi would have been little short of a revelation zation that has the best manhood is best, to those who condemn in the same breath American unionists may smile at Sidney unionism and Socialism. Two days after Webb.

my talk with Mr. Wilson I had a long What Mr. Wilson said about English talk with one of the Socialist leaders, who

and American unions was only a went over with me the feud between his Trades-union

small part of our conversation. selfishness

party and the "pure and simple ”unionists With a frankness that a weaker who exclude partisan political action from man or weaker trades-unionist would not the trades-union's programme. Formerly he have ventured, he went over with me had been a trades-union leader. During the nearly the whole field of trades-union pol. seventies, he said, he and his sympathizers icy. When I criticised the union rules obtained the control of the Chicago Trade regarding apprentices, he shrewdly replied and Labor Assembly, and by their influence that “ lawyers and doctors will not allow in the unions organized a workingmen's men to practice who haven't served an party with a Socialist programme. In 1876 apprenticeship,” and urged that unions they polled 4,000 votes, and by 1879 had had the same right to protect their trades gradually increased their voting strength to against “incompetent men.” He did not 12,000. " Then,” he said, “the Knights however, attempt to deny that the selfish of Labor were admitted to the Assembly motive was at the bottom of the regula with fifteen delegates, solidly Democratic. tions. When I questioned him about the In a year we had to quit. but before quitting

with

meet

carried a motion using up all the funds see how any one who believed that overin the treasury to help a local strike.” production caused hard times could have The German unions seceded with them, answered him. On the question of trusts, and they organized the Central Labor also, these Socialists were in remarkable Union. This body, he explained, remained accord with the extreme conservatives. the champion of Socialism until the An- The trust manipulators themselves could archists got control, when “we Socialists hardly paint in brighter colors the econowere driven out.” During all these years mies of consolidation, or express greater there had been intense hatred between the scorn of attempts to stay the natural Socialist and the conservative unions. course of business. Only on the remote “ Members of German unions have come question of the ultimate remedy did the to me with their heads broken,” said this Socialists break with the capitalists, by Socialist (who is now a lawyer), “and declaring that the control of industry by asked me to prosecute their assailants, the public was the only possible outcome the 'entertainment committee of the of control by monopoly. As I listened to Building Trades Council. I have offered the speeches I realized as never before that to stand the racket if they would, but they on all the immediate economic issueshave always backed down for fear of fur- trades-unionism, bimetallism, monopolyther violence. .. The 'entertainment the extremes of Socialism and capitalism committee' has a lot of thugs, and their supported one another. favorite method of getting rid of non When I went to the headquarters of the unionists is by slugging. .. The courts Methods building trades unions-one of are quite right when they say that violence

the few places in Chicago where is a necessary part of a strike. Unless it is non-unionists it was easy for me to meet worksupported by violence a strike is of no use.” ing people-I naturally talked over the An evening or two later I attended a criticisms of the old leader in the Socialist Socialist meeting, and met several unions.

It was

no surprise to find that Extremes

of the leaders of the Debs faction. the hatred expressed by the Socialists was

Their attitude toward trades returned by the unionists. “The Socialunionism was more moderate, and one of ist unions," I was told, “aren't unions at them spoke patronizingly of trades-unions all. They are just a lot of scabs that beas “ kindergartens” in Socialism. But long to the Socialist party. . . . All that they were all contemptuous of trades. they try to do is to break down real union aims and methods. None of them trades-unions." " But," I inquired, " how saw in trades-unions the beginning of the about the charge that your entertainment democratic control of industry, and all committee'breaks open the heads of nonregarded strikes as a futile weapon.

In

union workmen who attempt to take your their speeches more attention was given to jobs?” “Perfect nonsense,” “ All a lie," belittling the reforms advocated by con were the first answers, but when the conservative unionists than to attacking the versation continued about the work of the aggressions of capitalism. Nothing but "entertainment committee” it was adridicule, for example, was accorded to the mitted that when the committee waited on belief that falling prices were at the bot- non-unionists it might sometimes threaten tom of the business stagnation and the to fix them, ... just for a bluff," and in growth of the army of the unemployed." case of a quarrel "somebody might get It was “over-production,” said the prin his head punched.” By this time it was cipal speaker, and he quoted at length easy enough to see that the Socialist charges the statistics of capitalistic writers ex had not been made out of whole cloth, aggerating the recent economies due and that while the unions formally opto machinery. Only when he came to posed terrorism because it made them unhis remedy did this extreme Socialist popular with all classes, there were plenty break with the extreme conservatives. of unionists who had more faith in vioHe believed, with logical consistency, lence than in kindliness. I afterwards that unemployment must continue to learned from a former unionist, who was increase until public ownership increased still in sympathy with unionism, that cases consumption to keep pace with the in of “ slugging” were frequent in the buildcrease in production. It was not easy to ing trades a few years ago-- the guilty

« PredošláPokračovať »