ORGANIZED LABOR'S SUMMARY OF THE WORK OF THE LAST CONGRESS ON BILLS "RECOGNIZED AS LABOR MEASURES"

Organized Labor's Summary of the Work of the Last Congress on Bills "Recognized as Labor Measures" ORGANIZED LABOR was interested in many bills before the last Congress. Some of these measures...

...And speaking for the labor unions, Representative William B. Wilson of "Pennsylvania made the following summary of labor legislation in the House, in a speech near the close of the session: House Action on "Labor Bills" A MONG THE BILLS recognized as labor measures passed by this House areó "First...
...For more than thirty years there has been a tendency on the part of the equity courts to assume legislative power and to declare by injunction certain acts to be criminal during labor disputes that are not criminal at other times, and then try men for committing these crimes without the protection of a trial by jury...
...This policy endangers the lives and property entrusted to their care...
...Others passed in the Senate and were pigeon-holed in the committee rooms of the House (The two bills in this category listed by the labor leaders are the workmen's compensation bill and the immigration bill...
...9. Extension of Federal compensation for injuries act...
...Sixth...
...Applause on the Democratic side...
...The investigation of the Taylor and other systems of so-called scientific shop management in order that the workingman might be protected against speeding up beyond his normal power...
...8. Children's bureau bill...
...7. Phosphorus match bill...
...Twelfth...
...The seamen's bill to give freedom to the seamen, provide a standard of skill for seamanship, promote safety of travel at sea, and equalize the operating expenses of foreign vessels with American vessels, so as to build up an American merchant marine without resorting to subsidies...
...That is contrary to the spirit of Democracy, and this House has put its stamp of disapproval on such usurpation on the part of the courts by the passage of the anti-injunction bill...
...Industrial Relations Commission...
...It is only when it comes to a division of that which has been produced that their interests diverge...
...Some of these measures passed the House and failed of passage in the Senate...
...A provision in the Post Office appropriation bill removing from post-office employees the gag rule which has been applied by executive order, issued by President Roosevelt and broadened by President Taft...
...Third...
...The contempt bill, to provide a trial by jury in the cases of indirect contempt when the acts alleged to have been committed in violation of the orders of the court are of a criminal character, which would otherwise be tried by a judge and jury in our law courts...
...Thirteenth...
...This act alone will reduce the hours of labor of hundreds of thousands of workmen, directly or indirectly employed by or for the Government, giving greater opportunity for rest, recreation, and mental development to those who are affected by it...
...These are recited by the legislative committee of the American Federation of Labor as follows: 1. Rights of hearing, petition, and association restored to post-office employees...
...It can not be said that the interests of capital and labor are identical, but they have a mutual interest in securing the largest possible production with the same expenditure of labor...
...The Children's Bureau bill, to promote the welfare of children and to devise means whereby the necessities of the parents can not be used to retard the development of the children, who are the citizens of to-morrow...
...Seventeenth...
...Eighteenth...
...The Bureau of Mines bill, to widen the scope of the Bureau of Mines so that it may be better able to develop methods of preventing accidents in mines and have greater efficiency in rescue work when accidents occur, not only in the coal-mining industry, but in the mineral and miscellaneous mines as well...
...2. Popular election of Senators...
...Eighth...
...5. Eight hours in the naval bill...
...Second...
...An eight-hour provision in the naval appropriation bill making the eight-hour work-day apply to workmen employed under the current appropriations...
...It has been shown by the testimony before the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee that masters and mates have frequently been required to work twenty-four hours, and in some instances as high as sixty hours, continuously without a rest...
...The character of the bills passed by both Houses, and made laws, as well at the headway given by Democrats and Progressive Republicans to other measures that failed to pass, indicate that "the voice of Labor is beginning to find an echo in Congress...
...Still other measures passed both Houses of Congress, were signed by the President and ARE NOW LAWS...
...The anti-injunction bill, to protect workingmen during the period of trade disputes, and to give to them the same protection in the courts that other men enjoy...
...Sixteenth...
...The convict-labor bill requiring the sale of convict-made goods to conform to the laws relative to convict-made goods in the States in which they are sold...
...The bill to extend the provisions of the compensation-for-in-jury act to the employees of the Bureau of Mines...
...6. Eight hours for letter carriers and clerks in post-offices...
...Nineteenth...
...The phosphorus-match bill to protect the health of workers in the match industry...
...The manager who can not secure a proper amount of production without speeding up his workmen beyond a normal and safe rate is not even an efficient manager, let alone a scientific one, and can only be classed as a man driver...
...Fifth...
...The industrial-commission bill to investigate the entire subject of industrial relations between employer and employee, with a view of ascertaining the best methods of dealing with industrial disputes, so as to protect the rights of all persons directly or indirectly interested...
...Fifteenth...
...The eight-hour bill extending the operations of the eight-hour law to work done for the Government as well as work done by the Government...
...There are many States which provide by their laws that all prison-made goods shall be branded as such, and yet when these goods have been made in one State and shipped into another for sale they have not been branded in accordance with the laws of the state into which they have been shipped...
...i. Eight hours in the fortification bill...
...Twentieth...
...The bill passed by this House fixes the employment of masters and mates at nine hours while in a safe harbor and to 12 hours while at sea, a restriction which everyone must admit is in the interest of safety as well as of humane treatment to masters and mates...
...The masters' and mates' bill to reduce the hours of masters and mates, making it impossible to require them to continue on duty for indefinite periods, as has been the case in the past...
...Free circulation of trade union and fraternal publications (Dodds amendment...
...It seems strange, but it is nevertheless true, that Theo-dore Roosevelt, who has been traveling over the country for months parading himself as the friend of the common people, the farmer, the wageworker, was the first President of the United States to issue an executive order denying to the wageworkers employed by the Government the right of petitioning Congress for redress of their grievance* unless their petitions had been passed upon and received the approval or consent of the heads of the departments, who may have been responsible for the grievances complained of...
...An eight-hour provision included in the fortification bill to apply to civilians engaged in the manufacture of ordnance and powder for the Government...
...3. General eight-hour bill...
...The shortening of the work day therefore means the giving of employment to thousands of those who are now among the unemployed, giving them an opportunity of earning a livelihood which they do not now have, and that means not only a sandwich, but a full meal...
...The dredge workers' eight-hour bill, to remedy a decision of the Supreme Court that men engaged in dredging work in our rivers and harbors are not laborers and mechanics, but seamen, and therefore did not come within the provision of the general eight-hour law...
...That is true scientific shop management which secures a larger production with the same expenditure of labor power...
...The Department of Labor bill, creating a department with a Secretary who shall be a member of the Presi-dent's Cabinet, and who shall have the power of mediation in trade disputes and the right to appoint conciliators in such cases when, in his judgment, it is wise to do so, and while his good offices may be used for the purpose of bringing the contending parties together, he shall have no power to enforce his own views upon either of them...
...Samuel Gompers issued an official statement expressing appreciation of "the work done in the interest of labor and humanity" by the Democrats and Progressive Republicans...
...A provision in the naval appropriation bill requiring all coal purchased for the use of the Navy to be mined on an eight-hour workday...
...Fourteenth...
...It has been said on the floor of this House that the labor measures we have passed would not give an additional sandwich to any wageworker...
...customers have been deceived, and unfair competition maintained with the products of free labor...
...Fourth...
...An eight-hour provision in the Post Office appropriation bill for post-office clerks and letter carriers...
...This provision would make it possible for postal employees to bring their grievances to Congress without fear of being discharged for doing so...
...Ninth...
...This bill will remedy that defect and remove a part of this illegitimate competition with free workmen and the manufacturers who employ them "Tenth...
...It will do more than that...
...While men working an eight-hour work day can naturally be more efficient per hour than when working ten hours, it has never been contended that men can accomplish as much in eight hours as they can in ten...
...Seventh...
...Eleventh...
...The bill to give to official papers of trades unions and fraternal organizations second-class mail privileges...

Vol. 4 • October 1912 • No. 40


 
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