Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/1063

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1037
STRIKES AND LOCK-OUTS
Another force was soon involved in the strike, which was, very

naturally, an ally of the Pullman Company. This was the General Managers' Association, a body of railway men representing all the roads, twenty-four in number, radiating from Chicago, and it was said to be the necessity of protecting the traffic of its lines that brought about its struggle with the American Railway Union. These roads represented a combined capital of more than $2,000,000,000, and they employed more than one-fourth of all the railway employees in the United States. These three great forces, therefore, were engaged in a battle for supremacy, and that rivalry alone, without reference to the conditions and circumstances attending the strike or accompanying it, makes this one of the historic strikes of the period.

According to the testimony of the officials of the railways involved, they lost in property destroyed, hire of United States deputy marshals and other incidental expenses, at least $685,308. The loss of earnings of these roads on account of the strike is estimated at nearly $5,000,000. About 3100 employees at Pullman lost in wages, as estimated, probably $350,000. About 100,000 employees upon the twenty-four railways radiating from Chicago, all of which were more or less involved in the strike, lost in wages, as estimated, nearly $1,400,000. Beyond these amounts very great losses, widely distributed, were suffered incidentally throughout the country. The suspension of transportation at Chicago paralysed a vast distributive centre, and imposed many hardships and much loss upon the great number of people whose manufacturing and business operations, employment, travel and necessary supplies depend upon and demand regular transportation to, from and through Chicago. The losses to the country at large are estimated by Bradstreets to be in the vicinity of $80,000,000. Whatever they are, whether more or less, they teach the necessity of preventing such disasters, and the strike illustrates how a small local disturbance, arising from the complaints of a few people, can affect a whole country. When the American Railway Union took up the cudgels for the Pullman strikers and declared their boycott against Pullman cars, and the General Managers' Association took every means to protect their interests and prevent the stoppage of transportation, the sympathies and antagonisms of the whole country were aroused. An unsuccessful attempt was made to induce all trades in Chicago to join in a great sympathetic strike.

The inevitable accompaniments of a great strike were brought into play at Chicago. Riots, intimidations, assaults, murder, arson and burglary, with lesser crimes, attended the strike. In this, as in some of the other historic strikes, troops were engaged. The city police, the county sheriffs, the state militia, United States deputy marshals and regulars from the United States army were all brought into the controversy. The United States troops were sent to Chicago to protect Federal property and to prevent obstruction in the carrying of the mails, to prevent interference with interstate commerce, and to enforce the decrees and mandates of the Federal courts. They took no part in any attempt to suppress the strike, nor could they, as such matters belong to the city and state authorities. The police of the city were used to suppress riots and protect the property of citizens, and the state militia was called in for the same service. The total of these forces employed during the strike was 14,186.

Many indictments and law-suits originated in the difficulties occurring in Chicago. But all the attending circumstances of the strike point to one conclusion—that a share of the responsibility for bringing it on belongs in some degree to each and every party involved. The strike generated a vast deal of bitter feeling—so bitter that neither party was ready to consider the rights of the other. The attacking parties claimed that their grievances warranted them in adopting any means in their power to force concessions. This is the attitude of all strikers. The other parties, on the other hand, claimed that they were justified in adopting any means in their power to resist the demands of the attacking party. The probability is that neither recognized the rights of the public to such an extent as to induce them to forbear bringing inconvenience and disturbance to it. It was the most suggestive strike that has ever occurred in the United States, and if it only proves a lesson sufficiently severe to teach the public its rights in such matters, and to teach it to adopt measures to preserve these rights, it will be worth all it cost. It was unsuccessful, and resulted

ultimately in the downfall of the American Railway Union.
The so-called steel strike of the year 1901 was a contest between

the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers and The Steel Strike, 1901. the United States Steel Corporation. It began on the first day of July, and lasted until the 15th of September 1901, when work was resumed in accordance with an adjustment agreed to on the 13th of the latter month. The difficulty grew out of an attempt to adjust a sliding scale of wages with some of the constituent companies of the United States Steel Corporation, a new company having $1,404,000,000 capitalization. This corporation was perfected after the difficulties really began, so the Amalgamated Association ultimately had to confront the new powerful corporation. The real nut of the difficulty was not a question of wages, hours of labour, or rules or conditions of

work, but a contest for recognition of the right of the association
to demand the unionizing of mills, a demand, of course, which was

positively refused by the United States Steel Corporation. There were no grievances, as intimated; it was clearly and solely a conflict on the demand for recognition in the trade-union sense, and it was the first great struggle in the United States that was conducted solely on this issue. This issue has been contested many times, but usually in conjunction with some grievance or complicated with some demand as to wages or other economic conditions. The result was that the Amalgamated Association did not secure the terms demanded; and it lost further, because some of the mills which were subject to the union's rules were taken out and made non-union mills. The strike was conducted without any of the dramatic and tragic circumstances which attended the Homestead affair in 1892, in which the Amalgamated Association was one of the parties. In the contest of 1901 the association did not have the hearty endorsement of a large number of workmen, as it was not a movement to redress any grievance. It was fought for a principle, but the movers did not consider the power against which they were obliged to contend. Officers of the Amalgamated Association estimated that the number of men out of employment during the strike averaged 30,000 per day. At a conservative estimate there must have been a loss of more than $4,000,000 in wages. The steel company through its officers claimed that it experienced no great loss as the result of the strike.

A strike affecting more individual interests than any preceding it was the anthracite coal strike of 1902, which formally began Coal Strike, 1902. on the 12th of May. It was ordered at a convention held at Hazleton, Pa., on the 15th of May, by a vote of 461 to 349. The leaders of the miners, with one or two exceptions, opposed the strike. It was therefore a strike of the workers themselves. Grievances had existed in the anthracite coal region for many years, but more especially since the strike of 1900. An attempt was made in 1901 to secure some concessions, but the operating railways declined even to enter into a conference. This, of course, caused irritation, and constant appeals were made to the officers of the union to make new demands, and failing to secure concessions, to organize a strike. The demands of the miners were as follows: (1) An increase of 20% to those miners who are paid by the ton; (2) a reduction of 20% in the time of per diem employees; (3) that 2240 lb constitute the ton on which payment is made for coal mined by weight. No grievances were presented. The powder question was practically settled in 1900. The miners' demands being rejected by the operators, the demands were subsequently reduced one-half; i.e. 10% increase per ton where mining is paid by the ton, and 10% decrease in the working day. The miners also voted to leave the whole matter to arbitration and investigation, and to accept the results. They were willing to make a three years' contract on the terms proposed. The fundamental difficulty on the part of the operators related to efforts to secure and preserve discipline. They claimed that every concession already made had defeated this. The strike involved nearly 150,000 employees, and affected the consumers of anthracite coal throughout

the eastern states.
After the most strenuous efforts of both parties to this strike,

the president of the United States, at the request of the great coal operators and the officers of the Miners' Union, appointed a commission to adjust their differences, and after five months of hearings, listening to nearly six hundred witnesses, the commission submitted an award which was to be in effect three years from the 1st of April 1903. Both parties had agreed to abide by the award, whatever it might be. After the three years had expired, that is, the 31st of March 1906, the miners concluded to strike again, but after some negotiations both parties again unanimously agreed to extend the award made by the commission for three years more, i.e. until the 31st of March 1909.

After the coal strike of 1902 many very important disturbances occurred. There was one among the silver miners at Cripple Creek, Colorado, 1894, at Leadville, 1896-1897, at Lake City, 1899, and at Telluride in 1901; also another at Colorado City in 1903. All these strikes were attended with a great deal of violence, the militia was ordered out, many murders took place, and in three counties of Colorado there was a reign of terror, but on the whole the strikes were unsuccessful. The Western Federation of Miners was seriously crippled in these affairs.

It is gratifying to note the reduction in the number of strikes as shown by recent statistics. In 1903 the number of establishments was 20,248, but it had dropped to 8292 in 1905.

Authorities.—U. S. Commissioner of Labor, Twenty-first Annual Report (1906); reports of various State Bureaus of Labor Statistics; Pennsylvania Bureau of Industrial Statistics, Twentieth Annual Report (1892); U.S. House of Representatives, “Employment of Pinkerton Detectives at Homestead, Pa.,” Report No. 2447, 52nd Congress, 2nd Session (1892); United States Strike Commission, Report on Chicago Strike, Senate Ex. Doc. No. 7, 53rd Congress, 3rd Session (1894); “The Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers,” Quarterly Report of Economics for November 1901; Industrial Evolution of United States, chs. xxv. and xxvi.; Report of

the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission; U.S. Bulletin of Labor (May