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the Union Pacific, each department in a division of the road would elect its own members of the employes' council. There are five of these divisions and three departments in every division. The operating-men, the yard and section-men, and the machinists of the division would, therefore, under this arrangement, choose a given number of representatives. If one such representative was chosen to each hundred employes in the permanent service those thus selected would constitute a division council. To perfect the organization, without disturbing the necessary work of the company, each of these division councils would then select certain (say, for example, three) of their number, representing the mechanical, the operating and the permanent way departments, and these delegates from each of the departments would, at certain periods of the year, to be provided for by the articles of organization, all meet together at the headquarters of the company in Omaha. The central council, under the system here suggested, would consist of fifteen men, that is, one representing each of the three departments of the five-several divisions. These fifteen men would represent the employes. It would be for them to select a board of delegates, or small executive committee, to confer directly with the president and board of directors. Here would be found the organization through which the voice of the employes would make itself heard and felt in matters which directly affect the rights of employes.

"There is no reason whatever for supposing that, within the limits which have been indicated, such an organization would lead to difficulty. On the contrary, where it did not remove a difficulty it might readily be made to open a way out of it. The employes, feeling that they, too, had rights which the company frankly recognized and was bound to respect, would, in all cases of agitation, proceed through the regular machinery, which brought them into easy and direct contact with the highest authority in the company's service. They would not, therefore, be driven into outside organizations. Meanwhile, on the other hand, the highest officers of the company, including the president and the board of directors, would be brought into immediate

relations with the representatives of the employes on terms of equality. Each would have an equal voice in the management of common interests; and it would only remain to make provisions for arriving at a solution of questions in case of deadlock. This would naturally be done by the appointment of a permanent. arbitrator.

"Could such a system as that which has been suggested be devised and put into practical operation, there is reason to hope that the difficulties which have hitherto occurred between the great railroad companies and those in their pay would not occur in future."

The general principle of Mr. Adams' plan for the "prevention of railroad strikes" is that of the first and chief sections of the law of 1887, creating this Board and "providing for the amicable adjustment of grievances and disputes that may arise between employers and employes." Those sections do not contemplate any original action whatever by the Board, but prescribe and make lawful the manner in which employers and employes may establish a board of arbitrators of their own, whose decision shall be filed with the clerk of the county in which arbitration takes place, and, together with the testimony taken, with this Board. Either party to the arbitration may appeal from the decision rendered within ten days to the Board, whose duty is is made to "hear and consider appeals from the decisions of local boards, and promptly to proceed to the investigation of such cases, and the decision of said Board thereon shall be final and conclusive in the premises, upon both parties to the arbitration." This plan of settlement of grievances and disputes provided by the law of 1887 is for the voluntary acceptance and use of employers and employes. Why should it not be made compulsory upon all corporations created by the State for public service? "Railroad corporations," says the Court of Appeals of the State of New York, "hold their property and exercise their franchises for the public benefit, and are, therefore, subject to legislative control." There are three principal parties in the premises: First, the people of the State of New York, who create railroad corpora

26 SIXTH REPORT, BOARD OF MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION.

tions primarily for their own benefit; second, the railroad corporations thus created; and, third, the men who operate the railroads. The State, as the first and principal party, possessed of undoubted power, should see to it that the other two parties agree in subserving the ends for which the railroad corporations are created, voluntarily, if they will, and compulsory, if they will not. The people should be protected in their right to the public service for which they have created the railroad corporations. And the State, having provided a plan for the settlement of grievances and disputes between railroad corporations and their employes, should compel its use by those parties, and, in case they cannot agree, step in itself and settle all matters in controversy between them.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

WM. PURCELL,

GILBERT ROBERTSON, Jr.,

F. F. DONOVAN,

State Board of Mediation and Arbitration.

CHARLES J. MADDEN,

Secretary.

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STATEMENT

OF THE

Most Important Labor Disputes from November 1 1891, to October 31, 1892.

BUILDING TRADES.

General.

During the year ending October 31, 1892, nearly 200 building trades strikes and lockouts were brought to the attention of the Board, and in nearly every instance the difficulty was caused by the refusal of the employer to pay union rates of wages, the employment of non-union workmen or the use of material manufactured in non-union shops. The various trades represented in the Board of Walking Delegates of the Building Trades of New York city and in the Building Trades Council of Brooklyn frequently took united action to secure redress of grievances of one class of workmen, and more than one-third of the building trades strikes were of this character. One of the most important of these strikes was caused by a disagreement between the cabinet makers' and carpenters' organizations, the latter claiming that the cabinet makers employed by a certain contractor in New York city were doing work which properly belonged to the carpenters' trade. The walking delegates of the carpenters' unions presented their complaint to the Board of Walking Delegates, and on the eighteenth of February that body requested the contractor to either discharge his cabinet makers or pay them three dollars and fifty cents per day, and otherwise place them on an equal footing with the carpenters. He refused to comply with this request, and a strike was ordered in his shop at Thirty-third street and Ninth avenue, on two hotel buildings in course of erection on

Fifth avenue, and on a building at the corner of Broadway and Fifty-first street. Over 1,000 workmen, including carpenters, painters, marble cutters, derrickmen, tilelayers, tilelayers' helpers, gasfitters, mosaic workers, tin and sheet-iron workers, laborers and members of other building trades, went on strike. On the nineteenth of February the hod-hoisting engineers were also ordered out, and the bricklayers were then compelled to stop work. On the first of March representatives of the carpenters' and cabinet makers' unions entered into negotiations which resulted in an amicable adjustment of their differences, and the cabinet makers and woodcarvers employed in the contractor's shop to the number demand three dollars and fifty cents per day for eight hours' work. Accordingly, on the third of March the cabinet makers and woodcarvers employed in the contractor's shop to the number of about 125 went on strike. On that day a committee of the Board of Walking Delegates waited upon the contractor and conferred with him in reference to the questions in dispute, and, after considering the matter for a few hours, the contractor notified them that he would grant their demands. The strike was then declared off and work was resumed the next day.

Five engineers, who were in the employ of a hod-hoisting company, returned to work while the strike was pending, and the Board of Walking Delegates threatened to stop all work of this company if these engineers were not discharged. They, nevertheless, continued to work on the buildings after the strike had been settled, and the hod-hoisting company refused to discharge them. For this reason the strike was renewed on the twentyfirst of March, and the workmen who were employed in the contractor's shop and on the two hotel buildings stopped work. They numbered about 400 and included carpenters, cabinet makers, woodcarvers, machine woodworkers, framers, varnishers and electric wiremen. The next day other building trades joined in the strike, which extended to the building at Broadway and Fifty-first street. The Board of Walking Delegates of New York city and the Building Trades Council of Brooklyn subsequently ordered a strike against all contractors in the two cities who were using engines belonging to this hod-hoisting company. By

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