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and blind to their own best interests. Or, perhaps, they are like the
In closing its report, this Committee would like to emphasize the
The other day a bright looking colored boy went into a grocery store and asked the proprietor if he might use the telephone. The storekeeper gave his permission and heard this conversation: “Is dis Mis' Jones? * * Well, Mis’ Jones, does yuh all need a boy to do de chores an' run errands up to yoh place? Yuh all is sure dat yuh is satisfied wid de boy what yuh got? — Den dey ain't no chance foh to git myself a job? — Well, ahm sorry, Mis' Jones, Good-bye.” The boy left the 'phone, grinning broadly, and the grocer, who had been favorably impressed, said, “Look here boy, I'll give you a job running errands.” “ Thank yuh, boss, but ah doan need no job. Ah works foh Mis' Jones — ah was jes checkin' myself up."
Now, let's all check ourselves up, and make sure that we're doing justice to this job. If everyone whose success depends in whole or in part on the electric railway industry would lend his strength and influence to the cause, the electric railways would get what they want most — a chance to work out their own problems unhampered by adverse public opinion, unburdened by oppressive taxation, unmolested by destructive competition and free from freak legislation.
P. N. JONES,
E. F. WickWIRE, Chairman.
PRESIDENT TODD :- Is there any discussion of this report of Mr. Wickwire's on Cooperation with Manufacturers? I am sure we have all been very much interested in the report.
The next item will be the report of the Committee on Mail Pay, L. H. Palmer, Assistant to President, United Railways & Electric Co., Baltimore, Md., Chairman.
REPORT OF THE MAIL PAY COMMITTEE To the American Electric Railway Association:
GENTLEMEN : Since the progress report your Committee made at the last Convention, we have been engaged in carrying on the work of preparing for the presentation of our case for increased mail revenue before the Interstate Commerce Commission. It was not until March, 1922, that the joint blanks on behalf of the Post Office Department and your Association were put in the mail and sent to mail carrying companies. Since then, a number of returns have been made, and we are engaged in having the data contained therein tabulated and put in shape for use. It is a matter of regret and chagrin to us, however, to see the manner in which these blank forms have been filled out. Detailed and carefully thought-out explanations and directions were sent with the data sheets, because we realized they were complicated, but, notwithstanding this, many serious errors have been made, necessitating much additional work and correspondence on the part of our Counsel in getting the necessary correct information. Where errors were found we have taken them up with the Company concerned and had them corrected. The coming year ought to see the completion of the tabulations and the presentation of our case before the Interstate Commerce Commission.
In closing, we might say that the calculations we have been able to complete to date indicate to our minds that we can prove we are entitled to a further substantial increase in mail pay rates.
C. L. S. TINGLEY,
PRESIDENT TODD : You have heard the report of the Mail Pay Committee. Is there any further discussion? If not, we will go back to the report of the Committee on Cooperation with Manufacturers. Mr. Morgan, do you desire to discuss that report?
C. E. MORGAN:- Referring to the mud hole mentioned in Mr. Wickmire's report, I think that we all realize that it is up to the management of railways to at least furnish the cement and tools so as to help the manufacturers fill the mud holes.
In discussing the Committee's report, I would say that the report should cause the manager of every electric railway company to ask himself these questions:
What have I done in the way of rendering assistance to these manufacturers or to their Committee ?
Have I given the manufacturers located or represented in the territory served by my Company the necessary ammunition to enable them to work among their employes, clubs, Chambers of Commerce and other bodies in our interest?
What have I done within our own organization to create the spirit of cooperation among individuals in departments and with the public, so that our organization will be working with the all-together spirit and move as a unit in efficiently accomplishing the desired results.
How can the manufacturers or other bodies bring about these results if we do not cooperate with them?
The railway officials, the Committee reports, are making inquiries of the representatives of the manufacturers as to what their Companies are doing to assist in spreading such education among their associates and employes.
Can the operating official, with all sincerity, expect any such activity if he knows in his own heart that he is simply resting on his oars and waiting for his friends to help him, making no effort to put his own house in order by properly schooling his own forces.
The manufacturers or their Committee hesitate to offer any criticism of the methods or policies employed by the railway companies, fearing the displeasure of the officials and thereby jeopardizing friendly relations. Yet these same officials are human and like to have nice things said to them about their property or their methods. Sensing this feeling on the part of the manufacturers, we should not only ask what activity they are putting forward but ask them also:
“What can we do to help you?”
Consider the case of an ex-employe of a manufacturing company who has received the benefit of the work of the manufacturer, having been taught to respect and appreciate the railway service in his city. This same ex-employe enters the service of an electric railway and immediately he will begin to ask questions of the older employes, having in mind some of the lessons he had learned from his former employer. What does he think when he finds that his fellow employes of the Railway Company know little or nothing of the objects that are to be attained ?
Consider, too, the case of a former employe of a railway company which has given no attention to this important matter and who enters the service of a manufacturer who has been and is continually bringing forward the necessities of the railway service. The employes of this manufacturer will naturally turn to this former railway employe to secure additional information, to check up, and to ascertain if what they had previously been told were facts. The small amount of information obtained in answer to these questions and the mental attitude of the former railway employe will sometimes cause the manufacturer's employes at least to question the importance of the subject, if not the truth of the statements which have been made to him by his own company's representatives.
Picture the factory employes leaving work and boarding one of the cars of the transportation company after having just listened to a talk or reading a shop bulletin pertaining to this same electric railway. With this on his mind, he asks the conductor or motorman or some other employe of the railway company about this or that. To his surprise he finds that the railway's representative does not understand what he is talking about and is unable to give him any information, other than perhaps that which concerns his immediate duties in connection with the operation of his car. This factory employe then will begin to discount the good work that had been done by the manufacturer. His or her thought will be:
“Why should I worry about it or why should my people be putting forth this propaganda if the railway company does not think well enough of it to cause their own men to be conversant with these facts?”
Remember, gentlemen, there is no,“ just as good ” substitute for good will, when lost. It can sometimes be regained by expending a large amount of time, labor and money. Bear in mind that there is no public utility that has opportunities comparable with the electric railway in that the employes, such as conductors, motormen, inspectors and agents, are in daily contact with a greater number of the population of the community served than the employes of any other utility. This being the case, had we not better check up ourselves like the little colored boy described in the report of the Committee. Keep in touch with the car rider and learn whether we are serving him to his satisfaction. To gain good will and keep it, we must use the forces at our command. We must not only provide ammunition for the manufacturers, but we must be the largest users of that ammunition; first, with our employes, as they are the ones, after all, who really mould public opinion. When asked a question about the street railway upon which they work, do they say "the company our company."
To obtain proper results, for which we are all striving, I believe it is necessary for every railway company to establish policies which will bring about a feeling of mutual confidence and create a spirit of sympathy, of understanding and of a desire to cooperate in the minds of all its employes from the highest to the lowest, its patrons and the citizens of the communities served, and at all times to act accordingly.
Let us all enter into the spirit of this Committee's work; let us all take up this burden as our own that the car riding public may be fully informed and be made our friends.
PRESIDENT TODD:— The next report is the report of the Joint Committee of the National Utility Associations, Mr. Randal Morgan, Vice-President, United Gas Improvement Company, Philadelphia, Pa., Chairman. In the absence of Mr. Morgan, the report will be presented by Mr. Storrs.
(Mr. Storrs presented the report.)