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points, shows the line of policy adopted." 24 Another instance of this more or less well-founded suspicion appears in the report of the convention proceedings of the International Industrial Assembly which met at Louisville, Kentucky, in September, 1864. A lockout of the union printers of the Chicago Times was under discussion. The Chicago representatives of organised labour believed the lockout was for the purpose of breaking up the Chicago Typographical Union. The convention went further and said: "There is good reason to believe that this effort is the result of a combination of capitalists known as the Northwestern Publishers' Association, to break up the Typographical Unions of the country, and control their employés to such an extent as to dictate to them the prices and conditions of labor." 25 That this opinion was not without some foundation is evidenced by the report of the Cincinnati Convention of the Western Associated Press which met in May, 1864. This meeting was composed of representatives from thirteen leading establishments in Cincinnati, St. Louis, Detroit, Louisville, Dayton, Indianapolis, and Wheeling, while Chicago publishers pledged acquiescence. Resolutions adopted by this convention suggested a degree of organisation among the employers somewhat similar to that already described in the case of the stove foundrymen.26 But it is probable that these early publishers' associations dealt only incidentally with labour questions, and they are not to be compared with the more modern Newspaper Publishers' Association or with the Typothetæ.27


If most of the national trade unions sprang into existence only indirectly as a result of railway consolidation, the national union of locomotive engineers was its direct outgrowth. When a small road was merged with a larger one the engineers and shopmen had to come under the system of pay and work of the latter road. The men who suffered from the change sought by combination to control the larger employer under whom they

24 Fincher's, May 21, 1864. 25 Fincher's, Oct. 15, 1864. 26 The Printer, July. 1864.

. Fincher's, June 4, 1864.

27 See above, I, 451 et seq. The problem of apprenticeship in the printing trade will be treated later.

were now to work. "Since the consolidation the Northwestern Company has been the worst managed corporation of its size in the country. . . . At the very outset of the consolidation the salaries of the officials and hangers-on were increased and the wages of the poor labourers and others were correspondingly lowered.


The special grievance of the engineers was that during the sixties the railroads, for the first time, tried to force piece work upon them. Prior to this period each engineer was paid according to the time he put in. Now the railroad proposed to pay him according to the run he made, no matter how much time it took him to make it. When we remember the delays incident to travelling on railroads in the sixties, the new system was a just cause for complaint. It meant a reduction of pay considering the time. At the convention of May, 1863, held in Detroit, where the Brotherhood of the Footboard was organised, which a year later became the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, it was declared that the delegates met and organised because of "the disposition of the superintendent of motive power on that Road [Michigan Central] to wage a re morseless war upon the best interests of labour, and especially his encroachment upon the established rights and usages of the engineers in his employ and the reduction in their

" 29



This was in 1863; by 1865 we find that the movement to introduce the run or piece system became quite general. A correspondent of Fincher's in October of that year writes the following:


"Noticing an article in your issue signed by An Engineer of the Eastern Division of the Erie Railway,' setting forth the dissatisfaction existing on that Division among the Engineers, I thought I would drop you a few lines concerning the Engineers of the Susquehanna division; and, as we are fully as bad off concerning pay and allowances as they are, it will be at least consoling to the Engineers of that division to know it, and to know that they are not going into any battle of right without a fair prospect of receiving re-enforcement. Engineers on this Division, previous to the advent of the present management, were paid for the time they were run

28 Chicago Workingman's Advocate,

Mar. 28, 1865.

29 Grand International Division of the

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers,
Proceedings, 1864, 5.


ning on the road over schedule hours; but as soon as the new disciples took hold of the reins they said at once a stop must be put to this . . . and from that time we have ceased to receive pay for extra hours on the road, and, as a consequence, the Engineer's time is figured right down to a day and a half for running the Division. (140 miles), whether it is done one day, or three days and nights." 31

The "Brotherhood" soon found that the railways were resolute in their attitude even to the extent of co-operating with other railways. This came to light in 1864 after a strike by engincers against the Galena and Chicago Union Rail Road Company when the management of that road publicly expressed its thanks to other roads for co-operation in resisting the union.

In spite of all its grievances, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers was a militant organisation for just one year from August 17, 1863, when it was organised, to August 17, 1864, when enough changes were made in its structure to make it an entirely new organisation. W. D. Robinson, the enthusiast who had placed his entire soul and energy at the service of the organisation, was dismissed as grand chief engineer on personal charges preferred by his enemies. The new head was Charles Wilson, an engineer on the New York Central & Hudson River Railway. This corporation had been for some years in favour of a conservative organisation among its engineers. To emphasise the complete breach with the past, the name was changed from the Brotherhood of the Footboard to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. The policy of the union now was to win the good graces of the employers through elevating the character of its members and thus raising their efficiency as workmen. The employer would be so well pleased with their work that he would of his own free will provide better recognition of labour and higher pay. But in case that should not follow, they would, at the same time, turn their attention to public opinion which they hoped to enlist in case of difficulties.

The reason for the desire to enlist public opinion may be ascribed to the fact that the service of engineers directly affects the public. The ordinary passenger who is in great haste

30 This refers to a new superintendent put on that division. Aschcroft's Railway Directory, 1865, 55: 1866, 52.

31 Fincher's, Oct. 28, 1865.

to get to his destination, finding his train stopped, puts the blame on the immediate cause the engineer who refuses to run it. An unsigned article in Fincher's for July 17, 1865, says:

"To possess the mere power to suspend the operation of a road, is not sufficient. That, without the clearest evidence of the justice of the stoppage, begets towards the organisation the hostility of the travelling public, the stockholders and the public at large: for we are apt to judge harshly if any class of men who, although struggling for their rights, in the least encroach on the comforts or conveniences; and the traveller, finding a road over which he must travel not in operation on account of a disagreement between the officers and employés, very naturally takes sides with the arbitrary power, from the fact that he feels within himself a disposition to compel somebody to carry him on his journey. And who is more likely to be the recipient of his ill wishes than the man who should run the engine, but who declines doing so, on account of a disagreement between himself and the officers of the road? . . . The most essential point here is to be made in convincing the victim that the fault lies with officers. . . ?


In the following year the Brotherhood was given an opportunity to state definitely its position. On January 17, 1866, the engineers and firemen entered upon a strike against the introduction of a new system of work and pay on the Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana Railway. The strike was a protracted one. The railroad was not very much affected. It hired new men and blacklisted the old ones.32

The blacklist, however, aroused a good many locals to action, especially those which were affected by the introduction of similar systems in the previous year. A special convention of the Brotherhood was called to discuss the difficulty. Fiftyseven delegates convened June 12, 1866, at Rochester, New York, and, of their number, twenty-six were appointed a committee to consider the blacklist. But it was Wilson's committee, and as a result of its deliberations, it drew up the following appeal to the railroads of the United States, which the convention endorsed:

"... do you think it right to have these men proscribed by the different Railroad officials because they are in difficulty with one

32 Fincher's, Feb. 3, 1866.

Company. There seems to be a determination not only to pursue these men to the bitter end, but to break up an organisation that they happen to belong to, but which had no more to do with this trouble in the commencement than the most distant thing imaginable. To this we wish to enter our united protest, and appeal to you for help to avert so terrible a calamity as must ensue in the attempt to break up or destroy our organisation. We cannot believe you will consent to any such conspiracy . . . if you fully understand our object and future intentions. We have reliable information that lists of names of all the men in any way connected with this strike are in the possession of most of the Railroad Companies throughout the country and that some of the officials have given out word that not one of these men can get a job on their Road.. We do not wish to be understood as claiming the right to dictate who shall be hired by any Company. . . . If the Michigan Southern Railroad Company thinks it to their advantage to employ such men [scabs] to run their engines as they have employed since the strike, then we are forced to admit they have the right to employ them. . . . We appeal to you as men who profess to be willing to do right to use your influence to harmonise this difficulty, and to 'prevent the unwarranted interference of any outside parties."`33


At this convention also they approved and incorporated in their proceedings a letter sent to them by the superintendent of motive power on the Erie Railway which in part is as follows: "The ostensible object of your organisation, I understand, is to advance the moral, social, and intellectual condition of the Locomotive Engineers, and to thereby elevate their standard of character as a profession. . . . Any attempt on the part of your members of your organisation to place your body in antagonism to your employers ... should be promptly and immediately checked, and such evil disposed persons cured of their error, or summarily expelled from your deliberations. . .



Many events occurred during the following four years that testify to the conservatism of the Brotherhood. At the convention of 1867, Wilson thanked the public press, the railroad officials, the clergy for recognition of his organisation as a factor of moral uplift and went on to say that to his mind the success of the Brotherhood depended upon a basis different than

88 Grand International Division of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers,

Proceedings, Special Session, Rochester,
June, 1866, 9, 10.
34 Ibid., 18.

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