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that of other labour organisations. The success of the plans of the trade union might be carried by virtue of the force of numbers without any regard to the character or ability of their members, but that could not be true of the Brotherhood. Its foundation as an organisation rested upon the character and ability of the members.35
At the convention of 1868 the question of endorsing a strike entered into by the St. Louis division came up. Wilson urged that if the national body endorsed it, it would be held responsible for it and advised that the best plan would be to let the local division fight it out for itself. 36 The following year he went on a trip south to organise branches. On reaching New Orleans, he found the railroad officials opposed to such an organisation. He left after advising the engineers that they should not organise until the prejudice had been removed. At the convention of 1870, he again took occasion in his annual address to declare the unity of interest between employer and employé.
Many objections to this policy were registered during these years by local branches which felt aggrieved over the treatment they received at the hands of railroad officials. This was especially true among the western subdivisions which were continually in financial trouble through strikes. To prevent this, at the session of 1871 held at Toronto, Wilson aimed to clamp the organisation so as to make local action impossible. The movement for incorporation was strong among most of the national unions and Wilson saw in incorporation a possibility of carrying his policy to a conclusion. He took the American Railroad Association into confidence and drew up articles of incorporation which contained the following clause: "Be it further enacted, That any Sub-Division organised under this act, . . . who shall, by advice or counsel, induce any Engineer, or Engineers, to interfere, by a strike with the transportation of the mails or other Government property, or who shall refuse to expel any of their members who shall so interfere shall forfeit their Charter, and all the rights and interests they may
35 Grand International Division of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Minutes, October, 1867, 11.
80 Ibid., October, 1868, 8.
have in any common fund of this Brotherhood that may be accumulated at that time." 37
The convention adopted the measure bodily, but when it was introduced in Congress there still existed enough opposition against legalisation of labour organisations to defeat it. The proposal of such a measure had its effect, however. It called forth a great deal of condemnation from the other large unions. Many of them saw in it "enslavement" of the Brotherhood, and Wilson came in for his just share of reproach.
This, no doubt, started the opposition to him which culminated in 1874 by his removal from office. It might have occurred before that time, but the country just then had entered upon a period of prosperity shared by the railroads, which lasted to the middle of 1873. The panic changed matters. In November, 1873, the engineers declared that railroads had combined to force a reduction of wages on account of a decrease in business. They did not believe the reason given as true and took steps to resist a reduction on the principal roads. The Pennsylvania Road was the chief offender. It or dered a reduction of pay within a day's notice in spite of the fact that it had an agreement to pay a certain price. The engineers resented the action and, the railroad failing to restore the wages, they struck. Wilson denounced them through the public press for their hasty action. This so enraged the Brotherhood that it called a special meeting at Cleveland, February 25, 1874, and forced him to resign. 38
At this session William D. Robinson was present and saw the removal of his rival from office by an almost unanimous vote. Robinson had been reinstated in his old local in May, 1873, and, by urgent request of the Brotherhood, attended this national meeting. He sat silent throughout the proceedings. After the election of the new grand chief engineer, P. M. Arthur, he was called upon to address the convention, which he did in a dramatic speech that called forth cheers of vindication though he did not once mention the name of Wilson.39
P. M. Arthur, though elected as an insurgent against Wilson's pacifism, soon adopted the very same policies which he
87 Engineers' Journal, V, 506.
38 McNeill, Labor Movement: The Problem of To-day, 822.
39 Chicago Workingman's Advocate, May 2, 1874.
had condemned in his predecessor. The excellent strategic position of the engineer in the railroad industry forced the employers to grant him and his organisations a degree of recognition which in those days was almost unthinkable in other trades. Arthur thus found that more could be accomplished through peaceful pressure than through strikes. In his hands conservatism was made the permanent and distinctive characteristic of the Brotherhood, a policy which was deliberately broken on only one occasion, the strike against the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy road in 1888.
A distinctive feature of Wilson's policy had been the early development of a benefit system. The chief incentive was the extremely hazardous nature of the work of the engineer which made insurance in private companies prohibitively high if not altogether impossible. As early as 1866 at its regular convention in Boston, the Brotherhood adopted the widows', orphans', and disabled members' fund.10 This measure was referred to a vote of the subdivisions where it received a twothirds majority vote and was adopted.*
About the same time (1867) the Locomotive Mutual Life Insurance Association was created. None but members of the Brotherhood could join it, and membership was optional. Those who joined paid a small initiation fee and assessments upon the death of members. The total insurance derived by beneficiaries depended upon the numerical strength of the association and upon the rate of assessment. As the membership increased, the assessment was lowered. During two years of the existence of this scheme, 1867-1869, the smallest amount paid upon the death of a member was $1,110, the largest was $1,856, at a cost of from $20 to $30 per year, which was considered good insurance. 42 It was not however until the decade of the nineties that the insurance feature of the Brotherhood became established on a firm and broad basis.
THE CIGAR MAKERS
The history of the cigar makers during this period may be summarised as the history of organisation against large shops
40 Proceedings, 1866, 23. 41 Ibid., 1867, 17. 42 Engineers' Journal, III, 505.
in the sixties and against the introduction of the "mould" and division of labour in the seventies.
Prior to the War the cigar trade was in the one-man shop stage. The master mechanic worked for himself, owned the tobacco, made the cigars, and sold them to customers in the community in which he worked. He was the ordinary workman with small means. He could buy tobacco in small quantities as he needed it. He needed practically no tools and worked in or about the place in which he lived. With the Civil War came a change. Congress introduced a system of taxation which favoured large manufactories. This at once took the control of the trade out of the workman's hands and placed it in the hands of an employer.43 With the rapidly changing condition in the sixties it took only a few years for the larger shop to replace the little ones and to gather in the small masters to work for wages. In the East, instead of going into large factories, the trade passed into contractors' sweatshops. The cigar maker who had worked in his house for himself before the sixties now worked for some one else.
At the first national convention held in New York City, June 21, 1864, out of 21 locals represented, 12 were from the State of New York.** At this convention a strict trade union policy was adopted indicative of the cigar makers throughout their history. After resolving that they united themselves for better protection of their trade and requesting that all cigar makers organise themselves, they "resolved that no cigar maker coming from any city, county or district, who is not a member of a union, if any exists from whence he came, be allowed to become a member of the union where he has come to obtain employment or be allowed to work in said city, county or district, until he has been admitted a member in the place from which he came." The resolution went further " to discountenance the practice of any union allowing any of its members to work in a shop or manufactory that employs no union [sic] men working for them out of the shop or manufactory." 45 The latter part of the resolution shows the prominence of the New Yorkers and their hostility to the sweatshop.
43 Ohio Bureau of Labor Statistics, First Annual Report, Columbus, Ohio, 1878, 199-201.
44 From typewritten record at Johns Hopkins University Library, 1864-1867. 45 Ibid.
The national once organised grew rapidly, although it only gained 5 locals during the first year, June, 1864, to September, 1865. It gained 37 locals during the following year. At the convention of 1860 held at Baltimore, 49 delegates were present, representing Canada and distant points as far south as Maysville, Kentucky, and as far west as Leavenworth, KanThe strike-benefit feature, which has always been an important pillar in the structure of the cigar makers' organisation, appears here in its elementary form. Locals in case of difficulty could appeal to the national president who then sent out a notice for contributions. The returns were forwarded to the strikers.
At the Buffalo session in the following year, the organisation was more thoroughly developed. The name was changed from National Union of Cigar Makers to Journeymen Cigar Makers' International Union, so as to include the Canadian locals. Strike benefits were definitely prescribed. If a local entered into a strike with approval of the international president, the members were to receive $8 per week if married and $5 if single, out of a fund created by a tax upon the membership of the entire union.46
During 1868 and 1869 the union continued to grow, reporting 84 locals in the former year and 87 in the latter. The problem which agitated it during these years was the Kingston conspiracy case. A member of the Kingston local, New York, was designated by the other members as a "rat rat" and denied the privileges of the union. He brought suit against the individual members as conspirators and the circuit court fined each member $20. The International pledged the last cent in the treasury of its local unions, if necessary, to sustain the Kingston union which appealed the case to the State Supreme Court. At the convention of 1869 it was reported that the case was to be tried in the latter part of September. Nothing further is heard of it, however. It may have been dropped. Considerable feeling against conspiracy laws had grown up in the country by this time, as is evidenced by the number of state legislatures that were considering bills to repeal the laws in