Page images
PDF
EPUB

such members labor would indeed be in a sad plight. The "ideas" advanced by the Boston member had the effect of stirring up considerable thought among the members, and were therefore "for the good of the Brotherhood." My advocacy of the erasure of the 20 per cent provision on referendums called for considerable discussion and obviously some thought among the members, and I feel, therefore, that considerable was accomplished thereby.

Now was the charge made by "Old Man Grouch" in reference to my advocacy correct? I am still of the opinion that it was not. When a question is submitted to the entire membership, and say but 1 per cent choose to vote, are not those members who choose not to vote very willingly and voluntarily choosing to allow those who do vote to determine policies affecting them? Where is there any destruction of democracy here? The members are all given an opportunity to say yes or no, and when they choose to do neither, they are democratically expressing their will; which is, that they do not care one way or the other. We cannot operate our local lodges on this basis. How then can it be done by the organization as a whole? If we change our policy so as to allow the members who vote to determine policies of the Brotherhood it will not take the indifferent members long to find this out, and they will recover from their lethargy and cast their vote one way or the other on important questions. Thus will democracy and interest in democracy be increased and extended and the welfare of the Brotherhood advanced. On the other hand, if the present arrangement is to continue to exist it means that the referendum in nine cases out of ten will be ineffective and the policies of the Brotherhood will be determined by the Grand Lodge officers rather than by the membership, and thus popular government in the organization will be destroyed.

As I have repeatedly stated previously, what we want is more and more democracy and less and less leadership, and we can get it only by more and more education. And in order to educate ourselves we must constantly have food for thought.

JESSE J. FINN, Rotterdam Junction Lodge No. 124.

AN ODE TO THE NUMBER SEVEN.
By James Wood, 4062 A. M.

One day along came a magnate
And bought the G. C. from some men.
Just about that time

Business was on the verge of falling in.

One renowned little engine they had,
T'was the Number Seven.
Even at the worst she was not bad,

So we hope her soul is now in Heaven.`

Number Seven was coupled to a train
Which was ordered to go;
That's just exactly what she did,
But where to we do not know.

Old Seven was not very large,

And no one liked her style. We coupled her to that train

And she ran about a mile.

Old Seven slipped and slid
And we switched her cars forth and back,
But finally we got to Good Hope,
And there she jumped the track.

A little further on she steamed,
And then we had to take her back;
So here's to poor old Seven,

Now on the repair track.

Your best days are over,

Your usefulness is past; But in your younger days You were very, very fast.

THE QUITTER. From "Rhymes of a Rolling Stone," by Robert W. Service.

It's easy to cry that you're beaten-and die; It's easy to crawfish and crawl;

But to fight and to fight when hope's out of sight

Why, that's the best game of them all! And though you come out of each gruelling

bout,

All broken and beaten and scarred, Just have one more try-it's dead easy to die, It's keeping-on-living that's hard.

-Boston Post.

The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[graphic]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic]

ORGANIZATION.

The Brotherhood of Railway Clerks as an organization stands between its members and the corporations by whom they are employed, as a cover or muffler between freedom and relief from existing evil, as well as the deplorable conditions which would be imposed upon them by hostile and unscrupulous employers.

The principles of our Organization are unqualifiedly right else this Brotherhood would long ago have gone the way of all misplaced ideas. It is not the fault, however, of some of the weaknesses exhibited by a few individual members that it has not gone the way of many other movements; in this particular our weak members are not an exception to those of the same caliber in other organizations.

When the members of this Brotherhood learn their power and can appreciate it to the extent of acting as a unit then there will come a time when there will be an end to the deplorable conditions and attendant economic ills which now exist.

To a vast number of people in this movement the power that can be overthrown by united action on our part, when working together in concerted effort, is to them an awe-inspiring spectacle. These dreamers fully realize what a tremendous thing solidarity is and they appreciate what it means, but to the average clerk, member and non

member, it is a vague illusion, something to be wished for; a clouded, semi-visional dream that is talked of by those with a vision but not to be attained, because "they" will not act together and grasp what is actually in their hands. The mind of the average railway clerk is slow and torpid. He is bound to the wheel of railroad industry and his vision is not sufficiently in accord with the spirit of the times. His imagination is not developed enough to see into the future and he is still distrustful of his co-workers who have acquired enough education of the movement to know and realize what is in store for them when acting together.

The railway clerk of yesterday is but little removed from the railway clerk of today, and he has not sufficient sight to sense this wonderful sceptre of golden power that is begging and pleading to be used; but the vision of this power is slowly growing brighter and is dawning upon the eyes of the clerks of this country with a brighter glow, a glow that is rich with promise of a brighter future and relief from present existing evils.

Railroad officials see and fully understand the power that is in the hands of the men and women in the clerical branch of the service, and many of them are striving with every atom of their puny, futile strength to drive this wonderful vision from the minds

of those who lead in this great and laudable the members of this Organization carry out undertaking. Many of them are attempting

to use the law; others the spy and the traitor; threats of being placed in prison, starvation and other innumerable subterfuges are means to an end. The terrorizing influences of brutal special agents and threats of being thrown in jail by those thugs are some of the means used to slowly stamp out the brightening dawn of independence among the men and women in this movement and put the fear of the employers into the hearts of the clerks, if such a thing was possible.

If this is not true why do railway officials fear our Organization? Why do they indulge in practices that shame the age, and why will they not all treat with the clerk as man to man?

Right will eventually triumph, as it has since the world began, and some day soon the railway clerk will see with full and perfect vision his power and will use it to right his age-old wrongs. It is to be hoped that the more enlightened and progressive railroad officials, who have learned to sympathize with and appreciate the justice of labor's cause, will have the power of persuasion as well as influence over those who I will not see and cause them to cease from their persecutions against our movement before it is too late.

The power to quickly end all our economic ills is in our hands, but we have not sensed it yet. We still allow the hostile employer to use his transparent subterfuges to blind our eyes, but the time is near when we will be compelled to tear off the master's blindfold and emerge into the full light of freedom, and with the combined forces and solidarity of our membership demand relief from unnecessary existing evils, and by so doing make the position of the organized railway clerk one to be desired and respected by all law-abiding, liberty-loving people who advocate fair play in the interest of justice and humanity.

A PIECE OF PASTEBOARD.

The movement that we are engaged in contemplates and requires the active cooperation of the members of our Organization if we are to acquire its purposes to an estimable degree. Its foundation is based upon the possibilities, and it may be said, upon a complete guarantee that success will crown its efforts only to the extent to which

its objects through their Organization.

It is not enough for the members of our Brotherhood to only become card members; a card is only a piece of pasteboard, an evidence of good faith in the movement, a permit to take up the active work which devolves upon every member of our Organization who is at heart an organization man. It is almost as easy to reverse the revolution of the earth upon its axis as it is for a labor organization to succeed and carry out the purposes for which it stands with a disinterested, inactive or indifferent membership. The movement itself is expected to accomplish through the active co-operation of the whole the things which are almost impossible for the individual or the few. If it were possible for a few men to succeed and accomplish as much for themselves and others very little effort need be made by the Grand Lodges of any organization to organize the wage earners in industries. The recognized need of and demand to encompass a broad field and the greatest number is the fundamental principle upon which this movement is founded, and any organization of wage earners where a large proportion of them do not fully appreciate the necessary requirements for active participation cannot hope to be successful. The men and women who toil in underpaid industries are liable to complain of the conditions under which they labor; they are variable in their condemnation, placing the blame in every conceivable manner except realizing that they themselves are largely responsible. They do not or will not see that their own negligence has invited the imposition of the conditions, and even worse conditions may be in store for them if they fail to organize for mutual protection and betterment. This movement is democratic in form; the membership make the laws to govern and determine its policies; they choose as their officers those who are to carry out the purposes and policies of the organization, but it should be understood that the officers chosen are helpless in carrying out those policies unless they are actively supported by the rank and file. Here is another source of failure through a too frequent attempt to shift the responsibility where it rightly belongs.

It too often happens where the members of labor organizations have decided after thorough discussion to inaugurate a move

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »