Oklahoma Labor Unit (Oklahoma City, Okla.), Vol. 1, No. 1, Ed. 1 Saturday, June 13, 1908 Page: 4 of 8
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OKLAHOMA LABOR UNIT.
Oklahoma Labor Unit
A clean. con ervatlve. Independent, non-partlnan news*
paper for the home.
Official organ for none—unqualifiedly endorsed by all;
Mtock owned by nieinbern of the tate, central and local
bodies throughout the state.
Published by the
LA Unit 1/MIT PI'B LI Mil I NO COMPANY.
(Incorporated: Capital stock (10,000)
Office: Central Labor Hall, Ames HulldlnR. Telephone:
I ng Distance and Local No. 978.
O. A. SMITH Secretary and Business Manager.
(Payable In advance.)
One year ...$1.00
Six months R0
Three months -6
Regular, contract und flat rates for advertising
,% * .
SATrllDAY. JUNK 13. 1 08.
The merchant who does not advertise at all may
or may not be your friend, fellow worker, but It Is
a foregone conclusion that he who liberally patron-
ises the columns of all other papers and refuses to
advertise In your paper, is not looking for the
working man's patronage, does not wish It, and Is
not desirous of your friendship.
You will find that those who advertise In these
columns are worthy of your every consideration, for
we shall use every precaution to protect your in-
When you patronise the man who advertises In
your paper nee that he knows where you saw the
advertisement You will find this a benefit to you
as well as to t>ie paper.
RIGHT SHALL RULE.
8hort la the triumph of evil, long is the reign of right.
Tho men who win by the aid of sin, the nation that
rules by might.
The party that lives by corruption, the trickster, the
knave, the thief.
May thrive for a time on the fruits of crime, but their
seeming success is brief.
Sneer, if you will at honor, make virtue a theme for Jest;
Reflect on the man who strives as ho, oan to seek and
to do the best; , ;1
Make goodness a butt for sluidcr and offer excuse
for vice; _ < '<*
Proclaim the old lie, the crirruptionists cry, that every
man has bU price
Ye know that the truth uUall triumph that evil shall
find its doom;
That the cause of right tho' subdued by might, shall
break from the strongest tomb;
That wrong, tho' it seems to triumph, lasts only for a
While the cause of truth has eternal youth, and shall
rule o'er the world for aye.
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
The gas fitters had barely organised and installed
their officers when a strike was forced upon them. A
strike was called last week to which every member and
several non-members responded, and at this time, when
the strike is ten days old they have not lost a man. and
have gained several recruits.
This union is officered with level-headed men who
are conducting the strike in a business-like, fair and
legitimate manner that is almost sure of success, backed
as they are by a sober, well-conducted, determined mem-
Members of other unions should keep in touch with
the situation and afford every assistance possible.
Although this union is but a few weeks old they are
in good financial condition, both as a union and indi-
vidually, and there is no fear of failure from a financial
It is to be regretted that an amicable settlement
could not be made with the employers without the
necessity of a strike, but as that was not possible,
those men should be given every encouragement, so long
as the strike is conducted in a gentlemanly and law
abiding manner, as we believe it will be to the end.
It is said that the master plumbers who hold member-
ship in the National Association offered to sign the
scale of the Gas-Fitters. provided they would not sign up
with plumbing establishments which are not members
of this association. While such a step on the part of
the Gas-Fitters would have greatly benefitted them
from a financial standpoint, the members of the asso-
ciation. being greatly in the majority, there is a prin-
ciple of equity and justice involved in such a move that
would have made such an agreement wholly dishonor-
able, and the proposition was declined by the Fitters
without discussion This action no doubt precipitated
the strike because the demands of the Fitters for an 8-
hour work day and better pay was entirely just, and
would undoubtedly have been accepted by the employ-
So long as we uphold honorable principles we will
Right shall rule.
If such a concerted move were to be made it would
prove that the business people were entirely Ignorant
of the labor situation in Oklahoma City—which they
are not. It is part of their business to be posted on
these questions, and this would be a very inopportune
time for such a movement, for although the actual num-
ber of idle workmen is greater this year than for the
past three years the actual percentage is much smaller,
for the reason that numerically the organized workers
has almost trebled, possibly more than trebled.
Business men who have made a success In their line
have done so by Investigating every proposition thor-
oughly before entering into it. They would investigate
tho labor situation thoroughly before trying to "break
any backbones." and such an investigation in Okla-
homa City would mean that the employers would "sit
if this rumor was originated within the ranks of the
organized workers these brothers had better sit down
and do some real figuring.
There in plenty of work in Oklahoma City for those
who can do it, and there is plenty of money with which
to pay the wages of the men who make the dollars for
the employers. The employers want these dollars and
must have the men, so don't worry about them starting
something that would cost them thousands and return
SHALL WE SELL SCHOOL LANDS?
The matter of setting aside certain sections of land
by our National Government as an endowment to our
public school system is very commendable, and this
practice throughout every state generally has proven to
be the bulwark of our national greatness builded pri-
marily upon our free public school system.
Were it not for this system of funding our schools
a large percentage of citizenship today would have been
unable to read and write, as only those of means would
have been privileged with an education.
That portion of our citizens living within the borders
of the former Indian Territory will realize the force of
this condition by renson of having no school lands for
a school system.
We have read the proposed bill of Governor Haskell,
which he intends to initiate with the people, for the sale
of our school lands, and are free to say that should this
hill carry we would soon have occasion to regret our
action, as have a few other and older states which hur-
riedly disposed of their school lands, terminating in
great scandal and graft.
Let Oklahoma take warning and prepare the founda-
tion of a great state—OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
POLITICS NOT A FACTOR.
The man who uses both his economic and political
power In the interest of his class Is a fully-developed
labor-unionist. He understands that the struggle be-
tween capital and labor is a class struggle; that the
working class are In a great majority, but divided, some
In trade-unions and some out of them, some In one po-
litical party and some In another; that because they
are divided they are helpless and must submit to being
robbed of what their labor produces and treated with
contempt; that they must unite their class in the
trades-union; that industrially and politically they must
act together as a class against the capitalist class and
that this struggle is a class struggle, and that any man
who deserts his union and goes to the other side is a
traitor of the depest dye, and any man who deserts
the supporter of his class principles on election day and
goes over to the enemy is a betrayer of his class and
an enemy to his fellow-man.
It yet remains to be seen whether our dispensary
system is an Improvement over the old time wide-open
saloon system. We believe in effective enforcement of
all laws on the statute books and that the fight the
Anti-Saloon League is making in an effort to help the
officers in their hard enforcement fight to be a step in
the right direction.
The rigid enforcement of the law. however, prom-
ises to prove very disastrous and unpopular to some of
our leading citizens. A "prominent citizen" of Madill
was sent to jail and one of Guthrie's "prominent drug-
gists" was fined the other day, because the former
'boozed" in violation of the law. and the latter sold
"booze" in violation of the law. and the Madill authori-
ties believed in enforcing the law even to the extent of
compelling the "boozer" to "peach" on the "booze
seller." so that the real source of the violation could be
BED LINEN AND LEGISLATORS.
A resolution has been introduced into the Oklahoma
legislature making it compulsory for all hotels keepers
to have all bed sheets nine feet long. If women had
been members of the legislature, the newspapers would
have heralded it high and low that when women make
laws such important things as bed sheets are the ob-
jects of their consideration.—Progress.
Had the woman who wrote the above known how im-
portant these nine-foot bed sheets are to our long Roy,
who has to pin them down fven at that, and our Uncle
Rill who has to use them cross-wise, she would not
have been so sarcastic. Necessity is the father of
The trend of events indicate that
Secretary Taft spoke advisedly when
he predicted troubulous times ahead in
the relations of labor to capital. Both
are m w thoroughly organized, but it
Is apparent to those who read between
the lines of Taft's utterances that he
is thoroughly aligned with those who
would remove from labor its greatest
weapon of defense and offense.
Otherwise, also, labor will be han-
dicapped by two things. One, the lack
of funds. It has always known. The
other, which has not been given suffi-
cient consideration in the past, is pre-
sented In the anarchist and his kind,
who always become active whenever
labor disturbances occur, and at such
times there are unscrupulous persons
in the employing class who take ad-
vantage of the work of these fiends to
discredit labor organizations.
There have been instances, in fact,
where incendiary acts have been
planned and executed by the employers
to divert public sympathy from the
employed. This was found to be a
very effective weapon against the
striking street railway employes in St.
Louis about ten years ago. when bombs
were exploded almost nightly in the
Kaston Ave. car sheds that were nev-
er handled by a laborer. There has
also been presented much evidence
leading the public to suspect the em-
ployment of such nefarious tactics in
the recent labor troubles in the mining
districts of Colorado.
The general public Is not given to
keen analysis or careful investigation
at such times, and because of this fact
organized labor has frequently suf-
fered an odium that was undeserved.
It remains, however, for the labor
organization to constantly discredit the
teachings and preachings of anarchists
and incendiaries who may operate un-
der any other class name.
Taken as a class there Is nothing
bad about the American laborer, and
he has ever been inspired by a spirit
of fairness in dealing with his fellow
men in accordance with the Golden
Rule. Should that time ever come
when his organization Is dissolved, his
spirit broken and himself the cowed
subject of the employing class, it will
mark the beginniny of the end of dem-
fall into disrepute with the public. You
should always call for the label,
whether it is possible to get It or not,
as It will at least advertise unionism.
The Hon. Mr. Ballard of Oklahoma
has introduced a bill into the House
providing for Presidential suffrage for
women. The Federation of clubs pre-
pared a bill providing for juvenile
courts and that women should have the
right to vote for judges of the courts.
Another provision in this bill is that in
each county there shall be a committee
appointed for certain purposes con-
nected with the juvenile court and that
women as well as men may serve on
In a few weeks Chief Justice Fuller
of the United States Supreme Court
will retire, and in all probability his
place will be filled with Elihu Root.
Root is one of the most adroit law-
yers in America, and ever since his
service for the Tweed ring of New
York he has been keeping criminals
out of the penitentiary and showing
corporations and trusts how to evade
the law. In a Police Court he would
be called a "shyster"; on a Police
Court bench he would be the Instru-
ment of "de gang." Elihu Root,
Thomas Fortune Ryan's "smart law-
yer." in the ermine of a Federal Chief
justice, would be potent for an infini-
tude of deviltry and a menace to the
everlasting rights of the American
people. He has been hired man of the
predatory rich and criminally power-
ful ever since he knew enough to earn
a fee and take it. To place this man
in the seat of Marshall. Walte and Ful-
ler would be like clothing Messalina
in the spotless robes of the vestal vir-
In its "Letters From The People," the Sunday Okla-
homan contained a letter from Councilman Andv Mc-
Williams. commonly styled "The Obstructionist" by his
political enemies, in which he explains his attitude to
the injunction suit instituted by him. against the city to
restrain the construction work at the city water works.
Sometimes we have regarded Councilman McWilliams.
as a kicker with a remedy, sometimes as a knocker, but
have never considered our judgment as final.
Whether or not the council considers that McWil-
liams is impelled by personal feeling these matters
shouip receive attention. There are ordinances and laws
governing contracting and they should be strictly en-
forced. A small deviation too often means a wedge
for broader license later. Perhaps this is what Mayjr
Scales had in mind when he put Andy on as chairman of
a license committee. Any city appreciates a good
municipal watch-dog and will anxiously await Andy's
pleasures in his suggested exposure regarding sewer ir-
ON LABOR PRESS.
"The labor press deserves more
loyal support and a greater encourage-
ment. The circulation of bona fide
labor papers and journals merits an
increased patronage so that the influ-
ence of the local labor publication may
be extended, and where such labor pa-
pers also owns a job printing office it
is recommended that the unions pa-
tronize them to their fullest require-
SAMUEL P. GOMPERS.
President American Federation of La-
NO CAUSE FOR WORRY.
By reason of the present strike of the Gas Fitters,
following that of the Carpenters, and the fact that the
schedules of the Plumbers expire and are to be renewed
this week, the rumor has gained current that the em-
ployers' interests of Oklahoma City have started a
preconcerted effort to "break the backbone of organized
labor" in this section.
I^et's see! In Oklahoma City there are 3000 working
men and women organized into different unions, ap-
proximately 2,'500 of them represented in the Central
Trades and Labor Council. These are the skilled work-
men. There are perhaps 3.500 unskilled laborers in
Oklahoma City and its suburbs, but not even a thousand
of these could fill the places of the skilled workmen.
(See last page.)
Suppose the Carpenter's Union called out their men
and they would walk out nearly 400 strong in a body,
as they did; and the Gas Fitters were on strike, as they
are. in a solid body; numbering some 45 members; and
the Plumbers were to be forced into a strike with their
fifty odd members, all of whom would respond to the
call; then the Painters—150 loyals; then the employers
would begin to see what they had started and would
back peddle pretty industriously. Under Senate bill 81b
working men cannot be advertised for without being
given the reason for such advertisement, which insures
us that advertisers would bring but few responses.)
CHILDREN BOUND OUT.
The following account of how the American Tobacco
Company conducts its'business in Chicago should give
a very effective jolt to those who patronize the products
of that concern.
Twelve-year old children go to "school" at the tobacco
factories on the west side. The American Tobacco Com-
pany does not employ union labor if it knows it. As a
result, all along Halstead. Twelfth. Fourteenth and Eigh-
teenth streets there exists so-called "schools" for cigar-
making. At these factories only children are employed.
At one on Newberry avenue, thirty children, mostly Rus-
sians are used. They receive no pay. and are bound
out to learn the trade.
As with the American Tobacco factories no one is ad-
mitted to these shops, and no child is taken unless its
parents are known.
The American Tobacco Company is capitalized at
$71,000,000 It thrives on cheap women and children la-
bor. Over 80 per cent of the tobacco workers in the
trust factories are women and children. One factory
containing 797 workers has nothing but women. Un-
organized woman labor is cheap labor. Here are wages
paid in trust factories and in union factories. For the
making of >-cent cigars the American Tobacco Com-
pany pays from $1.50 to $8.00 per thousand, averaging
$4.50. For the same work the union factories pay froU
$6.00 to $10.50.
Twenty per cent of the girls working in the trust fa©
tories receive but $3 per week.
Demand THE LABEL and such conditions will not
Jamestown (N .Y.) Typographical
union has inaugurated a unique way
ot "bringing out" its membership. At
every meeting the names of all mem-
bers present are put in a hat, shook
up and the first name drawn out f
the hat has his dues remitted for that
month. So that it be perfectly fair,
the system is subject to change, and
the second or last name drawn out
may become the lucky one.
Despite the threatening aspect of
the weather a good attendance was
present at the memorial service
which was held at Forest Hill ceme-
tery last Sunday afternoon. The ex-
cellent programme was carried out 'n
full and at its conclusion a group pho-
tograph was taken of those present.
The gas fitters' strike is on in full
blast. If the work of incompetent
men is permitted the fire boys will
earn their money.
"KICKERS" VS. "KNOCKERS."
Under the guarantee of the constitu-
tion of the United States, every citi-
zen has the right of free speech, whicn
In the language of the present, means
the right to ' knock." The right to
"knock" is, therefore, one of the car-
dinal principles of the government,
and as a number of The Journal's lit-
erary lights have, from time to time,
done more or less "knocking" on the
"knockers," it occurs to me that a few
words in his behalf would not be out
It is the "knocker" that has, in a
measure, caused many a public official
to walk in the straight and narrow
way; it is the "knocker" that has
brought about investigations of public
records that have landed many a "ser-
vant of the people" behind the prison
bars; It is the "knocker" that has ex-
posed the grafter in the ranks of or-
ganized labor and relegated him to the
oblivion of the political dead, and, in
some instances, made him a tenant of
a felon's nU; it is the knocker that is
pointing out the " blowholes"
in our system of govern-
ment that permits men to ac-
quire colossal fortunes dishonestly and
yet wear the cloak of respectability; It
is the "knocker" that has caused the
enactment of more legislation that has
been beneficial to humanity than any
other one agency of modem times; it
is the "knocker" that Is arousing the
conscience of the American people to
the evils of child labor and demanding
that they shirk not the responsibility
of stamping out this crime against
the childhood of the land; it is the
"knocker" that has driven from the
industrial field long hours of toll and
substituted therefor the eight-hour
work-day and improved sanitary sur-
roundings; it is the "knocker" that
is responsible for the elevation of
the toiler from that of "brother to the
ox" to the standard of man among
men, and instilled within him the de-
sire to look upward; it is the "knock-
er" that is wielding the weapon that
is destroying all obstacles that bar the
pathway to enlightenment, progress
and freedom, and it is the "knocker"
that is being "knocked" by other
"knockers" because of his desire to
"knock" those things that deserve
"knocking," and will continue to
be "knocked" as long as there re-
mains a "knocker" to "knock" the
knocker."—Theodore Perry, In I. T.
According to the generally accepted
meaning of the words, Brother Perry
should have used the word "kicker"
instead of "knocker." There is a vast
difference between the kicker and the
knocker, and they should not be con-
founded. One serves a useful pur-
pose, the other is the bane of every-
body's life, including his own.
The kicker is a man with a good
liver, although sometimes it may be,
with doubtful judgment; the knocker
is a man with a bad liver and no
judgment at all.
The kicker wants to see things
right, and kicks when they are
wrong; the knocker pays no attention
to whether things are right or wrong,
but his brain won't work without
If a kicker goes to a room in a hotel
and finds no soap, he calls a boy and
makes a kick, and gets it; if a
knocker finds no soap in his room,
he bathes without it, and then tells
all over the country that the people
of that city do not use soap.
The kicker will tell you when you
displease him; the knocker will tell
If the city officers do not suit the
kicker he will tell them wherein they
are weak; the knocker will go to the
next town and tell the people how he
would run the city if he were in
The kicker thinks the town he lives
in is the best in the world; the
knocker thinks his town is the worst.
Kicking helps along the progress of
the world; knocking impedes it.
Kicking helps; knocking hurts.
The kicker is appreciated by the
thinking men, who like to get in his
wake, because they know he is not
going to be imposed upon. The
knocker is despised by everybody.
The kicker kicks the stones aside
for the next person passing; the
knocker encumbers the path.
The kicker Is a good man to tie to;
he has ideas that are original and
helpful. The knocker sticks to us
tighter than a chigger. but the right
kind of brine applied at the right
time will remove him.
June 13, 1908.
With each yearly subscription re-
ceived before June 30th, accompanied
by the regular price, one dollar, the
subscriber may send a name and ad-
dress. to which we will mail the Okla-
homa Labor Unit for six months free
ASK FOR THE LABEL.
When union men buy goods and do
not ask for the label they really de-
nounce their principles, says Justice.
When they call for the union label
they help unionism, wages and con-
ditions. too. You should consider
yourself an employer, as you indirect-
ly employ the men who make the
j goods you purchase. If you insist on
I the label you are employing without
| men If you take the prodHR without
| the label, ou are employing non-union
] or "scab" labor. Unless you show
1 tftaT you have interest in unionism by
j demanding the label, the business men
! will not go to the trouble of jjbeping
! label goods, and the union idea will
A SERIOUS CHARGE.
Now John Mitchell is accused of
i harboring a desire to start a labor
1 paper at Indianapolis. Don't do it.
* John; don't do it, or whatever credit
for shrewdness you may have gained
will evaporate into thin air. The New
: York Labor News and the Norfolk
! Labor Journal have just busted and
several other papers have hung out
signals of distress. You see. John, a
good many working people would rath-
er give a penny a day to a capitalist
' paper that lambasts them than pay
a penny a week to a labor paper that
champions their cause. If the work-
ing people really cared anything about
their own interests they would not
i only have weekly papers, but dailies as
well, same as they have them in Eu-
rope. Be careful, John; be careful!—
i Cleveland Citizen.
If you have gas fitting to do make
sure of the competency and experi-
ence of the men sent to do it. Imper-
fect fittings may not result in the pre-
mature demise of the entire family, but
are very apt to result in marking the
Brief History of the Brother-
hood—Record of Achieve-
ments—Local Body Up
Twenty-six years ago, at the conven-
tion held in Chicago on Aug. 12, 1881,
the United Brotherhood of Carpenters
and Joiners of America first saw the
light as a militant force in the field of
organized labor. It started with a
nucleus of twelve local unions, com-
prising 2,042 members all told. It has
now grown to 1,703 locals In 1,275 cit-
ies and towns, with a dues paying
membership of upward of 161,200. The
brotherhood was organized to protect
the carpentry trade from the evils of
low scales and botch work, its aim
having always been to encourage a
higher standard of skill, thus making
it the easier to maintain a fair wage,
to re-establish an apprentice system
and to aid and assit Its members by
mutual protection and benevolent
means. It pays a funeral benefit on
the death of a wife of a member rang-
ing from $25 to $50, a funeral benefit
to members' families of $100 to $200
and a disability benefit of $100 to $400.
In the past two years there has been
expended for these general benefits
the sum of 316,840.85, and since
1884 $1,132,371.76 has been paid in
the same way, while in the latter
period $l,683,000was spent by local
unions for sick benefits and $486,190.47
donated to the locals by the brother-
hood for strike defense purposes. This
aggregates considerable over $3,000,-
000 expended for charitable and benev-
The brotherhood is also what might
be called a protective trades union as
well as a benevolent and charitable or-
ganization. In this direction it has
advanced the wages in hundreds of lo-
calities throughout the country and
placed fully $6,500,000 more In pay an-
nually in the pockets of its members.
It has reduced the hours from nine
per day to eight in 480 cities and from
ten per day to nine in 791 other cities,
not to mention many other localities in
which it has established the eight and
nine hour workday. Through the
shortening of hours upward of 30,000
more workmen have secured employ-
ment throughout the country notwith-
standing the depression so keenly felt
here and elsewhere among the build-
ing trades. All compentent carpenters
are eligible to membership.
The present prosperity and solidity
of the Oklahoma City local is largely
due to the efficient presidency of
Brother H. F. Davis, and the thorough
methods of E. C. Rogers, Business
Agent. Up to a short time ago there
were three locals of the carpenters In
this city. These, by consistent and con-
scientious work, have been merged
into one of the strongest locals, num-
erically, financially and because of the
individuality of its officers, that we
have in Oklahoma City. We predict
that it is only a matter of a short time
when the percentage of non-union
members in the carpenters' craft in
Oklahoma City will be nit.
Imperfect gas connections are as
dangerous as kerosene used for kin-
MUST BE UNITED.
The success of the labor movement
depends upon the efforts of those who
comprise it. It requires continuous
recruiting and proselyting among
those who hold aloof. Every mem-
ber of a union should consider it his
duty to point out to the non-unionist
that individually they are helpless,
collectively they are a power that
cannot be resisted. The standard of
living rises as the working class, con-
scious that it is a factor in social pro-
gress, demands and insists upon get-
ting more of the wealth created by
its toil. The labor press is a valuable
adjunct to the cause of unionism and
should be aided in every conceivable
manner, especially by patronizing
those who utilize It as a medium in
offering their wares for sale. Try to
be true to your class, and note how
your cause will thrive.
VOICE OF LINCOLN.
There is one point, with its connec-
tions, not so hackneyed as most oth-
ers. to which I ask a brie/ attention. It
is the effort to place capital on an
equal footing with, if not above, in the
structure of government. It is assum-
ed that labor is available only In con-
nection with capital, that nobody la-
bors unless somebody else owning cap-
ital. somehow, by the use of it. induces
him to labor. This assumed, it is best
that capital shall hire laborers, and
thus induce them to work by their own
consent, or buy them and drive them
to it without their consent. Having
proceeded thus far it is naturally con-
cluded that all laborers are either hir-
ed laborers or what we call slaves. La-
bor is prior to and independent of
capital. Capital is only the fruit of
labor, and could never have existed if
labor had not first existed. Labor is
the superior of capital, and deserves
much the higher consideration."—Mes-
sage to Congress, December, 1861.
An entire block of business houses
in Gotebo was burned last week, caus-
ing a loss of more than $20,000. The
fire started early in the morning and
is believed to be the work of an in-
Fire insurance underwriters should
inquire into the competency of the men
being sent out to make gas fittings
during the present strike.
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Oklahoma Labor Unit (Oklahoma City, Okla.), Vol. 1, No. 1, Ed. 1 Saturday, June 13, 1908, newspaper, June 13, 1908; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc106660/m1/4/: accessed April 25, 2019), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.