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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 17.djvu/51

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tioDS of the American Federation of Labor." Sub- years; equal wages for equal work of men and sequently this declaration was made a part of the women wage earners; graduated tax on usable lands Federation's constitution. In its contemporaneous above the acreage cultivated by the owner; gov-

Solitical action the Federation recommends the emment aid for farm and home ownership and efeat of candidates for public office who are hostile home buildingĀ ; progressive inheritance, income, to the trade union movement and the election and land value taxes; state monopoly of work- of those who may be relied upon to support meas- men's compensation insurance; state colleges for ures favorable to labor. The Federation's test is workingmen's children; complete freedom of press, not the candidate's political party, but his record, speech, assemblage, and association; substitution of The same test is applied to political parties. In state-use system for contract convict labor system; practice the Federation submits its legislative de- democracy in industry and education as well as mands to the partv conventions, reporting to the in government.

workers whether the convention declarations are In 1920 and 1921 the Federation convention de- favorable or unfavorable to labor. With respect clared in favor of "government ownership and to candidates for public office, the Federation democratic operation of the railroad systems of compiles each candidate's record on the question the United States." It also favors government of fairness or unfairness to labor and submits ownership and development of water power, govem- the report to the candidate's wage earning con- ment ownership and operation of wharves and stituency. Should there be no fair party candi- docks connectea with public harbors, and govem- dates the Federation recommends the nomination of ment ownership and operation or control of public independent labor candidates. In 1920 the Federa- and semi-public utilities. The Rochedale plan of tion expended $53,934 in this advisory work. productive and distributive co-operation was ap-

Although affirming the inherent and constitu- proved by the 1917 convention as necessary for tional right of the wage earners to quit work for the protection of thte wage earners "in their rela- any reason whatsoever, the Federation is not tions with the merchants and business men in the authorized to declare strikes. With respect to the same sense that the trade union movement protects afiSliated national and international unions, the them from employers." The Federation has a strike-declaring power rests with the unions them- special fund for promoting co-operation. It also selves. With the directly affiliated local trade and supports farmers' co-operatives, such as dairies, federal labor unions, the executive council's power canneries, packing houses, grain elevators, and dia- ls limited to approving or authorizing a strike con- tributing houses.

templated by the locals. The Federation may give For the adjustment of disputes between em- its moral support to a strike declared by an an affil- ployees and employers the Federation favors volun- iated organization, and may issue appeals for strike tary arbitration applied by collective bargaining, funds; tne executive council has the constitutional under which the organized workers, through repre- power to levy an assessment of one cent per sentatives of their own choosing, deal directly with month for not exceeding ten months in one year the employers or their representatives. The Feder- to aaBist an affiliated union in a protracted strike ation is opposed to compulsory arbitration in or lockout; fifteen such assessments have been every form, claiming that it re-establishes compul- levied since 1881; in seven of them one cent was sory work similar to that of the slave and feudal the total levy, the maximum of ten cents having periods. In the interests of federal labor legislation been called for in but one instance. Under its the Federation maintains a special bureau. The authority to raise strike funds by appeals for state federations maintain state bureaus to look voluntary contributions, the executive council col- after state labor legislation. lected 1426323 in support of the iron and steel The headquarters of the Federation are situated workers strike in 1919--20. at Washington, D. C. It publishes a monthly

The contemporaneous demands of the Federation official journal, the "American Federationist": the include the recognition of principles regarded as "American Federation of Labor Weekly News fundamentally necessary for the freedom of the Service" for the benefit of the labor press, and workers. Among the more important are: the maintains an information and publicity service, right of the working people to organize in trade The officers of the American Feaeration of Labor unions, to practice collective bargaining through (1922) are: president, Samuel Gompers; vice-presi- representatives of their own choosing, to work dents, James Duncan, Joseph F. Valentine, Frank and cease work collectively, to collectively bestow Duffy, William Green, W. D. Mahon, T. A. Kickert, or withhold patronage, and to exercise collective Jacob Fischer, Matthew Woll; treasiirer, Daniel J. activities in the furtherance of the welfare of labor. Tobin; secretary, Frank Morrison. In the legislative field the Federation demands

legal protection against the conception that there Americanisatlon, also known as civic education is a property right in human labor power; prohi- and citizenship training, was one of the problems bition 01 injunctions in labor disputes where they which received the widespread attention of the would not apply in the absence of such disputes; American people at the entrance of the United suitable laws to prohibit the courts from declaring States into the World War. Prior to that time Acts of Congress unconstitutional; election of formal instruction in civics was given almost solely iudgas; exemption of trade unions from anti-com- in secondary schools and higher institutions of bination laws; legislation prohibiting courts from learning. The discovery of millions of unassimilated holding trade unions and individual trade unionists immigrants, revelations of disloyalty to America liable for damages for the unlawful acts of others; and of hostility to organized Government by radical legislation declaring that labor organizations are groups of our population, disclosures by the Selec- not co-partneiships; repeal of state industrial court tive Draft of an astoundingly high rate of illiteracy laws; prohibition of immigration for two years and among the men recruited for service in the army restricted immigration thereafter; the general appli- and navy, all focussed public attention upon the cation of the initiative and referendum in federal necessity of evolving an educational program which and state political afTairs; public administration would make America more American. The wave of credit; inauguration of a federal employment ot patriotism which swept over the United States service; abolitioi^ of child labor under sixteen at the outbreak of the war caused the average and