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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/146

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Letters From A Railway Official.

familiar with the routine, to assume the superintendent’s regular duties any day as for the second dispatcher to work the first trick. When your mechanical assistant conducts his shop negotiations, by all means insist that he direct the superintendent to send in each mechanical assistant superintendent to assist in the conferences.

One reason that the labor situation has gotten away from us is because the matter has been handled on too large a scale. The tendency has been to consider the abstract possibilities rather than the concrete effort. A superintendent of a 140-mile division once recommended approval of an application for increase in wages of his milk train crew, because the men on the next division were getting as much for running only 105 miles. Investigation showed that his men were on duty less than six hours, of which the total time consumed in handling milk cans was a trifle over an hour. Each general manager is inclined to believe that his men will get the worst of it as compared with other roads. He has been inclined to yield when he should have been firm. The further away from the concrete local conditions the negotiations can be