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The Trackman from Fort Scott, Kansas • 16

The Trackman from Fort Scott, Kansas • 16

The Trackmani
Fort Scott, Kansas
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

rKe -Trackman harder we work for our union the wn will Turin rmr nri'P am Tint. hlllllltll 1 111 I AAA 11 PI mwW in favor of a strike, as we are not yet strong enough, but I am in favor of talking unionism and getting strong' enough to demand better wages as other unions have done. I saw in one of our brother's letters where some conductor told him that we would get nipped in the bud. If we hustle as we ought to, we will be in full bloom before the companies are aware of it. I will close by asking some of the other trackmen on this division not to be so timid but write a few lines and let us know how they stand.

WM. WE I LAND, Buffalo, Kansas. "The following was sent to the members of the N. U. of R.

T. at Leavenworth on the organization of their local lodge: "To the National Un ion of Railway Trackmen. Noah W. Beery, proprietor of the Commercial Hotel sends, his best regards and a smalll testimonial of his esteem, a box of cigars. May the trackmen enjoy smoking them.

The doors of the Commercial Hotel are always open night or day to any member of the National Union of Railway Trackmen. Sunflower lodge No. 224 was organized Saturday evening, January 9, '04, at Walnut, Kansas, with an attendance of 12 charter members, and a charter ws applied for immediately. The local lodge starts out with excellent prospects and a good membership.Jas. Donohue, of Walnut, was selected the president, and W.

H. Jury of Hepler, Secretary; R. A. Hughes, vice-president and G. A.

Hall, treasurer. havp hPPn rpndin? thft TRACK MAN and I find a number of meir and all of his Sundays in making foolish reports of things that ought to be better known in the offices than he can be expected to know them. Some railroads work section men 9 hours per day during the winter months and make this a plea for the reduction of wages 10 per cent about November 1st How would it be for the convention to set 9 hours as the day's working time the year around and save the poor clerks in the office the trouble of keeping time by two systems and take the unwieldy but often used club of wage reduction, on account of shorter hours, out of the hands of worn out superintendents, who can only make it effective from the reason that trackmen are not organized. 9 hours are as good in the winter as in summer. Let us have 9 hours for a day's work all the -year around.

F. J. MONTAGU, Moran, Kansas. "I think the start the boys have made is on the road to success if they will continue the good work and push it along. The only way to better our condition is for everyone to become a member of the N.

U. of R. T. and for every one to take upon himself the obligation of becoming one of a committee of organizers and workers for the good of the order. We know that we are not getting our just dues.

I have been in the track service for 23 years. We toil hard for the small mite we get and we deserve an increase in our wages. The trainmen and operators' wages have advanced and so have the car-repairers, but our salary is comparatively the same. Our living expenses have advanced 40 per cent in the last 3 years. What we need is to stand in a solid body, help each other and demand our rights.

We should have at least $75.00 per month for extra gang foremen, for section foremen and laborers $1.50 per day. The trackman has been looked upon as being nobody and this is due to his small income. He has to live hard, cannot mix in society for the lack of means to dress in a respectable manner. In order that the railroads be profitable the companies must have good track, and to have good track they must have good men. To have good men, they must take an interest in their work and to get this interest they must get good living wages.

Therefore, in order to have good track they must have good men to make it so, and without it, railroads cannot make good time nor move heavy traffic. Come now, all of you boys, sign your names and not "Happy Jack" or such names, but put down yojur name as I do. WM. KAUTZ, Yates Center, Kansas. "I have read and re-read the last issue of the TRACKMAN and thought it very interesting.

I think that our union is prospering wonderfully and that the time will soon come when we will be able to better ourselves the same as all other working men. How have the operators, conductors, engineers and brakemen advanced so much in salary? It was by forming a union just the same as We are doing. Don't you think that we trackmen have more responsibility and more hard work than any of them? Then, why not get to work and help start the log to rolling. Procrastination is 'the thief of time, so the sooner and the following the discharge or leaving work and compliance with this enactment bars the state courts from arresting the officers of the company or taking action against them before the expiration of the time specified in the enactment; that is before sunset on the first day of the next month or the day following the discharge. With our "superior business methods" track foremen are required to send in a daily report of the number of men at On the Union Pacific he is required to wire this report and send a card giving the same statement by railroad mail, the number of hours each man works, the number of hours taken on each separate job -of work during the day, what mile it was on and in some cases the number of rails from bridge A 10 or as the case may be, and enter the same thing in his time-book which he must send to the roadmaster at the end of the month.

The section foreman, who is required to know as much as a graduate from Harvard, has done all of the book-keeping necessary for the payment of his men, but that is not enough. The roadmaster's clerk must take a hand at it. The division superintendent must have a staff of clerks to take another swing at it, then it goes, to the general offices for an-other exercise in book-keeping. The result is that it takes from 10 to 30 days to get out a pay-car with a paymaster, who pays in checks, or to send these checks out by railroad mail to the different station agents. This is evidence of very remarkable business business methods to say it mildly.

Among the semi-civilized and benighted Mexicans the track foreman sends his daily report to the roadmasters as we do, and keeps his time- book. On the first of the month, he takes his gang and his time book to the nearest station agent, who is supplied by the companies with the amount in cash to pay all those employed, and the men get their money while the agent keeps the time-book as a voucher, but then these are only greasers and half civilized people who do not enjoy the benefits of superior business methods. A sample of the clerical superiority of railroad offices may be noted in the fact that the roadmaster sent three times in five months, the superintendent three times and the civil engineer twice to the foreman of a certain section on a certain road to measure the exact number of feet of rails in a side track and report. The foreman made the measurement and made the required report on each occasion. Reference to the chart of the road in the engineer's office would have saved all this waste of time but the section foreman's report of their mis-doings must pass through the hands of these clerks and be thrown in the waste basket while it is so much more comfortable to sit at the desk and write to the foreman than to show their ignorance of what it is the duty to know by going to the engi neer's or to any other office or even to dig up the records in their own office.

Should a man fully qualified for the position of section foreman take his qualifications into any other market, he could readily command $75.00 or $90.00 per month and would not foe required to spend half his night's writing about Mr. Wilson's order, One man from Julian, Nebraska, says that the division he is working for was organized in 1893. Now, I don't doubt Brother Warthen's word, but I was working On that division in 1893 at Leavenworth, Kans. I did not hear of it until after the N. of R.

T. had been started. At the time that he speaks of, there was a union which included all classes of railroad men, namely the American Railway Union which was killed by a premature strike in Chicago. Lonly recall this to the trackman's mind to show the folly of a strike which can win nothing until everyone is a "member of some union. From indications, the N.

U. of R. T. has the lead of all labor unions as far as we can find out. It started out in the proper way.

I for one will devote my time to talking union wherever and whenever I can. I notice also a brother asking for space for the brothers to tell each other about the work and how to do it. This is too soon. We should spend our spare moments to increase the number of union men. After we get settled and a scale of wages is signed between the railway companies and the union, then we can write and talk about our ways of working.

At present, I council patience and a cheerful heart I would like to hear from Brother Young, of Nevada, so that he may write something and keep an old head posted as to how the Katy-and the L. S. are getting along. I have seen nothing either from H. Ott or L.

Page. Stir up, boys, do not be afraid, I am with you in this glorious effort of the trackmen to become.

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