Pullman and Homestead.
A syndicate article by T. C. Crawford, published in a number of last Sunday’s newspapers, described the town of Pullman, Ill., as one of the few places in the world where labor troubles are unknown. It is interesting, says the Buffalo Express, to compare this town of Pullman with Homestead and learn, if possible, why the workingmen in the one place are prosperous and contented while in the other they are rebellious and riotous and under guard of state troops.
The two towns are of about the same size and in both the inhabitants are mainly workmen employed by a single large corporation. In Pullman about 6,000 men work for the Pullman Car company. Wages range from $1.75 to $8 a day. The average pay of the workmen is $600 a year. Here, at the outset, is one point where the Homestead men are better off. While the minimum price for unskilled labor is a trifle lower than at Pullman, the yearly average is higher. There are comparatively few unskilled laborers employed in a big iron factory, and the average yearly wages of the 4,000 Homestead men probably approaches $800.
None of the Pullman workmen owns his own home. This is the great distinctive feature of the town. The houses were all built on a uniform plan by the Pullman company. They are equipped with modern improvements—sewers, water, gas, etc.—and are rented to the men at a low price. The rental is said to be so low that those workmen who are able to own their homes find it more profitable to rent and invest their money elsewhere. There is no philanthropy in this, however, for it is understood to pay the Pullman company an interest of 5 per cent, on the investment. But here again the Homestead men are better off.
They not only can own their homes, but the majority do own them. Furthermore, the Carnegie company helps them to build homes. It loans them money and takes mortgages on the buildings as security. Some Democratic papers, by the way, have enumerated this as one of the sins of the company by which it oppresses labor! It also takes charge of the workmen’s savings, when requested, paying them legal interest on what it borrows, thus providing them with a safe and profitable investment.
The wages of the Pullman workmen are fixed, but the company keeps a reserve fund which enables it to give continuous employment and avoid reductions during hard times. The same plan, of course, prevents wages from going up in good times. The Homestead men are paid by a sliding scale, getting increased pay when the firm prospers and reduced pay when times are dull. In this particular the Pullman plan probably works better for the men than the Homestead, though most workingmen would prefer the latter as being more independent. In Pullman there is one policeman. In Homestead there are, in ordinary times, four. No saloons are allowed in Pullman. Homestead people decide such matters for themselves.
It would appear that in nearly every point the Homestead workman is better off than his Pullman brother. Why is it that in Pullman there has never been but one strike, while in Homestead there have been frequent collisions, culminating in the present disastrous affair? Soon after Pullman was founded the men struck at the dictation of a Chicago labor union. The works were closed one week. There was no disorder and the men resumed work at the old terms. At that time most of them belonged to unions. Since then they have left their organizations. They are, Mr. Crawford reports, satisfied that they are too well off to need a union. In Homestead the Amalgamated association has hitherto been supreme.
It is a sad commentary on the ability of workmen to take care of themselves that the plan of reducing employes [sic] to the position of tenants and of governing them like a big family should work better than the plan of encouraging them to be independent and freeholders. Few will admit that the Pullman idea is a good and logical one. Why does it work better than others? The Express believes that the answer to this is found in the influence of the Amalgamated association. By this we do not mean to condemn the principle of workingmen organizing for mutual help and protection. We heartily believe in that, provided the organization acts in an honest and law-abiding spirit. But such unions as the Amalgamated association depend for their existence on perpetual agitation and constant war between capital and labor. They are wrongly governed and are based on wrong, often on lawless principles. Their history shows that they do much more harm to the workingmen than good. There is an excellent hint for employers in the statement that unions died out in Pullman because the men felt that they had no use for them—at least, for the kind of unions which promote strikes.
Highly Recommended: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullman_Strike
The following from the Utica Herald of yesterday will well express the sentiments of a great many Cortland people: “The torrid wave which we have been warned of as coming eastward, got here Monday with every accompaniment of a roast. And the telegraph tells of more to come. The 102 deg. average on the St. Louis parallel Sunday may reach us to-day if its progress isn’t interfered with by “electrical disturbances.” There is some consolation in the thought that there can not be in reserve anything very much worse than what we have had. A little more won't be of consequence anyway. Those who lived through Monday are fortified against a half dozen degrees more.
These white heat waves are conducive to reminiscenses [sic], and at this distance seem to quicken one's thankfulness that one lives in a city whose streets were a little while ago piled full of snow banks ten feet high, Those banks are pleasing memories as one swelters under 94 deg. in the shade. How we could welcome them now, for a few minutes. It is cooling to think that their like is pretty sure to be seen again, bye and bye. Meanwhile, try the flannel shirt. Take the shady side of the street. Let cold water run on the wrists. Get in the bath tub. Go to the beach, or the river, or the sea, if you can. If, like newspaper workers, you belong to the order of men to whom all conditions of weather are alike, have patience with the fretful. Don’t hurry. Don’t exert yourself to inform your neighbor that “it’s hot.” Be hopeful. There never was a “heated spell” before this which did not yield to nature's treatment.
Proposition for a Settlement.
New York, July 28.—It is stated that Chauncey M. Depew, who sailed yesterday for England, took with him a proposition from the locked out Homestead men to Mr. Carnegie. The proposition for a cessation of troubles is said to provide that the workmen will give up everything for which they have contended; will sign the reduced scales proposed by the Carnegie works, and will permit the scale agreement to expire in December instead of June, provided the Amalgamated association of Iron and Steel workers is recognized as an association.
WICHITA, Kans., July 26.—Alexander Berkman, the would-be murderer of Mr. Frick, spent the first three years of his life in America in Kansas and Colorado. He worked here in a German printing office for four days in 1886, while tramping his way to Kearney county, where is a colony of Russian Jews, among whom he remained for two years, taking part in murderous county seat fights of that time.
From there he went to Garden City, Kan., where he worked at the case [sic] until one day he suddenly got up from his stool, left the office and picking up a big rock, hurled it through the window, striking down the foreman of the office, who was alone at the time. He entered the room, tumbled everything on the floor and left town. He next turned up at Pueblo, Col., where he was imprisoned for stabbing a man. When he got out he went east. During part of the time he was with his compatriots in Kearney county, he acted as local agent for some sewing machine company.
He was always morose and very violent when angered.
O’Donnell Goes to the Sea Shore.
PITTSBURG, July 26.—Hugh O’Donnell, accompanied by his wife, leaves on the noon train for New York to complete the mission that was interrupted by the issue of the warrant against him last week. Before returning he will spend a month at the seaside to regain his health. He will retain counsel while absent to take proceedings against the Washington Post for suggesting that he was identified with Mr. Berkman.
TUESDAY, JULY 26.
—Geo. W. Ripley, the manager of the Marathon opera house, will give a social and dancing party in that place on Friday night, July 29.
—Meteoric showers (shooting stars) may be looked for on July 27, August 1, and from August 5 to 11 inclusive. During the last of these dates the showers may be expected to be the most brilliant.
WEDNESDAY, July 27.
—Over three hundred people left Cortland on the excursion to Sylvan Beach this morning.
—A goodly number of tickets are being sold for the Presbyterian picnic at Van Bergen park, Tully lake, on Friday.
—Mr. E. H. Patterson, the late night operator at the D., L. & W. station, has the position of night operator on the Lehigh Valley road at Van Etten junction. His place here has been taken by Mr. E. Wilber.
—A Cortland lady who recently enjoyed the hospitality of Mr. H. D. Freer at Taughannock Falls, says that the locality is unsurpassed for beauty, while every comfort and convenience is afforded the guests.
—The village trustees of Homer came down to inspect the stone crusher this afternoon with a view to purchasing one for use in their corporation. They were much pleased both with the machine and with the advantageous manner in which it is mounted.
—Last Monday evening Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Perkins of Reynolds-ave. were invited to tea at the home of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Howe, of Maple ave. There Mr. and Mrs. Perkins found some twenty other guests and to their surprise the two seemed to be the central figures in the group of their friends. Suddenly it occurred to them that it was the fourteenth anniversary of their wedding, and the whole thing was explained. A very pleasant evening was passed.
THURSDAY, July 28.
—From 7:30 to 8:45 o’clock this morning the thermometer rose from 80 to 94 degrees.
—The monthly meeting of the board of managers of the hospital association will be held Monday, Aug.1, at 8 P. M., in the hospital parlor.
—A challenge has been posted for a road race to Little York and return for the Scorcher medal on Monday evening. The present holder of the medal is E. B. Richardson.
—The work of repairing the paving on Main-st. has begun. This morning a number of the worst spots were filled with crushed stone, which it is hoped will pack and make a permanent filling.
—Will Jaquett, the winner of the 10-mile road race on the Fourth of July, made the 15-mile run to Little York and return last night in 53:10. He was timed by Dr. E. M. Santee.
—Mr. Edgar Palmer received word yesterday of the death of his sister, Sarah Palmer, in Tallapoosa, Ga., where his parents now reside. He left this morning for Tallapoosa and hopes to reach there in time for the funeral.
July 27.—The impromptu races at the Driving Park this morning between the Cortland horses resulted as follows:
Gillett & Ingalls’ Gray Wonder................................1
L. J. Fitzgeralds’ Cortland Wilkes.......................... 2
E. D. Kinney's black colt.........................................3
Eugene Powers’ colt...............................................4
Wickwire Brothers’ Stilsion...................................5
Dead heat between Gray Wonder and Cortland Wilkes.
E. D. Kinney's black colt...........................................3
B. E. Miller’s horse...................................................4
Eugene Powers.’ colt................................................5
Wickwire Brothers’ Stilsion......................................6