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Tin Plate Workers' Wages

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The great American manufacturera of tin píate are showing their hands sooner than was expected, even by the greatest skeptics of "protection." It was announced from Pittsburg, June 17, that- "At the conference between the tin píate manufacturera and the scale committee of the Amalgainated association this afternoon, the latter were astounded at a cali for a reduction of wages of the most highly skiiled classes of workmen in the tin plate and sheet iron industries. "This cali for a reduction is in the face of the assertion of the manufacturera that the tariff put on tin plate by the Fiftieth congress was necessary in order that good wages ïnight be paid American workmen." Think of it! Wages to be reduced so soon in this great "infant" industiy. The foreigners, imported by Niedringliaus and others to work in an "Amerfcan" indnstry at "American" wa-es, ire asked to accept lower wages. This ought to be the straw that will break "protection's" back, bnt perhaps the matter can be patched up by the manufacturers who are never backward in coming forward with excuses for lower wages. This same dispatch says that "David B. Oliver, C. Zug, J. H. Laughlin and other leading manufacturera urged the acceptance of the manufacturera scale on account, they said, of the depressed condition of the iron t-ade," just as if iron was not also heavUy "protected" and therefore entitled to be in a "booming" condition. It was only on June 2 that the "Association of Iron and Steel Manufacturera," the "Tinned Plate Manufacturera' association" and the National Association of Galvanized Sheet Iron Manufacturera" held meetings on the same day, in the same room, and elected the same secretary. Those who know anything about the matter know that the duty on tin plate has been kept up and raised to benefit not the tin plate makers, who have never before existed, but the sheet iron and steel men, both of whom have been making enormous profits out of the dut}r on tin plate, which has kept up the price of steel ;sheets and of galvanized iron for roofing purposes. It was not strange, then, that they met together and fonned this three headed trust, or monster. The iron and steel manufacturera agreed to reduce wages in their lines an average of 15 or 20 per cent. It was generally believed that the tin plate men would not dare to exercise their united power to reduce wages, at least until after election, or certainly until the tin plate bill had been discussed ir. congress; but their greed and their "gaul'' has exceeded the expectations of the most sanguine. These "McKinleyized" and "trusted" industries consider it their especial privilege to worry wage earners and consumers. What do they care for the feelings or sentiments of the people? They announced on June 2, 1892, "that prices will not be touched on in any way." And yet The Iron Age of June 16 says that the prices of sheet iron have been advanced and that the prices of galvanized iron are firmer, and in a few instances higher.


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