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A Labor Meeting

A Labor Meeting image
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fair-sized audience gathered in Firemen's Hall Monday evening, pursuant to an announcement that Hon. W. H. Kliver, vice-president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, would talk on " Organized Labor." W. E. Huil presided, and kis flrst duty was to announce that, the speaker of the evering liad failed to appear, having, while on ms way here, been called back to Chicago by a tele, gram announcing the dangerous illness of bis wfie. It was further announcel that P. J, McGuire, of Philadelphia, secretary of the brotherhood, who had been procured to take the place of the regular speaker, was taken sick at the last moment and unable to attend. Those having the matter in charge, however, had succeeded in furnishing speakers from this vicinity, and the ürst one introduced was Michael J. Lehman, of Chelsea. Mr. Lehman began by saying that he was unf amiliar with the rules and regulations of the order, but he had firm convictions upon the labor question and was convinced that the only way for the laboring man to secure his just share in the products of labor was by organization. Variou3 organizations were in existence for the benefit of different classes, and he saw no reason why labor organizations would not be a benefit to laboring men. Those who lived by their daily toil should recelve compensation sufficicient to enablethem to edúcate their children just as well as any others. He thought that labor organizations should work for their own interests and that this could be done without in any way doing harm to others. The speaker was vér? earnest. Hon. Chas. R. Whitman, of this city, was then called upon, and stepped up to the platform and made a pleasing address. It was a familiar truism, he Baid, that knovvledge is power. It was almost the first tbing that a child learned when entering'the school room. And vet he thought that people didn't f uil appreciate it ; they should endeavor to obtain a wider knowledge of theii conditious, and thus see for themselves whether or not they were receiving a proper share of the country's prosperity. It was difficult for men whose whole time was occupied at their dailj toil to study the questions which so rnuch concerned them ; but it was to their benefit to come together whenever possible and discuss these all-important subjects. Organization svould tend to promote these discussions. He thought, the workingmanrs earnings at present went too much to enrich his employer. The rich manufacturer had no more right to compel his employé to pay exorbitant prices for the necessities of his home, while he (the manufaeturer) was receiving all the proflts, than the lahorer had to demand whatever wages he chose for lus work. There should be no compulsión on either side.- Labor and capital must work in harmony. Either is useless without the other. If he were possessed of a million dollars, he would be no wealthier than his penniless neighbors if he did not share it wlth them that they might by their labor makes food and clothes for his own necessitie and comforts. D.Cramer was the next and last speaker. He had much reverence for this brotherhood of carpenters, for he remembered that one who walked this earth at the beginning of this era and did so vast an amount of good had considerable to do with carpentering. As one who was reared among ïaboring men, he had much syrnpathy with any movement that would promote their welfare. While this was the only government he would be satisfied to live and die under, yet he thought there were many ways in which it might be improved so that comforts and enjoyments would be more equally divided. One trouble was that people were too prone to admire those in high places. These were mentalked of and promoted to important positions who did not possess the intelligence and good common sense of many in his audience whose hands were hardened by daily labor. Jiecause a man made a living by his hands was no reason why he was not as intelligent as he who depended entirely upon his brain. He saw no reason why manual laborers should not acquire as much of the world's beneüts as others. All honorable callings should " lead to Rome." He cautioned the workingmen to stand united for their common interests, for in union was strength. The meetiug was then dismissed.


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