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REPORT OF GENERAL ORGANIZER J. S. VANCE
At the close of my last report, I was in Oklahoma City where I had been engaged in signing up a contract for 1912. My next stop was at Enid, Okla., where I re-organized Local 915, saw the officers installed, and the local properly started off. The local at Paris, Texas, had not been holding meetings for some time, many members had gone suspended, and the per capita tax had not been paid for several months. I called a meeting, and we reinstated several suspended members, and the back indebtedness was paid to date. I audited their books, and had them elect new officers which put them on their feet once more. Having received instructions I proceeded to San Antonio, Texas. I found our contract with the bosses would expire the first day of May-only a few days off. After meeting with both unions and going over the situation thoroughly, I got busy. Bro. Jas. F. Young, Business Agent, rendered me valuable assistance. We presented the new wage scale to the contractors; it met with considerable opposition, but after an earnest effort, we succeeded in signing up all the bosses, including several that had never signed heretofore. The new agreement calls for a sixty cent increase for the painters and a twenty-five cent increase for the paperhangers. This was a great victory, and in gaining it I do not claim all the credit. I am grateful to the officers and members of both 172 and 736 for their loyal support. While in the city I organized a Sign Writers local, unionizing every sign shop in San Antonio.
Stopping at Waco, Texas, I attended a meeting of 673, and then left for Marlin and Mineral Wells. I tried to re-organize both places but was unable to find enough men who were willing. Conditions at Tulsa, Okla., are anything but good; one of the largest contractors recently declared for the open shop. I had an interview with him and with every man working in this shop, but was unable to set an agreement signed or to convince them of the justice of our demands. After holding several open meetings, and rendering all the assistance possible, I left for Sapulpa, Okla., where our local is small, but maintains the closed shop. My next stop was Oklahoma City, where I attended a special meeting by request. Having recently organized a new local at Enid, Okla., I thought it advisable to see how they were getting along. I at
Conditions at Fort Smith, Ark., are anything but good, our boys having lost some of the best shops in their strike. We held open meetings, but owing to the dullness of trade were unable to add many new members to the organization. I attempted to organize the Furniture Finishers, employed in the several large factories, but was unable to make a success of the movement. My next stop was Fayetteville, Ark., where I held some open meetings, and rendered our boys material assistance. From there I went to Dallas, Tex., to attend meetings of 873 and District Council 17.
Having received notice to look after several locals in Oklahoma reported delinquent, I visited Altus only to find our membership had decreased until there was not enough to hold a charter, which I returned with funds in the treasury. There being only a few members left in El Reno local they had transferred to near by locals, and owing to the dullness of trade, it was impossible to induce them to re-organize. I collected the books, and the funds in the treasury, and sent same to the General office. I next attended a meeting of Local 755, Sign Writers, Oklahoma City. After auditing their books and seeing all back indebtedness paid, I left for Holdenville, Okla., a place too small to maintain a local. The Ardmore local had disbanded some time ago, on account of there not being enough members left to hold meetings, and had sent in the charter, the few remaining members having transferred to nearby locals. I reached Gainsville, Texas, just in the nick of time. They had failed to hold meetings for some time, and were about to lose their charter, some of the members having been suspended. We elected new officers. I audit d the books, and started them off in the right direction. My next stop was Fort Worth, Texas, where I attended one of the most successful Labor Day celebrations and parades in the history of that city. Our own Painters' local union 318, winning the first prize as usual.
From Fort Worth, upon orders, I proceeded to New Orleans where our organization is in a very poor condition. The first move was to consolidate the two painters' locals into one, and advertise and hold open meetings. I have made an earnest effort
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Amend Section No. 78, by striking out in lines 4 and 5, the words "so far as financial aid from the Brotherhood is concerned," making the Section read:
AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION
"Section No. 78.-The G. P. in conjunction with the G. E. B. shall have power when satisfied from facts and information in their possession that a strike should cease to declare the same at an end, and shall so notify the local union or district council."
Submitted by L. U. 257, Springfield, Mass., under the provisions of Sec. 269, page 56 of the Constitution.
The foregoing amendment to the Constitution is submitted by L. U. 257. As the reason for doing so may not be apparent to all, a few words of explanation may insure an intelligent consideration of the same by the locals of our Brotherhood.
Under our present law a local union or district council, when in an attempt to secure an increase in wages or decrease in hours, it is compelled to resort to strike, is protected at such times by its right to refuse C. C.'s from the traveling member. And this is as it should be, affording legitimate protection to the L. U. or D. C. that is in trouble and actually on strike. At such times the influx of members increases,. owing to the alluring ads inserted by the employer, generally in cities remote from the scene of trouble. Have we yet devised a medium to acquaint our sister locals that
At a raffle of a gold watch, conducted by L. U. 458, Braddock, Pa., for the benefit of Bro. F. M. Slater, the lucky number (784) was held by Mr. E. Buckley. After having met all expenses, the local was able to turn over to Bro. Slater the sum of $75.00. The members of the local desire to thank those who purchased tickets for their support.
such conditions exist? And is it not often the case that some unfortunate has spent his last cent to reach the city or town only to be told to pass on? Closer affiliation through district or state conferences may be one remedy.
Now to arrive at our reason for wishing to amend Section No. 78. At present the G. E. B. has power to declare a strike at an end only "in so far as financial aid from the Brotherhood is concerned," and that would not be a very laborious task under our present Defense fund. But why give the G. E. B. the power to come in at all? Have you ever observed an L. U. or D. C. that after going on strike-and practically winning all they went out for, but perchance losing one or two shops that probably were w iting for an excuse to go wrong-for months, in some cases for years, hide behind the clause that allows them to refuse C. C.'s as long as they say a strike exists?
During this time their own members are all at work, and they are initiating new members at every meeting (some of whom had scabbed on them) when along comes a member with a C. C., probably a member for years. He is greeted with "You can't work here, this locality is on strike, move on! For he represents only a paltry few months dues, and does not furnish the revenue they desire.
EDUCATIONAL SERIES No. 1
Hicksville and Westbury, L. I., 671-F. S., T. Bortwick,
Fishkill on Hudson 501-R. S., L. J. Flynn, Glenham,
Irvington 143-R. S. and F. S., Frank Gilligan.
Columbus 248-R. S., J. F. Smith, 51 S. Washington
Oklahoma City 755-R. S. and F. S., Chas. E. Robkar, 23 E. 5th st.
Bradford 110-F. S., F. H. Holmes, 2 Dewey ave.
Pittsburg 699-R. S., Paul Gallick, 902 Montooth st.
San Antonio 408-R. S., J. F. Stewart, 322 Denver blvd.
Ogden 22-R. S., W. H. Purdy, 228 28th st. F. S., Wm.
Bennington 493-R. S., Chas. Robson, 225 Depot st.
Hoquiam 1076-F. S., E. Davidson, 922 Maple st.
WATCH YOUR BENEFITS.
Local Unions in Arrears.
Any L. U. becoming two months in arrears for per capita tax to the General Office shall at once be noti fied by the G. S.-T., and failing to settle all arrearages in fifteen days from date of such notice its members shall not be entitled to benefits nor shall they be again entitled to benefits until three months after all arrearages are paid. Section 24 of the Constitution.
Unions two months in arrears on closing monthly accounts November 30, 1912:
160, 245, 854, 365, 377, 379, 387, 404, 416, 429, 439, 482, 532, 541, 559, 606, 610, 643, 675, 719, 723, 761, 772, 791, 865, 883, 911, 937, 951, 958, 973.