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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- December 15, 1871[Congress Takes Action on Relation between Capital Labor]
A motion introduced into Congress by Representative Hoar (Mass.) recognizes the national scope of the relations between Capital and Labor. The motion aims at the nomination of a permanent commission of three members whose function it shall be:
"To investigate the questions of wages and working hours; the relations between capitalists and laborers, and the social, physical and educational conditions, of the laboring classes in the United States; and to determine how these conditions are being influenced through the existing commercial and financial laws and through the currency."
In explaining his motion Mr. Hoar expressly pointed to the Labor Internationale and the Paris Commune. Of the latter he said that one should not condemn it, as long as one has heard only one side, as is the case at present. A cause for which thousands, not only of workers, but likewise of highly educated 2and well-to-do men heroically gave their lives - such a cause surely has a claim to be examined conscientiously and without prejudice. The leading idea of the Internationale, namely, an association of all humanity and the exclusion of all national antagonisms he called one most worthy to be pondered....
As far as can be judged from the still continuing debate, Representative Hoar's motion will be adopted almost unanimously. That, the members of the Internationale, if they wish, may interpret as their victory. But the quixotic, garrulous visionaries among them, who dream of communistic Utopias, will get the surprise of their lives. The adoption of the Hoar motion will bring results with which they, crazy bunglers of the stripe of citizen of Sorge of Hoboken, will be as little satisfied as Karl Heinzen is with the Hohenzollern empire.
On former occasions, when the labor question appeared exclusively in the form of the so-called "eight-hour movement", we have given it as our opinion that America, with its vigorous realism, is just the right place where the justified components of the labor movement can be separated from the anti-rational and 3confused fantasies, with which it has surrounded itself in Europe. The idea is justifiable that workers should appropriately share in the fruits of enormous progress in the technical field, and that this share should consist in a gain of time for higher intellectual education with a consequent enjoyment of life on a level more worthy of human beings...
Unjustified, however, is the demand which one can more or less clearly distinguish in the savage howling of the Paris and Berlin demagogues, that, as formerly the capitalist was above and the worker below, so in future the worker should be on the top and the capitalist on the bottom. The place of one aristocracy, that of the purse, shall be taken by another, that of the fist. Not only the hard-working and able laborer, but the shiftless, uncouth n'er-do-well who calls himself worker, shall share in the gain of the capitalist. As in former centuries, "noble birth", so in future the mere name of "laborer" shall be a patent of nobility that assures the possessor the largest possible enjoyment of life with the least possible pains. This 4is the unreasonable view of the labor question that inevitably had to develop in Europe. But here on the soil of a free republic the situation is different. Here, where not a class of capitalist stands in opposition to a class of workers; here where nine-tenths of the capitalist have started their careers as laborers; here it is not a question of depriving somebody of special rights and giving them to the other side, but of assuring both of equal justice. Our workers are no cold and starving proletarians, and don't want to be regarded as poor pitiful wretches. None of them counts on remaining necessarily, to the end of his days, a wage earner, and to desire a state of society where a few years hence his own neck may be cut (if by then he should have become a capitalist) is far from his mind.
But not in the measure as factory industry develops and population becomes more dense, the misproportion between fixed wage and capital gains will increase, that, indeed, is to be feared. And to cope with that future problem preparations must be made in advance. The solution lies in all probability in the direction of free cooperation. This, however presupposes, not an obtuse, savage, ignorant 5and violent mass of proletarians (as the communism of Berlin and Paris fashion does) but educated, industrious, ambitious workers. Not in the ways of Bebel and Liefknecht, who after all are but repulsive caricatures of Paris communists, but in the sober and practical ways of Schulze from Delitzsch, the labor question in the United States will be solved. As a first step to make such a solution one of the great national tasks, one may welcome Mr. Hoar's motion.
A motion introduced into Congress by Representative Hoar (Mass.) recognizes the national scope of the relations between Capital and Labor. The motion aims at the nomination of a permanent commission ...
I D 2 a 4, I H, I D 2 b
Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- August 06, 1879Co-Operation (Editorial)
Since the eight-hour movement struck a snag-although the N. Y. Volkszeitung said it would be a world event of as much historical significance as Columbus' egg--we have heard no more about the proposed co-operative furniture factory. We hope the idea was not given up. It would be regrettable. If the workers become their own employers, that would provide the best opportunity for a proper understanding of the relationship between employer and employee. The workers would not then be the slaves of capitalists, nor would it be necessary to sweat blood to fatten further the well-nourished snobs; besides, the workers would not be robbed of the profits created by toil. The workers could keep the entire profits, and might even work six hours instead of eight, if that is deemed preferable.
If the workers are convinced that, in our economic system, the capitalists obtain the lion's share of the profits whenever merchandise is sold--that 2the workers are abused to attain this end, and are finally cheated out of a just reward--then we cannot see why the men hesitate a moment in trying out their plan [a co-operative furniture factory]. Surely, they are not going to admit that they themselves are incapable of managing a business, and that a boss is needed.
All our large manufacturers, with very few exceptions, began as workers, and the times then were not as good as now. In former years, interest rates on borrowed capital were twice as high as today. What the capitalists did, of their own accord, should easily be accomplishable today by the combined efforts of fifty or one hundred capable workers.
The workingmen can reach their goal, as long as they stick to it; that means, as long as they agree, and do not distrust each other, and as long as the better worker does not consider himself superior to his fellow workers and is satisfied to receive the same wage. The men can act unselfishly and work for the common good.3
These conditions depend upon the attitude of the men, provided they have enough character to suppress certain human traits, which might be summarised as follows: Ambition, the desire to earn, the sense of acquisition, the pride of accomplishment, and, unfortunately jealousy.
Some of the idealists, who want to make the world a better place to live in, claim that these human traits were developed only in a capitalistic society, and therefore will dissappear when the environment changes; but there will only be a few who will be convinced by such assurances. At all events, since we still have that terrible capitalism with us, we also are confronted with human behavior in its present form, and must take cognizance of it.
The best example came to our attention recently, at the council of the reformers, where some of the most respected agitators were shown to be nothing but crooks, where the workers proved that their leaders obtained spot cash to influence the workers. Since then, the socialists who made the exposures 4have been banished from the ranks, on the grounds that they were agitators! Vice, therefore, triumphed over virtue, and cheating became the order of the day.
If such things can happen, even among the supreme leaders of the socialists, then one must admit that the co-operative venture may face similar conditions. Even when only two or three men form a partnership, there is not always smooth sailing--and dissention, even dissolution, is not uncommon. A co-operative enterprise representing fifty or one hundred partners naturally faces still greater difficulties.
Let us not see only the black side, but consider the brighter aspect. Supposing the co-operative plant functions, the men work harmoniously and are interested only in working for the good of all. Then, their example might be exceedingly important in pointing to the solution of the social question. If it is shown that the members of the co-operative concern earn just as much or more during eight hours of work than they earned in ten hours while working for others, 5then the example will be emulated everywhere, and employers will be forced to pay higher wages and agree to shorter working hours. And no strikes, threats or violence will be required to make employers amenable to the new order. All such measures will become superfluous, because employers will then compete for labor.
But, if the co-operative venture is not successful, and the sale of goods requires a lowering of the present wage scale, then the workingmen will realize that the usurious gains of our capitalists (derived from the sweat of labor) were highly overestimated. The workers will then find that the profits of capitalists were fully justified, and were not obtained by mulcting the workers; that the fat citizen's income was derived from good management, capable judgment in considering marketing possibilities, prudent buying of raw material, proper observation of demand, and knowing the public's taste. The workers will then see that the savings effected by eliminating the manager of a concern will not suffice to raise wages.6
But regardless of the outcome, anyone wishing to make a true comparison between capital and labor would like to see the experiment tried. It would be a much better solution of the social question if the worker considers himself to be his own boss instead of a wage slave; and that also would abolish the two-class system in our social setup--two classes sworn to enmity until death.
Since the eight-hour movement struck a snag-although the N. Y. Volkszeitung said it would be a world event of as much historical significance as Columbus' egg--we have heard no more ...
I D 2 b, I H
Secondary listingsGerman // Attitudes > Social Problems and Social Legislation (I H) ?
Der Westen -- August 17, 1879The Co-Operative Furniture Factory
The furniture workers met yesterday at a hall at 53 West Lake Street to consider business matters involving the proposed co-operative factory. Mr. Stallknecht was chairman. It was announced that one half of the shares had been sold. The assembly nominated fourteen members, seven of whom shall be elected at the next meeting, to serve on the executive board. In the interim, the constitution and bylaws will be drafted by the committee of fourteen, whose names are given below: H. N. Allen, Henry Kaiser....[fourteen names].
The stockholders reserved the right to nominate additional candidates. The next meeting will be announced by the committee.
The furniture workers met yesterday at a hall at 53 West Lake Street to consider business matters involving the proposed co-operative factory. Mr. Stallknecht was chairman. It was announced that ...
I D 2 b, II A 2
Secondary listingsGerman // Contributions and Activities > Vocational > Industrial and Commercial (II A 2) ?
Der Westen -- September 28, 1879(No headline)
shares, and the bricklayers' union, which is in a sound financial condition, will also subscribe.
The motion to issue an appeal was tabled.
The secretary said that 1425 shares at $25 had been subscribed for, and that, when 1700 shares are sold, enough money will be available for the start. Ippsen, one of the members, said that the factory can be put into operation if another block of 200 shares is sold; 100 shares were taken during the evening, and another sale of 100 shares will make possible a start next Spring. Milentz asserted that the Association does not advertise enough; the members don't come to the meetings, although it was announced that the present meeting would be the last. Thon made a motion that every shareholder take an additional four shares; that would solve the problem. The furniture carpenters [cabinetmakers] earn enough money to enable them to make such an investment.3
Christian, another member, declared that there are enough furniture carpenters at the meeting who could subscribe for three, four, ten, or even twenty shares, but that the men hesitate because they are afraid.
The secretary said that within six weeks, fifteen per cent should be collected and another ten per cent sometime during the winter. Perhaps another small bond issue may have to be sold in the spring.
A number of pledges were received, and the meeting was then adjourned. Hereafter, only the executive board will convene, until sufficient funds are available to warrant another general meeting.
The committee hopes to be able to elect officers and start a full-fledged organization within two weeks. The next meeting of the committee will be held Monday evening, at 130 West Lake Street.
shares, and the bricklayers' union, which is in a sound financial condition, will also subscribe. The motion to issue an appeal was tabled. The secretary said that 1425 shares at ...
I D 2 b, I D 2 a 2
Secondary listingsGerman // Attitudes > Economic Organization > Unions > Craft (I D 2 a 2) ?
Skandinaven -- November 18, 1882Knights of Labor
The Knights of Labor restrict their membership to workers and small bosses only. According to their constitution, anyone who manufactures or sells liquor, lawyers, doctors and bankers are ineligible. The small bosses are permitted to number only one quarter of the total membership.
The Knights of Labor claim to support the move to set up government employment offices for workers and also co-operative institutions. They oppose prison work, and child labor. They demand equal pay for men and women, and a maximum of eight hours work per day. They also want the workers to receive weekly pay; they oppose bi-monthly and monthly pay days.
They believe that all public lands should be sold only to the people and 2not to the railroads or large industrialists, and only enough land per family which can be properly cultivated--a maximum of one hundred and sixty acres.
It is without doubt the strongest workers' movement in the history of the United States. If its growth continues, it will be a real force, not only politically but socially.
As we go to press, they have decided to throw their forces with the National Greenback-workers Party, which will to a certain extent strengthen their ranks. We can see the strategy of this move since it gives a definite political face to the organization.
The Knights of Labor restrict their membership to workers and small bosses only. According to their constitution, anyone who manufactures or sells liquor, lawyers, doctors and bankers are ineligible. The ...
I D 2 a 3, I D 2 c, I D 2 b
Secondary listingsNorwegian // Attitudes > Economic Organization > Unemployment (I D 2 c) ?
Norwegian // Attitudes > Economic Organization > Cooperative (I D 2 b) ?
Skandinaven -- May 15, 1893Industries
The Scandinavian Furniture & Cabinet makers have for some time had large meetings regarding co-operative factories. The idea is to have a number of the smaller factories co-operate under one roof, as they did in Rockford. The site of the Scandinavian Co-operative in furniture factories will be in Chicago Heights. It will cost $150,000 to realize the plans, but the money is easy to get.
The Scandinavian Furniture & Cabinet makers have for some time had large meetings regarding co-operative factories. The idea is to have a number of the smaller factories co-operate under one ...
I D 2 b, I D 1 b
Secondary listingsNorwegian // Attitudes > Economic Organization > Capitalistic Enterprise > Small Business (I D 1 b) ?
Lietuva -- August 26, 1893Lithuanians Do Not Slumber
Five times we wrote about the need of the Lithuanian colony in this country. Six families appealed to us and sent us two dollars for the cost of advertising in American papers to buy a tract of land. Recently we have still another eight Lithuanian families and now we have fourteen families ready to join the colony. As soon as we get twenty Lithuanian families, then we will advertise in American papers for such a tract of land. We will make a close deal. The land must be good, close to railroads, rivers, timber, and in a good climate. Through advertising we will get all information from compatriots and from agents we will get locations, maps, etc.
We hope that in a few weeks we may be ready to buy a tract of land for the Lithuanian colony.
Five times we wrote about the need of the Lithuanian colony in this country. Six families appealed to us and sent us two dollars for the cost of advertising in ...
I L, I D 2 b
Secondary listingsLithuanian // Attitudes > Economic Organization > Cooperative (I D 2 b) ?
Dziennik Chicagoski -- November 06, 1893Polish Farm Settlement Association Holds Meeting
About a hundred and fifty people interested in a Polish co-operative agricultural settlement gathered at the restaurant hall near Milwaukee Avenue at three o'clock yesterday [Sunday] afternoon. Henry Lubienski was called upon to preside over the meeting, and he in turn, named I. Machnikowski secretary.
John Wrzesinski read a carefully prepared report giving an account of the tour made by himself and Lubienski through Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado, the object of which was to find a suitable site for the settlement. The speaker gave a competent estimate of the land costs and economic conditions in a number of the places visited; he pointed to the benefits which could arise from establishing the settlement in eastern Nebraska, where the beet sugar industry has begun to develop.
Lubienski confirmed the facts stated in Wrzesinski's report and discussed the most expedient methods of acquiring farms; he expanded on the possible profits 2from the cultivation of sugar beets, either for the two beet sugar refineries already existing in Nebraska, or a new one which could be established. [He said that] this can only be successful through co-operation, and that if a greater number of Polish colonists agree to settle on the same site, the costs will be much smaller and much better terms can be arranged. Many attractive propositions have been offered.
The speaker also mentioned [the fact that] the Reverend Jakimowicz, a pastor of Omaha, was favorably inclined toward the project and had rendered the delegates many important services; he spoke of the friendly information and advice given by Prasecki and Knota, two farmers who have lived at St. Paul, Nebraska, for a long time.
J. Rybakowski supported this colonization plan. Machnikowski asserted that he knows of a few score families who are ready to move to the colony and who possess the necessary means.
[S. F.] A. Satalecki agreed as to the competency of Wrzesinski's report and 3spoke in favor of turning the attention of the Poles to farming as an escape from the poverty which threatens them in the overpopulated American cities. The speaker believed in the possibility of establishing a sugar refinery which would be the property of the settlers themselves. They could soon pay off the debts on their land from the profits of beet production and could then share in the profits from sugar refining. The speaker regarded this idea as a sound and useful one.
P. C. Broel warned that the Association should make agreements with the railroads as to freight charges, in order to prevent later exploitation [by the railroad companies].
Rudzinski spoke of his experiences with sugar beet production in Poland, where the farmers rapidly became prosperous wherever the beet sugar industry developed. He made a motion that a new delegation be dispatched to Nebraska for the immediate purchase of the necessary land.
The gathering accepted this motion and the meeting was adjourned. The next 4meeting will be held on Saturday, November 11, at seven o'clock in the evening, at the same place.
Twenty-three new names were added to the membership list of the Polish Farm Settlement Association in addition to the original fifteen.
About a hundred and fifty people interested in a Polish co-operative agricultural settlement gathered at the restaurant hall near Milwaukee Avenue at three o'clock yesterday [Sunday] afternoon. Henry Lubienski was ...
I D 2 b, IV, I L
Secondary listingsPolish // Representative Individuals (IV) ?
Polish // Attitudes > Agriculture in the United States (I L) ?
Dziennik Chicagoski -- November 13, 1893Meeting Concerning the Projected Polish Colony in Nebraska
A meeting[in the matter of the Polish colonization project]was held Saturday at Fiszer's Polish restaurant near Milwaukee Avenue. In the absence of H. Lubienski, the meeting was opened by I. Machnikowski. He explained that Lubienski, accompanied by [S.F.A.] Satalecki and Majewski, had gone to Nebraska to purchase land for the colony. He then called upon Mr. Wrzesinski to preside over the meeting; the appointment was unanimously approved by the gathering.
The chairman named Machnikowski secretary and then addressed the meeting at length on the aims of the project. His arguments, supported by statistics and experiences of his own from the old country, were favorably received. When he had finished, he asked other members of the gathering to take the floor.
Mr. Hewel's question as to whether persons who do not possess any ready 2cash can take part in the colonization, was answered in the affirmative by the chairman. Mr. Wozniak asked whether there are any limitations on the acreage that each settler can possess. The chairman explained that the smallest farms will probably be about forty-five acres, and that, as a matter of fact, each settler can purchase as much land as his capital allows, although a certain limit as to the largest number of acres will probably be set. Such a limitation will be made in order to prevent too great a difference between the richest and the poorest farmers.
As to farm buildings, the chairman explained, in answer to Mr. Kotecki's question, that the Association will probably foot all construction costs, and each farmer will repay this in yearly installments according to the size of his farm. In reply to another question, Mr. Machnikowski stated that beets bring from six to eleven times as much profit as wheat.
Mr. Korejwo inquired about the conditions on which land may be acquired. The chairman replied that twenty-five per cent of the value of the land will 3be payable down, while the balance will be payable in rates spread over several years. The aim of the Association to be formed will be twofold: first, acquisition of its own land; and second, establishment of its own sugar refinery. Railroad companies have already promised to co-operate with the Association.
The discussion, though in general harmonious, was disturbed by J. Rybakowski, who made personal attacks on individuals concerned with the Association's affairs. He foresaw exploitation by a few, impoverishment, and abandonment of the farms. The chairman refuted his arguments. Mr. Broel explained that Mr. Rybakowski's outburst was caused by his removal from the committee that went to Nebraska; the[real-estate]agent had denied him a railroad ticket on the grounds that he is an anarchist. Mr. Rybakowski did not deny this and thereafter kept his silence.
Twenty-four new members joined the Association.
I. Machnikowski, secretary.
A meeting[in the matter of the Polish colonization project]was held Saturday at Fiszer's Polish restaurant near Milwaukee Avenue. In the absence of H. Lubienski, the meeting was opened by I. ...
I D 2 b, IV, I L, III A
Secondary listingsPolish // Representative Individuals (IV) ?
Polish // Attitudes > Agriculture in the United States (I L) ?
Polish // Assimilation > Segregation (III A) ?
Dziennik Chicagoski -- January 16, 1896The Stock Company Store in South Chicago (Letter)
Despite all kinds of interference, the project of the Polish Stock Company, organized to carry on a co-operative store in South Chicago, is going forward steadily. Notwithstanding the obstacles of our erstwhile friends and Jewish agents, the project is continually gaining friends among the Poles here in South Chicago.
Although the factories have suspended work for an indefinite period, the shares of stock are eagerly sought, and, to date 800 shares amounting to $8,000 have been already sold. It is to be expected that the factories will soon reopen. This will contribute greatly to the success of this project.
The next meeting of the propaganda committee of the Business Corporation of South Chicago will be held on Friday, January 17, at 7 P. M., in the rectory, Bond Avenue and 83rd Street.
Despite all kinds of interference, the project of the Polish Stock Company, organized to carry on a co-operative store in South Chicago, is going forward steadily. Notwithstanding the obstacles of ...
I D 2 b
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