Publication: The Glassworker
Pittsburgh, PA, United States
FLINT WORKERS READY TO CO-OPERATE
TO MEET ANY EMERGENCY OF NATION
President Wm. P. Clarke, in his report
to the Forty-First Annual A. F. G.
W. U. Convention Defines the Patriotic
Position of the Organization.
Trade Questions are Analyzed.
YEAR HAS BEEN PROSPEROUS
The report of the national president of the A. F. G. W. U., William P. Clarke, is a very comprehensive document, covering every phase of the flint glass industry and containing statistics and data of a most illuminating character.
After welcoming the delegates to the forty-first convention and impressing upon them the importance of their labors as representatives of the association, President Clarke gives a brief hint as to the vast proportions of the work of the president, mentioning that during the past year, he had found time to travel 16,088 miles; issued 17 circulars, written 4,935 original letters and 274 telegrams in addition to holding conferences with manufacturers and workers and attending to the mighty task of steering the course of the organization.
As to the co-operation of the American Flint Glass Workers' Union with the federal government in the general work of meeting all emergencies of the war, President Clarke had this to say: In the bill arranging for the reorganization of the army, which was adopted during the month of June, 1916, section 120 provides that any manufacturer failing to meet the requirements of the secretary of war, that that official is empowered to take over and control such industry, and the refusal of any manufacturer to aid would mean a jail sentence for not more than three years and a fine to not exceed $50,000 in the discretion of the secretary of war.
Practically every industrial establishment in this country has been surveyed and can be commandeered for the use of the government at a moment's notice. This law is applicable to the glass industry the same as it is to the steel industry, but whether any of the plants' wherein our members are employed shall be taken over is a question for the future to decide.
Conserving the interests, rights and welfare of the workers is a problem. Representatives of labor have been meeting to aid in promoting the work so necessary to the nation's success in this conflict. It is reasoned that if we held aloof and failed to assist in protecting the worker, then we would be required to allow those whom we represent to labor under the direction of others, and without an opportunity for redress for wrongs that might be committed, which would otherwise have been avoided.
There is much to be done to alleviate un-necessary anguish that our participation in the war may entail. The minds of men will not be normal, especially so if they and that those nearest and dearest to them are deprived of the necessities of life, and perhaps the bread winner at the front. If the aims of the labor leaders of the country are achieved many things will be accomplished to assuage, the suffering of our people, while at the same time the trained minds and skillful hands of the workers in the various industries will be utilized for the preservation of our present working standards and wages.
I have attended three meetings at Washington where the interests and duty of the workers were considered. At the suggestion of President Gompers, and approved by the Council of National Defense, I was made a member of the mediation and conciliation committee. This work will be done voluntarily and the only remuneration that I expect is the opportunity to serve my country and at the same time keep in touch with the general conditions, and in this manner gain valuable information that may aid me in directing the work of our institution and thereby attain all that is possible for the good of our membership.
There is no doubt that men holding membership in our organization shall go forth to serve their country: in fact, many have already gone, and it is my firm belief that we should have a record of each individual who enlists, as we cannot fore-tell what may transpire that would make such a record necessary.
Therefore, I advise that the committee on officers' reports devise a plan whereby an accurate list may be compiled containing the correct name of each man enlisting, and such other detailed information as you, in your judgment, believe essential, and that a uniform blank be prepared for convenience sake. This record to be compiled under the supervision of our national secretary.
In addition to compiling a list of the names of those that enlist it appears proper that appropriate action be taken with reference to their financial standing. It occurs to me that a recommendation to the various local unions to discontinue charging dues, etc., would receive favorable consideration.
Referring to violations of agreements by members of the A. F. G. W. U., President Clarke shows his emphatic disapproval as follows:
If we cannot compel members to adhere to agreements made in good faith, then how can we, with anything approaching consistency, complain about others violating agreements? During the year several such unfortunate instances have occurred, as a result of which the officers of the union have been embarrassed by the conduct of our members.
It was an easy matter for your president to make a plea for an increase in wages for the press and iron mold departments at the conference held on June 6 and 7, compared with the difficult task of justifying the breaking of our agreements.
With the greatest earnestness I could summon I brought this action home to the 22 members who attended the workers caucus, at which time I dwelt particularly upon the attitude of the gatherers in embarrassing the membership as a whole, stating that it was my opinion that if the gatherers would not adhere to our agreements, then self-preservation justified other of our members in plants so affected in accepting the positions of the gatherers at the minimum wage paid for the character of work that they are accustomed to doing, and in that way bring the gatherers to their senses.
To bring this matter to your attention in a definite form I recommend that in those instances in which members of our union violate our agreements by ceasing work, unless such violations are approved by the president of the national union, that other members employed in a plant where our contracts are violated be authorized to do the work of the members committing such violations, provided they are not required to work for a smaller wage than the minimum rate paid in the branch of the trade in which they are employed. That is, a presser should receive the minimum wage for pressing, etc. This question should be considered by the committee on officers' reports.
The report includes an earnest recommendation that four organizers be continued in the A. F. G. W. U. on the ground that their constant application to the task of uplifting non-union workmen has a beneficial effect far in excess of the expense involved.
The death of President Denis A. Hayes, late president of the Glass Bottle Blowers' Association of the United States and Canada, who died Jan. 2, 1917 was fittingly referred to.
Superannuation Voted Down.
The voting down of the superannuation proposition is briefly outlined in part as follows:
This is a subject that has occupied the attention of many conventions and has troubled the minds of many representative men. At the Tiffin convention last year the proposition was given recognition to the extent of having a committee appointed to prepare a plan for adoption by our organization. The committee met on Oct. 30 and devoted five days to their task resulting in their plan being presented for consideration by the membership under date of Nov. 3.
The result was that the proposition was rejected by a vote of 2,866 to 327, and it is to be hoped, that this action will be the means of disposing of this proposition definitely.
It may not be amiss here to state that the vote cast on this question was the largest ever recorded on any proposition submitted to the trade in the recollection of the writer. And yet only 32 per cent of the members exercised their right to vote on this important subject, and of these, 90 per cent felt the proposition was not feasible and voted to reject it.
The Four-Hour Law.
The report contains the report of the commitee on four-hour law for the benefit of the many, whom President Clarke says are constantly violating it or inquiring about it:
We are constantly receiving complaints about members violating the "Four-Hour Law" along with requests from others wanting to know what the law is. For this reason I am publishing the law which was enacted at the Detroit convention and reads:
Report of Committee on Four-Hour Law.
We recommend that no department of the A. F. G. W. U. working on a limited basis be permitted to make more than one turn's work in four and one-half hours.
Be it further recommended that all shops use discretion in making their move on all wares and as far as possible work up to the full time of their turn.
And under no consideration shall any member leave the factory in less than four hours.
Any member violating this rule shall be fined $2.
F. E. Sigward, J. W. Martin, Harry Weeks, Wm. Gardner chairman; Thos. C. Devine, secretary.
(C. Pepper voted "No.")
This record can be found on pages 149, 152 and 160 of the proceedings of the Detroit convention.
Applications for Membership.
President Clarks makes the following recomendation:
The close observer of affairs in our organization has, no doubt, noticed that much of the space in our trade circulars has been utilized in submitting the names of applicants for membership in the various departments. It is indeed seldom, if ever, that an application is rejected. The thought occurs that better results can be accomplished by granting permission to local unions to admit applicants to membership by securing the consent of the national president, thereby avoiding unnecessary printing and at the same time facilitate matters so that the meetings of our local unions shall not be prolonged un-necessarily.
I recommend this plan to your cansideration [sic] consideration and trust that the committee on officers' reports will give us the benefit of their views.
The following table gives a record of all A. F. G. W. U. local unions that have been instituted during the past years and back as far as the early part of 1914:
Local Union No. 40, Machine and Press, Arcadia, Ind., May 30, 1914.
102, Cutters, Hammonton, N. J., July 31, 1914
54, Press and Iron Mold, Lonacoming, Md., Oct. 31, 1914.
75, Moldmakers, Huntington, W. Va., Nov. 7, 1914.
82, Punch tumbler, Byesville, O., Nov. 29, 1914.
85, Cutters, Jeannette, Pa., Dec. 29, 1914.
94, Chimney, New Cumberland, W. Va., Feb. 20, 1915.
100, Chimney, Sand Springs, Okla, March 19, 1915.
43, Bulb and Tube, Cleveland, O., April 18, 1915.
84, Cutters, Columbia, Pa., May 7, 1915.
104, Egg Makers, Fairmont, W. Va., May 23, 1915.
112, Mold Makers, Winchester, Ind., June 15, 1915.
106, General Line, Sapulpa, Okla, June 20, 1915.
114, Cutters, Lansing, Mich., July 22, 1915.
115, Cutters, Clevland [sic] Cleveland, O., July 28, 1915.
116, Punch Tumbler and Iron Mold, Cameron, W. Va., Aug. 7, 1915.
102, Cutters, Fall River, Mass., Oct. 9, 1915.
76, Press and Machine, Millersburg, O., Dec. 18, 1915.
104, Cutters, Suffern, N. Y., Jan. 15, 1916.
131, Lamp Workers, Millville, N. J., Feb. 4, 1916.
132, Lamp Workers, Vineland, N. J., Feb. 4, 1916.
133, Lamp Workers, Philadelphia, Pa., Feb. 8, 1916.
134, Lamp Workers, Baltimore, Md., Feb. 15, 1916.
124, Mold Makers, Terre Haute, Ind., Feb. 16, 1916.
114, Chimney, Redcliff, Alberta, March 20, 1916.
102, Caster Place, Dunkirk, N. Y., May 4, 1916.
135, Lamp Workers, Millville, N. J., May 13, 1916.
115, Mold Makers, Columbus, O., June 18, 1916.
129, Lamp Workers, Detroit, Mich., June 23, 1916.
117, Caster Place, Spring Mill, Pa., June 28, 1916.
128, Lamp Workers, Norwich, Conn., Aug. 14, 1916.
92, Mold Makers, Milwaukee, Wis., Aug. 15, 1916.
93, Cutters, Lake City, Minn., Sept. 11, 1916.
4, M. M. Cutters, Stopper, Newark, O., Sept. 28, 1916.
76, Punch Tumbler, Lumberport, W. Va., Nov. 11, 1916.
15, Press, Paden City, W. Va., Nov. 12, 1916.
84, Lamp Workers, Chicago, Ill., Dec. 16. 1916.
93, General Line, Fostoria, O., Jan. 6, 1917.
121, Punch Tumbler, Kingwood, W. Va., Jan. 20, 1917.
104, Mold Makers, Coshocton, O., Feb. 11, 1917.
123, Caster Place, Waterbury, Conn., Feb. 2, 1917.
117, Cutters, Indianapolis, Ind., March 29, 1917.
130, Lamp Workers, New Yorfk [sic] York City, April 16, 1917.
44, Mold Makers, Bridgeton, N. J., April 24, 1917.
The report emphasized the importance of presenting all needed facts at conferences for the adjustment of disputes, and the delegates are urged to emphasize this point in their reports when they return home.
The fact is pointed out that it would cost the A. F. G. W. U. 18 cents per member residing in Canada to affiliate the organization with the Trades and Labor Congress of Canadam which has 45 international unions affiliated with it, and the question of affiliating is put up to the A. F. G. W. U. membership.
The report also calls attention to the manner in which local union by-laws are presented to the national president and the suggestion is made that such laws be typewritten and presented in duplicate.
Referring to the organization's financial resources President Clarke says:
It is indeed very gratifying to note that at the close of our fiscal year, May 31, 1917, we had $268,482.50 in our national Treasury. This is the largest reserve fund our association has ever had, and it is an indication of the progress and prosperity of the union, especially so when our assessment has not been in excess of 2 per cent since March 1, 1916.
A glance at the quarterly report, issued by Secretary-Treasurer Shipman shows that our membership is greater than at any period in our history. Ten years ago our membership was 6,891, while today we have 9,850. This means an increase of 43 per cent in the past decade, which is very gratifying.
Many complaints have been registered relative to members of various local unions violating the week's notice law, and then securing their card from the financial secretary and departing without making the facts known to the officers of the local union that has jurisdiction. In order to avoid recurrence of such violation we are printing herewith section 3 of article 21, page 45, of the national constitution, and earnestly urge the financial secretary of each and every local union to insist on a member producing a factory card bearing the signatures of the factory committee and manager before thev issue a transfer card. The law reads:
""No person shall receive a card to change his place of work until be presents to the financial secretary a card from the factory committee showing him to have worked his notice, or to have been released by the company."
Details of six appeals from the decision of the national president to the executive board, the executive board upholding the decision of the president, are given.
Scarcity of Gas.
The alarming condition of the fuel supply is noted as follows:
Never in the history of the flint gass industry have the manufacturers and workers been as badly handicapped as they have during the past year because of the scarcity of natural gas, coal, oil, and other materials. This situation became very serious and in some localities our members were securing very little work. For instance, between January 1 and March 13 the members of Local Union 13 made only 15 turns out of 63 starts, due entirely to the scarcity of natural gas.
We have had requests from both manufacturers and workers to allow them to work at any time when fuel could be obtained. As a rule, natural gas could be secured during the night when it was not obtainable during the day. In every instance I took a broad view of the subject and gave permission to our members to work at any hour fuel could be obtained, provided they did not violate the four-hour law or exceed 11 turns per week.
My authority for this action was based primarily upon precedent, with the additional understanding that a law prevailed that warranted such precedent being established. After devoting many weeks to a search of the records we finally discovered that in Circular No. 14, dated Feb. 23, 1891, Local Union 66, of New Brighton, Pa., presented a petition to the trade which read:
"On account of the scarcity of gas the men found it impossible to make time, by conforming to the rule of making not more than two turns, in 24 hours. We have been shut down since December for want of fuel and ask the privilege of working as best we can to make time, and confine ourselves to 11 turns per week."
This petition was adopted by a vote of 1,328 to 486. The vote can be found in Circular No. 15, March 25, 1891.
It is my recommendation that this subject again occupy the attention of the committee on officers' reports and I earnestly urge that you approve of the action that has been taken, so that there shall be no doubt in the minds of our members as to the course they may follow in the future should they be confronted with a similar situation due to shortage of fuel, excessive breakage of pots or other unavoidable occurrences over which the workers and manufacturers have no control.
President Clarke reviews the various departments in rotation in whole and in part as follows:
Since 1914 this department has been constantly on the decline, and it is hard to cite a reason for it, except that some members who formerly were classed as press ware workmen are now classed in the caster place department, due to the making by them of ware that has been designated as blanks for cutting.
In the past year there has been much uncertainty because of the lack of fuel, sand, material, small help, inferior pots and many other obstacles that prevented our members in many localities from securing the steady time that they had been accustomed to.
The wages of the members have increased. An increase ranging from to 9 to 19 per cent was granted July 27 and became effective Sept. 4. This agreement was to continue for two years, but the abnormal condition confronting our members made it possible for us to have the agreement amended June 7, this amendment being submitted to the trade in Circular No. 17. If this amended agreement is accepted, and I have every reason to feel that it will be, than another substantial increase will be added to that granted on July 27, which will make the total increase for the press ware workers (since Sept. 4) range from 19 ½ to 41 2/3 per cent.
At the last conference the gatherers were well cared for by the minimum wage for gathering being raised to $1.70 per turn and (if the settlement is ratified) with 10 per cent added, it will mean that the least wage paid for gathering shall be $1.87 per turn.
The minimum wage for finishing was raised to $2.19, and on top of this goes the 10 per cent, making the lowest rate $2.41 per turn.
One accomplishment that pleased the members of this department is the abolition of the Colonial Tumbler agreement, which was made ten years ago. This change change will take effect Oct. 1917, after which date this grade of ware shall be regulated by the light table tumbler list.
The sliding scale agreement which has been in effect for years, but only applicable to jellies the past few years, will be abolished if the settlement submitted in Circular No. 17 is ratified by the members engaged in each department. It is pleasing to relate that we induced the Monongah Glass Co. to amend the special agreement on this class of ware to an extent by which the workmen received an increase of 10 per cent, beginning with Feb. 19.
A machine has been invented and the major portion of the beech nut jars are now being produced without the aid of skilled labor. It is related that a more perfect jar, insofar as weight and capacity are concerned, is produced by the machine than by the skilled workmen. They are able to make approximately 30 jars a minute.
While I have never witnessed this machine in operation, yet reports from those who have are of such a nature as to cause me to feel deeply concerned. It is connected with a continuous tank and the glass is passed from the tank to the mold by a flowing process. This is known as the Hartford machine.
The question of distinguishing one tumbler from another continues to be an annoying proposition, and President Clarke, as a step toward solving it, has requested pressed ware local secretaries to send samples of their block mold tumblers to Vice President Gillooly. Samples of the lightest 7 to, 9 to 11 and 11 to 14-ounce tumblers that are classed as "heavy" are desired.
A brief but concise account of the agreement readied by workmen and manufacturers at Jeannette, Pa., May 2, 1917, is given, which followed the strike of the boys at two plants and which resulted in an arrangement by which workmen had the option of doing boys' work at the minimum wage as agreed to and listed as follows: Presser, $2.19 per turn; finisher or handler, $2.06 per turn; gatherer, $1.56 per turn; blower, $2.20 per turn. The agreement was made under the supervision of Assistant Secretary Cook, in conjunction with a representative of the government, and provided that the men fill the boys' places in case of disagreement with the boys, if the boys' demands were found to be unreasonable, and that the boys were to submit all disagreements to the factory manager or later to the factory committee.
President Clarke says that there are two sides to the question of an equitable dockage rule, and suggests that the press ware committee should have a thorough discussion of the subject and later draft some rule that would regulate the matter.
The Rotary Press.
The attention of delegates is called to the rotary press, and the press ware and machine press committees are urged to get together and make whatever recommendation they feel is best for the interest of all concerned.
Press Ware Made in Bottle Factories.
This branch of the pressed ware department is developing nicely. It will be recalled that this part of the industry was reclaimed under the terms of the Peace Agreement, and we have been able to improve the workers' conditions at each step.
A uniform list has been agreed to, annual conferences are held, rules have been adopted and wages have been increased. Last July we secured an increase in the prices per hundred appearing in various brackets of the list, a 5 per cent increase on fire polished stoppers, and in addition to this we secured a general increase of 5 per cent applicable to all ware listed in this department.
The members are well satisfied and highly appreciate what has been accomplished for them.
The past year has been one of uncertainty, due principally to the inability of the manufacturers to secure what may be correctly termed perfect blanks. This is attributed to the glass manufacturer being unable to procure materials, and this difficulty has been constantly increasing since the war in Europe began. While some blanks present a favorable appearance, still after the cutting has been completed the article will not take the polish and proves a total loss.
To emphasize the difficulties that have been encountered by manufacturers engaged in the cut glass industry it is only necessary to relate that seven shops have been forced out of business in Greater New York because of their inability to secure reliable blanks. This is applicable to the heavy ware department.
The light ware manufacturer has been more fortunate because many of the blanks used in the light ware department are made from lime glass with a more liberal selection.
At the annual conference held on Aug. 4, the report continues, we were successful in securing an increase in wages amounting to 5 per cent. This increase became effective Dec. 4, 1916.
Punch and Stemware.
Concerning the punch and stemware department the report says we have 1,063 members in the punch tumbler and stem-ware department. There has been practically no change in the membership during the past four years. Notwithstanding the temperance legislation that is being put forward, we are of the opinion that the future of this department is assured and every plant of any consequence engaged in producing punch tumblers and stemware is under our jurisdiction, with the possible exception of the Federal Glass Co., Columbus, and the Bryce Bros. Co., Mt. Pleasant.
The future of this department is assured unless the automatic machine makes inroads. winch is not improbable. I refer to the machine in use at Sandusky where electric bulbs are produced successfully.
At the conference held July 29 we were successful in increasing the gatherer's rate on punch tumblers from 65 to 70 per cent and from 60 to 65 per cent on stemware. In addition to this, we received a general 30 per cent increase for the blower, and this, coupled with the increase for the gatherer, brought the total increase for the gatherer to 18 per cent on punch tumblers, and 10 per cent on stemwares. All things considered, we were greatly pleased with the results of our efforts in behalf of this department.
At the annual conference the subject of piecework in the stemware department occupied considerable time. The workers contended that they could not sanction a piecework system in this branch of the department declaring it was an injustice to ask it. The manufacturers, however, took a different view of the proposition and stated that they would present to the next annual conference bona fide data, with the hope that the workers would give same due consideration and go along with the piece-work system.
Lehr Melts and Breakage.
Here is another matter that is a very serious bone of contention and it will be brought prominently to the attention of the coming conference. It is to be hoped that the question will be thoroughly discussed by the men who are in constant touch with the work of the department and in a position to speak intelligently.
To the war can be attributed the credit for jnstilling new life into this branch of the glass industry. The membership of this department has increased 80 per cent over that of two yenrs ago, making it the third largest department in the organization.
While this department has enjoyed a recent phenomenal growth, and while indications for the immediate future appear encouraging still I would be untrue to my convictions if I failed to say that in my opinion its permanency is in jeopardy be opinion of the invasion of the machine, the use of lime glass and the installation of the continuous tank.
There will always be a certain number and character of bulbs produced by the old method, but I am convinced that the progress made in the way of producing bulbs by machinery — automatic as well as semi-automatic — and the more liberal selection in the quality of the ware, together with the fact that bulbs are being made successfully from lime glass and the continuous tank, all warrant me in admonishing those who follow this trade for a living to bear in mind that the present prosperous conditions will not continue.
President Clarke says that some workers had wished to have a wage conference before the expiration of the present scale, June 30, and that he had started, negotiations for that purpose. The manufacturers are agreeable to having whatever settlement is arrived at in July made applicable from the date the plants resume and President Clarke says he will endeavor to have this plan carried into effect.
Much time has been devoted by the national president to the unionization of the plant at Center Falls, and the results are considered encouraging in the extreme.
Every year we witness improvements in this department, says the report. In the past ten years the membership has increased from 463 to 763, or a gain of 65 per cent. I look forward to the next year being the greatest in the history of this department. Not only has the membership increased, but wages have been increased and hours decreased.
The effort of the workers to secure a raise in wages are related in the report. An agreement had been entered into in 1913 to continue until July, 1918, and all efforts to secure a conference were unsuccessful until Oct. 19, when a conference was hel, at which time the manufacturer were reluctant to consider the matter of wages as that matter had never before been legislated for in a conference of the mold department as there was no universal list and as wages were regulated locally. The workers caucased [sic] caucused after the joint meeting, when it was decided that the national president should issue a statement to the manufacturers and on the same date the men in each shop should apply for an increase in wages. This plan was earned out, and President Clarke sent a very convincing statement of the case to very convincing statement of the case to the manufacturers with the result that an increase ranging from 3 to 30 per cent was secured.
Molmakers [sic] Moldmakers Vs. Machinists.
President Clarke report also sketches the history of the jurisdiction dispute between the moldmakers and the machinists, embodies voluminous correspondence that passed between him and President Samuel Gompers and Treasurer John B. Lennon, of the American Federation of Labor, in which all important facts bearing on the question were carefully presented, along with the temporary agreement reached by the committee selected by the A. F. G. W. U., the I. A. M. and the A. F. of L. and the final decision of the investigating committee, which reaffirmed the decision of the American Federation of Labor, giving the jurisdiction of the making of molds for molding glassware to the A. F. G. W. U. President Clarke wrote to President W. H. Johnston, of the International Association of Machinists, to ascertain his official attitude on the question. The latter finally replied that it is necessary to refer the entire subject matter to the membership of the I. A. M.
There is little change in the membership of the paste mold department, continues the report. All members have been steadily employed and present indications augur well for the future. We cannot overlook the fact that the war in a measure is responsible .for the present prosperity, as much paste mold ware is being produced in this country that was formerly imported.
The settlement made by your executive board at the conference held Aug. 1 was rejected by the department, resulting in another meeting being held Oct. 5, at which time a 10 per cent increase in wages was granted to the regular paste mold department. This does not include the bar and tableware branch of the trade, as the settlement secured in this branch of the department at the August conference was accepted by the bar and tableware workers and became effective the first Monday in September, while the increase granted to the other members of the paste mold department did not become effective until Oct. 10.
The settlement that was rejected carried with it an increase in wages of better than 12 per cent with the unlimited system. In order to retain the limited method of production the 12 per cent was rejected and a 10 accepted, and the date prolonged when the increase became effective.
The caster place department received a 10 per cent increase in wages applicable to all members with the exception of lead glass tube workers was figured separately, a record of which will be found in Circulars Nos. 4 and 7.
At the direction of President Clarke a study of the weight of pressed lead and lime blanks was made the question having arisen during the representative meeting beginning Aug. 22, 1916. The results of this study established the differential as follows: An article pressed from lime glass will weigh 18 per cent less than a similar article pressed in the same mold from lead glass.
If the method is reversed, and the lead glass article is weighed first, then the lime glass article will weigh 15 per cent less than the lead.
Mr. William J. Evans, who made experiments, states that the glass from which the lead article was made was non-potash, consequently a different variation may exist where potash is used.
Attention is called to the fact that the Libbey Glass Co. has agreed with the tube workers in its employ to discontinue night work after June 30. This was the only plant in which electric tubing was being made at night time.
It is also pointed out that dissatisfaction prevails in many factories, due to short time and additional hardships in trying to produce good ware from poor material, as all manufacturers have experienced difficulty in making a good grade of lead glass through inability to secure material. This condition exists particularly, the report says, with reference to making heavy blanks.
That members employed in this department have reason to be satisfied with the year's results, is the opinion of President Clarke, who declares:
Not in my recollection have the members of any department fared as well as have members of this department during the past year, for I am glad to state that in the conferences held July 25, 1916, and June 7, 1917, wage increases were granted these workers totaling an amount unheard of in the history of our movement.
The dockage rule adopted July 26, 1916, having proved unsatisfactory, a new rule was adopted Feb. 6, 1917, which, the report points out, has worked well, the only dissatisfaction that has arisen being in the paste mold department, the manufacturers claiming they dock when bad ware due to bad workmanship reaches 10 per cent whether a move is reached or not, while the workers claim that they are not docked when the shop falls short of a move. The difference is to be threshed out at the annual conference in the paste mold department.
Shade and Globe.
There are 82 members employed at the trade, says the report. We were successful in securing a 10 per cent increase in wages for the members in this department, which increase became effective on Oct. 10. There is very little to say in addition to what was attached to the conference settlement appearing in Circular No. 4, which settlement was rejected by the department and necessitated a second conference being held, with the results heretofore [sic] heretofore recorded.
At the conference held on July 28 the workers succeeded in securing a 5 per cent increase in wages, becoming effective on Jan. 1, 1917. I have never felt that the department received at that time all that it was entitled to, and I believe that the workers in this branch can look forward to favorable consideration on their proposition for further increase in wages at the coming conference. This 5 per cent was the first increase of any character granted to the membership of this department since it was first instituted.
This department has expanded during the past year, in fact its membership at this writing almost equals the number in the department previous to our adjustment with the Glass Bottle Blowers' Association, at which time we transferred many members to that organization. This is encouraging.
All our members in this department are confined to one plant namely the Hemingray works at Muncie, Ind., and constitute the greater part of the membership of Local Union No. 23. During the year I held two conferences with Mr. Hemingray with excellent results. On Dec. 4 a 10 per cent increase was granted to the membership in this department, and another 10 per cent was secured a few weeks ago.
There is little to report in this department, other than to say that all propositions presented by the workers and approved by the engraving committee of the last convention were enacted into law during the annual conference. This meant the reduction of the number of working hours from 55 to 50 per week.
During the month of November, 1915, a movement was inaugurated to organize the men engaged in the lamp working trade. One year ago we reported a membership of 161, while today we are able to report a membership of 370. President Clarke also made a strenuous effort to organize all lamp working plants corresponding with sixty different manufacturers and inviting them to attend a conference at the Walton Hotel, Philadelphia, Nov. 3, 1916. While no agreement resulted a number of substantial increases in wages have been granted to members of this department.
In concluding his report President Clarke refers to the unusual trials and difficulties which have rendered his work more arduous as an accompaniment to the unusual conditions which have confronted the A. F. G. W. U. and which have comefrom many angles, and praises his associates for the way they have put their shoulder to the wheel in co-operation with him.
"In every instance," he continues, "I have fearlessly done that which my experience and judgment suggested that I should do. No doubt time may demonstrate that I have made some mistakes, but at this writing I do not know of a single act that I would not repeal under the same circumstances and with the same facts that I possessed when that act was performed. For my acts I am responsible. There will be no equivocation on my part — I have done my duty as God gave me the light to understand my duty, and, fellow delegates, my closing admonition is that you do yours for the good of all and for the welfare of the American Flint Glass Workers' Union.
"If, in your deliberations, there is brought to your notice any man who, your judgment tells you, may serve this institution in the capacity of president with a greater degree of success than the present incumbent, you will fail to do your duty if you do not select that man for chief executive of this organization."