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OR many long years, it was accepted as the mileage. The work so far accomplished in this coun
truth that an electric railroad could not suc- try has cost in round figures eighty million dollars.
cessfully compete with a steam road in long New projects which have reached beyond the talkdistance traffic. There are still in use old textbooks ing stage and which have, at least some of them, where one can find the statement. Acknowledged been partially started and for which material and authorities made the statement and repeated it until equipment has or is about to be ordered, involve that great compelling force of all progress, economic between twelve and fifteen hundred miles of road necessity, made itself felt and decided otherwise. at an estimated total cost of one hundred and fifty
The United States was in a fortunate position. million dollars. It had all the coal it wanted and some more besides.
Amongst the most important projects are: This was not the case in Europe. France and Italy,
The electrification of the Illinois Central terminfor instance, were compelled to electrify because
als in Chicago, and 28 miles of suburban traffic track of the shortage of coal, its prohibitive price and the
out of that city. presence
within their boundaries of water-power resources which presented a more economical way of
The electrification of the New York Central term
inals in Cleveland. generating current. Throughout Europe, these dominating reasons have led to the same result. France, The electrification of one hundred miles of the Italy and Switzerland have gone in for a compre
Ford road. hensive policy, the result of which will be the com- One hundred and twenty-five miles of the Milplete electrification of their railroad systems. Bel- waukee in the Cascade mountains. gium, Norway, Sweden and England have made a One hundred miles of the Norfolk and Western. beginning on an extensive scale, and several other The economic considerations which have influcountries are still in the period of preliminary enced the private owners may be summed up as studies.
follows: As things stand at the present time, the United First, the financial condition of the roads is good States, on account of its size, leads the world in the and their borrowing capacity at normal rates of inamount of miles already electrified but, considering terest allows them to find the necessary money the rate of progress of new undertakings in Europe, through issues of bonds. it is lagging behind, in a relative way.
Second, the increase in traffic. For several years The electrified road mileage of the U. S. today past the capacity of some of the roads has been amounts to 1607 miles, with an equipment of 375 heavily taxed by the traffic, to such an extent that electric locomotives. Eighteen other countries have something must be done. It is a case of either together 3567 miles of electrified track, which gives double tracking or electrifying. the U. S. nearly one-third of the world's electrified The third factor is the small rise in the price of
JUN E, 19 2 3
coal over the general rate of increase in the average price of all other commodities.
The cost of electrifying per mile will be on the average $45,000 for single track and $75,000 for couble track. To this must be added from 40 to 50 per cent of the cost of track fitting for power stations. The total cost per mile will thus be in the neighborhood of $65,000 for single track and $100,000 for double track.
One of the main features of electrification, where no water power is available, will be the use of coal at the mouth of the mine or pit. It will not be very long before as a mere matter of common sense, for possible emergencies all those mine-mouth power stations will be linked up together. The owners will proceed on a larger scale just in the same manner as the private owners of industrial plants today who generate their own power but find it desirable, in view of possible emergencies, to connect their private system up with some other electric system selling "juice" to the public. Through these connections between power companies will be established the technical or material basis of one of the most powerful trusts of the future.
To gain an idea of the imminent developments in that direction, it is only necessary to look at a map of the state of California and to consider how the various power systems derived from the rivers which flow from the high levels of the Sierras toward the Pacific have all been connected up into one comprehensive system, which has led to the formation of the economic power that is ruling the state of California today.
In order to gain an idea of the economic consequences of electrification, we have at our disposition the traffic figures for the year 1922, as published by the statistical division of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
The coal tonnage carried in interstate commerce amounts, roughly speaking, to three-tenths of the general total of tonnage carried. In the total of coal carried by the railroads, one quarter is company coal. In other words, every fourth car of coal carried in interstate commerce is company coal and this proportion only covers the coal used for generating steam for hauling freight and passengers. This fuel used only in transportation service does not include the fuel used in railroad shops, offices, etc.
If all the railroads of the U. S. were electrified, no more company coal would have to be carried and electrification with juice derived from waterpower and generating plants at the pit mouth would do away with three-fortieth of all railroad traffic. In other words, for every forty carloads of freight there would be three carloads of coal less.
The capitalists who own the railroads would never have decided upon electrification with the enthusiasm which they are showing today, if there did not exist, under the circumstances, a possibility of huge profits. As a matter of fact, one road expects the
economies of electrification to pay for the entire cost of the work within five years.
The interests of the workers do not count before the boards of directors of the owning concerns. For that reason, it is not only useful but practically imperative that there should be in existence a publication like The Industrial Pioneer, where those huge projects may be considered from the point of view of the workers.
To the construction worker I would say: Are you ready to get your legitimate share of that expenditure of one hundred and fifty million dollars within the next few years? Besides, an undertaking of that size means a reorganization of the personnel. Lots of old timers who think themselves secure in their seniority are due to go into the discard. Electrification means a demand for a new type of labor to be used in entirely new forms of activity.
The very suggestion of a craft union makes one smile. The craftsman is not going to get a look-in on those jobs. He would be useless if he tried and therefore it is useless for him to try. The man who is going to be benefited by electrification is not the specialized craftsman but the worker who comes upon the labor market with the greatest faculty of adapting himself to the machine processes to be used in the job.
We shall probably see a repetition on a much enlarged scale of what took place on many railroads when the block-signal system was put in. There will be a standardized gang and every man will start at the foot of his gang, working himself up through all intermediate stages till he reaches the top. Every time a stretch is completed, the men at the top of the gang will be left behind as maintainers of the completed stretch while the balance of the gang will move up to help in further construction, and so on.
To represent the men who do the work in the various activities of organization, something more efficient is needed than a lot of high-salaried craft union delegates butting into each other all over the works and working at all times at cross purposes with each other and hand in glove with the boss. Besides also, our old friend the employment shark is already figuring on getting his. Effective protection for the workers, efficient representation in all transactions with the employers, elimination of crooked employment agents working in collusion with grafting officials can only be brought about by a centralized, well disciplined and efficiently manned ONE BIG UNION aiming at nothing less than job control in the fullest sense of the word.
To the coal miner it must now become evident that before any coal is used for generating current, every possible available inch of water will have to be put to work. This will probably lead to a certain curtailment of coal mining. Can the coal miners trust their organization and their officials, as we know them by their past records, to stand by them honestly and faithfully in this crucial hour?
As for the railroad men, let them not lose sight this marvelous new industrial development with the of that suppression of three cars in every forty and proud consciousness that you are both the creator figure out what it means to every one of them in and the future owner of these electrified roads? particular. Are they efficiently organized to control Do you want to get a fair living out of their conthe changes that are bound to come in the wake of struction and some day to run them with your felelectrification and to see to it that part of their low workers, in one efficient group, and to take part wages does not go to pile up those economies which in the noble adventure of realizing for the common are expected to pay inside of five years for the cost good the technical progress which science has of electrification?
brought as a boon, not only to the capitalists but to To all the workers affected by electrification I the whole of society and to the producers first of would like to leave this closing thought: Do you
all? want to be, in true A. F. of L. style, just poor imi- Your answers to these questions will decide tations of petty bourgeois puttering along without whether you will do your share in the coming work vision and without profit on the outskirts of a great of electrification with an antiquated A. F. of L. craft industrial undertaking or do you wish to enter into
card or with an I. W. W. card in your pocket.
“Negro Slavery or Crime of the Clergy"
HERE has recently been issued from the press
a very interesting and educational document on the Negro problem, which is now over four hundred years old.
In its time it has engendered a vast amount of talking, writing and prejudice, and one naturally inclines to the opinion that it is far from a solution. Such an opinion, though, is somewhat modified after a careful reading of Mr. Russo's book. He not only has a solution for the question but he sets forth a program that has the merit of being practical. He quite clearly demonstrates that there now are forces at work that will solve the whole Negro question. He indicates further that these forces are fast bringing on a crisis in the situation. When the crisis has arrived our author points out some very definite practical steps to be taken.
The work indicates that the author has devoted much time to reading, research and study of the question upon which he writes. His brief and succint history of the slave trade, beginning with Prince Henry of Portugal, and the extension of that trade to Spain and England, is not only instructive but intensely interesting as well.
The author is able to carry not only himself but the reader backward in history. In reading this work one is carried back to the days when "Black Ivory” was a commercial product and the Negro was bought and sold in the market much the same as cattle are nowadays. Here we find a good analysis of the slave-trader's psychology. How the trader would judge a Negro according to his temperament, weight, strength of bone and muscle, is vividly described. Our author visualizes for us again the days when the white man haggled and bartered over the amount of gold he would exchange for a black man.
The quotations contained in the book from the great abolitionists and Negro sympathizers are well chosen. Among them we find the names of Thomas Jefferson, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Horace Greeley, Abraham Lincoln, Winwood Reade and Parker Pillsbury.
Among the most interesting and startling facts in the book is an accurate analysis of the growth of Negro population in the United States. This analysis is keen and is presented in such manner as to show the gradual increase in power for the Negroes through the proportional increase of their population.
Also, “The Center of Negro Population in the United States' is set forth with a historical background. The Negro population, its changes and movements, the causes and effects of such movements, are accurately set forth and incisively analyzed. Perhaps no more interesting facts and data have been introduced on this question than those that Mr. Russo compiles under this head.
The most significant feature of the document, however, is the manner in which the author identifies the cause of the white and black workingmen. He shows that their present conditions as workers differ only in degree and not in kind. He concludes by telling us that both the white and black man should iay aside race distinctions, visualize their common humanity and organize themselves into an effective social engine for the purpose of breaking down the wage system, which keeps them both in bondage.
The book is interesting, bristling with facts, and has a constructive outlook. It should be in the hands of all those who wish to be informed on the social status of the Negro.
Published by Pasquale Russo, 833 Sedgwick Street, Chi. cago, III.
Price, 25 cents.
FIGHTING FOR AN IDEAL
Who said the workers “will not stick ?” ATIONS which have no vision,
Talk about solidarity! Here is an example rish” so says history—and proves it. of it-par excellence. First, the sailors and Individuals who live without vision, degen- longshoremen tie up the port, practically one erate and become outcasts among human hundred per cent. Over ninety ships laying kind. The same is true of men in the ag
idle. Then, meetings—peaceable, orderly, gregate, of societies and even of labor un
well-conducted, held by the strikers and ions. Man does not live by bread alone.
sympathizers within their constitutional
rights of free speech and free assemblage. The Industrial Workers of the World is an
Daily meetings attended by thousands of organization with ideals. Its members carry
striking workingmen and justice-loving in their hearts at all times a vision of a
citizens from all walks of life who believe in future society in which crime and degrada
fair and square dealing. tion, poverty and slavery, will have been forever wiped off the face of the earth. The I. Second manifestation of solidarity: ArW. W. is a labor union which fights the mas
rest of speakers; one after another, a seemter class at the point of production for more
ingly endless stream of them are arrested and wages and better conditions, but it is also at thrown into jail. But does that break the the same time something more than that. spirit of the strikers, or lessen the enthusiasm Something infinitely more than that, for it of their supporters? Why, no! It merely fights for an emancipated and a regenerated
serves to fan the flames of discontent, to humanity.
bring together still closer all those who are
fighting the vicious and corrupt power which Witness the spirit of the I.W.W. General rules the state of California. Strike! What a wonderful, what a magnificent display of idealism, class solidarity and Third' manifestation of solidarity: thouself-sacrificing enthusiasm ! A hundred sands of membership cards in the Industrial thousand lumber workers, tens of thousands Workers of the World are issued. The workof marine transport, construction, and oil ers and citizens of San Pedro have realized workers quit their jobs and announce for the the necessity for a permanent and a fighting whole world to hear that the first and fore- labor organization. most of their demands is the liberation of all class war prisoners.
At last, having lost all sense of decency
and every vestige of self-control, and having This might be a decadent and materialistic
become raving mad at the unflinching and age, as regards the members of the parasitic and ruling classes, but the base spirit of dauntless spirit of the striking workers and narrow-minded self-interest has neither cor- citizens of San Pedro, the police, at the beroded nor corrupted the souls of working- hest of the shipowners, arrest every member men. They are as ready now as ever to fight of the strikers' committees—sixty-eight in for right and justice.
This is followed by the arrest of six SAN PEDRO
hundred strikers and sympathizers—includHE marine transport workers strike in
San Pedro will go down in the annals ing Upton Sinclair. The jails are filled to of history. “The San Pedro Spirit” ought to capacity; a stockade has to be built. We are become a watchword thruout the nation; it confident that “The San Pedro Spirit” will is an inspiration and a prophesy.
be equal even to this crowning outrage.
benefits out of their own pockets, they will HE purpose of a strike is to compel the
let the boss pay them in the form of wages.
Striking on the job means—any one of a It therefore stands to reason that those tac
multitude of things. It means slowing down tics which will achieve this end are the right
on the job, retarding production by a multitactics. That up till now they might not plicity of methods; it means, in short, hitting have been frequently resorted to is beside
the boss in the pocket-book. And the beauty the point. The question is—do they deliver
of it is that the boss is paying all the expense the goods?
of conducting the strike. The long-drawn-out strike has been proven
The marine transport workers, excepting to be a failure in the majority of cases.
the San Pedro strikers, stayed out for a week How many strikes of this character have
and a half after the lumber workers went there been in the last ten years that have back, and then they also returned to their been successful? Very few indeed. Labor jobs. They won practically all their decannot fight capital with money; labor does mands, outside of the release of class war not have enough of the “long green” to sup- prisoners. ply it with the necessities of life if the strikes
The moral is : strike while the iron is hot! lag on for months and months.
The workers cannot afford to stay away The I. W. W. lumber workers went back
from their jobs months on end, in the vain to work on May 7, but they are still on strike! This will be a surprise to the standpat old- hope of “winning.” If they cannot win in a timer in the labor movement. All that the comparatively short time off the jobs, then lumberjacks have done is to carry the strike
let them carry the strike back on the job, and back on the job. Instead of paying strike
SEE, to the oil be low, more purely still and higher