Minutes of the IWW Founding Convention - Part 16
Industrial Workers of the World
Thursday, July 6
The convention was called to order by Chairman Haywood at 1.25 P.M.
THE CHAIRMAN: When the convention adjourned we had just disposed of the motion to refer. The motion now occurs on the adoption of Section 2 of Article I of the constitution as recommended by the committee.
Secretary Trautmann: I would ask, in order to eliminate too much discussion, the consent of the Constitution Committee to insert in their report on Section 2 the following clause: “Shall consist of thirteen industrial divisions subdivided into industrial unions of closely connected industries in the appropriate organizations for representation in the departmental administration.”
DEL. BRADLEY: Do you make that as a motion?
SECRETARY TRAUTMANN: Yes, sir.
DEL. BRADLEY: I will second that motion.
THE CHAIRMAN: You have heard the amendment offered by Secretary Trautmann to Section 2, Article I of the constitution.
Secretary Trautmann: I believe that most of the delegates in the convention are firmly decided upon these principles of organization. I am satisfied that you all agree that we should have a concentration of administration, and I am satisfied that every one is willing to allow industrial subdivisions to have an administration and a voice in the various industrial subdivisions. The amendment would not change the structure of the constitution as submitted to this convention. It would only guide the incoming Executive Board so as to allow industrial organizations to install themselves into this organization as soon as it is launched. I believe that most of us have agreed, and are agreed, that in years to come the concentration of this organization will go on in line with the concentration of capitalistic enterprises, and I believe also that a time of transition should be allowed. The structure as laid down, or foundation, by your Constitution Committee, gives ample time for the incoming Executive Board of this organization to mete out the detail work of this organization. They can subdivide, they can arrange matters, they can have an organization flexible enough to install the organizations into departments where they properly belong. I believe also that even the diagram outlined, good as it may be, does not settle all the affairs, and there should be always room for discussion as to what would be the best for an organization, as long as the membership of that organization are willing to install themselves into this organization. According to this amendment which I make, we agree that a central administration should exist. This central administration should be comprised of thirteen industrial divisions instead of industrial unions. At the same time, in each division there should be room for industrial organizations; and the industrial organizations will install themselves in line with capitalistic development. For instance, the United Brewery Workers to-day only embrace a part of the brewery workers in all the departments. At the same time I realize the fact that in conformity with the plans of other countries the scope of the organization and the plans that we may advance should embrace every man and every woman employed in the industries of making beer, wine, liquor and so on. So also do I believe that the tobacco industry should include every one employed in the tobacco industry and that they should have a right to have an organization of their own, but they all should be subject to the rules of the general organization, and should be allowed representation in the administration of that respective department. You have practically endorsed the plan of organization as outlined by the Constitution Committee. It may not be perfect. I do not believe it is perfect, but it is good enough for one year’s work or two years’ work, and then whatever defects we may find in the plan of organization, they will be found out in one or two years, and then your Executive Board will be able to make such recommendations as to make the organization perfect. We have agreed at this convention that we must have one principle laid down. That principle is that we must adapt our constitution, our methods, our forms of organization, as much as possible to the development of capitalistic enterprises. This principle being settled we should also give room for detail work for the incoming Executive Board, and this can be settled by the Constitution Committee when it adopts this small amendment, or this small clause to be inserted in the article, which will not change, amend or modify any one of the other clauses to follow, but will simply allow the thirteen departments to stand in these departments; the various organizations will shape themselves according to the institutions of our times, and I believe this will settle the local difficulties and give each organization a chance to work out the best plans by which it can install itself into this new proposed organization. It will allow room for the working class to find the best place where they can get in, and where they properly should be situated, and I believe this would solve also the rest of the work of the Constitution Committee, and would give a chance for the entire convention to adopt the rest of the work of that committee. I do that for a purpose. I have seen some of the Constitution Committee, and I believe that they will agree upon these detailed sections of the constitution if adopted by this convention with the consent of the Constitution Committee, and we then know that we have the structure laid, and in one year perhaps we can find all the defects of the constitution and remedy them if we find it necessary; and for that same reason Mr. Chairman,. I will make that as a motion, that the Constitution Committee be requested to insert that as a part of Section 2.
DEL. COATES: I understand now that this motion or this amendment is before the house.
THE CHAIRMAN: This amendment is before the house.
DEL. COATES: I want to make a motion. I am willing to submit this motion without any debate. I do it largely on account of this new matter coming in and the temperament as I understood of the convention when it voted on the previous motion. My motion is this: I move that the present Constitution Committee be discharged and the amendment now before the convention be referred to a committee of the same number and selected in the same manner as the present Committee on Constitution, with instructions to report a constitution complying with the Manifesto declaring for craft autonomy locally, industrial autonomy internationally, and working class unity generally.
DEL. PARKS: I second the motion.
Question called for.
DEL. COATES: I wish to ask for a roll call, Mr. President.
THE CHAIRMAN: I would say to the mover of the motion that the motion will not be entertained by the Chair until such time as the disposition of this convention is determined as to the plan that has already been selected to form a Constitution Committee of this convention. (Applause). The Chair will suspend his decision in regard to this very serious matter. The committee will be selected in the same manner as the present committee, as this provides. Permit the Chair to say that in his opinion the selection of the group from the Western Federation of Miners would consist of identically the same delegate that is now on that committee, the President of the Western Federation of Miners. And it is the opinion of the Chair that the formation of this committee would be identically the same as it is at the present time, and until such time as this amendment has been disposed of, and the sense of this convention in regard to the committee that have already submitted their work has been defined, the motion will be declared out of order. If you have a desire to appeal from the decision of the Chair, you will be so permitted.
DEL. COATES: Give me a chance. I want to say, Mr. Chairman, that I appeal from the decision of the Chair, and in that appeal I wish to state my reasons. My reasons for appeal is this: I disagree with the Chairman when he says the make-up of the committee will be the same. I do not believe the Chair or any other delegate can assume that right or that position; I do not believe it.
I make the appeal on another ground. Mr. Chairman, we have realized all the way through that this Constitution Committee has absolutely pledged itself to support this report, and we know that behind that pledge is a sufficient number of votes to carry that amendment. At the same time the temper of the resolution, or rather of the convention, on the previous motion that was voted on, to refer it back to the same committee, shows to us that there are some members of the Constitution Committee that would be willing to send it to some other committee. They are simply standing together as a committee. They would prefer that this be unloaded onto some other committee. Now, Mr. Chairman, that is my only reason, and I do not think this convention ought to be forced to go up against a committee that is absolutely pledged to support this motion regardless of whether they are convinced that it is right or that it is wrong; and I make my appeal on those grounds, and I ask a roll call on the appeal.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Chairman would take the position that every member on this committee is placed on his honor; that after coming into this convention and listening to the debate which has consumed twenty hours of time, I say the members of this committee must have absorbed some ideas, and that the will of this convention stands above any action that may have been taken in that committee. Delegate Miller, will you kindly take the chair?
(Delegate Miller took the chair.)
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The decision of the Chair has been appealed from. Does the Chair desire to state its reason for making the decision?
DEL. HAYWOOD: I have already stated the reasons.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The question now occurs on the motion, shall the decision of the Chair be sustained? Those who are in favor of sustaining the decision of the Chair will, when their delegations are called, record themselves as voting yes, and those who are opposed to sustaining the decision of the Chair will vote no. The Secretary will call the roll.
DEL. DANIEL MCDONALD: They are putting the Chair in the wrong light in presenting the proposition. I think Robert’s Rules of Order provides that when the Chair is appealed from it is not a personal issue with the Chair, The way you put it makes it a personal issue with the Chairman, which is not the case. Consequently the motion should be put in this manner: Shall the decision of the Chair be the judgment of this convention? That relieves the Chairman of stating the issue of the proposition and settles the responsibility of the decision upon the convention itself.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: So far as the Chair is concerned, he is of the opinion that the delegate’s objection is a distinction without a difference.
DEL. KIEHN: What about the vote of my organization? I have a telegram from my union, giving power to install.
Secretary Trautmann: I have just received a telegram from the Longshoremen’s Union asking permission to cast its entire strength of 400 votes. Will the convention allow his vote of 400 to be recorded on any roll call or in any action of the convention?
DEL. MURTAUGH: That should be decided later.
It was moved and seconded that the vote be so recorded and that the delegate be permitted to cast the 400 votes.
Delegate De Leon moved the previous question.
Delegate Frye rose to a point of order.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The previous question has been called for on the question as to whether the gentleman representing the Longshoremen’s Union shall cast the entire vote of his organization.
DEL. COATES: Is that the motion?
DEL. DE LEON: A motion was made and entertained, as I understood, that the member be allowed to record the vote of his organization. That motion was seconded. The Chair entertained that motion, and on that motion I rose, was recognized and moved the previous question.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: It is not necessary to have any lengthy discussion on this, and the Chair will call for the vote on that question at once.
DEL. COATES: I rise to a point of order, that is all. I don’t want to discuss it. I do not know how this delegate is going to vote, and I don’t want to know. But I raise the point of order that it is not in order, as there is a motion now before the house, or there is an appeal, which is the same thing.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The Chair would decide that it is the sense of this convention to treat every delegate fairly and allow him to be represented on every vital question coming before this convention and therefore I will decide that the motion to allow the delegate his full voting strength is in order.
DEL. SAUNDERS: I appeal from the decision. (Seconded.)
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The Chair will call Delegate Spiegel to the Chair. Please be seated, as the Chair is not going to recognize anybody until the gavel is in the hands of another man.
(Delegate Spiegel assumed the chair.)
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The question before the house is on the appeal from the decision of this Chairman (Del. Miller). Are you ready for the question?
The question was called for by several delegates, and being put, the decision of Chairman Miller was sustained.
(Delegate Miller resumed the duties of Chairman pro tem.)
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The question Is whether the Longshoremen’s Union shall cast the full strength of its organization. (Question called for.)
DEL. MURTAUGH: I wish to speak on this question.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The previous question has been called for. It will be applied to this motion.
DEL. DANIEL MCDONALD: Mr. Chairman, I believe now is the time to discuss this.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The chair has been sustained.
DEL. MCDONALD: I rise to a point of order.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: Brother McDonald is out of order. DEL. MCDONALD: The question cannot be called on the appeal, because the appeal is not debatable.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: Those who are in favor of allowing the delegate from the Longshoremen’s Union—
Previous question called for.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: Do you wish the previous question on that?
A DELEGATE: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: Shall the previous question be now put?
Question called for, and being put, was declared carried.
DEL. MURTAUGH: Please inform us, Mr. Chairman, what the previous question is.
THE CHAIRMAN: Those who are in favor of seating the delegate from the Longshoremen’s Union will make it known by saying aye. Contrary no.
DEL. MURTAUGH: Is there any debate on that question?
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: No.
DEL. MURTAUGH: No? Then you have parliamentary anarchy, not parliamentary law.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The convention will be in order. The previous question was called for and carried. That took the question beyond the realm of debate.
DEL. MURTAUGH: The question before the house was the question on the appeal from the decision of the Chair, and nothing else can be entertained but that until that is decided.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The gentleman is out of order.
DEL. MURTAUGH: If anybody thinks that gag rule is going to prevail he is certainly mistaken. I recognize the limitations of parliamentary law, but I recognize the fact that parliamentary law was instituted first on account of necessity.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: Will the delegate please be seated?
DEL. MURTAUGH: There is no order here; no order in anything that has been done on the past motion. In God’s country I am out of order? I am simply asserting myself as an individual.
Cries of “Sit down,” and confusion.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: If it is necessary the Chair will appoint a sergeant-at-arms to preserve order.
DEL. MURTAUGH: If you so decide I shall quietly go outside with any sergeant-at-arms that you may see fit to appoint. I protest against the proceedings that are had here under the guise of parliamentary law. It is anarchy, pure and simple. (Applause.)
A DELEGATE: The previous question on the appeal from the decision of the chair.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The question now occurs on the appeal from the decision of the Chair.
DEL. COATES: Mr. Chairman—
Secretary Trautmann: The Chair decided that he would not entertain the amendment of Delegate Coates until the amendment of Delegate Trautmann had been disposed of, and Delegate Coates then appealed from the decision of the Chair.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: Now the previous question has been called for on this?
DEL. COATES: No, I beg your pardon.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The Chairman simply asked a question for information on the former motion, and now Delegate Coates desires to state his reasons for appealing from the decision of the Chair; was that it?
DEL. COATES: Mr. Chairman, I will state to you in just a moment what I want. The only thing I have in mind, Mr. Chairman, is to get this convention quiet so it can understand what it is voting on before this roll is called, that is all. Now. I want to appeal to the delegates, for heaven’s sake let us not get excited and undo absolutely our ten days’ work in this convention. Now, let us understand, quietly and calmly, with the best intentions in the world, and know just where we are now. That is all I want. Now, the motion before the house, if the Chair will permit me to state it in my way, is that I made the motion to refer it to a new committee for the reason that I believe it is the proper thing to do, to bring us out of this turmoil. The Chair decided it was out of order. I have appealed from that decision. The vote is, shall the decision of the Chair be the decision of the convention? Now, all that are in favor of the appeal will vote yes, and all who are in favor of my appeal will vote no. Now let us not get into a turmoil before this vote is over.
(Cries of “roll call.”)
DEL. MURTAUGH: If we can have quiet I wish to say something.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: My brother, there is no discussion on the appeal from the Chair other than by the person making the decision and the man who makes the appeal. Now the Chair wishes to state that those who vote yes on the question, “Shall the Chair be sustained?” will sustain Delegate Haywood in the decision that it was out of order to refer Delegate Coates’ amendment to another committee along with the report of the Constitutional Committee, and those who vote no will vote in favor of the motion made by Delegate Coates.
DEL. HAYWOOD: Will the Chair permit me to explain my position, just one moment?
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: Yes.
(Cries of “roll call.”)
DEL. HAYWOOD: You will get the roll call. I just want to state that the position I took in declaring this motion out of order in selecting a new Constitution Committee was simply because we have not yet heard an expression of this convention as to whether or not the report of this. Constitution Committee met with your favor. (Applause.)
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The roll call will now be called.
The Secretary proceeded with the roll call, during which the following proceedings occurred:
DEL. HAYWOOD: I ask the delegation of the Western Federation of Miners to cast my vote.
Various explanations were made during the roll call.
DEL. COATES: I don’t concede the right of any delegate to this convention to cast another delegate’s vote. I have taken that position all the way through. If it was one of our delegates that was absent we were simply short that many votes. We are not going to establish the proxy system right here, are we?
THE SECRETARY: We have been doing it. We simply cast the entire delegation’s vote.
DEL. COATES: You have no right to do it, and I rise to that point right now, and I will wait for the decision of the Chair on that point right now.
DEL. HALL: I will state my position. The proposition as presented to our membership vas this, that on all matters affecting our organization materially the delegates were instructed to vote a unit vote; that is, a majority of the delegates should decide how that vote should stand in the convention. That is the instructions from the membership of our organization. Now you have here a delegation with 2,087 votes, and if anyone of the delegates wishes to not comply with that instruction it is simply necessary for him to withdraw from his delegation and make application to be represented by himself as an individual, otherwise the vote must be cast in accordance with the instructions of our memberships on all matters vital to the United Brotherhood of Railway Employes. If any delegate present representing a division of our organization wishes, or has instructions from his local, to cast his vote independent from the general instructions, then he simply has to withdraw and ask to be seated in the convention with the number of votes that is represented in his local.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The Chair would wish to state his ruling on that point. The Chair would decide that in the absence of any rule by the convention it becomes the right of any delegation to consider to decide the manner in which their vote shall be cast.
Roll call asked for.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: Do you wish a roll call on that proposition? That means that the delegations themselves decide how the vote shall be cast.
DEL. HALL: Then the vote of the United Brotherhood of Railway Employes is a unit on this proposition, 2,087 votes.
A DELEGATE: No, sir, each delegate has the power to cast the vote, and it has been recorded here.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: I think any further discussion of this is out of order at the present time.
DEL. HALL: I just want to call your attention to the fact that the vote is being recorded in opposition to your ruling. Now, I am perfectly willing for Brother Hopkins to have his representation and let him vote just as he pleases on all questions just as he pleases. There is no doubt about that; but if you do that you must take that number of votes from the delegation representing the United Brotherhood of Railway Employes. If he wants to cast his separately from the rest, and not follow the instructions of the membership in their referendum vote, then he would have to withdraw and cast that vote independently, and it would be necessary for him to be seated representing his division in the convention, according to your ruling.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: It seems to the Chair rather strange that this question should have waited until this late hour in the day. On the vote that was taken just before dinner, the vote of the U. B. R. E. was divided in the same way, some of the delegates being absent and some present. Now, in figuring up the vote of the U. B. R. E. the Chair simply wishes to announce to this convention the method which he took of arriving at the total vote. He concluded that the delegates who were present had a right to cast the vote of the U. B. R. E., which would divide the total vote cast by the number of delegates present. Multiply that number by the number of men voting yes and the number voting no and place it in the roll call.
A DELEGATE: That is correct, Mr. Chairman.
DEL. FITZGERALD: I would like to say now for information to the Chair, the reason for this motion—
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The Chair does not consider it necessary to state that.
DEL. FITZGERALD: I say the reason we divided that vote this morning was that there were fourteen votes cast, seven each way. Then it was for the delegates to take and divide the different votes. Isn’t that right in your opinion? But if there were eight votes one way and six the other the eight would have had the unit vote according to the referendum going out to the United Brotherhood of Railway Employes.
THE SECRETARY: In all the delegations the records will show, as to the organizations having power to install, that of such delegations those who were not present were not counted at all, and as to those who voted, we divided the total number of votes among those who had voted. For instance, if a member of the delegation of the American Labor Union had been absent, his absence was so recorded, and the vote of the entire delegation was divided between those who were present. That was, as you can later on see in the roll call, done by the Secretary. If the convention does not agree with it, certainly it will be changed.
(Roll called for.)
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: Any further discussion on this matter will be out of order. The roll call will be proceeded with.
DEL. HAYWOOD: I am willing to pair with Delegate Coates on this proposition.
DEL. COATES: All right, I will vote no.
DEL. HAYWOOD: All right, I will vote yes. (Applause.)
DEL. RIORDAN: I am not claiming to support the report of the committee, and I do not think we have pledged ourselves to it. I am going to vote for what in my judgment is for the best interests of the convention. I vote no on that proposition.
The roll call was finished by the Secretary.
Delegate Sherman here came to the front, stating that he had been absent, and asked permission to vote. A delegate objected on the ground that the vote had been closed. The Chairman ruled that any delegate had the right to vote or change his vote at any time before the result of the roll call was announced.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: The vote stands: Yeas, 25,710; noes, 22,473. The decision of the Chair is sustained.
[For detailed vote on roll-call, see appendix.]
(Delegate Haywood resumed the Chair.)
THE CHAIRMAN: The question occurs upon the amendment introduced by Delegate Trautmann. All those in favor of the amendment will signify by saying aye. Contrary no. The motion is carried. The vote now occurs on the report of the Constitution Committee, on Section 2, Article I, as amended by this motion. Are you ready for the question? (Question called for). Those in favor of the motion will signify it by saying aye. Contrary no.
DEL. COATES: We have got to a point where we are going to have a little scrap.
THE CHAIRMAN: You can get it.
DEL. COATES: I want a roll call, and I ask decently for it.
A delegate moved to dispense with the roll call.
DEL. COATES: I appreciate your services, but we will not take an opportunity for a roll call away from the convention; no, no.
Chairman: A roll call may be asked for, and a roll call will be provided unless otherwise disposed of by this convention. However, the Chair takes the position that we may have a viva voce vote, and before announcing it any delegate may ask for a roll call, and it is not necessary to have any scrap over it. While the roll call is being prepared by the Secretary, it has been suggested by one of the committee on ratification meeting that there is an announcement to make. Listen to the committee.
DEL. MURTAUGH: I do not understand the necessity for a roll call being prepared by the Secretary, when he already has a roll call and has been repeatedly calling from that roll.
THE CHAIRMAN: I will just say for the benefit of the delegate that it is necessary every time the roll is called to have a transcript of all the names.
DEL. POWERS: I would like to ask a question of the gentleman. Do you ask for a roll call because you are in doubt as to how the motion is going to go, or is it for the purpose of wasting the time of this convention? (Applause). I want to say, Mr. Chairman, that I will stay in this convention for a year, if necessary. (Applause.)
DEL. COATES: I want to say to the delegate that it is not for the purpose of wasting time. I want a record, and the convention wants a record, I believe; that is all.
DEL. HELD: As the chairman of the ratification committee I wish to announce that the committee has made and adopted the following program, without any recommendation, to leave it to the convention to do what it pleases about it: “We, the committee, have adopted the following program: Grand ratification meeting of the Industrial Workers of the World, to be held at Brand’s Hall, corner of Clark and Erie streets, July 7, 1905. Meeting will be called at 8 P. M. The speakers will be: Eugene V. Debs, Daniel De Leon, William D. Haywood, Thomas J. Hagerty, C. O. Sherman, Charles Moyer, William E. Trautmann. David C. Coates, and others, will speak on the necessity of the working class organizing under the banner of the industrial Workers of the World.”
DEL. COATES: Mr. Chairman, I certainly intended yesterday, on the report of this committee, in what I said to the convention, to decline to address that mass meeting, and if the convention did not understand me at that time, I wish to withdraw my name from this list, because I shall not address that mass meeting.
DEL. WHITE: As one of that committee on arrangements for the mass meeting, I will also say that it was the sense of the committee that this ratification meeting be not held until such time as the constitution is adopted and we thoroughly understand what “industrialism” means, so that there will be no confusion among the speakers on the platform, and I thought that was the sense also of that committee on this ratification meeting; that this convention allow further time, and not expect it to-morrow night, but to wait until such time as the constitution is adopted, and the speakers can confine themselves strictly to the questions provided in the constitution.
THE CHAIRMAN: You have heard the report of your committee. What is the pleasure of the convention?
DEL. MOYER: I move its adoption. I said yesterday that I did not want to disappoint any one by being announced as a speaker at the mass meeting to be held here on Friday night. I can say to the convention and the committee that it will be impossible for me to address a mass meeting here to-morrow night. I say this in all sincerity, and I wish the convention to take me at my word.
DEL. FRENCH: I move that the report of the committee be adopted, and that the names of the delegates who have spoken be removed from the list, as they cannot speak at that meeting. (Seconded.)
DEL. WILKE: Mr. Chairman, do I understand by the adoption of that report of the committee that the meeting of to-morrow night is postponed.
DEL. WHITE: Not at all.
THE CHAIRMAN: Delegate Sherman, did you have some special business to bring before the convention?
DEL. SHERMAN: Mr. Chairman—
DEL. PARSONS: Mr. Chairman, I rise to ask the Chair a question. Is it or is it not according to parliamentary rules to put a motion and have it carried when a delegate is upon the floor asking to speak upon that motion? I do not know; I am not very well up in parliamentary rules.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Chair will state that after a question is put and the Chair asks, “Are you ready for the question?” and takes the floor to put the motion, when a delegate arises at that time he will not be recognized. Proceed with the roll call. The question is on the adoption of Section 2 of Article I as amended by Delegate Trautmann’s amendment. Read the amendment.
The amendment was read as follows: “Thirteen industrial divisions subdivided into industrial unions of closely kindred industries in the appropriate organizations for representation in the departmental administration.”
DEL. HALL: I will move that we insert the word “industrial” before “organization” in that amendment.
THE CHAIRMAN: The motion is out of order. The roll call will be proceeded with.
The roll call was then taken by the Secretary, during which a number of explanations were made, among them the following:
DEL. FAIRGRIEVE: I want to say that if I had a million votes I would cast them against it, because by adopting the last amendment you are creating an organization with more heads and more officials to keep up with than you have in the American Federation of Labor, and I vote no.
DEL. PARKS: Mr. Chairman, I want to state my reason for the vote which I gave. I object to the parliamentary railroading that has lately been inaugurated in this convention. Therefore I vote no.
The roll call was finished and computed by the Secretary.
THE CHAIRMAN: Section 2 of Article I as amended is carried Yeas, 39,127; noes, 12,061.
[For detailed vote on roll-call, see appendix.]
THE CHAIRMAN: The Chair at this time wants to resent any imputation on the part of any delegate that there has been any parliamentary railroading of any proposition m this floor. Two days and a half of time have been consumed in discussing this proposition, and then a delegate Las the impudence to get on the floor and say something has been railroaded. (Applause.) The Secretary will proceed with the reading of the next paragraph. Delegate Coates, will you kindly take the chair?
DEL. COATES: I will kindly ask to decline now. I thank you, but I do not want to preside.
Delegate Sherman was asked to preside, but declined.
THE CHAIRMAN: Delegate Coates, will you permit the Chair to insist that you take the Chair for a few minutes?
DEL. COATES: No, Mr. Chairman, I do not care to preside.
THE CHAIRMAN: Now, you are not in any danger of getting into any scrap.
DEL. COATES: All right; I don’t want to preside. I thank you very much.
The Chairman requested Delegate Bradley to take the Chair, but he declined, and Delegate Ferber was called to the Chair.
Secretary Hagerty read the next section, as follows:
SEC. 3. The financial and industrial affairs of each International Industrial Union shall be conducted by an Executive Board of not less than seven (7) nor more than twenty-one (21), selected by the general membership of said International Industrial Union, provided that the Executive Board and general membership of the said International Industrial Union shall at all times be subordinate to the General Executive Board of the Industrial Workers of the World, subject to appeal, and provided the expenses of such referendum shall be borne by the International Industrial Union, or Unions, involved.
It was moved that the section be adopted. Seconded.
DEL. MURTAUGH: It has been so long since the entire constitution as presented was read that the majority of the delegates are unable to grasp what the entire constitution means, and I believe the entire constitution should be read so that we can understand it in all its parts before voting upon any other section. I move that the entire constitution be read. (Seconded.)
Motion put and lost.
THE CHAIRMAN: The question is now before the house on the adoption of this particular section. Are you ready for the question?
The question was called for, and being put, was carried and the section declared adopted.
DEL. COATES: Will the Chair kindly request the Secretary to make a note on the minutes that Delegate Coates is not voting on this proposition? THE CHAIRMAN: The Secretary will please take notice that Delegate Coates is not voting.
DEL. COATES: I wish it to apply to every section of this constitution.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: I am an old schoolmaster, and I have never presided anywhere unless there was perfect order, and while I maintain my position as Chairman we will have to have perfect order or there will not be any work.
Secretary Hagerty of the committee read Section 4, as follows:
Sec. 4. INDUSTRIAL COUNCILS shall have jurisdiction in local affairs over the unions of which they are composed, but shall at all times be subordinate to the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD and submit a copy of their constitution to the General Executive Board for approval.
DEL. EISENBERG: I move you that that be adopted. (Seconded.)
DEL. HALL: I rise to a point of information. Will the Secretary please explain just what that means, so that the delegates will understand it? Does it mean that in a certain community a number of locals can form together and establish some kind of a government or some kind of a central council? Is that what it means?
DEL. T. J. HAGERTY: In the section adopted by the convention there are included central bodies. “Central bodies composed of seven or more local unions in two or more industries shall be known as industrial councils.”
DEL. HALL: I would like to amend the motion as made, by a motion to strike out that part of this section, and I will explain why I would like to have that struck out. I think an economic organization must fight as much as possible anything like a geographical division of the working people. I think one of the best indications that we have in the world that the revolution of 1776 was not a working class revolution, was that the country over which the government was established was laid out in geographical sections instead of economic divisions. Now, going back somewhat into history, we find that the old free cities of Germany had their governments protected upon a different principle, and that was that all sections of society were represented in the government. Now, we have departed from that and established in this country a form of government on geographical lines that permit one class of people, that is the wealthy class, being elected as the representatives in the government. That is why we have drifted towards plutocracy instead of drifting towards democracy. Now, the point where it applies in the economic movement is this: I have had a great deal of experience with central councils, and I have never yet seen one of them that proposed anything for the economic needs of the working people. Those councils have always been used for political purposes, and wherever you find a central council you will find it dominated by some one person for political purposes. He will dominate it for a selfish purpose. If we confine his field of action to the local of which he is a member, the scope of his influence is limited, and I certainly hope that anything in the shape of a central council, a state council or anything of that kind will be knocked out of this constitution. I believe that if we establish that precedent and permit locals to organize themselves and come into a central council, we will drift away from that point which we wish to reach. You may rest assured that if in the city of Chicago there is permitted to be established a central council in which all locals may be permitted to have representation, that central will drift into a political ring that will eventually become just as corrupt as some have accused the Chicago Federation of Labor of being in the city of Chicago. It does not make any difference about what form of organization it is, it will not make any difference. You declare for the irrepressible struggle between the capitalists and laboring men, but results later will make no difference; it will gradually drift into the affairs of the organization, and we should take steps at this time to eliminate any possibility of that kind. There is no economic interest that can be served by a central organization. If there is a proposition coming up involving the different locals in certain sections, those locals may discuss the proposition without having a central organization.
DEL. T. J. HAGERTY: I rise to a point of order. These industrial organizations have already been adopted by Section 1 of this constitution, unless Brother Hall wants to throw the whole discussion open again.
DEL. HALL: How is that adopted?
DEL. HAGERTY: In Section 1, providing for the thirteen international industrial divisions, a central body and local unions.
THE CHAIRMAN: Read that particular section for the enlightenment of Brother Hall and others.
DEL. HALL: No, it is not for my enlightenment. If I understand what has already been adopted, the groupings are in economic groupings, but they are not geographical groupings.
DEL. HAGERTY: Is your objection to these industrial councils? Because if it is we have to throw open Section 1 again, for they are provided for there.
DEL. HALL: I admit that I have been asleep.
DEL. HAGERTY: Section 2 as amended here reads in this way:
“Shall be composed of thirteen international industrial divisions subdivided into industrial unions, of closely kindred industries in the appropriate organizations for representation in the departmental administration.”
DEL. HALL: That does not establish any such—
DEL. HAGERTY: Then the divisions are specified here. That is in paragraph A. You don’t want all the divisions read over again?
DEL. HALL: No.
DEL. HAGERTY: Paragraph B: “Central bodies composed of seven or more local unions in two or more industries, and shall be known as industrial councils.”
DEL. HALL: That is exactly the one I am fighting against now. That has not been adopted.
DEL. HAGERTY: That has been adopted. Section 1 has been adopted. We are at Section 2 now. Rather, we are at Section 4, I mean.
DEL. PRYOR: I would like to ask the committee whether the interpretation of that council is that there would be no international bodies whatsoever except this? You provide for central bodies, the grouping into central or district councils. You make no provision, in my estimation, for any international bodies over them except this. The adoption of that practically means the adoption of all international bodies except this. Is that the interpretation you place upon it? I would like to ask that question of the Chair.
THE CHAIRMAN PRO TEM: I do not understand the question thoroughly. The Chair is unable to give you the information. If Brother Hagerty or any member of the committee will volunteer to do that, very well. If you will, just set the brother right. Brother Sherman will give you that information.
DEL. SHERMAN: The section reads seven or more local unions, composing two different internationals,—they must come from at least two,—which bars the proposition in an industrial center where there would only be a representation of one international organization, and they felt that they would not need any central body, but your committee believes that there is good comes from central bodies in industrial centers. The brother who preceded me pointed out some very strong points, as, we who have had experience know, that these central bodies have been used more for political purposes many times than for economic purposes. But we provide there, which no other proposition has ever provided, that their constitution must be first submitted to the General Executive Board before they are legally an organization and can go forward and do business. The general constitution holds in line the whole structure as to the formation and the handling of the different crafts. Regardless of what political stigma has been put upon the central bodies, I believe that organizations and local unions, whether they be connected with an international or whether they be connected directly with the General Executive Board, that they can do good in large industrial centers by delegates representing those unions coming together on stated occasions and there discussing questions that are at issue in that one industrial center. I believe that good has been done in the city of Chicago. While I believe that many times it has been detrimental, I believe that came from the fact that the form of organization under which the trades unions are now existing and the authority that is in themselves under the present form of central bodies, with no restrictions from any central heads, particularly is to blame for it more than the central body. Further on, those of you who have read this constitution, you will see that we did not recognize that central body only as a local affair, as they are not permitted to have any representatives in any national convention, which is the case at the present time with the central bodies. The central body should not be recognized in a national convention, because of the fact that the central body itself is made up of organizations that will be represented in that body. I feel that it is absolutely necessary at this time to provide for these central bodies. You must remember, brothers, while I regret it, that the American working people are not prepared for anarchy—I wish they were—the law of love does not prevail, and there has got to be some line laid down whereby these propositions can be handled from an organic standpoint, and those laws have got to be made by the representatives of those who are going to participate in the movement. I feel that the central body could be of no harm to the movement, but I feel that it would be of great good in industrial centers where every sister and brother from Chicago, New York and large centers know that it is absolutely necessary for the trades, no matter how they are affiliated in nationals or whether they are independent—it is absolutely necessary for committees to come together, and you cannot get those committees together without you have some kind of a plan whereby they recognize the necessity of every so often meeting and discussing such questions as are before the working people locally.
DEL. J. C. SULLIVAN: I would ask for some member of that committee to explain and answer a question. He has omitted it all the way through, as to the abolition of the international heads. He did not answer the question. I want a yes or no to that question.
DEL. HAGERTY: We are now discussing Section 4. The other things in this constitution, the question the delegate here asked, ought to be asked in its right place when we come to it. If we are to take up ten minutes at a time asking questions in relation to a section not under discussion, we will never get through. This question is answered in its proper place. This is Section 4 now.
DEL. PAYNE: I ask for information. What I want to know is about this two or more kindred organizations or kindred trades that make up the central bodies, when there are seven or more locals. Is that the way this is made?
DEL. HAGERTY: Industrial organizations are defined in this way: “Paragraph B. Central bodies composed of seven or more local unions in two or more industries, and shall be known as industrial organizations.”
DEL. PAYNE: What I want to know is if Delegate Hall has a different proposition that would be better. I am seeking for information on that.
DEL. HAGERTY: The section under discussion is Section 4. “Industrial councils shall have jurisdiction in local affairs over the unions of which they are composed, and shall at all times be subordinate to the Industrial Workers of the World, and submit a copy of their constitution to the General Executive Board for approval.”
DEL. AYERS: I move its adoption. (Seconded.)
THE CHAIRMAN: It has been moved and seconded that Section be adopted. Are you ready for the question. (Question called for.
DEL. KIEHN: I want that in conformity with the section that has been passed previously, which provides that international organizations are admitted in various divisions, the local unions ought to be under the supervision of those international organizations. I don’t see how else you will amend it.
Question called for.
DEL. HALL: That is an important point that he has brought up there. The report of the committee did not originally intend for these subdivisions to be divided into international industrial unions. Now, the amendment divides it into international industrial unions, and therefore, as we claim, the central body should not have jurisdiction over these locals. The jurisdiction should come from the international, as we want a continuity of interest passing through the international. There should be a perfect connection passing through the international. Doesn’t that require an amendment, Brother Hagerty?
DEL. HAGERTY: The section under discussion is Section 4, and I presume that the adoption—at least it is my personal opinion—that the adoption of the amendment to Section 2, or the Trautmann amendment, namely, that the Industrial Workers of the World shall be composed of thirteen international industrial divisions, subdivided in industrial unions of closely kindred industries, that that probably carries the change of name all the way through the constitution. It is to be understood, because when we refer back to Section 1 in this constitution we refer to the name in the original report, “International Industrial Union,” and if that has been amended to read “International Industrial Divisions,” I presume it is the sense of that amendment that wherever the words “International Industrial Unions” occur it should be read “International Industrial Divisions.”
DEL. HALL: I did not want any confusion.
DEL. WILKE: Why do we discuss the jurisdiction of the local or central council? I contend we are discussing the jurisdiction of the subordinate council.
Question called for.
The question was then put and carried and the section declared adopted.
Secretary Hagerty then read the next section, as follows:
SEC. 5. LOCAL UNIONS, as provided for in Article I, Section 2 (c), shall be directly subordinate to the General Executive Board of the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD and a local constitution for their government must be approved by the General Executive Board.
DEL. DE LEON: I move you the adoption of that part of the constitution. (Seconded.)
THE CHAIRMAN: It has been moved and seconded that Section 5 be adopted. Are you ready for the question? (Question called for.
DEL. DAVIS: I would ask, as a special favor to myself, that the Secretary be requested to read that particular section again that we voted upon.
DEL. HAGERTY: Local unions are defined in Section 1, paragraph C, as being any such industries as are not represented on the General Executive Board.
The question was called for and carried, and the section declared adopted.
DEL. HAGERTY: Is it in order that Article I be adopted now?
THE CHAIRMAN: Is that all of that article?
DEL. HAGERTY: That is all of Article I.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is it the sense of this convention that Article I shall be adopted as amended ? As many as are in favor of the motion please answer aye. Those opposed no.
DEL. HOPKINS: I rise to a point of order.
THE CHAIRMAN: State the point.
DEL. HOPKINS: There has been no motion to adopt this, and you have no authority to call for a vote on it without a motion.
A DELEGATE: Are you going to take it in sections or how? DEL. HOPKINS: I ask the Secretary to read the motion made when this committee first reported, that this constitution be adopted seriatim. Read the motion that was passed by the convention at that time.
DEL. HAGERTY: Doesn’t the adoption of these sections carry the adoption of the article? I am not here to split hairs with you. Is that the sense that Article I is now adopted by this convention?
DEL. HOPKINS: Oh, no.
DEL. HAGERTY: If you are here to split hairs or anything of that sort we will never get through.
DEL. HOPKINS: I want things done in the proper way and manner.
THE CHAIRMAN: I will rule you out of order. The various sections have already been adopted. Now the question occurs on whether we will take up and re-indorse these sections.
DEL. J. C. SULLIVAN: I care not whether you pass an article at a time as a whole or whether you wait until the entire constitution is acted on, but when final action is had on the constitution I shall ask a roll call vote before it is finally adopted.
THE CHAIRMAN: The roll call vote will be so ordered.
DEL. SULLIVAN: I would say it is better to go through the constitution and act on every section separately, and when you get through with it, then act on the matter as a whole, and one roll call vote should do the business one way or the other.
THE CHAIRMAN: Then you mean, Brother Sullivan, that we dispense with that at the present time?
DEL. SULLIVAN: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: And go on with the reading of the next section?
DEL. SULLIVAN: Yes, to save time.
THE CHAIRMAN: If that is the consensus of the opinion of the convention I shall so rule.
DEL. HALL: After we have adopted this seriatim all the matter is open again. Does that mean that any section that has preceded can be amended?
THE CHAIRMAN: The Chair does not so hold.
DEL. HALL: Why not adopt it then as we go over it?
DEL. FAIRGRIEVE: After the constitution has been read as a whole all the way through then the matter will revert to the roll call for its adoption, and then we who object to it or any part of it can cast our votes on every section.
DEL. SAUNDERS: I rise to a point of order. My point is this, that the motion that was carried on the presentation of the constitution proposed by the Constitution Committee—it was decided by motion that this constitution should be taken up seriatim, which will mean clause by clause, and not to be adopted section by section or article by article when amended. My point of order is this, that no motion can be entertained by the Chairman to adopt any section or any article until the whole constitution has been read and amended, and then it will be accepted or rejected as a whole. That is my point.
THE CHAIRMAN: Your point is well taken. The Chair does so rule.
Secretary Hagerty of the committee read the next article, as follows:
ARTICLE II: OFFICERS—HOW SELECTED AND THE DUTIES THEREOF.
SECTION I. The officers of the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD shall be a General President, a General Secretary-Treasurer and an Executive Board composed of the above named officers and one president of each International Division.
DEL. CRANSTON: I would like to amend that section to read as to the members of the international divisions that the word “president” be stricken out and the word “member” be substituted.
DEL. HAGERTY: I think that is all right. The words “member” and “president” occur here almost interchangeably, and I presume that it is the sense, so far as I understand the Constitution Committee, that the word “member” be used in other parts.
DEL. CRANSTON: Instead of having the president to be president and a member of the Executive Board, that he be elected; but it is open to the international to elect a member instead of the president. It should not be compulsory that the president should be the one that represents them, but any member should be eligible to represent them. Instead of the word “president” let any member be elected. I insist upon it in that way.
DEL. HALL: I would like to ask the secretary another question. Do you provide that all these men shall come from a department?
DEL. HAGERTY: Here is a part of the constitution. Section 5 of another article specifies that the other members of the General Executive Board shall be elected by their respective international industrial divisions in accordance with their prescribed rules, so that the use of the word “president” here, I suppose, is just a slip of the pen on the part of the man who first made the notes, or made these transcripts. Here it is provided for, so it makes no difference.
DEL. CRANSTON: That has been the great trouble with a good many constitutions that have been drawn up, that one part of the constitution would specify one thing, and another part of the constitution absolutely contradict it. I think it is the sense of this convention that the word “member” be inserted instead of the word “president.”
DEL. SULLIVAN: It is a blunder on the part of the man transcribing it.
Question called for.
DEL. SULLIVAN: It is not a mistake on the part of the sub-committee that prepared that part of the constitution. That reads just as the sub-committee intended as it should, so it is not a mistake.
DEL. T. J. HAGERTY: I did not understand it so in the Constitution Committee, and would not agree to that sort of thing from the reading of it.
THE CHAIRMAN: The mover of the amendment wishes to insert in Section I, the word “member” instead of the word “president.”
DEL. CRANSTON: Yes.
Question called for.
DEL. GLASGOW: I rise to a point of information. Is that member to be elected? It does not say that he is to be.
DEL. HAGERTY: It is provided in this constitution that a member be elected from each international industrial division.
THE CHAIRMAN: The question has been called for. Are you ready for the question?
DEL. MOYER: I demand a roll call on the amendment, as chairman of the committee.
DEL. DINGER: In behalf of the delegation here I would ask Brother Moyer to please withdraw the motion, because it would take up too much time. We want to get through with that business, and don’t want to go through with that again.
DEL. MOYER: If the Constitution Committee other than myself have no objections, I have no objection.
DEL. HAGERTY: I have no objection to that motion as a member of that committee, for that is the way I understood that thing. I was not present at drawing it up. I think it is merely a quibble on a technicality.
DEL. DE LEON: I have no objection.
THE CHAIRMAN: Do you then withdraw your insistence upon the roll call, Delegate Moyer?
DEL. MOYER: If there is no objection on the part of the other members of the Committee on Constitution.
THE CHAIRMAN: If there are any members here of the Committee on Constitution, please state your objections now.
DEL. J. C. SULLIVAN: Mr. Chairman. I will state that that was perfectly worded that way by the sub-committee who prepared that article. It was given some little consideration, and that is just as much the intent of the committee as any other wording of that report; but rather than to impose on the convention the time necessary for a roll call, I will willingly waive any personal objection I may have to making the change, although it is my opinion that it should remain just the way it is. I am willing, however, for the sake of time, to waive that personal objection. (Applause.)
THE CHAIRMAN: Have you any objections, Delegate Sullivan? Then we will revert to the question. As many as are in favor of inserting the word, now, will say aye. Contrary, no. The motion is carried, and the committee will please insert the word “member” instead of “president.”
Delegate Hagerty read the next question, as follows:
“Section 2. The General President and General Secretary-Treasurer shall be nominated from the floor of the convention, and the three candidates for each respective office receiving the greatest number of votes in the convention shall be submitted to the general membership of the organization for election.”
DEL. PAYNE: I would like to say that we have only passed on amendments to Section 1. We have not adopted Section 1 as yet.
THE CHAIRMAN: That is right.
DEL. GILLHAUS: I move that Section 1 be adopted as amended. (Seconded.)
The motion was put and carried and the section was declared adopted.
THE CHAIRMAN: It now occurs upon the next section which has been read. A motion will now be entertained for its adoption.
DEL. JORGENSEN: I move its adoption. (Seconded.)
The motion was put and carried and the section declared adopted.
Delegate Hagerty read the next section as follows:
DUTIES OF GENERAL PRESIDENT.
Section 3. The General President is the Executive head of the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD and its chief executive officer. He shall be nominated and elected as provided for in Article II, Section 2, . and shall hold office until his successor is duly elected and installed. He shall preside at all conventions and meetings of the General Executive Board of the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD and he shall be only a delegate-at-large to the general conventions. He shall convene the General Executive Board when, in his judgment it is to the interest of the Organization and he shall convene the General Executive Board when requested in writing by a majority of the members of said board. He shall, upon the written request of one hundred (100) local unions, representing not less than three (3) industries with a total membership of not less than I5,000 members, call a special convention of the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF HE WORLD at such time and place as are designated by the General Executive Board.
If, in his judgment, the official action of the General Secretary-Treasurer, or a member of the General Executive Board, is detrimental to the best interests of the organization, he shall make a complaint in writing, setting forth such charges, and shall convene the General Executive Board within ten (10) days to investigate said charges and take action thereon. If the General Executive Board, by a majority vote, sustain and justify the President in making said complaint, they may suspend or expel the member of the General Executive Board, or the Secretary-Treasurer, as the case may be, and shall fill any vacancy that may occur in either office; provided, that in case it is a member of the General Executive Board his industrial union organization shall be advised of such action and be requested to fill said vacancy within ninety days; provided, that the person selected by the Executive Board shall be empowered to act with like power of any other member of the Board until the industrial organization shall elect a person to fill the place, who shall immediately be installed in office. But in case it is the General Secretary-Treasurer the person selected by the General Executive Board shall fill the office until the next general election unless removed for cause.
The General President shall have entire supervision of the entire affairs of the organization and watch vigilantly over its interests throughout its jurisdiction. In this he shall be assisted by the officers and members of all organizations subordinate to the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD. He shall, with the approval of the General Executive Board, appoint such organizers as the condition of the organization may justify. All organizers shall at all times work under the instructions of the General President, and all organizers, while in the employ of the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD, shall report to the General President in writing, on blanks provided for that purpose, at least once each week. They shall receive as compensation for their services such sum or sums as shall be fixed by the General Executive Board.
The General President shall at each general convention render a report in detail of the work of his office since the last convention, and shall make such recommendations as will, in his judgment, advance the interests of the organization. He shall travel throughout the jurisdiction whenever the affairs of the organization will permit of his doing so, and he shall be empowered to examine the books and workings of any union or organization of the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD when able to do so for the purpose of determining whether or not the union or organization is complying with the general constitution.
He shall be empowered to employ such clerical help as may be necessary to conduct the affairs of his office. The remuneration for the clerical help employed by the General President shall be fixed by the General Executive Board. He shall be held liable for all official acts or documents emanating from his office, whether done personally or by a clerk or stenographer. He shall sign all vouchers drawn by the Secretary-Treasurer and countersign all checks before any moneys are drawn from the treasury.
He shall devote his entire time to the affairs of the organization, and shall receive as compensation such sum or sums as the convention or General Executive Board may determine.
THE CHAIRMAN: What shall be done with the section as read?
DEL. SAUNDERS: Do I understand that the President shall hold office until his successor is duly elected and installed?
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, sir, that is as it should be.
DEL. SAUNDERS: Or otherwise removed for cause?
THE CHAIRMAN: That is provided later.
DEL. SAUNDERS: The question I wanted to ask is this, does that mean the election of President, or the tenure of office, will be from one convention to the other?
THE CHAIRMAN: You ask, does it mean that?
DEL. SAUNDERS: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: It means until this convention, or some other convention which shall be next convened, shall see fit to so elect a president and install him. That is just exactly what it means.
DEL. HALL: I would like to amend that section in such a manner that the compensation of the General President, and the compensation of the General Secretary-Treasurer, shall not exceed $1,800 a year for the latter, and $2,200 a year for the former. I am simply making these figures to get the matter before the convention in order to get some idea as to what the sense of the convention is.
THE CHAIRMAN: Brother Hall, if you will reduce that particular amendment regarding the President only to writing, the Chair will entertain it.
DEL. ROSS: I want to offer an amendment to that section. I want it so amended as to read that the term of the President shall be one year, and not to be elected more than four consecutive terms, and such elections to be by referendum vote. (Seconded.)
(Here Delegate Haywood resumed the chair.)
THE CHAIRMAN: You have heard the reading of Section 3 of Article II, and the amendment offered by Delegate Ross. What is the pleasure of the convention in regard to this amendment?
A delegate requested that the amendment be read again.
THE CHAIRMAN: Amend said section to read that the term of the President shall be one year, not to be elected more than four consecutive terms, such election to be by referendum vote.
DEL. JORGENSEN: I move that it be adopted.
THE CHAIRMAN: Are you ready for the question?
DEL. MOYER: I shall have to ask for a roll call on the amendment, as a member of the Committee on Constitution.
DEL. ROSS: I want to have it distinctly understood by every delegate in this convention that I am not calling in question the honesty of purpose of this committee, in regard to any man that may be elected President, but I want to say that from the hitter experience of myself and others, so far as the labor organizations of this country are concerned, the continuous service of one man at the head of an organization more than four terms is detrimental. Remember, I do not bring this charge to this work, but I am trying to have it not happen.
DEL. T. J. HAGERTY: I rise to a point of order.
THE CHAIRMAN: State it.
DEL. HAGERTY: The subject that this delegate is discussing has already been decided in Section 2, about the referendum for the election of President, and that is not now under discussion.
DEL. ROSS: It did not state the term of service.
DEL. HAGERTY: At the convention; “shall be nominated by the convention.” The constitution later on fixes the conventions at but one a year.
DEL. ROSS: That is nomination, but I am speaking about his election.
DEL. HAGERTY: He is elected by the general membership.
DEL. HELD: I move that the motion be laid on the table.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is the delegate willing to withdraw his amendment?
DEL. ROSS: I am willing to withdraw the amendment, provided the Secretary will read the portion that covers that ground.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Secretary will please read Section 2 that has been adopted.
DEL. HAGERTY (reading): “The General President and General Secretary-Treasurer shall be nominated from the floor of the convention, and the three candidates for each respective office receiving thee greatest number of votes in the convention shall be submitted to the general membership of the organization for election.”
DEL. ROSS: And the term of office?
DEL. HAGERTY: The term of office is decided later on in the constitution by the voice of the convention.
DEL. ROSS: Then I withdraw the motion.
DEL. JORGENSEN: I will withdraw my second.
THE CHAIRMAN: Permit the Chair to state to this convention in the consideration of this constitution that you are merely adopting a provisional constitution. That this convention should not undertake at this time to build a constitution for this organization, but permit it to go before the working class of this country and come into the next convention prepared to build a constitution that will meet the requirements. Now, all these amendments might at this time be dispensed with. Simply have a provisional constitution, one with a foundation solid enough and a structure strong enough to hold this organization together until we meet together again. Now, the amendment occurs on Section 3 of Article II. Are you ready for the question? (Question called for.) Those in favor of the adoption will signify it by saying aye. Contrary no. The motion is carried.
DEL. DE LEON: I rise for information. Was that motion of Delegate Hall’s entertained?
THE CHAIRMAN: I haven’t heard any motion from Delegate Hall or anybody else. The Secretary will read.
DEL. HAGERTY: I thought I was voting on Delegate Hall’s amendment.
THE CHAIRMAN: Delegate Hall’s amendment was not seconded before that amendment. The Secretary will proceed with the reading.
The Secretary read the next section as follows:
DUTIES OF THE GENERAL SECRETARY-TREASURER
Section 4. The duties of the General Secretary-Treasurer shall be to take charge of all books, papers and effects of the office. He shall be nominated and elected as provided for in Article II, Section 2, and shall hold office until his successor is duly elected, qualified and installed, except in case he shall he removed from office, when his place shall be filled as provided for in Article II, Section 3, under the “Duties of General President.”
He shall conduct the correspondence pertaining to his office; he shall be the custodian of the Seal of the Organization and shall attach the same to all official documents over his official signature; he shall provide such stationery and office supplies as are necessary for the conducting of affairs of the Organization; he shall act as Secretary at all meetings of the General Executive Board and all conventions and furnish the Committee on Credentials at each convention a statement of the financial standing of each International Industrial Union, Industrial Council and Local Union.
The General Secretary-Treasurer shall close his accounts for the fiscal year on the last day of February for each year. He shall make a monthly financial report to the General Executive Board and a quarterly financial report to the general membership, through the General Executive Board, and he shall make a complete itemized report of the financial and other affairs of his office to each Annual Convention.
He shall attest the signature of the General President to all official documents and shall prepare and sign all charters issued by the General Executive Board. He shall receive all moneys for charters, dues, assessments and supplies from International Industrial Unions, Industrial Councils, Local Unions and Members-at-Large; he shall receipt for same and care for and deposit all moneys as instructed to do by the General Executive Board in some solvent bank, or banks, which shall be drawn out only to pay indebtedness arising out of the due conducting of the business of the Organization, and then, only after bill shall have been first duly presented by the creditor when, in payment thereof, a check shall be drawn and signed by him, after which he shall present it, together with the bill, to the President for his counter signature.
For the honest and faithful discharge of his duties he shall give a bond in such sum, or sums, as may be fixed by the Convention or General Executive Board, the bond so given to be approved by the General Executive Board and kept in their custody.
He shall devote his entire time to the affairs of the Organization and shall at all times be under the supervision of the General President and the Executive Board and shall receive for his services such remuneration as may be fixed by the Convention or the General Executive Board, which shall be paid out of the funds of the Organization in the same manner as is provided for in the payment of other bills and indebtedness.
He shall, with the approval of the General Executive Board, employ such assistance as is necessary to conduct the affairs of his office. Remuneration for such employes shall be fixed by the General Executive Board and paid as other bills and indebtedness, as hereinbefore provided for; he shall convene the General Executive Board as hereinafter provided for in Article II, Section 5.
DEL. GILLHAUS: I move that that be adopted as read. (Seconded.)
DEL. WILKE: I did not see any provision made in this section for the protection of the President as is provided for in the previous clause for the protection of the Secretary-Treasurer; that is, in regard to honesty, etc. I don’t see anything there where the Secretary is authorized to prefer charges in that section.
DEL. J. C. SULLIVAN: You will find that provided for in the next section.
DEL. POWERS: I wanted to speak to the motion which preceded this motion. I want to explain the thing on the record because there is something that has been suggested here that I know I will get up against in the future, and I want, when I go home to the organization of men whom I represent here, to have them understand that I tried to get the floor of this convention when this question of salaries of officers came up here. I do not think that I will stand for any $2,000 parasite in this union, and when that does come up on the floor of this organization I shall insist and say that if any man doing the work of the working class will get $2,000 a year, I will get out of this organization. I am working for about $8 a week. I want to go on record.
DEL. J. C. SULLIVAN: I would like to state for the benefit of all of the delegates in this convention that if you will notice the reading of that constitution pertaining to remuneration or salary it provides that that shall be fixed by the convention. Now, your committee did not feel competent to insert figures there; consequently, they referred the matter to the convention. I would hold that it is the duty of each and every delegate here that is interested, when the proper time comes, to express their opinion and offer a resolution or a motion covering the matter. You are not fixing a salary at this time by adopting that part referring to the salary; you are simply giving yourselves as a convention power to do so.
THE CHAIRMAN: The question is that this section be adopted. (Question called for.)
DEL. WILLIAMSON: If Brother Powers had been on the committee he would have had an individual chance of speaking on the matter at the time.
THE CHAIRMAN: Those in favor of adopting the section will signify it by saying aye. Contrary no. The motion is carried and the section adopted.
The secretary of the committee read the following section:
DUTIES OF THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE BOARD.
Section 5. The General Executive Board shall be composed of the General President, the General Secretary-Treasurer, and one member from each International Industrial Union, as provided for in Article II, Section I. The General President shall be elected as provided for in Article II, Section 2, except in case of vacancy, which shall be hereinafter provided for. The General Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected as provided for in Article II, Section 2, except in case of vacancy, when he shall be elected as provided for in Article II, Section 3. The other members of the General Executive Board shall be elected by their respective International Industrial Unions, in accordance with their prescribed rules except in case of a vacancy, when such vacancy shall be filled as provided for in Article II, Section 3, all of whom shall hold their office for one year, or until their successors are duly elected, qualified and installed.
Immediately upon adjournment of each Convention, the General Executive Board shall convene and designate some one of their members, other than the Secretary-Treasurer, as President pro tem., who shall, in case of emergency, assume the duties of General President until such a time as the General Executive Board can be convened to fill the vacancy in the office of President.
Any member of the Executive Board or the Secretary-Treasurer may, if in their judgment they find the official action of the President detrimental to the best interests of the Organization, file a complaint in writing, setting forth such charges. If said complaint is signed by two or more members of the Executive Board, it shall be filed with the General Secretary-Treasurer, who shall, within ten (10) days after serving a copy of such charges on the President, convene the General Executive Board, to hear the case. If the charges are sustained by a majority vote of the General Executive Board, they may suspend or expel the General President from his office, provided that, before the suspension or expulsion of the President be permanent, the question shall be submitted to the entire membership of the organization and their decision thereon shall be binding and final.
The General Executive Board shall have full power to conduct the affairs of the Organization between conventions and their decision on all matters pertaining to the Organization, or any subordinate part thereof, shall be binding, subject to an appeal to the next convention, or to the entire membership of the Organization, provided that, in case a referendum vote of the membership is demanded by any subordinate, or sub-division, part of the Organization, the expense of submitting the matter to referendum shall be borne by the Organization taking the appeal, except wherein the decision of the General Executive Board shall be reversed by a vote of the membership; then the expense shall be borne by the general organization.
The General Executive Board shall have full power to issue charters to International Industrial Unions, Industrial Councils and Local Unions, as provided for in Article I, Section 2 (a), 2 (b) and 2 (c). They shall also have power to charter and classify unions, or organizations, not herein provided for.
In case the members of any subordinate organization of the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD are involved in strike, regularly ordered by the Organization, or General Executive Board, or involved in a lockout, if in the opinion of the President and General Executive Board it becomes necessary to call out any other union, or unions, or organization, they shall have full power to do so.
Any agreement entered into between the members of any Local Union, or organization, and their employers, as a final settlement of any difficulty or trouble which may occur between them, shall not be considered valid or binding until the same shall have the approval of the General Executive Board of the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD.
The General Executive Board shall meet twice within a fiscal year to audit the books of the General Secretary-Treasurer and transact such other business as may come before them.
The General Executive Board shall, by a two-thirds vote, have power to levy a special assessment when subordinate parts of the organization are involved in strikes and the condition of the treasury makes such action necessary, but no special assessment shall exceed fifty cents per member in any one month, nor more than six (6) such assessments in any one year, unless the same shall have been approved by a referendum vote of the entire membership; provided that, in case special assessment be levied, the same shall be paid from the treasury of the Local Unions and International Industrial Unions chartered by the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD, and provided that, when special assessments are levied for the benefit of unions or organizations, the members directly involved in strike shall be exempt from such assessment.
The General Executive Board shall have full power and authority over the official organ and guide its policy. They shall, by a majority vote, elect an Editor, who shall receive such compensation as in the judgment of the General Executive Board is just and proper.
The Editor shall hold his office at the pleasure of the General Executive Board and shall at all times recognize the authority of the General Executive Board over him as Editor of the official organ. The Editor may, with the approval of the General Executive Board, employ such help as is necessary to conduct the affairs of his office.
DEL. CRANSTON: I would like to have this added to that: I move that this be added as an amendment to that: “All members of the General Executive Board shall, before assuming the duties of their office, fill out and sign in the presence of witnesses their resignations, the same to take effect on acceptance by a majority of the General Executive Board, subject to the rights of appeal as provided.” (Seconded.)
THE CHAIRMAN: It has been regularly moved and seconded that the section be amended as read. Are you ready for the question?
DEL. WHITE: A delegate raises the question whether it would require a vote of this convention, that no general officer or President of the Executive Board of the Industrial Workers of the World shall hold membership in the American Federation of Labor, or any other pure and simple trades and labor organization.
DEL. T. J. HAGERTY: Comrade White, I think that is a matter for the convention itself to decide. If this is a real, economic, revolutionary convention the convention might say that, and if it does not they will go away as a lot of pure and simplers, in my judgment.
DEL. ROSS: I desire, Mr. Chairman, to appeal to your recollection as the Chairman of this convention. I want to ask a question for information. After I had offered an amendment which was intended to cover the ground in that document called a constitution, you said that it should not be the permanent constitution. I believe that was your declaration, wasn’t it, or was it not?
THE CHAIRMAN: I said that in my opinion this was merely a provisional constitution.
DEL. ROSS: Yes. Now, sir, I want to ask you if, when this convention adjourns, that constitution being adopted by this convention, the Western Federation of Miners, the S. T. & L. A. and the others who come in, if they won’t hereafter be the organization, if adopted by them and all the other organizations, and I could never have a chance in any other organization until they have affiliated with that body.
THE CHAIRMAN: Until they have affiliated with this organization?
DEL. ROSS: Yes. For that reason I want to still offer an amendment. In Delegate Hagerty’s reading there I find, sir, that provision is made to elect the officers annually, but no provision made as to how often or how many times they may be elected.
A DELEGATE: Yes, there is.
DEL. ROSS: I want to offer this amendment: That where it says that he shall he elected for one year (it states that he shall be elected yearly, but don’t say how many times he shall be elected), I want it to read that it shall be for one year, and no officer shall be elected more than four consecutive terms, if I can get a second to that amendment. (Seconded.)
THE CHAIRMAN: Is there a second to the amendment?
DEL. PAYNE: Yes, I second it.
THE PRESIDENT: The amendment is that officers of this organization shall be elected for one year and not to be elected more than four consecutive years. You have heard the amendment. Are you ready for the question?
Question called for, and amendment put and lost.
THE CHAIRMAN: The motion now occurs on the section as read. Are you ready for the question? (Question called for.)
DEL. KLEMENSIC: Brother Chairman and Fellow Delegates, it was just this particular point where the difference is between the contention of Brother Coates and the rest of the delegates, and there we are now. Now, a man that is a member of an organization of the American Federation of Labor, he has then, according to the statements here, no right whatsoever in this organization.
DEL. T. J. HAGERTY: No, not at all. You are talking about—
DEL. KLEMENSIC: In the Manifesto it is stated that members should be members of national and international organizations. Now, according to what is read and stated here, we have no right to be here. Now, then—
THE CHAIRMAN: Delegate Klemensic, permit the Chair to explain to you that this does not say as to what your membership shall be. The question was simply asked by Delegate White, but it is not set forth or defined in any way in that section as read.
DEL. KLEMENSIC: But it is stated here that he shall not be a member of the American Federation of Labor.
THE CHAIRMAN: No, it does not.
DEL. HAGERTY: No, that is not in here at all.
THE CHAIRMAN: The question before the convention at this time is whether or not this section shall be adopted. The motion is that it be adopted as read. Are you ready for the question ?
(Question called for.)
The question was put and carried and the section adopted.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Secretary will proceed to read.
DEL. SHERMAN: I would ask, as special privilege, the ears of the delegates of this convention for two minutes. I would ask it as a special privilege, if there is no objection. (No objection was heard.)
THE CHAIRMAN: Delegate Sherman has the floor.
DEL. SHERMAN: Mr. Chairman, Sisters and Brothers, I have an announcement to make, and I desire to make a motion following the announcement. Our little sister here on the platform, Sister Langdon, who has so efficiently served us through this convention, had the misfortune yesterday of having some one steal all her belongings from this platform, including her return transportation, some $40 or $50, and some valuable credentials that she had from various organizations in her work that she has done for many years. I want to make a motion that the Chair appoint an uninstructed committee to take up this case and make such provisions as in their judgment will be fitting for the occasion. (Seconded.)
THE CHAIRMAN: You have heard the motion. Are you ready for the question? (Question called for). Those in favor of the motion signify it by saying aye. Contrary no. The motion is carried. The Chair would appoint on that committee, the mover of the motion, Brother Sherman, Brother McCabe and Brother Hickey. The Secretary will proceed to read.
DEL. MCCABE: Brother Hickey is not here at the present time. I don’t think he will be here till to-morrow afternoon.
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, the committee can probably meet with him.
The Secretary of the Constitution Committee read the next section as follows:
“Article III. Section I. Revenues. The revenue of the organization shall be derived as follows: Charter fees for International Industrial Unions shall be $25. Charter fees for District Councils and Local Unions shall be $10.”
DEL. HOPKINS: I move that it be adopted as read.
At the request of Delegate Hall the section was read again.
DEL. T. J. HAGERTY: I would like to remark that I hope the fellows that are not listening won’t ask any more questions.
DEL. HALL: I stand rebuked, but I will explain the reason why I would like to have that read. I believe here is an opportunity of knocking out that idea of chartering district councils. Now, we might provide for district councils without chartering them. If we charter them we give them special sanction, giving them certain powers that it is a little difficult to withdraw later on. Now, I move you that we knock out that part of the article referring to district charters and in all sections following. I think there has been nothing preceding this. Let us knock out all portions that provide for issuing charters to central councils. This motion simply covers this one case where we receive revenues from district councils for these charters, and then it will provide later on for knocking out all that charter proposition to the central councils. I move you that we knock out that portion of this section which relates to issuing charters to district councils. (Seconded.)
DEL. T. J. HAGERTY: A point of order. District councils have already been provided for and adopted by this convention in the first article of this proposed constitution, in Section I. Moreover, in Section 4 of that same Article I, which has been adopted by this convention, jurisdiction is given in these councils. Now, you cannot have industrial councils composing part of this Industrial Workers of the World and having jurisdiction without having charters.
THE CHAIRMAN: The point of order is well taken.
DEL. HALL: Just before you rule on that, will you permit me—
THE CHAIRMAN: The motion is out of order.
DEL. POWERS: I move that the word “ten” in reference to the price for local charters be stricken out and “three” inserted. (Seconded.)
THE CHAIRMAN: The motion occurs on the original motion, which is to adopt the section as read. Are you ready for the question? (Question called for). Those in favor will signify it by saying aye. Contrary no. The motion is carried and the section adopted as read.
DEL. POWERS: Did you understand that I had a second to my motion?
THE CHAIRMAN: I did not.
DEL. POWERS: This gentleman (indicating) seconded it.
THE CHAIRMAN: If you will, kindly rise to your feet when you address the Chair. I did not hear you second it. The Secretary will proceed.
Secretary Hagerty of the committee read the next section of Article III, as follows:
Section 2. International Industrial Unions shall pay as general dues into the treasury of the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD the rate of eight and one-third cents per month per member; Industrial Councils shall pay a flat rate of $1.00 per month for the organization; Local Unions shall pay twenty-five cents per member per month, together with such assessments as may be levied as provided for in Article II, Section 5.
The stamp system shall be used. Stamps shall be procured from the General Secretary-Treasurer at the rate of prices provided for in Section 2 of Article III.
THE CHAIRMAN: You have heard read Section 2 of Article III. What is the pleasure of the convention?
It was moved and seconded that the section be adopted.
THE CHAIRMAN: It has been regularly moved and seconded that that section be adopted as read.
DEL. CLARENCE SMITH: I move to amend the section as read by striking out “eight and one-third cents” and substituting “twelve and one-half cents.” I wish to speak to the motion if it receives a second. (Amendment seconded.)
DEL. KIEHN: I move to amend that the “eight and one-third” be stricken out and “six” inserted. (Seconded.)
THE CHAIRMAN: It has been regularly moved and seconded that “eight and one-third” be stricken out and “six” inserted. Are you ready for the question?
DEL. CLARENCE SMITH: I probably should have stated my reasons for making the motion that the general dues be twelve and one-half cents to the international, but I did not consider it in order to make such a statement preceding the motion. I consider that the solidarity of this organization cannot be expressed except the organization issues a publication at regular intervals containing the official declarations of the organization and representing its principles, which publication should go to every single member of international, national and local unions. It seems to me that if we are to have solidarity at all, that is to say, if all of the members of this organization are to act together, they must think together first; that is to say, they must decide for themselves, from a study of the principles of the organization and the conditions affecting the organization, what action is necessary for the best interests of the organization. And unless the individual members of all of the unions united with this proposed organization are in close touch all of the time with the conditions of all of the other unions in the organization, they will not know what action can best be taken for the interests of the organization as a whole. We have not recognized in to-day’s work that a provision of the Manifesto shall be followed strictly. I will not say that the recommendation of the Manifesto regarding the issuance of a universal journal must be strictly followed, because the precedent has been established that this convention has the right to place a construction or interpretation upon the Manifesto. But I do maintain that whether the Manifesto is to be strictly followed or not, the recommendation for a universal official journal to go to every member is fundamentally right and ought to be adopted and provided for in this convention. Maintaining that it is right, I maintain that the revenues provided for the general organization will not permit of the publication of such an official journal and sending it to every member. It will simply permit of the publication of a journal for voluntary subscription, and such a journal will receive the subscriptions of only those who are the best supporters of the organization and who least need it An official journal for this organization, to be of any benefit to the members, should be issued weekly; that is, to be of great benefit to the members. If it is to be issued weekly it will require at least four cents per member per month from all of the members united locally or internationally. If issued monthly it will require at least two and one-half or three cents per member per month to provide the means for that purpose. As I understand it, of the eight and one-third cents per capita tax provided from the international organization, five cents is to go into a central defense fund. Is that correct?
DEL. HAGERTY: No, it is not five cents.
DEL. CLARENCE SMITH: A special defense fund is provided for, Mr. Chairman, any way. I maintain, anyhow, that the revenue as provided for here will not permit of properly conducting this organization and provide means for the publication of an official journal to go to every member, and I therefore made the motion for twelve and one-half cents; and while I will not repeat the motion again, I want to register my objection to reducing that tax below the amount stated in the committee’s report.
DEL. SHERMAN: I agree in all that has been stated by Brother Smith of the necessity and the good that will come from a journal issued by this General Executive Board, and your Committee on Constitution took that proposition under advisement, but we felt at this time that the time will soon pass to arrive at the date of another convention, and during that time there will be a great deal of what might be called turmoil work, of getting these organizations in line, and getting things straightened out. Recognizing the fact that the organizations that are here pledged and joined with this organization have at the present time official organs of their own that must be supported by the membership, we felt that a year would not be too long for the rank and file to decide whether they wanted the publication of one united publication; and they were as a unit believing that it would be of very little interest to the rank and file to have a general publication and then all the internationals have a publication also, and they felt that with this new child that is being born, if we could organize and pull together the working class and put them in good working shape so that they would be prepared to go into the next convention, then if they saw fit to make provisions to launch an official organ that would embrace the whole machinery or whole business of the whole organization, they would be better prepared at that time. Feeling as the committee did, that it was not the proper time at the beginning of an organization to launch an official organ, they felt that the amount named as per capita tax or general dues was sufficient, and I am of the opinion that the committee is correct. There are none of the organizations that are coming in here but what have official organs of their own. Those organs have got lists of subscribers that are paid for, and those subscriptions are supposed to be carried out to the expiration of the time that they have paid for. Hence if they pass a motion as prescribed by Brother Smith at this time it would necessitate the double load of carrying the general organ as well as the ones that they have subscribed to and paid for at this time. Hence I do not think we are ready at this time to dictate too much of a load upon the rank and file. Hence I am opposed at this time to insisting upon launching an official organ for the organization.
DEL. SHURTLEFF: I desire to offer an amendment to the amendment, that the tax to the general body shall be fixed at five cents for the defense fund and one cent for the general fund. With the sick benefits and other expenses, to turn over eight and one-third cents to the general organization would practically put you out of business entirely. (Seconded.)
THE CHAIRMAN: You are out of order. An amendment to the amendment has been offered, that is, that this section be amended by striking out “eight and one-third” and inserting “six.” Are you ready for the question?
Question called for; also roll call demanded.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Chair will determine as to whether a roll call will be had on this question. If this is carried overwhelmingly there will be no roll call.
DEL. POWERS: Now, comrades, I think we are making a mistake just here. You are basing the income of this organization according to your experience. This amendment to the amendment says six cents per capita. You will understand that this six cents has got to come out of the dues that are paid into the organization to carry on the organization. Now, we have only got one textile local in Rhode Island, and at the present time it is in a crippled state because it had a big strike on over nine months, and it was torn literally to pieces financially and numerically. Now, you want to keep this in mind, you men who get $3 and $4 a day, that there are in this group of textile workers men who are working fifty-eight hours for $5.40 a week. There are in this group women who are working for $3.60 a week-grown women. And these people want to be organized. There is a greater need for organizing them than there is you. (Applause.) You are getting a living wage; you are getting something to eat, and you have got fresh air. These people do not get a wage sufficient to feed them properly, and they are in an atmosphere that is poisoning them ten hours a day. Now, I tell you, we cannot stand this per capita tax. I tell you further, that you will organize very few locals in the textile industry if they have to pay $10 for a charter. Now, comrades, I do not want to do any bragging, but I have organized a few textile industries and I have paid for the charters out of my own pocket, and it was only $3, but they could not raise $3. Now, I understand the textile industry. I know the financial condition of those people, and I tell you that the best young men, as good as any that I know of, have gone into a fight against $60,000,000, against the greatest woolen trust, or the greatest combination of woolen manufacturers in America, and carried on a strike for nearly nine months; carried it into four states, and stopped 2,700 looms, and among people whom they had never seen before, and there are 800 of those people now blacklisted. In this town, in this local that I come from, we have 50 men of that local that can’t work in that town, and they are scattered to all points of the compass. Now, I would like to keep these people together. They are the fighting element of the textile industry id New England. Outside of this lot of men there is nothing in New England worth mentioning. Years ago many of them belonged to the assembly of the Knights of Labor. Some of them have grown gray in the labor movement. Now, I would like to have you allow these people to live, allow us to exist, if you make this per capita tax six cents you will put us out of business. Now, that is all I am telling you. I would like to see something done to let these district councils decide what their dues will be. They are the best judges of what the per capita tax should be and what they can afford to pay. Mr. Chairman, just think; we have got in Rhode Island about 100,000 textile workers; probably over 100,000, and we have got organized in that whole state, taking those who belong to the American Federation of Labor and all the rest of them, about 10,000. Now, there is a big field there, and we want this organization to put us in a position so that when we get back we can go out and work. We do not want this organization to put us in a position that will cripple us financially in the beginning; and this will do it. Now, we can’t pay this per capita tax. I say to you that the treasury of our organization is empty now; we haven’t got a nickel there. We are holding this organization together with our hands and teeth. We have been holding it that way for two years, and I am sure that if this goes on and you force us to pay six cents after paying all our other expenses, that we will not be able to do it. Now, that is the condition. I hope this amendment will pass, the five-cent amendment. I hope the amendment to the amendment will be struck out. I would rather see some provision made in the constitution to leave it to those groups in this textile industry to decide how much dues they will pay and how much per capita tax they can afford to pay. They are in a better position to know what they can pay. Now, comrades, you men here who earn $3 and $4 and $5 a day, if you came into our industry we would look upon you as a curiosity. You are able to pay, with $4 and $5 a day. Delegate Morrison surprised me the other day when he said he was getting $5 a day. I haven’t run into that sort of a man in a year.
DEL. MORRISON: I rise to a question of personal privilege to speak on this question, inasmuch as I was mentioned by the speaker as being the man who stands on this floor as having received $5 a day. There is no man in this convention that realizes—
THE CHAIRMAN: The Chair will not permit the delegate to go into the question of wages. This is a question of whether or not this amendment will be carried.
DEL. MORRISON: Well, I want to speak to the amendment, Mr. Chairman, but I want to diverge just a moment so as to make myself understood.
DEL. SCHATZKE: What is the amendment? I would like to hear the amendment again.
THE CHAIRMAN: The amendment to the amendment is that “eight and one-third” be stricken out and “five” cents per capita inserted. Delegates will confine themselves to the question.
DEL. MORRISON: I am heartily in favor of a reduction from “eight and one-third”, or from “six” down to “five”, if there are going to be stipulated sums prescribed that the different locals are to pay for dues; for the reason that the delegate here has raised the question of the impossibility on the part of certain individuals and groups of laborers in this country to meet their payment. And I rise to a point of privilege to express myself and go on record in this convention on a proposition that has never been submitted to this convention, in regard to the equitable distribution of the burdens of this great organization that we are going to launch. May I have this privilege just a minute?
THE CHAIRMAN: As long as you are speaking to this question.
DEL. MORRISON: I might divert just a minute, but I want to go on record on this question.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Chair will call your attention to it if you divert.
DEL. MORRISON: All right. This is my proposition, briefly. I don’t want to detain you long because it is not my purpose. It is this, that there ought to be dues established by this organization that will bear equally upon each and every individual member of society known as a laboring individual, in accordance with his ability, dues based upon a men’s earning capacity. (Applause.) That will provide for my friend who is working in the mill, sitting over here, and it will also provide for the man that gets $5 a day, and I promise to pay my percentage of the dues, whatever it is.
DEL. SAUNDERS: In view of the fact that there is no motion to the effect of the one on which the last brother spoke, I would be in favor of the amendment to six cents, taking into consideration what Brother Powers stated. I believe, however, that working men who want an organization at all will realize that we cannot organize under less than six cents and allow the organization to live. I believe too, that there should be a provision, whereby these organizations that come in under the head of the category mentioned by Brother Powers should be provided for, but I do not believe that that is any argument why the six cents should not prevail. Therefore I am in favor of the amendment.
DEL. HALL: It occurs to me that it is impossible to vote intelligently upon this proposition unless we understand something of how this fund is to be segregated. It is just possible that the suggestion of twelve and one-half cents would not be too much if we knew how the money was to be used; or it is just possible that we might make it a little more than that if used in the proper way. Now, let me suggest to you that the constitution provides that each industrial section or division shall have a member on the General Executive Board. It also provides that these separate divisions shall have a general Secretary-Treasurer. Now, I would like to have it go out to the world that this member of the General Executive Board and this General Secretary-Treasurer of the industrial division is linked in his personal interest with this one union that we are forming. Now, if the salaries of the different international officers are to be paid from this general fund accumulated in the treasury by this per capita tax, and the cost of stationery and supplies by the different internationals, and the rent of their office is to be paid from this general per capita tax that is under discussion, it might reasonably be a little larger than it is or that has been suggested, and have no international per capita tax. For instance, if all the per capita tax assessed against the membership of the organization should go into one central treasury from which could be borne the expense of all the different industrial divisions, then that is all the per capita tax that is necessary to put upon the membership, and we could make it much lighter that way than by a per capita tax placed on them for the support of this main organization of eight and a half or six cents, and then have another per capita tax on them for the support of their separate industrial division. Now, if we knew how these funds were to be segregated, then we could vote intelligently, but until we do I do not see how we can treat the question wisely and well. I am in favor of one per capita tax and no more, and I am in favor of that coming into a general treasury, and I am in favor of the secretaries of these different industrial organizations representing industrial divisions being paid out of that. I am in favor of having a uniform system of stationery and supplies going out to the membership.
THE CHAIRMAN: The chair will have to call you to order. Inasmuch as the section that was adopted there says that the financial and administrative powers shall go to the divisions, you are not speaking to the question.
DEL. HALL: I rather think that you misunderstood what I wanted to say.
THE CHAIRMAN: You have talked a long while, long enough to make anybody understand.
DEL. HALL: I believe that different delegates have stated that the per capita tax would be sufficient to bear the expense that I have suggested; that is, the salaries and the general administration of these different industrial divisions. Now, the committee has made no suggestion as to the segregation of this fund coming in. If the per capita tax is eight and one-third cents it means $80 per thousand members. That, multiplied by 50,000 members represented in this convention, means 50 times 80, which is $4000, I think, per month. Now, I believe that is more than is necessary to pay the salaries of General President and General Secretary-Treasurer and to get out the stationery necessary to conduct the business of the general organization. I think it is an unnecessary burden to place upon the membership. Now, if the committee would define what uses they wish to make of that money that comes in, then we could act upon it intelligently.
DEL. LUCY E. PARSONS: I think this per capita tax is very important. We have heard from this delegate from Rhode Island that there are women there working for $3.60 a week, and certainly they have got to be taken into consideration. I can verify this, for I was in Rhode Island and among those textile workers, and I think that their wages would not enable them to pay a very large tax. They are the class we want. This organization is for the purpose of helping all, and certainly it is the women in the textile mills that are the lowest paid. I think the suggestion of the brother here is good, if it can be made flexible and work; that the different local organizations should be permitted to levy their own tax, knowing as they do what amount that tax should be. If it is a local in the west or in Chicago, where the wages are better, they may be able to vote a larger per capita tax. There should be more flexibility so as to meet the conditions of those who only get $3 or $4 a week, and not make their tax at the same ratio as those who get as much as that a day, or even more. Simply make it so that the People and the women who get such poor pay should not be assessed as much as the men who get higher pay.
DEL. DINGER: I wish to ask the committee through you, Mr. Chairman, a question.
THE CHAIRMAN: You may proceed.
DEL. DINGER: Is there any provision made in the constitution there for such cases as presented here by Comrade Powers?
DEL. T. J. HAGERTY: I think that that is the spirit of this constitution. As the Chairman stated a while ago, the constitution is provisional for the sake of getting this organization under way, and I think—I am positive—that there is not a single member of that Constitution Committee who would dream of compelling a textile worker earning $3 a week to pay into the general fund that which he could not pay. I think that that is the spirit of the Constitution Committee. That was discussed, in reference to the earnings of members, for instance the miners; that the eight and one-third cents a month is a mere bagatelle to the miner. As a matter of fact, that provision could not be enforced in so far as the textile workers are concerned, or in so far, for instance, as the closing down of the mills. Suppose the mills would close down for a year and they were not earning anything at all, if they were paying eight and one-third cents a month into the general fund it would destroy their organization. I do not think that that is the spirit of this constitution at all, and if I am not right in saying that, I would like some other members of the Constitution Committee to correct me here. I think that the convention has got Brother Sherman’s interpretation of that Constitution Committee, that it is not an iron-clad document, fixed and rigid like the old bed of Procrustes, who, when a traveler came along, would put him on a bed, and if his legs were too short he would stretch them, and if the legs were too long he would chop them off. This is not procrustean; it is a document or constitution to give us a working plan to go on, and it must be left to wisdom and experience to guide us. There is enough power given to the wisdom of the General Executive Board to cover the objection of Brother Powers. We all recognize that that is a real, solid objection, and I think that the General Executive Board of the incoming organization has power to regulate such a matter as that. Otherwise there is no use having a General Executive Board if they cannot interpret the spirit of this constitution; and the spirit of it, the keynote of the spirit, is struck in its Preamble.
DE1. MILLER: The pathetic helplessness of poverty was never better suggested than by Comrade Powers when he stated the condition of the textile workers in Rhode Island. It ought to be clear to the delegates of this convention that if anybody were in the same condition as those textile workers, resistance to capitalism would be out of the question. It is clear, too, that if the textile workers are not able to pay, the men who are receiving better wages than they are getting might bear the burden of that fight for labor. There is nothing to hinder the Executive Board from granting a dispensation to, even like the textile workers and other crafts in which extremely low wages prevail, and the burden might be laid on the shoulders of those fellows who not only have the power to do, but have the will as well. No one need be afraid of what is going to become of $4000 that may come into the treasury of this organization. Any one who knows or has the faintest conception of the burdens which this organization is to meet, knows that funds will constitute a grave question. We cannot have too much money. For that reason it seems to me that both the amendment to raise to twelve and one-half cents (as I do not think it is wise to provide at the present time for the publication of an official journal) should fail, and the one reducing the per capita tax to six cents should fail also. That is about the size of it.
DEL. JORGENSEN: I would only mention what Delegate Hagerty said. It seems to me that this convention is trying to make an organization so perfect that you will never have to go into any other convention. If you think you can do that, then you might just as well make up your minds that you will have no constitution for the next three years to come.
DEL. LILLIAN FORBERG: Thee brother is not talking on the subject.
DEL. JORGENSEN: I am sticking to the subject pretty close. I think you will have something to do and change in the next convention. I think the per capita tax of the amendment to the amendment is just about the one we should adopt. It is easy to increase expenses, but it is hard to decrease them. At the next convention, if you think that you need to increase your per capita tax you can do so, after you have seen that it is necessary. The comrade here has described the condition in Rhode Island. You can leave those states out and exempt them from bearing the per capita tax at all, according to the Manifesto there. How can they build up the organization? Their hands and teeth are the only instruments that they have. Since 1881 the carpenters have had a convention every other year, and there never was a year that they had a convention unless they had to change their constitution either one way or the other, taking out, changing, etc.
DEL. MCDONALD: I want to ask Delegate Hagerty if the constitution makes provision for the General Executive Board in such cases as this one; if it has given the General Executive Board that power?
DEL. HAGERTY: I do not know exactly the wording here, but the General Executive Board has power to regulate the affairs of the organization between conventions; that is what it states. If we are going to give that an interpretation there, it must be broad enough to cover these difficulties.
DEL. MCDONALD: It does specifically give them the power, does it?
DEL. HAGERTY: May I read that portion to them?
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.
DEL. HAGERTY: In the “Duties of the General Executive Board” it is said that the Executive Board shall have full power to conduct the affairs of the organization between conventions, subject, of course, to a referendum.
DEL. MCDONALD: Surely, yes, subject to the constitution.
THE CHAIRMAN: The question is on the amendment to the amendment, which is to insert the word “six” instead of “eight and one-third.” Those who favor the motion will say aye. Contrary no. The motion is lost. The motion now occurs on the amendment to the original motion, which is to make the per capita tax twelve and one-half cents. Those in favor of the motion will signify it by saying aye. Contrary no. The motion is lost. The motion now occurs on the original motion, which is to adopt the section as read. Those in favor will signify it by saying aye. Contrary no. The motion is carried and the section adopted. The Secretary will proceed.
INDUSTRIAL MEMBERS, INITIATION FEES AND DUES.
The Secretary of the committee read the next section, as follows:
Article III. Section 3. Individual members may be admitted to membership at large in the organization as provided in Article I, Section 2, paragraph D, on payment of $2 initiation fee and 50 cents per month dues, together with such assessments as may be levied by the Executive Board as provided for in Section 5, Article II, all of which shall be paid to the General Secretary-Treasurer; provided, members at large shall remain such so long as they are outside of the jurisdiction of a local union subordinate to the general organization, but on moving within the jurisdiction of a local union of the Industrial Workers of the World or any of its subordinate organizations they shall transfer their membership from the union at large to the local union within the jurisdiction where they are employed. The initiation fee for members of local unions, as provided for in Section 2, paragraph C, Article I, and Sections 5, Article II, shall be $2. The monthly dues shall he 50 cents per month, together with such assessments as may be levied as provided for in Section 5, Article II; provided, no part of the initiation fee or dues above mentioned shall be used as sick or death benefits, but shall be held in the treasury as a general fund to defray the legitimate expenses of the union. All international industrial unions subordinate to the Industrial Workers of the World shall charge for initiation fee in their respective unions not less than $1.50 nor more than $5 as in their judgment the conditions will justify. All international industrial unions subordinate to the Industrial Workers of the World shall collect from their membership of their organizations a per capita tax at the rate of 25 cents a member per month; provided, that no part of the above mentioned moneys shall be used for sick, accident or death fund, but shall be held in the treasury of the international industrial unions for the purpose of paying the legitimate expenses of maintaining the organizations.
DEL. WILKE: I make a motion that we concur in the recommendation of the committee. (Seconded.)
THE CHAIRMAN: You have heard the motion. Are you ready for the question?
DEL. ROSS: I want to say to this convention that I want to move that Delegate Hagerty completely read the remaining portion of that constitution, and then we will adopt it as a whole without debate. Now, I have got a reason for this. There have been some of us going away, and they know it will be adopted. I am cognizant of the fact, and every one on this floor ought to be so by this time, that it is useless to change or make a request or a motion. I move that Delegate Hagerty continue to read the remaining portion of the constitution as provided by the Constitution Committee, and when it has been read that this convention adopt it as a whole and without debate. (Seconded.)
THE CHAIRMAN: The motion is out of order. The motion is to adopt the section. Are you ready for the question?
Question called for.
DEL. WILKE: I rise to ask a question. I made a motion to concur, to bring it before the house. In that section that has just been read there is a passage that refers to the national industrial organizations charging an initiation fee of $1.50 and not more than $5. Do I understand that to refer to the local or to the individual members?
THE CHAIRMAN: That is the local.
DEL. WILKE: I didn’t get quite clear on that, and I wanted to ask the question.
DEL. CLARENCE SMITH: I would like to know if I have been mistaken in understanding that the report of the committee provides that the dues in the local unions, including local unions with international bodies, shall be 50 cents per month. Will the Chairman permit the Secretary of the committee to answer that question?
DEL. T. J. HAGERTY: Local unions (and by “local unions” in this section is meant unions that are directly chartered by the general administration of the Industrial Workers of the World), in places where there are not enough persons in an industry to constitute an industrial organization, shall pay 25 cents per month per member.
DEL. SMITH: That is not the question.
DEL. HAGERTY: Individual members shall pay 50 cents per month. Your question is—
DEL. SMITH: My question is whether this constitution as reported by the committee provides the rate of dues to be paid by members of local unions.
DEL. HAGERTY: It does not. That means local unions, but Delegate Smith used local unions in the first sense of the word; that is, locals directly chartered by the general administration.
DEL. SMITH: Or locals with the international.
DEL. HAGERTY: Or locals united with the international. There are two. Locals united with internationals have no specified dues here except as regards their dues to their internationals, not as locals.
A DELEGATE: Is there a minimum and a maximum fee?
DEL. HAGERTY: There is a minimum and a maximum initiation fee.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Secretary will please read the whole section.
The section was again read by Secretary Hagerty.
DEL. CLARENCE SMITH: Mr. Chairman, if the Secretary will let me take that I will give it back (copy of report handed to Delegate Smith.) This is a very long section. It seems to me that this section provides that dues in local unions directly chartered by this organization shall be a fixed sum per month, and yet it does not make any such provision for locals united with international industrial organizations. Am I right in that?
DEL. SHERMAN: According to the reading, but it was not the intention, for I am confident it was the intention to make a minimum and maximum that the international should charge.
DEL. SMITH: I will simply treat the report of the committee as it is written. It is stated that it was the intention of the Constitution Committee to make the dues in local unions, whether united directly or through international unions, 50 cents per month, no more and no less. It is also provided that no part of the revenue of the local unions, whether directly chartered or through international organizations, shall be used for sick or death benefit purposes. In other words, it is proposed in this constitution to prohibit local unions connected directly with this organization charging more than 50 cents per month dues.
DEL. HAGERTY: A point of order, Mr. Chairman. It is not prohibited, if the brother will permit me. The local union has its own constitution and its own local government, financial as well as administrative, subject to the Industrial Workers of the World and the approval of the General Executive Board; and that has already been adopted by this convention.
DEL SMITH: I merely want to understand it properly. If there is no excuse for me to talk, I am the last man in the convention to wish to talk. I understand it differently than as stated by Delegate Hagerty. The initiation fee for members of local unions, as provided for in Article I, Section 2, and Article 2, Section 5, shall be $2. The monthly dues shall be 50 cents per month. My interpretation of this section as written and as read is that local unions of this proposed organization, if this constitution is adopted, shall charge 50 cents per month dues, no more and no less. If that is not the intention of the Constitution Committee, then the constitution Committee has not written the constitution in accordance with the intention of the committee, and it ought to be so written. I will speak on the motion to adopt, I am opposed to that section as read, because I believe that local unions united with this organization should have the right to fix the monthly dues of members at any sum the local unions may see fit. I recognize, Mr. Chairman and Delegates, in making this talk, that it is entirely out of order if the constitution is to be written in conformity with the intention of the Constitution Committee as stated by Delegate Hagerty.
DEL. HAGERTY: A point of order. As I stated, that is in this document already provided for and adopted by this convention. If you will refer back to the section. It is not my interpretation or opinion; it is merely the document.
DEL. SMITH: I simply read the document as it is.
DEL. HAGERTY: Read the other part.
DEL. SMITH: If any other part conflicts with this part of the constitution, then the other part of the constitution or this part of the constitution should be and must be changed. This part of the constitution states clearly that the dues in local unions shall be 50 cents per month, and it seems to me, Mr. Chairman, with a further reading of this particular section, that it is the deliberate intention of the Constitution Committee to prohibit monthly dues being fixed at a higher rate than 50 cents per month, because this section goes on to state further along that no part of the initiation fee or monthly dues shall be used for sick or death benefit purposes. In order that this part of the constitution may be in agreement with the intention of the Constitution Committee, I shall move you that this section which I now proceed to read as I would amend it, be amended so that it will fix a minimum dues in local unions of 50 cents per member per month, and shall eliminate that part of the section prohibiting local unions from inaugurating sick or death benefit systems. I shall make that as a motion before I get through. Now, Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that this organization is going to succeed as a labor organization just insomuch as it leaves within, the power of an individual member, just insomuch as it leaves within the power of the international industrial organization, a complete and perfect democratic management of the affairs of the individual member, of the local union and of the international industrial organization, matters that affect the individual member only, that affect the local union only, and that affect the international industrial organization only. If this organization presumes now or at any other time to say to the individual member or to the local union or the international organization that they shall not do things which do not interfere with the efficiency of the general labor movement as a whole, then this convention and the organization are going to fix such rules as will make it absolutely impossible for the organization to grow or gain strength among the American working people. Local unions now have a habit in the American Labor Union, in the Western Federation of Miners and in other local organizations that are represented in this convention directly or through international delegations, —they have a habit and a practice of charging monthly dues of from 35 cents per month to $2.50 per month. The monthly dues in some of the local unions of the Western Federation of Miners are as high as $2.50 and the benefits are correspondingly great. The monthly dues in some of the local unions of the American Labor Union are as low as 35 cents per month, and my experience with those organizations has been that the monthly dues are not sufficient to furnish revenue to properly conduct the unions and pay the obligations of the local unions to the general labor movement. I am therefore in favor of fixing the minimum local dues of 50 cents per member per month. But, Mr. Chairman, if this convention goes on record as prohibiting local unions, either national or directly chartered local organizations, from charging more than 50 cents per member per month as monthly dues, or prohibit those organizations from providing benefits for their members as they may see fit after they have fulfilled all their obligations to the general labor movement, then it is going to place such restrictions upon this organization as will make it impossible to succeed. I move you, Mr. President and brother delegates, as an amendment to this section—I shall have to have the document before me in order to make an intelligent motion—
DEL. HAGERTY: All right. (Hands constitution to Delegate Smith).
DEL. SMITH:—As an amendment to this section—this is the section that I would like to amend at this time; I will read the section as reported by the Committee on Constitution. It is a paragraph, but in my judgment it should be a section, to be treated intelligently by the convention:
“The initiation fee for members of local unions as provided for in Article I, Section 2, C, and Article II, Section 5, shall be $2. The monthly dues shall be 50 cents per month, together with such assessments as may be levied as provided for in Article II, Section 5; provided no part of the initiation fee or dues above mentioned shall be used as a sick or death benefit, but shall be held in the treasury as a general fund to defray the legitimate expenses of the unions.”
I move to amend this section so that it shall read as follows. I will reduce this to writing as soon as I can:
“The initiation fee for members of local unions as provided for in Article I, Section 2, and Article II, Section 5, shall be not less than $2. The monthly dues shall be not less than 50 cents per month, together with such assessments as may be levied as provided for in Article II, Section 5.”
I move as a part of my motion that the balance of the section be stricken out, which provides that “no part of the initiation fee or dues above mentioned shall be used as a sick or death benefit, but shall be held in the treasury,” etc. (Seconded.)
THE CHAIRMAN: The delegate will please reduce the motion to writing.
DEL. KIEHN: Have I got the floor?
THE CHAIRMAN: If you wish to speak to the motion as made you have the floor.
DEL. KIEHN: I wish to state that I am opposed to the amendment and am opposed to the adoption of this section. If I go home to the members of the organization that sent me here, the members that have been accustomed for the last ten years that the organization has been in existence never to pay any more than 25 cents dues and not to charge more than $1 initiation fee—if I go home to them with that proposition as offered in this constitution, it will raise a suspicion in their minds that this will be a bleeding process, and if the money is to be used as it is specifically stated, for nothing else but to defray the expenses of the organizations, it will raise a suspicion in the minds of the members that the purpose of this organization is to create some soft places for a few individuals. We are opposed at all times to high dues and high initiation fees. If you wish to create a defense fund, create a defense fund specifically and apart from your regular dues. Don’t mix them up with regular dues or any other fund that you wish to create. If I go to those members of that organization with this proposition they will jump red-hot at me, I will tell you. And another thing; if you send out organizers to organize the men that earn probably between. $5 and $10 a week, and you ask those men to “Come to a meeting to be organized, but don’t forget the $2”, you will get very few that will come there. I have had experience. I have simply asked the men to come and be prepared to pay but 25 cents initiation fee, and I did not get many. I will guarantee that if you ask men earning between $5 and $10 or less, to come with $2 in their pockets to pony up for initiation fee, you won’t get many.
DEL. T. J. HAGERTY: A point of information. In the constitution it is not said that new unions that come into this have to pay $2, but it specifies a charter fee of $10 for the new unions.
DEL. SHERMAN: Mr. Chairman and Brothers, your committee when drawing up this constitution, this one part, realized, that in the past it has been the habit of some trades organizations of having low dues and then inaugurating a sick benefit, and then when a grievance came up and it required a little finance to carry on a little local business or to send somebody from their union to help them and pay their day’s wages, when they have looked in their treasury they have found that it had all been paid out for sick benefits and they did not have anything. Now, an army without a commissary train is worth nothing in the field. If you have got nothing behind you but an organization with an empty treasury it isn’t worth a cent. You have got to feed the soldier if you expect him to go on the firing line and fight. The only desertions that we generally hear of are where they have been starved to death. Hence we felt that we must provide for local dues and then specify that those dues should be used for the legal expenses of the organizations, which any one realizes is anything pertaining to strikes, grievances, lockouts or the current expenses of the organization, but not to be used for sick, accident or death benefits.
THE CHAIRMAN: Brother Sherman, will you permit the chair to ask you a question?
DEL. SHERMAN: Yes, sir.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is there any provision in this section of the constitution that prohibits a local union from having higher dues and using that portion of the increase?
DEL. SMITH: That is what I want to know.
DEL. SHERMAN: If a local union desires, among its membership, a fund created for either death, sick or accident benefit, or for supporting and maintaining visiting committees, there is nothing in this constitution that prohibits them from doing that as a side issue and keeping a separate treasury for that purpose. There is nothing that prohibits them from doing that. We pay as an initiation fee, as I understand it—and I believe Brother Sullivan will bear me out—in the international—if I remember right it reads that the internationals, local unions connected with internationals, shall have a minimum local dues of 50 cents and a maximum of not over $1.25. Am I right, Brother Sullivan, in $1.25.
DEL. SULLIVAN: I don’t remember whether we fixed that.
DEL. SHERMAN: I think I distinctly remember that we passed upon this, but we passed upon this before it was written, that part of it, I mean, and it was written in pencil in longhand. I am confident, because we discussed the proposition, and we fully realized that we cannot maintain an organization and have no blood or ribs or sinews or anything to carry on warfare for less than 50 cents. Hence I see in Brother Smith’s motion a great harm that might come by allowing them to charge more if they wished. Now, there are local unions in this country not affiliated with the American Labor Union, or the Western Federation of Miners, whose initiation fee is $50.
DEL. SCHATZKE: $500.
DEL. SHERMAN: That is to keep out a certain class that would come into the field; it will keep them out of the local unions, because if too many join the organization they will have a membership so high that all cannot get employment.
DEL. HAGERTY: A point of order. I would like to have Brother Smith’s reading, because I think Brother Sherman is not getting it right on that point.
DEL. SHERMAN: I don’t want to do him any wrong.
DEL. SMITH: It seems to me that I have given the constitution as read the only interpretation that could be given to it by a literal reading of the constitution. I have been informed by the Constitution Committee, and I take it for granted that it is the intention of the constitution, that local unions that wish to provide further benefits may ask their members and require their members to pay not more than the difference over the 50 cents per month. That being the case, I will withdraw my motion, with the consent of my second. I think, however, that the constitution is not at all clear on that proposition. I think the constitution is clear in another part, but I say that a constitution which says that monthly dues shall be 50 cents per month leaves the impression upon me, at least, that the dues shall not be more nor less than 50 cents per month. I believe now that it is not the intention of the Constitution to be written in that way that the local unions that wish sick benefits may provide for them, by paying a higher rate of dues. And with the consent of my second I will withdraw my motion, with the distinct understanding that the case is as I have stated.
THE CHAIRMAN: Does the second withdraw his second?
DEL. JORGENSEN: I withdraw my second.
THE CHAIRMAN: The motion is withdrawn, and the motion now occurs upon the section as read.
DEL. FRENCH: I would like to ask as a question of information if it is not to be understood by that section that local unions or any unions connected with this Industrial Workers of the World—if it be understood that they are not permitted to form sick and death benefit organizations as a part of the unions; if they may have them as a wheel within a wheel; as an organization that the members can form themselves into if they want to, but not as a part of the organization, as in some of the old unions now.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Chair will state that it is the sense of the Chairman that it is not the intention to prohibit local unions from establishing sick and death benefits in the unions.
A DELEGATE: In the reading I do not remember whether that applies to the internationals or whether it is the local unions connected with the internationals, that the initiation fee shall be no less and no more than that amount.
DEL. HAGERTY: No less than $1.50 nor more than $5.
THE DELEGATE: In some of our unions there is a $2 and $5 proposition.
DEL. VEAL: That has reference to members at large.
DEL. MORRISON: I would like to know, for information, if it is not in violation of this, that is, does it not put the individual who transfers from one to another in a position to have to pay an initiation fee when he transfers from one to the other, inasmuch as the fees are different perhaps, the one in which he had paid might be $1.50 and the other might be $2.
THE CHAIRMAN: The constitution provides for a general interchange of cards.
DEL. MORRISON: Without any additional fees?
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.
DEL. DAVIS: I wish to ask a question of the Secretary of the committee. I have expected it to be brought out. That is, if locals that are already organized will be required to again pay an initiatory fee of $2.
DEL. HAGERTY: There are no organized locals. The Industrial Workers is not yet organized.
DEL. DAVIS: Well, then, I will have to explain my particular position.
THE CHAIRMAN: Permit the Chair to answer, will you?
DEL. DAVIS: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: Organizations now organized will not have to pay another initiation fee.
DEL. SCHATZKE: I wish you would read my amendment.
DEL. SAMUEL: This convention has been called to organize the workingmen; not a trade union; not to keep up, like the American Federation, the capitalist system. Therefore, we have got to use them to overthrow it. We know that money will not overthrow the miserable system, but we have got to make conditions to organize the unorganized labor. Therefore, we should see what is the reason those workingmen do not come into these unions. I object to the initiation fees and dues as stated in that section. I think there ought to be some way that we could adopt right here in this convention to make it easy for everybody to come in.
DEL. MCCABE: I rise to a point of order. Delegate Schatzke has an amendment that has been up there for some time that we would like to hear.
THE CHAIRMAN: Brother McCabe, your point of order is not well taken. Brother Samuel has the floor.
Delegate Samuel yielded the floor.
THE CHAIRMAN: Now, brother, the Secretary will read the amendment of Brother Schatzke.
The Secretary read the amendment, as follows: “All those people who have no trade or get less than $9 a week shall pay only twenty-five cents initiation and twenty-five cents dues to the international organization for the year, with the understanding of voluntary contributions.”
THE CHAIRMAN: Does Brother Schatzke offer this as an amendment?
DEL. SCHATZKE: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: To what portion of the section? To the entire section ?
DEL. SCHATZKE: No, only the international or general dues.
THE CHAIRMAN: You have heard the amendment. Are you ready for the question? (Question called for). All those in favor of the amendment will signify it by saying aye. Contrary no. The amendment is lost.
Original question called for.
THE CHAIRMAN: Now the motion occurs on the section as read. Those in favor will signify it by saying aye. Contrary no. The motion is carried and the section adopted. The Secretary will proceed to read.
DEL. SCHATZKE: I desire that my amendment shall go on record.
DEL. KIEHN: I wish to be recorded as voting no on the motion.
THE CHAIRMAN: Record the delegate as voting no.
DEL. H. S. DAVIS: I wish to be recorded as voting no.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Secretary will proceed.
Secretary Hagerty, of the committee, read the next section, as follows: “Article IV, Section I. The annual convention of the Industrial Workers of the World shall be held on the first Monday in May of each year, at such place as may be determined by previous convention.”
DEL. FERBER: I move its adoption. (Seconded.)
The motion was put and carried, and the section declared adopted.
DELEGATES TO CONVENTION.
The next section was read, as follows: “Section 2. Delegates to the annual or special conventions shall be as hereinafter provided for. The General President, the General Secretary-Treasurer and other members of the General Executive Board shall be delegates at large, with one vote each, but shall not be accredited delegates or carry the vote of any union or organization.”
DEL. FITZGERALD: I move its adoption. (Seconded.)
The motion was put and carried, and the section declared adopted.
The convention then, at six o’clock, adjourned until nine o’clock A. M: July 7.