Minutes of the IWW Founding Convention - Part 17
Industrial Workers of the World
Friday, July 7
Chairman Haywood called the convention to order at 9.30 A. M.
On motion the roll call was dispensed with.
The minutes of the previous day were read by the Secretary.
DEL. CLARENCE SMITH: The minutes referred to the motion made by me yesterday that the monthly dues shall be not less than fifty cents per month, but it does not state that that was the motion, nor does it state that the motion was withdrawn upon the distinct understanding with the Constitution Committee that the constitution meant that the dues should not be less than fifty cents per month, but could he more than fifty cents per month. I would request the Secretary to have the minutes read in that way.
THE CHAIRMAN: Will the delegate kindly address the Secretary and make that correction? If there is no other correction—
A DELEGATE: There is no record in the minutes of the Paper Hangers, No. 584, withdrawing from the convention. I would like to have it recorded on the minutes.
THE SECRETARY: Was that announced from the floor of the convention?
THE DELEGATE: It was announced as a question of special privilege from the delegates.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Secretary will make that correction.
DEL. EISENBERG: If the Paper Hangers have withdrawn, what are their delegates doing here?
DEL. DINGER: I understood Delegate Coates to request that he should be recorded as not voting on any proposition.
DEL. COATES: I did not make any such proposition as that at all, but simply desired to have a little talk among the delegates, and I requested in our absence to be recorded as not voting on those sections of the constitution. I certainly did not come into this convention with the intention of pulling out of it and leaving it. There may be some that would like to understand it that way, but that is not the way.
DEL. CLARENCE SMITH: A question of personal privilege. I wish to state that the records on Brother Coates’ motion state his position on the floor. He has no authority to speak, nor do I think he intended to speak, for any other member of the delegation representing the American Labor Union on the floor of this convention.
DEL. COATES: Certainly not I desire to speak for myself.
THE SECRETARY: Delegates Coates came up and announced to the Secretary that he wished to be recorded as not voting on the constitution as long as he was absent. That was his first statement. But the statement of Delegate Coates was that he would not vote on any part of the constitution.
DEL. COATES: No.
THE SECRETARY: That was the understanding.
DEL. COATES: Then he misunderstood it.
DEL. FERBER: I occupied the chair at the time, and that was the statement that I understood Delegate Coates to make, that hereafter he would not vote on any part of the constitution, and I so notified the Secretary while I was holding the chair, and I think it was read correctly. If it is to be changed, all right.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is that matter straightened out satisfactorily?
DEL.. COATES: No, I just simply desired to state that I was simply going to be absent from the session of the convention, and I desired to be recorded. I knew most of the votes would be carried viva voce and there would be no regular record, but as long as I was absent I wanted to be noted as not voting; that was all. That was the position, if you please. I certainly did not want to deny myself the right to vote if I were here.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Secretary will note it.
DEL. KIEHN: I heard no mention made of the motion that I made to amend the constitution to make the per capita tax five cents. There was no mention of it made on the minutes.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Chair remembers that proposition. Delegate Smith made a motion to raise the per capita tax to twelve and one-half cents. That motion was not seconded. Delegate Kiehn then made a motion that it be reduced to five cents, which was seconded, and it was put as an amendment to the original motion, which was to adopt the section as read. Delegate Shurtleff then made a motion that it be six cents; he made that as an amendment to the amendment. Both the amendment to the amendment of Delegate Shurtleff and the amendment to the original motion of Delegate Kiehn were lost. The Secretary will please record it so.
THE SECRETARY: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: That is correct?
DEL. KIEHN: That is correct.
THE CHAIRMAN: Are there any other corrections? If not, the minutes will stand approved as corrected.
The Secretary read a communication from the Sixteenth Assembly Branch of the Socialist Labor Party of New York, and it was ordered placed on file.
Del. White, of the Credentials Committee, made a report, presenting the credentials of John Matthews, representing the Painters, Decorators and Paper Hangers’ Union of America, Local 830, Chicago, with a recommendation that the delegate be seated with one vote.
On motion the report was concurred in and the delegate seated. The Auditing Committee announced that it would be ready to report in about two hours.
REPORT OF CONSTITUTION, RESUMED.
THE CHAIRMAN: Under the head of reports of standing Committees we will take up the report of the Committee on Constitution. The Secretary will read.
Secretary Hagerty, of the committee, read the next section, as follows:
Section 3. International Industrial Divisions shall have one delegate for the first 4,000, or less, of its members; for more than 4,000 and up to 7,000 members they shall have two delegates; for more than 7,000 and less than 20,000 members they shall have three delegates; for more than 20,000 and less than 40,000 members they shall have four delegates; for more than 40,000 members and less than 80,000 members they shall have five delegates; for more than 80,000 and less than 160,000 members they shall have six delegates and for more than 160,000 members they shall have seven delegates.
On motion of Delegate Gillhaus the section was adopted. The next section, as follows, was read:
Section 4. Local Unions, chartered directly by the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD, shall have one delegate for 200 members or less, and one additional delegate for each additional 200, or major fraction thereof.
On motion of Delegate Eisenberg the section was adopted. Section 5 was then read, as follows:
Section 5. When two or more delegates are representing any Local Union, International Union or Industrial Division in the convention, the vote of their respective organization shall be equally divided between such delegates.
Delegate Dinger moved the adoption of the section. Motion seconded, and the section was adopted.
BASIS OF REPRESENTATION.
Section 6 was next read, as follows:
Section 6. Representation in the convention shall be based on the National Dues paid to the General Organization for the last six months of each fiscal year and each union and organization entitled to representation in the convention shall be entitled to one vote for the first fifty (50) of its members and one additional vote for each additional fifty (50) of its members, or major fraction thereof.
THE CHAIRMAN: You have heard the reading of this section. What is your pleasure?
DEL. HALL: I would like to ask the committee why they have established that basis.
DEL. HAGERTY: Brother Sullivan is more acquainted with that.
DEL. HALL: I would like to ask this convention, because I might offer an amendment. But possibly the committee would explain it.
DEL. J. C. SULLIVAN: It is to state definitely what representation an organization is entitled to, or what vote. It was not deemed advisable to prepare a constitution whereby an organization possibly of thousands or hundreds of thousands probably, would have too large a number so that business could not very well be conducted. A basis of one vote for fifty individual members we believed would be a fair proposition to all, whether they be large or small unions. To my mind it is a fair basis of representation, that for each fifty members or major fraction of fifty that a union has, they are entitled to one vote.
DEL. HALL: The point I wanted to bring out was, why they adopted the six months period. It states in there that the representation permitted to organizations would be computed from the per capita tax for the six months period preceding the convention. I say, why that six months basis?
DEL. SULLIVAN: One of the principal reasons was to prevent any organization from padding the rolls. To give them a fair representation on the membership that their organization possessed, we believed six months was not too long, and we aimed to strike an average, providing the union or organization had been in existence that long.
On motion the section was adopted.
Section 7 was read, as follows:
Section 7. On or before the 10th day of March of each year the General Secretary-Treasurer shall send to each local union and International Industrial Division credentials in duplicate for the number of delegates they are entitled to in the convention, based on the national dues for the last six months.
The Unions and International Industrial Union shall properly fill out the blank credentials received from the General Secretary-Treasurer and return one copy to the General Office not later than April 1. The other copy shall be presented by the delegate to the committee on credentials when the convention assembles.
Delegate Payne moved that the section be adopted as read. Motion seconded.
DEL. DAVIS: We are not quite ready; the time is so short between the time when the General Secretary-Treasurer shall send out these credentials until the time when they shall be returned, that it makes it in many instances so that it cannot be acted upon by the locals at all. There are hundreds of locals already in existence, or will be after we organize them, and the time is only one month between the time, not later than March 10, that the General Secretary shall send out these notices, and April 1, when they must be returned.
DEL. SULLIVAN: The reason the committee saw fit to make those dates was that the credentials were to be sent out by the Secretary Treasurer based on the per capita tax or dues received from the unions at the close of the fiscal year. The fiscal year, under the constitution that you have adopted, closes on the last day of February. Your committee deemed that about ten days was as short a time as the Secretary could comply with the requirements and send out the credentials in accordance as the unions were entitled to them; and you have adopted a constitution providing that the annual convention shall be held on the first Monday of May. Now, in order to save time, in order to get down to business in the convention at the earliest possible moment from a financial point of view, a temporary roll must be prepared by the Secretary of the general organization. Now, by stating that those credentials shall be received at the general office by April 1, it gives him thirty days, or practically thirty days, to do that work. It does not say, however, that you cannot elect your delegates to the convention during the month of January or February if you desire, or any other time that may meet with your approval. But so far as hundreds of local unions that only meet once a month are concerned, I want to say that they are simply unions in name. There is not a local union in existence that is doing its full duty to its membership and carrying the banner of industrial freedom that does not meet oftener than once a month, and the sooner you get that idea out of your head and do business and get together when the occasion requires it, at least once a week, the sooner you will be doing your duty in the ranks of organized labor.
DEL. BRADLEY: I cannot agree with the statement just made that the unions that meet only once a month are not in favor of industrial unionism. I consider that a direct insult to many union men. There are just as good union men that meet once in two months as meet once every week. I know there are lots of them.
DEL. SULLIVAN: I take exception to the remark that there are just as good union men that meet once in two months as those that meet once a week. I say they are not doing their full duty as union men. I have no apology to make for that statement. I repeat that statement, that a union that does not meet oftener than once a month is not only not doing, but cannot do its full duty to organized labor. (Applause.)
The motion was then put and carried and the section adopted.
DEL. DAVIS: I wish my vote to be recorded “no” on that proposition.
THE CHAIRMAN: Delegate Davis wishes to be recorded as voting no. The Secretary will read.
The next section was read, as follows.
Section 8. Delegates to the convention from Local Unions must have been members in good standing of their Local Union at least six months prior to the assembling of the convention; provided, their local union has been organized that length of time.
Delegates from International Industrial Unions to have a seat in the convention, must have been members of their local union at least six months and of their International Industrial Union at least one year; provided it has been organized that length of time.
The expenses of delegates attending the convention shall be borne by their respective organizations.
On motion of Delegate Hopkins the section was adopted as read. Secretary Hagerty read the next section, as follows
Section 9. Two or more local unions in the same locality, with a total membership of 500 or less, may jointly send a delegate to the convention, and the vote of said delegate shall be based on the representation hereinbefore provided for.
DEL. HALL: Does that conflict with the provision that each local may send a delegate; I mean, that provides for central councils, I suppose.
DEL. HAGERTY: Local Unions.
DEL. HALL: You say two or more unions.
DEL. HAGERTY: Local unions.
DEL. HALL: Local unions may join together and send one delegate?
DEL. HAGERTY: Yes, local unions directly connected with the general administration.
DEL. HALL: Locals cannot send delegates in addition to that? I mean the locals.
DEL. HAGERTY: This is intended to cover cases where the local union is so small that it cannot afford a delegate itself.
DEL. HALL: It does not offer an opportunity for the delegates?
DEL. HAGERTY: Presumably not, if the section be taken as read. On motion the section was adopted.
Section 10 was then read, as follows
Section 10. There shall be a Universal Label for the entire organization. Local unions, and other organizations must procure supplies, such as membership books, official buttons, labels and badges from the General Secretary-Treasurer, all of which shall be of uniform design.
Delegate White moved that the section be adopted. (Seconded.)
DEL. SCHEIDLER: I would like to ask about the label. What is meant by the label? Is it the same label as that of the American Federation of Labor?
DEL. HAGERTY: No.
DEL. SCHEIDLER: Explain what is meant.
DEL. HAGERTY: The label, as Brother Trautmann outlines in his indictment read before this convention, the American Federation of Labor label, is a manufacturer’s label, as for example, the woodworkers’ label, the steel makers’ label, the type setters’ label; they are manufacturers’ labels, capitalist labels, and indicate a collusion between these craft unions and the capitalists themselves, as Brother Trautmann overwhelmingly demonstrated in his indictment. This unionism is for the purpose primarily of showing the uniformity of the organization, to show that all the workers recognize only one symbol, irrespective of the craft or the nature of the commodity: and it is the opinion of the Constitution Committee, I think, that during this transition period some such a thing is necessary to show that the workers will stand together and eliminate from the minds of the workers all these craft distinctions that are found in the other labels; not that it will be an essential weapon in overthrowing the capitalist system, but during this transition period as a matter of progress for the workers it shall be used.
The section was then adopted.
Section 11 was read, as follows:
Section 11. There shall be a free interchange of cards between all organizations subordinate to the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD and any Local Union, or International Industrial Union shall accept, in lieu of initiation fee, the paid up membership card of any recognized labor union or organization.
Delegate Gillhaus moved that the section be adopted. (Seconded.)
DEL. PAYNE: I would like to ask, if a man has taken out a card in one local and wants to join another local, is that accepted as the initiation fee, or must he pay another initiation fee?
DEL. HAGERTY: Not at all. This section distinctly answers that question. I will read it again. (Section read by Delegate Hagerty.)
DEL. KIEHN: I don’t hear any provision made for certain qualifications. Suppose a man wants to transfer to another division to work in that particular industry that he understands absolutely nothing about. It may be dangerous to the lives of the men that he is working with. There ought to be some certain line of qualification. There is no provision made for that.
DEL. HAGERTY: I think the brother’s difficulty is answered in the fact that in each international industrial division the local union makes its own constitution governing its own membership, as long as it does not conflict with the general constitution. The section was then adopted.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Secretary will read.
DEL. HAGERTY: That is the end of the present report of the Constitution Committee.
DEL. DINGER: I have prepared here a resolution that I wish to present, covering the cases that have been brought out here by Brother Powers and others, regarding the lower paid wage workers that wish to organize. I do not wish to precipitate a lengthy discussion on this, and if there should be such I will withdraw this resolution:
“Resolved, That it is the sense of this constitution that the rules regarding dues and initiation fees be not”—
THE CHAIRMAN: Just a moment, Brother Delegate. This constitution has not yet been adopted.
DEL. DINGER: Well, I wish to insert this as an appendix or some kind of a resolution in here, if it is permissible.
THE CHAIRMAN: Do you desire to make this as an amendment? DEL. DINGER: As an amendment.
THE CHAIRMAN: Does it set forth or specify the particular section that you propose to amend?
DEL. DINGER: This does not specify anything else, but simply puts in black and white what is already the sense of this Constitution Committee.
THE CHAIRMAN: Proceed with the reading of the resolution. DEL. DINGER (reading):
“Resolved, That it be the sense of this constitution that the rules regarding dues and initiation fees be not strictly enforced in cases where the average wages ruling in any industry proposed to be organized fall below $9 a week. In these cases the amount of dues and fees shall be regulated by the General Executive Board in accordance with the ability of said workers to meet such financial obligation.”
DEL. POWERS: I second the amendment.
DEL. WHITE: If there is no objection, I move that this be referred to the incoming Executive Board for their consideration. (Seconded.)
DEL. DINGER: I am satisfied with that.
THE CHAIRMAN: If you are satisfied with that, the motion is that this resolution be referred to the incoming Executive Board.
DEL. KIEHN: I am opposed to that part of the resolution where it says that it shall be regulated by the Executive Board. I think it ought to be regulated by the men and women themselves that are to be organized, and not left to the Executive Board. I believe in the self-government of the men that are organized. I think they have the proper judgment as to their own ability to pay their dues.
DEL. DINGER: I wish to explain that. The wording of it provides for that, where it refers to the ability of the workers to pay or to meet such obligations; so that covers that, I think.
THE CHAIRMAN: Brother Delegate, now, to avoid, any unnecessary discussion or any mix-up in this constitution, the Chair will at this time rule that this resolution is out of order until the report of the Constitution Committee is disposed of. I will not say that the resolution is not in order, but only until such time as this constitution has been adopted. It is not within the province of the Chair to say that this should not be got down so as to conform with the very spirit of this resolution. Therefore, at this time I will rule that out of order.
DEL. FRYE: By adopting this constitution report as a whole, it would be impossible to insert any other clause in there.
THE CHAIRMAN: It has not yet been adopted as a whole. This is not offered as an amendment. The motion is that the resolution be referred to the incoming Executive. Board.
DEL. FRYE: I understand that to be an amendment.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Chair is at this time ready to accept any amendment to this constitution. The Chair will not entertain any resolutions.
DEL. FRYE: I understand that, but I understood you to say that a motion was in order to adopt this constitution. THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.
DEL. FRYE: Now, I believe that the Constitution Committee have done their work perhaps faithfully, but I believe they have overlooked a number of matters that might facilitate the work of this convention after we adopted them in that constitution. For instance, I supposed the Constitution Committee had provided a way by which amendments ought to be made in the convention, but they have neglected that. If they had done that in this case and we had had time, these delegates could have gone with their recommendations to them and had them before them in writing and acted on them intelligently. I believe something of that kind is necessary.
DEL. HAGERTY: I will state for information that the Constitution Committee does not submit this as the finished constitution. There are one or two other matters that have to be discussed at the next meeting of the Constitution Committee, and that will not take very long, which I think will probably cover the present point.
DEL. DILLON: I move that the constitution be adopted as amended.
Motion seconded by Delegate Dinger.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Chair will not entertain a second from any delegate unless he rises and addresses the chair.
DEL. ROSS: For the benefit of Delegate Hagerty I would move that the adoption of the constitution as a whole be deferred for a few hours until they can make the necessary recommendations, and let the committee get together to do that now.
DEL. POWERS: I understand from what Comrade Hagerty says that the constitution is not yet complete and that they have more to do.
THE CHAIRMAN: It is not complete.
DEL. POWERS: I do not see how we can do any more with respect to the constitution. We have already adopted the last section read, and we cannot adopt it as a whole until it is reported as a whole. I think that is all we can do with respect to the constitution.
THE CHAIRMAN: I did not hear any second to that motion. DEL. FERBER: I will second that motion.
THE CHAIRMAN: It has been regularly moved and seconded that the further consideration of the report of the Constitution Committee be deferred until such time as they are prepared to bring in a completed report. Are you ready for the question?
DEL. SULLIVAN: Mr. Chairman, I am in favor of the convention voting by a roll call now on the adoption or rejection of so much of this constitution as has been adopted by acclamation or by roll call vote. If that is done it will be a guide for your Constitution Committee to cover some other points that they have not yet acted on; and I believe, and as one member of the Constitution Committee I ask you to vote on the adoption or rejection of this as it is now, by roll call.
DEL. WHITE: Would it be in order to move that this constitution be adopted by acclamation?
THE CHAIRMAN: A motion is at the present time before the convention to defer until the report of the committee is complete.
DEL. WHITE: Then it would not be in order?
THE CHAIRMAN: A motion to adopt by acclamation would not be in order.
DEL. SAUNDERS: I wish to ask for information. A few days ago I presented a resolution in regard to the eligibility of membership, and I understood that that resolution had been referred to the Constitution Committee, but up to the present time I have heard no disposition of it. I wish to know at this time whether I can bring in a like resolution or amendment, or whether the Constitution Committee is going to tender another report before the final adoption.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Chair is of the opinion that there has been no provision made in the constitution to carry out the spirit of the resolution. An amendment would be in order.
DEL. CLARENCE SMITH: If my recollection serves me right, there are several resolutions before the Constitution Committee, and I infer from the motion now pending that the Constitution Committee desires an opportunity to complete its work and report on those resolutions. I don’t see why we should do anything else except to give the Constitutional Committee a chance to complete its work.
DEL. SAUNDERS: I only wished to ask this question because I did not wish to take up any of the time unnecessarily, but I knew that as the committee had not yet reported on this resolution that I have referred to, and others, it had not been acted on; therefore I would like to know, and that is the reason I asked the question. However, if the report of the Constitution Committee is not going to be acted on finally at this present time, I am perfectly willing to wait until the resolutions are read.
THE CHAIRMAN: The motion at this time is that the further consideration of the report of the Committee on Constitution be deferred until such time as they bring in a completed report. Those in favor of the motion will signify it by saying aye. Contrary no. The Chair is in doubt.
At Delegate Dinger’s request the Chairman stated the motion again.
DEL. LUELLA TWINING: A point of information. I have a clause that I would like to have inserted in the constitution. Shall I present it before the convention now, or present it before the Constitution Committee?
THE CHAIRMAN: Not now, not before the Constitution Committee; but after we are under the head of new business your amendment may be presented.
DEL. TWINING: All right.
THE CHAIRMAN: Those in favor of the motion will signify it by saying aye. Contrary no. The ayes seem to have it, and the motion is carried.
The Committee on Resolutions and Committee on Ways and Means announced no reports to make.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Committee on Literature and Press.
DEL. SIMONS: I think Comrade Brimble has something. Is he here ?
A DELEGATE: He has gone home.
DEL. SIMONS: I think Comrade Brimble has something. It is something which was passed on by the whole committee, and they are ready to report on it. Has that been read already? If it was, I was absent.
THE CHAIRMAN: It was.
The Committee on Organization announced that it had nothing further to report.
THE CHAIRMAN: Committee on Label and Emblem.
LABEL AND EMBLEM.
DEL. HENION: Your Committee on Emblem and Label desires to make a verbal report, submitting to the convention an emblem decided on by your committee. Your committee has decided upon an emblem based on the sphere of a globe with the name of the organization inscribed, “Industrial Workers of the World.” Your committee recommends that such an emblem be adopted by this convention for the official emblem of this organization, and that the globe be in its natural colorings, probably with the tint of green, and with a ribbon across the globe which shall be red with the name of the organization, “Industrial Workers of the World,” in white letters. They further recommend that the official label of the organization shall be based upon the emblem; that the union label shall be practically the same as the emblem, only marked “union label.” This is the verbal report. We have no written report. We simply submit this for your consideration. If this is adopted by the convention, of course we will present our written report to the Secretary so as to be part of the minutes of this meeting.
DEL. DINGER: In order to bring it before the house, I move you that the report of the Committee on Label and Emblem be adopted as the sense of this convention. (Seconded.)
THE CHAIRMAN: It has been regularly moved and seconded that the report of the committee with the description of the emblem and label be adopted as the sense of this convention.
DEL. SIMONS: I rise to a question of information. I would like to know if the committee has discussed with the craftsmen from various trades the possibility of utilizing that in certain industries where it will have to be used in the form of a stamp of different forms. In some cases the coloring will be well nigh out of the question, I believe, and I ask if they have taken that into consideration.
DEL. CRONIN: That has been done, I believe. Of course, the committee realizes that the label may not, where it is stamped on, be put on in different colors, but it can be used just the same. Your constitution recommends, and the report has been adopted by this convention, that we have a universal emblem and label. Therefore, the committee desired to recommend for your consideration something that was of a universal form for the different crafts. It was also taken into consideration that we should build the union label upon the proposition of representing certain industries, or certain departments of an industrial organization; but we came to the conclusion on account of the action of the Constitution Committee, that it would be impossible to do so.
DEL. SIMONS: Another question of information. Do I understand that the adoption of this report adopts this label or adopts anything specially at all? It seems to me that this is something that ought to go before the Executive Committee and ought to be considered by them.
DEL. CRONIN: Refer it to the Executive Board. I don’t care which you do.
DEL. SIMONS: I would move to refer this to the Executive Board, as far as I am concerned; it may be all right as it is.
DEL. KLEMENSIC: Mr. Chairman and Brother Delegates, inasmuch as we cannot take the world as it should be we must take it as it really is. We know it is round, and we cannot put it on a piece of paper so as to be round. Now, we might have on one side Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, and on the other side America, and the two hands between the old continent and the new continent. This would be then the Industrial Workers of the World. But if we are talking about the world, then to only get the American side of it, we get only one part of it. I think it would be plausible that we ought to have on one side the old world and on the other side the new world, with the two hands from the old world and the new world bound together, and that would be, I think, the sentiment we are representing here.
DEL. WHITE: If it would be in order at this time, I desire to offer an amendment that the report of the committee be referred for the consideration of the incoming Executive Board.
DEL. SIMONS: I would second that. I just made that motion.
The motion to refer the report of the Label and Emblem Committee to the incoming Executive Board was put, and the Chair announced himself in doubt. A vote by show of hands resulted aye, 30; no, 18.
THE CHAIRMAN: The motion is carried; that is, the amendment. Now the question occurs on the original motion; that is, that this emblem be the sense of this convention, and that it be referred to the Executive Board for their consideration. Are you ready for the question? (Question called for). Those in favor will signify it by saying aye. Contrary no. The motion is carried. Have you any further report from the Label and Emblem Committee?
DEL. CRONIN: No further report.
The Committee on Ritual announced no report.
THE CHAIRMAN: Unfinished business? New business?
DEL. TWINING: Is this the time for my amendment to the constitution ?
THE CHAIRMAN: Anything under the head of new business.
DEL. TWINING: I would like to have inserted in the constitution a clause that appears in the Manifesto: “The Industrial Workers of the World is organized to subserve the immediate interests of the workers and effect their final emancipation.” That does not appear in the constitution.
DEL. WHITE: I move to refer that to the Constitution Committee. (Seconded.)
DEL. ROSS: Isn’t that provision made in the Preamble?
THE CHAIRMAN: I do not know that it is in in just those words.
DEL. TWINING: No.
THE CHAIRMAN: It has been regularly moved and seconded that this amendment to the constitution be referred to the Constitution Committee. Those in favor of the motion will signify it by saying aye. Contrary no. The motion is carried.
DEL. DINGER: Mr. Chairman, I would ask that my resolution now be taken up. I made the motion before.
THE CHAIRMAN: Now, brother, your motion is offered as an amendment to the constitution, as I understand.
DEL. DINGER: I understand it was not referred, because it was not the proper time.
THE CHAIRMAN: No. It can be taken up at this time.
DEL. DINGER: Will the Secretary read my resolution there? I ask that it be read.
At the request of the Chairman, Delegate Dinger again read his resolution, as follows:
“Resolved, That it be the sense of this constitution that the rules regarding dues and initiation fees be not strictly enforced in cases where the average wage of the workers in any industry to be organized falls below $9 per week. In these cases the amount of dues and fees shall be regulated by the G. E. B. in accordance with the ability of such workers to meet such financial obligation.”
DEL. WHITE: I move you that that be referred to the Committee on Constitution. (Seconded.)
THE CHAIRMAN: It has been regularly moved and seconded that this be referred to the Constitution Committee.
DEL. JORGENSEN: I think this should not be referred to the Constitution Committee. I think this convention at this time should act upon it. Of course we will afterwards vote upon it, and I would like to hurry that into the constitution and have it in before. We have found out that it is necessary to regulate expenses all over the country in accordance with the earnings of the people. It is not impossible to regulate expenses for a city like Chicago, where they will get organized workingmen, especially in the building lines, receiving fifty cents an hour; they can very well afford to carry a high expense, which they are doing. But among the carpenters we have found that all through the country we have to regulate dues and initiation fees in accordance with the earnings and the expenses in the different localities. That plan has met with success all the time. I cannot for the life of me see that we can place the expense at a high standard upon people affiliated with this body, when they get, as the delegate reported, not more than $8 a week. It is the same thing, you may say, as to say that a man that has no money shall pay no fare on the street car. It is just exactly the same thing. But having those people carry equal expense organized in a place in the country the same as where wages are good, would be a great injustice, and I doubt if those organizations can carry that out successfully. I hold that that is one of the main principles that this Constitution Committee should look after, and I presented a recommendation to that effect in the constitution meeting, that we consider that particular point in the constitution.
DEL. DINGER: I would like to ask the consent of this body to insert the words “in any one locality,” realizing that in different localities the same trade may draw different wages. So I would like to insert, with the consent of this body, “in any one locality.”
THE CHAIRMAN: There seems to be no objection to the words being inserted.
DEL. WHITE: The reason I seconded that motion is that I have also a resolution before the Resolution Committee providing that the dues for female wage earners and foreigners be only one-half that of other classes of labor.
THE CHAIRMAN: Those in favor of referring this to the Constitution Committee will say aye. Contrary no. The motion is carried. Is there anything else under the head of new business?
DEL. FERBER: I think, if I am in order, that I will now move you that at the assembling this afternoon we make a special order of business of the election of officers for the coming year.
DEL. HELD: I wanted to bring out something under the head of unfinished business, but I did not get in here on time, and I would like to bring it up again, with the permission of the convention.
Motion of Delegate Ferber seconded.
THE CHAIRMAN: It occurs to me that that motion is out of order at this time.
DEL. FERBER: I don’t think so.
THE CHAIRMAN: Unless the adoption of the constitution is effected, the election of officers is premature.
DEL. FERBER: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: There seems to be no objection on the part of the convention. We may take up something else.
WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE.
DEL. HELD: There is a report of the Ways and Means Committee which is on the Secretary’s table, and which it is absolutely necessary that this convention take up at an early date, and that is about this stenographic report, which has been deferred until the Constitution Committee had made a report. Now, it seems to me that the report of the Constitution Committee has gone far enough to enable the members of the Ways and Means Committee or else the convention to take action upon the report that has been deferred. Now, I would move, Mr. Chairman, that the report of the Ways and Means Committee which has been deferred be taken up again now. (Seconded.)
THE CHAIRMAN: Do you refer to the report with reference to levying an assessment of one dollar?
DEL. HELD: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: It has been regularly moved and seconded that the Ways and Means Committee’s report be taken up at this time. Are you ready for the question?
DEL. HALL: It seems to me the Chair ruled once before that we cannot take up that report of the Ways and Means Committee until after that order of business has been disposed of relating to the installation of unions and individuals into the new organization. It seems to me that if this report contemplates the taxing of the membership, the future membership of this organization, it cannot be taken up very well until after the organization have regularly installed themselves into the new organization as provided in the rules on order of business. Now, the adoption of the constitution does not mean the admission of those organizations. There is a time set apart when organizations and individuals may be initiated into the new organization, and it occurs to me that this should lie over until after that time.
THE CHAIRMAN: It occurs to me that the point of Delegate Hall is well taken, and the report of the Ways and Means Committee will be deferred until such time as the organizations are regularly and permanently installed. Is there anything else under the head of new business?
DEL. ALBERT RYAN: If I am in order I would like to ask if that delegate is present in the hall who got up yesterday while we were voting on some amendment to the constitution and made a statement on behalf of the Paper Hangers that they withdrew from the convention. He was here this morning and he didn’t make his full statement, and I would like to hear from him.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is the delegate from the Painters and Paper Hangers present? (No response). Is there anything else under the head of new business? If not, the Chair at this time will entertain a motion to adjourn.
DEL. DE LEON: I move that we adjourn.
DEL. BAKER: I have a proposition that I would like to offer relating to the ratio of the vote: That a section be added to the constitution distinctly stating that a majority vote shall decide in all cases where a vote is taken, either by the Executive Board, a local, national or international union or a referendum vote of the entire membership of this organization. (Seconded.)
THE CHAIRMAN: This resolution will be referred to the Committee on Constitution. Is there any other new business?
DEL. ROSS: Mr. Chairman, simply a suggestion under the head of new business. If the convention will support me in it, I want to ask that we appoint a committee to be furnished a copy of the constitution as now framed, and assess ourselves twenty-five cents apiece for it, and take it to a printing office so that each member can take a copy home with him. If I can get a second, I make that as a motion. (Seconded.)
DEL. HAGERTY: I desire to second the amendment of the brother delegate. I think it would be well that we have copies of the constitution so that no false statements or misrepresentations may prevail in certain localities.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Chair has no objection to putting that motion, but it would seem that it would be well to have the report of the constitution complete first.
DEL. ROSS: When it is complete.
THE CHAIRMAN: Will you kindly state your motion again?
DEL. ROSS: That the delegates of the convention assess themselves twenty-five cents apiece to pay for the printing of a copy of the constitution so that we can have it to take hone with us.
THE CHAIRMAN: You have heard the motion. Are you ready for the question. (Question called for). It has been regularly moved and seconded that the delegates of this convention assess themselves twenty-five cents apiece for the printing of the constitution so that we can have a copy to take home with us.
DEL. SULLIVAN: I am of the opinion that that would not be the proper action to take at this time. Reason would cause us to believe that the organization will have copies of the constitution printed as soon as may be, and I am not in favor of the motion. I deem it unnecessary to enter into any discussion on it.
DEL. SAUNDERS: I am in favor of having the constitution printed and in favor of paying for it; and if it can he shown that twenty-five cents is necessary to pay for it, I am willing to pay that twenty-five cents or more; or even if this party making the motion will show that the difference between the amount paid for the constitution and the amount received will go into the hands of your officers, I would be willing to pay for that. What I would like to ask is this: Is it necessary to pay twenty-five cents simply to cover the expense of one constitution for each delegate?
DEL. ROSS: I believe my suggestion or motion carried with it this, that we appoint a committee to have that done, and if they find it is more or less they can regulate it.
The motion was put, and the Chair declared the result of a viva voce vote in doubt. A raising of hands showed that the motion was carried by a vote of thirty-nine to seven.
THE CHAIRMAN: I will appoint on that committee Delegates Ross, M. P. Haggerty and Saunders.
The Committee on Mass Meeting to be held on the evening of July 7 asked for volunteers to distribute handbills advertising the meeting.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is there any further business before the convention?
DEL. JORGENSEN: I have got a question to ask. There is an old saying that one fool can ask a question that it would take ten wise men to answer. It seems to me, as an individual delegate, now the constitution is almost completed, and yet it isn’t clear in my mind what report I can give that would be satisfactory to my local assembly here. I certainly don’t like to give a report that they should not like. I am inspired by the convention to give a report that shall be favorable to the majority, but the majority in my organization is married to the old organization, and the principal doubt will hinge upon how to get a divorce.
DEL. MORRISON: Get it. There is ground for a divorce.
DEL. JORGENSEN: I ask the question: Can a bona fide old organization now join this organization and still be a member of the Chicago Federation of Labor, or must it take a divorce first from the Chicago Federation of Labor before they can marry in here?
THE CHAIRMAN: That is a question that the Chair would think can best be answered by the incoming Executive Board. I do not want to undertake to answer it at this time, or until such time as the perfect constitution is adopted.
The convention then adjourned until one o’clock P. M,