ORGANIZED LABOR



    Reflecting the largely agrarian nature of the Southern California economy, 

no labor union emerged in Los Angeles until the mid-1870s.  Isolation, frontier 

conditions, the lack of industry and the slow economic pace prior to the boom 

of the 'eighties worked against any early development of a labor movement.  

Even in those activities that witnessed formation of craft unions elsewhere, 

such as the construction trades, workers made little effort and found little 

reason to unite.  Men who would cross a continent to seek employment in a still 

small cow town were not likely to form labor brotherhoods that sought the 

advancement of all rather than the interest of the individual.    

    That printers organized the first union, a local of the International 

Typographical Union, should not be surprising.  By the nature of their work, 

printers had greater control over their craft than most workers in the city at 

that time.  They worked in a highly technical occupation that was not easily 

entered by the unskilled, while, as will be noted in the letters below, any 

unemployed drifter could pass, at least temporarily, for a carpenter.  Printers 

labored in a relatively few shops, while construction trade "mechanics" {an 

early American term for skilled, urban workers that was still in vogue in the 

1880s} were scattered throughout the city, either self-employed or hired by one 

of the numerous contractors.  The line, for example, between painters as 

laborers and painters as employers was a fine one, often crossed, while 

printers tended to be hired hands.  Furthermore, as a result of their 

occupation, printers were more in touch than other workers with developments in 

the labor movement.

    Throughout the 'eighties the Times exhibited a grudging acknowledgment that 

labor unions existed, although in light of the later position of editor Otis on 

the subject that decade may be considered the high point in good relations 

between the paper and the labor movement.  Throughout the decade union leaders, 

such as Arthur Vinette of Carpenters' Local No. 56, and anonymous workers found 

the letters column open to their views.  On occasion the Times impartially 

reported activities of labor organizations, including the central Trades 

Council, but even then the editorial columns were quick to attack the unions' 

current efforts to advance their position, whether it be a strike, the anti-

Chinese boycott, the nine-hour movement or wage demands.


           A) UNION MEN: SKILLED MECHANICS OR LAGER-BEER AGITATORS?



    The tailors' strike in early 1888 typified the hostility between employers 

and non-union men on the one hand, and advocates of organized labor, 

specifically the Tailors' Assembly of the Knights of Labor, on the other.  In 

an interview with the Times, the owner of McConnell and Co., tailors, said that 

"the union people never explained to me" why they expelled Henry Schauer from 

their assembly and on what grounds they wanted McConnell to fire him.  

              From all I could learn it was simply a case of 'didn't 

         like the man.'  Mr. Schauer suits me in every respect, and 

         having no ill-will to gratify, I refused to fire him in 

         obedience to the union's demand.

             Mr. Schauer is a good workman, far better than many of 

         those who are now hounding him.  I have decided to keep Mr. 

         Schauer in my employ.

             The fact is, I have decided to run my business in my own 

         way.  I will no longer suffer myself to be harrassed by the 

         never ending interference of a few lager beer agitators who 

         run the Los Angeles union, therefore I have turned a new leaf 

         and now employ none but non-union men.

          ...It is simply a question as to who shall run my business-- 

         the lager-beer agitators or me....

    Jacob Will, another shop owner also involved in the strike, called the 

union's demand for the discharge of a non-union worker "simply an unwarrantable 

and dictatorial interference with our private rights as merchants and 

employers."  "The truth is, many of the fellows leading this movement don't 

want to work.  Some of them are botches and cannot hold a job...."

    Two days later the Times carried a reply from union tailor Thomas Vernon, 

writing on behalf of the strikers.  Vernon garbled the spelling of Will and 

Schauer.

                         {Times, Jan. 20, 1888, p. 6}

                     The K. of L. on the Tailors' Strike.

              Los Angeles, Jan. 18.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         We, the undersigned, having read an article in your issue of 

         today, headed, "The Other Side," which contains statements by 

         the firms of McConnell & Co., and Jacob Will & Co., merchant 

         tailors, relative to the trouble which now exists between 

         employers and this assembly of K. of L., we are constrained 

         to lay before the readers of your able journal this first 

         public statement of our difficulty.  In doing so, we will 

         endeavor to give such a truthful, fair and impartial 

         explanation as becomes a dignified body of workmen.

              We will not deal in suppositions, personalities, or 

         falsehoods; believing that truth is not only stronger, but 

         more potent than fiction.  The following are the facts:

              This strike was inaugurated 15 days ago, and was caused 

         by McConnell & Co. employing a "scab" who persistently 

         endeavored to injure this union by working against its best 

         interests.

              This organization protects all its members, and believes 

         in equal pay for equal work; hence it imperatively demands 

         that each member work for one firm only, and for the employer 

         direct.  This does away with the "middle man," or, as we call 

         him the "sweater."

              Henry Schaurs violated all this; he not only worked for 

         more than one firm, but for all who would give him work.  He 

         became a "sweater" and started a "sweaters'" factory.  In 

         order to get work enough for his "sweaters'" factory he takes 

         work for any price, gives it out to his "under-sweaters" and 

         pockets his percentage.

              Mr. McConnell states that our only reason for wishing 

         Schaurs' discharge was:  "Don't like the man."  This is not 

         true.  He was suspended three times; we reinstated him as 

         many more, and tried every means in our power to get him to 

         do right before we discharged him.  The books of our assembly 

         will testify to this.

              Now, sir, it is to obliterate the loathsome system of 

         "sweating" that we inaugurated the present strike.  Observe, 

         we do not attack an individual, but a system.  We feel that 

         our object is a laudable one.  We believe that our fellow-

         workmen should live by the sweat of their own brows, and not 

         by the sweat of the brows of others.  With this as our 

         principle, we have decided upon a line of action which will 

         be carried out to the best of our ability.

              Mr. Wills's statement to the effect that the men in his 

         employ had decided not to strike against his shop is also 

         untrue.  They made no such resolve, but decided to abide by 

         the decisions of the K. of L.

              In concluding this statement we wish it to be understood 

         that we entered this struggle honorably, and we will end it 

         honorably.  Mr. McConnell's uncalled-for personalities, and 

         coarse abuse might be answered in kind.  When he calls us 

         "lager-beer agitators, " we might retort:  "People who live 

         in glass houses should not throw stones," for Mr. McConnell's 

         love for the "amber-hued" is well known.

              The body which Mr. McConnell attacks is a body of 

         skilled mechanics which will compare favorably with any body 

         of men in this or any other city.

              Signed for the committee of Tailors' Assembly, 4350, 

         Knights of Labor:

                                        THOMAS VERNON,

                                            Master Workman.



    "Rustler's" response, printed below, while ostensibly a reply to Vernon and 

a challenge to what he thought were inflated membership claims by the 

carpenters, was in fact an attack upon unions in general.  In a second lengthy 

letter printed by the Times the same day, "Rustler" recited anti-strike 

statistics compiled by the U. S. Bureau of Labor, noting man-days and wages 

lost by work stoppages.  He concluded:  

              The laboring man has surrendered his liberty to the 

         demagogue, and can no longer be depended on for steady work.  

         The Anarchist is instilling his venom into the minds of the 

         idle, and the capitalist will not risk his money in 

         manufactories while these influences predominate.

Otis printed the reply by "Union Carpenter" as the final letter in this 

exchange.  It has the style of Arthur Vinette.

                         {Times, Jan. 25, 1888, p. 3}

                                 Labor Unions.

              Los Angeles, Jan. 21.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         noticed in the issue of The Times of Monday, the 16th inst., 

         an account of the labor organizations in this city, and, 

         among others, mention is made of the Carpenter's Union, No. 

         56, as numbering nearly one thousand.  Your informant must 

         have been a R-- E-- dealer with a large imagination, and 

         accustomed to give large figures.  Carpenters' Union, No. 56, 

         is as ready as real estate schemers to rope in eastern 

         suckers.  The union gets hold of these newly-arrived 

         mechanics, and, carrying out the scriptural injunction, 

         "takes them in," leading the poor victims to believe 'tis the 

         only way to obtain employment, and a sure way at that.

              All this is simply done for the purpose of replenishing 

         their nearly empty coffers, as financial affairs were pretty 

         low during the summer months.

              This I claim is a shameful wrong.  I am acquainted with 

         about three-fourths of the contractors in this city, and they 

         say (even those who belong to the union) they are as ready to 

         employ non-union men as union.  Every contractor who joins 

         the union has an object in view, and that is his own personal 

         benefit, for in the summer when labor help is scarce he finds 

         it to his advantage to be a member of the union, for he can 

         then get his help, such as it is, supplied at short notice.

              A man who is a skilled mechanic and master of his trade 

         can get employment anywhere in America, more particularly in 

         Southern California, irrespective of his color, nationality 

         or creed, union or non-union.  I know of three or four 

         contractors who, though members of the Carpenters' Union, 

         utterly refuse to employ union foremen, giving as a reason 

         that union foremen are too ready to employ union men, whether 

         skilled mechanics or not, often refusing to hire men whom 

         they have every reason to believe are skilled workmen, simply 

         because they are non-union men.  Those things the contractors 

         are beginning to understand.

              It is also beginning to be fully understood that the 

         only way many can find employment at all is to join the 

         union, and it is acknowledged by many contractors that a 

         large majority of union men are unskilled laborers and are 

         not as represented, and about the only way for them to find 

         employment is to become members.  Skilled labor in Southern 

         California commands high figures, and the laborer, in many 

         cases, reaps more benefit from his labor than the contractor; 

         therefore a good mechanic feels independent, and refuses to 

         join an association where unskilled wage-earners are 

         admitted.

              Unions are proper and very good institutions when 

         properly conducted, and used as a means whereby strangers can 

         become acquainted, hold social entertainments, assist each 

         other in obtaining employment, etc., but when they become 

         arbitrary and stubborn and wish to dictate to capitalists, 

         contractors and others, and seek to control those who have 

         large interests at stake--men who have put their last dollar 

         in some undertaking--then, I say, their usefulness ceases.

              What misery, privation and suffering, especially to the 

         women and children, have the many strikes during the past few 

         years been the cause of, nearly all of which have been total 

         failures so far as the strikers are concerned, as instanced 

         by the printers' strike in Louisiana and San Bernardino, as 

         also the late strikes in our own beautiful city, where we 

         find today most of the union men who were employed in Brown's 

         restaurant, McConnell & Co.'s tailoring establishment, and 

         last spring in Baker's foundry, are out of employment, while 

         the said establishments are today prospering as favorably as 

         ever, and in many instances getting new customers, by the 

         independent stand they have taken, showing they do not 

         propose to have their business controlled by a lot of 

         triflers who in many cases would be no better off if their 

         wages were doubled and they to work one-half the number of 

         hours.

              Most of our wealthy men of today have during some time 

         in their lives, been wage-earners, but by industry, 

         perseverance and, last but not least, economy, occupy the 

         position they do today.  These are the men whom a lot of 

         irresponsible men would control.  These are the men who, if 

         they find a man who wishes to better his condition by working 

         extra hours, would endeavor to drive out of this free and 

         independent country.  But these men, "sweaters," as 

         "Masterworkman" Thomas Vernon terms them in his letter to The 

         Times of January 20th--these men, I say, will, in a few 

         years, be giving employment to such men as "Masterworkman" 

         Thomas Vernon and his party.  These are the kind of men who, 

         by working extra hours for extra pay, will be furnishing 

         employment to a majority of such men as constitutes 

         Carpenters' Union, No. 56, and other unions of the day.  

         These are the men who will soar above such men as the Knights 

         of Labor men.  These are the men who will manage the public 

         affairs of the State, while the other clamoring class will 

         exist a while longer, growling and grumbling, and finally 

         pass away and be forgotten.

                                                 RUSTLER.



                         {Times, Jan. 27, 1888, p. 3}

                             Answer to "Rustler."

              Los Angeles, Jan. 25.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  It 

         appears that we have in our midst a "Rustler," who, after 

         doing the necessary amount of rustling for an honest 

         livelihood, still finds time enough to indite columns of 

         tirade against labor organizations and the Carpenters' Union 

         in particular.

              What motives he has for these attacks it would be hard 

         to determine, and it must give him exceeding great 

         satisfaction to air his opinions in a daily journal, thereby 

         saving the expense of a hall.  The only thing that strikes me 

         in his voluminous effusion is the extreme anguish he 

         apparently undergoes when he reads of any progress made by a 

         labor union, and it is really kind of you, Mr. Editor, to let 

         him vent his cry publicly, lest the retention should injure 

         his constitution.  If this meets your eye, Mr. "Rustler," let 

         me inform you that your first epistle contains just 12 

         prevarications, . . . awful naughty ones, in regard to Union 

         No. 56, and your economic, moral and social conclusions are 

         all based "on error."  Do call upon any one of the thousand 

         members of the union who attends regularly to the meetings 

         for a little more light in the matter; it will do you a "heap 

         good."

                                            UNION CARPENTER.



                             B) THE NINE-HOUR DAY



    Led by the newly-arrived French-Canadian Arthur Vinette, Los Angeles 

carpenters organized Local No. 56, Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of 

America, in March, 1884.  Within a month membership reached 225.  While 

painters and plasterers had organized earlier, and the bricklayers would soon 

follow, Vinette's carpenters quickly took command of the construction unions.  

    The first task undertaken by Local 56 was to reduce the workday from ten to 

nine hours.  That goal had already been surpassed by the plasterers, who had 

won an eight-hour day with no reduction in wages {$5 a day} in 1883, but the 

other trades still worked ten hours.  While the carpenters announced that their 

new standard would take effect in August, 1884, with a minimum daily wage of 

$3.50, they received only partial compliance from contractors so that the 

nine-hour day was not universally recognized.

    In an effort to force recalcitrant employers into line, Local 56 used the 

letters column to pressure them to conform.  Over the signatures of Bartholomew  

Nelligan and Arthur Vinette, the union offered a defense of the short-hour 

demand and, coupled with a list of complying contractors, issued a warning to 

those who refused to adhere to the new standard.  That set off a series of 

rebuttals and replies in the letters column over the next week.

                          {Times, Mar. 3, 1885, p. 4}

                           The Short-Hour Movement.

              To the Editor of the Times--The Brotherhood of 

         Carpenters and Joiners of America, maintaining the principle 

         that workingmen are entitled to shorter hours of labor from 

         the improved mechanical methods now in use, and that it is 

         the only practical plan for them to procure more constant 

         employment, make them more contented with their lot, and 

         holding out to them the best inducements to practice economy 

         and secure homes, has constantly urged the local unions to 

         unite with other tradesmen and secure, if possible, a 

         reduction of one hour.  Acting upon this advice, Union No. 

         56, of this city, although in a position to enforce a demand 

         of this kind by a strike, chose rather to consult with their 

         employers, and proposed an agreement whereby the nine-hour 

         system was secured without entailing a loss to the latter.  

         This was in August last, and they were soon followed by the 

         painters and bricklayers, the plasterers having already 

         carried the eight-hour system.  However, there is a class of 

         contractors here, as elsewhere, who are not above taking a 

         mean advantage of those who make concessions to workingmen, 

         and they still require ten hours for a day's labor.  They are 

         also the first to instigate a reduction of wages; are, as a 

         rule, of a tyrannical disposition, and promote hostile 

         feelings between employers and journeymen instead of harmony, 

         which for the growth and future welfare of this city, the 

         unions are, in accord with all good citizens, endeavoring to 

         maintain.  Therefore, in justice to the employers in the 

         building trade who are now working on the nine-hour system, 

         the Carpenters' Union herewith publishes their names, that 

         they may become known to the friends of industrial reform.  

         Any omissions will be cheerfully corrected:

              {A lengthy list of contractor-employers followed, broken 

         down by categories of carpenters, painters, bricklayers and 

         plasterers. - Ed.}

              The Union also deems it fair to notify the public that a 

         movement was set on foot some time ago among the labor 

         organizations whereby a record is being kept of all 

         merchants, business men, professional men and others, who, in 

         building or repairing, require ten hours for a day's labor 

         from any of these four branches of work, or give out their 

         work to ten-hour contractors (the matter of employing Union 

         or non-Union men being immaterial).  Should they notice any 

         decline of patronage, they can draw their own conclusions.  

         And should, peradventure, any of these persons ever get an 

         itching to serve the public officially, they may perhaps find 

         that party ties will not prove strong enough to overcome 

         individual interests.

              By order of the Union:

                                                     B. NELLIGAN,

                                                          President.

              A. VINETTE, Secretary.



                          {Times, Mar. 8, 1885, p. 5}

                As to Ameliorating the Condition of Workingmen.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  In this age of 

         progress and material development, by duty, it is enjoined 

         upon public spirit to not only accept needed reform incident 

         to all avocations of life, but to vigorously aid and 

         encourage it by all the means capable of being honorably 

         employed, and to alleviate the distress and remove the cause 

         of complaint consequent to a demonstration of indifference to 

         the appeal made by those who earn bread by manual toil.

              Since inventive genius has expanded the facilities for 

         hastening every kind of work necessary to be performed by 

         laboring men, the necessity for fixing a day's labor at ten 

         or twelve hours no longer exists.

              The world is constantly growing better, and to those 

         who, by the force of circumstances, are compelled to drive 

         the plow, swing the pick and spade, handle the trowel or 

         carry the hod, it seems that an effort should be made by the 

         more fortunate to brighten their life and to reflect a sun-

         beam upon the rugged paths they are compelled to tread.

              The President of the Carpenters' Union, in a 

         communication recently published in the Times, makes a demand 

         that will doubtless meet the concurrence of the liberal-

         minded in this country.  There is nothing unreasonable or 

         communistic in that demand.  By that a compromise is 

         suggested, which, if accepted, will bring satisfaction and 

         harmony into the ranks of those upon whom all others depend.

              Should a day's labor be reduced from ten to nine hours 

         per day, the demand for mechanics and all other laborers will 

         be increased, thereby giving employment to many deserving men 

         who are begging for the means to buy a supper.  Not many days 

         ago three thousand laborers stood upon the banks of the 

         Thames, in the city of London, and in an angry voice demanded 

         of that great city that they be supplied with some kind of 

         work to enable them to procure bread to feed the hungry 

         mouths that open with prayer for the means to prevent 

         starvation.  But, fortunately for the favored spot of 

         creation, rich in resources and bounteous in grain and beef, 

         famine is impossible, however numerous idle men may be.  And 

         in the demand for a reduction of the time established as a 

         day's labor, violence is not an element.  It is made as a 

         matter of right and justice, and in keeping with the spirit 

         of the age; and when those who are interested in and affected 

         by it, awake to the reason for making it, they will discover 

         the profit to be gained by the reform.

                                    THE WORKINGMAN'S FRIEND.



                          {Times, Mar. 7, 1885, p. 3}

                      The So-called "Nine-Hour Movement."

                                   A REPLY.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  I think it is about 

         time that the Carpenters' Union was giving us a "rest" on the 

         nine-hour movement.  I see by the Times of last Tuesday that 

         they claim to have secured the nine-hour system in this city.  

         They are also trying to bulldoze the merchants, business men 

         and professional men of this city; and trying to prevent them 

         from giving any work to ten-hour contractors.  Now, sir, I 

         claim that the nine-hour system was never fully established 

         in this city.  All the good, practical mechanics in this city 

         do not belong to the union, but all the botch carpenters and 

         scrub workmen are members of Union No. 56.  Of course there 

         are many good workmen in the union, but for every good 

         workman I will show you five poor ones.

              This continual harping on the nine-hour movement has a 

         tendency to make times dull in this city.  People coming here 

         from the East think twice before building, when they find out 

         that the labor market is controlled by a set of men who 

         cannot cut a rafter for a wood-shed.  I have heard them talk 

         in their own meetings, that when they get strong enough, they 

         would not let any man work on a building unless be joined the 

         union.  Now, sir, if this union should ever get strong enough 

         to enforce any such action, it would be the worst enemy a 

         workingman could have, because they are not willing to grant 

         the same right to others that they claim for themselves.  I 

         would say to the merchants, business men and professional 

         men, don't be scared by their bulldozing notices in the 

         papers, because they are not as strong now, by one third, as 

         they were last summer, when they tried to establish the 

         nine-hour movement and failed.  Out of their list of about 

         forty contractors, which they claim are working nine hours, 

         there are not over ten responsible contractors.  They have 

         some down on their list as contractors who would not be 

         allowed to figure on a job in some of the architects' offices 

         in this city.

                                                    TRUTH.

              Los Angeles, March 4, 1885.



                         {Times, Mar. 12, 1885, p. 4}
                                       
                            The Nine-hour Movement.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  The wail of anguish 

         set up by that ten-hour contractor in a recent issue has 

         moved me deeply.  How the galled jade does wince!  He wants a 

         rest, and he is aware that long hours and low wages will 

         insure him that.  As usual in such cases, when men, under the 

         sacred name of Truth, attempt to further an ignoble project 

         by misleading the public, they are apt to overshoot the mark 

         and give themselves away.  I will not condescend to answer in 

         kind the scurrilous epithets applied to our members by this 

         contractor, for a wage-worker need not be the less a 

         gentleman, though he be regarded by many as a chattel.  The 

         dull times you refer to, Mr. "Truth," are the outcome of the 

         accumulative tendencies of the age, regardless of Scriptural 

         injunction; and enforced idleness to a class of freemen who 

         depend on their work for a living is an anomaly in a republic 

         and a primary cause of crime.  The various remedies proposed 

         for the evil are rather problematical, pending the millennial 

         advent, but the reduction in the hours assumes a tangible 

         shape to our minds which we can readily grasp, and this 

         hallucination of ours should be dealt with in charity and 

         removed by solid argument.  Reasoning a posteriori doth 

         excite the parts assaulted, but fails to reach the seat of 

         the trouble.  We owe no apology to the general community for 

         labor unions, for experience has shown the necessity of their 

         existence.  They are sanctioned by all the political 

         economists and the leaders of religious thought, including 

         Pope Leo XIII., who have told the wage-workers that 

         association and cooperation are the only means by which they 

         can protect themselves from oppression.  As regards Union No. 

         56, our record is clear; we have the signatures of 

         contractors to a certain pledge, and if Mr. "Truth" (?) be 

         one of those who have proved false (and he announces himself 

         publicly as a Judas), our late action must necessarily have 

         aroused his ire.

              If it will add any balm to his wounded soul, we will 

         hasten to inform him that in the last few days, three ten-

         hour contractors have been induced to break away from the 

         entangling alliance sustained by him, and that we are upheld 

         in this movement by some of the leading real estate owners of 

         this city.  The Trades Assembly will not tolerate bulldozing, 

         and we call upon you, Mr. "Truth," to report to this union 

         any member that is guilty of such.  Boycotting, i. e., 

         letting alone, is an opposite proceeding.  It is a game 

         originating in this city with ten-hour contractors, and wry 

         faces will not make a counter dose any more palatable.  We 

         claim to understand the nature of our common prosperity fully 

         as well, if not more, than this champion of long hours.  The 

         unions have steadily refrained from public demonstrations and 

         mass meetings in this matter, and notwithstanding this 

         attempt to drive them into a false position, they will 

         continue the even tenor of their ways, well knowing that 

         justice and principle will in the long run prevail with the 

         masses.  The public has been notified of our intention and 

         methods, our system is perfected, and brass bands are 

         needless.  The owners of real estate and the newcomers from 

         the East know their business, and the assertions of a man who 

         poses as a renegade should carry no weight.  The bugaboo he 

         attempts to recusitate is a phantom of his own creation, 

         likely induced by remorse of conscience and will scare none 

         but his counterparts. 

              In conclusion, Mr. Editor, this nine-hour movement can 

         be narrowed down to this:  Is it right?  Are the unions 

         justified in upholding it?  Are pledges, promises and 

         signatures of any account among men?  Will letting our 

         opponents alone hurt them any?  Any fair argument against the 

         movement I am prepared to meet, but mud-throwing I will leave 

         to blackguards.

                                             A. VINETTE.

                                        Secretary Union No. 56.



                          C) THE CARPENTERS' CIRCULAR



    The vast construction projects of the boom years and hard times in the East 

in the mid-'eighties drew many job seekers to Southern California.  As the real 

estate frenzy drew to a close late in 1887 Carpenters Local No. 56 was 

concerned that a continuing movement of the unemployed into Los Angeles, lured 

by contractors through articles placed in Eastern papers, would jeopardize the 

wage and hour standards that they had won.  One such announcement had in fact 

appeared in the Times early in 1887, placed by the Ventura building firm of 

Barnard, Blackstock and Shepherd.  The reference to the arrival of cars by Feb. 

15 indicated the anticipated arrival of the first Southern Pacific trains over 

the new line from Los Angeles.    

                         {Times, Jan. 16, 1887, p. 6}

                              CARPENTERS WANTED.

              San Buenaventura (Cal.), Jan. 12.--[To the Editor of The 

         Times.]  Would you object to say in your paper that there is 

         a great demand here for carpenters?  There is a great amount 

         of building projected and no carpenters to do the work.  Your 

         paper has a wide circulation in the East, and its columns 

         would be scanned by many good carpenters desiring work and a 

         change of climate.  The cars will run in here, nothing 

         preventing, by February 15th.  Yours truly,

                                 BARNARD, BLACKSTOCK & SHEPHERD.



    Such notices continued to appear in Eastern papers.  In particular, the 

Boston Globe in early October carried a report from Los Angeles that there was 

a dearth of mechanics, resulting in a ruinous advance in wages.  Journeymen 

carpenters were, according to the article, paid as much as $5.50 per day, 

bricklayers $7 and plasterers $6.  "Five hundred mechanics in the various 

departments of building could be put to work this morning."  

    Fearful of the effect such publicity would have on working conditions in 

Southern California, Local 56 countered with a circular for eastern 

distribution warning mechanics that Los Angeles was not an Eden.  

    Printed in late October, the circular drew the wrath of Otis and the Times.  

Otis called it "One of the most singular documents that ever reached the 

dignity of print... {and} composed of an equal compound of foolishness, 

knavishness and falsehood."

    The circular read in part:

             Just now Southern California is being extensively 

         advertised as the "promised land" of the poor, ill-paid slave 

         of labor.  In nearly all the paragraphs going the rounds of 

         the press there is such a misrepresentation of facts, such 

         barefaced falsehoods in regard to wages and the demand for 

         labor, that we have taken upon ourselves to refute them, and 

         thus save hundreds of families from ruin.

    Otis claimed that there was a scarcity of carpenters in Los Angeles, not a 

glut, and condemned the circular for misleading carpenters elsewhere into 

believing that there was little work in Southern California.  He was 

particularly outraged by this section, which he described as a cold blooded 

lie:

         A stream of mechanics and laborers has poured into the city, 

         whose ranks are daily being swelled by fresh accessions.  

         Having expended their last dollar for railroad fare, they 

         rush around from one job to another offering to work for 

         anything they can get.

    The Times offered an alternate solution to what even it recognized as a 

slowdown in the economy, suggesting that a greater supply of labor and a 

properly adjusted wage rate, by which Otis apparently meant a reduction in pay, 

would stimulate the investment of capital and create an abundant supply of 

permanent jobs in Los Angeles.

    In reply, "A Carpenter" offered his assessment.

                          {Times, Nov. 6, 1887, p. 6}

                                That Circular.

                           A CARPENTER'S STRICTURE.

              Los Angeles, Nov. 4.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Having read extracts and editorial comments on the circular 

         issued by the Carpenters' Union, also the articles in today's 

         issue of The Times, I would like space to present a few 

         thoughts.  That business is not only brisk, but very lively 

         in the building department in this city, no one can deny, and 

         one of the best summers ever known in Southern California has 

         just passed.  As cold weather puts in an appearance in the 

         East and outdoor work becomes unpleasant, there are many who 

         head for California to find an agreeable climate and put in 

         the winter, and the result is that both San Francisco and Los 

         Angeles have many idle men during that season.  The circular 

         issued by the union was undoubtedly sent forth to prevent 

         this condition of affairs, for some exaggerated statements 

         published by the press have drawn many inquiries regarding 

         the so-stated great scarcity of mechanics, and during the 

         past month many mechanics have arrived in the city, and the 

         supply more nearly equals the demand than it has for several 

         months, and is steadily increasing.  Every organization seeks 

         to protect itself and interests, and if the Carpenters' Union 

         has seen fit to issue a circular for the purpose of arresting 

         the influx of their brother workmen, it is very evident that 

         some good reason existed for their so doing; and no one 

         familiar with the business will deny that the union has 

         better means and facilities for finding out the real status 

         of affairs in the building line than any newspaper or 

         individual.  At one time last winter The Times asserted that 

         more carpenters were needed, and that 500, I think, could 

         find work if here.  At that time it was not true, and many 

         men, myself among the number, were idle and "rustling" for a 

         job.  If such statements are to be published, an excellent 

         time to send them forth would be in the spring, for when 

         winter comes on there is no occasion to send out reports that 

         carpenters or other mechanics are needed, for they are sure 

         to come, and no winter has yet, or will, find the supply less 

         than the demand.

              One year ago last winter an evening paper in San 

         Francisco declared that 1500 men walked those streets nightly 

         who had no place to sleep, and every winter sees a repetition 

         of this condition, only the number may not be so large.  To 

         add to the number of idle men in the dull season is an 

         excellent way to increase crime and produce tramps, and for 

         this reason the press should not paint pictures not warranted 

         by facts, or seek to stir up the surplus and floating 

         population of other States.  Having known what it is to walk 

         the streets of both San Francisco and Los Angeles in search 

         of work that couldn't be had, as a workingman I am glad to 

         see this precaution taken by the union, and I have no fears 

         that people of means will be debarred from settling up this 

         glorious country, or that eastern capital will be induced to 

         keep out of California.  Now, one word in regard to the men 

         who arrive here nearly moneyless and consequently willing to 

         work for reduced wages.  Many of them are "jim-crow" 

         carpenters, and men who are unfamiliar with the work, but who 

         seek it because it pays well and nothing else seems to open 

         up.  The union has no more control over such men than the 

         editor of The Times, and if they work for less than $3.50 per 

         day you will readily see there was nothing inconsistent in 

         that portion of the "circular" so declared by you.  That the 

         carpenters who issued that circular desire to see this city 

         thrive and prosper as much as The Times I have no doubt, and 

         in my opinion undue disturbance and needless censure has been 

         created and bestowed on account of said circular.  Let the 

         press of this city curb its tendency to exaggerate facts to 

         stimulate our present solid boom and the coming winter may 

         not see so many idle men as this city contained during 

         January, February and March of 1887, and the occasion will 

         certainly be less for the issuance of any further circulars.  

         Respectfully yours,

                                            A CARPENTER.



                      D) THE LABOR MOVEMENT AND "OTHERS"



    "A Carpenter's" off-hand slur on "jim-crow" tradesmen was yet another sign 

of the hostility exhibited by the mainstream of the working class toward 

competition from blacks, certain Europeans and especially the Chinese.  The 

"Chinese question" {treated in its larger context in another chapter} was still 

an important issue in 1885.  Despite congressional passage of an Exclusion Act 

in 1882, anti-Chinese hostility only waned.  In Southern California the use of 

Chinese labor to build the Santa Fe line led to growing worry over increased 

unemployment and to a resurgence of an anti-Chinese movement by mid-decade.  

    The Anti-Chinese Union, formed initially as an independent labor union, was 

organized in early 1885.  Its initial action was circulation of a petition 

patterned after one drawn up by San Francisco coroner Charles O'Donnell.  It 

called for the city council to evict the Chinese from Los Angeles.  Over a 

thousand signatures had been collected by early July when Philip Kelly sent 

this letter to the Times.

                          {Times, July 7, 1885, p. 2}

                             The Chinese Question.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  I don't doubt Dr. 

         O'Donnell's sincerity when he proclaims his devotion to the 

         working man.  I'm a working man myself, or a laborer, if 

         that's more distinctive without being different, and with the 

         natural selfishness of my kind, would inwardly and outwardly 

         rejoice at the expulsion of the Chinese, on the presumption 

         that I'd have steady work and better wages; and then, ten to 

         one, under the control of the same selfish influence, I'd 

         just as gladly be rid of seventy-five per cent. of what was 

         left of the toiling mass, as in that case work and wages to 

         please the most fastidious would be assured for a time at 

         least; though there were labor troubles of a serious nature 

         before the Chinaman's advent, and I opine there would be 

         after his departure.

              But for the life of me, I can't see how he interferes 

         with my welfare as a laborer in Los Angeles, or in scores of 

         towns besides.  His work seems to be confined to gardening 

         and the laundry, and in a spirit of justice I would ask any 

         laborer in this town if the Chinaman is not welcome when he 

         comes with as many vegetables for ten cents as could be 

         bought for twice the money in a market closed to his 

         competition.  We are compelled to admit, though many of us 

         will do so with a reluctance which smacks of bigotry, that he 

         is industrious, economical and inoffensive, traits which 

         would be a great boon to many of us, and seeing that England, 

         France and others take advantage of his peace-loving 

         disposition to invade and take possession of his native 

         country, therefore it is nothing more than right that he 

         should enjoy the privilege of eking out an honest living in 

         foreign lands; and, furthermore, when we stand drinking in 

         the vehement words of denunciation as they drop from the lips 

         of our patriotic orators, we might suggest the propriety of 

         hurling a few bolts of the same material where the real 

         object of attack is posted--in a word, lay the ax to the root 

         and direct the force of argument to those who are 

         responsible.  I mean you, I and all the other fellows who 

         vote into power the law-makers.  Now, supposing we shift this 

         burden to other shoulders.  It is established that the 

         Chinaman is a success in business.  We are not indifferent to 

         the cost of food and clothing and, in view of our 

         circumstances would not object to a reduction in prices.  Let 

         us encourage a Chinaman to start a store in each of those 

         branches of business with which we are concerned; give him 

         our patronage; let one start a saloon centrally located, and, 

         I believe, with his proverbial tact and cheap style of 

         living, in the course of human events, the Chinese question 

         will assume an entirely different phase.  More O'Donnells 

         will rush to the arena than the Chronicle could shake a stick 

         at in a week, whose business eyes will be opened so wide that 

         they will find a hundred cases of leprosy where the San 

         Francisco Coroner finds one.  Don't misunderstand me. I have 

         no object in exaggerating his virtues.  I wish rather to 

         consult with my fellow-laborers as to the best method of 

         making the journey through life as pleasant as possible.  I 

         am not oblivious of the peculiarly disgusting odor of Dupont 

         street, which may not be surpassed in any of the haunts of 

         more populous cities; neither has experience proved that it 

         can't wash a shirt as badly as any slattern when time is 

         precious, and he can pass the botchery off on some customer 

         who won't make a noise about it, and had he his own way he 

         would be as exacting as possible and would want the most 

         exorbitant prices for his chattels; but that's not the 

         question.  We want to make a proper use of the ballot, and 

         instead of going crazy over a name, honestly assist in the 

         selection of men whose lives, as far was we know, are free 

         from taint, and who, having professed adherence to principles 

         before, we feel confident will manfully uphold them after 

         election.

                                              PHILIP KELLY.

                                         227 Chavez Street.

              Los Angeles, July 6th.



    The Anti-Chinese Union, led by George Stearns, was attacked by Eliza Otis 

in her "Saunterer" column early in July.  Whether she had Stearns in mind is 

not clear, but Arthur Vinette apparently thought so.  The Saunterer depicted a 

representative A.C.U. supporter as "a rough, illiterate loafer, a lazy, drunken 

fellow" who was "raving in a senseless way against the 'd----d Chinese'" in his 

Irish brogue.  She also denounced the use of the boycott and dictation: "I 

don't believe in Irishmen or any body else coming to this free country of ours 

and dictating to me who we shall employ."

    Vinette's reply, printed on the same day that Kelly's letter appeared, 

refers to an act of vandalism that had just taken place on July 4.


                          {Times, July 7, 1885, p. 2}

                                  Boycotting.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Were it not for the 

         well-known temperate habits of the "Saunterer," I should be 

         inclined to think that the celebration had caused him to mix 

         up the characters in his dialogue, which latter bears the 

         impress of apocrypha.  However that may be, the argument put 

         forth contains a few errors in the premise.  The President of 

         the A. C. U., Geo. L. Stearns, is not an Irishman.  He would 

         be none the less honored by us if he were.  He is an 

         American, a veteran of the late war, an abolitionist who 

         dares to uphold his colors against coolie slavery that is let 

         out for hire on this coast, and he is, withal, a new-comer.

              The abundance of work for all is purely imaginative.  If 

         the Saunterer will take a stroll with me, I will agree to 

         point out 500 idle men in one day.  Therefore any deductions 

         thus made from a wrong basis are in their nature beyond the 

         pale of controversy.

              The Saunterer's main argument is against boycotting, 

         which he terms "dictation," contrary to the spirit of our 

         free republic, and breeding lawlessness.  As to the latter, 

         how much of it has appeared in our demonstrations?  Who did 

         the "painting" on the glorious Fourth?  Was it the Anti-

         Chinese Union or some other body?

              Boycotting is a double-edged weapon, and the white 

         laborers have felt one edge of it for years past.  Coolie 

         labor is preferred by many, and the white man walks the 

         streets.  Similia similibus curautur, and time will determine 

         if the dose prove to be homeopathic.  Therefore, those who 

         employ Chinese in preference to white help have not the least 

         grounds for a grievance against us if we refuse to assist 

         them on their way to wealth, luxury and honors; and we fail 

         to see any dictation in the matter.  Competition with coolie 

         labor and the treatment received by ranch hands on this coast 

         have not helped to elevate them.   Evil birds must eventually 

         come home to roost, and we desire to stop the process of 

         incubation.  We believe in free speech, a free press and the 

         freedom of any man to hire whom he pleases.  We believe in 

         letting the coolie alone and the supporters of the six 

         companies also.  We simply request a fair hearing from the 

         press when attacked unjustly, and as long as the typos have 

         no grievance against a newspaper, we have none.  Our petition 

         to the Council has nearly a thousand signatures affixed 

         already, and we are content to await the action of that body 

         in enforcing the law.

              Los Angeles, June {July? - Ed.} 6.                

                                            A. V.



    The use of non-white labor went beyond the question of Chinese workers.  

From time to time the letters column touched on the use of "colored" labor.  

Although it is unclear precisely what "A Carpenter" meant by his derogatory 

reference to "jim-crow" labor, other writers left no doubt about their 

hostility to African American, Chinese or southern European workers.  

    When the former governor of New Mexico territory, Lionel A. Sheldon, 

authored an op-ed piece for the Times on capital and labor, arguing for 

cooperation between the two, he unwittingly unleashed the hostility many 

"native American" workers held toward "others."  I. D. Pasco's letter 

represented a view held by a substantial portion of the labor force.  His 

argument contained elements of socialism yet his defense of "American" workers 

seemed to violate the Marxian concept of labor's unity.  Another Los Angeles 

resident, Ernest Untermann, reconciled that apparent contradiction when, at a 

Socialist national convention in the early 1900s, he argued that immigration 

restrictions were not incompatible with Marxian theory.  After all, said 

Untermann, when Marx called on the workers of the world to unite he did not 

suggest that they all come to the United States to do so.

                         {Times, Jan. 17, 1888, p. 6}

                    Extreme View and Untenable Statements.

              Los Angeles, Jan. 15th.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         I have just been reading the most sensible remarks of Lionel 

         A. Sheldon in The Times of this morning.  Although he is 

         right in nearly all he says, he seems to ignore one fact in 

         American history.  From the very start of the country every 

         means has been used that legislation could adopt to forestall 

         the labor market.  It was for this purpose the first negro 

         slaves were brought, and every encouragement given to the 

         poor of Europe to emigrate and settle here, and the cursed 

         Chinese.  And now on Lux & Miller's big ranch, and the other 

         big ranches of the country, and the railroads, Americans must 

         come to the wages of the Chinese, the Italians and the negro 

         that has been a slave.  Our legislators are a grade lower 

         than idiots; they are fools.  We have over 3,000,000 of 

         blacks that we can never agree with here among us, and 

         although they are now free, their freedom cost over 800,000 

         American lives--lives that were their superiors in every 

         respect--men that the country could rely upon for defense and 

         support.  Capitalists want a blind obedience to their 

         commands, and if one case can be shown that they have been 

         generous, a thousand can be shown where they have exacted the 

         last cent.  It would not be as it is if we did not have all 

         the pauper labor of the world brought in direct competition.  

         And the monopolists can forestall justice in the courts, buy 

         the Legislature and own all the land in California or sell it 

         to tenderfeet at their own prices.  Yours,

                                                   I. D. PASCO.



    The official attitude of organized labor toward non-white workers was made 

clear in a series of questions posed by the Evergreen Assembly, Knights of 

Labor, to Pomona Valley citrus and grape growers.  Evergreen was a mixed 

assemblage of wage-workers, as distinguished from craft unions for specific 

groups such as painters or carpenters.  Shortly after issuing this open letter 

the Knights became inactive in the sluggish aftermath of the boom.  Other once 

powerful unions, such as Carpenters Local No. 56, all but disappeared, their 

boasted membership of one thousand shrunk to a handful.  George Feller, the 

letter writer, joined the Edward Bellamy "Nationalist" movement and advocated 

public works for the unemployed.

                         {Times, Jan. 28, 1889, p. 5}

                    White Labor in Orchards and Vineyards.

              Los Angeles, Jan. 10.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Please give space to the following open letter:

              The San Francisco Examiner of January 3d contained a 

         letter in reference to the scarcity of labor in the orange 

         groves and vineyards purporting to have been written by the 

         following-named gentlemen of Pomona Valley, viz: C. E. White, 

         Fred J. Smith, George Raymond, Hon. Samuel N. Andrews, Daniel 

         W. Wentworth, M. M. Baldridge, J. Packard, E. J. Baldwin and 

         others.

              To the above-named gentlemen I wish to say:  I am 

         authorized by Knights of Labor Assembly No. 7647 of this city 

         to ascertain, if possible, from you the true facts relative 

         to the extent of the increase of labor in your orange groves 

         or vineyards, or both.  Then, in order that we may understand 

         each other thoroughly, I beg to ask you the following 

         questions, which will in justice not only to your own race, 

         but to the welfare of Southern California.  Please answer.

              First--How many laborers will you employ in your orange 

         groves or vineyards, or both, this season?

              Second--Will you engage white labor if you can get it, 

         and to what extent?

              Third--What accommodations have you in the way of 

         sleeping quarters, dining-rooms, and other common comforts of 

         life?

              Fourth--What wages do you pay?

              Fifth--How many hours constitute a day's work?

              Sixth--How often do you pay your employes?

              Seventh--How many months in the year can you give 

         employment to white labor?

              Eighth--What difference in wages do you make between 

         Chinese and white labor, and in whose favor?

              Ninth--Would it be compulsory with you to employ Chinese 

         if you could secure white men and women?

              Tenth--How many more laborers will you employ this 

         season than last?

              Eleventh--Will you inform us when you are in need of 

         additional help, and allow us to supply it for you?

              The above includes both male and female help.  We can 

         furnish you with white male or female labor in any number you 

         wish at reasonable wages, and will guarantee them to be 

         sober, steady and respectable.  Answer, providing of course 

         you can furnish respectable accommodations for the laborers.

                                          GEORGE FELLER.

                                          Statistician.

         Per C. C. Connelly, Evergreen Assembly Wage Workers, No. 

         7647.



                         E) OTHER CONCERNS OF LABORERS



    Solitary letters on various labor issues of the 1880s remind a later 

generation that the battles they currently fight were the concern of their 

counterparts a century ago.  "Laboring Man" knew the need for OSHA.  "Free 

Labor" not only understood the threat of convict or chain gang labor in 

competition with the unemployed but also had an opinion regarding shame and 

guilt as formulators of good character.  "A Distant Reader," writing from 

Illinois, presented a socialistic view of capitol and labor.  He called for 

justice, as did John Duval, a waiter at Louis Christopher's restaurant on No. 

Spring Street.  In a poignant note that is reminiscent of the letter from hired 

ranch hand David Fisher {see agriculture chapter}, Duval's plea for those in 

his occupation transcends time.

                          {Times, Oct. 18, 1885 p. 5}

                             Accidents to Workmen.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  The boiler explosion 

         in Pittsburg recently, by which seventeen workmen were 

         injured, most of them seriously and several fatally, is 

         another instance of the carelessness of those who have the 

         safety of their fellow-creatures intrusted to their judgment 

         and fidelity.  The statement of the engineer (who tested 

         these boilers only a month before) that they were safe, seems 

         greatly at variance with the fact that corrosion, a gradual 

         process, had reduced the thickness of the iron of the mud 

         drum, which exploded, to one thirty-second part of an inch.  

         The mental and bodily suffering forced upon the families of 

         workmen by this instance alone should lead to the adoption in 

         that city, if in not others, of measures to insure the safety 

         of employes and others, and protect them from defective or 

         wornout machinery, or incompetent and careless operators, or 

         others upon whose judgment and fidelity the public safety 

         depends.  One aim of the Knights of Labor is to secure the 

         adoption of more effective measures to prevent such accidents 

         to workmen, and provide the remuneration which workmen and 

         their families sorely need, after the injury, disability, or 

         death of the one whose labor kept the wolf from the door, or 

         at least kept his stomach from entertaining the many abodes 

         through whose doors the hungry jaws and glaring eyes are 

         alway thrust.  The belief of many well-meaning people, that 

         the K. of L. is an agrarian, anarchist or law-hating order, 

         is far from the truth.

                                               LABORING MAN.

              Los Angeles, October, 1885.



                         {Times, July 29, 1885, p. 2}

                             Laborers' Grievances.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Being out of work for 

         the last fourteen days, and as I cannot live without some 

         employment, and I am not ashamed to earn an honest shilling 

         by labor, I applied to the Street Superintendent for such and 

         was told by that gentleman that he had too many men already, 

         and besides our City Fathers have ordered to have chain-gang 

         in operation again.

              Now, Mr. Editor, I should like to know what this gen-

         tleman thinks.  Times are hard, plenty of laboring men are 

         knocking around who are willing to work at most anything if 

         an opportunity offers itself; and these gentlemen talk about 

         chain-gangs.  After this institution was abolished once, it 

         should not be re-established to the disgrace of Los Angeles 

         and in competition of the workingmen.  Do these philosophers 

         of the city expect to get a good opinion of the community at 

         large?  I guess not.

              Everybody knows that a great majority of the chain-gang 

         will consist of men guilty only of a minor offense, not being 

         able to pay the fine of the city or police court.

              Consequently condemned at one dollar per day to drag the 

         chains and ball through the city, a disgrace to the public at 

         large.  Besides, if there is only a spark of self-respect 

         left in any of them, it would be extinguished by this measure 

         and more candidates produced for San Quentin.

                                                 FREE LABOR.



                         {Times, Dec. 10, 1887, p. 6}

               The Great Problem of Labor--Justice Its Solution.

              Morris (Ill.), Dec. 3.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         We cannot, any of us, afford to neglect the study of the 

         signs of the times, for they point to change and readjustment 

         of society to suit new conditions that have been ushered into 

         existence through inventions and the arts.  Machinery has 

         many times increased the productive powers of man in the last 

         fifty years, but never before was poverty and discontent more 

         severe than in our own day.  We cannot afford to neglect 

         causes that produce this unnatural result.  It is publicly 

         estimated that our annual product amounts in value to 

         $12,000,000,000 or $1000 to each family of five persons; and 

         the same authority places the wages of the average workingman 

         at about $300 per annum, upon which to support a family of 

         five persons.  Can we wonder at poverty and discontent?  

         Some--yes, many--of the best men among us see the wrongs of 

         society, and are anxious to see reform; but the majority of 

         people are absolutely ignorant of the causes of poverty.  The 

         man who champions the capitalistic side of the question will 

         almost invariably tell you that if the workingman would keep 

         out of the saloon and not waste his money in carousals he 

         would be well enough off if industrious and prudent; but this 

         same apologist is never a prohibitionist, but a 

         protectionist.  He does not believe in striking at the root 

         of any evil.  A sharp man can make money among fools.  The 

         more ignorant the masses are, the better it is for the 

         sharper.  He pretends to champion the cause of education, 

         thinking to cover his tracks; but mark you! the press is the 

         schoolmaster now, and if he can control that in shaping 

         public sentiment, he is safe for a time at least.  He advises 

         economy for the poor man whose wages are $300 per annum--and 

         well he might; but how about the man whose income amounts to 

         ten, twenty, or fifty thousand per annum?  Is it possible in 

         this country for a man to become rich and add increase to 

         wealth without labor?  Is it not a just and benificent 

         command that we should labor for what we enjoy?  Here is the 

         key to the discontent that has now been tugging at us to 

         awaken us to the impending danger.  And yet we slumber on, 

         regardless of the alarm.  The only question the two old 

         parties touch upon relates to tariff adjustment.  The thing 

         not protected in this country is labor.  Our labor market is 

         flooded with the surplus labor of the entire old world, and 

         this is just what the capitalist class want.   They want an 

         open market where they can buy labor the cheapest, and a 

         combination, a monopoly or a trust, to sell their product to 

         the ruination of all opposition.  Is there not a lesson to be 

         learned in these combinations of capital?  Are they not 

         socialist institutions, for selfish instead of general 

         interests?  They are furnishing the very solution of the 

         labor problem, except that the state should operate these 

         mammoth enterprises for the public good.  But the capitalist 

         class denounces socialism, and all other isms that look to 

         rationally solving the labor problem.  People were once 

         frightened at the word abolition.  Now it is prohibition and 

         socialism, but all these words can be condensed into the one 

         word, justice.  Justice has frightened the world's evil-doers 

         and oppressors.  It is the handwriting on the wall. It is the 

         settlement of all unjust systems.  The world's martyrs have 

         proclaimed it upon the cross, the scaffold and the rack, and 

         it is the great power that will finally triumph.  He who 

         takes not justice as a ruling principle of his life is at sea 

         without a compass or rudder.

                                       A DISTANT READER.



                         {Times, June 15, 1889, p. 5}

                           Mistreatment of Waiters.
                                       
              Los Angeles, June 13.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         am a waiter, and consequently very inexperienced in handling 

         a pen; therefore, I solicit all your indulgence.  In the name 

         of justice and good sense, I protest emphatically against the 

         vexations, the humiliations and the wrongs that some 

         restaurant-going people inflict gratuitously upon waiters.  

         It may be said without exaggeration that a man who treats 

         waiters as some do, is not only a vulgar fellow, but also a 

         coward, because he knows well that a waiter cannot say or do 

         anything to take revenge of a customer without losing his 

         job.

              Hoping The Times will take the above lines under its 

         protection, I am, Mr. Editor, very respectfully yours,

                                             JOHN DUVAL.