View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

BUREAU

OF

LABO R

ST A T IST IC S

ROYAL M E E K E R , Commissioner

BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STATES )
BUREAU OF LABOR S T A T IS T IC S )
EM PLOYM ENT

AND

( W H O L E O 'lZ
I NUMBER & J J

* ' '

UNEM PLOYM ENT

SE R IE S;

NO.

8

E M P L O Y M E N T S Y S T E M O F TH E
L A K E C A R R I E R S ’ A S S O C IA T IO N




BY PA UL F. B R I S S E N D E N

/

JANUARY, 19 18

WASHINGTON
G O V E R N M E N T P R I N T I N G OFF IC E
1918




CONTENTS.
Page.

Introduction.......................................................................................................................
5,6
Activities of seamen’s unions on the Great Lakes.................................................... 6-10
Objects and activities of the Lake Carriers’ Association......................................... 10-12
“ Welfare plan ” of the Lake Carriers’ Association.................................................... 12-16
Objections by unions to the welfare plan.................................................................... 16-21
Results of the welfare plan.............................................................................................
21
Discharge book.................................................................................................................. 21-24
Attitude of the Lake Carriers’ Association toward unions...................................... 24-28
Growth of the welfare plan............................................................................................. 28, 29
Present working of the welfare plan............................................................................. 29, 30
Position of the Lake Carriers’ Association as to the welfare plan.......................... 30,31
Labor turnover on the Great Lakes..............................................................................
31
Conclusions......................................................................................................................... 31-33
Appendix A .—Documentary evidence relating to the Lake Carriers’ Associa­
tion’s welfare plan........................................................................................................ 34-46
Appendix B.— Statistics of the Lake Carriers.’ Association’s fleets in 1916......... 47-49
Appendix C.— Copies of affidavits in regard to alleged discrimination against
unions by the Association........................................................................................... 50-57
Appendix D.— Copy of statement of the United States Shipping Board
announcing the postponement of the strike of lake seamen ordered for Octo­
ber 1, 1917.......................................................................................................................
58




3




B U L L E T IN
U . S. B U R E A U
W H O LE N O . 235.

OF

O F THE

LABOR

W A S H IN G T O N .

S T A T IS T IC S .
JANUARY, 1918.

EMPLOYMENT SYSTEM OF THE LAKE CARRIERS’
ASSOCIATION.
BY PAUL F. BBISSENDEN.

INTRODUCTION.
A t the twentieth convention of the International Seamen’s Union
of America, held in New York City, December 4 to 12, 1916, the fol­
lowing resolution was adopted:
6 Whereas, the Lake Carriers’ Association, controlled by a subsidi­
4
ary of the United States Steel Corporation, the Pittsburg Steamship
Co., maintains a system of employment and strike-breaking agencies
on the Great Lakes, for the purpose of preventing the seamen from
organizing to improve the standards of wages, working conditions,
and craft skill or seamanship; and
4 Whereas, in connection with these employment offices and strike­
4
breaking agencies, the Lake Carriers’ Association enforces upon the
men a vicious blacklisting scheme, which it attempts to disguise under
the misleading title of 4welfare plan ’ ; and
“ Whereas, this employment system and other evils connected
with the shipping on the Great Lakes causes great numbers of young
men to leave the calling in disgust and is seriously retarding the up­
building of a larger body of skilled American seamen, essential to the
welfare of the people of the United States in national defense and in
commerce; and
“ Whereas, a continuation of the Lake Carriers’ Association em­
ployment system will bring about a serious strike on the Great Lakes,
the members of the Lake Seamen’s Union, having by referendum
vote, in accord with the rules of the union governing the calling of a
strike, voted to demand its abolition: Therefore be it
4 Resolved, That the International Seamen’s Union, in convention
4
assembled, respectfully request the United States Department of
Labor to investigate the employment system, shipping offices, and
so-called 4welfare plan’ of the Lake Carriers’ Association, and to
make public the results of such investigation.” 1
1 Resolutions published in Coast Seamen’ s Journal, Dec. 27, 1916, p. 2
No. 1 5 ) .




(Resolution

5

6

EM PLOYM ENT SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS* ASSOCIATION.

In response to the request embodied in this resolution the Bureau
of Labor Statistics has made a study of the present labor situation
on the Great Lakes, with particular reference to the nature and opera­
tion of the u welfare plan ” of the Lake Carriers’ Association. In the
course of the short field investigation which was made, the assembly
rooms at the more important lake ports were visited, and every effort
was made to ascertain the attitude, pro and con, of the various parties
interested, and to secure whatever evidence they might have to offer
in support of their statements. Officials of the Lake Carriers’ Asso­
ciation; its commissioners in charge of the assembly rooms in the
various ports visited; officials of the International Seamen’s Union,
and of its subordinate bodies in the Lakes district (the Lake Seamen’s
Union, the Marine Firemen, Oilers, and Water Tenders’ Benevolent
Association of the Great Lakes, and the Marine Cooks and Stewards’
Union of the Great Lakes) ; ship captains; and union and nonunion
sailors were interviewed. This was done not only for the purpose of
securing all the available documentary evidence bearing on the opera­
tion of the welfare plan, but also in order to find out what the various
interested parties thought of it. Special effort was made to get the
union and nonunion sailors’ experience and personal opinion of the
plan. This report presents the results of the inquiry. It explains
the machinery of the welfare plan and the practical workings of its
employment features, and gives the Association’s and the union’s
interpretation of it, together with such documents as either of them
wished to submit.
AC TIV ITIES OF SEAM EN’S UNIONS ON TH E GREAT L A K E S.

The International Seamen’s Union includes thirteen subsidiary
unions grouped into three districts: the Atlantic, Pacific, and Great
Lakes districts. The Great Lakes district comprises three maritime
unions, viz., The Lake Seamen’s Union, the Marine Firemen, Oilers
and Water Tenders’ Benevolent Association of the Great Lakes,
and the Marine Cooks and Stewards’ Union of the Great Lakes.
It is these three unions—and most of all the Lake Seamen’s Union—
which are directly concerned about the grievances alleged in the f oregoing resolutions. The Lakes district seamen’s unions first began to
make their influence felt about the year 1900. In 1903 the Lake Sea­
men’s Union entered into an agreement with the Lake Carriers’ Asso­
ciation and that agreement was renewed from year to year until the
spring of 1908. This contract was a typical trade agreement contain­
ing specifications in regard to hours and conditions of labor aboard
ship and providing for the recruitment of crews to man the boats.
The clauses relating to the methods of supplying crews provided that




ACTIVITIES OF S E A M E N ^ U NIO N S ON THE GEEAT LAKES.

7

all steamers and barges covered by the contract (i. e., all steamers
and barges of the Lake Carriers’ Association) should carry members
of the Lake Seamen’s Union in specified capacities; that the union
should “ furnish a sufficient number of competent men to fill the abovementioned capacities when called upon to do so, to the best of its
ability, but in the event that the Lake Seamen’s Union is unable to
furnish a sufficient number of union men when called upon, the owner,
agent or captain may ship nonunion men until such time as union
men can be obtained.” The complete text of this agreement, in effect
during the season of 1907—the last agreement between the Lake Sea­
men’s Union and the Lake Carriers’ Association—follows:
A

g r e e m e n t .1

This agreement made and entered into at the city of Cleveland, by and
between the Lake Carriers’ Association, a corporation of the State of W est
Virginia, by its executive committee, duly authorized, and the Lake Seamen’s
Union, by its duly authorized representatives, witnesseth as follow s:
Section 1. This agreement is made for the navigation season of 1907 on the
Great Lakes for all vessels enrolled or hereafter enrolled in the Lake Carriers’
Association.
Sec. 2. All steamers covered by this contract shall carry members of the
Lake Seamen’s Union in the following capacities: Wheelmen, watchmen, look­
out men, between-deck watchmen, and ordinary seamen.
Sec. 3. All barges covered by this contract shall carry members of the Lake
Seamen’s Union in the following capacities: Mates, sailors, and donkey men.
Sec. 4. The Lake Seamen’s Union agrees to furnish a sufficient number of
competent men to fill the above-mentioned capacities when called upon to do
£*o, to the best of its ability, but in the event that the Lake Seamen’s Union
is unable to furnish a sufficient number of union men when called upon, the
owner, agent, or captain may ship nonunion men until such time as union men
can be obtained. It is understood and agreed that whenever, on account of
the inability of the Lake Seamen’s Union to furnish union men, and nonunion
men are employed, said nonunion men are to be shipped for the round trip, and
there shall be no interference with nonunion men so employed during said
round trip.
A t least three hours’ notice to be given union office for men unless men
desert just before vessel started, then vessel can take quickest obtainable.
Sec. 5. The rules with reference to the number of wheelmen, watchmen, and
lookout men carried on all steamers shall jremain the same as heretofore.
Steamers not covered by the following manning scale shall carry the same
number of ordinary seamen as heretofore.
Steamers in the package freight trade of 2,400 gross tons up to 2,500 gross
tons, Government register, shall carry no /e s s than five ordinary seamen.
Steamers in package freight trade of 2,500 gross tons or over, Government
register, shall carry six ordinary seamen.
1 United States Congress. Hearings (Feb. 17, 1910) before the House Committee on
Merchant Marine and Fisheries, “ Better protection of lives of passengers and seamen,”
pp. 66-87.




8

EM PLOYM ENT SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS’ ASSOCIATION.
COARSE FREIGHTERS.

Steamers o f 1,500 gross tons, Government register, tip to 2,500 gross tons,
shall carry the same number of ordinary seamen as heretofore, but not less
than three. Steamers of 2,500 gross tons, and up to 4,000 gross tons, shall carry
the same number of ordinary seamen as heretofore, but not less than four.
Steamers of over 4,000 gross tons to 5,500 gross tons, same as heretofore, but
not less than five. Steamers of over 5,500 gross tons shall carry the same
number of men as heretofore, but not less than six.
Sec. 6. No man shall work more than 10 hours per day for one day’s pay
without a watch below, unless he is given watch and w atch; the captain, how­
ever, to be the sole judge as to the necessity of when he requires the services of
the whole crew. These stipulations not to apply to handling hatches and gang­
ways or to arriving at or clearing from. port.
Wheelmen, watchmen, and lookout men on package freight boats shall be
governed by the same rules as heretofore.
Crews shall be given time during working hours to, and shall, keep their
quarters in clean and sanitary condition.
Ordinary seamen shall not be required to pass coal for more than one fireman
each.
Sec. 7. Tow barges of 850 gross tons, Government register, and up to 2,100
gross tons, Government register, shall carry no less than one mate, one donkey
man, and four able-bodied seamen before the mast. Tow barges of over 2,100
gross tons, Government register, shall carry one mate, one engineer or donkey
man, and six able-bodied seamen. On whalebacks of the smaller class carrying
a towing machine and carrying an engineer, they shall carry a mate and four
able-bodied seamen.
S e c . 8 . On all vessels in the salt, alabaster, stone, railroad-iron, pig-iron, cop­
per, sand, cement, cedar, or pulp-wood trade the men shall receive 25 cents per
hour when working at cargo at all times over and above their regular wages.
Sec. 9. A ll vessels covered by this contract shall provide well-lighted, wellventilated, clean sleeping quarters, properly heated in cold weather; the beds
shall have good mattresses, springs, and pillows, and clean linen at least once
every trip. A ll vessels shall carry a full equipment of life-saving apparatus.
A ll tow barges must have a wheelhouse.
Sec. 10. It is further agreed that all requisitions for men to be furnished
■under this contract shall be made by officers o f the vessels covered hereby to
the shipping master of the Lake Carriers’ Association or his assistants at the
port nearest to which the vessel is lying, and such shipping master, in turn, shall
make requisition on the shipping officers of the Lake Seamen’s Union for all
such men. And if any transportation is required to get the men to the vessel,
the same shall be furnished by the shipping master o f the Lake Carriers’ Asso­
ciation, the shipping officers of the Lake Seamen’s Union guaranteeing that the
men so furnished with transportation will ship and serve for the trip on the
boats to which they have been assigned, Nothing in this article shall prevent
or prohibit the master or officer o f a vessel shipping union men when they apply
to him for a job as heretofore.
v
Sec. 11. It is understood and agreed that in the event of any grievance, no
man shall quit without first consulting the agent or delegate of the Lake Sea­
men’s Union.
There shall be no Sunday or legal-holiday work, such as painting, scrubbing
o f paint, or cleaning brass; cleaning of decks, however, not to be construed
under this paragraph as unnecessary*




ACTIVITIES OE S E A M E N ^ U NIO N S ON THE GEEAT LAKES.

9

See. 12. I t is further understood that after a vessel has completed her round
trip, if any of the employees covered by this agreement quit, there shall be no
obligation to hire others until they are needed.
In case a vessel goes out of commission before the completion of the trip
for which the crew has been engaged the crew shall receive railroad trans­
portation to the port where the trip was commenced.
Sec. 13. It is also agreed that the offices of the Lake Seamen’s Union shall
be kept open day and night during the season of navigation at the ports of
Buffalo, Ashtabula, Cleveland, South Chicago, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Detroit.
It is understood that there will be no objection to a boat carrying five ordi­
nary seamen and five able-bodied seamen in place of six ordinary seamen and
four able-bodied seamen if the captain so desires.
Sec. 14. In the event o f ' any difference arising between the two parties
hereto as to the meaning or intent of this contract, the men shall continue to
work and the said difference shall be arbitrated within 30 days.
WAGE SCALE.

Subject to the foregoing terms and conditions the Lake Carriers’ Association
and the members of the Lake Seamen’s Union do hereby agree to the follow­
ing scale of wages for the said season of 1907:
Section 1. The rate of wages for wheelsmen, watchmen, and lookouts men
employed under this agreement shall be at the rate of $50 per month from
the opening o f navigation to the 1st day of October, and from the 1st day
of October to the close of the season o f navigation at the rate of $65 per month.
Sec. 2. Ordinary seamen shall receive at the rate of $30 per month from
the opening of navigation to October 1, and at the rate o f $40 per month from
October 1 to the close of navigation.
Sec. B. Mates on tow barges o f the larger class (vessels which paid their
mates $70 per month last year) shall receive $70 per month for the entire season.
Mates on other barges shall receive not less than $10 per month more than
seamen on the same vessel, and donkey men $5 per month more than seamen.
Sec. 4. Able-bodied seamen on tow barges shall receive $50 per month until
October 1, and $65 per month from October 1 to the close of navigation.
Sec. 5. Engineers on tow barges carrying towing machines shall receive $70
per month.
See. 6. It is further agreed that the wages on steamers and bar res while
fitting out, and while the crew is not boarded on the vessel, shall be $2 per day.
It is the intention o f the parties to this agreement that the Lake Seamen’s
Union shall and must furnish and supply all vessels of the Lake Carriers’
Association all the men they require o f the classes mentioned herein, to the
utmost o f their ability.
It is understood that the said Seamen’s Union agrees that it will at all
times use its best efforts and, so far as possible, guarantee a sufficient number
o f men to carry out this contract to the satisfaction o f the Lake Carriers’
Association; and, further, that the said Seamen’s Union will not order or
allow7 its members to go on strike for any cause.
In witness whereof, the Lake Carriers’ Association, by its executive com­
mittee, as aforesaid, has caused this contract to be made on its behalf, and the
said Lake Seamen’s Union has caused this agreement to be subscribed and




10

EM PLO YM EN T1 SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS* ASSOCIATION.

entered into on its behalf by its representatives, whose names are also hereto
subscribed, at the city of Cleveland, this 13th clay of April, 1907.
T h e L a k e C a r r i e r s ’ A s s o c i a t io n ^

By W . L i v i n g s t o n e , President.
T

L a k e Se a m e n ’s U n io n ,

he

By W m . P e n j e , {secretary.
V . A . Olander.
W . H . Je n k in s .
W

m

. Cu rry.

T

homas

V

al

F

red

D

H

G eo. H
T

h os.

D.
A

L esteb.

uster.
uehns.
ansen.

J. M

cC o y .

C. H a n se n .

lex.

M

cK e c h n i e .

OBJECTS AND A C T IV IT IE S OF TH E LA K E CARRIERS’
ASSOCIATION.

The Lake Carriers’ Association is composed of vessel owners and
managers operating vessels upon the Great Lakes, principally vessels
carrying iron ore, coal, and grain, which articles make up the bulk
7
of the tonnage on the Lakes. No member of the Association is
engaged in the passenger traffic. This Association has existed in one
form or another since 1886. In 1903 it was incorporated in its present
7
form under the laws of West Virginia, and in that same year entered
into its first agreement with the Lake Seamen’s Union. The general
objects for which it was organized are, according to Section II I of
its articles of incorporation:
“ To establish and maintain shipping offices for the convenient secur­
ing of seamen for vessels on the Great Lakes, their connecting and
tributary waters-; to establish and maintain and procure the establish­
ment and maintenance of aids to navigation, and improve and secure
the improvement of channels, docks, wharves, loading and unload­
ing, and terminal facilities; to establish and maintain by contract or
otherwise such amicable relations between employers and employed
as will avoid the public injury that w
rould result from lockouts and
strikes in the lake carrying service; to provide for the prompt and
amicable adjustment of matters affecting shipping and the interests
of vessel owners of the Great Lakes and their connecting and tribu­
tary waters; and to lease, rent, purchase, or sell such real or personal
property as may be necessary or convenient in carrying out the fore­
going purposes.” 1
1 Statement of Geo. A. .Marr, secretary of the Lake Carriers’ Association, before the
United States Commission on Industrial Relations. Final Report and Testimony, vol. 2,
p. 1232; also in Monthly Bulletin of the American Iron and Steel Bulletin (June, 1915),
vol. 3, p. 153.




ACTIVITIES OF THE LAKE CARRIERS* ASSOCIATION.

11

The Association had in 1916 a membership of 64 vessel owners or
managers, who operated 414 boats (379 steamers and 35 barges).
Only about one-fifth of the freight-carrying vessels on the Lakes are
operated by members of the Association, but this constitutes the great
bulk of the tonnage. The gross registered tonnage for 1916 was
2,013,962 tons. In 1914, according to the statement of the secretary
of the Association before the United States Commission on Industrial
Relations, the Association had a membership of 50 owners or man­
agers, operating 450 vessels, with a gross registered tonnage of ap­
proximately 2,000,000 tons and requiring for full operation about
12,000 men to man. The secretary stated that this was 80 per cent
of the total gross registered tonnage on the Lakes, but, in point of
number, that it involved only 20 per cent of the vessels.1 Since that
time the amount of tonnage has remained about the same, while the
number of owners and the number of vessels have decreased consider­
ably. In 1916 the total number of men necessary at any one time to
man the Association’s fleets was about 12,000, as compared to about
10,500 three years ago.
Since there are at present nearly 20,000 sailors on the Great Lakes,2
it is evident that the Lake Carriers’ Association actually employs
slightly more than half of the sailors on the Lakes in the manning of
its one-fifth of the vessels, which make up, however, four-fifths of the
tonnage on the Lakes.
The Association’s annual report for 1916 states that in that year
19,787 sailors w
rere registered in the welfare plan.3 I f both these
estimates are correct, it means that almost all of the sailors on the
Lakes (including all the union sailors) are now registered under the
welfare plan. This is hardly probable, but the conclusion seems
unavoidable that in order to obtain employment a majority of the
union sailors have found it necessary to register under the welfare
plan.
The most important—indeed the dominating—member of the As­
sociation is now and has been from the beginning the Pittsburg
Steamship Co., a subsidiary of the United States Steel Corporation.
This company operates 102 vessels, or about one-fourth of the total
number of boats in the Association. The gross tonnage of its boats
is 481,562 tons, which is about one-fourth the total tonnage con­
trolled by the Association.4 Measured in terms of carrying capacity
per season, the predominance of the Pittsburg Steamship Co. is
1 United States Commission on Industrial Relations. Final Report and Testimony
(Hearings of May 18, 1914), vol. 2, pp. 1232, 1233, 1240.
2 Furuseth, Andrew, president of the International Seamen’ s U nion: American Sea
Tower and the Seamen’s Act (1917), p. 8. He says the number is “ about 19,456,” of
which 9,728 are members of the marine unions.
8 See p. 28.
* Lake Carriers’ Association— List of Members, 1916.




12

EM PLO YM EN T SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS* ASSOCIATION.

still greater. Although it controls but one-fourth of the Association’s
tonnage, it has a carrying capacity for the navigation season of about
one-third of the Association’s tonnage, on account of the fact that
this company is able to get better dispatch than others at the load­
ing and unloading docks.
* WELFARE PLAN ” OF THE LAKE CARRIERS' ASSOCIA­
TION.
As early as 1893 the Lake Carriers’ Association, then an unincor­
porated organization, established shipping offices in various lake
ports, and in 1901 it had drawn up a plan for the establishment in the
principal ports of “ club rooms ” for the use of the seamen, as well
as forms of mutual insurance and death benefits. a Before the plan
could be put into effect, however, some of the unions,” according to
what is apparently an official statement of the Association, “ proposed
to undertake this feature of the work, and the plan was laid aside.
Contracts were made with various unions to supply all men below
the grade of officers, the unions promising to deal justly in cases
of injury, disability, or death in service. The result of this experi­
ment was complete failure.” 1
In the spring of 1908 the plan was somewhat elaborated and its
provisions put into effect in the lake ports and on the Association’s
vessels with the opening of navigation and simultaneously with the
announcement by the Association of . its adoption of the “ open-shop
principle.” The open-shop resolution, adopted April 9, 1908, by a
unanimous vote, was as follows:
1. That the owners o f ships on the Great Lakes do now declare that the
open-shop principle be adopted and adhered to on our ships.
2. That the Lake Carriers’ Association stands for the foregoing principle.
3. That the matter be referred to the executive committee, with full power
to act and carry out this principle.
4. That ft should be the aim o f the committee in the means they shall adopt
to recognize a fair and equitable rate of wages, to insist upon such regulations
as shall promote the comfort and well-being of the employees, shall put the dis­
cipline of the ship in the hands of her executive officers, and, tendering liberal,
appropriate wages and conditions, requiring in response appropriate, diligent,
and prompt service from the members of the crew.
5. And at this meeting, representing 91 per cent of the tonnage o f the Asso­
ciation, as a definite and specific support to the committee, it is voted to adhere
to and observe this action, referring also any and all special cases to the com­
mittee.2
1 “ Welfare work of the Lake Carriers’ Association,” Monthly Bulletin of the Amer­
ican Iron and Steel Institute (June, 1915), vol. 3, p. 157.
2 Monthly Bulletin of the American. Iron and Steel Institute (June, 1915), vol. 3,
p. 157.




“ WELFARE PLAN ” OF THE LAKE CARRIERS * ASSOCIATION.

13

The complete text of the welfare plan is as follows:
I. ASSEM BLY BOOMS.1

These shall be established in such principal ports on the Lakes as tho special
committee, acting responsible to the executive committee, shall from time to time
docide. These rooms shall be clean, bright, and attractive, with good sanitary
provisions, and furnished with current newspapers, magazines, and, as they may
be secured, with libraries. They will be provided with writing materials, as­
sistance in the writing of letters, reliable places of address for letters, and have
similar conveniences. For the privilege of their use, under reasonable rules for
proper use, the charge shall be at the rate of $1 per year to seamen and a some­
what larger charge to officers, available to all officers and seamen who have
the certificate of recommendation as such from the Association; and the revo­
cation of such certificate shall debar further use of the assembly rooms under
the certificate.
II. CERTIFICATES OB CAEDS.

Any officer or seaman applying for a certificate or recommendation of the
Lake Carriers’ Association must declare himself willing and pledge himself
to discharge his lawful duties toward the ship on which employed, regardless
of membership or affiliation on his own part or that o f any other member o f
the officers and crew with any union or association o f any hind; and these
certificates once given must be revocable in the discretion o f the Association
upon such information as it shall have received and requiring that its con­
sideration and decision o f the matter shall be exclusive and final*
III. ISSU ING CERTIFICATES.

In putting the system in operation, certificates o f competence will be granted
as a matter of course to holders of Government licenses according to the grades
of the license. There will be then two other grades of certificates, to ablebodied seamen and to ordinary seamen.
The regular certificate, below licensed officer, will be issued in the first in­
stance and, until record in discharge book can be presented, to any seaman
upon his own representation as to previous service, supported by such informa­
tion as the issuing officer can obtain, preferably the recommendation of at least
one licensed officer, and conditioned on the pledge of the applicant that his rep­
resentations are true and that he will faithfully perform all lawful duties
without reference to membership or affiliation of himself or other members of
officers and crew in any union or association whatsoever, with the discretion
and authority in the Association to revoke its certificate o f recommendation on
such information as shall have come to it.
IV. BECOBD DISCHABGE BOOKS.

To insure reliability, the certificate will be limited to one year so as to cover
a season of navigation. A t the time of issuing the certificate, and except as
to masters and chief engineers, the Association record discharge book, bearing
1 Monthly Bulletin o f the Iron and Steel Institute, June, 1915, pp. 157-160. Text o f
the plan also published in— United States Congress hearings (Feb. 17, 1910) before the
House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, “ Better protection of lives of pas­
sengers and seamen,” pp. 6 0 -6 3 ; Cause of the Seamen’s Strike (a pamphlet reprint), p. 12
et seq. The italics are not in the original.




14

EM PLOYM ENT SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS* ASSOCIATION.

the same number as the certificate, tcill be put in the hands of the holder, to
be deposited by him at the time o f signing articles with the master or chief
engineer, according to the department of service. In this book such executive
officer will at the termination of the service on the ship, enter a discharge, and
in the appropriate column a statement o f the character of service. I f this
entry be “ good ” or “ /a ir ,” the book shall be returned direct to the man, but
tohen, in the best judgment o f the officer with whom the book is deposited, such
entry can not ju stly be made, and in every case of desertion or failure to
serve after engaging, the book shall be returned by the master to the secretary
of the Association, together with a statement of explanation from the officer
with %ohom the book was deposited. The Association will thereupon take such
action and in such manner as it may deem wise and ju st as to canceling its
outstanding certificate.
V. DEATH EXPENSE RELIEF.

The Association realizes the difficulties which have come in cases of accidental
death to families, relatives, and friends from the absence of some immediate
provision for expense, as well as in the case of shipwreck, which we treat in
the next paragraph.
In case of death from accident incident to employment— that is to say, on
board or in line of duty to any ship included in its membership— the Associa­
tion will pay sums as stated in the schedule given below, but according to the
grade of actual employment at the time the accident occurred, without refer­
ence to cause or any bearing or effect whatsoever on legal claim or liability
concerning the same. No proof or condition of any kind shall be required be­
yond the facts that the accident occurred, no matter from what cause or in
what manner, on board or in performance of the duty of a ship included in
our membership, and that the man held the certificate and book of the Asso­
ciation.
VI. SHIPW RECK.

In case of shipwreck it has been usual, though not legally required, for the
owner to give or advance some sum on account of lost effects and return to
port of shipment. The Association takes the responsibility to the extent stated
below of such payments or advances being promptly made to holders of its
certificates and book in cases of Lake Carriers’ ships, and will be promptly an­
swerable for the owner in such cases, returning each man to the port of ship­
ment or meeting the expense of each man to the amount of the usual expense
to his place of shipment, the man having the option to go to any other place
and have or apply the amount; and also, when his effects are lost, it will be
answerable for prompt advancement up to §50 and $80 in the case, respectively,
of licensed officer and other member of crew, without foreclosing or affecting
any legal rights concerning any claim for a greater sum.
V II.

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS.

In order that these objects may be intelligently carried out, the applicant of
necessity is required to give the necessary information as to previous service
and to designate the beneficiaries, not necessarily dependents, as definitely as
possible, not to be changed after once made, except through the officers of the
Association, of all which, and of cards issued and other matters of detail, the
secretary will keep appropriate record with any other necessary matters as to
forfeiture of tickets, etc., all of which is matter of detail. An important point
in this respect is the protection of a holder of a card in his own use of the




“ WELFARE PLAN ” OF THE LAKE CARRIERS’ ASSOCIATION.

15

assembly rooms, and insures the promptest possible payment of the aids in
case of death and shipwreck, and generally to guard against any attempted
imposition.
Resolved, That, subject to the rules printed below, the Lake Carriers’ Asso­
ciation will pay, without^ charge to the employee, for total disablement or
death occurring to any employee by drowning or other accident on board
or directly in the service of any vessel included in the membership of the
Association, benefits according to the following scale, but in every instance the
benefit to be according to the grade and capacity of the employment at the
actual time of the accident:
scale.

M a ster__________________________________$500.00
Chief engineer________ $400. 00
Third engineer__________ $150. 00
First mate____________ 250. 00
Stew ard________________
150. 00
Second engineer_____
250. 00
Able-bodied seaman____
100. 00
Second m a te _________
150.00
Ordinary seaman_______
75. 00
RULES.

1.
The benefit shall be paid only to and in respect of an officer or seaman
who has a current, unrevoked certificate, or card of recommendation, and,
except in case of master and chief engineer, a record discharge book of the As­
sociation, and has made designation of beneficiary, and shall be on account of
accident resulting in death occurring within one year or in total disablement,
as defined below, while a member of her crew on board or in performing the
duties of a ship included in the membership of the Association. Total disable­
ment is defined as where a man loses one foot or one hand by complete sever­
ance at or above the ankle or wrist, or by the destruction of the sight of both
eyes.
% Whenever information comes to the president of the death, by accident
on a Lake Carriers’ vessel, of one having a certificate or card and book of the
Association, he may direct the treasurer to pay out at once not exceeding onehalf the amount of the benefit nor more than $50, in any case, for burial
or other expense,w
and the balance, or the whole, if no such advance be made,
shall be paid by the treasurer as promptly as facts can be obtained, by the
officials of the Association, of the accident and the death or disablement, such
settling payment to be made only to the beneficiary or beneficiaries designated
in writing by the deceased employee at the time of receiving a certificate or
card, or as changed according to the provisions in his application. In case
of total disablement, the sum shall be paid to such disabled person as and at
such times as he may request.
3. The benefit is intended and shall be free of charge or expense to the
employee or the party to whom it is paid, and nothing further is required than
that the accident occurred in course of employment in a ship in the member­
ship of the Association to a person having its unrevoked certificate or card and
books. This does not relieve or in any manner affect the legal liability of the
ship or owner.
4. In case of shipwreck, the Lake Carriers’ Association will be responsible
that each member of the crew who has its certificate or card and its record
book unrevoked shall be returned to or have from the owner the cost of return
to his place of shipment, and where his effects have been lost, that he shall
promptly receive up to $50 in the case of licensed officer and $30 in the case
« f other members of the crew, without impairment of any legal right to a
greater sum.

12019°— 18— Bull. 235-------2




16

EM PLO YM EN T SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS7 ASSOCIATION.

Since the inauguration of the plan night schools have been estab­
lished at several ports in connection with* the assembly rooms and
also a savings-bank plan for the encouragement of the saving of
at least a portion of the sailors’ earnings. An amendment to the
plan which is much more pertinent to the present inquiry is the
system of registration which was inaugurated in 1909 “ in the effort
to promote efficiency, to conduce to permanent employment and thus
to create among the men an incentive for promotion.” “ This system
of registration,” continues the Association statement, “ embodied the
issuance of certificates of competency to able and ordinary seamen,
and in lieu of single discharges on single sheets, w'hich are readily
subject to loss, there was issued a discharge book containing a contin­
uous credential or record of service, noting the names of the steamers
upon which the holder had served, the capacity or rating in which he
served, date of employment and discharge and notation as to the
character of his service over the signature or the officer under whom
he served.” 1
The text of the welfare plan itself, together with the “ open-shop *
”
declaration and the official statements of the Lake Carriers’ Associa­
tion in regard to its system of registration and concerning its objects
and purposes in general, shows its formal character and method of
operation so far as the employment and registration features are
concerned. It is with these features that this report is primarily
concerned.
OBJECTIONS BY UNIONS TO THE WELFARE PLAN.
The seamen’s unions in the Lakes district are very skeptical of
welfare work in general, and in particular of that done by the
Lake Carriers’ Association. Their objection to the plan as a whole—
to its benevolent welfare features as well as to its employment and
registration features—is intensified to bitter antagonism by the
belief that the first feature is merely a sugar coating to make
more easy the swallowing of the second. The unions consider wel­
fare work, as such, of doubtful value, but feel that it is positively
harmful and demoralizing when used, as they believe it to be used
by the Lake Carriers’ Association, to make effective an open-shop,
blacklisting, strike-breaking policy. Their criticism is directed
against those features of the plan which they believe operate to
break strikes, to blacklist union men, and to crush unionism among
the seamen. They allege that the assembly rooms are virtually
employment offices for the shipment of, preferably, nonunion men;
1 “ Welfare work of the Lake Carriers’ Association,” Monthly Bulletin of the American
Iron and Steel Institute (June, 1915), vol. 3, p. 163. Practically the game description
o f the registration system was given by the secretary of the Lake Carriers’ Association
to the United States Commission on Industrial Relations, Final Report and Testimony,
vol. 2, p. 1234,




OBJECTIONS BY U NIO N S TO TH E WELFARE PLAN.

17

that the registration and diseharge-book system constitutes an effec­
tive black list; and that the scheme thus becomes a wholesale strike­
breaking system.
It is not easy to determine exactly to what extent these charges
are true. For example, when a man is discharged the union men will
almost invariably charge that the cause assigned, incompetence, say,
is not the real cause, but merely a cloak for the elimination of a
union man, while the officers of the association just as vehemently
declare that the cause given is*the real one.
The union sailors1 have been convinced from the very inception of
the welfare plan that it represented simply a steel trust blow at
unionism. They firmly believe that the United States Steel Cor­
poration has dictated the labor and employment policy of the Lake
Carriers’ Association. The Pittsburg Steamship Co. is a subsidiary
of the Steel Corporation, and at the same time it is the dominating
element in the Lake Carriers’ Association. There is no formal or
tangible connection between the Steel Corporation’s administration
of its own welfare work and that of the Association. That there is
any connection—tangible or intangible—is specifically denied not only
by officials of the corporation but also by representatives of the Asso­
ciation, and of the Pittsburg Steamship Co. The New York office of
the Steel Corporation does, not give any instructions or make any sug­
gestions to its subsidiary in the Lake Carriers’ Association in regard
to the labor policy it should advocate in the councils of the Associa­
tion. Nevertheless there is a quite prevalent conviction in the Lakes
district, and particularly among the sailors, that the labor and wel­
fare policy of the Association is shaped by the Steel Corporation.
Such dictation as is here alleged by the unions may conceivably be
exercised without written instructions or formal agreements. The
unions think it quite sufficiently indicative of dictation that Mr. Harry
Coulby, president of the Pittsburg Steamship Co. and member of the
executive committee of the Lake Carriers’ Association, advocates an
open-shop labor policy which is essentially the same as the labor
policy of the United States Steel Corporation. The naming of the
presidents of its subsidiary companies appears to be in the hands of
the Steel Corporation. Mr. Percival Roberts, jr., a director of the
corporation, has stated that very likely the United States Steel Cor­
poration proposes the names of the presidents of subsidiary companies
and has intimated that perhaps Judge Gary suggests the names.2
President Coulby, as already stated,- is a member of the executive com1 The word “ sailors” (or “ seamen” ) is used in a comprehensive sense to include the
entire vessel crew, i. e., marine cooks, stewards, firemen, oilers, water tenders, etc., as well
as those in the deck department.
2 United States Congress. Hearings before the House Committee on the Investigation
o f the United States Steel Corporation, Vol. I, p. 333.




18

EM PLOYM ENT1 SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS* ASSOCIATION.

mittee of the Lake Carriers’ Association, and statements of other offi­
cials of that Association, as well as of union seamen, indicate that he
is the dominating personality of the Association. He is an emphatic
believer in the principle of the open shop. His influence in shaping
the policies of the Association is due to (1) his marked personal
qualities as a leader and executive, (2) his position at the head of the
largest fleet on the Lakes, and (3) his connection, through this posi­
tion, with the United States Steel Corporation. Mr. Coulby has had
much to do with the determination of the labor policy of the Associa­
tion since 1903, when he became president of the Pittsburg Steamship
Co. He initiated the open-shop policy in 1908, when his company
refused to deal longer with the Lake Seamen’s Union, and brought the
other members of the Association into line with the same policy.
The seamen’s unions of the Lakes district have carried on a more
or less active campaign against the welfare plan ever since its in­
ception. On May 1, 1909, a strike was called against the Lake Car­
riers’ Association. 4 This strike was called,” said Mr. V. A. Olander,
4
T
the secretary of the Lake Seamen’s Union, u because of an attempt by
the Lake Carriers’ Association to compel all seamen to renounce the
unions and to submit to a so-called 4welfare plan ’ inaugurated by
the Lake Carriers.” This strike continued for three years. Although
the strike was not declared off until 1912, it had very little influence
after 1910. By the end of that season the unions on the Great Lakes
were almost completely disrupted. Since that time, although the
unions have ceased to be influential factors on the Lakes, they have
nevertheless carried on an almost continuous agitation against the
welfare plan.
The unions insist that, in spite of the welfare plan, and on the
whole because of it, labor conditions on the Lakes are not only highly
unsatisfactory but that the period of the welfare plan has not wit­
nessed, as the vessel owners claim, any marked general improvement
in the real welfare of the lake seamen. There has been a very
noticeable betterment of sanitary and living conditions aboard the
boats—especially on the larger boats— as well as an increase in
the money wages of seamen. The union officials recognize this, but
they insist that, despite the material comforts gained as a result of
the welfare work of the Association, the sailors are really worse off
than during the period of joint agreements. They are worse off,
say the union men, because they are less free, being subject to k
system of virtual espionage and under constant apprehension of the
black list. The average sailor, according to union officials, is no
better satisfied with his job now than he has been in the past, as is
evidenced by the continued high turnover of labor on the Lakes.1




i See p. 31.

OBJECTIONS BY U NIONS TO TH E WELFARE PLAN.

19

The statements of commissioners and other officials of the Lake
Carriers’ Association confirm the implication of the text of the
welfare plan, that unless labor is exceedingly scarce no man can
get employment on any of the Association’s vessels except as a
“ welfare man.” That is to say, he can not get a job unless he goes
to one of the Association assembly rooms (or “ shipping offices,” as
they are more commonly called by the sailors), signs an application,
takes out a “ welfare book ”— as the Association labels its discharge
book—and accepts work under whatever ship captain or engineer
he may be sent to by the “ commissioner” (or shipping master).
Since the Association controls the bulk (80 per cent) of the tonnage
and employs more than half of the seamen on the Great Lakes, its
welfare and registration plan actually means that if a man wants to
get a job as sailor on the Lakes he is very likely to be under the
necessity of shipping as one of the Association’s “ welfare men ” and
of accepting in consequence the conditions of employment dictated
by that Association. At all events a majority of the lake seamen seem
to have found it necessary to register under the welfare plan.
The procedure, according to the text of the plan,1 is simple enough.
The sailor goes to the shipping office and applies to the “ commis­
sioner” for work. If labor is scarce, and there is a heavy demand
for men, he may have a chance to get on a boat without enrolling
under the welfare plan. Under normal conditions, however, he will
be refused consideration and turned away unless he signs up with
the Association. In order to be enrolled under the welfare plan and
secure the Association’s certificate of membership (without which he
is practically prevented from obtaining employment on lake boats)
the sailor must fill out an application blank2 requesting the priv­
ileges of the assembly rooms; stating what his experience has been,
and in what capacity and on what vessel he was last employed; and
further stating that he “ pledges that from engagement on any vessel
included in the membership of the Lake Carriers’ Association he will
perform all his lawful duties, regardless of whether any officer or
member of the crew may or may not be a member of any union or
association, failure in which shall be good ground, in the final discre­
tion of the Lake Carriers’ Association, for revocation of this card.”
The applicant pays on admission $1 for annual dues to the Asso­
ciation. For this sum he is entitled to the privileges and conveniences
of the assembly rooms at the different lake ports, not only during
the closed season, but also at any time during the season of naviga­
tion when he may be out of work. For the open season this member­
ship entitles the sailor to apply to the assembly-room commis­
sioner for work on the Association’s vessels. The ship captains apply




1 See pp. 1 3 -1 5 .
2 R e p rod u ced in A p p e n d ix A , p. 41.

20

EM PLO YM EN T SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS7 ASSOCIATION.

to the commissioner when fitting out their boats at the opening of
the navigation season or at any time when in need of men. In so
far, then, as employment work is done in the assembly rooms, these
rooms are rightly described as shipping offices and the commissioners
as shipping masters. The assembly rooms, being places for the buy­
ing and the selling of “ seafaring ” labor, are comparable to the ordi­
nary factory employment bureau, except that (1) the job seeker does
not pay a specific fee for each job and (2) the commissioner does not
formally hire the man. Despite these differences the assembly rooms
are essentially shipping or employment bureaus.
Officials of the Lake Carriers’ Association emphatically deny that
the assembly rooms are shipping offices, inasmuch as their commis­
sioners do not hire the men. It is the captain of the boat who
does the actual hiring. He merely gets in touch with the supply of
eligible men through the commissioner. Of one thing the unions feel
certain: That these Association shipping offices put more restrictions
on the freedom of purchase and sale of labor than do the ordinary
plant employment agencies. The captain of an Association boat may
not go where he will for sailors. Pie must go to one of the Associa­
tion’s assembly rooms and select his men from among those who have
registered as explained above. The freedom of the sailor in seeking
work is even more restricted. He can not go direct to the ship cap­
tain ; at any rate, he may not apply to him unless he has first become a
c welfare man.” Even his registration does not usually permit him
c
to choose freely the boat on which he will ship. That is settled
by the commissioner and the ship captains who want help.

The foregoing is true as to normal conditions and when labor is
plentiful. The practice when there is a scarcity of labor is some­
what different. Then the ship captain is often permitted to hire
men who have not registered. This is done, however, only on the
rather definite understanding—or at least with the definite inten­
tion—of. having such men register under the welfare plan at the end
of their first voyage. There appears to be no formal regulation laid
down by the Association to the effect that sailors must register under
the welfare plan, but pressure has been exerted to that end through
the captains and chief engineers on the vessels. Mr. George A. Marr,
secretary of the Association, in a letter dated August 23, 1911, says
that “ there is no requirement on the part of the Lake Carriers’
Association that men shall belong to the welfare plan in order to
secure employment on the vessels other than that the officers of the
boats insist that men employed on their vessels be welfare men, and
where a man not so registered is sent to the vessel from our assem­
bly rooms they make some complaint.” 1 Mr. Livingstone, presi­
dent of the Association, emphatically denied that a man must be a




*See Appendix A, p. 42.

OBJECTIONS BY U NIONS TO THE WELFARE PLAN.

21

member of the welfare plan in order to be employed on one of the
Association’s vessels. He qualified his denial, however, by adding:
“ It would be natural for us to favor the welfare-plan men some­
what unconsciously. Why? Because they come to us and have
conformed to our rules, and they stay with us, and the result is that
they seem to sympathize with our way of doing business. Now, it is
human nature, perhaps, to favor them a little, but so far as any rule
going forth, or so far as any instructions going out is concerned, there
is nothing.” 1 In an earlier official letter of instruction, dated May
6, 1908, and signed by the president of the Association, all its mem­
ber vessel owners and managers were urged to have the officers of
their vessels ship their men according to the procedure specified in
the welfare plan.
RESULTS OF TH E W ELFA R E PLAN.

The merits of the charge that the Association makes use of the
machinery of the welfare plan to discriminate against the lake
unions are very difficult of estimation. The available evidence indi­
cates that, without the slightest imputation of insincerity on the
part of the Association in its professions of a genuinely benevolent
neutrality toward the unions, the general effect of the welfare plan
in the actual administration of its provisions by the general officers
of the Association, its commissioners, and those in authority on the
Association’s boats is discriminatory toward the unions. No matter
how disinterestedly neutral the Association means to be, the obvious
result has been the elimination of union men, the importation of
strike breakers, and the virtual exercise of the power of the black
list. The present situation bears out this statement. It was found in
this investigation that the American sailors are, and have been for
several years, leaving the Lakes in increasing numbers to take jobs
ashore. American sailors, it is true, continue well in the majority,
only one-fourth of the shipments on Association boats in 1916 being
of foreigners.2 Doubtless this proportion would be larger were it
not for the European war. The seriousness of the situation lies in
the fact that the proportion of American seamen on the Great Lakes
seems to be diminishing gradually. It is also very evident that the
Lake unions are no longer the power they once were on the Lakes.3
DISCHARGE BOOK.

The crux of the union’s complaint is to be found in the continuousdischarge-book system of registering, shipping, rating, and discharg­
1 U n ited S ta tes C ongress.
H ea rin g s (F eb . 17, 1 9 1 0 ) b e fo re th e H ou se C om m ittee on
M e r ch a n t M a rin e a n d F ish eries, “ B e tte r p r o te c tio n o f liv e s o f p a ssen gers a n d seam en ,”
p. 26.
2 See A p p e n d ix B , pp. 48, 49.
3 See p . 18.




22

EM PLOYM ENT SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS* ASSOCIATION.

ing men. This really constitutes the employment-office feature of the
welfare plan. The discharge book, or “ welfare book,5 is the prop­
5
erty of the Association and is a prerequisite to and an official recom­
mendation for service on the Association’s vessels. The inside front
cover of the “ able seaman’s ” discharge book No. 53354, issued at
Ashtabula, Ohio, on May 9, 1916, bears the statement that the holder
“ is competent to perform the duties of able-bodied seaman.” This
is followed by “ his pledge to perform his lawful duties * * *
faithfully and regardless of whether any member of the officers or
crew may or may not be members of or affiliated with any union or
association.” On the flyleaf is the statement, signed by the president
and secretary, that “ this book is the property of the Lake Carriers’
Association and is subject to revocation for violation of the pledge
and conditions contained in the application of the holder for the use
of the Lake Carriers’ assembly rooms.” On the next two pages of
the discharge book are printed the following statements :
R e co g n izin g the m u tu a l good to be accom p lish ed b y k eepin g w ith re g u la rity
a re co rd o f the services o f th e officers and crew s on th e ships, the L a k e C ar­
rie r s ’ A s s o cia tio n h as a d op ted th is fo rm o f d isch a rge book. E x ce p t m aster
and c h ie f engineer, th is w ill be pu t in the han ds o f each m an on h is ob ta in ­
in g a L a k e C a rrie rs ’ ca r d o r certifica te and m u st be d ep osited on sign­
in g a rticle s w ith th e m aster o r ch ie f engineer, a cco rd in g to dep a rtm en t o f
service. It shall be the d u ty o f su ch officer to en ter in th is b o o k th e tim e
a nd ca p a city o f em p loym en t and its term in a tion , a nd fill in the bla n k s
fo r disch a rge, n ever fa ilin g to m ake en try o f the ch a ra cter o f service
in the colu m n “ C h a ra cter o f se rv ice .”
G reat ca re and fairn ess, and also
firm ness, sh ou ld b e e x e rcise d in th is d u ty b eca u se on th is re co rd w ill'
la rg e ly depend th e ren ew a l or even the con tin u a n ce o f the recom m en d a tion
w h ich th e L a k e C a rrie rs ’ A s s o cia tio n ca n give. T h e en tries fo r con ven ien ce
m ay be “ go o d ” o r “ f a ir ,” as th e case m a y be, in the b est ju d g m en t o f th e
m aster o r c h ie f en gineer, w ith any w ord s o f exp la n a tion , and the b ook retu rn ed
to the person n am ed th erein w h ere the en try is “ good ” or “ f a ir ,” b u t in oth er
cases, and in all o f d esertion or v iola tion o f the pled ge and con d ition s n oted
below , the m a ster shall retu rn the book to the secretary o f th e A ssocia tion ,
tog eth er w ith his o r th e c h ie f en gin eer’s ex p la n a tion . T h e h older o f the b ook
shou ld keep it ca re fu lly , as a d u p licate w ill n ot be issu ed e x cep t u pon th e
s a tis fa cto ry evid en ce o f loss o f th is w ith o u t fa u lt, and in ca se o f lo s s th e
h old er sh ou ld g ive prom p t n otice th ereof to the A s s o cia tio n a nd m ake app li­
ca tion fo r a du plicate.
R ecom m en d a tion b y th e L a k e C a rrie rs ’ A s s o cia tio n
m ust n ecessa rily be b a sed v e ry la rg e ly on the record o f service, and it w ill
dou b tless be ca lled f o r on a p p lica tion f o r em p loym en t and so p rov e o f g rea t
valu e to a ca pa b le man.
NOTE.

A tten tion is ca lled to th e fa c t th at the certifica te or ca rd o f recom m en d a tion
b y the L a k e C a rrie rs ’ A s s o cia tio n is b ased and con d ition ed upon th e pled ge
and agreem ent o f the h old er th at he w ill fa ith fu lly d isch a rge all th e du ties
o f his em p loym en t on any vessel in clu d ed in th e m em b ersh ip o f the L a k e
C a rrie rs ’ A sso cia tion and rega rd less o f w h eth er an y m em ber o f the officers or
cre w shall or sh all n ot be a m em ber o f a n y u n ion or oth er a ssocia tion w h a tso­




23

DISCHARGE BOOK.

e v e r ; th a t th e recom m en d a tion in th e d iscretion o f the L a k e C a rriers’ A sso­
cia tio n m ay be reca lled or revok ed fo r v io la tio n o f th e con d ition s u pon such
in fo rm a tio n as it m ay deem s a tis fa cto ry .

The body of the discharge book is made up of blank ruled pages
on which are recorded the details for each vessel on which the holder
sails—the name of the vessel, capacity in which shipped, month and
day of entering and leaving1 service, character of service, and the
signature of the chief officer. Following are reprints of the first
pages from discharge books No. 40637 (1909) and No. 53354 (1916),
respectively:
[Discharge book 40637, 1909.]

1

R

ecord

S e r v ic e

of

and

Entered
service.

Fran cis Widlnr.
N ep tu n e .

.....

Left
service.

Month. Day.

Name of vessel.

D

is c h a r g e s .

Month. D ay.

Character
of service.

Capacity.

......

M ay

23

J u ly

1
2

W heelm an.

Sept.

9

Sept.

19

A .B

1

T.

DtJTPD<* \
3

A

*1

Very good.

Signature of
chief officer.

F . A . R obinson.
Geo. D u p u ie .

T

M

[Discharge book 53354, 1916.]

1

R

ecord

of

S e r v ic e

and

Entered
service.

Left
service.

Month. D ay.

Name of vessel.

1

D is c h a r g e s .

Month. Day.

Character
of service.

Capacity.

Signature of
chief officer.

ABLE SEAMAN.
Government Certificate No. 5 7 1 7 2

io-m

E . V . S a n d ers.. W atchm an.

A p r.

Thos. Maytham ........d o ------

June

1

June

June

16

June

23

G ood

......

G ood

......

6

......

Charles Hubbard W a tc




u

M ay

T. S. Ellis.
John

M.

Lohr.

John H off.

24

EM PLO YM EN T SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS* ASSOCIATION.

No. 40637 bears the renewal stamp, affixed on payment of annual
dues. Each book is provided with a pocket in which is kept the
holder’s shipping certificate (“ able seaman’s card,” “ ordinary sea­
man’s card,” etc., as the case might be), which also bears the socalled antiunion pledge, and an “ identification card,” called, as re­
cently as 1908, a “ shipping card.” 1
In regard to the use of these books the seamen’s union declares
that the sailors are subjected to what amounts to a system of espion­
age; that they have less freedom than formerly in that their move­
ntents are restricted; and that their service records are made to de­
pend upon the caprice and personal feeling of the ship’s mate or
chief engineer. Even were there no shadow of antiunion feeling or
policy on the part of the general officers of the Association, there
is evidence that its ship captains and local commissioners do discrimi­
nate against union men,2 always having as they do a convenient pre­
text for getting rid of union men by simply rating them low and thus,
in effect, blacklisting them. A shipping card issued by the Associa­
tion on June 1, 1908, to Willard Hare bears this service statement
signed by H. J. Regan, master of the steamer Malaafa: 6 Shipped
4
May 30, 1909. Good wheelsman, but had too much to* say about
union.” More recent documentary evidence on this point is very
scarce. The fact is that in recent years the policy of the Association
has been to have the ship captains make merely a noncommittal entry
or draw a line in the proper space if a good rating can not be given.
ATTITUDE OF THE LAKE CARRIERS* ASSOCIATION
TOWARD UNIONS.
During the earlier years of the welfare plan there was more open
maneuvering agafnst the unions than there has been in recent years.
This fact accounts for the comparative scarcity of recent documents
indicating discrimination.
The following copy of a letter from Mr. John Mitchell, one of the
large vessel managers in the Association, gives some idea of the pre­
vailing attitude toward the unions at the time of the inauguration of
the welfare plan:
C l e v e l a n d , O h i o , June 19, 1908.

Capt. F . D . G a l t o n ,

Steam er “ M oses Taylor,”
M ilw aukee, W is.
D e a r S i r : I in clo s e y o u h erew ith cop y o f a le tte r fr o m th e L a k e Carriers*
A sso cia tio n , g iv in g lis t o f the shippin g m a sters’ offices a t the d ifferen t ports.
W h e n y o u are in need o f anyone be su re to ship w h a t m en y ou need th rou g h
th e sh ip pin g offices. W h en y ou find that you h ave any u nion sa ilors a b oa rd
1 F a cs im ile s o f s h ip p in g ce r tifica te s a re g iv e n in A p p e n d ix A , p. 43.
2 See A p p e n d ix C, pp . 5 0 -5 7 .




ATTITUDE OF ASSOCIATION TOWARD THE U N IO N S.

25

who have books, you discharge them unless they give up their books. What
we want to do is to relieve our ships of union men. Be sure to let no walking
delegate go aboard your boat at any time under any circumstances. Keep a
man at the head o f the ladder when in port, and when a man tries to get aboard
your boat ask him his name and what he wishes, and if [he] can not give you
a satisfactory answer do not let him aboard.
I f I find that any delegates get aboard your boat, I am going to ask for your
resignation, unless you have a very good reason for it.
Yours, very truly,
John M

i t c h e l l .1

In the spring of 1908, simultaneously with the launching of the
welfare plan and the promulgation of the open-shop policy, a number
of advertisements appeared in the New York and Philadelphia
papers. For example, the New York World of April 16, 1908,
carried the following:
Seamen (able-bodied), wheelsmen, watchmen, nonunion, to work on the
Great Lakes; good wages, including transportation and subsistence'; write,
stating experience. Address R 420, World.1

In 1910 or 1911 the “ welfare ” man (or if labor should be very
scarce a nonmember) was asked to sign one or the other of the two
following statements:
(1) I declare upon my word of honor that I apply to ship free to act for
myself, not belonging to any union, and in case o f strike, sympathetic or other­
wise, will remain on board and perform my duties in a proper and satisfactory
manner. Also I will have no one under me except as above.
(2) I declare on my word of honor I apply to ship as a union man, free
to observe the rules and instructions of my union.3

This requirement was, however, soon discontinued. The secretary
of the Association explains that the experiment was found to be a
mistake. It is safe to say that the Association is less openly and
aggressively discriminative now than it was at first. In the early
years of the “ welfare period ” it was often impossible for a union
man to gain admission to the “ welfare plan ” unless he first sur­
rendered his union card or signed a statement to the effect that he had
no union affiliations. The first result of this step was to develop sub
rosa unionism among those sailors who really believed in unionism.
It stimulated wholesale deception and evasion on the part of union
sailors. “ In order that their members might get employment on the
Lakes,” according to an official union statement, “ the unions issued
duplicate membership cards, so that the members had a spare card
which they could turn over to captains or shipping masters when too
hard pressed. The officers of the unions advised their members to deny
1 In a s ta te m e n t s u b m itte d b y M r. V. A . O la n d er, s e cre ta ry of th e L a k e S eam en ’ s
U n ion : U n ited S ta tes C on gress. H ea rin g s (F eb . 17, 1 9 1 0 ) b e fo re th e H o u se C o m m ittee o n
M e r ch a n t M a rin e a n d F ish e rie s, “ B e tt e r p r o t e c t io n o f liv e s o f p a sse n g e rs a n d s e a m e n ,"
pp. 47, 48 ; also in C ause o f th e S eam en ’ s S trik e (a p a m p h le t r e p r in t ), p. 2.
2 O th er a d v ertisem en ts a re re p rod u ced in A p p e n d ix A , p. 45.
8 V . A . O la n d er’ s t e s t i m o n y : U n ited S ta tes C ongress. H e a rin g s b e fo re th e H ou se C om ­
m ittee on th e I n v e s tig a tio n o f th e U n ited S ta tes S teel C o rp o ra tio n , V o l. IV , p. 301 3 .




26

EMPLOYMENT' SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS* ASSOCIATION.

they were union men and so avoid a wholesale lockout. This move
left the vessel owners without any sure way of weeding out the
union men. Then they issued instructions that each seaman was
to be required to sign a 6declaration.’ A 4choice ’ was to be given
them between one reading, in effect, 41 am a union man ’ and an­
other, 41 am a nonunion man.’ In self-defense the union men signed
the latter. The 4choice ’ was simply a trap, and upon advice of their
[union] officers nearly every man declined to be caught. Then, in
a desperate endeavor to get rid of the union men, in many instances
seamen were required to take oath renouncing all allegiance to the
unions1 and to swear they would never join a labor organization
as long as they sailed for a living.” 2
The welfare plan, in its actual operation, has had the effect of
throwing union men, especially those inclined to talk unionism
on board ship, back upon the use of assumed names. The business
agent of the Lake SeamenT Union at Cleveland reports that during
s
the first year of the welfare plan he had actually used 21 different
aliases, and that in the 1916 season one member of the union had in
this way accumulated eight different discharge books.
The way in which the plan has impressed union men can best be
described in words used in another part of the official statement just
quoted. “ By this system,” it reads, “ the seamen are to be held in
constant fear of an adverse opinion being rendered against him by
any captain he serves under. Always he must dread that the master
will refuse to return his book when the term of employment is ended.
I f he desires to quit when the captain does not want him to he must
hesitate—terror of being deprived of the book is relied upon to bind
him to the ship. He must not dare resent ill treatment; he must not
complain; under constant espionage, he must live in fear, always
in dread of the fatal mark. The continuous-discharge-book system
is far more cruel than any ordinary black list. The particular sys­
tem chosen by the Lake Carriers is the most outrageous of any we
have ever heard of. Might is to be made right; fear is to be law.” 3
According to another prounion impression of the welfare plan,
each seaman is to be compelled through the continuous-dischargebook system,” “ whether he likes it or not, to carry with him for ex­
amination, the opinions of each captain he has sailed under. * * *
I f he desires to quit when the master does not want him to, he must
hesitate; [his] fear of being deprived of his book is relied upon to
1 R e fe r r in g to th e s ta te m e n t re p rod u ced on p. 46.
2 O fficial s ta tem en t o f th e L akes u n ion s to the J o in t B o a r d o f M e d ia tio n and A r b it r a ­
t io n : U n ited S ta tes C on g ress.
H ea rin g s (F eb . 17, 1 9 1 0 ) b e fo re th e H ou se C om m ittee on
M e rch a n t M a rin e and F ish e rie s, “ B e tte r p r o t e c t io n o f liv e s o f p a sse n ge rs an d seam en ,”
p. 51.
3 Ib id .




ATTITUDE OF ASSOCIATION TOWARD TH E U NIO N S.

27

hold him. He must not dare to resent ill treatment. He must live
in fear, always dreading the fatal mark.” 1
At the present time, as already stated, the Association does not
discriminate so obviously. Indeed, there is almost no apparent dis­
crimination. Not only so, but it is probable that there is to-day less
discrimination of any kind. But it unquestionably continues to be
practiced to a considerable extent by more indirect methods. It is
less direct and formal to-day very largely because the open, ruthless
type of antiunion activity is likely to turn public sympathy to the
unions, while “ welfare work” is becoming increasingly popular.
Some such consideration, as well as an undeniably sincere belief in
welfare work benevolently administered, must have had a part in the
working out of the present policy of the Association.2
I f discrimination is less extensively practiced to-day it is doubtless
due to the fact that it is less necessary (from the standpoint of the
Association) than it was in 1908. The power of the unions has been
pretty thoroughly undermined, with the result that there are fewer
union men to be eliminated. The membership of the International
Seamen’s Union, exclusive of cooks and firemen, from 1908 to 1914,
was as follows: 3
Y ea r.

1908
1909
1910
191
191
191
191

M em b ersh ip .

1
2
3
4

25, 500
16, 800
16,000
16, 000
16, 000
16, 000
16, 000

It must be remembered that these figures include the maritime
unions of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts. There is no doubt
ihat the Lakes district unions have suffered by far the greater part
of this loss. It is said that in 1902 the unions had enrolled every
man on the boats from the captain down. In a pamphlet by the
president of the International Seamen’s Union4 the number of sea­
men (including sailors, cooks, and firemen) in the three unions of
the Lakes district is given as 9,728, of whom 4,239 are classified as
sailors, and are members, therefore, of the Lake Seamen’s Union.
The following membership figures, taken from a table in this same
pamphlet, show how poorly organized are the seamen of the Lakes
in comparison with the salt-water sailors on both coasts.
1 C oa st S eam en ’ s J o u rn a l (M a r. 24, 1 9 0 9 ), v ol. 22, N o. 27, p. 8.
2 F o r a ffid a v its in reg a rd to a lleg ed d is c rim in a tio n , see A p p e n d ix C, pp. 50—
57.
3 A d a p ted fr o m G eo. E. B a r n e t t : “ G row th o f la b o r o rg a n iz a tio n in the U n ite d S ta te s,”
Q u a rterly J o u rn a l o f E co n o m ics (A u g u st, 1 9 1 6 ), v ol. 30, p. 842.
(T h e figu res w ere tak en
fr o m A m e r ic a n F e d e ra tio n o f L a b o r r e p o rts .)
4 F u ru seth , A n d r e w : A m e r ic a n Sea P o w e r a n d th e S eam en ’ s A c t (1 9 1 7 ) , p. 8.




28

EM PLO YM EN T SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS* ASSOCIATION.

M E M B E R S H IP O F M A R IN E U N IO N S ON T H E G R E A T L A K E S A N D T H E A T L A N T IC A N D
P A C IF IC C O A STS, 1917.
Atlantic
coast
T he
(sailors
Pacific
about
Great
coast
70 per cent,
Lakes
(about
firemen 50
(about
90 per cent
per cent, 50 per cent
organized). and cooks organized).
60 per cent
organized).

Occupation.

Total.

Sailors...............................................
Firemen............................................
Cooks................................................

6,669
3,011
2,847

7,956
6,567
5,629

4,239
4,416
1,073

18,864
13,994
9,549

Total.........................................

12,527

20,152

9,728

42,407

GROWTH OF THE WELFARE PLAN.
The Lake Carriers’ Association has gradually extended the mem­
bership and influence of the welfare plan. This is indicated by the
following figures furnished by the secretary: 1
Standard
number
of jobs on
association
boats.

Year.

1911........................
1912........................
1913........................
1916........................

8,030
9,628
10,476
112,000

Num ber
registered
in welfare
plan
(welfare
m en).
15,106
18,194
19,553
19,787

1 Approximate.

It is evident that the normal number of men employed at any one
time on the Association’s boats increased from 8,000 in 1911 to 12,000
in 1916, and the number registered with the Association as a welfare
men ” increased during the same period from 15,000 to nearly 20,000.
Throughout the period there have been, roughly speaking, two regis­
tered welfare men for each job on Association boats. The great pre­
dominance of welfare men on its fleets, and indeed their great prepon­
derance among the whole body of lake seamen, is made very apparent
when it is recalled that the number of seamen on the Lakes in 1917 is
about 19,456.2 The figures given above show that there were 19,787
men registered in the welfare plan in 1916.
The enrollment (i. e.5 number registered) in the welfare plan by
years from 1909 to 1916 has been as follows :
1 Annual Report of Lake Carriers’ Association, 1916, p. 33.
2 Furuseth, A n d rew : American Sea Power and the Seamen’s A ct (1 9 1 7 ), p. 8.




29

GBOWTH OF TH E WELFAEE PLAN.
Tear.

190
191
191
191
191
191
191
191

M em b ersh ip .

9
0
1
2
3
4
5
6

,______________________________________ 9, 752
_______________ ______________________ 11,731
’ ________ _____________ 15,106
18,194
19,553
15,145
15,935
19,737

The number of shipments through the machinery of the welfare
for the period 1918-1916, inclusive, has been as follows:

p la n

Year.

1913........................
1914........................
1915........................
1916........................

Number
of
ship­
ments.1
52,094
28,219
40,441
73,823

Average
size of
crew.

25
25
25
28

1 N ot the total num ber o f men shipped. I f
the same man is shipped 3 times, it is counted
as 3 shipments.

PRESENT W O RKIN G OF TH E W E LFA R E PLAN.

At the present time the Association instructs its commissioners to
ask no questions regarding union affiliation or activity when enrolling
men or sending them to ship captains. The ship captains are also
expected to follow the same policy. It is quite evident that these
instructions are pretty uniformly obeyed by the commissioners and
probably by a large proportion of the ship captains. All of the
commissioners interviewed stated that they asked no questions re­
garding union affiliation. But the rule is that welfare men in good
standing shall always be given the preference and welfare men have
all signed the “ antiunion pledge.” Technically, then, the discrimi­
nation is against nonwelfare men, but those in the latter class who
are not union men are usually enrolled and put on a ship (or if
necessary put on a ship without being enrolled) before union men
are considered.1 It is admitted by Association officials that discus­
sions of unionism are prohibited in the assembly rooms. The secre­
tary says that this is done for the sake of preserving order. The
unions say that the preservation of order is merely the pretext.
However this may be, it is a fact that the commissioners do carry out
their instructions about these discussions in the assembly rooms.
Moreover, no union agitation is allowed on board the boats. This is
insisted upon most emphatically by more than one representative of
the Association.
1 See Appendix C, pp. 5 0 -5 7 , and also Secretary M arr’s letter in Appendix A , p. 42.




30

EM PLOYM ENT SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS* ASSOCIATION.

As already intimated, when there is a scarcity of labor, it is often
necessary to ship sailors who are not welfare men. In such cases
every effort is made to have tfie men sign up by the time the boat is
in port again. I f there are a number of nonwelfare men on any
particular boat a letter may be sent from the secretary of the Asso­
ciation to the captain of the ship impressing upon him the desirability
of getting these men enrolled. -A retired ship captain who was for
e number of years in charge of one of the Association vessels says
that the Association has its agents, either on board ship en route or
aboard ship at the dock, constantly employed in recruiting men
for the welfare plan. He declares that fifteen years ago hardly a
sailor could get work on a lake boat if he was not a union man,
T
whereas to-day a sailor can scarcely get a job unless he is a “ welfare
man,” and if he is a union man there is almost nothing he can do
except perjure himself and disclaim all such affiliations. In this re­
spect the welfare plan organization of the Lake Carriers’ Association
stands out, in the eyes of union men, as a kind of benevolent “ union,”
managed by the vessel owners on the open-union-closed-shop policy.
In spite of the open-shop declaration, the Association welfare organi­
zation is very nearly a closed-shop body and is being made as nearly
so as the member vessel owners are able to make it. This is not to
say that union men are not allowed on the Association boats. The
point is that they must be welfare men, and to be welfare men they
must be merely passive union men.
Mr. Victor A. Olander, the secretary of the Lake Seamen’s Union,
thinks that the welfare registration system is carried out in part by
giving men unfair ratings on their discharge—rating them either too
high or too low—and that there is a more or less deliberate idea that
the man who is or who has formerly been a union man will get a shade
the worst of it on his discharge. The fundamental evil of the plan,
as Mr. Olander views it, is the repression of the spirit not only of
organized seamen but of individual seamen, whether or not they are
union men.1 “ It serves,” he says, “ as a method of constant repres­
sion among the men. Its purpose is to prevent them from using their
organization to create better conditions for themselves.” 2
POSITION OF THE LAKE CARRIERS’ ASSOCIATION AS TO
THE WELFARE PLAN.
On the other hand the officials of the Association say very posi­
tively that there is no .discrimination against the union; that the
Association is simply making strictly neutral efforts to enforce their
open-shop policy.
1
U n ited S ta tes C on gress.
H e a rin g s b e fo re H ou se C o m m itte e on In v e s t ig a t io n o f the
U n ited S ta tes S teel C o rp o ra tio n , V o l. IV , p. 3023.
~ I b id .5 d . 3020.




POSITION OF THE ASSOCIATION AS TO WELFARE PLAN.

31

Mr. George A. Marr, the secretary of the Association, reiterated
this denial of discrimination before the United States Commission
on Industrial Relations. “ We have instructed our commissioners,”
he added at the same time, “ to regi3ter as able seamen only those
who are able to show by credentials of some kind that they have
had the requisite experience * * * to qualify as able seamen.
W e have stated to them that as such credentials we will accept
their salt-water discharges, or the statement of any officer of a vessel
with whom they worked, the commissioner’s own personal knowl­
edge of a man, or their union book.” 1 He said that the chief
trouble with the union previous to the introduction of the welfare
plan was with the maintenance of discipline when crews were re­
cruited through the unions and made up almost entirely of union
men.2 “ It was a condition,” he declared, “ that had gradually grown
up to the point where the vessel owners thought they could stand it
no longer. They had lost the discipline of their ships to a large
extent.” There seems to be no complaint that the unions did not
fulfill their agreements. Indeed, the president of the Association
explicitly stated that no such charge could justly be made.
LABOR TURNOVER ON TH E GREAT LA KES.
Reference has already been made to the heavy turnover of labor
on the Great Lakes. Regardless of whether union control or Asso­
ciation control was most equitable, it seems certain that the work
of a sailor on the Great Lakes was no more attractive an an occupa­
tion in 1916 than it was under the union regime, prior to 1908.
In spite of the welfare plan— and no doubt in part because of it—
there were in 1913, on the average, nine changes made to keep each
deck hand job filled; six changes for each porter’s job; six for each
fireman’s; four for each wheelman’s; four for each watchman’s ; and
T
four for each (“ second ” ) cook’s. In 1913, when the normal number
of men required to completely man the Association’s fleet was 10,476,
the number of shipments was 52,094, making a turnover of about 400
per cent. In 1916 the situation w still worse. In that year, with
^as
a normal aggregate crew for all the fleets of not more than 12,000
men, there were shipped 73,823, making a turnover of more than 500
per cent. More detailed figures regarding shipments made on Asso­
ciation boats in general are given in Appendix B (pp. 47-49).
CONCLUSIONS.
This evidence of the continuing dissatisfaction of the sailors with
their jobs on the Lakes, in addition to the evidence herewith submitted
showing the existence of a system of practically compulsory registra1 U n ited S ta tes
v o l. 2, p. 1241,
2 Ib id ., p. 1243.

C om m ission

on

I n d u s tria l

1 2 0 1 9 °— 1 8 — B u ll. 2 3 5 -------- 3




R ela tion s .

F in a l R e p o r t a n d

T e s tim o n y ,

32

EM PLO YM EN T SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS* ASSOCIATION.

(ion and continuous-service records which actually operates as a black
list or, at the best, holds the threat of the black list over the seamen,
indicates pretty clearly that there is something radically wrong with
the present system of labor employment on the Lakes. Many seamen
are bitterly antagonistic to this “ welfare-plan ” shipping system.
This opposition is partly due to the fact that, apart from its merits or
demerits, they feel that it is a system imposed upon them— a plan in
the operation of which they have no part. They consider it un­
democratic and feel that it seriously infringes upon their freedom of
action and upon their right to organize among themselves for the
betterment of the conditions under which they work.
Kegarding the motives! which animate the governing officials of
the Lake Carriers’ Association it is not to be questioned that the desire
of these associated vessel owners is to increase efficiency; to improve
the quality of the personnel of the crews; to improve conditions
aboard ship and ashore; to maintain better discipline; to avoid labor
troubles; to facilitate the work of recruiting crews for their fleets;
and, in general, to make the sailor’s calling a more pleasant and
profitable one. These objects are far from being realized; partly,
perhaps, because the sailors may not understand or appreciate the
motives of the vessel owners. It is believed by the union officials, how­
ever, that not many of the sailors are ignorant of the formal objects
of the welfare plan. Their reaction against the plan results from the
conviction— based on their own experience of it in actual operation—■
that the formal objects are not only not attained but merely serve to
conceal the discriminative antiunion effects which are actually
brought about by it. Many sailors, no doubt, exaggerate the situa­
tion, and all are more or less influenced psychologically by the fact
that the most important member of the Association is a subsidiary of
the Steel Corporation. They are likely to infer more from this fact
than the evidence seems to warrant. Perhaps, also, that “ dread of
the black list ” of which union officials so often speak is sometimes the
product of the sailor’s imagination. Yet there seems to be no doubt
that the welfare plan, whether or not it is so intended, is admirably
suited to limit the seamen’s freedom of action and to preclude effective
organization among them.
Since this investigation was completed there have been important
developments in the labor situation on the Great Lakes. The sea­
men’s unions in the Lakes district ordered a strike for October 1,
1917, for the abolition of the “ welfare plan”— particularly for the
abolition of the continuous-discharge-book feature of the plan— and
for higher wages. The wages issue was secondary. In view of the
contemplated strike the United States Shipping Board asked ex-Gov.
Eobert P. Bass, of New Hampshire, to make an investigation of the




CO N CLU SION S.

33

welfare plan and discharge-book system. Meanwhile Mr. R. B.
Stevens, vice chairman of the Shipping Board, conferred with repre­
sentatives of the lake seamen’s unions and the Lake Carriers’ Asso­
ciation. As a result of these conferences the “ Shipping Board has
been assured that the Lake Carriers’ Association will accept any
decision the Shipping Board may make relative to wage rates, and
while it will not of its own motion abolish the welfare plan, it will
abolish the discharge book or modify the welfare plan in any man­
ner the Shipping Board may direct after fair investigation.” 1 In
regard to the contemplated strike the Shipping Board recommended
tfyat it be postponed until such time as the investigation to be made
by ex-Gov. Bass could be completed. The unions and the Association
accepted these recommendations and the strike was postponed.2
The Bass investigation has now been completed and a report made
to the Shipping Board. The result of the investigation is sum­
marized in a telegram from Vice Chairman Stevens to Secretary
Victor A . Olander, of the Lake Seamen’s Union:
The Shipping Board has received the report of the investigation into the
welfare plan and discharge book of the Lake Carriers’ Association in operating
on the Great Lakes and the matter of overtime work and pay. Upon all the
evidence received this board has decided that the discharge book is undesirable
and should be abolished. It is believed, however, that certain features of the
discharge-book system are of value both to management of the shipping industry
and to the men.3

According to newspaper reports the old discharge-book system will
be replaced by “ a discharge-certificate system operated under Gov­
ernment supervision.” 4
1 F ro m a s ta tem en t sig n ed f o r th e U n ited S ta tes S h ip p in g B o a r d b y R . B . S tevens, v ice
ch a irm a n , and p u b lish ed as a lea flet b y th e M a rin e F irem en , O ilers, a n d W a te r T e n d e r s ’
U n ion o f th e G rea t L a k es.
T h e lea flet is rep rin ted as A p p e n d ix D o f th is re p o rt.
2 Ib id .
3 D e tr o it F ree P ress, O ct. 3 1, 1917 (d is p a tch d a ted C h ica go, N o v. 1 ) .

4Ibid.




APPENDIX A.— DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE RELATING TO
LAKE CARRIERS’ ASSOCIATION’S WELFARE PLAN.

THE

STATEMENT OF THE LAKE CARRIERS’ ASSOCIATION, 19Q8.1
(Issued simultaneously with the publication of the text of the welfare plan.)
It is common knowledge that prior to 1902, what is now referred to as the
“ open-shop ” principle prevailed on lake vessels. Indeed, it was to make this
more assured that the Cleveland Vessel Owners’ Association was formed in the
early eighties. After that association w as absorbed in the Lake Carriers’ As­
T
sociation in 1891, shipping offices were established in various lake ports. Most
satisfactory efforts were made in various ways to improve the quarters and
every living and other condition of men on shipboard. Then, having in mind
the example of some of the railroad companies and the so-called Shipping Fed­
eration in Great Britain, and other efforts by industrial concerns encouraged
by commercial bodies in this and other countries, the question w as considered
T
of establishing, in the principal ports, club rooms, for the use of w hich seamen
T
should pay a small due, but enough to give the independent feeling of paying
something toward their maintenance, together with some death benefit or
scheme of mutual insurance, to which the employer would contribute, either
directly or by guaranteeing a fund, all without restriction of or reference to
the right of the employee to be a member of any union or society of any kind
for any purpose, and of necessity having in view to give those coming within,
and helpful in its proper success, reasonable preference in employment to the
end of improving the service generally and in the interest of every one con­
cerned.
A committee of eighteen, including some of the most prominent owners and
managers on the Great Lakes, was appointed; subcommittees investigated;
preliminary reports were made, and on the 15th day of January, 1901, the
executive committee, without dissent, voted, approving the general project and
laid it before the members at the annual meeting. On the 16th and 17th of
that month it was the chief topic of discussion at the annual meeting, at the
close of which the members of the Association present, by unanimous rising
vote, approved the general project and appointed a committee to work it out
in detail.
The records and papers of the Association show that discussion was of a
plan for closer relations between officers and men and owners of vessels in the
membership of the Lake Carriers’ Association, and at the close of the dis­
cussion the adoption was of well-considered, but still to an extent tentative,
suggestions of the committee on the general proposition that there should be
established a system through which there should come to all officers and em­
ployees prompt financial assistance in case of injury, incident to the employ­
1 U n ited S ta tes C on gress.
H e a rin g s (F e b . 17, 1 9 1 0 ) b e fo re th e H o u se C o m m itte e on
M e r ch a n t M a rin e a n d F ish e rie s, “ B e tte r p r o t e c t io n o f liv e s o f p a sse n g e rs an d seam en ,’ *
p p . 5 6 - 6 0 ; a ls o in a p a m p h let r e p r i n t : C au se o f th e S eam en ’ s S trik e, p p. 1 2 -1 7 .

34




APPENDIX A---- DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE.

35

ment, and therewith proper preference of employment on vessels of the Lake
Carriers’ Association, leaving every man free to exercise fully his desire to be
a member of any other beneficial association or union.
As the result of such preliminary investigation, reports, and the broad dis­
cussion and action at the annual meeting of 1901, the same or a similar com­
mittee reported that it is practical, and that all owners and employees would
find it of mutual interest in uniting and sustaining a beneficial federation of
captains, mates, engineers, and all other employees.
Without setting out here in full their report, it included:
The appointment of a board of five trustees to administer the benefit feature.
The agreement of the vessel owner to bear an expense equal to 1 per cent
per ton on his enrolled tonnage;
That any man employed on the vessels in the Lake Carriers’ Association
should, on application, be supplied with a benefit book w ith graded amounts;
T
The application of the benefit to cases where accident clearly arises out of
the employment.
Following this a plan was formulated, including the administration of the
affairs by a board of 5 members, with the aid of an advisory committee of
15 members to be chosen by the members of the Association in annual meeting.
Authority over the administration and for the final decision of every question
that might arise concerning the benefit and its disposition was to be with this
advisory committee, acting with the aid and recommendation of the board of
trustees. It was proposed to give to all this the name, “ Lake Carriers’ Bene­
ficial Federation.” It was proposed that everyone on board ship would be
eligible; that membership should not be construed to interfere in any way with
being at the same time a member of any other association or union; that in
view of the beneficial purposes, however, preference in employment should be
given, as far as practicable, to members; that applications for membership be
made upon printed forms, warranting the facts stated as to experience and
with pledge to comply with all the rules and regulations; that there should be
a membership fee of $1; the issuing officer and secretary of the association to
maintain permanent written records; that on employment the benefit book
should be handed to the master to insure a record of the date and nature of
the employment, and be retained by him, and the duty imposed on the master
of making record of the character of service and reason for discharge on a man
leaving the ship, failing compliance w ith which the book issued would cease to
T
represent membership. The master was to be required to report to the secretary
cases of desertion, failure to serve, and other misconduct, with authority in
the board of trustees, or such representatives as they might select, to pass
upon the circumstances and go so far as to cancel and void the membership.
In February the executive committee of the Association sent out a copy of
a tentative plan, which had been prepared by the then secretary, Mr. Charles
H. Keep, with the aid of investigation by the special committee. The com­
mittee had considered the plan of what w
^as known as the English Federation,
which had some features in common, and plans of mutual insurance by various
railroads and other companies; and the wiiole matter was expected to be
definitely formulated and put into operation by and confirmed at the annual
meeting in January, 1902. Then, before having worked out the plan in detail
or establishing the exact basis, some of the unions proposed to undertake this
feature of the work if contracts were made with them for the supplying of men,
and the Lake Carriers laid aside its plan after discussion, and not without
considerable division of opinion, a majority being willing to at least test
their purpose and ability to handle the subject with fairness toward owners
and men alike acceptably in the case of all below the grade of officers through




36

EM PLO YM EN T SYSTEM OP LAKE CARRIERS, ASSOCIATION

unions which existed or were forming. Accordingly contracts were made with
various unions looking to their supplying all the men by their unions, which
also provided to deal justly in cases of injury, disability, or death in the
service, but leaving the system of individual contracts with officers.
This plan was pursued from that time until and including the season of
1907. From the beginning there was complaint, which increased, and covered
the furnishing of men promptly, the service rendered, the continuity of the
service according to articles signed, bitter complaint on the part of the men
and their dependents of the administration of the benefit feature.
Complaint came from the masters and mates in the deck department, and
from the engineers in their department, of inability to have the business of the
ship conducted except upon rigid lines either of contract or of union regula­
tion; that the discipline of the ship was too often dissipated by consideration
of the precise terms of contract made in advance as to what a man should be
called upon to do in a given case, and that the real business essential to the
safety of the ship and the due performance of her business w as subordinated
T
to technical questions of contract as interpreted by the unions or by individ­
ual members of the crew, whose contentions were generally and almost as a
matter of course maintained by the unions.
These complaints came in increasing volume and force, and the discussion of
April 9, 1908, participated in by members representing nearly all of the tonrage in the Association, brought out very forcefully the importance in general
safety of these propositions—
1. That it is impossible to define in advance the precise duty and order of
performance of duty by the officers and men who follow this calling.
2. That, as our tonnage is principally steam, the due and proper perform­
ance of duty must be in the direction and control of the executive officers ac­
cording to department.
3. And, finally, that there must be, following the experience from the very
beginning of maritime enterprise, some one afloat with the ship— that is to say,
the master— as the vice principal of the owner and in a proper sense respon­
sible for the general condition and performance of the crew.
But to the members of the Association, many of whom, perhaps most of
whom, have seen service, also it was apparent that this all can be accom­
plished, and best accomplished, by just and reasonable consideration of what is
best for everyone in the ship’s company; that there should be clean, sanitary
quarters, good ventilation and good tools to work with; there should be good
and sufficient food; that the wages of employees should be as liberal as the
condition of the business will justify. But, also, it was the spirit of the dis­
cussion that the character of the service, the conditions, the exact thing to be
done at any time, where a single ship includes property of great value and lives
which may not be measured in money, may not be left in the hands of a
half dozen unions, dealing with as many departments of the ship and dic­
tating the employment and the service, with the asserted right to withhold,
if necessary, altogether such service, on some general rule, made ashore, with­
out reference to the circumstances demanding attention and care and nautical
skill and judgment. In other words, the service on board the ship must bo
homogeneous, and statement after statement of owners and managers was of
the constant complaint of their licensed officers that this had proved impossible
under the system of union contracts, to which they had been subjected by the
action of the owners, for the equal good of the owner, the employee of the ships,
and the dependent trade, and so it is resolved—
1.
That the owners of ships on the Great Lakes do now declare that the
open-shop principle be adopted and adhered to on our ships.




APPENDIX A---- DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE.

37

2* That tlie Lake Carriers’ Association stands for the foregoing principle.
3. That the matter be referred to the executive committee, with full power
to act and carry out this principle.
4. That it should be the aim of the committee in the means they shall adopt
to recognize a fair and equitable rate of wages, to insist upon such regulations
as shall promote the comfort and well-being of the employees, shall put the
discipline of the ship in the hands of her executive officers, and, tendering
liberal appropriate w ages and conditions, requiring in response appropriate,
T
diligent, and prompt service from the members of the crew.
5. And at this meeting, representing 91 per cent of the tonnage of the Asso­
ciation, as a definite and specific support to the committee, it is voted to ad­
here to and observe this action, referring also any and all special cases to the
committee.
The foregoing data is reproduced for the purpose not of informing, but of
calling back to the attention of the members that, with the exception of the
time during which we were willing to chance, and in the view of a consider­
able minority undertook without proper assurance to chance, the performance
through the unions of public and private duties primarily resting on the owners
of vessels of the United States and on their licensed officers, and the due
prosecution and protection of the business with its obligations as to the se­
T
curity of life and property and compliance with governmental regulations, the
vessel owners of the Great Lakes have recognized the necessity of having these
matters in the control of the parties charged and intrusted and responsible
for the due performance of all these obligations.
The project of leaving a feature of this to the unions failed ignominiously,
and there is probably to-day no man associated in any responsible manner with
the performance of these duties who takes a contrary view. The result then,
of the resolutions of April 9, 1908, was not merely to express a criticism, but
to take back into the proper hands the due discharge of these duties and
responsibilities.
But it must not be overlooked, and credit is due to the members of the Lake
Carriers’ Association, that in its very first action looking to this, specific
direction was given to its executive committee that it be done with all regard
to liberal wages, good conditions, and every fair consideration for every em­
ployee on board ship.
The executive committee charged with this duty, completely rounded out in
the directions, took up the subject accordingly of putting the discipline of the
ships back into the hands of the executive officers, of seeking proper means to
enable them to obtain proper help on the ship, of dignifying the positions of
the officers and bettering the conditions of all on board.
The plans so nearly worked out in 1901 naturally claimed attention. This
has been worked out on the lines of railroad and other industrial coinsurance
and a shipping federation in England, reports of civil and industrial associa­
tions as to the organizations under such general recommendations. Since 1901
had come some governmental regulations in this and other countries. Govern­
mental compulsory insurance or coinsurance and compulsory compensation
acts had been put in force, some, unfortunately, so recent as not to have de­
veloped positive results, and all of these had to be gone over. The most care­
ful investigation was made, and a plan was adopted, not at haphazard, but
along general lines, in every respect where possible checked up and tested by
the experience of some one or more of the different lines of endeavor by
Government or individuals in this and other countries toward the same end,
the result of which is the plan adopted by your executive committee, after
conference with the board of directors and with other owners and upon all




38

EM PLO YM EN T SYSTEM OP LAKE CARRIEES* ASSOCIATION.

information and advice they could obtain from every source, confidently put
forward by them as designed to carry out the purposes sought. The plan in­
volves the consideration that as the master is in the nature of things, and by
established law, the vice principal of the owner, and in case of emergency
becomes the agent from necessity of the cargo* and its owners, and is in general
charged with the safety of the whole adventure contained in his ship, he should
be made an associate member of the Lake Carriers’ Association.
That the chief engineer of these great ships, with their complicated machin­
ery, and responsible only in less degree for her safe operation, should have the
supervision of the men employed in his department and for whose actions he
is responsible.
That the executive officers of the ship would have sufficient authority to
carry on the business of the ship according, not alone, to their opinion, but
their responsibility from time to time as the occasion arises for judgment and
for action, and must not be hampered in the due and lawful exercise of such
authority by rules or conditions unknown to law.
That by reason of the uncertain duration of employment of the crews in
general, absolutely broken by the four or five months of winter closed season,
things looking to coinsurance and cooperation are difficult of application and
would be unjustifiably burdensome in the administration.
But, nevertheless, it is meet and proper that by reason of their greater
financial ability the employers should in some direct and simple manner
advance and pay proper amounts, corresponding to the contributions or guaran­
ties of funds usually found in the voluntary or statutory requirements of coinsurance and compensation, and that while the Lake Carriers’ Association
does not manage ships and does not employ labor, it can and is under obliga­
tion to perform one of its important functions in ascertaining the fitness of
men and giving them certificates of recommendation of such fitness as an aid
to them in obtaining employment.
And in view of the character of employment the obligation of the employer
outside of mere wage, permeating all insurance and compensation and other
aids, obligates the members of the Lake Carriers’ Association to furnish
reasonable, attractive, and helpful club or assembly rooms on shore for the
men. In respect to this it was considered that the proper conduct and ap­
preciation of these rooms, as well as a feeling of self-respect, equally recom­
T
mend a small charge to be made to the men for their use.
But in respect to the benefit in case of death or shipwreck, this, it was con­
sidered, should not be a matter of purchase or barter, but, by reason of its
exigent necessity, should be made free and represent the employers’ contribu­
tion in a movement of this character.
By reason, again, of the uncertainty of employment inseparable from this
kind of service and in the interests of simplicity and promptness, it was re­
garded wise to make no exception whatever as to the manner in which an
accident had occurred, whether by fault of one party or the other, or whatever
the character or how gross that fault might be, but make the simple happen­
ing of the accident the basis of payment of the benefit.
Also, while the general basis of compulsory compensation and compulsory
or cooperative insurance carries with it a condition that its acceptance sup­
plants the claiming of damage by suit at law, in the same direction of simplicity
and to make the contribution effective, the idea prevailed that this payment
should be absolute, not only regardless of any question of negligence in the
first instance, but without limitation or other effect on the right to proceed to
court in any manner for legal damages.




APPENDIX A---- DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE.

39

As to the question of sick benefits or compensation in case of partial injury,
this was omitted by reason of the present rights of seamen under the law in
respect to care and wages in such case.
Also, it was the idea to not only make these provisions perfectly simple and
free from red tape, but to confine them to those things which must compel the
concurrence of fair-minded persons which are within the justifiable limit of
expense, with the suggestion, as made in the report of the executive committee,
that this shall be expanded so far as experience shall recommend and show its
propriety. And, finally, the ideas prevailed that it is not the prerogative of
either the employer or the employee to regulate the conduct of the other or
furnish any precise lines in his living, his faith, his beliefs, his associations,
but that the rights are reciprocal as they are equal; that, according proper
and reasonable conditions of wages and service from employer to employee,
as well as from employee to employer, both employer and employed shall have
good right to follow his own preferences and wishes in regard to unions,
associations, and affiliations, whether these be religious, philanthropic, or
industrial.
It is in this spirit the following preamble and report of the executive com­
mittee was prepared and adopted:
CONTENT OF TH E PL AN .

In 1901 the Association was about to put into effect so far as it could a plan
in respect to assuring reliable officers and seamen on the broad lines of what
is commonly known as the “ open-shop principle,” with full freedom of contract
for the best interest and safety in operation of the lake trade, including
promise of assembly club rooms, with the further idea to be developed of a
modern sailor’s institute and home adapted to lake conditions. This movement
was interrupted by the proposal brought forward by various unions and asso­
ciations, which included many of the employees of lake ships, that if they
were intrusted with this responsible duty they would furnish the necessary
number of competent men, would better the service, and, along with this, care
for that feature of the Lake Carriers’ plan to make provision for exigencies
which, in the employment, come to men and their families, and all with some
suitable consideration for the men when ashore.
The Association was so induced to set aside its own plan for the time in favor
of these proposals, which were given more than a fair trial during the ensuing
six seasons. That it proves a complete failure was the expressed opinion of
owners and representatives of over 90 per cent of the tonnage represented in
the Lake Carriers’ Association who, in a meeting on April 9, 1908, declared
unanimously that—
“ The experience of the shipowners, managers, and licensed officers for the
past years has demonstrated the necessity of w
’hat is referred to as the openshop principle in order to give that control and direction of the ships which
is required for the equal good of the owner, the employee of the ships, and the
dependent trade.”
And so reverted to the principle formerly considered as the one suited to
conditions, and the matter was referred to the executive committee with power
to act; the member saying, further, that—
“ It should be the aim of the committee in the means they should adopt to
recognize a fair and equitable rate of wages, to insist upon such regulations
as should promote the comfort and well-being of the employees, shall put the
discipline of the ship in the hands of her executive officers, and tendering




40

EM PLO YM EN T SYSTEM OF LAKE CABBIERS ’ ASSOCIATION.

liberal, appropriate wages and conditions, require in response diligent and
prompt service from the members of the crew.”
Your committee taking up the data, reports of committees, and plan of
operation so far as worked out in 1901, have examined these in the light of
intervening experience and the evils which compelled the declaration and
resolutions of April 9, recognizing that the Association has no management of
ships and is not the employer of crews, but has as one of its objects, “ to estab­
lish and maintain shipping offices for the convenient securing of seamen for
the vessels on the Great Lakes, their connecting and tributary waters, to estab­
lish and maintain, by contract or otherwise, such amicable relations between
employers and employed as will avoid the public injury that would result from
lockouts or strikes in the lake carrying service; to provide for the prompt and
cmicable adjustment of matters affecting shipping and the interests of vessel
owners on the Great Lakes.”
Pursuant to the duty and authority put upon it by the members, and more
recently by the board of directors, your committee has concluded to adopt and
put in practical form the plan in contemplation in 1901 for the betterment
of conditions, uplifting and dignifying the service, better protection of life
and property afloat, with a reasonable and proper consideration for the em­
ployees and their designated beneficiaries, to the end that a careful and suffi­
cient test be made of our plan, and as the same shall develop through experi­
ence. This we make available to every officer and man without regard to
membership or affiliation with any union or association, industrial, religious, or
philanthropic, based alone on competency for reasonable performance of duty,
and without expense except for the use and privileges of the assembly rooms
and their conveniences, which we have put at the nominal sum of
cents per
month to seamen and a somewhat higher charge to officers, this being also with
a feeling that the fact of paying something dignifies the position of the seaman
in their use. With this will go certificates of ascertained fitness, record of
service as evidence and credential to him, and then having regard to the
numerous cases where accidental death in the employment and the loss of
effects and the expenses of return have involved unnecessary delays, complica­
tion, and hardship, we provide, independent of all questions of fault or liability
of the owners, or of anyone, in reasonable manner to meet such exigent
expenses at the charge of the Association without cost to the employee.
Appreciating that in the progress of working out our plan some changes will
probably be .necessary as, for example, the development of the assembly or
club rooms will be carried out as fully as warranted, and possibly an addi­
tional charge may be justified; and it is hoped that a plan for a sailor’s home
and institute may be put into operation under the auspices or with the coopera­
tion of the Lake Carriers’ Association, we now report that we have adopted
the following plan, cooperation in which is asked on the part of the members of
the Association and the officers of the ships in their employment and dealing
with officers and seamen: 1
1 H ere fo llo w s a co p y o f th e te x t o f th e w e lfa r e plan , fo r w h ich see pp. J 3—
15.




FORM OF A P PL IC A TIO N FOE A B LE SEAM AN’S CARD.
N o.
L

ake

C a r r ie r s ’ A

s s o c ia t io n .

APPLICATION FOR ABLE S E A M A N ’ S CARD.

T h e u n d e r s i g n e d ,________________________________________ re p re s e n tin g h is
ex p erien ce a s sta te d b e lo w , a p p lies f o r th e use a n d p riv ile g e s o f th e
a ssem bly ro o m s a n d co n v e n ie n ce s, w ith a n y e x te n sio n th e re o f, o f the
L a k e C a r rie rs ’ A s s o c ia tio n , a c c o r d in g to th e ru les f o r th e ir use, f o r
w h ic h h e p a y s an a n n u a l due o f one d o lla r ($ 1 ) p er y e a r in a d va n ce .
H e rep resen ts th a t h e w a s la s t em p loy ed a s __________________________
on th e v e s s e l __________________________ a n d has h a d in a l l ___________ ye a rs
e x p e rie n ce on th e G rea t L a k es, a n d fu r th e r rep re se n ts a n d p le d ge s th a t
F r o m e n g a g em en t on a n y v e s s e l in clu d ed in th e m e m b er ­
sh ip o f th e L a k e C a rriers’ A s s o c ia tio n he w ill p erfo r m all
h is la w fu l d u ties reg a rd less o f w h e th e r a n y officer or m em ­
b er o f th e c rew m a y o r m a y n o t be m e m b e r o f a n y union
o r a ssocia tion , fa ilu re in w h ich shall be g oo d grou n d in
th e final d isc retio n o f th e L a k e G a m e r s ’ A ss o c ia tio n fo r
re v o c a tio n o f th is card.

P a r tic u la r s f o r id e n tific a tio n t o p re v e n t a n y m isu se o f th is c a r d :
A d d ress
P la ce

_________________________________________________________________________

o f b ir th ___________________________________________________________________

A g e ------------------------ -

H e i g h t -------------------------

C o m p l e x i o n _______________ _

(S ig n a tu re o f a p p lic a n t.)

F O R M OF A P P L I C A T I O N F O R O R D IN A R Y S E A M A N 'S C A R D .

N o.
L

ake

C a r r ie r s ’ A

s s o c ia t io n .

APPLICATION FOR ORDINARY S E A M A N ’ S CARD.

T h e u n d e r s i g n e d ,________________________________________re p re s e n tin g his
e x p erien ce as sta ted b e lo w , a p p lies f o r th e use a n d p riv ile g e s o f th e
a ssem bly ro o m s a n d co n v e n ie n ce s, w ith a n y ex te n sio n th e re o f, o f the
L a k e C a r rie rs ’ A s s o cia tio n , a c c o r d in g to the ru les f o r th e ir use, fo r
w h ic h he p a ys an a n n u a l due o f on e d o lla r ($ 1 ) p er y e a r in a d v a n ce .
H e rep resen ts th a t he w a s la s t em p loy ed a s ---------------------------------------on th e v e s s e l __________________________ a n d has h a d in a l l ------------------yea rs
e x p e r ie n ce on th e G reat L a k es, a n d fu r th e r rep re se n ts a n d p led ges th a t
F r o m en g a g em en t on a n y v e s s e l in clu d ed in th e m em b er­
sh ip o f th e L a k e C a rriers’ A s s o c ia tio n h e w ill p e r fo r m all
his la w fu l d u ties r eg a rd less o f w h e th e r a n y officer or m em ­
ber o f th e crew m a y or m a y n o t be m e m b e r o f a n y un ion
or a ssoc ia tion , fa ilu re in w h ic h shall be g oo d grou n d in
th e final d iscretio n o f th e L a k e C a rriers’ A ss o c ia tio n fo r
rev o ca tio n o f th is card.

P a r tic u la r s f o r id e n tific a tio n t o p re v e n t a n y m isuse o f th is c a r d :
A d d ress
P la ce

_________________________________________________________________________

o f b ir th -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A g e ________________




H e i g h t _______________ _

C o m p l e x io n ________________

(S ig n a tu re o f a p p lic a n t.)

42

EM PLO YM EN T SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS* ASSOCIATION.
LETTER

FROM

SECRETARY

OF A SS O C IA TIO N " R E
C O M M IS S IO N E R .

C O M P L A IN T

A G A IN S T

[C o p y .]
L a k e C a r r ie r s ’ A

s s o c ia t io n .

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.

C l e v e l a n d , O h i o , August 23, 1911.

Secretary’s Office:
Complaint against
J. McJeskey, Commissioner.
M r.---------------------- .
D e a r S i r : Referring again to your letter of August 17, would say that I
have looked into the matter of your application for a berth and find that in
response to the application which you filed with our commissioner he sent for
you to fill an application from the steamer C ity o f Naples as assistant engineer
and after some conversation with you in regard to the welfare plan asked that
you call on the chief engineer and if engaged by him he would undertake to
assist you in becoming enrolled in the welfare plan, but that you did not
return to the ship nor come back to our office. Under these circumstances I
do not see that you have very much cause for complaint.
There is no requirement on the part of the Lake Carriers’ Association that
men shall belong to the welfare plan in order to secure employment on the
vessels other than that the officers of the boats insist that men employed on
their vessels be welfare men and where a man not so registered is sent to the
vessel from our assembly rooms they make some complaint.
Yours truly,




G eo. A . M

arr,

Secretary.

APP E N D IX A---- D O C U M E N T A E Y EVIDENCE.

43

ASSOCIATION’ S SHIPPING CARD OR CERTIFICATE FOR ABLE SEAMAN..
L a k e C a r r i e r s ’ A s s o c ia tio n .
ABLE

seam an ’s

N o .82760.

CARD.
Buffalo, JV. Y , May 9,1912.

^
sj
•g
|3
•g

T h is certifies th a t u p on th e application of th e h older and th e b e st in form ation available to th e
L ak e Carriers’ A ssociation , Walter S mith is com p eten t to p erform th e duties of able-bodied seam an
as fireman.
T h is card is issued on th e representations o f th e applicant an d his pledge to p erform his law ful
duties w henever engaged on a vessel in th e m em b ersh ip of th e L ak e Carriers^ A ssociation faithfu lly and regardless o f w heth er a n y m e m b er of th e officers or crew m a y or m a y n ot be m e m b ers
of or affiliated w ith a n y u nion or association, su bject to revocation for violation thereof.
T h is card for one year an d w hile u nrevo kea en titles th e holder to all privileges of an y asse m b ly
room s of th e L ak e Carriers' A ssociation under th e rules for their u se,

%
S
-h
§
.SP

L a k e Ca r r ie r s ’ A s s o c ia t io n ,

By

A tt e s t :
*g

W. Livingstone, P resid en t.
Geo. A . M a n , Secretary.

I

Z
Q
^
^

PARTICULARS 01? IDENTIFICATION.

A d d re ss, 7/r0 William Street, Buffalo, XT. Y .
9 inches. C om p lexion, fair.

P lace o f b irth , Russia.

A g e , 23.

H eig h t, 5 fees

A . H . Limerick, C om m issioner.
F . JD. B .
N o t e . — T h e card of able-bodied sea m en is issued for d u t y as w heelsm an, loc k cu tsm an , firem an,
oilor, w ater ten der on steam ers an d to m ates, seam en , an d d on k ey m e n on barges and to all
stew ards. A n n u a l renew al is required.

ASSOCIATION’ S SHIPPING CARD OR CERTIFICATE FOR O RDINARY SEAMAN.

. .

L a k e C a r r i e r s ’ A s s o c ia tio n .
ORDINARY

seam an’s

N o 270240

CARD.
March 13, 1911.

Issued at Chicago, III., office.
T h is certifies th at u pon th e application o f th e h older an d th e b e st in form ation available to
th e L ak e Carriers’ A ssociation , Frank Summers is com p eten t to p erform th e du ties o f ordinary
seam an as deck hand.
T h is card is issued on th e representations o f th e applicant an d his pledge to perform his law ful
d uties w henever engaged on a vessel in th e m em b ersh ip o f the L ak e Carriers’ A ssociation faith­
fu lly an d regardless o f w heth er a n y m e m b er of th e officers or crew m a y or m a y n ot b e m e m b ers
of or affiliated w ith a n y union or association, su bject to revocation for violation thereof.
T h is card for one year and w hile unrevoked en titles th e h older to all privileges of an y asse m b ly
room s of th e L a k e Carriers’ A ssociation u nder th e rules for their use.
L ake

A tt e s t :

By

C a r r i e r s ’ A s s o c ia t io n ,

W. Livingstone, P resid en t.

Geo. A . M an , Secretary.
PARTICULARS OF IDENTIFICATION.

A d d re ss, State Street, near Van Buren,
5 feet 8 inches. Comple>don, dark.

Chicago.

P lace of b irth , Ireland.

A g e , 38.

H e ig h t,

R . Eaton, Shipping M aster.
Per Geo. Galbraith.
N o t e . — T h e card o f ordinary seam an is issued for d u ty as second cook, w aiter, p orter, and dock

h an d s.

A n n u a l renew al is required.




E M P L O Y M E N T SY STE M OF L A K E CARRIERS* ASSO CIATION .
ASSOCIATIONS IDENTIFICATION CABD.

L

ake

Ca r r ie r s ’ A

s s o c ia t io n .

IDENTIFICATION CARD.
For steamer
Lying at

1910

Salt Lake City.
Lorain, Ohio.

R ecom m ended as

D. B m

L . C. 8 .
Lorain, O.
May 23,1910.

John M . Nuhrmyer,
Commissioner.
G.
M . Levns,
Signature of employee.

Discharge book N o.........................

(Reverse.)

LIST OF ASSE M BLY ROOM S.
PORT.

LOCATION.

TELEPHONE.

B u ffa lo ..................................61 Terrace, Cor. F ra n k lin ......................................Seneca 1265
C onn eau t............................ 183i P ark A v e ., Strauss B lo c k ......................... {L o ^ a lG
593-J
A s h ta b u la ...........................Strauss B lo c k ........................................................................M ain 55

Cleveland.......................1405 W est 9th S t................................... { c u ^ U S a S 744
L o r a in .................................. O n th e V ia d u c t ..................................................... C u y . M ain 941
T o le d o .................................. 102 M arine B ld g ., W a te r S t ..................................... M ain 3770
D e tr o it..................................F o o t of B ate s S t ..............................................................M ain 3691
S ou th Chicago..................3209 92nd S t ............................................................. S o. Chicago 93
Chicago.................................73 W e s t V a n B u ren S t .......................................H arrison 4853
M ilw a u k ee......................... 280 W e s t W a te r S t ..................................................... G ran d 2360
D u lu th ..................................F o o t of 5th A v e ., W e s t ......................................... Melrose 1808

A.

R . R u m s e y , Chief Com m issioner.

P h on es: B ell M ain 3337; C u y . C en t. 7211.
223 W e ste rn R eserve B u ild in g .




C levelan d, O h io.

ADVERTISEMENTS FOB NONUNION SEAMEN.
(C opy.)
[“ New Y ork W orld ”
A pril 16, 1908.1
S EA M E N
(able
bodied),
wheelsmen, watchmen, non­
union, to work on the Great
Lakes; good wages, including
transportation and subsistence;
write, stating experience. A d ­
_______
dress R 426 W orld.
[“ Baltimore Am erican”
A pril 18, 1908.1
A B L E -B O D IE D SE A M E N ,
wheelsmen, watchmen (non­
union) to work on the Great
Lakes; good wages, including
transportation and subsistence.
W rite, stating experience, 1208,
R oute 51, General Postoftlc8,
New Y ork, N. Y .
D E C K H A N D S, Firemen,
Oilers, Cooks (nonunion) to
work on the Great Lakes;
good wages, including trans­
portation
and
subsistence.
W rite, stating experience, 1208,
R oute 51, General Postoffice,
New York, N. Y .______________
[“ New Y ork W orld ”
A pril 17, 1908.]
DECK
H AN D S,
firemen,
oilers, cooks, nonunion, to work
on the Great Lakes; good wages,
including transportation and
subsistence; write, stating ex­
perience.
Address R
427
W orld.
_________
_____
[“ Philadelphia R ecord ”
A pril 18, 1908.]
D E C K H A N D S, Firemen,
Oilers, Cooks, nonunion, to
work on the Great Lakes; good
wages, including transportation
and subsistence. Write, stat­
ing experience, 1208, Route 51,
General Postofiice, New York,
N. Y . _________
______

FOBM OF APPLICATION FOB BENEW AL OF LICENSED OFFICEB’S CEBTIFICATE.

L

ake

C areless’ A

s s o c ia t io n .

BUREAU OF REGISTRATION.
A P P L I C A T IO N FO R R E N E W A L OF L IC E N S E D O F F IC E R ’ S C E R T IF I C A T E .

T h e u n d e r s i g n e d ,________________________________________________ , h o ld in g and
p resen tin g licensed officer’ s certificate o f orig in a l n u m b e r ______________,
ap plies fo r ren ew al o f sam e fo r one year, fo r w hich he p a ys th e annual
due o f tw o d o llars an d fifty cen ts ( $ 2 .5 0 ) upon th e f a it h o f h is agree­
m en t w h ile en gaged on a n y v e s s e l w h ich m a y be in clu d ed in th e m em ­
bersh ip o f •the L a k e Carriers* A ss o c ia tio n , to p e r fo r m and a ssist in th e
p erfo r m a n c e o f all la w fu l d u ties o f th e e m p lo y m e n t o f th e sh ip , reg a rd ­
less o f w h e th e r a n y officer or m e m b e r o f th e c rew m a y o r m a y n o t be a
m em b er o f a n y union or a ssoc ia tion o f a n y hind.
F a ilu r e in w h ich in
the final d iscretion o f the L a k e C a rriers’ A ss o c ia tio n s h a ll be sufficient
grou nd fo r th e revo cation o f the certificate applied for.




(S ig n a tu re o f a p p lica n t.)
H om e a d d r e s s ________________________________________

45

46

EM PLOYM ENT SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS, ASSOCIATION.

FORM OF AFFIDAVIT

OF DISCLAIMER OF UNION AFFILIATION W HICH HAS
BEEN USED BY ASSOCIATION.
[C o p y .]

State

of

O h io ,

County of Cuyahoga, ss.

--------------------- being first duly sworn, deposes and says as follows:
I hereby renounce all allegiance to any and all labor unions, particularly the
stewards, seamen, firemen, and oilers, and I declare it to be my intentions not
to join either as long as I follow sailing for a living. I am therefore a nonunion
man and if I can get a position on a lake, vessel in the event of any strike of
any description involving t h e ---------------------- union, I will stay by the ship and
faithfully perform my duties as such employee despite such strike or orders of
any union.
Subscribed in my presence and sworn to before me this — day of the month,
190S.

Notary Public.

[ s e a l .]

LETTER FROM SECRETARY OF ASSOCIATION NOTIFYING SEAMAN OF EXPIRA­
TION OF MEMBERSHIP IN WELFARE PLAN.
[C o p y .]
L

ake

C a r r ie r s ’ A

e x e c u t iv e

Secretary’s

s s o c ia t io n ,

c o m m it t e e .

O f f ic e .
C e v e l a n d , O h i o , June l/f, 1912.

M r. C h

as

. B . G ardner,

Mate Steamer Chili, Marine P . 0 ., D etroit, Mich.
S i r : Your certificate of enrollment in the Lake Carriers’ Bureau of
Registration is about to expire and in order to continue the benefits of your
registration it should be renewed before the date of its expiration.
I would be pleased if you would therefore forward the certificate to this
office with renewal fee of $2.50 and the matter will be promptly taken care of.
In making your remittance, please send check, draft, or money order. In
case you send currency, send it in a registered letter. I inclose you herewith
blank form of an application for renewal, which please fill out. Be sure and
inclose your certificate with this form.
Yours truly,
G e o . A. M a r r ,
D

ear




Secretary.

A P P E N D IX B.— STA T ISTIC S OF T H E L A K E CARRIERS’ A SSO C IA ­
TIO N FLEETS IN 191G.
T a b le

1 .—N U M B E R O F SH IPM EN TS O F R E G IS T E R E D W E L F A R E A N D U N R E G IS T E R E D
M EN ON A SSO C IA TIO N B O A T S IN 1916, B Y P O R T O F S H IP M E N T .
Port.

Registered.

Unregis­
tered.

Total.

B u ffa lo.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Conneaut............................
F airport.........................
Ashtabula.........
C levelan d ................ .
L o r a in ............................
Toledo.................................
D etroit............................ .
G ary.............................. .
South C hicago.. . . . . . . . . .
Chicago...............................
Milwaukee.........................
D u ln th...............................
A shland............. ...............

11,296
3,978
685
6,860
7,761
2,971
2,418
1,078
822
5,131
515
2,089
4,969
531

1,104
2,062
538
2,636
4,560
1,509
901
254
1,225
2,401
293
742
3,922
572

12,400
6,040
1,223
9,496
12,321
4,480
3,319
1,332
2,047
7,532
808
2,831
8,891
1,103

T o ta l.. . . . . . . . . . . . .

51,104

22,719

73,823

T a b le 2 .— N U M BER

Occupation.

O F S H IPM E N TS ON A SSO C IA TIO N B O A T S IN 1916, B Y OC C U PA TION
O F M E N A N D P O R T O F S H IP M E N T .
Regis­
tered
during
the year.

Captain........................
First m ate...................
Second m ate...............
Chief engineer.............
Assistant engineer___
Boatswain...................
W heelsm an.................
W atchm an..................
Firem an.......................
H andy m an.................
Oiler.............................. .
Steward........................
Barge mate ...........
Barge seaman.............
D onkey man ............
Deck h a n d .................
Second cook................
P orter...........................
W aiter..........................
Coal p a ss e r.................
W ater tender..............
T otal..................
Occupation.
Captain........................
First m ate...................
Second m ate...............
Chief en g in e e r...........
Assistant engineer___
Boatswain ...............
W heelsm an.................
W atchm en...................
Firem an.......................
H andy m an................
Oiler.............................
Steward........................
Barge mate ...........
Barge seaman
D onkey man . . .
Deck h a n d ..................
Second cook................
Porter...........................
W aiter........................
Coal passer..................
W ater tender.............
T ota l..................

Buffalo.

375
6
715
122
72
422
588 ............64*
101
961
523
2,133
24
7,813
656
133
7
77
6
4,231
249
680
9,752
18
2,459
19,787
Detroit.

1
6
8
1
0
61
371
117
1,323
3
225
21

Fairport.

Ashta­
bula.

Cleve­
land.

Lorain.

Toledo.

1
6

Gary.

24
1

30
84
662
234
1,865
12
430
69

5b6
4
29
2
333

67
6
3,280
151
481
4
2,065

23
^ 121
1
58
86
972
441
1,992
17
494
71
18
200
8
4,442
241
747
20
2,369

6,040

1,223

9,496

12,321

4, 480

South
Chicago.

12,400

Chicago.

Milwau­
kee.

Duluth.

jAshland.

16
1
2,038
66
321
1
1,442
12

2
7
19
2
16
63
473
146
1,750
3
260
38

11
45
5
53
13
253

3

3
6
32
36
245
243
128
101
1,058
660
3
4
171
143
25
23
1
6
72
143
5
1,608 ........1*098
60
50
170
197
6
847
645
3,319

1
5
14

3
28

3

13
14
189
100
570
2
103
19

3
10
3
20
57
428
213
2,180
5
311
25

7
15
1
19
14
116
65
302

2
9
55
9
558

78
16

49
6
1

114

13

13

667
25
102

2,568
116
332

268
27
50

884
45
165

176

564

1,623

155

683

2,775
82
451
1
2,284

356

1,332

2,047

7,532

808

2,831

8,891

1,103

63
46
126
1
30
7

Total.
3
72
342
8
240
565
4,858
2,151
15,026
75
3,001
458
32
759
26
25,123
1,159
3,860
52
16,001
12

43

403
34
86

12019°— 18— Bull. 235------ 4




Con­
neaut.

1
3
27
15
256
1
27
4

355
9
49

73,823

47

EM PLO YM EN T SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS

ASSOCIATION

T able 3.—NUMBER OF SHIPMENTS ON ASSOCIATION BOAT
N.
U
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35

36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50

Race or nationality.

Am erican.............
Armenian.............
Austrian...............
Australian............
Belgian.................
Bohem ian.............
Bulgarian.............
Canadian..............
Croatian................
Cuban...................
Danish..................
D u tch ....................
East Indian.........
E nglish.................
Finnish.................
French...................
German.................
Greek.....................
Hungarian............
Icelander..............
Indian...................
Italian...................
Irish......................
Hebrew .................
Lithuanian..........
Maltese.................
Manxmen.............
M exican................
Montenegrin........
Negro....................
N ewfoundlander.
N ew Zealander. . .
Norwegian............
N ova Scotian___
Polish...................
Portuguese...........
Roum anian..........
Russian.................
Scotch...................
Serbian.................
Slavic.....................
South African___
South A m erican .,
Spanish............... .
Swedish................
Swiss....................
Syrian...................
Turkish.................
W elsh....................
W est Indian........
T otal..........




Buffalo.

10,247
2

Conneaut.

4,924
-------

Fairport. Ashtabula. Cleveland.

1,051

.......
........

7,147
1
143
1
10
6
97*
........1
54

52
341

379
10
1
175
92
20

56
555
11
215
89
16

68
89

4
4

115

21

325
*438'
1
3

*1.64
173
9
644
30
38
2

18
163
5
4

27
359
"1 2

1
301

5

415
104

8,802

405

*‘ ii

169
77

’ 55
4
43
412
140

4
12
122
10
2

14
257
24
2

9,496

12,321

i.48

311

26
3

12
167
*9
3
......... i
12,400

6,040

1,223

49

A PP E N D IX B— STATISTICS OF ASSOCIATION FLEETS.
B Y R A C E O R N A T IO N A L IT Y O F M EN A N D P O R T O F S H IP M E N T .

Toledo.

Detroit.

2,362

1,047

South
Chicago.

Gary.

.....

4,783
3

79

260

........4'
2
2
100

1,506

'* “ 23*

1
1
1

’ ” ’ 38*

5

28

109

Duluth.

445

2,469

6,080

795

"*4

'" '3 7 '

165
2

**25

9
7

1
62

Ashland.

9
5

19

2
2

2
131

1

5

73

'i<r

119
154
13
519
16
18

9
371
104
13

21

11

2

7

Milwau­
kee.

10

33

61
35
3
140
38

Chicago.

11
12

15
2

54
18
5
17

19
79

2

21
2

449

1

262

238

1

3
5
1

.....

1

104

25

31

294

'*20

*3 *
4

'ia*

81

' “T

2
2

71
40

13

'Y

81
24
6

2
67

14

3

17

1
2
1

3,319

1,332




426

1

*12

344
80

247
100
1

2

3

“

” ’i‘
11

37
5

7,532

2
1
14

239
7

198
34

2,047

15

**58

2

1
1
1

2,831

1,103

Total.

55^769
8
1,375
22
74
41
31
849
1
2
428
110
2
660
1,991
74
2,701
513
121
4
5
164
1,529
19
24
2
3
8
2
1
3
2
2,134
1
984
12
112
1.881
597
12
11
3
8
75
1,287
121
11
20
15
1
73,8

Line
No.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50

APPENDIX C.—AFFIDAVITS IN REGARD TO ALLEGED DISCRIMI­
NATION AGAINST UNIONS BY THE ASSOCIATION.
S tate

of

O h io ,

County o f Ashtabula, ss.
Personally appeared before me, James Atkinson, a notary public in and for
said county, Arthur Canfield, 42 Mayfield Road, Northeast London, England,
who being duly sworn deposes and says as follows:
1. That he is an experienced lake sailor and has sailed the Great Lakes in
the capacity of ordinary and able seam upward of seven years.
an
2. That he got off the steamer Italia September 8, 1913, at Fairport, Ohio,
and came to Ashtabula from that port on the same day.
3. That about 4 p. m., September 10, 1913, at the port of Ashtabula, Ohio, he
was called out by the Lake Carriers’ shipping commissioner at Ashtabula for a
berth as boatswain on the steamer Sierra, at Conneaut, which he accepted.
4. That he received a pass for the boat and authorization for railroad fare
from the aforesaid Mr. Norris, shipping commissioner, after which he left the
shipping office to catch the car, which happened to have just left for the
up-town run.
5. That on reaching the street, he encountered one George L. Martin, agent
for the Seamen’s Union, and inasmuch as the car was not ready to transport
him to the depot, repaired with Mr. Martin to the Kennedy Hotel, at 85 Bridge
Street, Ashtabula, Ohio, where he paid his initiation fee and dues for said
union.
6. That while in the Kennedy Hotel, Mr. Norris, the aforesaid shipping com­
missioner for the Lake Carriers’ Association, came in and accosted him, asking
him for the passes in the following language: “ Let me see those passes.”
7. That after receiving the passes, which consisted of railroad transportation
and boat pass, Mr. Norris then stated he would keep them, and would not let
the affiant go to take the job previously arranged for him.
8. That this statement is made voluntarily and without offer of any reward,
either pecuniarily or otherwise.
A r t h u r G. C a n f i e l d .
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 10th day of September, 1913.
[ s e a l .]

J

am es

A

t k in s o n

.

[C o p y .]
S tate

of

O h io ,

Ashtabula County, ss.
Personally appeared before me, a notary public in and for said county,
Rudolph Schulenberg, 1951 Evergreen Avenue, Chicago, 111., who, being duly
sworn, deposes and says as follows:
1. That he is 17 years of age, and has sailed the Lakes for the past 2$ years.
In the year 1911, he was cabin boy and pantry boy in the Goodrich fleet sailing
out of Chicago, 111. In the year 1912, he was ordinary seaman on lake freighters
until about June 15, when he went to the coast, and afterwards returned to the
Lakes, sailing until November.
2. In the year 1913, he started sailing as ordinary seaman on the steamer
II. H. Rogers, which he left, and later shipped on the barge A lexander MaitlmM;
50




51

A PP E N D IX C— AFFIDAVITS.

about May 28, 1913, which he left the night of July 14, 1913, at Ashtabula,
Ohio. Between the time that he got off the H. H. R ogers and shipped on the
Maitland, he was in the Ashtabula General Hospital with a sprained ankle.
3. That on the night of July 14, 1913, after leaving the Maitland, he brought
his baggage up to the Lake Carriers’ shipping office at Ashtabula, and checked
same, then going to the St. Charles Hotel to engage lodging and board. He
remained there during the night, and was around on the morning of July 15,
1913, when accosted by a man who later proved to be George L. Martin, agent
for the International Seamen’s Union at that port.
4. That after talking with Mr. Martin, he went over to the union hall and
took out a trip card, paying $1 for the same.
5. In the afternoon of July 15,1913, he went over to Woodland Park, an Ashta­
bula amusement resort, where he remained until about 2.30 o’clock, when, on re­
turning, he went into “ Scotty’s Toggery Shop,” at 87 Bridge Street, where he
met Shipping Commissioner Norris, of the Lake Carriers’ shipping office, and
participated in the following conversation as near as he can recall same:
“ Did you join the union? ” Norris asked me.
“ Yes, I did,” I replied.
“ You are a simple-minded fool,” Norris continued.
“ How do you make that ou t?” I asked. “ Isn’t the union a good thing?”
“ It is,” said Norris, “ but they are not running it right. I always gave you
a good ship, but I never will do so any more as long as I am here.”
6. That following the foregoing conversation, he went up into the shipping
office and got his two suit cases, and $1 which he deposited to pay for clothes
which he expected C. O. D. from Chicago. As he went out, further conver­
sation ensued as follows:
“ You are going over on High Street now, I suppose,” said Norris. “ I hope
they give you a ship.”
“ Yes, I hope so, too,” I replied.
R

udolph

Schulenberg.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this loth day of July, 1913.
[ s e a l .]

Jam es A

t k in s o n

,

N otary Public.
My commission expires April 19, 1916.
S tate

of

O h io ,

Ashtabula County, ss.
Personally appeared before me, a notary public in and for said county, Ru­
dolph Schulenberg, 1951 Evergreen Avenue, Chicago, 111., who, being duly
sworn, deposes and says as follows:
That the affidavit he swore to on July 15, 1913, at the city of Ashtabula,
Ashtabula County, State of Ohio, regarding his experience with W . F. Norris,
Lake Carriers’ shipping commissioner at Ashtabula, Ohio, was his free act and
deed, and that he was not induced by any promises of reward nor monetary
consideration at the hands of George L. Martin, agent for the International
Seamen’s Union at Ashtabula, Ohio, nor of anyone else.
R

Schulenbeeg.

udolph

Subscribed and sw^orn to before me this 16th day of July, 1913.
[ s e a l .]

J am es A

t k in s o n

,

N otary Public
M y com m ission e x p ires A p r il 19, 1916.




52

EM PLO YM EN T SYSTEM OF LAKE CAKBIEBS7 ASSOCIATION.
[C o p y .]

State

of

O h io ,

Ashtabula County, ss.

Personally appeared before me, a notary public in and for said county, Fred
Reiss, 100 Main Street, Buffalo, N. Y., who, being duly sworn, deposes and
says as follows:
1. That he is a marine fireman and has sailed on lake ships for two years as
ordinary seaman and as fireman for over six years.
2. That he shipped as fireman on the Boland & Cornelius steamer Louis R.
Davidson July 29, 1913, at South Chicago, 111.
3..
That at the time of shipping on said Ijouis R . Davidson he held “ welfareplan ” book No. 34549, which was issued to him at Buffalo, N. Y., on or about
July 17, 1913.
4. That he got off said steamer Louis R . Davidson on arrival at Escanaba,
Mich., because the food served to him was not fit to eat, and, even such as it
was, it was also insufficient.
5. That when he quit the ship he demanded his money and his book, No.
34549, both of which requests were refused by the captain and the chief
engineer.
6. That this is a voluntary statement made without any consideration either
of a monetary nature or otherwise.
F

eed

R

e is s .

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 20th day of August, 1913.
[ s e a l .]

Jam

es

A

t k in s o n

,

Notary Public.

My commission expires April 19, 1916.
[C o p y .]

State

of

O h io ,

Ashtabula County, ss.

Personally appeared before me, a notary public in and for said county,
Norman Gregg, 1063 Prado Street, Los Angeles, Cal., who, being duly sworn,
deposes and says as follows:
1. That he is a lake marine fireman and has sailed for the past two seasons,
the first of which he was engaged as an ordinary seaman.
2. That he quit the steamer Shenango, at Ashtabula, Ohio, October 14, 1913.
3. That he reported to the Ashtabula office of the Lake Carriers’ Association
shortly after leaving the steamer Slienango.
4. That he went up into the Lake Carriers’ shipping office on the morning of
the 18th of October, 1913, and asked Shipping Commissioner Norris for his
suit case. At the time he was wearing a button of the Marine Firemen’s, Oilers’
& Water Tenders’ Union.
5. That Mr. Norris and he indulged in the following dialogue to the best
of his recollection:
“ What is that button you are wearing?” asked Norris, as he put his hand
on it.
“ Oh, that’s just a button I am wearing,” I replied.
“ Well, you had better get your grip and get out of here,” Norris concluded.
6. That he then took his grip over to the Lake Seamen’s Hall, High Street,
for safekeeping.




APPENDIX C— AFFIDAVITS.

53

7.
That this statement is made of his own free will and not for any con­
sideration whatever, either financial or otherwise.
N

orm an

G regg.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 18th day of October, 1913.
[ s e a l .]

Jam es

A

t k in s o n

,

N otary Public.
My commission expires April 19, 1916.
[C o p y .]

State

of

O h io ,

Ashtabula County, ss.
Personally appeared before me, a notary public in and for said county,
Elmer Henson, Bear Lake, Mich., who, being duly sworn, deposes and says as
follows:
That he is a marine fireman who has sailed on the Lakes on and off for the
past 10 years and prior to that on salt water.
That he got off of the steamer United States at Michigan City, Ind., Septem­
ber 8, 1913, and proceeded from that port to Conneaut.
That he was unable to ship on a lake boat at Conneaut and came to Ashta­
bula to try and get a ship.
That on the 29th and 30th days of September, 1913, respectively, the ship­
ping commissioner, Mr. Norris, at Ashtabula, told him he would not ship him
without buying a Lake Carriers’ welfare book, which he did not have.
That he was told he could not be shipped without such a book but was not
requested nor instructed to buy one, which he was willing to do, provided he
got a job.
That this statement is made of his own free will and with no expectation
whatever of reward for so doing.
E lm er H

en sen .

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 30th day of September, 1913.
[

s e a l .]

Jam es

A

t k in s o n

,

N otary Public,
My commission expires April 19, 1916.
[C o p y .]
C h i c a g o , III., October 2, 1911.
On September 12, 1911, I, the undersigned, P. Sullivan, applied to the Lake
Carriers’ Association shipping master, or “ commissioner,” at South Chicago,
111., for a chance to ship. He asked me if I had a welfare book. I said no.
He then informed me I would have to have one before I could sail, saying it
T
would cost me one dollar. I paid him that amount. He then questioned me
as to my full name, place of birth, age, personal description, name of relative,
and length of time I had sailed. He then told me to sign a paper, which I
did. I had no opportunity to see what this paper contained, as he held his
hand over the printed part, showing only the space to be signed. He then
gave me a Lake Carriers’ Association “ able seaman ” certificate, No. 80870,
and a Lake Carriers’ Association discharge book bearing the same number.
He made no attempt to ascertain whether or not I was capable of serving as
an able seaman, but simply asked me how long I had sailed and then gave
me the certificate stating I was competent to serve as a wheelsman. He was




54

EM PLO YM EN T SYSTEM OF LAKE CARRIERS* ASSOCIATION.

emphatic in his statement that I could not ship unless I accepted and paid for
a Lake Carriers’ Association certificate and discharge book.
(Signed)
P. S u l l i v a n .
Signed and sworn to before me this 2d day of October, 1911.
E d w in

O. H

asten

,

N otary Public.
[C o p y .]
S tate

of

O h io ,

Ashtabula County, ss.
Edward Sterling, being by me first duly sworn, says that he is nineteen (19)
years of age; that he has been employed on the Lakes as an able-bodied seaman
for about three years last past.
Affiant further says that on the 26th day of June, 1908, he went to William
Ford to ship as an able-bodied seaman, and one of the conditions under which
the said William Ford agreed to ship him was that affiant would turn over
to the said William Ford, shipping master of the Lake Carriers’ Association,
affiant’s membership book in the Lake Seamen’s Union, which book affiant
did turn over to the said William Ford.
E

dw ard

S t e r l in g .

Sworn to before me and signed in my presence this 26th day of June, 1908.
[ s e a l .]
M . R . S m i t h , N otary Public.
[C o p y .]
C o n n e a u t , O h i o , June 22, 1908.
This morning at Conneaut, Capt. Harris of the Pittsburg Steamship Co.
barge Manda asked me if I w ant to make another trip. I told him, yes. He
T
asked me if I was willing to give up my membership book in the Lake
Seamen’s Union. I told him, no. He said I must either give up my union
oi' not ride. I asked him, if I should hand my book over to him, could I
get it any time I wished. He replied, the book will have to be destroyed, so
I quit. When Capt. liarris paid me off, he told me I had better make another
trip and make up my mind. I told him I would not stay.
H
T

he

State

of

S t u r d iv a n t .

enry

O h io ,

Ashtabula County, ss.
Henry Sturdivant being by me first duly sworn says that the above state­
ment is true.
Sworn to before me this 22d day of June, 1908.
[ seal]
M. R. S m i t h ,
N otary Public.
[C o p y .]
C o n n e a u t , O h i o , June 22, 1908.
We, the undersigned, were discharged from the Pittsburg Steamship Co.
barge Manda at Conneaut June 22, 1908, for belonging to the Lake Seamen’s
Union, and refusing to promise Capt. Harris that we would not stick to the
union.
F
T

he

S tate

of

e l ix

T

homas

S c h w e it z e r .
M

arsd su sen

.

O h io ,

Ashtabula County, ss.
Felix Schweitzer and Thomas Marsdsusen each being by me duly sworn say
that the above statement is true.
Sworn to before me and signed in my presence this 22d day of June, 1908.
[ seal]




M.

R.

S

m it h

,

N otary Public.

APPENDIX C---- AFFIDAVITS.

55

[C o p y .]
C o n n e a u t , O h i o , June 22, 1908.
This is to certify that I, Seymour Higgs of Bellville, N. Y., shipped on the
barge Manda, property of the Pittsburg Steamship Co., as able seaman, at Erie,
Pa., on June 10, having been brought to Erie from Bellville, N. Y., by Capt.
Harris, who knew that I had never seen a boat before. I made the trip from
Erie to Duluth and back to Conneaut when Capt. Harris discharged three of
his crew for belonging to the Lake Seamen’s Union. I also quit. Capt. Harris
refused to pay me my wages; after some argument offered to pay me at the
rate of one dollar per day. This I refused and started up town after a lawyer,
when Capt. Harris called me back and paid me. Capt. Harris told me that
T would lose my money if I joined the Lake Seamen’s Union and told me to
keep away from the union.
Seym our H
T

he

S tate

of

ig g s .

O h io ,

Ashtabula County, ss.
Seymour Higgs, being by me first duly sworn, says that the above state*
nient is true.
Sworn to before me this 22d day of June, 1908.
[ s e a l .]
M. R . S m i t h ,
N otary Public.
[C o p y .]
C h i c a g o , June 24, 1908.
I,
the undersigned, shipped as ordinary seaman on the Pittsburg Steamship
Co.’s steamer B ak er in Conneaut, Ohio, on or about June 13, 1908. I shipped
out of the Lake Carriers’ shipping office in Conneaut, Ohio, and Mr. Ford, the
shipping master, tried to get me to give him my membership book of the Lake
Seamen’s Union. Mr. Ford told me that if I would give him my union book
that he would give me a good recommend to the captain on steamer B aker
and I could get a job as watchman on said steamer in another trip.
The boat went to Duluth and loaded iron ore for South Chicago, 111. The
steamer B aker arrived in South Chicago on Sunday, June 21, 1908, and I was
discharged from said steamer B aker on Sunday, June 21, for talking to the
watchman on said steamer in favor of the Lake Seamen’s Union.
R
State

of

udolf

S c h r e ib e r .

I l l in o is ,

Cook County, ss.
Subscribed and sworn to this 24th day of June, 1908.
[ s e a l .]

E

d w in

O. H

asten

,

N otary Public.
[C o p y .]
C o n n e a u t , O h i o , June 2'i, 1908.
This is to certify that on June 23, 1908, at Lorain, Ohio, I was discharged
from the steamer Adriatic, belonging to the Pickands and Mather fleet, having
worked one day. I asked the captain if my work was not satisfactory. He
said yes, but I belonged to the union, and he had shipped a nonunion man in
my place.
I was also discharged from the steamer Lynch P. S. S. Co. Saturday, June
20, 1908, because I belonged to the union. My partner, Rufus Simpson, and
two deck hands were also discharged from the Lynch for the same reason.




E

dw ard

S t e r l in g .

E M P L O Y M E N T SY STE M OF LA K E CABRIEBS ’ ASSOCIATION.

56
S tate

of

O h io ,

Ashtabula County, ss.
Edward Sterling, being by me first duly sworn, says that the statement herein
above made by him is true.
Sworn to before me and signed in my presence this 25th day of June, 1908.
[ se a l .]
M. R. S m i t h ,
N otary Public.
[Copy.]
C h i c a g o , F eb . 21, 1910.
This is to certify that I, Samuel Herring, was wheelsman on the Steamer
B e n r y A . Haivgood in July, 1908.
While we were loading coal at Irishtown, Cleveland, in July, 1908, myself
and the watchman were asked to sign a slip renouncing allegiance to any and
all unions while we sailed for a living. I refused to sign the slip, so did the
watchman, and we had to get off the boat.
I shipped on her at Milwaukee June 23, 1908, and left her at Cleveland
early in July, 1908.
S. A. H e r r i n g .

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 21st day of February, 1910.
[ se a l.]

C a r l S c h n e id e r ,

N otary Public.
[Copy.]
S tate

of

Omo,

Ashtabula County, ss .

Oscar Dalrymple and Cecil Wright, being by me first duly sworn, say that
prior to the 9th day of July, 1908, they were employed on the steamer Zenith
City, the said Oscar Dalrymple as wheelsman and the said Cecil Wright as
watchman.
Affiants further say that on the 8th day of July, 1908, that said steamer
entered the port at Conneaut, and that on the 9th day of July, 1908, when
they went to the captain’s office on said boat to receive their pay they were
informed by Capt. Henry Cegoux, who had charge of said boat, that unless
said affiants would turn over to him their union books in the Lake Seamen’s
Union they would have to put other men in said affiants’ places, and that affiants
would have to leave said boat.
O

scar

D

C e c il W

alrym ple.
r ig h t .

Sworn to before me and signed in my presence this 9th day of July, 1908.
[ se a l .]
M. R. S m i t h ,
N otary Public.
[Copy.]
H u b b e l l , M i c h ., June 29, 1908.
To whom it may concern:
This is to certify that I, John Brenny, left Erie on Monday the 8th day of
June, 1908, for Toledo for to join the barge Mala of the Pittsburg Steamship
Co.’s fleet. Received card from the Lake Carrier’s shipping master at Toledo.
Went to work on the 10th on the afternoon on that date. The shipping master
and captain called the crew aft and wanted to know if we had union books,
T
and if so we had to throw them away, as we could not sail in those boats if we
were to keep paid up our dues in the Seamen’s Union. I told them I could
not throw my book away, as I had a death benefit, accident benefit, and ship­




57

APPENDIX C— AFFIDAVITS.

wreck benefit in that organization. We were told to go to work. W e finished
that day’s work and turned to next morning again about 10.80 a. m. The
captain called us off and told us he had to pay us off, as a new crew was
coming from Cleveland to take our place. W e were all able-bodied seamen
and felt disappointed at the treatment we received from the Lake Carriers’
Association.
John B benny.

This is a sworn statement before me by John Brenny.
R

ic h a r d

C u d d ih y ,

N otary Public,
My commission expires October 21, 1911.
(N o seal.)




APPENDIX D.— COPY OF STATEMENT OF THE UNITED STATES
SHIPPING BOARD ANNOUNCING THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE
STRIKE OF LAKE SEAMEN ORDERED FOR OCTOBER 1, 1917.1

In view of the strike of the seamen on the Great Lakes scheduled to
take place on Monday, October 1, 1917, the Shipping Board, through
its vice chairman, Mr. Stevens, has had conferences with representa­
tives of the seamen and Lake Carriers’ Association.
As a result of such conferences he has been assured that the Lake
Carriers’ Association will accept any decision the Shipping Board
may make relative to the wage rates, and while it will not of its own
motion abolish the welfare plan, it will abolish the discharge book or
modify the welfare plan in any manner the Shipping Board may
direct after fair investigation. In view of this situation, the Ship­
ping Board recommends that the wage schedule for October 1 to close
of season be on the wage basis of not less than $95 per month for
wheelmen, lookouts, watchmen, and other able seamen; not less than
$95 per month for firemen, oilers, and water tenders; and not less than
$00 per month for ordinary seamen or deck hands and coal passers.
The Shipping Board will look into the subject of overtime and
make a recommendation thereon at as early a date as possible. * It
will also carefully examine the welfare plan, including the discharge
book, and make a recommendation upon the same at the earliest pos­
sible date. Both sides have under consideration suggestions made by
Vice Chairman Stevens relative to a plan by which grievances can be
taken up for consideration. The board will put forth every effort to
secure the adoption of the plan referred to.
Pending the result of negotiations the board will appoint able and
impartial men at the principal lake ports to hear any grievances that
seamen may have to present and try to adjust them on a basis fair to
all parties concerned. Upon these recommendations and understand­
ing it further recommends that the strike ordered for October 1,1917,
be postponed until the Shipping Board shall have had a fair oppor­
tunity to make the investigation suggested and recommendations
based thereon.
The United States Shipping Board,
By R, B. Stevens, Vice Chairman,
.
1
L ea flet p u b lish ed b y th e M a rin e F irem en , O ilers, an d W a te r T e n d e r s ’ U n io n o f the
G rea t Lakes.

58




O