N&W in 1911--wages

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Wed Jun 23 20:56:13 EDT 2010

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
January 1, 1911

Not Believed, However, That Request Will Compare With Demands of Last Year
The large number of union men who were in the city last night gave an opportunity for talk about the proposed meetings with the officials of the local road. The presence of several grand officers also gave an opportunity for conferences and it leaked out that all of the unions expect to meet the officials in a short time with a view to talking over conditions. It is possible that a small increase may be talked of, but it is not believed that the road will be asked to grant requests such as were made last year when organized labor throughout the country was trying to get its wage increased to a basis which would be nearer to the increased cost of living. In this connection several of the men who were talked to said they hoped the interstate commerce commission [sic] would grant to the railroads the privilege of increasing rates, as has been proposed, as they feel confident that the cost of living has affected railroads as well as the men employed by them. The earnings of the railroads in general were talked over and it was believed that the year 1910 was the most successful in the history of railroading from an earning standpoint. It was also said that as a result of the enormous amount of traffic during the year which was moved at a greater cost, the overhead charges have necessarily increased with the result that the railroad should be permitted to earn more money if the legislators want to see the wage earners paid more wages.
It was particularly noticeable that the men are all pleased with the workings of the standard appliance law and feel that the railroads have been repaid for the expenditures made by the lessened death rate as well as the time saved in the movement of equipment with less chance of wrecks, which have greatly diminished according to a general belief, but which is not backed up by any reports from official sources.
Gordon Hamilton
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