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that aside, they commenced first with the watchmen. Now, Mr. Stillings's father was a veteran of the Civil War, and he invited the watchmen into his room, when he found that they would go through the office and reduce the extravagance. He said, "My father was a veteran of the Civil War, gentlemen, and I will see that you are taken care of." Of course they took it for granted that it was all right. Then, when the matter came up here in the House, one Member asked if this would reduce the watchman and some Member got up and said that it would not. The watchmen were not represented because they thought Mr. Stillings would represent them. They were then on the per diem roll.
Mr. BYRNS. How much were they getting then?
Mr. HAYS. $2.25 per day, and 20 per cent and double time for holidays and time and a half for Sundays. I am not certain about the sick leave, but they got annual leave. Now, the intermediates whom I represent now got $2.65 a night, and those on from 4 o'clock to midnight got $2.70. These got $2.25 and 20 per cent. Now, they were taken off the per diem roll and put on the annual roll. Furthermore, Mr. Chairman, there were eight or nine supernumeraries there. that used to take the place of the watchmen when they were on leave or sick, and that lightened the work on the men there; but that is not so now and has not been since then. When any of the men are sick, the men on the floors above and below take their places and do their work in their own time. Now, the wages are computed at $1.97 a day, at 31 days in the month, but if they have no leave coming to them they will take $2 out of their wages instead of $1.97. They only get 30 days leave, including in the 30 days holidays and Sundays. Now they get off on holidays provided that they can get any relief.
Mr. BYRNS. I was just going to ask whether you subscribe to the statements made by these gentlemen as to the inadequacy of the pay you are now receiving?
Mr. HAYES. Yes, sir.
Mr. SISSON. What are the duties of the watchmen?
Mr. HAYES. We have to look out for fire and leaks, and we have to look out for stealings and robberies. Then, the watchmen have to turn in regularly every hour, just as the policemen do.
Mr. SISSON. Do you have clocks to use in making your rounds? Mr. HAYES. We have the same system that the police have. We have the same working system, with a switchboard connection. Mr. Ford put that system in recently. Before we had something of the same sort, but it was very inadequate. This is perfect. The watchman must turn in his reports regularly.
Mr. SISSON. How often is the watchman required to make his rounds?
Mr. HAYES. Every hour, at least. We must make our rounds every hour, because we must turn in the reports.
Mr. SISSON. How many watchmen do you have to every floor? Mr. HAYES. We are supposed to have one to every floor, but, as I have stated, when a watchman is sick (and three or four are frequently sick at the same time) that work must be done by other watchmen. One watchman has sometimes to do the work of three watchmen. That has repeatedly happened.
LEGISLATIVE, EXECUTIVE, ETC., APPROPRIATION BILL, 1918. 575
Mr. SISSON. Do you mean that you have an average of three or four watchmen sick all the time?
Mr. HAYES. At least that.
Mr. SISSON. Out of how many people?
Mr. HAYES. Well, men sick and on leave-it will be three on a shift.
Mr. SISSON. Then you have three men sick or on leave all the time out of every 20?
Mr. HAYES. Yes, sir; and sometimes we have more than that. Mr. BUCHANAN. Are you complaining of overwork or inadequacy of salary?
Mr. HAYES. We do not complain of overwork exactly, but of the inadequacy of salary.
Mr. SISSON. How long has this union been organized? When was the watchmen's union organized?
Mr. HAYES. It was organized very recently. I just joined the union myself two weeks ago.
Mr. Sisson. Is this simply an organization of the employees of the departments here in the District?
Mr. HAYES. Yes, sir.
Mr. SISSON. Do you know when it was organized?
Mr. HAYES, I do not know exactly the date.
Mr. RAINES. It was organized last January.
Mr. BYRNS. Is there anyone else who desires to be heard?
STATEMENT OF MR. MARTIN W. GANSBERG.
Mr. GANSBERG. Gentlemen, I am employed at the National Museum. I come here in behalf of the watchmen there. There should have been more here, but they are not, because they are working in the daytime and can not get off.
Mr. BYRNS. I am sure they will subscribe to any statement you now make.
Mr. GANSBERG. Yes. I wanted some of them to come here and make statements to you. But this call came so suddenly that I could not get them together. The condition of some of the men up there is really pitiable. If you could get them on the stand before you and have them talk to you as human beings, I am sure you would increase the compensation of those men, whether the authorities at the institution recommended such an increase in their estimates or not. I am not in a position to know at the present time whether they have put in a recommendation for an increase, but if I could be permitted and if your time were such as to permit it I could tell you some of the facts, tell you the reason why we get only $60 a month at the museum, and then you would have a very good opinion of our cause. We believe you are all in favor of us, but that you can not do anything for us and are not expected to do anything for us unless our superiors, or the officials up there, ask for it, and I guess you are all familiar with the intense interest that they have taken in it during the last two or three years; but if they have taken any interest I have never heard anything about it, and I do not suppose you have either. I have a paper here which, if you will permit me to read, I am satisfied we will not only get the increase you might want to give us, but that we might get something
more nearly what Mr. Nolan's bill proposes to give, which, of course, we are all in favor of. I would like to ask your indulgence while I read this paper, and I will go through it as rapidly as I can.
Hon. JOHN J. FITZGERALD,
Chairman Committee on Appropriations,
House of Representatives.
MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMITTEE: We have been designated by our union to appear before your honorable body in behalf of the watchmen of the United States National Museum and Smithsonian Institution. We are here for the purpose of appealing to you to assist us to secure a living wage befitting native-born American citizens, at the same time presenting for your kind and serious consideration inclosed statements from some of the men of the watch force in regard to their home lives, character of their employment, if deemed necessary for your information, and also to tell you about the continuous, uninteresting, and scientific problem as to how they exist on $720 a year. We do not know whether the officials of the museum have at this time made any written request in their estimates for 1917 for a better remuneration in our behalf, to alleviate the sufferings caused by the inadequate salary we are now receiving. We only know of the interest taken by them in the past two or three years. In connection with this we would state that on December 10, 1915, the men were informed officially, in answer to an appeal to our superiors for a better salary, that the attention of Congress had in the past been called to the matter. Gentlemen, we have every reason to believe that your honorable body can not be expected to do anything in our behalf, through our supriors, by simply having your attention called to the matter.
The men employed as watchmen in this great institution, receiving large appropriations yearly, for the most part are men of limited education; but this does not deprive them of possessing ordinary intelligence and common sense, especially in affairs which would benefit them. They can read between the lines, and they are of the opinion, as we believe you are, that what is most needed to help them is a red-blooded appeal verbally or a written request by the officials when presenting their estimates to you. Appeals and requests made in this manner have generally borne fruit; and many watchmen outside of the Washington departments are better paid and, in some departments, they receive more salary than the three lieutenants of the watch in the museum receive. You gentlemen know that these requests were granted by you when the men benefited thereby had the head of their department make these appeals or requests personally. This calling the attention of Congress, and nothing else said or written, may be compared to the poor man who lost the seat of his trousers, and whose friends were continually reminding him of his misfortune but not taking enough interest in him to buy a new pair.
The statements from the men are, perhaps, not as numerous as they should be for the following reasons: Some of the men have not served their probation, others, unfortunately, were appointed before the civil-service act went into effect, and these older men no doubt have good reasons, best known to themselves, for not making statements, but all the men agree about the conditions caused by their present salary. Here are the wails of some of them. Gentlemen, as a class of the lower-paid employees, as American citizens, perhaps, in some cases, your own constituents, we beg your further indulgence and permission to make known to you and the Members of Congress the experience of the average lower-paid employees. Those, among you who have been Government employees are familiar with the facts, and these remarks are principally and respectfully directed to the gentlemen who have not had this experience. In the civil service there are, in the nature of things, some who must exercise authority and maintain discipline. We divide those in authority. for your information, into two classes. We believe it is right and in order to first tell you about the good men who are our superiors. These gentlemen,. with some exceptions, have not spent the whole of their lives in the service, having had a broader experience in other fields of endeavor. They are, as a rule, broad-minded, kind, and just to their subordinates. They are a credit to the Government and are the men who produce results.
Here is the other side, telling about the bad class, those who are responsible for present conditions, and if we had the brains and education we could write a book about them and label it "Hypocrisy in the Government service." You know of them and some of us have met them. They are chiefly distinguished. with exceptions, by their long length of service and their false pretenses of
economy directed against those who, in reality, do the work and, also, their ingenuity in getting large salaries for themselves only and which they do not earn. They are the sniveling, sneering tyrants who go on indefinitely. They know how to meet and talk to you Congressmen, who do not go on indefinitely. They kotow to you when they have to and bulldoze and browbeat those beneath them.
Gentlemen, the time and opportunity is at hand for your powerful and important committee, and the Members of Congress, to cut short the abominable activities of this false servant of the public who, in the past, has had it in his power to affect the living conditions of the lower-paid employees, their wives, and children who, in many cases, unless they have other resources, are deprived of the necessities of life, caused by these vultures in a few of the departments, who fatten at the expense of their subordinates. In the department where we are employed we are among those favored with a paper issued weekly, called Local Notes.
This paper keeps us informed of the travels and activities of the higher paid employed, such as scientists, and so forth. From an educational standpoint the readings of these papers, as to new exhibits, travels, etc., are of benefit, but from a bread-and-butter standpoint they do not hit the mark. Considering our compensation at the present time the receiving by us of this paper is like flaunting a red rag in front of a mad bull, and it is, to say the least, inconsistent. These papers are the subject of much mirth among the men, and of such intense interest to the New York and Brooklyn delegation on the watch force that they have jokingly declared that they would send theirs for the purpose of mastication to the famous goats of Harlem. When better conditions are at hand we can more fully enjoy the reading of these papers about the doings of the scientist, and so forth. At the present time we would like our superiors to display a more practical and Christian interest in our behalf, and whereby we can receive a few more United States dollars, so that we can support our dependents decently.
In conclusion we respectfully thank your honorable and democratic committec for the permission granted us to appear before you.
(Mr. Gansberg also filed the following letter:)
Hon. JOHN J. FITZGERALD,
MARTIN W. GANSBERG.
House of Representatives.
WASHINGTON, D. C., December 6, 1916.
DEAR SIR: Your honorable committee being convened for the purpose of receiving testimony in order to secure legislation to alleviate the sad conditions prevailing among some of the employees in the Federal service (including the nether classes), such as mechanics, watchmen, firemen, and laborers, I, as one of this class, respectfully place before your committee some true facts regarding one of these classes, namely, the men who serve as watchmen in those great and prosperous institutions, the National Museum and Smithsonian Institution.
For the present, I will eliminate any statements regarding the high cost of living, as I am sure the committee is up to date plentifully burdened with that kind of data and confine myself as briefly as possible to the varied and nuderous duties we perform for $60 per and which require qualifications not required of the poor fellow employed in markets, stables, etc., as watchmen.
I will begin by stating all the duties that are performed that I can remember by both the day and night men. The day men patrol hard stone floors, being relieved a few minutes morning and afternoon for toilet, answer all kinds of questions pertaining to Washington, the exhibits, and the buildings in which we are employed, and very often some not at all pertaining to our work, operate a switchboard, or rather, most of them do, wear a uniform (which they pay for themselves), act as receiving clerks, carry heavy revolvers, are sworn as special officers. They receive four hours off every other Sunday morning, the building being open 365 days a year.
Plenty of decoration and equipment on this job, but not enough of the long green.
All these duties, especially the questions we are asked, are invariably performed with good grace, to which our superiors will testify.
The night men are required to become familiar with three large buildings and two smaller, namely, the old and new Museum and the Smithsonian. They
turn clocks while on rounds, in the meanwhile making careful inspections of numerous rooms, fire apparatus, etc. Those who are assigned to the new building turn 38 clocks while on rounds and walk 10 acres or more in this building. While stationed in halls they turn clocks hourly, on doors, Mutual District signals hourly, discipline being necessary in all well-governed establishments; penalties are prescribed for missing clocks, signals, being late for duty, late in making rounds, etc. I am taking great care not to miss any of these signals, as I do not want good Government ink wasted in writing these neglects against my record and they might also affect my chances for kingdom come. The night men also operate the switchboard, take the time of employees accurately, and have to be careful whom they admit into the building after the regular hours.
The day and night men receive less time off than in most of the departments. This is not the fault of our superiors but probably because of our being employed in a museum. The captain of the watch, with so many responsibilities, grants us all the time off that he possibly can without leaving the watch too short, but his good intentions are often frustrated for various and good
The salary we are now receiving is not conducive to the well-being of the men or their families, men who guard valuable property that money can not replace, and this in a country the grandest on earth and with the best Constitution and principles ever framed.
But recently I learned that distressing conditions existed in the families of two of the men; being unencumbered I managed to secure $25 for one of these men. They are both men who do not drink, are good husbands and fathers, and, like others in higher walks of life, endeavor to live respected and die regretted.
Being one of this humble class, I fully understand, better than my more fortunate and powerful brother, what a small salary means, especially when the doctor, etc., comes around to be paid, and, in conclusion, I respectfully thank your honorable and democratic body for being given the opportunity to present this communication.
Yours, very respectfully,
MARTIN W. GANSBERG, Watchman, Smithsonian Institute and National Museum.
Mr. GANSBERG. I do not get an opportunity like this every day; I feel like a human being here, in being able to state a few things from the standpoint of the middle-class man. If you could understand the duties we are actually performing for $60 a month, I am sure you would say that it was a disgrace for American gentlemen to allow us to do the work. I have been a soldier, and my father before me was a soldier. As a boy I was brought up to revere our American institutions, and I do. I am patriotic, but some of the men over me make me actually ashamed of being an American.
Mr. BYRNS. Is there any other gentleman desiring to be heard? Mr. REESE. Mr. McGuire would like to make a few remarks.
STATEMENT OF MR. JAMES MCGUIRE.
Mr. MCGUIRE. A gentleman who spoke about the duties of the watch force in his department mentioned the fact that they rang in every hour. In the bureau we ring in every 15 minutes. Each floor has two men on it, and on each floor are what they call boxes; a man carries a crank in his pocket, and he has to go and ring in every 15 minutes all night; that is, at the Bureau of Engraving.
Mr. SISSON. How long do you work-eight hours?
Mr. MCGUIRE. We work on eight-hour shifts. I work at night. I have been on duty all night, but I thought I would come over and explain those conditions.
Mr. HAUBE. I am a watchman at the bureau, and I am also storekeeper. I am in charge of the tool room, and I have got to ring in