Items of Interest

Sixteen thousand union carpenters in Chicago, striking for an increase of five cents an hour, were under the ban of a lockout order by their former employers a few days ago. Painters, lathers, plasterers, and sheet-metal workers found themselves in similar circumstances, and enough allied trades were affected to bring the total of idle men beyond seventy-five thousand. Contracting painters and decorators have decided to substitute strangers for nine thousand union men who were locked out, because three thousand of their number struck in protest against the antistrike agreement which all members of the Building Constructors Employers' Association were pledged to exact from all building crafts. Work was virtually tied up on building operations valued at thirty millions of dollars. The strike, ordered by union leaders, was declared after a demand for an increase in wages from 65 to 70 cents an hour had been refused by the Building Constructors Employers' Association. The association had offered the men an increase of two and a half cents an hour for the last eighteen months of the three-year agreement. Contractors estimated that the amount of building operations which would be affected by the extended strike will reach a figure close to one hundred million dollars.

In connection with the water-power leasing bill, which was passed by the national House of Representatives during the last session of Congress, but which failed to pass in the Senate, Secretary of the Interior Lane states that the bill will again be introduced immediately upon the convening of Congress, and expresses the hope that it will be speedily passed. As showing the necessity for such legislation to safeguard the public interest, he calls attention to the rumor of consolidation of the Western

"If ye abide in me"
May 8, 1915

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