42 THE CLASS STRUGGLE Mr. Whitman, who will most probably seek to be again elected Governor, in order to obtain the Republican. nomination. for President in 1920, was too scared to sign this bill. His political ambitions saved the day for the workers of the State, temporarily.
But not all the labor laws were saved by the Governor political ambitions. The fire protection laws were almost entirely wiped out, in the interests of the builders of factories and factory owners.
After the Triangle catastrophe, laws were. passed to prevent the repetition of that tragic occurrence, in which the lives of one hundred and forty seven daughters of the working class were brutally snuffed out by capitalist greed. These laws were relaxed and weakened. One exit was required for every one hundred feet of factory space. Now one exit for every three hundred feet of factory space is permitted.
Until this year the owners of factories were required, to have sanitary toilets for the needs of the workers. This year Legislature thought that that is a bit too good for the producers of the world wealth. And they amended the law by perniitting unsanitary toilets to be constructed in factory buildings hereafter.
The constabulary bill was one of the measures which were put over this year in the name of flag and country. For years the capitalists of this State, in their envy for the good fortune of the capitalists of the State of Pennsylvania, who had been enjoying the benefits of the Cossacks, were yearning to have that democratic institution introduced into the life of our State.
For years they attempted to get their oflice boys. in Albany to give them that law. But never before this year did these office boys muster sufficient courage to bless us With the rule of the Cossacks. But this was truly the year of the explotters. What they could never before have accomplished, they accomplished this year.
It is true that the Democrats solidly voted against the Cossack bill. But there is little comfort in that for the workers. The three reasons which chiefly caused the Democrats to do. as they did were, firstly, because the Cossacks are not to be required to WAR LEGISLATURE 43 come under civil service law; secondly, because the City of New York will have to pay about seventy per cent. of the cost. The City of New York pays about seventy per cent. of all State ex penditures. The third and perhaps the most important reason for the reluctance of the Democrats to assent to this measure was their eagerness to grasp this perfectly harmless opportunity to play to the galleries, and to assure their strong labor union constituency in the large cities of their pro labor sympathies.
Especially as the Democrats were in such a decided minority.
Were it not for these reasons, few, if any, Democrats would have voted against the bill.
The high regard in which the Legislators hold the welfare of the workers is evidenced by another bill. Until this bill was passed the law probihited the sale of skimmed milk in the City of New York. In the argument both publicly and privately when the amendment to that law came up for discussion, it was frankly admitted that the skimmed milk, which is really adulterated milk, is now being fed to the pigs on the farms, and they are not uveranxious for it. Whole milk, or pure milk, is being fed to the calves. Skimmed milk is not good enough for them. But, this year Legislature thought that skimmed milk is good enough for the workers babies in New York City and the law was amended to that effect. An amendment to the bill, to require certain regulations in the sale of the adulterated milk, was defeated on the pretext that it was too late in the session for the printer to change the bill. 50, as matters now stand, the milk trust and other profit mongers in the milk business may by authority of the law feed the babies of the working class upon milk which is now fed only to pigs.
The manner in which the Legislature took cognizance of the high cost of living was most remarkable. The salaries of almost all officials in the State were raised. The least significant as well as the high ones were taken care of. deliberately use the term oliicials. Intentionally did not use the term workers.
The workers of the Cities and Counties were forgotten entirely.
Thus, while the Judges Stenographers and confidential Clerks, for example, were raised from Twenty five Hundred Dollars