W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

The Maine Narrow Gauges (Historic & Preserved) => The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 => Topic started by: Jeff Acock on October 27, 2009, 04:01:52 PM

Title: Union or Non-union?
Post by: Jeff Acock on October 27, 2009, 04:01:52 PM
Hello All,
I'll post this question here, since it pertains to the Maine 2-footers generally:
On which roads were employees represented by the railway brotherhoods?   I would assume, that the Monson RR was non-union, at least in the later years, since the operating employees performed a wide variety of duties; maintenance-of-way, freight handling, etc.  It also seems reasonable to assume that the SR&RL and B&SR were union roads, as they were under the control of Maine Central, but I have not been able to find any data to support this.  If they were organized, did union representation end when the railroads became independent under local ownership in the later years?  Was there some sort of general rule regarding length of line, number of employees, level of business, etc, that helped to determine which railroads were targeted by the operating unions for organization?

Thanks in advance.  Any input will be welcomed.  I will be posting a similar question on the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum.  I am especially curious as to whether ownership by a class I seems to have been the  determining factor for being a union or non-union operation.  The question more generally goes to the operating efficiency of narrow gauge versus standard.
Jeff Acock
Adrian OR
Title: Re: Union or Non-union?
Post by: Allan Fisher on October 27, 2009, 07:35:14 PM
None of the Maine Two-Footers were ever represented by unions. The SR&RL engineers had established a unit with the BofLE, but the union was never certified to formally deal with the company - and some speculate that this start of unionization was one of the reasons the company was shut down temporarily in 1933 and put up for auction in 1935..
Title: Re: Union or Non-union?
Post by: Glenn Byron on December 12, 2009, 05:27:17 PM
A little glimpse of WW&F work assignments:  From "Remembered Maine" by Ernest Marriner p.99, Another Toot of the Narrow Gauge--- "The lack of specialized positions among the employees of the WW&F is shown by the case of Harvey Bean, conductor for 15 years.  One day Harvey was sweating away, transferring baled hay from his own train to a Maine Central boxcar at Wiscasset.  One of the village merchants saw what was happening and said, 'Why, Harvey, I thought you were conductor.  What are you doing handling hay?'  Harvey's explanation was revealing. 'Don't you know that everybody on this road has to work?'