[letterhead] HEADQUARTERS International Seamen's Union of America 570 WEST LAKE STREET [stamp] 429 V. A. Olander, Second Vice President CHICAGO, ILL. June 8, 1912
SUBSCRIBERS, "LIFE AND LABOR." FRIENDS:
We need your help. For many years the organized seamen have petitioned Congress to make changes in the maritime laws necessary to safeguard life and give to seamen an opportunity to secure justice for themselves.
On May 2nd, 1912, the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, of the House of Representatives, reported FAVORABLY the Seamens Bill, H. R. 23673, introduced by Congressman Wm. B. Wilson of Pennsylvania. IT NOW AWAITS ACTION IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE.
The terrible TITANIC disaster aroused a public demand for such legislation. But the public forgets, sometimes, and there now appears to be a disposition on the part of some Congressmen and Senators to be satisfied with a few more lifeboats, WITHOUT ANY REQUIREMENT THAT THERE BE EXPERIENCED SEAMEN ON BOARD EACH SHIP TO PROPERLY HANDLE SUCH LIFE BOATS AND OTHER LIFE SAVING APPLIANCES.
The Seamen's Bill provides, among other things, that all vessels at sea or on the Great Lakes must carry a percentage of experienced seamen in the deck crew. EVERY INEFFICIENTLY MANNED SHIP, WHETHER FREIGHT OR PASSENGER VESSEL, IS A SOURCE OF DANGER, NOT ONLY TO ITSELF AND THOSE ON BOARD, BUT TO EVERY OTHER SHIP IN THE SAME WATERS. The men who handle the ship, the lookouts, the men at the wheel, and the men on deck who care for and handle the lifeboats and fire apparatus, should be trained seamen.
WE NEED YOUR HELP--IMMEDIATELY.
We ask you to at once WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN AND SENATORS urging immediate and favorable action on the bill H. R. 23673. It has been reported favorably, BUT THERE IS STILL DANGER THAT CONGRESS WILL FAIL TO ACT DURING THIS SESSION.
We ask you to WRITE PERSONALLY, at once. WILL YOU DO THIS FOR US. There is no time to be lost.
Fraternally yours, V. A. Olander Vice President.
N. B. We Call your attention to this June issue of "LIFE AND LABOR" on this subject, and also inclose a brief discription of the bill.