The Extra Gang and the Washout



Report by George Fenton.

After the great rain storm of last Friday most of the railroads around St. Louis were under water. The next morning the Wabash Railroad Company had some bad washouts on the road and put a bunch of men to get things cleared up. The Wabash R. R. Co’s. boss told us that we would get $1.50 a day and board.

I went out with a bunch of men early Saturday morning and got to work about 10 a.m. We worked till 1 o’clock that afternoon before we got any dinner. Then the dinner was brought out to us in paper bags.

At supper time our supper was brought out to us in paper bags again. The gang worked tills o’clock that night, and was taken to the Vandeventer station.

When we reached there we asked the boss where we were going to sleep, and he told us we would have to find a place to sleep the best way we could.

After standing around the station for over an hour, some of us asked the watchman if we could sleep in the station as were all in after working at that washout. It was some time before he could let us know whether we could sleep in the station.

The next morning, Sunday, most of the gang was up at 6 o’clock, waiting for their morning meal; but to our surprise we did not get anything to eat, and when we asked the boss about this, he said that the meals would be sent out on the works for us. We worked till 12 o’clock and the meals did not come so we asked the boss about it again. It was dinner time, so we made a kick about getting our meals and told the boss we would not work till we were fed.

After a lot of trouble we got dinner about 2 o’clock. The gang worked till 7 and then was brought back to Vandeventer station and laid off. Most of the gang did not have the backbone of a worm; they would not ask for their rights but hung back and were willing to stand for anything.

There were fifty men in this gang and they would like to know who got the money for our Sunday morning meals. Somebody got the money as the Wabash R. R. Co. paid for three mals a day for us and we only got two.

Some of the people who are always telling us to go to work, should go to come of these washouts and work twenty-seven hours without a place to sleep, and see how long they would work. TRY IT.