The Starvation Railroad.
How the Green Hands run the Concern.
Dear Sir—If you will grant me a little of your space I will say a few words for "the boys" that were on the Pembina Branch, but first of all I must tell you of the very fast trip which was made from Selkirk to St. Boniface on Thursday morning by the accommodation train. That morning the train men were all "green." Anybody could see that they were trying their very best to be careful, for all the shunting required to make up the train (which was not much) was done at a snail's pace. Still when the train was made up, then somewhat behind time, it was found that one of the journal boxes had become heated, and that car had to be taken out of the train. It finally got started. Before reaching Bird's Hill three or four more of the boxes became heated, and it was eleven o'clock before arriving at St. Boniface. Just imagine, from eight to eleven o'clock for a train to make twenty-eight miles, and the speed so great that several of the journal boxes became heated and there was no other cause of delay. Truly the management of the Pembina Branch is carried on on the "penny-wise-pound-foolish" policy. By refusing to give good an thoroughly experienced men reasonable wages and when they have gone elsewhere, put on "green" hands, at starvation figures, they endanger the railway property and the lives of all who may happen to be on the trains. The heating of the boxes of which I write was the result of incompetency, as such a thing would not occur on such a short run with men who understood their duties. It showed that the journals of the cars were cutting and becoming seriously damaged, and this might have gone on till the ends of the axles and the journals were sufficiently cut away to cause perhaps a serious accident by the dropping of a car while in motion. As for "the boys" who have gone, I must say they were a careful and painstaking lot of men, who thoroughly understood their work, and were unwilling to leave if they could have got decent wages. I see in the Times that one of them earned $69 per month at fifteen cents an hour. Just figure a little, Mr. Editor, and you will find that he had to work nearly eighteen hours a day for twenty six days, unless he worked Sundays and then he would average fifteen hours and a half a day. Pretty long hours that. Talk about paying the same wages as on other Canadian railways. If "the boys" could get their board at the same rate as in other parts of Canada, and other things in proportion, that would be all right, but that is out of the question here. I am one of those who are anxious to see the management of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the hands of a company, for the Government will never be able to run the road satisfactorily. The opposition papers will pitch into them because they do certain things, or because they do not; it makes no difference which. Thanking you for what I have taken up of your valuable space, I am
Not one of the Boys.
Winnipeg, Sept. 10, 1880.