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Months before that date, while cars still were being fitted out, Ching went on his own time to the system's Charlestown yards and familiarized himself with the new equipment.
Bad luck overtook Ching 2 months after he assumed his broader responsibilities.
There was no workmen's compensation at that time, and Ching was dropped from the Boston El payroll the minute he entered the charity ward at the Boston municipal hospital.
Higher-ups in the company had by that time recognized that they had a good thing in Ching.
Over these years, Ching moved through a series of jobs, all of which kept him in close touch with the employees, and he sensed that low wages, lack of overtime pay, overtight schedules, and an utter lack of communication between management and workers were breeding dissatisfaction that could mean trouble for the company.
The company president, in words Ching used years later to describe the event, "went all to pieces like a burst balloon.
No one on the management team except Ching was willing to take on that assignment.
That broke the ice, and Ching made the initial order of business a pledge by both sides that neither would ever again use spies to sit in on the other's private meetings.
Everyone laughed when Ching finished his recital, and the laughter turned to cheers when he announced that he held no grudge against the young assistant, who was basically an intelligent and useful worker, and that he intended to keep him on his staff in the new era of amicable relations with the union.
Facing up to that challenge gave Ching additional opportunities to persuade the chiefs of the Boston El unions of his commitment to fair treatment of the company's employees.
One such opportunity presented itself when the divisional chairman for the Order of Railway Telegraphers sought out Ching with a copy of the union's standard contract.
When the post-strike agreements came up for renewal in 1916, Ching had stabilized relations with the unions to a point that arbitration was unnecessary.