PITTSBURGH TO PAY.

PITTSBURGH TO PAY.

Very properly the Austro-Hungarian government intends to teach the Pittsburgh mill-owners a lesson that human life is something too valuable to be trifled with. The tendency in that city on the part of these iron and steel magnates is to look upon their work people as mere “hands.” mere material, by means of which they can turn so much metal or so much ore into dollars for those who hire them and practically own them, as of old the Southern slave-holders owned their negroes—with this difference, however, that the latter were careful not to expose such expensive goods and chattels to any dangerous risks; these they kept for their white “help.” Hungarians, Slavs, Italians, all these can today he bought at so much per hundred, and, after they have been either worked to death or done to death by some legalized “accident,” can be replaced at the same cheap rate, to lie similarly expended in the eager hunt for dollars. Within a few days Pittsburgh and its neighborhood have had three fearful accidents, accompanied by many fatalities and at least as many serious injuries to employes. One was a boiler explosion, which caused several deaths and inflicted grave hurt on over a score of workmen. Possibly that disaster came under the head of non-preventable. Not so the other two, each of which was nearly identical, inasmuch as in each case the men were caught by the explosion of a blast furnace when busy working on a narrow platform at a considerable height from the ground. Those who were not at once killed had to take their choice of leaping down some eighty feet, or of being burned to death by the fierce flames by which they were encompassed. An inquest of the usual perfunctory kind was held over the dead, and the accustomed verdict of “accidental death,” with no blame attaching to anyone, was returned. And it was fondly hoped the matter would rest here. The Austro-Hungarian government, however, is determined that it shall not rest, so far, at least, as its deceased subjects are concerned, with the verdict of the coroner’s jury exonerating everybody. Ten Austro-Hungarians were killed by the accident socalled at the old Moorhead furnace, and these have left in Austro-Hungary persons dependent on them for support. It is, therefore, the intention of their Government to make those responsible for the taking-off of those breadwinners smart for it in pocket, at least, if not in person. This it wil} do, on the strength of the complaint of Alexander Nuber, the Austro-Hungarian consul at Pittsburgh, who has formally laid the matter before his Government, and added that there should be enacted more stringent laws as to the running of blast furnaces. When that has been done, he says there can be no doubt that the continuous loss of life at present connected with the operation of some notoriously old-fashioned furnaces will be practically stopped. It certainly will not be stopped otherwise.

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