Page:Historical Catechism of American Unionism.pdf/15

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work at 25 per cent less than the prices charged by the masters.

51. Was their co-operative venture a success?
Evidently not, as they lost the strike. We agree with Commons' history that "co-operation is an indication, not of trade unionism, but of the failure of trade union policies." We shall find much evidence in this respect at a later period. Co-operation has been used (1) for the purpose of retaliation on the employers, and (2) to attain a position where permanency of employment might be achieved. Up to now it has not proved successful.
52. Were the employers permitted to join the early unions?
As the tools of the period were comparatively simple every journeyman expected at some time to become a master. This feeling tended to cloud their perceptions as to the necessity of keeping their unions clear of any influence which might tend to mislead them in the enunciation of principles and the formation of policies. It had the tendency to temper the demands of the day with the idea of its effect upon their own possible changed relation upon the morrow. This was, and still remains, a dangerous influence in organizations of wage-earners. Even though the employer might be barred from membership, which was not the case, the influence of his viewpoint still commanded an important place in the deliberations of these early unions.
53. How long did this condition obtain?
With a few modifications it has remained up to quite recent times. The physical absence of the employer is not important as long as his mentality governs in union affairs. This is the case in the A. F. of L. and "independent" unions today.
54. Were there no exceptions?
There was one exception, an employing printer was expelled by the New York Typographical Society in 1817. According to Commons' history, which quotes from the No. 6 Official Annual of the Typographical Union, March 1892: "'Experience teaches us that the actions of men are influenced almost wholly by their interests, and that it is impossible that a Society (union) can be well regulated and useful when its members are