Page:Historical Catechism of American Unionism.pdf/58

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there is little difference, and whatever difference there is redounds to the advantage of unassociated unions. While the fiction of unity is preserved by the A. F. of L., the industrial kinship of the different groups can never find expression.

As long as a permanent organization for soliciting labor legislation is passed off for effective combination of national unions, the organized workers are being imposed upon. If the best that more than two million workers can do is to provide themselves with a lobbying committee, some influence, that is not a labor influence, is misguiding them. And what is not a labor influence in capitalist society is a capitalist influence. There is no neutral ground.
And what have they got, these labor solicitors for more than 2,000,000 organized workers? A beggar's portion—more refusals than laws. What laws have been conceded were of a minor character, and while the courts were empowered to decide, even these are not secure. The invocation of the Lever Act against the miners in 1919, and the Coronado decision recently, is a negation that ought to drive home to the American workers the need for some other attitude than a begging posture before legislative bodies and cowering posture before the courts. The craft union system was made to order for the capitalists.
The policy of time agreements, which originated with the employers in 1890, is an essentially capitalistic feature of craft union policy. All agreements are arranged to expire at different times. As a result, the employer whose industry is organized under the craft union system is always assured that his industrial inconvenience will be as slight as the craft system can make it. Craft unionism is insurance for the boss against very serious embarrasment. Contrariwise, it is a serious handicap and an embarrassment to the working group which it condemns to fight alone; for one set of union workers in an organized employment may strike to adjust a grievance, but the rest of the organized workers, bound by their agreements, remain at work and assist the employer—thus helping to defeat the strikers with whom they are in sympathy to the last heart beat. Nothing on earth,