Page:Historical Catechism of American Unionism.pdf/59

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

except the craft union system, could induce these workers to scab upon their fellows.

So often has this happened that it would be a waste of paper to set forth all of the numerous occasions. These are a few of the most flagrant instances:
The Homestead strike (1892); Buffalo switchmen's strike (1892); Pullman strike (1894); Bituminous strike (1902); the Harriman System Federation strike (1911); San Francisco street-car men (1907); Chicago packing house workers (1904), etc. These are only a few of the lost strikes for which the craft system of unionism is solely responsible. These were only a foretaste of what the many strikes since and the open shop drive of the present were to make the craft unionists acquainted with.
Even the agreement is being denied and arbitration demanded. To this the A. F. of L. seems to agree,—that the brokers may still deal in American labor power—for we find only today (July 22, 1922), that the committee of international officers of the A. F. of L. building trades have determined to bring the Chicago building trades under the terms of the infamous Landis Award and under the domination of the anti-labor Citizen Committee; and to do so, they are organizing a dual Building Trades Council. Verily, the A. F. of L. bears the brand of capitalist agent.
175. Why say craft union system?
Because unless we see the craft unions as a system, we fail to understand their significance. A body of men following a special line of work might advantageously organize themselves into a union to advance their interests. Then when they found out that such a union was unequal to serving them, they would naturally incline to enlist with them such other labor classifications as would enable them to meet and deal with a condition or conditions which they could not favorably influence alone. As the function of unions is economic, it is natural that an alliance between them or a federation of unions, would have an economic object. When, therefore, we find alliances that serve another and different purpose to the extent that they entirely defeat the natural object of the component units, the intent of the workers composing these bodies has been misdirected. The American