Page:Historical Catechism of American Unionism.pdf/62

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of any impediment they offer as unions, but because they are the breeding ground from which may spring that menacing thing—one union of the working class.

181. Are the large capitalists behind the open shop drive?
It looks that way. They are not only the driving force behind the assault upon unionism in the open shop movement, but behind all the legislation proposed for national arbitration bodies by means of which it is intended to compel workers to labor under unacceptable conditions of unemployment. They are also trying to circumvent organizing efforts among their workers by means of Industrial Congresses, Benefit Societies, pension schemes, Industrial Relation plans, Loyal Legions, etc.
182. Why should the large capitalists take the lead in such a program?
Because they represent, to the greatest realized extent, the fulfillment of capitalist ambition, while their working forces represent largely the other extreme—a little—skilled proletariat. In the very largest industrial establishments the so-called unskilled workers predominate. Once this element of the working class is organized the end of capitalism is in sight. As long as the craft organizations exist, while there is no danger of their organizing outside of their restricted limits, there exists a source of inspiration, even tho it be an example of what to avoid. Therefore, the large capitalists, arrogant and at the same time fearful, are breaking down the barriers behind which they have found protection. A protection far surpassing anything which they, themselves, are capable of creating.
183. But do not craft unions organize unskilled workers?
Not as they should and must be organized. "No man understands better than the king, how much a man the king is." And no man knows better than the modern "craftsman" how much a fiction his alleged "craft skill" is. When the craft unions move their membership lines to include helpers, it is not done to assist the helper but to remove a menace to themselves. The average helper can, in a comparatively short time, learn to perform the operation upon which he assists the "journeyman." Therefore, it is only common sense to enroll him in the union as a subordinate. Seniority rules, and other handi-