Page:Historical Catechism of American Unionism.pdf/7

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unions, no matter what they call themselves, or are alleged to be.

19. Well, how about letting the bosses join the union?
Not yet. By the bosses, of course, you mean superintendents, foremen, etc. Their viewpoint is the same as the employers', or they would not be holding their present jobs. In the discussion of questions relating to the job they would be putting up and contending for the employers' side, thus preventing the advancement of the workers' interest. They would, therefore, prove a hindrance to the union.
20. Is there not an employers' side to every industrial question?
Well, if there is, let them look out for their side. We have all we can do to attend to ours.
21. Then you have no regard for the employers' interest?
The only regard to be felt for them is to regard them as our enemies, economically.
22. Should they be fought all the time?
That is what a union is, if it is anything at all—a fighting weapon of the workers. People do not take fighting weapons to a picnic; they do take them to a battlefield—and that is just what modern industry is. There is an unceasing battle between the working class and the employing class. The union is the weapon with which the workers wage battle in behalf of their interests.
23. What do we know about the earliest unions in the United States?
Very little is known of the earliest unions in the United States. The printers are known to have organized for and won strikes in New York (1776) and Philadelphia (1786). The carpenters of Philadelphia struck for a 10-hour day in 1791. Shoemakers in Philadelphia organized in 1792, but no records of that union have been preserved. They organized again in 1794. This union was known as the Federal Society of Cordwainers. It lasted until 1806, when there was a conviction for conspiracy. This union conducted the first organized strike in America of which there is record. The printers of New York organized the Typographical Society in 1794. This union lasted two and one-half