Page:Historical Catechism of American Unionism.pdf/92

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their efforts to beat the gigantic combination of capitalist interests with a disintegrated, powerless craft union of mechanics; the switchmen of the Northwest losing their contest through the allegiance of their fellow unionists to the common enemy; the suffering coal miners of Pennsylvania and Illinois, starving in a hopeless conflict while other union miners are supplying the markets with coal; the defeated street car workers of Philadelphia unsupported by other craft unionists in their conflict; the tens of thousands of militant men and women of that city who, not shackled by craft union contracts which would force them to scab as the craft unionists had done, preferred to stand by the striking car men in struggle against oppression, wrong and abuses and be crushed with them as the result of this division in the ranks of the workers; the steel and iron workers of Bethlehem deserted when support and co-operation would have brought victory and amelioration of the evils they rebeled against; the seamen once in the employ of the same corporation by which the steel workers' craft unions were crushed, appealing in vain for the support in their struggle for the rights of free men, all bear witness to the helplessness and impotency of labor as at present organized.

This worn out and corrupt system offers no promise of improvement or adaptation. There is no silver lining to the clouds of darkness and despair settling down upon the world of labor.

This system offers only a perpetual struggle for slight relief from wage slavery. It is blind to the possibility of establishing an industrial democracy, wherein there shall be no wage slavery, but where the workers will own the tools they operate, and the product of which they alone should enjoy.

It shatters the ranks of the workers into fragments, rendering them helpless and impotent on the industrial battlefield.

Separation of craft from renders industrial solidarity impossible.

Union men scab upon union men; hatred of worker for worker is engendered, and the workers are delivered helpless and disintegrated into the hands of the capitalists.

Craft jealousy leads to the attempt to create trade monopolies. Prohibitive initiation fees are established that force men to become scabs against their will. Men whom manliness or circumstances have driven from one trade are thereby fined when they seek to transfer membership to the union of a new craft.