Page:The farm labourer in 1872.djvu/18

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where a wiser and more far-sighted policy has made the evils of modern Unionism unnecessary, or innocuous. For the most intelligent of the labourers have all along declared that this was not altogether a matter of direct wages, though the action of landlords and farmers in some parts was fast driving it to become so. They value land more than wages, and the opportunity of earning more by increased zeal and care is worth more than a dead wage level, or a direct rise. "We want no strikes or agitation here," said the Assington men to a visitor the other day at the co-operative farm, "our wages are eleven shillings a week, but we can do without agitators." And a few weeks ago some Dorsetshire labourers, whose far-sighted employer had re-adjusted their wages, and put them in the way of earning what they were worth, were hooted by their fellow-labourers for refusing to join a union.

Up to the end of the last century, or even within fifty years past in some towns there were associations of trades called Guilds, partaking of the nature of trades-unions, but differing from the modern aspect of trades-unionism in these important particulars; first, they were associations of employers and employed, both working harmoniously together to their mutual advantage; secondly, the condition of fellowship in the Guild was that a workman should do his work well and truly; and thirdly, the workman took some share in the profits of the