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TENEMENTS. Well, the strike failed. After six weeks—the longest and most determined general strike the union conducted—the men returned to their work individually, such of them as were wanted, with the notices still posted in the shops. Hundreds of them did not and will not get back at all. And there will be deep bitterness and hopelessness this winter in many East Side tenements, and perhaps hunger and cold-dull tragedies which, though pregnant with meaning, will never come to public notice. And it is significant that the sufferers, if suffering there is, will be the union men who have struck, who have helped to raise the standards of the industry, while those who profit will be the non-union men, who, taking their places, draw for a time the high wages which the union has helped to secure. This fact may serve to explain, if it does not excuse, the intense hatred of the union for the non-union man.

The union itself, though by no means wiped out of existence, has been scattered, its treasury laid waste, and the inundating tide of cheap foreign labor has again flooded the industry, crushing down the protective walls that the union has built so laboriously. Hours may and will probably be lengthened, and wages may be decreased, though at this writing the shops are still crowded with work and no reductions have been made. A New York employer assures me that the cutters should work nine hours instead of eight and that they must come to it sooner or later, as they have in Rochester.

And yet, the industry will never go back to the deepest depths of the sweatshop period. The union, though defeated, has accomplished many permanent results—some through factory legislation, some through an awakened public sentiment, some through the very fear on the part of the employers that. if conditions grow too bad, the workmen having now learned how, will speedily revolt. And with certainty the broken fragments of the union will be gathered up again, for the ferment of

united democratic action-indeed, the very spirit of Americanism-is here, planted deep. Without it we might well be hopeless about the East Side. And gradually the union will grow strong again, and the older men will be wiser for their experience.

But what a gigantic task it is for these dim-minded East Siders—this lifting upward not only of themselves, not only of those new and still more densely ignorant immigrants who daily pouring into the East Side, but of the entire crushing mass of society above them! As soon as they have trained one set of immigrants to the principles of their union, others crowd in, threatening their existence-so they can never rest from the toil of agitation and organization. And no outsider can help them much; they must do it themselves. If the East Side is lifted, the East Side must do the lifting. It reminds one of the huge, contorted, 'muscular figure of the Rodin statue, struggling to emerge from its block of marble. PART THE EMPLOYERS PLAYED IN THE

STRUGGLE. But what of the employers? How were they concerned in this titanic struggle? They, too, sacrificed much. By having their shops closed in the busiest season of the year, by having to train unskilled men, they lost thousands of dollars. They would assuredly have allowed no mere notice to involve them in a costly conflict, unless they really felt the condition of the industry was becoming serious.

The plain fact is, the organization of the national Labor Bureau and the posting of the open shop notices really meant an organized attempt to check the union. Several

influenced the ployers; the union was weak from a long fight in Rochester and Philadelphia, the industry had passed from a period of expansion to one of quiet which presaged a falling market, and there was, finally, a large surplus of labor in the East Side clamoring for work. In other words, the law of supply and demand, which for several years had been work








ing in favor of the union, was now oper

The Manufacturers of New York ating against it.

then, began an “open-shop" campaign. As showing how fully the

Now the open shop means the right to facturers realized the opportunities pre- employ non-union or union men indissented by a swarming, unemployed criminately—which certainly is a right East Side, I quote an interview with perfectly inalienable, indisputable. And an employer printed in the Daily Trade Mr. D. M. Parry and his associates have Ricord (the organ of the clothing trade shown their great shrewdness in emmanufacturers) for July 1st:

phasizing it, in dramatizing the nonWhy, tailors! there is no scarcity of union man as an abused figure of indetailors; they are thicker than the hair

pendence-which, indeed, he often ison a dog. It is impossible to organize them all, inasmuch as they come over

thereby appealing to the sympathy of so fast that the union cannot keep enough

the American people. people who understand the language But if the undoubted right of the emof the newcomers busy among them, and they get to work before they can

ployer to hire union or non-union men make themselves understood in this indiscriminately is exercised without country. There is more material for resistance, it means that the employers tailors coming over here every week will gradually fill up their shops with than the whole trade can ever find work

non-union men-because for. If there is one thing that Russians

non-union can do better than the Japanese, it is to men, unprotected by organization, will make pants. There is not a boat that work cheaper; and that ulitmately means comes to these shores that does not

the end of unionism and all that unionbring a thousand possible tailors. One

ism stands for. Hence the bitter opboat landed yesterday with some 3,900 of them.

position of labor unionists to the unEMPLOYERS

restricted operation of the right of the

employer to hire non-union men. The It was not because the “closed shop" garment-workers insist that the union or the domination of labor by the union is the only barrier that stands in the was an "un-American institution" that way of a swift return to conditions the Clothing Manufacturers attacked it. approximating those of the old-time Business is not that way; business cares sweat-shop. Indeed, the tendency of

for Americanism than for wages in an unorganized industry is to Christian Science; business is for itself, sink to the wage of the man who will for the main chance, and if a closed work cheapest and live poorest. shop will increase its profits more than wage, like poor money, drives out the an open shop, then it espouses the closed good. Allow Chinese labor to compete shop-as the Building Trade Employers' freely in the American market and imAssociation has done in New York, as mediately only Chinese wages would be the Master Plumbers have done in many paid, and the American workman would cities. Indeed, some of the clothing be forced to live like a coolie or starve. manufacturers of New York who are On the other hand, in industries where now fighting the union so bitterly on no union exist, there is a tendency for the "open-shop" proposition were, a all employers to grade downward to year ago, actually urging the union compete with the merciless task-master to press forward in the Rochester in the trade. An employer who wishes struggle and bring the manufacturers to pay good wages, to share his prosperthere—their competitors to the eight- ity, to be benevolent, cannot do it behour day. If the union had succeeded cause his neighbor grinds his workmen in Rochester, there would have been no down, and in order to remain in business "open-shop" talk in New York this the honest employer must stoop to the spring. But they did not succeed; methods of the dishonest employer. Rochester went back to a nine-hour The properly managed union enables day, and Philadelphia followed, thereby the naturally upright employer to be upgiving them an advantage as competitors right, and it forces the dishonest emover the New York manufacturers. ployer to be upright.



A poor

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WOULD MEAN. In the clothing trade of New York therefore, the breakdown of the union would not only pull down the better, more ambitious workmen-those that have built up the union-to the level of the new immigrant, who is willing to work for next to nothing and live in crowded, dirty, immoral, un-American conditions, but it would let in also the piratical, dishonest, small employer, who, if he could, would return to the diabolical sweat-shop system and force the decent employers to follow, directly or indirectly. There

the inevitable tendencies; and the chief force that has appeared to withstand this industrial “grading down” is the union.


“* Perhaps the greatest single advantage of our trade-agreement system,” he said “and of a reasonable, businesslike unionism, is that it has eliminated the unscrupulous employer, who cheated his men by underweighing his coal, and as a consequence often compelled decent employers to meet his methods or go to the wall. The union, supported by the coal operators, in joint agreement has placed coal mining on a solid, honest, business basis, where all employers are on the same footing so far as labor is concerned. Of course, the union is far from perfect; but I regard it today, where it adopts business methods and where it is wisely led, as one of the inost useful and uplifting influences in life.

Granting that the clothing manufacturers could utterly demolish the United Garment-Workers--a design which they all disclaim—what would they gain? With the union beaten, wages would be lower and hours longer, sweat-shop work might even be surreptitiously re-established, but manufacturer would gain anything, they would all go down together in the competitive market.

The only party to the struggle really profiting would be the public, which could clothe itself for a time more, a very little more, cheaplyat the expense of the comfort, morality, and Americanism of the East Side.

The public certainly, pays for unionism. Wage advances come, finally, from the pocket of the consumer. But the Americanizing of the East Sideand that is exactly what it meansthrough unionism, would be cheap at almost any price, and not merely in a philanthropic or moral sense but in broader, social, and even selfish business



Unions, like governments, like society in general, are organized to deal with the dishonest and to assist the inefficient classes. If all employers were as broadminded as the best in the clothing industry, and all workmen were efficient, temperate, honest, there would be little need of unions-nor of any law or government. The union is the industrial policeman.

We find, therefore, two classes of employers in the clothing industry opposing the union-first, the high-class, broadminded, self-respecting employer, whose shop conditions are excellent, union or no union, and who hates to be reminded of his duty when he does his duty of his own volition. I went through a great clothing establishment, one of the largest in the country, where the conditions really ideal; where the best wages were paid; where there was at present no apparent need of a union, although unquestionably the excellence of these conditions was due in large measure to the agitation for years of the union in other quarters. But the chief owner of this establishment is one of the leaders in the fight on the union. On the other hand, the union always has against it the unscrupulous employer, who sees in this organized force a hindrance to his plans for sweating a little more profit from the abject necessity of the workers. And it is only when the better class of employers perceive, as they have in




restricted exercise of its equally undoubted right to stop work (strike) for any cause whatsoever, it might, by a system of discrimination and violence against all non-union men, be able to force a universal “closed shop”-in other words, a labor monopoly which might be used to mulct the public as it has in Chicago and San Francisco, or to seize control, practically, of the employers' business. It can, indeed, be conclusively shown that exactly as an extreme “open shop” condition (the result of which is finally a wholly nonunion shop) is a detriment to ployers as well as to the workers, so an extreme “closed shop" is a detriment to the workers as well as to the employers.

Neither extreme is wise.

It is essential to resognize the limitations of the principle of trade-unionism. The best condition is one in which there strong organizations both sides, each holding the other in check.




sense; for a high-paid East Side will
live better, buy and consume
food, clothing, coal, furniture-nake
business better for everybody.



wrong and

Thus it is that in England and in the better organized American industries like coal-mining, stove-molding, and others, both employers and employes have learned to avoid any discussion of the abstract rights of the two parties, knowing that they lead instantly to irreconcilable difficulties. In England, where unionism is, in some respects, far better developed than in America, there is no “open-shop” question what

Each side learns that the labor problem is not abstract, but intensely practical; that each side must refrain from exercising all of its rights (in common withh all men in civilized society), and must submit to the eternal law of compromise, that the industry may progress in peace.

Broadly speaking, therefore, if an “open-shop” policy rigidly pursued by the manufacturers (no matter what their abstract right may be) disrupts the protective union and reduces the garment-workers to sweat-shop conditions, drives them down to a plane below that of decent American livelihood (and there is no question that it has this tendency), then it is a public

a detriment to society. The union is not only a benefit to both workers and employers, but it has become, in our complex democratic civilization, an absolute necessity; and it should be as jealously protected by society as any other great institution. We may even find that a union shop or even a"closed shop"in many unskilled or semi-skilled occupations would be a place of blessing rather than a curse—at least until the workmen have been lifted to a plane of intelligence, having acquired a capital of skill, where they can in a measure protect themselves or until immigration is stopped or checked.

Unionism, then, is a necessary, vital force in our life; but just as surely as it is a great power for good, it may also, unlimited and unrestained, become a dangerous influence for evil.

We have seen that the unrestricted exercise of the Clothing Manufacturers' unquestioned right of “free employment"-in forcing the “open shop"might lead to the destruction of unionism and the degradation of the workers to sweat-shop conditions. On the other hand, if the union were allowed an un





We had started out on a trip to the Flathead country, in Montana, from Seattle, and took the North Coast Limited for Spokane. Leaving my wife and daughter in the day coach, I went forward to the smoking-room. Just as I had comfortably seated myself, the late J. B. W. Johnston entered with two other gentlemen, who had a dignified military bearing. Brother J. asked if they might sit beside me, and, after moving close to the window, he introduced them veteran conductors. After exchanging greetings, they lighted cigars and put their feet upon the opposite seat in an indolent fashion.

I caught a twinkle in J. B. W. J's eye and knew some good old story was about to be launched. The spokesman had a very familiar appearance, but at the time I could not recall where we had met. He began by making remarks. about the modern way of handling passengers and checking them.

Said he, “Do you know that I think it an outrage for railroad companies to sell transportation, take the cash and then repudiate it; should they find the transportation in the hands of others, why should a common carrier kick, since it was not stolen or lost? They sold the tickets, got the price asked in each case. It does not cost any more to carry one man than another.

“Of course, every conductor must comply with the rules and regulations of the company, but it is sometimes try• ing to his judgment when it comes to

handling three or four hundred passengers on a division in one trip, and all kinds of contract transportation to be scrutinized. For instance our brother conductor who came out of Seattle this morning put a man off his train, with one of those long coupon tickets evidently issued by some eastern line and routed around the world via Seattle and return.

"Perhaps some scalper bought it from the original purchaser before its contract was half completed.”

“Yes," chimed in my friend, over, the North Pacific paid one

eight hundred dollars last week for being side-tracked on the same kind of transportation. But our craft

very thankful that one of the ticket collectors, and not a conductor, stuck the company for that bunch of money."

“They do run ticket collectors, then?" said the Wabash veteran.

Yes, the ticket collectors on this road are liable to board the train at any point on the line; and he has authority to take your tickets, cash, and all forms of transportation that is in your hands. Just the same as the traveling auditor, who jumps in at any station and demands of the agent all cash vouchers, expense bills, etc. Of course, agents are all bonded in guarantee companies, and should they ever turn up short, all the railway company does is to supplant them and call upon the guarantee company for shortage. The guarantee company takes care of the agent who ever dares to be short in his accounts.”

“No, thank you," said old Wabash, "I prefer those old conditions where we did our work and had a few privileges, working our trains carefully, easily and gracefully, and handling quite as large a volume of business between Springfield and Quincy as the brother has today out of Seattle. We had plenty of time to do this and talk politics with Old Dick Yates, then governor of Illinois, and smoke a quick cigar in the baggage car or talk with the pretty girls who rode to and from their various homes on the line to the seminaries and colleges as Jacksonville. It was a pleasure to work under those old conditions, and I never laid off in my life for ten or fifteen days that I did not report for duty at least four or five days before my leave of absence was due. There were fewer kickers then than now, and that made life worth living. By the way, that recalls to memory a romance that had a very sad ending on the Springfield division of the old Wabash."

At this juncture, the modern conductor came up to listen to our old Wabash hero.



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