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Newspaper Page Text
I -ORGANIZATION OF EMPLOYES' THE SUREST
" WAY TO GET LIVING MINIMUM WAGE
BY N. D. COCriRAN '
In attempting to organize thewomeh etnployes of department stores,
the Woman's Trades Union League 1b taking the most practical step possi
ble toward a solution of the living wage problem.
OrgahizationTneans that women employes will be able to protect them
selves. And that beats protection by law.
As it is now, the stores are organized the employers have, a. uniom
And it is quite evident that they'employ the blacklist, and, throw their com
bined strength in the scales against the puny strength of each individual
Imagine the brute strength of aUof ,the millionaire employers oh State
street against one poor, lonely girl, working for $5 a week,, .
And then figure out what chance the girl has against tyranny and
injustice. ' ; ;
" Being organized, the. employers act4ogdther. Being unorganized, escli
employ has no protection in Her rights excepHvhat she can do as a lone
individual, with several other, girls ever ready to take her job. .
. v "' When the employers talk of holding a. conference with the O'Hara
'J v "cbmmitiee to discuss voluntary action on their part in establishing a, mini
mum wage, it never occurs to tKem that tniremployes have a right td'iaye
their say about that minimum wage. ' ...
The employers buy the labor and service of employes with money,
but the employes buy the employers mpney with labor arid, service.
So it ought to he a two-sided bargain, or contract.
The only way it can be a twd-sided cbritract, is for the employes to
have the same fight to organize that the employers have.
I know that many employers are bitterly opposed to labor organiza
tions; and I know that labor leaders' and labor unions often, make mistakes.
But I haVe yet to. find a perfect man among employers one who never
If one such man existed, he wpilld be so different from all the rest of
us, so unhuman in fact, that hone bf us would like fiim.
Experience with many employers and employes, captains of Industry
and leadersof labor, has convinced me that what kind of an employer or
labor leader a man is, depends, after all, upon the kind of MAN he is. ,
The surly, selfish, arrogant employer would be just that kind of, a
labor leader, ( if some sudden change of fortune stripped him of his wealth
arid threw him into the ranks of labor.
And the surly, selfish, arrogant labor leader would become the same
kir,d of employer if some sudden change of fortune threw him into that
The give-and-take, square, deal or Golden Rule policy is the drily iaw
that will bring peace in our industrial life, where actual.war now exists.
And there is much reason to believe that peace wiil. come only when
both armies are so thoroughly organized, that each will fear td fisht the"
other for an unjust cause. "
mat s oue reason way i iavor tne organization or potn employers and
Roughly the people are divided into twp classes employers and e'iti-
ployes. And about 95 per cent of 'the people areihi''jth6 employs-" class