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Newspaper Page Text
WHAT UNIONISM MEANS TO YOUR. CHILDREN,
AND TO YOUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN
. ' BY N. D. COCHRAN
Not -many -years ago I stood on the sidewalk watching a parade of union
workmen on Labor Day A friend came to my side and asked me what I
. was thinking about.
He was a business man, an .employer. He belonged to the., class I am
supposed to belong to the employing class. And I answered him in- this
way: x - y - .
"I was thinking that some day one of my sons", orVat least' one of my
grandsons may be wearing a! union button and marching in a Lafcdr Day
parade. And then I thought that if I were to do all I can (;q -better the con
dition of the workers of :today, I would be only doing my duty.to. my children
an3 my children!s children."
I tell this little story merely to illustrate the plrit'iiv which I discuss
union labor in the hope that readers who do -not. belong to unions, and
who, perhaps, are prejudiced against unionism, may, receive my argument
. Jxl the spirit in which it is made. . r.
None of us is strong enough,tq so change conditions in.our brief time
on earth, that justice will .prevail or that we can see the people actually living
the Goldeii Rule. But each of us can do something1 to help conditions keep
moving in the right direction. . -
I do believe that most people want to be just when they judge others,
and that often when we are unjust in our judgment- it .is because we have
been misled, misinformed or deceived. . ' 1
Many honest-minded peopleare prejudiced against labor unions be
cause organized capital has made it a part of its pplicy to have newspapers
that could-be controlled or subsidized deliberately" suppress and color news'
to "create this prejudice. , v
For example,, the newspapers that worked up the .fiercest, indignation
against the" McNamaras for blowing up the Los Angeles Times office never
, told their readers of the long-and-deadly fight made by the steel trust arid
the National Erectors' Association to destroy the structural iron workers
union. t 1
- They would! use their biggest headlines to tell of the horrible deed of
a desperate workingman, but they' wouldn't tell the story of persecution
. that made him desperate. ' , f
And then -unionism in general would b'e.held responsible for the acts
of a handful of desperate and misguided unionists. That was just as fair
as it would be to denounce all womankind for the acts of. a few desperate '
suffragists in England in destroying property to get votes' for women.
However, what I have in mind now is the activity" of labor organizers in
Chicago to gfct the stockyards and garment wprkers and the clerks in the
department stores organized in unions.
I want,to. point out the absolute necessity of organization as the only
certain remedy for all of the vice and crime that result from low-wage
poverty.' - ,"
.Everybody who knows anything about-vice and crime, knows that they
are intimately associated with poverty. I don't meari'that high wages will
'abolish vicXand crime for they flourish in high places as well as low.
ut I do mean thatif a father 'is paid a wage on Which he can properly -raise
and educate his children, those children will not be exposed to so