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Newspaper Page Text
ONE MANS OPINIONS
BY N. D. COCHRAN.
What Is a Laborer? The follow
ing note, from Jno. Strong raises an
Editor Day Book: I read with in
terest your comment on the letter
written by Veritas. An opinion seems
to prevail that a worker is one who
does the rough things and who is
coarse and uncouth. Even the $15
per week State street clerk would not
for a moment be called a worker;
and this idea is generally believed
where white collars are worn. I be
lieve the. influence of your paper is
such that this opinion can bb gradu
ally overcome. People are befuddled
by this 'and that. We need to be at
onerin only a few things to bring
about' a government controlled by the
ones who produce the wealth. May
we have the pleasure of hearing your
view's on the subject. ' ?
Yours for the cause of humanity,
: All of us are workers in one way
or another. Some of us do the world's
work and others of us work the
workers. As some see it employes are
the workers and employers are not.
I don't see it that way. Edison is an
employer, but he is one of the world's
famous workers. Many wprkers hap
pen to be in the position of bosses or
employers, but the generally accepted
division of industrial society is be
tween the employing and the employ
However much anybody may decry
class distinctions, we have classes
and everybody knows it And even
the classes are subdivided' into other
My opinion is that what a man is
or does depends more upon his na
ture and training than his class. For
example, a mean, selfish, and unsym
pathetic employer would be the same
kind of man if a change of fortune
put him in what we call the work
ing class meaning the employed.
Class, . .
Of course, "a State street clerk be
longs to 'the working class, even
though he may try to convince him
self that he isn't in the same class
with the bricklayer.
There are snobs among the work
ers just as there are snobs among
the employers and the non-producers.
And generally the labor snobs are un
organized and work for a smaller
wage than their organized brothers.
There are some who would draw
,a sharp distinction between the store
clerk and the bricklayer, and consider
the clerk less rough and more genteel
thaff the bricklayer. As for me, I
would much prefer to be a bricklayer.
Not merely because the bricklayer
earns and gets two or three times -the
wage the store clerk gets, but be
cause the bricklayer is a builder in
stead of a waiter and server. He has
more of a man's job.
Always the unorganized worker is
more of a servant than he organized
worker. He is subject to the whim or
caprice of his employer and seldom
dares assert his manhood.
This is becoming worse because
the store "owners have a secret union
of their own, and if a clerk is fired
by one he will have a tough time of
it getting a job with another. If he
has asserted any of his rights he will
be put down as a disturber, meddler
or agitator. And what the store own
ers want is nice, clean, genteel, sub
A union bricklayer, however,
doesn't have to stand for abuse or
injustice from his boss. He has not
only all of the men on the job be
hind him for protection, but all of
the men in his craft.
It makes no difference that the
clerk's hands may be soft and the
bricklayers hard with callouses. You
might call the work of one genteel
and that of the other xough; but in
my judgment the bricklayer has all
the best of it.
Of course, the clerk has a chance
to hecome a storekeeper himself, but
that-doe'sn't appeal to me. Many mer
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