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Newspaper Page Text
THE "SCAB" HAS TO PAY A MUCH GREATER:
PRICE THAN THE WORKER HE BETRAYS
"Scab!" There fe-no word in the
English language so fraught with
hatred as this one word when it is
used by strikers against strike-breakers.
Girls cry it with tears of rage
in their eyes and every primitive in
stinct aroused against the man or
woman who is jeopardizing their fight
for better working conditions. Men
cry it with all the unleashed passion
of their natures urging them to wage
If you ask them just what is a
"scab" you always get an answer like
this: "A lowdown fink who is taking
our jobs!" "A gutter bum that's scab
bing on the job and sucking in with
the boss," or even, gome unprintable
definition, but always from the same
angle what the "scab" does to the
The thing you never get and which
has always seemed to me to be of so
much more importance is what the
"scab" is to herself or himself.
A few years ago I had occasion to
talk to the wife of a man who re
mained working with a few others
while the the rest of his shop went on
a strike for better conditions.
His two children, both of them old
enough to realize the word that was
being called their father, sat in the
room with the mother as she talked,
and while her eyes were bright with
defiance, the boy looked down at the
pattern of the carpet and the girl
looked out of the window.
"I told my man to work," the wo
man said defiantly. "I told him we
ain't got no time for strikes. He'd
been out of work for months before
he got this job and me and the chil
dren need the money. We got bills to
Her voice was hard. She talked
feverishly. She said too much. She
realized she was the wife of a man
who was 'a traitor to his class, and
though she had urged him op, though
she justified him then, she was tast
ing the bitterness of loss of self-respect
And the children were tasting it
with her. They would never be proud
of their father again, for he wore the
brand of a traitor aud they would not
be able to forget it
The loss of the respect of others is
a terrible price to pay, but it is little
beside the loss of one's self-respect
One may get away from the others;
one cannot get away from oneself.'
Judas, who betrayed his Master, hung
himself to escape his conscience. -There
is always the "still small voice"
to taunt; there is always the sense
of shame that only the traitor knows.
If the fight is lost, his is the con
sciousness that he helped to defeat
the workers who fought, and the in
dustrial slavery that binds itself still
more tightly about the mass was
caused by the treachery of the one.
If the fight is won he has no part
in the victory, for he did nothing to .
make the fight a success.
He has not even the satisfaction of
receiving the gratitude of the bosses
for whom he betrayed his class. The
briber has naught but contempt for
the bribed. The capitalist despises the
worker who will sell out his class. He
wouldn't trust the traitor when his
need of him has gone.
"Scabs" they start and what do
they finish? You will get your answer
in front of some of the shops today
where men who bear on their faces,,
the brand of failure, and, more the
look of the traitor are earning a few
dollars a day hired out to the bosses;,
to slug men and women clothing'
strikers. Those sluggers are the flot
sam and jetsam today. They are the ,
men who began as traitors to their
class and today have no class to.
which to return. , ,
They haven't the respect of the.
bosses; they haven't even the respect .
of the coppers, and they have thg.r
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