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The toiler. (Cleveland, Ohio) 1919-1922, September 24, 1920, Image 11

Image and text provided by Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, OH

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88078683/1920-09-24/ed-1/seq-11/

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FRIDAY, SEPT. 84, 1020
THE TOILEB
PAGE 11
Labor Organizations Involved.
The metal workers now on strike are from
500,000 to 600,000, mostly all organized and di
stributed in the following unions:
Italian Metal Workers' Federation (Federa
zione Italiana degli Operai Metallurgies, popular
ly known as the F. I. O. M., affiliated with the Ge
neral Confederation of Labor and controlling the
largest majority of the metal trades, some 350,000
workers. Its Secretary General, and recognized
leader of the entire movement, is Carlo Buozzi, a
Socialist member of Parliament and one of the
staunchest supporters of the Third International.
The Syndicalist Union of Italy (Unione Sin
dacale Italiana). This is a national federation of
some 850,000 members of all trades and industri
es, corresponding more or less to the American
I. W. W. It controls about 50,000 metallurgists.
The Italian Labor Union (Unione Italiana
del Lavore). This organization was born during
the war and was made up mostly Of former syn
dicalists, patriotic societies, etc. Its influence is
practically nil. It controls about 15,000 metal
workers.
The Federation of Catholic Workers, former
ly known as the "yellows" and now, since the
Russian revolution, popularly dubbed "the whites."
It believes in the "White Intel-national," but is
compelled to follow the lead of numbers, and so,
while it is reactionary in theory, it is forced to be
radical in practice. No more than 20,000 metal
workers, if that many, are affiliated with it and
the Popular party (Catholic), which is its politic
al spokesman.
Of all these figures only those of the Fiom
and Syndicalist union are reliable, the others be
ing more or less inflated for propaganda purposes.
The lead of the strike is entirely in the hands of
the Fiom and its mother organization, the Gener
al Confederation of Labor, the Syndicalists having
agreed to abide by the decision of the majority.
Whether any of the workers who have got
ten possession of the works so far belong to the
Catholic faction has not yet come to the notice
of the Italian Chamber of Labor.
Employers' Organizations Involved.
The employei-s are organized into one power
ful federation known as the National Federation
of Master Mechanics. It is practically led by two
firms, Ilva and Ansaldo, whose interests are in
terlocked with those of practically every allied
industry. They control the entire metal produc
tion of Italy, from the few iron mines to the
arsenals, automobile shops, navy yards, locomo
tive works, etc. During the war they have made
enormous profits, quite out of proportion to the
actual and potential industrial resources of the
country and so scandalous has been their influ
ence in the national life that the Giolitti cabinet
has promised to confiscate their surplus profits
and make all their stocks and bonds taxable. Here
tofore all these companies were incorporated as
"anonymous" concerns their stocks being unre
gistered and therefore beyond the reach of direct
taxation. The attempt of the government to force
the registration of all stocks, bonds and other se
curities is also another reason, if not the main, of
the stubbornnes with which all these great barons
of industry have refused to yield to the equitable
demands of the workers.
Finally there is the Italian Government, which
now, and at least insofar as the strike is concern
ed, seems to be almost entirely vested in the hands
of Arturo Labriola, minister of labor.
Labriola was a number of years one of the
most brilliant exponents of theoretical Syndical
ism in Europe, and ranked on a par with Leone,
Lagardelle, Berth and the best-known of all,
Georges Sorel. During the Tripoli war Labriola,
then a professor of political economy at the Nap
les Univercity, supported the policy of the govern
ment and continued doing so throughout the
great war. However, he always insisted that he
was a Syndicalist, and on many occassions he sid
ed with the Socialist party and voted with its
group in Parliament.
Looking At The Bolshevik Germ.

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