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SATURDAY, DEC. 4, 1920.
Labor "Leaders" an
Some time ago, John Mitchell, of Civic Federa
tion fame, died. He was the labor "leader", who
was made a hero of by the coal miners. He was
the man who worked up from the mines, became
an organizer, finally graduating into the rank of
He used to meet the bosses at the Civic Feder
ation. He had banquets with them at fine hotels,
discussed labor troubles and labor affairs with
them, drink champagne, talked about business
matters in general, the possibility of bosses get
ting more work out of the workers and the work
ers getting more or less pay for the work, smok
ing fine cigars etc. etc.
He was the fellow who used to stand up for
labor wherever the bosses were in fact, he was
considered a fit representative of labor.
He received a good salary and the cham
pagne and cigars that the bosses gave him cost
him nothing. That he lost all touch with the work
ing class was quite natural. With his salary, he
could ride around in motor cars, live in good
hotels, sleep in Pullmans, always have good food
and wear nice clothes.
The only lime he faced poverty and struggle
and want was when he went to the union meet
ings or journeyed to the mining towns. There he
saw the sour faces and bent backs of the miners;
the black smokey yards and homes of the people;
the bedraggled wives and children.
But that was easy to forget, when he left town
in a Pullman and rode to New York to his friends
of the Civic Federation, where they preached the
'harmony of capital and labor." Harmony which
meant that the worker had better take what he
was offered or the government would take care
Like all good men, John was promoted and be
came Public Service Commissioner and finally
died, leaving a fortune of more than $334,00.
Then take our good friend, Sam Gompers. Of
course, one must not even suggest that Sammy is
taking graft. True, he gets a good salary, rides
in Puilmans, stays at goqd hotels, dines and sups
with his capitalist friends the "friends of
lal)or" also at the Civic Federation.
The Bosses Applaud.
He tells them about labor's rights and labor's
duties and the bosses, who listen and yawn,
and yawn and listen think mostly of labor's
duties. The champagne goes to Sammy's head and
he talks about patriotism and Americanism, and
he assails the Russians, and defends American
"democracy" against the Reds in America. And
he is applauded by the friends of the Civic Feder
ation even by Judge Gary!
Gary, at whose mills and in whose town (Gary,
Ind.), no organizer of Gomper's Federation of
Labor dare show his face. Gary, who engages
thugs and detectives and gunmen, to mercilessly
shoot down workers who dare to discuss labor
affairs or even breathe about the advantage of
organizing or joining a union !
Yes, this same Gary applauds Sam Gompers
when he talks this highfalutin stuff the same as
he would applaud a vaudeville artist or an occro
bat. Why not? It's amusing and Samy IS an
amusing little cuss.
Only Sammy is art expensive cuss costing the
workers millions in blood and money. He is the
man that ONCE was a worker, but long ago
graduated, and now dines and drinks with the
bosses. The only time that he sees the workers is
when he attends a convention and delivers a
papatriotit ration about the evil the "Reds" are
creating and the necessity of fighting them; or
when he stops at a hotel or rides in a Pullman
and sees his "fellow workers" who feed him,
brush his clothes, attend his wants, etc.
That is what becomes of a labor leader who no
longer knows want and hunger and unemploy'
ment; who does not know what a Saturday night
is without a pay envelope who does not know,
from day to day, whether he will not be .denied
the right to work.
Rut Sam represents the dignity of labor al
though that dignity was badly damaged when he
went to the Republican convention to talk about
labor, and they told him to get out. And when he
went to the Democratic convention and they put
a few words in their program, just to let the
folks know that Sam had called.