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Newspaper Page Text
SATURDAY, JAN. 1, 1921.
An Appeal to the Waist and Dressmakers
International Ladies Garment Workers Union!
The following appeal to workers in the Waist
and Dress Industry is being circulated broadcast
in the centers where this industry is carried on.The
fight between the workers in this industry and
the Union officials for control of the organizations
is typical of the larger, almost universal war that
is being waged between the conservatives and the
radicals in the labor unions.
The workers in the garment trades are taking
the lead in adopting the new tactics needed to make
unionism a real and living force in the class strug
gle. FELLOW WORKERS! N
A receiver was put in the office of Local 25 of
International Ladies Garment Workers Union. He
was sent there by the General Executive Board.
Why did they put him there?
The officials of our union were and are still
trying to break our determination to place all
power into the hands of the WORKERS of the
Waist and Dress Industry.
For years, we workers have been disgusted
with the policy of our union and our officials. We
class-conscious workers demanded a new system
by which we could express OUR desires. We ad
vocated a SHOP DELEGATE organization.
Now what is a shop delegate organization?
A Shop Delegate organization is an organiza
tion composed of the delegates elected in every
shop of the industry. These Shop Delegates form
tfle Central body which elects the Executive Com
mittee and all standing committees. All the dele
gates and committees can be recalled at any time,
and thus are under direct control of the member
ship of the workers in the shops whose interest
they represent. In this way, the whole union, its
tactics and activity is ABSOLUTELY controlled
by the workers.
By an overwhelming majority, the workers
of the industry supported the Shop Delegate sys
tem. They were enthusiastic about it, for they
realized that, for the first time in the history of"
the Waist and Dress industry, they, the MEMB
ERS, would determine what should be done in the
But the officials of the International soon saw
the DANGER TO THEM, if they handed over the
controlling power to the delegates. So they im
mediately declared that the organization was "un
democratic and unconstitutional"!
It was the oldoy of the labor politicians and
fakers. They all do it. Anything that takes power
out of their hands and puts it where it belongs
"they call "undemocratic and unconstitutional!"
But as our "leaders" talk so loud about de
mocracy and constitution, let us have a look at
In their great love for "democracy", they
clainMiat the Shop Delegate system would depri
ve tfflTmembership of their privilege of electring
the Executive Board. Now, you politicians of the
International! How many members of the Inter
national elected YOU? How many of them ever
participate in the elections?
At the last convention, the delegates who are
supposed to represent 25.000 waist and dress mak
ers were elected by the vote of not more than 150.
AND TWO-THIRDS OF THE DELEGATES
TO THAT CONVENTION WERE PAID OF
FICIALS OF THE UNION! LOCAL 25 SENT 12
DELEGATES, 9 OF THEM WERE OFFICIALS!
The question of increasing the dues affecting
25,000 workers was decided by 60 members, at
most, in the whole city!
Democracy? That is the democracy which
politicians and bureaucrats like! A great chance wc
workers have of expressing OUR desires!
Why don't the workers take an interest in
the union as it is at present? Because they know
very well that a set of officials are in the way to
decide everything. They know that once the work
ers have handed over the power to their "leaders ",
they have nothing further to say. So they do not
go to the meetings and the labor fakers do as
Why were they enthusiastic about the Shop
Because they knew that they would have
REAL DEMOCRACY! Because they knew that
they would have REAL CONTROL!
t is possible to get the members to shop
meetings, and the workers are bound to attend
because of their interest in them. The workers
KNOW WHAT THEY WANT IN THE SHOPS!
They are the ones who do the work and know the
ins and outs of it. They are familiar with all the