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The daily worker. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1924-1958, February 20, 1926, New York Edition, The New Magazine, Image 7

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020097/1926-02-20/ed-1/seq-7/

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Second Section: This Magazine Section Appears Every Saturday In The DAILY WORKER.
Buried Alive
John L. Lewis, betrayer of the United Mine Workers of America, has led the anthracite miners into a trap for the mine owners.
Fred Ellis, the cartoonist, here shows the anthracite miner “buried alive” for five years by the contract which Lewis made with
the bosses. But a militant struggle of the coal diggers against the .treacherous Lewis and his allies, the mine owners, will win
control of the United Mine Workers’ Union for the mine workers—and the mine workers can escape from the trap.
The five-month anthracite strike has ended in a victory for
the operators. They have secured all that they went after at the
beginning of the negotiations, that is, no wage increase, no check
off, arbitration and a five-year contract.
This victory for the operators and defeat for the miners was
possible because John L. Lewis, president of the United Mine
Workers, used his position in the union and his control of the en
tire union apparatus to prevent the miners throwing their full
force into the struggle. Lewis has earned whatever reward the
operators will give him including the post of secretary of labor
in the Coolidge cabinet in connection with which he has been
mentioned so frequently.
The miners thruout the struggle never wavered. The 158,000
strikers showed the same willingness to fight as they have for
twenty-five years. At the beginning of the strike the fact that
the maintenance men were at work safeguarding the property of
the operators did not worry the miners. They believed their offi
cials when they said that the strike was goiqg to be “just a holi
day.” But as the months dragged on the strikers began demand
ing that the maintenance men be withdrawn. The sqme thing
with the washeries that the officialdom allowed to work. And to
ward the end of the strike the general grievance committee of
District 1 opposed the Lewis policy.
The miners showed that they were willing to fight had they
been given a strong lead. But the entire apparatus of the union
was in the hands of the agents of the operators and they used it to
suppress all steps toward militant action on the part .of the rank
and file.
Instead Os a 100 per cent militant strike Lewis conducted
What Price Does Judas Get?
negotiations. From the beginning he was in favor of the oper
ators’ terms. The man who signed the Jacksonville agreement
which hogtied the bituminous miners would not be against a sim
ilar agreement for the hard coal diggers. The months of negotia
tions were carried on by Lewis with one purpose: To secure an
agreement which would give the operators what they wanted,
framed in such a manner that he could claim it as a victory before
the miners. The various plans, and the maneuvers of the Coolidge
politicians, were all bent in this direction.
The_ steps thru which Lewis went in the negotiations show
this. The Scranton Tri-District wage scale convention demanded
a ten per cent wage raise, the checkoff, no arbitration and a short
term agreement. Lewis first shunted the wage raise into the
background and played up the check-off. Then the checkoff was
forgotten and he bluffed that he was absolutely opposed to arbi
tration when he said that he would never agree to the arbitration
of the very lives of the miners. Finally the agreement was signed
and the operators have gotten what they went after: No wage
increase, no checkoff, arbitration and a long-term agreement.
As soon as the agreement was signed the capitalist press re
ported that stocks shot up in Wall Street. Editorial writers di
lated on the long period of peace ahead in the anthracite. The
entire ruling class of the country heaved a great sigh of relief.
The 158,0p0 workers had been defeated —profits were safe and
greater profits were to come. '
The miners return to the mines to work under this agree
ment. The operators will take full advantage of it to reduce
(Continued on newt page—page 2)

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