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LONG. LIVE THE GENRAL TRiu I
An Injury To One Organization* is Power A [OWNED BY THE LUMBERJACK 19 VOLITII 11 "MIGHT 1o RIGHT" NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, THURSDAY, NOVEBMER 3, 1913 Tn ug s" Nr: 45 MANIFESTO Issued To All Workers in the Marine Transportation Industry By The National Industrial Union of Marine Transport Workers, Department of Transportation, Industrial Workers of the World. Fellow-Workers: In the Marine Transportation Industry are en gaged the following groups of workers, namely: 1, Commae Sailors, or deckhands; 2, Petty offi cers, such as quartermasters and clerks, etc.; 3, Oficers; 4, Coalpassers; 5, Firemen; 6, Waterteand era; 7, Oilers; 8, Engineers Mad Electricians; 9, Telegraphers; 10, Stewards; 11, Cooks and Kitch em help; 12, Waiters; 13, Longshoremen and hoist ing engineers; 14, Truckers; 15, Checkers; 16, Clerks, etc., etc.; 17, Boat-barge and lighterman; 18, Lighthouas, Customhouse quarantine workers; 19, Wireless Telegraphy Operators on ships. Every seafaring man knows of other occupa tions in this industry, quite as important as any other, but numerically insignificant. Altogether this department of human activity extending into the remotest corners of the world fills one of t.e most important functions of human ity. It is to humanity as a whole what the circula tion of the blood is to the human body. Were it to stop even a short period of time, it would mean a social wor:d-distress of -the severest kind. The Marine Transportation Workers hold an im mense power in their hand. They have society at their mercy, should they choose to pse t.eir power. But like the workers in most jther industries they do not know their power and can therefore not use it. Not that we Marine Transportation Workers are any monsters who would for a moment consider the paralyzing of human intercouse for the mere delight of showing our power, but we could, if we would, use this power for the purpose of raising the standard of the Luman race by raising our selves out of the hell in which we now are living. As a group of workers we constitute the scum of society. In every port of the world we are the lowest, the most degraded, in fact we must admit that it is largely from our ranks that the "bums" of the cities are recruited. In every port of the world we live in the most miserable quarters, eat the poorest of food, wear the dirtiest clothes and spend our lives in the most sordid and corrupt surroundings. Vice and sin is generally the at mosphere that meets us, as soon as we step ashore among our fellow-men to seek a short recreation from the breezy but hard and squalid life at sea, into the details of which we need not enter. It has been so for ages and it still continues so. We are the pariahs, the outcasts of modern so ciety. Why should this be so? Seeing that our work is clean and honorable, and extremely hazardous, seeing that we are giv ing.our lives and sacrificing the happiness of a home for the sake of our fellow-men, seeing that our activity is of such vital importance to all why should we ourselves be kept on the outskirts of human fellowship in poverty, misery and degra dation ? Why? Why? Why? How many of us have a home we can call our own? How many of us have ever experienced the I love of wife and children, how many of us have any prospect of ever finding this happiness? A feeling of sickening desolation and horror is the answer that rises in your mind at the thought of past, present and future. Should you L appen to have a family on far-away shores, your mind is suffering a constant pain at the thought of their poverty and at the thought of your own inability to do for them what you wish'to do for them. Your wages will barely suffice to keep you yourself in rags and to maintain that spark of crushed and dormant manhood which you necessarily need to uphold in order to keep from jumping overboard. Why should this be sot Why? Why? Why? Simply because we do not rise in our manhood and assert our power. Simply because we have failed to practice that fellowship and that solidari ty which alone is powerful enough to conquer the organized force of our masters wt o fatten by our petty selfishness and our lack of solidarity. We certainly have tried time and again in the past to get together for common action against those who destroy our lives and lower us to the level of the brute. We have organized time and again into unions which for a while have held their sway. But just as fast as we t ave formed them they have gone to pieces. And at the present time our living conditions are l ardly influenced by our own will but by the masters will. And the master pays us just as much as he has to. No more and no less. Our labor-power sells in the market at a price determined by supply and demand, just as wheat. hogs and potatoes. The supply of labor power be ing more than plentiful, our wages are below the minimum needed for the support of ourselves and the establishing of a family, and, even "t tkis' price, during a large part of the year we are un able to find a master willing to buy our labor pow er-to put us to work. A large part of us are con stantly unemployed. What is the matter with us? We have organized and failed, time and again. So there is no hope for us ? Why have we Failed? We have failed because we never organized in the right manner for the right purpose, or on the right lines. We never yet stodd solidly together nationally and internationally, as one man. Had we done that, the world would look different to us. Had we stood together, all of us in the Marine Transport Industry, shoulder to shoulder, irrespec tive of our different occupations, we could have dictated the terms to our exploiters at our own wilL As it is, they are doing with us as they please and we have little or no power to resist. But instead of standing together we have divid ed our forces on craft lines, where we have not en tirely neglected to organize ourselves. The sailors Lave organized by themselves, the engineers by themselves, the firemen by themselves, the long shoremen the same, sometimes in several different unions, the teamsters have had their separate union, and so on. This state of affairs in itself undeniably consti tutes a fundamental source of weakness, often enough cropping pp in the form of mutual scab bing and jurisdiction squabbles between the differ ent unions. There are innumerable such instances in our country and in others. We have failed to raise ourselves from the slum level mainly because we have thus divided our strength on craft lines against a united and force ful foe with all the money resources of the world behind them. The little gains we I ave occaszloilaiy made have either been wiped out by reduced wages or by the constantly rising cost of living. In fact, we are at this moment worse off than ever, if we take into account the general advance of mankind and the increased demands upon human happiness incidental to a "higher civilization." We are, in fact, going downward instead of upward. Another cause of our distress lies in tie very nature of our occupation. Most of us being at sea a large part of the time, we have been compelled to leave our affairs in the hands of some clever fel lows whom we were compelled to trust. In our ab sence these leaders have only too frquently been swerved from the path of solidarity. Where they have not directly sold us out, they have either en tered into silent partnersl ip with those who watce for us to get our money, or they have dozed off intn mere dues-collecting without delivering any equiv alent for the trust we have placed with them. The leaders of the old kind have led us nowhere exept into the shambles, and that is why we me wher, we are-poverty-stricken, homeless, and wreteted. And it could hardly be otherwise under the ci cumstans. Starting our organisation work withoWe higher ideals or higher aims than m la certain standard of wages in a society exploitatios and thievery, we have beesn i ted by the emploiters and thieves. And nothing in the old unions to spur a man thought and purity of action or to any enthu The craft union has become a poorly conduest business enterprise which does not pay. That is, it may pay the leaders, but not the memnbers. We may say that all union dues paid in the past are practically thrown away, our only consolation be. ing that we may consider that money as the pries of experience. We have learned by ear Mtbaes.. In view of these facts and eonsles- s, a large body of the o'ganta MiM"'ll lp Workers of the United States have broken away from the old forms of organizations and their methods of fighting for a human existence, and formed the National Industrial Union of Marine Transpert Workers, same to constitute an integral part of the Trans portation Department of the Industrial Workers of the World. Learning from the errors of past generations, we are now organizing All the workers of our in dustry, irrespective of their craft or occupation, into One Big Union, with locals and subordinate branches of the various occupations and nationali ties of every locality. The main point we are aiming at is to, once and for all, unite all the workers in our industry into One Big Fighting Force, bound together by the bonds of industrial solidarity and workman-like fellowship. It is plainly and evidently a case of doing this right now or going down and out. We are at t: e parting of the ways. Which do you prefer: Sliding down the steeply inclined plane of abject poverty and degradation, or raising yourselves by your own will and intelligence to the level of manhood, forcing the world to recognize the human worth that is in you It is up to yeu Yearslf. Nobody is going to do this for you. Neither leaders nor philanthropists. The masters,, you know them well enough to expect nothing from them, except further oppression and degradation. You have nobody to depend upon except your selves. You are the masters of your own fate if you will but act together as one man. Otherwise the master rules over you at his hard will, and it is getting harder every day. By thus uniting into One Big Uniou, bound to gether organically with all other workers in this great country, we not only hope, but feel positive ly sure, that we soon shall have the power to dio tate our will to our masters. We are not organizing merely to "pull off a strike," or taking chances at a temporary gain although such gains will of necessity come to us we are organizing to stay. We intend to become a permanent limb of the social body. For the-present we shall, towever, concentrate our efforts upon an attempt to materially improve our living conditions, raising our standard of liv ing and redeeming ourselves as men. It is as plain as a simple example in addition in our school books that it we organize as One mlid body, we can take what we want-or we paralie the world. We shall, as soon as we are numerous enough and strong enough: 1st. WIYe ad A oba., whpther It be ter. tion by *h!t moasters or bad eai mat a boadl or 11m . 2nd. Wle e the masters to lhsta mu . tors om boml .e s, eald at least to s ess et am. and cabh ya . Why itomld not wet Ae we not h.o J d s e aanyi? id. We gob the masers fdmee Ire dignifie d mes ICagg eas a bom at starved has. 4th. We sars to p us ýwaes that e fSlpi -_isves men. tally and .so.ia.. st the m dependlm upon us and, estuaaly, pgrt a f ly nt our a. 5h. We err hemrn enugh to make rotm fir th +ereby slht e to 00m. 6th. We dsabl s fts master ema to eor union head4p in tha, hweby asrv re. selves thme lo *meres7 eg huatig *r a master, rn we ag dd 7tM. W biii eant compel the respect sad res l ma o[ r adey. Generally speaking, we sLaol ourselves aam control of our industry and distate the onmditioms of work. What are Yes Going ts De? Would you have things go along towards your own destruction, as they surely will do, or will you join hands with us, the initiators of this hal move of the working class? It is the last battle. Your choice is between manhood and slavery-for yomur self and your children, if you have any, or expect to get them. Which are Yoe Geoing to Do? We are already, many thousands of as In this new union, anxiously awaiting to an what eourse you will take. We expect you to come up to our headquarters and see us at your first opportunity. Let us talk to yeou. The address of our various Headquarters are: Local No. 1, 214 West St., New York, N. Y.; Local No. 2, 284 Commercial St., Boston, Mass.; Local No. 4, 29 Church St., Norfolk, Va.; Local No. 7, 3807 North Peters St., New Or leans, La.; Local No. 8,121 Catherine St., Philadel phia, Penn.; Local No. 9, 9 Mission St., San Fran cisco, Cal.; Local No. 10, 422 Cummings Ave., Su perior, Wis.; Local No. 245, Box 688 San Pedro, Cal.; Local No. 252, 211 Ocidental Ave., Seattle, Wash.; Local No. 880, 110 So. 14 St., Tacoma, Wash. We do not charge any high initiation fees, Just enough to show your serious intention and pay ex penses. Let us hear from you Immediately. Help to make this grand undertaking a success, as they, the workers, are at this very time trying to do in most civilized countries of the world. Yours for Industrial Freedom, National Industrial Union of Mariae Trans port Workers, L W. W., C. L. FILIGNO, Nat. Sea. 214 West St, New York City. Correspondence promptly attended to. The following are some of the papers that will contain news important to the Marine Transporta tion Workers: The Veice of the Pep .....New Or~Ieas, La. Seolidarity _c eland4, 0. The Weeden Shee I s Angeles, Cal. Cultura Obrere. New York, N. Y. El Obrere IadustriaLiTampa, Fla. La Huelga Gemen l .... Aagele_ Cald Solidarmoes CaiBsa IL Bermunkas New York, N. Y. H Prletario ..w York, N. Y. L'averame ._ _New Yok, N. Y.