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The toiler. (Cleveland, Ohio) 1919-1922, April 23, 1920, Image 1

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et a Subscription
NO. 110.
at Clevelaad, Ohio.
Address all mall to
3207 Clark Ave., Cleveland, 0.
$1.50 A YEAR
Now cornea to bat a real UNAMEMCAN strike. All
strikes are an-American of course, but the strike of the "out
law" unions is particularly un-American. Strikes engineered
by the reactionary leaders of labor aire not in good taste to the
boss class at any time But strikes against the boss elass of the
capitalist system as well as against the bosses in the unions
mat Kind oi Binne is neii, sure cnougn.
Tired of waiting for Wilson's administra. J Railroad
Brotherhood chiefs to run out of words and to jul'ali-.
realizing that action, mass action, spoke louder i. ' Ter
ences and arbitration, several thousand railroad wotkv 0V
on strike ir. Chicago. In almost a day the strike sprea
dozen industrial centers. The Chicago meat industry was' , .c
out of business. Coal shortage threatened Ohio industris. The
steel mills were hard hit. Freight was tied up in scores of
yards. And all this because a fW thousand workers struck,
45.000 out of a total employed in the railroad industry of
1,900,000 is the number the capitalist papers give.
Two dozen reactionary Brotherhood officials signed an
order commanding the strikers to go back to work And they
did not. The strikers were threatened with a loss of their union
standing, their union benefits. To no avail. Ihcn the Brother
hood officials acted, true to form and began calling for "loyal"
Brotherhood men to take the places of the strikers! The result-
firomen and enginemen joined the strikers and refused to work
with the union scabs.
Tears were shed by the capitalist dailies because the work
ers gave no warning before they struck. Mr. Gompers was
asked point blank by his bourgeois mentors whether he really
knows what is going on inside his organization. Strikes in such
numbers (the New York harbor strike; the Kansas coal strike
and with such sympathetic relat ionships and with such demon
stration of a design to win "by force rather than on the merits
of the industrial struggle" (New "York Times) seem a queer
phenomena to the capitalist class and yet not, for this class
seems to sense that the whole movement has something to do
with Sovietism and that the strikes, the "outlaw" strikes arc
linked with what is now called "Russian propaganda". Do we
need to add that all propaganda is "Russian propaganda"
which seeks to liberate the workers from wage slavery?
"What interests us a whole lot is the apparance in the
Amorican labor movement of "outlaw" unions. A new class
phraze "outlaw unions'". In a day to come a teacher will ask
little Willie: "Willie, what kind of unions were outlaw unions
in the days when capitalism ruled?" And little Willie will
answer: "Outlaw unions Averc those which rebelled against the
reactionary A. F. of L. leadership as well as against the em
ploying class." One hundred per cent in hisory for Willie!
Hail the outlaw unions! We have them now in almost
everv trade represented in the A. F. of L. The chiefs of the
Brotherhoods in a joint statement described the cause of the
strikes as an attempt by radicals to advance the One Big
Union idea. That's what all the "chiefs" have said about their
outlaw unions. We sav
All right! Guilty!
As this is written the railroad workers strike is increasing
in strength. And the capitalist dailies are cutting funny antics.
In j'no cloumn they report that the strike has reached its peak
and is now losing. In another column they report thousands of
additional strikers agumenting the forces of those already out.
The strikers are renegades, the strike is termed as "headless",
all of which are good signs, for the more the laekeys of the
capitalist class bombard it the bet for strike it must be, and if
it is reallv headless well, as we said before, let the slogan
.among the labor unions from now on be "all pover to the
The administration in the meantime is handling the situa
tion gingerly, if that moans that they are up in the air. It's
this way if the administration interferes it may kindle the
flames and if it don't, they may ditto. So it does not know
what to do. Palmer is nosing about a bit, looking for a mandate
hailing directly from Russia ordering the strike!
The strike may yet have political significance. The Lever
act is still in working order and the coal miner ; wore enjoined,
you know. We'll amend this by raying that the strike already
has political significance. Ts it not against the administrations
success in making monkies out of the Brotherhood chiefs!
Whether the strike of the "outlaws" is won or lost in
the end, the strike is now won. It was won the second or third
day for it registered a spirit of revolt among the railroad
workers which will help settle the fate of capitalism.
Tins parting shot IF THE MINE AND STEEL WORK
Little Lessons for Labor
Thoy sny that the school of ex
perience is n hard school, but ft school
whose students iilwnys lenrn. Liko the
university of hurl knocks it forces
even the buck ward nnd the (HI willing)
to learn. During the pnst five yoars
we have hail an overplus of patriot
ic propaganda, tho whole tenor of
which was if labor will protect tho
government tho government will pro
tect labor.
When onio of us who had discover
ed the class naturo of society riod to
tell the multitude that the government
J Telow woi-UersT't is your ctuty
! -A
The Same Old Game The Same Old Gang.
Craft Unionism An Admitted Failure
The acute situation engendered by the railroad
strike brought forth some remarks from Samuel Gom
pers, President of tho A. F. of L. while attending the
Cigar Maker's Convention, last week iu Cleveland
that aro well worthy of more than a moment '3 passing
attention. Said Mr. Gompers in reference to the strike
after scoring the profiteers and the political jerry
mandering by Congress of the food control laws,
"No wonder, then, that the workers who did so
much to win the war and who are now 33 1-3 per cent
worse off financially than before the war aro dis
contented and resentful on account f their present
conditions and surroundings.
"Unless wages are increased to meet the in
creased cost of living, it is equal to a reduction in
wages and a corresponding lowering of the workers'
i tan (lards.
"No wonder, then, that wo find workers, non
members of organized labor ami even some who are
union men becoming impatient and disregarding the
discipline usually practised in labor unions."
"Unites wages arc increased to meet the in
creased enst of living, it is equal to a reduction in
wages and a corresponding lowering of the workers'
"No wonder, then, that e find workers, non-members
of organised labor and even some who ar;
union men, becoming impatient nnd disregarding the
discipline usually pracised in labor unions.
Looking at these statements by and large, what
are liev but an admission of the utter failuro of
craft unionism the kind fostered by Samuel
Gompers for the past 40 ycarst Mr. (lompers admits
by these sfnt-ments that the workers by organizing
into his fossilized craft unions have not been able
to maintain their standard of living, but have fallen
to h standard one third lower thnn before the war
which they won and out of which grew a crop of
30,000 millionaire.
Officials Of the A F of L. take great pains to
open their conventions nowadays with declarations
that the A. F. of L. is NOT a revolutionary organi
zation mcI: ing to overthrow tho present system of
but in R business institution for the maintnince
the "Am-iicnn standard of living" for the work-
i rs and .in increase in the good things of
the workers, and an increase in the good things cf
life for them, but without making any radical
changes in the industrial system. What would you
think of a business institution which had lost ono
third of its business in two year? You would say
its business methods were ia need of radical readjust
ment at least.
And that is what is the matter with the A. P. of
L. Tts methods are behind the times. It can no longer
dine with tl'.e capitalist imperialism which has de
veloped within tho past ten jre&TO. When 'Machine in
Sultry was young and undeveloped to its present
stage, when hand labor nnd personal skill entered
largely into production, the workers had some show
ing against capital. Today the machine has replaced
the craftsman's skill. The skill of the mechanic hf.s
been placed in the intracate mechanism of machines,
the distinctive character of tho crafts are all but
Obliterated) They all melt into one another. Rut the
character of tho labor unions, fostered by Campers
remains almost the same. Instead of adapting labor
unionism to the changing forms of industrial pro
rcs'cs, GnmperS has sought to retain the out worn
characteristics of a bgone industrial epoch. ;lo still
RtcmptS to win a battle against nationwide and world
wide trusts with a handful of workers organised in
separate crafts and with out co ordination with other
To whine now when the workers arc faced with
starvation, and attempt to place the blame for It
upon politicians is merely to beg the question and to
evade the logical results of his own policy ar.d prin
ciples A unionism having a membership of 4.000,00'l
men and women which cannot force from its em
ployers n living wage has something radically wrong
with it. But Oompers cannot seo it.
But the workers enn; they are catching glimpsis
of a new weapon in the arsenal of Labor. They aro
examining it and trying it out in spite of QomperS
and his host of reactionaries. It is labeled One Nig
Union. With this weapon, we will win, not paltry in
creases in pay but a world in which Labor receives
the ful ful socio! value of its toil. All power to tho
an it is constituted today was n gov
ernment of for and by tho capital
ist class ami that the interest of
tho employing clnt-s and the working
class were not identical but Opposed,
wo wire Jailed and persecuted. Now
tint tho coal striko settlement com
mission has brought in its report wo
have something concrete to offer as
ovidenco that there ARE classes In
society nnd further that it is childish
to expect n commission uindo up of
tho employing clnss to look out for
the interests of the working-class.
The evidence In this easo is so plnin,
so blunt, so raw, that it seems tint
even a wayfaring man though a fool
might see tho truth and net accordingly-
The miners asked:
A W inercasc in wnges (Cost of
living has increased over 75'' since
the last, wage scale was adopted.)
The minors got;
A 2" increase in wnges, or less
than one hnlfl
A thirty hour week. This was to
provide for n steady income throughout
the year in the ploco of tho overwork
nt some periods and months of Id
leness at other periods.
The miners got;
They were allnved to retain the eight
hour dnyl
The miners asked;
Timo and a half for overtime and
doable, time for Sundny.
The miners got;
The miners nsl.ed:
Termination of wnge contracts in
the fall instend of In the spring.
The miners got;
Wnge ce.ntracts terminating March
Tho mirers nsked;
Nationalization of the coal mines:
The miners got;
The miners asked;
The commission to establish n num
ber of vital reforms in the industry.
The miners got;
It is just such bitter little lessens
as this one, which will drive into tho
heads of the moro reactionary of the
miners the idon of the class nature of
society nnd the futility as well as
foolishness of wage contracts expiring
at a time best suited to the employer's
Government, a1, best Is but the exc
cutivc committee of the capitalist clnss.
It will so remnin until enough of the
workingclnss become clnss conscious
and tho forces of industrial evolution
hns forced a new order of society It
is a bitter pill for the miners to IWSl
low, but it is out of the RQfll total of
such bitternesses that a new order of
society is bcm.
Hearken to this, Comrades
'Enclosed find $1.10 for Cartoon
Fund nnd sify cents for 100 copies
Soviet Labor Laws, f don't liko tho
wav the ''nrtoon Fund looks kindo'-
lop sided. The comrades ought to put
a little weight on the other end of
tho scale beam. Every little helps and
they wouldn't miss it half so much
as they would the enrtoons.
Yours for more of the"
After reading the above, we tiro
sure that tho Cartoon Fund will
brlnghten up cousidcrnblc. Here is how
it stands just now.
Provious receipts $48,60
3. M. Scott 1.40
Grant Jury Will
Hear Charge.
Charges of violation of the Lever
Act against Charles Baker of Ohio,
socialist speaker and orgauizer anil
.1. P. Cannon, Editor of the Workers'
World of Kansas "'ity. Mo., will be
presented to the Grand J:;ry sitting
at Kansas Citv April 86th,
Roth comrades have been out on bail
for some weeks pen ling the decision of
the judgement of the Grand Jury. Com
rade Cannon is charged with violation
of the Act because of certain articles
which appeared in the Workers' World.
It is alleged that Raker violated tho
Act in speeches before bodies of strik
ing coal miners in various Kansas coal
camps during the recent national striko
of soft coal miners. Comrade Cannon
has lately recovered from an attack of
i . . .. ...
tuuueaxa contracted wniie new in
prison awaiting the raising of suffi
cient bail for his release.
The Workers' World, began publi
cation about a year ago, being organ
ized by a group of Kansas City com
rades. Comrade Cannon is about tho
oaly one of its staff who remains oat
side of jail at the present time, the
rest having been sent to jail somo
months ago for two year terms for
anti-capitalist activities. Their sentence,
to prison marked the downfall of this
fighting organ of the workers. Its
publication was discontinued after
about nine months due to the repres
sions imposed upon it.
The Lever Act is one of the ill
defensible war time laws whose sol
function is that of subjugating tho
workers to the capitalist class will.
Tho Kansas City hearing will be
watched bv workers of Kansas and
Ohio where both Cannon and Baker
have strong sympathy and thousands
of friends.
Comrade Marguerite Trcvey, whose
incarceration in Columbus, Ohio, jail,
charged with violation of tho Criminal
Syndicalism law of Illinois by assisting
in the formation of the Commmunist
Labor Party at Chicago last August,
and who was abducted at night from
jail and forced to journey to prison at
Chicago at the hands of Illinois agents,
is filling a number of speaking en
gagements in Ohio.
A very successful meeting was held
at Akron April 11th. She also spoke at
tho Labor Temple at Toledo on tho
lSth. Meetings at Shadysidc, Noffs,
Bellaire, Youngstown, Portsmouth,
Cincinnati and other Ohio cities are
scheduled. It Is probable that she will
fill dates in Illinois. Thousands of
leaflets describing her abuction are
being circulated all over tho United
Comrade Prcvey finds interested
audiences awaiting to hear the story
of her jail experiences of which she
has a large fund as the period of her
incarceration lasted 29 days and was
spent in three prisons, two in Ohio
and the other in Chicago.
Making Money
By Scott Nnaring.
Capitalist inefficiency is illustrated
nowhere more effectively than in tha
seldom warms them. The place wns
financing of the European governments
during the war. Take France, as a
horrible example.
Franco is in tho control of ono of
the most conservative bourgeois groups
in the world. During the war, in order
to savo themselves, they refused to
pay any considerable increase in taxes;
instead, they issued paper money and
bonds. Ono quarter of the war cost
was raised by taxation in Great
Rritnin. In France, only 15.4 per
cent, wns secured in this manner.
lustend of paying for tho war as
they went, through an increase in
taxation, tho ruling cl? s of France
decided to pay for it by printing
paper money nnd by issuing bonds.
The total debt of France, before
she entered tho war was $5,500,000,000;
on March 31, 1919, it was $30,500,000,
000. In 1914 tho Bank of France had
6,000.000,000 francB in note circulation;
in November, 1919, the note circula
tion was 37,000,000,000. Fourteen per
cent of this circulation had behind it
a motal reserve gold and silvor; tho
remainder, or 80 per cent, wns paper.
When tho war broke out, the franc
could bo bought at tho rato of about
five for $1. Today francs aro selling
a! little less than nine for $1.
The French business classes be
lieved that they had discovered a new
way to make money turn on tho
presses, print bonds; engrave paper,
and tho trick is done. They might as
well try to make army blankets out
of moon beams. As long ns tho present
system of finance is continued, so long
will it be necessary to put valuo bo
hind paper. Tho attempt of tho French
business classes to make money out
of paper is merely another illustration
of their failure to comprohend tho
working of tho system that has mado
them rich, and that is now busy de
stroying them.
W. Birsin
Dr. Van Nette
M. L. Trsgcsser

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