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Newspaper Page Text
FRIDAY, AUGUST 27,1920.
By JAMES PATRICK
One of the most important battle fronts in
tthe class war is that one on which the progress
ing and reactionary labor organizations fight for
sapremacy. The struggle is at all times a hard
one and the pioneers of the rebel labor movement,
who have fostered one independent effort after
another, only to see them isolated and crushed
Stf the Gompers machine, have had much cause
The strength of reactionary unionism lies in
jfe superior organization and equipment. Not.
towever, organization for waging war on the
Kses, but organization of the officialdom for
fie purpose of fighting any movement toward
mnk and file control. Their equipment consists
af large treasuries (built up by the members and
JBed against them) and the ready support of the
tosses, the government and the press.
Also, on this issue, the officials are united.
iKo matter how much they may pull apart on
Sher questions, against any movement of the
nbership to take away their control they band
themselves together "like thieves at a fair." The
One Big Union of Labor Skates has for its motto:
"An injury to one is the concern of all."
But the independent movement has grown
steadily in spite of all and its real strength today
is much greater than is generally known. New
unions su,ch as the Yardmen's Association are
springing up and manifesting an astonishing
vitality. Older unions are mergig with new seces
sions from the A. F. of L. on an industrial basis,
as in the case of the Amalgamated Metal Work
ers. The I. W. W. stubbornly maintains its grip in
certain industries, particularly the metal mines
and lumber woods of the west, notwithstanding
the continued persecution. And a new and most
significant development is seen in the formation
of a central labor council of independent unions
recently in New York, as reported on another
page of this issue.
The Independent labor movement as a whole
is a healthy one. It is producing many able organ
izers and executives; the membership is growing
and is manifesting a more militant spirit as
a result oi the constant struggles forced
upon it. While the principles of revolution
ary industrial unionism are not as clearly
stated in their various programs as we
would like to see, the trend in that direction
is stronger than ever.
The one union of militant labor which
must and shall be realized without needless
delay is not a thing that will materialize
out of thin air on some bright morning. On
the contrary it will be built out of the
tangible material that is to be found close
at hand ; and no small part of that material
will consist of the independent unions which
are already in the field.