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The toiler. (Cleveland, Ohio) 1919-1922, November 13, 1920, Image 6

Image and text provided by Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, OH

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88078683/1920-11-13/ed-1/seq-6/

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SATURDAY, NOV. 13, 1920.
Waking Up a Local Union
By Bill S.
I think that there are many readers of the
Toiler who, being themselves radicals, would like
to hear of how four members of a conservative
machinists' Union have carried on education and
propaganda to the end of making that Local Union
a decidedly progressive one.
These four members including my self are
partisans of the idea that the whole A. F. of L. is
conservative and that it should be made radical.
The Toiler came to our attention. We chipped in
and ordered a bundle of ten to distribute at out
weekly meeting. Next meeting we distributed a
bundle of twenty. Even with this little work we
noticed an increasing desire on the part of the
members for more of this kind of information.
The next meeting we had no difficulty at all in
selling twenty copies. Now we order forty, and
they sell like hot cakes.
Wo made it a point at every meeting, though
we are not speakers, to start discussion on cur
rent labor issues. Later we moved the election of an
educational committee, and were able to have a
part of every other meeting set aside for discus
sion of the class struggle. We were surprised our
selves at the interest of the members in newer
interpretations of events from the point of
view of the class struggle. Three of us being elect
ed on this committee, we insisted that outside
speakers be brought to our meetings to make these
issues more plain to us. Already we have had two.
One in particular was a "Red" and I thought that
the material he was handling was as yet a little
too strong for the membership. But apparently
not; they all seemed to be at home with him, and
hollered for him to come back.
The Progressive "Caucus."
Now instead of four there are thirteen of us
who have formed ourselves in a sort of caucus for
the purpose of doing all we can to uproot "gomper
ism" and teach the true and revolutionary purpos
es of the working class.
More than anything else, I think this proves
the effectiveness of organized work in the trade
unions. For years I have been radical and I have
attempted to make my self heard. I have in the
past both in my local union and in the central
body carried on a personal fight against conserva
tism. I now realize that the only effective
method, is strong and compact organization of the
insurgent clement.
I am now a delegate to the central body, and
thanks to the work of this little educational group
I have now the support of my whole local union
in every thing I say at the central meeting.
I am confident that the time will come when
the rebels in the machinists' union will oust the
reactionary leadership. Our influence is growing
stronger and stronger. Now the thing is to organ
ize our rebel forces on a national scale and put
the finishing touches to these jelly-fish leaders.
Our next step will be to take action for
control of the central body. That will perhaps
take a little longer. But already I have gotten in
touch with members of other local Unions who
see things the way we do, and who promise aid
to this movement.
Industrial Unionism Agitation.
We will keep this work up, waiting in antici
pation1 for the time when as a National organ
ization we will make the machinists Union in this
"Civilization's" Sign Post.

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