Necessity of Organization Among Laborers.
(Answer to Chicago Times, September 3, 1894.)
Standing together is their only salvation. Respect the law and stand shoulder to shoulder. So long as a portion of the laboring classes can be used as a club upon the backs of the remainder, just so long will there be no hope. They cannot get a whole loaf so long as a portion of their number are willing to accept half a loaf and let their children go hungry. Their entire struggle, not only for bread, but for life, will be with organization and great concentrations of capital, for individual employers are fast disappearing. Instead of dealing as they once did with a master who knew their wants and felt at least that interest in them that grows out of a daily association and living together, they now have to deal with the agent of organized capital. This agent feels that not only his salary, but his position depends upon his securing large returns for the stockholders and is therefore much more severe, more cruel and more heartless than the original master who managed his own affairs. There used to be hundreds of employers where there is now one, each employing but a few men, and an individual laborer being able to choose among so many employers, had, at least, some chance to get fair wages and fair treatment. Now in many cases the laborer has no choice. There is but one employer within reach. Combination and concentration has wiped the others all out. The agent of this one employer can dictate both wages and terms to suit himself unless he is met by organization of the other side.
Combination and concentration on the side of employers and of capital being already a fixed fact, the laborers have got to pursue the same path or give up all hope for the future of their children.