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TO THE WORKING CLASS.
fense, located here in Chicago Headquar
ters, has been formed. Fellow Workers:
The purpose of this committee is to de A General Strike Committee composed vise ways and means of propagating the of all the Chairmen and Secretary-Treas- General Strike IDEA, in all industries, and urers of the various Industrial Unions, also as a means of effecting the release of Class. Secretary-Treasurer of the General De- War Prisoners.
This is in accordance with the ruling of thorized by the rank and file, and not by the 14th General Convention, and also in its officials. accordance with many demands for such a These men must be released, fellow committee, coming to the Main Office from workers, and let us all put our shoulders the rank and file.
to the wheel in the one absolutely certain There is one point, however, to be em- way, viz., by Economic Industrial Action. phasized in order to avoid possible mis. Let us put this IDEA of a general strike takes: There is as yet, no General Strike
over, till it rings from the lips of workers called for all industries, but rather it is the everywhere, and manifests itself sufficiently IDEA, that is, and must continue to be put in job-action, to open wide the prison doors. over.
HARRY G. CLARK, Strikes by the I, W. W. can only be au
Chairman of the G. E. B.
If you're game to fight with no end in sight and
never a band to play, If you're fit to toil with no hope of spoil and the
toiling itself for pay, If you'll bear the irk of the thankless work of mak
ing the dream come true, If you'll march along through a hooting throng that
bellows its oath at you, If you'll learn to meet each new defeat with the
gritty old grin of yore, And lift your lance in a new advance with hardly
a chance to score, Then you're just the breed that we sorely need;
you're one of our kith and kin, So get the swing of the song we sing and join in
the march—fall in!
We promise no loot to the young recruit, no glory
or praise or fame, No gold you gain in this long campaign-but plenty
of jeers and blame. The quarters are mean and the rations lean; the
service is harsh and grim, The war is on from dark to dawn, from dawn to the
twilight dim; But there's ever the cheer of a comrade near, and
the touch of his sturdy arm, And his help in call if you faint and fall where the
harrying foemen swarm. If you scorn reward for the fight that's hard, if you'd
rather be right than win, Just get the swing of the song we sing and join the
If comradeship of heart—not lipis more to your
taste than cash,
the pursy priests have decked,
temple of lies is wrecked,
never can halt or pause
for the human cause,
the old world's din,
the march-fall in!
HE outstanding fact in regard to the So we see that in the United States at the labor movement in America is, that present time only one out of every six or
there is no labor movement in America. seven industrial workers belongs to a union. A great many faults in our tactics, and mis- Is anybody foolish enough to imagine that understandings of an injurious character, the working class as a whole will be able could be avoided were we always to keep to get anywhere if this ratio is to be mainthis fact in mind.
tained in the future? We would not be far from the mark in
The obvious lesson of this deplorable consaying that in the United States there are
dition is : Organize the Unorganized! This about twenty-five million men, women and
is just what the Industrial Workers of the children working in the various industries. World has been trying to drive home to Of these only about three or four million
the working-class with all the facilities at are organized in any kind of labor unions
its command. whatever. The bulk of them belong, of course, to the craft unions, which in the Nobody has ever got anywhere by hug. majority of cases function merely as job ging illusions. Neither will the American trusts. A few hundreds of thousands be working-class. Let us first learn the conlong in other organizations, such as the ditions that we are up against, and then semi-industrial unions, which possess more let us act accordingly. To put it in the of the characteristics of genuine class or- words of Abraham Lincoln, "If we could ganizations.
first know where we are and whither we
are tending, we could better judge what to Oil is the court of final appeal, and the do and how to do it."
supreme ruler. Of course, the chances are
that the same would hold true even if all Oil and Automobiles
these workers carried membership cards in Let us first consider the amount of or
craft unions. ganization, or lack of it, in the major American industries.
Textiles, Steel, Wood and Rubber At the top of the list comes the automo
Textiles form the third largest industry. bile industry. In the year 1922 the value Here, also, there is no organization to speak of the total number of automobiles, trucks, of, until we come to the tailoring trades. and parts and accessories amounted to the The Amalgamated Clothing Workers, repstupendous figure of $2,725,000,000. Hun- resenting the workers engaged in the manudreds of thousands of workers are em
facture of men's and boys' clothing, have a ployed in this industry. What portion of membership of approximately one hundred them is organized ?
and fifty thousand. In other branches of Everybody who is acquainted with this
the tailoring trades we find several tens of industry knows that hardly any of them thousands more, organized in craft unions belong-even to craft unions. In every auto- affiliated with the American Federation of mobile factory there are no doubt a few Labor. Besides this there is a scattering scattering craftsmen, such as carpenters,
of independent unions in the various woolmachinists, and others, who are members
en, cotton and silk mills in Pennsylvania, of their respective craft unions, but since New Jersey and the New England states, the great bulk of the employes are not
whose total membership numerically is organized, these craftsmen might as well
negligible. not carry union cards for all the good it
By far the greater number of workers in does them or anybody else. The industry
all the textile mills, and also those workas a whole is to be put in the category of
ers engaged in the raising of cotton in the unorganized industries.
southern states, are without any form of When we consider the second largest in- organization. Especially down south the dustry in the United States—the produc- conditions in the textile industry are untion and refining of oil—we will find the speakably bad. Thousands upon thousands same open shop conditions prevailing there. of children of tender age are employed in Here again we will find a few mechanics the fields, the sheds, and the mills, at a carrying craft union cards, but by reason
wage barely sufficient to feed them, to say of the workers not being organized, their nothing of clothing them and providing power is negligible. In the oil fields, espe
any of the other things necessary to sustain cially of the southwestern states and Cali- life. Women in the southern cotton mills fornia, the Industrial Workers of the World
work ten and eleven hours a day for as have started a vigorous campaign of or
little as eight or nine dollars a week. ganization, but as yet it is in its initial
Everybody knows that there is no organstages. It is highly encouraging to note ization of the workers in the steel industry, that the Oil Workers' Industrial Union
nor in the woodworking and rubber in
dustries. Owing to the failure of the great gives signs of vigorous growth. In the huge oil refineries in various states, chance to ever organize the steel workers
steel strike of 1919, neither is there a controlled and operated as a rule by the
into craft unions modeled after, or affiliated Standard Oil companies, only some of the
with, the American Federation of Labor. more highly skilled mechanics, such as firstclass machinists, boiler makers, engineers,
Transportation and Food carry craft cards. In regard to the condi- Of course, the railroads are supposed to tions, hours, and wages of the many be almost one hundred per cent organized. thousands of other workers, the Standard However, the brand of unionism that pre