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if it might not have been spoken today:
"Say I am a railroad magnate.
I make my 'schedules'
or contracts, not with all my employes together, but with each
and there cannot be too many autonomous
crafts among them to suit me....... My contract with my loca
motive engineers is drawn up to expire, we shall say, on April
15; my contract with my switchmen is drawn up to expire on
September 3; ........and so forth, down the line.... Each separate craft being tied up with a separate contract, ex
piring on a separate date, I got the industry at my mercy. Say that, 'contract' or no 'contract',......my switchmen are
Labor-Lieutenants hasten to respond to my call.
birds, they hie themselves to the scene from the four quar
ters of the compass.
And then, to the orchestration of
'Infamous men, they have broken their contracts! Scundalous
men, they have violated their sacred agreement!' and more to
this effect from tne press that I have set agoing,.......my
national Labor-Lieutenants fall to work.
They do not turn
their attention to the men on strike: these contract-break
ing miscreants are below the contempt of my virtuous Labor
They call around them the men in the other de
engineers, firemen, conductors, etc., and address
them in this language:
'.... They have broken their con
Surely YOU will not do the same?
Surely YOU will
not be so base!
Surely YOU will be true!'
And the men thus
bowing low to the Goddess of Contract, make answer: 'Not we! WE shall not break our Sacred con
tracts!' Which, translated into English, means 'WE SHALL SCAB IT UPON OUR FELLOW WAGE SLAVES.' And they do! And thus
we have seen Union locomotive engineers scabbing it upon Union
firemen, and Union firemen scabbing it upon Union brakemen,
and Union brakemen scabbing it upon Union switchmen, down the line..... It is not the UNORGANIZED SCAB who breaks the strikes, but the ORGANIZED CRAFT that really does the dirty work.....
Were De Leon alive today, be might very readily adapt
his remarks to the present switchmen's strike.
He need only
Officers of the Four Brotherhoods hasten to Chicago.
W. G. Lee, president of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen,
telegraphs that the strike is illegal and that "members of
the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen and others will be fully protected in accepting positions as switchmen or switch tend
2 ers made vacant by such illegal strike. And the vice-pres
ident of the Brotherhood assures the railway managers:
positions left by these husty strikers will be filled with
other union men.
We have contracts with the railroads and we must live up to them. 53 So union men are hurried to
Chicago from Cleveland, from Iowa, Wyoming, and elsewhere.
Furthermore, officials are not responsive to the
will of the rank and file.
The organizer of the "rebel"
1. Daniel De Leon, "Socialist Reconstruction of Society" 24-6. 2. Chicago Herald and Examiner, Apr. 7, 1920. 3. Ibid, April 6, 1920. Italics mine.