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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 craft separately - and there cannot be too many autonomous crafts among them to suit me....... My contract with my locomotive engineers is drain 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, expiring on a separate date, I got the industry at my mercy. Say that, 'contract' or no 'contract',......my switchmen are driven to rebellion and strike. What do I do? I telephone to my chief Labor-Lieutenants - the Presidents, Grand Chiefs, and Superlative Secretaries of the national unions....... My Labor-Lieutenants hasten to respond to my call. Like black 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-breaking miscreants are below the contempt of my virtuous LaborLieutenant. They call around them the men in the other departments - engineers, firemen, conductors, etc., and address them in this language: '... They have broken their contracts! Surely You will not do the same? Surely You will
not be so base! Surely YOU will be true!' And the men thus addressed......, bowing low to the Goddess of Contract, ...... make answer: 'Not we! .... WE shall not break our sacred contracts!' 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 hästen 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 tenders made vacant by such illegal strike."" And the vice-pres
ident of the Brotherhood assures the railway managers: "The
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. 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.