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Union Men As Slave Owners
by [?]

You enjoy the work of only ten or twenty underpaid men–that is so. But you are in the same class with the plutocrat who enjoys the profit on the work of ten or twenty thousand men.

Utter disregard of others–where it does not affect your own wages–is your rule, and you know it. What better joke is there than the joke about the union label? How many hats on your rack have union labels in them? How many of you can swear no sweatshop ever saw your clothes? How many of you would apologize for not offering your friend a “union-made” cigar?

It is the nature of man to think earnestly of only one thing at a time. If one pursuit really engrosses his attention he has little time to think of anything else. In the hard struggle for a living the workingman has little time for any thought save for his OWN wage, his OWN stomach, his OWN welfare.

As union men you will continue to struggle for your five dollars a day–restricting apprentices, that others may be shut out from your field; opposing changes threatening you, however beneficial they may be generally.

But as individuals you must THINK. You study, and, being free from the grind of real poverty, you should be less hardened than the unfortunate, and inclined to feel for others.

You have made a good fight against the slavery that used to oppress you. In England you destroyed mills, endured shooting and hanging. All over the world, by hard fighting and wise voting, you have established the fact that the top class of mechanics must no longer be treated as cattle.

Now, what are you going to do for the others who are still cattle? You have demanded in the name of holy justice that others help you. In the same name, what do you propose to do for those still oppressed? Will you use your big voting power for the millions who are still at the bottom?

Will you combine for the benefit of the vast army as you have combined for your OWN benefit?

Or will you wait–as did the employers–to be FORCED into decency? Will you free your own collection of underpaid, overworked slaves, or wait for them to organize and beat you into decency, as your representatives did with your oppressors long ago?

Take a look downward once in a while. Study those below you. Glance over your own little collection of “wage slaves” in your kitchen and wherever your money is spent.

There is a problem there for you when you shall have finished hurrahing for your own eight hours.