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as they have gone today. But they failed to eliminate child labor. They permitted women to replace men in factories. They stood stupefied when the socalled "open shop" city of Detroit voluntarily raised wages to a minimum of $5 a day in the automotive industry, and they set up as their chief representative here in Detroit, in this center of mass production, a nationally known individual whose name has time after time been associated with racketeering.
All this was unfortunate as far as this organization was concerned, unfortunate for themselves and for the laborer. In recent months the American Federation of Labor openly and officially protested against President Roosevelt's efforts to restore sound money. This, too, was unfortunate for their prestige among the laboring class. They did not have sufficient intelligence at the top of their organization to realize that we are suffering from a financial disease, to realize that as long as the old gold-standard capitalistic system continued it mattered little whether the laborer was paid $1 an hour or $10 an hour, because the financialist whom they supported in their campaign a few months ago, in their fight against revaluation of gold and the nationalization of our currency and credit, these financialists were able to siphon the money from the pocketbooks of the laborers by boosting the price of bread and butter--a sad thing for the American Federation of Labor that it has not more intelligence to direct it.
In no sense am I opposed to the fundamental principles established by the American Federation of Labor. I am a member of an organization, the Catholic Church, which for centuries has uphold that principle and will always uphold it, namely, the right of the laboring class to organize and through organization to acquire the just distribution of profits which in these latter days have been concentrated in the hands of a few. Yet, despite the harsh criticism employed in the words I have just spoken, the basic principles advocated by the American Federation of Labor are also positively on the side of the angels.
If it has been inefficient, so have been the churches in some respects and so, too, the same criticism can be launched against the other organizations whose basic principles are likewise sound. If in this industrial crisis when the stakes for which we are dicing are not other than the industrial, economic, and financial freedom, there are manifestations of bigotry, class and industrial, if these exist on the part of the American Federation of Labor there is no reason why the basic principles espoused by the federation should be quartered and sawed upon the altar of public opinion.
By class bigotry in the American Federation of Labor, I refer to the fact that the American Federation of Labor ordinarily supported the policy that a union man cannot work alongside of a nonunion man, that the best carpenter shall be paid not more than the worst union carpenter, that an attempt to hire a nonunion man in a union shop must encounter the possibility of a strike or a walk-out-that is industrial bigotry. When 4,000,000 organized men at a fee of $18 per year, paid into the union, take it upon themselves to dictate the fallacious errors through the 20,000,000 unorganized industrial laborers or the 40,000,000 laborers of all kinds who are resident within this Nation and who do not belong to the unions—that is industrial bigotry.
Now, it is against these errors and this high cost of organization that today I protest in the names of millions of working men who are standing on the sidelines overburdened with taxes, oppressed by industry, and spun upon the wheel of of economic
laboring men who in this crisis realize and recognize that they must organize, but who if they had a voice that could be heard would refuse to submit at least to a double system of taxation without representation, one to the American Federation of Labor and one to the United States Government who should be their protector but who has played the part of the biggest Judas Iscariot in the annals of all history.
If the American Federation of Labor and the affiliated unions would lower their dues to $3 a year, 25 cents a month, they would have in a week's time an enrollment of 40,000,000 men, with a revenue of $120,000,000 to carry on their campaign free from the charges of organization for a profit, free from the implication of industrial bigotry.
In this crisis, however, what can the laboring man do? Can he be expected to sit on the sidelines while his fellow men are fighting for industrial freedom?' He cannot be a traitor to his cause and to his own family, and he must organize. And thanks to the stupidity of the industrialist who in season and out of season has fought against organization, there is only one decision for the laborer to make, there is only one organization for him to join.
My friends, by this last statement do not misinterpret me. In that I mean you and I and everyone else must surrender to the American Federation of Labor as it exists today. After all, it is a private corporation. Even though it has done more to organize the American laboring man than all other organizations combined, nevertheless it is still subject to the United States Government. It is still subject to section 7, article (a), of the National Industrial Recovery Act. It is still subject in the matter of its finances and bylaws to Federal modification and to the Wagner bill that is coming up in a few days.
There are two sentences in this National Recovery Act which I would like to read you before commenting further. I shall brief them. The first sentence legally compels the employer to respect and acknowledge the right of his employees to join any organization or union which the employees choose to join, and the second sentence, among other things, legally protects the employee, the laborer, to the extent that he is free to join or not to join any labor organization or union,
Now, the disputed point in the automotive industry as it exists today is whether or not the American Federation of Labor shall be recognized by that industry. The manufacturers refuse to recognize the American Federation of Labor. The American Federation of Labor demands to be recognized because they claim that according to free choice of the laborers this organization is the duly representative voice of the employees, and the manufacturers want the complete list of all the members of the American Federation of Labor. Well, they will never surrender that. They would be fools if they did. The American people demand that both the automotive manufacturers and the American Federation of Labor surrender to the United States Government in the name of the public good. They are both wrong.
In this crisis the Federal Government dare not sidestep and must not put a joker in the new deal unless its house of cards shall come tumbling down upon its head. What do I mean? Well, we have heard much talk about "cracking down on industry. Perhaps there should be a little talk, at least a sentence or two, about “cracking down” on the American Federation of Labor. There will be presented to Congress in the near future a bill commonly referred to as the Wagner bill, replete with must's” and “don'ts” to industry. No one denies that industry needs to be placed over the Congressional knee and soundly spanked. No one denies that its attitude toward the laborer must be readily altered; but despite this legislation, which aims at unionizing all industrial labor in vocational groups, is the Wagner bill complete unless it removes the capitalism from the American Federation of Labor, unless it tempers the financial powers, and unless, in fine, it sets up a code of fair play for labor as well as fair play for industry?
If Senator Wagner is endowed with the intelligence which I think he possesses, he will not stop at rescuing the innocent American laborer from the
of industry only to hand him over to the
of the American Federation of Labor as it now exists. It is time for our Government to pass legislation that will really protect the working man and rectify both industry and the American Federation of Labor.
For many years we have had a so-called “Department of Labor" in this country, and a so-called "Secretary of Labor.” For many years it has been the most hypocritical nd four-flushing Department in all our Government. Ordinarily it has been presided over by a sphinx who either cared not or dared not open his mouth in defense of labor. Silently the Secretary of Labor sat in his office while the miner slaved in his pit, while the textile industry sweat blood, while long hours and short wages were the portion of millions of our citizens, and while wealth was concentrated in the hands of a few.
The Department of Labor was the Department of “doing nothingism," a Department for which you and I paid taxes to support while it accomplished nothing that was substantial, a Department which even in this year exacted for the laboring man 12 months of taxation while it permits him to work 6 months for starvation.
Mr. Laboring Man, why do you pay taxes? Simply to build up an Army and Navy for the protection of goods that you do not own and cannot own? Simply to perpetuate in office a Department of Labor that has never been for you or for your interests? That is why you members of the American Federation of Labor have to pay your taxes twice
once to a government who did not use them for your welfare and once to a private organization that today appears to be a government within a government.
As I conceive it, the time has arrived, this administration, this year, this month, for the Department of Labor through the Wagner bill to begin to function or else change its name to the Department of Industrial Slavery.
Single taxation is all that any of us can bear even in prosperous times. Double taxation for a government within a government is unjust and unsound. The time has arrived for the government not only to crack down on industry but also
to eliminate the necessity of your paying double fees for the preservation of your rights.
My laboring friends, I sympathize with you as you hang transfixed between the thieves of exploitation and cruel government. But I hope, as do you, that at lease One is ready to say a word for our own, a word of love for you. There is profit in this industrial age for all of us. Industry of its own volition will not expend this benediction of justice to you. You must organize, and your Government must begin to function for you. Your Government can do this if it wills and wants to do it.
Industry today is controlled by absentee owners who know you not and who would never scratch the froth from your window pane to see how your children and your wife are waiting for you to come home with a crust of bread in your hand and happy news of a job on your lips.
“Cordial relations have always existed between industry and labor”, oh, they tell us. If cordial relations were born in the hell of industice, I would subscribe to that libel on cordiality. There never will be cordiality until hungry mouths are fed, until poverty is eradicated, and until the sun of industrial liberty begins to shine through the cloud of oppression.
Mr. Laborer, is not too much to blame. He, too, works for a salary. But he knows him better than you do. He knows that your factory and your speed-up system which produces both mass production and mass poverty are controlled by the fat-headed financialists who control the major portion of the motor industry, of the steel industry, of the railroads, the mines, of the whole Nation. They control it as they snap out their orders with the fierceness of a Simon Legree, coiling upon your shoulders the lash of oppression, my friends.
You talk of striking, but if you must strike, strike in an intelligent manner, not by lying down your tools but by raising up your voice against the financial system that keeps you today and will keep you tomorrow in brutal bondage. Have I wasted my words upon you as I told you that one prize bank controls 40 billion dollars of American industry and occupation? Have I merely dreamed that there is a shortage of money in the Nation and the purpose for freezing up credit so that independent manufacturers dare not break against the will of the bank of the Morgans? Have I been an idle dreamer in explaining to you that there is a vast market in the Orient waiting for the products of your skill and your industry? If money were brought back to normal value, all the Anglo-Chinese merchants and the Anglo-Chinese bankers to whom Mr. Morgenthau sent an ambassador, together with will tell you it is a dream because they wish to hold you in bondage, Mr. Working Man, and to force you to take the pauper's oath and to identify yourselves with the C.W.A., while they break down industry and buy General Motors for 20, and Chrysler for 30, and United States Steel for 10.
Manufacturers and laborers, wake up. Now is the time to strike together for independence from Wall Street. Nine tenths of the difficulties behind labor and capital have sprung from the millsprings of modern finance, and today these financialists hide behind the smoke screen of labor difficulties created for the most part through a famine of money and a disease of debt.
But the smoke screen has been penetrated and there is every hope that your Government, ably assisted by your moral support, will free itself from the blight of the brain-trusters and bankers who even at this very hour are endeavoring to control and until this very hour are impeding the progress of our financial independence without which there can be no industrial independence.
That is the conclusion, my friends, of this talk on capital and labor. It will be included in the book which I am inviting you to write for free of charge. Write this week. It is your last opportunity. Place your name and address plainly, and it shall be my happiness to send it to you and to wish you a happy Easter.
The CHAIRMAN. Do I understand you to say that you are opposed to the company union?
Mr. WARD. I am, sir. I think they are delusions and snares.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not make any distinction that has been made here between the dominated company union and the nondominated company union?
Mr. WARD. I make no distinction in company unions because some splendid ones have arisen. Those should not be taken care of by law. They are fine. But, the company union is simply camouflage. It gives labor nothing. I know that. I have been with industry for 14 years. And neither is a system which extends the domination of the present American Federation of Labor good for labor.
The CHAIRMAN. Were you here yesterday?
The CHAIRMAN. Did you hear the representatives of a company union who testified? Mr. WARD. No, Senator; I did not.
The Chairman. I want to get your position clearly. You think there is no such thing as a company union that is not dominated directly or indirectly by employers?
Mr. Ward. I believe that, absolutely.
The CHAIRMAN. I thought that was your position, so that you favored a legislation that will prevent any such thing as a company union?
Mr. WARD. Anything such as that.
The CHAIRMAN. And that the employees, even if they wished to have a company union, should not be permitted to have one?
Mr. WARD. Correct, because they wish it because they are told to wish it.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you go so far as to desire legislation that will require all employees to be unionized whether they want to or not?
Mr. Ward. No; voluntary association of the laborers by industry; all the automotive workers in one, $3 a year.
The CHAIRMAN. I know, but how are you going to compel them?
Mr. Ward. Don't compel it. Make it voluntary, But have the Labor Department organize that union, go out to the factories, sell labor the idea of organization, and then turn it over to labor. Then, if
you have a voluntary system, those that once enjoyed the craft unions and do not want to join your Labor Department union, let them join what they wish. Then
Then if you want to have representation, have it proportional.
The CHAIRMAN. You would not interfere with the existing unions? Mr. WARD. Not at all.
The CHAIRMAN. But where there is no union you would have the Federal Government encourage and set up an organization of unions of the workers and after they have organized such a union in any particular industry they would turn over the whole organization to the men themselves to conduct it and run it?
Mr. WARD. That is correct, Senator.
The Chairman. But you would have the Government take the initiative?
Mr. Ward. The initiative.
The CHAIRMAN. In introducing to these employees their right to organize and mapping out for them a form of organization under which they could obtain their right to collective bargaining?
Mr. WARD. Absolutely, Senator. As another step further, I would have it vigorously sell the idea of organization to labor instead of being as it is today.
The Chairman. Would not the result of that be, in all probability, the elimination of the present trade unions?
Mr. Ward. I think that they would go on to some extent. They are very experienced in dealing with crafts, and those whose income can pay the bill. I think they have done wonderful things for labor but I do not think they have done what they have been paid to do for labor.
The CHAIRMAN. Do I understand the amendment which you have offered is an attempt by you or somebody to translate into legislation the ideals and purposes of the pope in his encyclical letter?
Mr. WARD. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you consulted with any other Catholic leaders who have studied our social problems, in the preparation of this amendment?
Mr. WARD. I had my b shop as my guest yesterday in Washington because I do not believe that a layman should stick his neck out without a little consultation. So, I asked the Rev. Michael J. Gallagher, the bishop of Detroit, to listen, and he did. I did not ask him for any imprimatus or anything like that, but I wanted his judgment.
I wanted to make labor responsible for its action, highly organized; and industry responsible and highly organized.
I wanted them to reach back to the principles of social justice with a living wage as the fundamental principle. That cannot be accomplished without organization. Wealth is concentrated so heavily today into the hands of the few that one thirty-third of 1 percent have one half of our national wealth and the wage earner is without property by and large in this country:
Senator WAGNER. Except the services that he can offer?
Senator WAGNER. If you do not give him a chance to bargain fairly for that, there is nothing left and he is an economic slave?
Mr. WARD. He is.
Mr. WARD. I truly believe that where I taught the largest classes in America 24 years ago in Albany and I used to see you then-20 years ago.
I really believe that slavery was abolished from this country, not because of what the books tell us, but because the free competitive system in the labor market is cheaper for industry than is slavery.
We hire the man at 18 and we fire him at 45. În the 27 years that he has as a laborer in highly organized industry he has earned as high as $1,265 a year. Roughly, that is $34,000 for a lifetime period. He expects to live 70 years and if he works every day throughout the 27 years which industry accepts him he gets $480 a year.
I believe that the first tax on productive industry is labor's wage, and I believe there must be a redistribution of wealth if capitalism is to remain.
I have worked too. I have not only counciled industry, but I have worked by the hour as a day laborer and know something about it.
I have one final point and I am through. This question and most pthers will not be settled on their merits or by expediencies or even by legislation until income is restored to the Nation. Therefore, a fundamental settlement of the capital and labor dispute today, better than the Senator's bill, better than the Senator's bill with my amendment, or better than anything, is to restore national income and divide