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the labor skinners, the labor crushers, were organized and bringing their power to bear upon the legislatures and courts of the country. In Illinois, where it has been my privilege to live for some time, we have a good many men and women working to-day in occupations that may be called dangerous trades by reason of the machinery used and the conditions of the industry. There is not one word on the statute books of Illinois which really protects those men and women from crippled hands and lost limbs, from crippled bodies and lost lives in those industries. As a matter of fact to-night the men and women in Illinois in dangerous trades are less protected than men and women in Finland--and we think Illinois is a civilized community! Now what happened? Organized labor bore the burden of the struggle, just as organized labor has been the power behind the passage of child labor laws and all laws that really save the life of man. They took up the struggle and presented a reasonable and fair bill in the legislature in the state of Illinois.
It was about to be passed. The Manufacturers' Association of Chicago and Illinois sent to the legislature its secretary, an able and clever man, who is not too careful of the truth when he makes statements about labor men. He established a lobby and had one or two very able and clever lawyers at his shoulder all the time. He began to make arguments to the legislators and they were not all addressed to the mind; some of those were addressed here (touching his pocket). Some of those legislators built nice houses when they went home, although they did not have any money when they went to the legislature, and they were supposed to get only $1,000 for their year's service! That bill was lost. Is there any fairminded man of any political persuasion whatever who can bring himself to object if organized labor in the state of Illinois says, “As long as you fought us on the industrial field we were content to remain on that field and we wanted to stay there, but if you retire and bolster yourself up behind a lobby on the political field and begin to contribute to the election of legislators for the purpose of betraying is, and begin to contribute to the campaign fund of judges for the purpose of getting unfair injunctions against us, in the name of men and women and children in the state of Illinois, we will go into politics and drive you out."
That is the general situation when you get down to the real facts. Then you will find organized labor has been content to discuss its issues on the industrial field, but the other fellows have not been. They have had their power, their education and ability, but they did not trust that. They never sat down to discuss a proposition with us that they did not have two or three trained lawyers ready to help them on the monied side. I have sometimes sat in such a controversy when it seemed to me that if God Almighty had come down and said a certain thing was good for the workers they would have objected to it. I have no objection to lawyers. I have known lawyers who were honest, but I
tell you, my friends, you have to sift pretty close to find them. That is the situation that has faced organized labor in this great nation of ours; and it organized labor, responding to the action of employers of scab labor, follow them up and drive them out of the political forces of our people that were made to serve the whole people, I think organized labor will be doing a service to the whole nation and not to any class.
You can not escape this struggle. The strongest organized union that may look down on
the field and say, "We are safe" is deluding itself if it makes any such statement anywhere in the industral field. As a matter of fact, the strongest union isn't any stronger in the last analysis than the weakest union, and we have to learn that great truth. The working class will stand or fall together. And when I say "class" I do not mean class in any foolish, doctrinaire sense. I mean the men and women who really earn what they eat in any capacity, whether it be by mind or hand. Those people have got to get together against the people who are the common plunderers of the whole nation, regardless of class.
Now, my friends, when I say we can not escape
struggle, on what grounds do I base that statement? Not on guess work; I base it on facts. I want to say to you, men of labor, you who represent America's toiling thousands, that I know something of the labor end of the game also, something of unorganized labor in
Southern mine where I worked day after day for twelve hours a day, side by side with colored men, and got a dollar a day for the work. That is not specially high wages! We were not organized; we were poor, common white trash on the one hand, and poor, worthless niggers on the other hand, and we were making people rich while we worked there. We were good enough to do that. I didn't like it; I don't deny that for a moment. I broke away and went to Alaska. I was one of the bunch of men who went up there and fought their way over Chilcoot Summit and down White Horse Rapids. I
of those who did well. Most of them went broke. When we passed on over the great frozen stretches of Alaska in the spring of '98 we stopped on a cliff that looked out over Behring Sea to the ut most limit of the Western continent of North America. And the
great cold there worked the same magic the great heat does in the desert. It lifted up far over the tops of the icebergs and the great ice sea the cliffs of far Siberia, seventy miles away, and we saw on the horizon the cliffs of that old Asia, that ancient human hive from which came forth the men that made Western civilization. I didn't know what it
meant then. I turned back and went through the valleys and over the mountains of Alaska and made a stake, so I am free to be here to-day.
know what it meant. It meant that the great frontier, which for a hundred years gave an opening to the surplus labor of America, had passed forever from the
world. It meant that that great Western movement that came out from the East, that came across Western Europe and laid the foundations of human liberty and justice in that "tight little island," then forced its way across
the ocean and established on the Atlantic shore the thirteen colonies; then passed across the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains, until its waves met the waves of the Pacific, would rest there. It rested there a while, and then the old hunger for opportunity, the hunger of the boy to try his life against the life of the world, drove the men of '98 over the Chilcoot Summit, but it will not drive them in the future anywhere. They will go out into the ocean and drown.
To-day, as you sit here discussing the great interests of humanity bound up in the cause of organized labor, in every little town of the country, in every farmer's home, there is a bright-eyed boy thinking of the future, thinking of leaving his narrow surroundings and trying himself against the world. Where will he go? He will not go to the frontier; he is not thinking about it; it has ceased to exist. He is thinking of San Francisco, of Denver, of Chicago, of New York, of the industrial centers of America, and he is coming there tonight; he is marching, while you sit here, to come into the labor struggle of the great industrial cities, with no knowledge of
the struggle of labor for hundred years to get hours and wages, without any knowledge of the strain and labor of countless men and women to make conditions fair. What does he want? He wants opportunities. He will work under any conditions, he will take long hours and small pay, and hope for promotion sometime. He is the ready tool of this combined scab labor group to hurl against the standard of every organized trade in the land.
My friends, we can not escape! Every man of labor here has got to accept the supreme obligation of universal organization, from the man who digs the ditch to the most highly skilled mechanic in the land. There is no man too mean, there is no occupation too servile to justify your lack of organization efforts, not because they will add strength to the union in great numbers, but because the mere fact of organization among them is the protection and guarantee and sure hope of the strongest union in the land. Now, men, that is no mean job. That is a job so big and tremendous that it is only equalled by the tasks before those pioneers who dared to hope for a free nation and dared to lay its foundations on those rocky New England shores. But they had hope. Are we less worthy than our fathers of faith in the future of mankind? Shall we, in the presence of the accomplished fact of a great republic, whether or not it be wholly free-it is at least with conditions of government that give possibilities of freedom to every man and women in the land-are we to be heard to question the power of men in society to organize all industry and make all labor honorable, not in name, but in fact?
My friends, there is a real dignity of labor in the heart of the world. The men and women who actually do feed and clothe and house this country and the world are really worthy of all honor, with all cant and humbug thrown aside. You have got to dare as much in the great pioneer work of organized labor, in the great moral and human values of this industrial struggle as the men of old, the fathers of our land, dared and braved in the interests of political and religious freedom. You are facing, as the inheritors of a great tradition, the third great struggle in the history of civilization. At first the lines of men divided upon the question of the freedom of the human mind. For five hundred years, aye, for a thousand years, that struggle went on, and it was won. It was won for every man and woman and child. The meanest man in this Republic and Western civilization can believe in one God, or seven gods, or no God, if he wants to, and there, is nó power of Church or state can say him nay. It was no mean gain that came from that great struggle.
And then the dividing lines of mankind formed over the question of political liberty, over the right of every man to have some share in the government of which he was a part. And that struggle expresses five hundred years in which the people of England, among all the nations of the earth, led the vanguard of human progress, and dared to lay down the most permanent and abiding principles on which human liberty shall forever rest. Men can not wait; the great forces of civilization move onward and forward while generation succeeds generation in the life of the world. You men who are inheritors of that great past are facing to-day a struggle compared with which the two great struggles that preceded seem to us as though they were but the material of a summer's day. It is not so, but it seems so. You are facing the third great problem of civilization-the problem of industrial liberty, the problem so splendidly put by the President of this great Federation when he said that the conflict waging now was upon the question of whether a man's laboring power and his purchasing power belonged to him or whether they belonged to somebody else. The problem to-day is to secure for every man and women of labor in the land the right to the possession of their labor power absolutely, and the right to the possession of their purchasing power absolutely, and to have declared by the legislatures and upheld by the courts the fact that employers of America have obsolutely no property right whatever in either the working power or the purchasing power of the workers. We will vindicate that right, not because some of us are eager to undertake the struggle, but because we must vindicate it. We won't be able to have any rights at all if we don't vindicate that right, because this is an industrial age, and industrial rights take the front of the stage in the controversy of mankind.
Now, men, we can win. We can win because we are right, and because there are more of us. The whole problem today is whether we have got as much sense in getting together and standing together as the scab employers have on the one hand, or as the free working men of Great Britain had on the other hand. That is the problem. I was talking to a wise and clever pirate of industry, one of the able men whom God gave great gifts to, who had the mind that sees, the mind that grips, the mind that analyzes, and he said: "Robins, you can not win.'' I said, "Why?" "Why?'' he said, "the fool working men of this country haven't got sense enough to get together, and as long as we keep you divided we can skin you any day in the year."
A long time ago one of the wise men of the world said, "A house divided against itself can not stand." It is as true of the great temple of human labor as of any other house built by the hands of men. That great temple has been laid course by course, and bloody fingers have handled the bricks, and hungry women have starved that it might be built, and little children have been deprived of daily food that it might be established among men. I do not believe that the house of labor will fall; but I do know that the house of labor must cease to be divided if it shall hope to stand. A long time ago it was said that the stone which the buliders have rejected has become the head stone of the corner; and the stone which the builders of empire have rejected inthe history of men has been the great group of toil. That stone was jected in the history of men has been hearing was when in the great council of the people of Great Britain there was present the members of that despised group--the group of toil-who stood there in Parliament for great human values, the greatest values for the empire that had ever been advocated in that great house of Parliament in the history of mankind. My friends, a great labor man of England, with whom some men delight to differ, but who is nevertheless the best expression of my thought of what is best in labor, is a member of the ministry in Great Britain-John Burns. He came up from the people, and whether or not he is able to stand against the temptations of the times, nevertheless he is the first man who ever sat behind the council table of Great Britain with an intimate personal knowledge of the life of men and women of toil. How long will it be before America, the great industrial nation of the world, has at the council table of her nation some man who, in his own body, has suffered the burdens of commnn toll, who bears on his own back some of the testimony of the common lot of poverty and labor? Men,
well becomes the Republic to have some man of labor at its council table, if for no other reason than to
bear that testimony from the men and women who have made America what she is to-day. It was said by that brave man and follower of the simple carpenter of Nazareth, Charles Stelzle, on this platform this afternoon, that the leisure class did not make good. My friends. I want to add to that just this: The leisure class in the history of mankind never did make good; it never will make good, because it never can. When
ever a boy or girl is raised under conditions where he does not have to work for what he gets, whenever he is surrounded by privilege and opportunity, he becomes careless and indifferent, and his mind and body is not capable of the service that the working child, if he has good food and good air and decent conditions, is capable of giving to the world.
The battle is in better shape to-day than ever before. More men of labor understand what their great work is to be. More men outside of labor's rank are in sympathy with the ultimate purpose, the citizenship rights of the manhood and womanhood of labor than ever before. Let us gather courage, let us dare to believe in each other, let us dare to believe in our leaders. My friends, the other fellows don't dicker and divide their forces in the face of the enemy on the day of battle. God grant that the day will come in the history of organized labor when, after we have decided what is best, we will stand together, submitting and surrendering, if need be, our personal choice in the interest of the common good. I want to say that I look forward to the unity of organized labor, not behind any party-thank God, I dare to be free! I have voted the Republican ticket and the Democratic ticket, and I thought I was doing right each time, and I will vote any old ticket that looks to me as being best for the human values of this country any time it comes to the front. But, men, we have no power worth considering on the political held for any party or any principle until we get together. I don't know what the future holds. Even such a wise man as this old leader of labor. Samuel Gompers, knows not what the future holds. I do know that there is no future of any kind for us until we have sense enough to lay aside personal differences, agree on a program and then stick to the bitter end.
Men of labor. when we fought our way over Chilcoot Summit and went over the glaciers of Alaska there was one truth hammered into us every day of the three years we fought the trail, and that truth was that men can only win when they stand together. One man in Alaska is a lost soul.-he is as much lost as an unorganized man in a big factory. You know the condition of the unorganized man. He has that lovely liberty that some scab employers of labor preach so much about-the liberty to work twelve hours a day for fourteen cents an hour and then have his wages lowered so that his employer can contribute $500 to the building of some nice charitable institution. It is that liberty the cat has in a tub out in the lake. The cat doesn't want to stay in the tub-of course not! The cat is at perfect liberty to jump out in the lake any time it doesn't like the tub! That is the way with the unorganized man or woman. They do not have to stay in the shop; they can go out and starve any time they choose. In that Alaska struggle, it one man lay down the other could not go on. You could not do anything without your partner going hand in hand with you. Out of the struggle of that mighty time, and it was a mighty struggle, there came a byword in Alaska, and every ono
of the twenty thousand miners who risked their lives along the trail would risk his life for that word. We used to say, "Well, there are just three things in this world' I hate more than any other three things, and the first one of them is a quitter, the second is a quitter, and the third is a quitter-damn him!”
Now, friends, isn't that really the doctrine of the men of labor? As a matter of fact, the man with money and laþor can go it alone. He can stand the strain, but the man of labor and the woman of labor have got to stand together or they won't go anywhere. I wish that this great Convention would realize how important in one aspect the organization of women is. There are six million women in gainful occupations in the United States to-day. What about them? They are being used to-day for the purpose of breaking down hours and wages in every trade where they are not organized. Why is it that some of the sweat shops and big stores can work a girl overtime during the rush season three or four hours and send her back to her little tenement home at the end of the rush season? Why can not they work a hod-carrier that way? Because they have to pay him time and a half for every minute over eight hours, because he is organized. And the women who are being exploited, who are being robbed who are being disinherited from their right to a home and to maternity, from having little children they can call their own, are being robbed to-night simply because they are unorganized. Friends, a high court in this land has said that the great organization of the United Hatters of North America is a conspiracy in restraint of trade because those men told other men and women of labor, in the interests of humanity, in the interests of themselves, not to wear Leowe's hatsthey were blood-stained hats. I say to you, my friends, that goods made under anti-social or immoral conditions, where there is child labor, women working overtime and men being paid less than a fair wage, are of greater injury to this country to-day than crime and pestilence in any other form. The time will come when the great moral value of organized labor will be recognized in this land. We talk of wages and hours. That is the first thing we have to talk about. I know two hat factories in America, one organized and the other unorganized. They are within three blocks of each other. In the unorganized factory about a year ago a big stiff of a foreman insulted a little girl who was a hat trimmer. She stood up and told him what she thought of him, and was discharged for insubordination. She wrote a letter to the owner of the factory, but never got any reply. About six months ago, in the organized factory, where these people who have been said to be in a conspiracy in restraint of trade have an organization, there was another big stiff of a foreman who tried to insult a noor, little, helpless foreign girl. Another girl, who happened to be the floorwoman of the United Hatters, looked at him and said: "You cut that out; we won't stand for it in this factory. You must apologize to that little girl." He said: "I will see you in a warmer land." She called that floor into a shop meeting; they laid down their tools and went out
on the street, where she told them the situation. They said they would starve before they would go back if that man did not apologize to the little girl. The boss came down in his big automobile, went to his office and called in the foreign girl. He also called in the big stiff of a foreman, who began to weaken, as any big coward will. Let it be said to the eternal glory of that particular hat manufacturer that he had decency enough to discharge the foreman on the spot. Now, I want to submit to the universities of Colorado and America as well, I want to submit to the churches of Colorado and America as well, that the United Hatters in that particular shop had more moral value, not only to protect hours and wages, but to protect the sanctity of personal virtue and the sanctity of the home than all forces in Christendom combined. Win with a cause like that? Why, of course we are going to win! We are going to win by the argument based upon the great human values under organized labor, we are going to throw back into the faces of those people-sometimes ignorant and honestsometimes cunning and hypocritical-who put up to labor its dishonest leaders this statement: “Yes, we have had dishonest leaders, and the church has had dishonest preachers, and the political parties have had dishonest leaders." We will say to them: “My brothers, when you drive the crooks out of the Democratic party and the Republican party, it will be time to come to us and talk about dishonest leaders. We don't like crooks, we try to put them down and out, and sometimes we do it. The human values of organized labor will not stand for crooked work, and they are about the only values that have the courage to fight against the crooks in this country to-day.
Let us not have divisions regarding the future. We don't know what we are going to do. We are going to fight the fight like men, decide on a policy, and more and more of us are going to stand by that policy as one man every day that goes on from now until we win final victory. It may be that we will be with the Republicans next election. Yes, I mean that. I thank God that it is true that there are just as honest, able and sincere men. men who love liberty and justice, in the Republican party to-day as there ever was in any party whatever. There are the same sort of people in the Democratic party. and there are the same earnest sort of people in the Socialist party. There are honest men who voted the Independence League ticket. I don't know where we are going to go, but I do know that we are not going to amount to anything until we get to. gether. We may be with the Renuhlicans, we may be with the Democrats, we may be with the Socialists. They will have to settle which one of the fiftyseven varieties we are to go with: but let us, as free men leading forward the hope of this great nation, resolve to stand together, to surrender personal divisions, to look out upon a great and broad horizon that sees the future of mankind and sees the future hosts of labor marching to the music of freedom's deathless song. Let us together agree, forgetting divisions of the past, but deter
mining upon unity for the future. Go forward to realize that great tradition of our nation, a tradition the greatest ever hoped for in the mind of man; the tradition not of a great class, not of great individuals, net of millionaires, not of Morgans and Rockefellers or that group, but the tradition of a great nation, a great people, the manhood and womanhood of that people, from the man who digs the ditch to the last exalted expression of genius, guaranteed by the law and protected by the court, and upheld by the opinion of the people; the right to a decent day's work and a decent wage for that work, the right to have a home and bring up free children to carry forward the tradition of a people tnat fear God, that love liberty, and that fear nothing else under Heaven.
Delegate Lewis-There is matter I would like to bring to the attention of this Convention. We have heard a great many good things to-day, but I think we should complete the session by hearing something else good. If it is in order at this time, I would move that we invite President Lynch of the International Typographical Union to tell us something of the institution we saw yesterday-the Union Printers' Home at Colorado Springs.
The motion was seconded and carried by unanimous vote.
President Lynch of the International Typographical Union spoke at some length in regard to the history of the Union Printers' Home.
President Gompers—During the proceedings the Chair desired to say something in regard to the speeches presented to this Convention. It was my purpose to enter into more extensive statement than I think would be proper or appropriate at so near the close of the session. I am
sure that this day's session has been an exceeding mental advantage to all the men and women participating in this Convention. The fraternal greetings of hope and confidence in our movement, the history of the efforts that are being put forth
and the experience detailed have all been of the most material value. There are congresses often held in our country as well as in others in which men are invited to give addresses or read prepared papers; but I doubt if there has been or could be brought together another gathering, other than the American Federation of Labor Convention, where, without previous invitation or preparation, such magnificent addresses, eloquent in thought and expression, conveying messages more deeply concerned with human justice and human liberty than we have had the privilege
of hearing to-day. It is a magnificent tribute to our Federation that it has proved itself of sufficient magnetic force. to attract the luminous minds and sympathetic hearts of the men and women who have addressed us, and there has not been, so far as I can recollect, one expression uttered to-day in our gathering to which we can not all of us say, with perfect confidence, Amen.
I did want to say a word or two to our friends from Great Britain particularly, because it is not always in the mind of every man to understand the great struggles necessary to be made in our country, and the great difficulties and obstacles that we are called upon to overcome. We meet to-day in Denver, and some say it is a Western city. Ask the men who come from that portion of the country where the sun sets, who are now in Denver, and they say, "Why don't you come West?" You heard to-day the gifted orator who said that in San Francisco he and his fellows went West. When you arrived at the port of New York you were considerably West of the extreme eastern portion of the United States. You have traveled nearly 2,000 miles from New York to Denver, and we are about two d one-half days' quick travel from San Francisco, Seattle or Los Angeles. You may therefore imagine, with a country so vast in length and so vast in width, with oceans and inland seas,
and mountains and deserts and prairies, the difficulties we have to bring about great, comprehensive, united movement of the workers of the United States. After all we are only a century and a third old as a nation, with nearly ninety millions of souls, speaking all the languages and tongues of all the lands in the world, and while I believe that we have among the employers of America some of the most sympathetic and the most humane employers, men who will compare favorably with any other employers on the face of the globe; but it is equally true that you can find the most rapacious Gradgrinds that can be found anywhere. It is a difficult task now, but we are trying to man ourselves to the duty. You have had your Taff Vale decision, and you have overcome it.
We have had decisions, both in injunction cases and in a case where the Supreme Court has decided that our trade unions are subject to be sued for three-fold damages, in effect, exactly as the Taft Vale decision was rendered.