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times a strong bond of sympathy between the Jewish tradeunion movement and the Socialist movement. Most of the organizers, leaders, and speakers of the Jewish_trade-unions came from the ranks of the Socialist Labor Party, and in return the organized Jewish working men heartily co-operated with the party in all it undertook, and promptly responded to all its appeals." Though the Jewish unions have tried, even in matters of detail, to adopt the ways of the American organizations, they have never abandoned their close relationship with the Socialist movement. At times many unionists show a strong tendency toward still more aggressive methods than those recommended by acknowledged Socialist leaders, and so sections of the Jewish workers and some of their unions have been active in the organization of the Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance, promoted by the S. L. P., and later in the I. W. W. But the great majority have never forsaken the A. F. of L.
Until about 1905 the Jewish labor movement did not consolidate its advances. Many unions had only a short existence. As a rule organized through a strike they began to fall to pieces as soon as work was resumed. The United Hebrew Trades, of course, strove to strengthen the movement. Although efforts to organize in other cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago, and Boston were not very successful, the United Garment Workers of America, as the organization was now called, maintained a nucleus of organized Jewish tailors in New York and Chicago. The Cloak and Skirt Makers of New York were more successful. They formed part of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, which at times was strongly organized and conducted effective general strikes as far back as 25 years ago. But all that was of short duration. The continuous influx of immigrants and the movement of Jewish workers from trade to trade and from city to city made strong and permanent organization extremely difficult. Lack of experience and education were also adverse factors.
The present organized movement of the Jewish workers really began with the two big strikes of 1909-10 and the preceding fight of the Jewish bakers' workmen for the recognition of their union and label. The Furriers (8,000 in all) followed suit (1911). The tailors in Chicago (1910), where the Jews number 40 per cent. of the trade, and then the general strike of the men's clothing workers in New York Cityover 100,000 strong-founded the era of organization. Men and women rose from the ranks to leadership, and the immigrants of yesterday are today an efficient division of the labor army.
Reference should be made to the recent split in the
United Garment Workers Union and the formation of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, which is not affiliated to the A. F. of L. The idea of secession from the official labor movement of the country does not appeal much to the leading elements in the Jewish workers' organizations. Abuse and neglect on the part of officials had to reach their climax before the Jewish tailors could be driven to break away. If the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America still refuses to join the A. F. of L., the latter must be blamed for its methods of routine. There is no lack of desire in the seceding body to affiliate with the central movement of the nation's workers.
To the American observer, to whom the apparently revolutionary tendencies of the Jewish labor movement seem at variance with the national movement, the extreme loyalty of Jewish workers to the generally conservative leadership of unionism is puzzling. But there is no contradiction. Part of the explanation is to be found in the life of the Jews in the countries from which they have emigrated. Another point to note is that made by Professor Hoxie, of Chicago, who drew a distinction between business unionism and social unionism. The first looks on organization as a business investment. It measures its strength in numbers and money, and is possibly more efficient. It is the honest, conservative type of unionism as represented by Samuel Gompers and its slow and cautious policy. The second type of unionism views organization from the standpoint of social service. It places ultimate aims above immediate gains, though by no means neglectful of material advancement. It demands a higher quality of devotion. The conflict in the United Garment Workers arose from this difference in fundamental philosophy. This side of Jewish labor unionism, of course, has its shortcomings, but it must be recognized as an eventual source of strength and not of weakness. It also explains the bond which unites the Jewish unions with the Socialist movement.
The Jewish labor movement is not confined to trade unions. An important auxiliary is to be found in the Mutual Benefit and Educational Societies. The best known is the Workmen's Circle, with nearly 600 branches throughout the country and over 50,000 members. There are also many local organizations of the kind. They do valuable work in educating immigrants, who know little or nothing of political rights, and initiating them in the ideas of citizenship and economic organization. This is doing the work of Americanization in the best sense.
THE NATIONAL WOMEN'S TRADE UNION LEAGUE OF AMERICA.
By ALICE HENRY.
1. Organization of all workers into trade unions.
2. Equal pay for equal work.
3. The eight-hour day.
4. A living wage.
5. Full citizenship for women.
Organization and Affiliation.
The founding of the National Women's Trade Union League of America in 1903 marked a new stage in the trade organization of women. It has grown in numbers and influence. It now has headquarters in Chicago and branches for local work in New York, Chicago, Springfield (Ill.), Boston, Worcester (Mass.), St. Louis, Baltimore, Denver, Philadelphia, Kansas City (Mo.), and Los Angeles.
The Women's Trade Union League is endorsed by the American Federation of Labor, and the Trades and Labor Congress of Canada, and is represented at their conventions by a fraternal delegate. It receives moral and financial assistance from the American Federation of Labor, and from international and local unions in many trades. It has held five biennial conventions, the last in New York in 1915.
The League was the prime mover in obtaining public support for the federal investigation into the conditions of woman and child wage-earners.
It publishes its own magazine, Life and Labor, and issues from time to time a great amount of literature on women in industry, their problems and how to handle them.
It conducts a school for training women as active workers in the trade union movement. The need for women organizers is admittedly a crying one, which this school is doing much to fill.
The League claims an affiliated membership of 125,000 women trade unionists, while many thousands of trade union men are also enrolled in its ranks.
The trades of the women members, and the women's locals in active connection with the branch leagues cover such widely varied occupations as bag makers, bakery and confectionery workers, beer bottlers, bindery women, boot and shoe workers, bookkeepers and stenographers, cigar makers, cooks, garment workers in many subdivisions, glove workers, hospital attendants, hat trimmers, laundry workers, office cleaners, paper box makers, printers, teachers, telephone operators and waitresses.
The organizations affiliated nationally include such large unions as the International Seamen's Union, the United Mine Workers, the Bakery and Confectionery Workers, the International Ladies' Garment Workers, and the American Federation of Musicians; there are also four state federations and thirty-five city central labor bodies.
The League has locally as well as nationally a membership among both individuals and organizations sympathetic with its aims and subscribing to its platform, although not themselves part of the labor movement.
In their own districts the local leagues play an important part in labor activities as they concern women, whether it be in time of strike, creating public opinion when the workers find all ordinary channels of publicity closed to them, or again, assisting weak organizations to become strong; educationally in maintaining classes and holding meetings; or in the legislative field, where in co-operation with other groups, they persistently work for suffrage, and such other legislative reforms as will benefit the workers, especially the women workers. But as a federation of women's trade unions, its most important function is to foster unceasingly the spirit of solidarity among the exploited women wage-earners, whether these be doffers in an Eastern textile mill, city waitresses, women in a furniture factory in the Middle West, or teachers in Chicago.
The League was represented by one of its members, Miss Agnes Nestor, on the Federal Commission for Vocational Education. Another, Miss Leonora O'Reilly, went to The Hague last year as the working women's spokesman at the International Congress of Women.
Headquarters, 166 West Washington St., Chicago, Illinois. President, Mrs. Raymond Robins; Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Emma Steghagen.
For a fuller account of the Women's Trade Union League, and for further information, the reader is referred to the Proceedings of the Biennial Conventions, and to "The Trade Union Woman," published by Appleton, New York.
INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD.
Declaration of Principles.
"The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the earth and the machinery of production, and abolish the wage system.
"We find that the centering of the management of industries into fewer and fewer hands makes the trades unions unable to cope with the ever-growing power of the employing class. The trades unions foster a state of affairs which allows one set of workers to be pitted against another set of workers in the same industry, thereby helping defeat one another in wage wars. Moreover, the trades unions aid the employing class to mislead the workers into the belief that the working class have interests in common with their employers.
"These conditions can be changed and the interest of the working class upheld only by an organization formed in such a way that all its members in any one industry, or in all industries, if necessary, cease work whenever a strike or lockout is on in any department thereof, thus making an injury to one an injury to all.
"It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism. The army of production must be organized, not only for the every day struggle with capitalists but also to carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organizing industrially we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old."
The I. W. W. is composed of 300 local unions, 3 national industrial unions (textile, lumber and marine transport workers), having a total membership of 70,000, five national administrations-Hawaiian, Australian, New Zealand, Great Britain and South African.
The scheme of organization is similar to the one described below.
The opposition to political action is expressed in the following:
"That to the end of promoting industrial unity and of securing necessary discipline within the organization, the Industrial Workers of the World refuse all alliances, direct or indirect, with existing political parties or anti-political sects."
The officers of the I. W. W. are W. D. Haywood, General Secretary Treasurer; Joseph J. Ettor, General Organizer. The headquarters are at 164 W. Washington St., Chicago, Ill.