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The Literary Digest
Vol. XXIII., No. 7
NEW YORK, AUGUST 17, 1901.
WHOLE NUMBER, 591
THE proposed " fight to a finish" between the
steel trust and
Published Weekly by
thracite strike), and public sentiment, which is a potent factor FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY,
in labor wars, would sympathize with the movement for lighten30 Lafayette Place, New York,
44 Fleet Street, London. ing the workingman's lot; and these two factors would greatly Entered at New York Post Office as Second-Class Matter.
increase the chances of victory. The Detroit Journal argues that the fundamental idea of the present strike, to coerce the
unionization of mills, is a mistake. It says: TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION. PRICE.-Per year, in advance, $3.00; four months, on trial, $1.00; single “The way for labor to organize is by quiet, persistent agitacopies, 10 cents.
tion and argument. The men must be made to see the advanRECEIPT and credit of payment is shown in about two weeks by the date on the address label attached to each paper.
tages of unionism by the word spoken in lodge meeting, the POST-OFFICE ADDRESS.-Instructions concerning renewal, discontinu
printed pamphlet, and the lessons of experience. They must be ance, or change of address should be sent two weeks prior to the date willing proselytes. The method of organization by strike is they are
go into effect. The exact post-office address to which we bound to include many workmen convinced against their will are directing paper at time of writing must always be given.
and consequently of the same opinion still. DISCONTINUANCES.-We find that a large majority of our subscribers
"A strike which bases itself largely in a melodramatic vainprefer not to have their subscriptions interrupted and their files broken in case they fail to remit before expiration. It is therefore
glory to fight a big thing with something as big is not to be comassumed, unless notification to discontinue is received, that the sub- mended. The union must grow naturally and fight fairly before scriber wishes no interruption in his series. Notification to discon- it can command public confidence."
tinue at expiration can be sent in at any time during the year. PRESENTATION COPIES.- Many persons subscribe for friends, intending A number of journals express sympathy with the strikers. The
that the paper shall stop at the end of the year. If instructions are given to this effect, they will receive attention at the proper time.
Springfield Republican, for example, says: “As long as industry is organized as it is, labor unionism will assuredly exist. It
is a fact which can not be escaped and which must be reckoned TOPICS OF THE DAY. ,
with. Accordingly in undertaking, at immense cost to itself and to the public peace and prosperity, to drive unionism out of its
mills, the steel trust seems to be acting most unwisely. Its temTHE STEEL TRUST AND THE LABOR UNION. porary success in the matter is assured if it is ready to place no
limit on the financial sacrifice involved, but the ultimate end will HE
be the rise of new organizations of workers on the ruins of the the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin
old.” And the Kansas City Times remarks similariy: “PierWorkers, to end only in the unionization of all the trust's mills
pont Morgan, the colossal product of organization, challenges or the destruction of the labor union, does not appear to bring
the American workingman's right to organize in defense of his very many of the daily papers to sympathize strongly with either
rights, and upon that issue they enter the lists. Organization side. As the Washington Star puts it, “there is nothing in the
denying the right to organize--combined capital demanding the position of either side to elicit the sympathy of the general pub
surrender of combined labor—these are the real questions at lic,” for "the fight of the Association is to make itself a monopo
issue between the steel trust and the Amalgamated Association." listic labor combine, just as the steel trust seeks monopoly in its
The Chicago Inter Ocean fears that, whichever side wins, a particular line of employing capital.” And the Richmond Times
staggering blow has been given our steel industry, and it repredicts that each side will gain something and lose something marks that “the strike is in effect a surrender of American capiin the final adjustment. It says:
talists and workmen to Europe.” And the Boston Advertiser "The principle of freedom is strongly ingrained in the Ameri- believes that the losses of the strike will fall more heavily upon can nature, and no matter by what route the end may be ob- the workingmen than on their employers. It observes : tained, we feel convinced that the final outcome of the dispute between capital and labor will be settled on the basis that the “What the strikers lose while the mills are shut down is gone laborer shall be free to work in a factory whether he belong to from them forever. Whether they win or lose their fight, their the union or not, and that the employer on his part shall not dis- lost wages will never come back to them. But it is not so with criminate for or against the laborer because he dces or does not the trust. Just so much iron and steel product will be demanded belong to a union. ... There should be no objection to a m by the consuming public, strike or no strike. The stock on hand joining any union he chooses. But on the other hand, a man who will be sold for a higher price. The difference in price will has his time to sell in the open markets should be allowed to do so nearly or quite make up for the loss of profits while the mills are at such times and on such terms as to him seems good.”
closed. When they reopen, production will be pushed a little
faster, until the demand is supplied, and another surplus is acTo judge from the tone of the newspaper comment, public
cumulated. Consumers will have lost something. Workingmen sympathy would have been more strongly with the strikers if Pres
who have been idle will have lost much. The steel trust will ident Shaffer had limited his demand to the proposition that men have lost nothing." in the non-union mills be permitted to join the union if they wished to, without losing their places, as such a demand would
Not a few papers declare that the suspension of a large part of have placed the trust in the position of coercing the men of the
the steel industry is a matter that concerns the whole country, non-union mills to stay out of the union. It is also suggested
and that the Government ought to have the power to enforce that President Shaffer would have done better to wait until there
arbitration or some other method of settling the dispute. The
Cleveland Leader says on this point: was some grievance about hours or wages, for the non-union men would be likely to join the union in such a strike, thus reaching “What right has a capital trust or a labor trust, acting singlv the very result now aimed at (as actually happened in the an- or together, to tie up the industries of the United States as the