Sunday, January 12, 2014

"the pioneer settlers went to their daily toil, to church, everywhere, armed to resist attacks...."


   A great office building is being constructed in Chicago. Last October the contractor disagreed with his men on some point, it is immaterial what. The men belonged to a union, the building trades council. The whole force struck. The contractor immediately and without difficulty found men capable and willing to go on with the work, and employed them. The walking delegate appeared and ordered them out. They refused. Since that time the non-union men engaged on the building have been assaulted. Bodies of men attacked them at their work. The workingmen were made special constables and authorized to arrest anyone interfering with them. They armed themselves in self-defense. The spectacle, a strange one indeed, was seen of men going armed to their labor in a great city maintaining a great police force, just as a century and a half ago, the pioneer settlers went to their daily toil, to church, everywhere, armed to resist attacks of the Indians.

   Two men have been killed thus far, and thirty of the workmen have been assaulted at points remote from the building by members of the union. The position of the union in this case, as it has been in too many others, is that, if their terms are not accepted, they will neither work nor permit others to. This has been the feature of numerous strikes, and has resulted in bloodshed often, and always in a tyranny that cannot be permitted in any free country. The gorge rises in every American when men declare that other men, willing and anxious to work, shall not work, either because they do not belong to the union, or because the union decides that its members shall not work on the terms offered.

   The Globe's sympathies are with the men who earn their daily wage. In their behalf it has denounced the combinations of capital that oppress their men. Its plain speaking has incurred for it the reputation of being socialistic, while it has been only intensely Democratic. It is just as ready to denounce the tyranny of labor unions as of railway unions. It sees no difference between them when either adopts the element of force in any form to oppress or to deny to all the equal rights of American freemen.

   There is no right of man so sacred as the right to work, and to the fullest enjoyment of his earnings. The government that denies this is a despotism, by whatever name known. The man or combination of men, the corporation or the combination of corporations that denies this right, is a tyrant, and the hand and voice of every freeman must be against him or them. Of all these, labor can least afford to invoke such an evil power. It repels that sympathy of men winch is its stronghold and only support. It shuts the door of justice in its own face; it invites its own destruction.

[St. Paul Daily Globe, St. Paul, Minn., Friday Morning, December 7, 1894. Vol. XVII. No. 341. Pg. 4]

No comments: