As to Unity
Maoriland Worker, Volume 4, Issue 96, 17 January 1913, Page 2
As to Unity
"THE ONE ORGANISATION."
A LESSON FROM THE WATERFRONT.
By F. 0. RANDLES.
When nations make war the world learns geography, and when a militant organization makes a firm stand in the interests of Labor we take up the thread of thought and watch proceedings through the mirror of Capitalistic newspapers. Here we have dished up to the public much indigestible matter which is given out in spoonfuls, and an grain of salt that we may digest same, and improve upon our learning. One-sided issues axe also portrayed with great vividness, to delude the reading public through bluff and imaginary visions in passing confloTnnations upon the strikers, their attitude, tactics, and manners, that sympathy might be centred upon the capitalists and the scab army of masquerading unionists. This picture has been recently painted in Waihi, and should be hung UDon the walls of our memory lest we forcot tho militant stand of our fellowworkers. Tt is to the interest of the press to shorten the life of a strike, or "■'>•? it its death-blow, so that the n-hof's of industry be kept- going, and to nttnin this object they pulverise the pomrniirj'tr with all sorts of schemes, by sowing tl><? seeds of discontent, bigotry, and the manufacturing of ir.snifold lies.
r>,,, * to-d?y the workers have a paper of their own which gives them true renorts of industrial conflicts from the seat of action, but it is deplorable that. mnnv of us are content to feed on the husks instead of the grain of truth based on authoritative information. Perhans we Hvpn'fr come to that age of reason. Tho fight to-dar is not solely against capitalist exploitation but neminst thoj-o who call themselves loyal unionist. For some time past a war has been waged between two separate bodies, both in their own way acting as representatives of the vast army of workers in Xew Zealand, to bring abovt such reforms to improve and advance the conditions of the workers. But the miestion which arises is Whom shall we have to reign over us. seeing that we are workers and wd an organization to fiutlier our interests?
If we would do any good to advance the condition of the workers there must be one organization, and one only, for we know from practical experience that the house that is divided egainet
itself is bound to fall sooner or later, or to coin a phrase "too many cooks spoil the broth." Let mc illustrate. Some time ago the waterfront workers of New York were made up of three unions, viz., the Cooks', Sailors', and Firemen's unions, which together went on strike last year for increases in pay, and won the fight in nine days. They later grew into the National Transport Workers' Federation of America,.which had for its express purpose that of striking against the companies, together with other trades of the trans- Iport industry. They understood that they could only make headway against the companies by united effort, at least, of all who manned the ships. Recognising the inefficiency of themselves, they spread their organisation all over the transport industry and succeeded in getting the support of some longshoremen and steam engineers. They maintained that in labour battles workers should fight by industries and not by trades, and that strikes should be general and not partial ones. For some time no dissensions appeared on the surface and the workers set about discussing their plans for the expiration of the contracts. However, it was ftrand out that craft officials were working under cover, for a few days before the date set out to meet the employers, the Cooks' Union withdrew from fhe Federation, while the hoisting engineers and longshoremen abandoned the rest of the workers, which left but the seamen and firemen to wage abattle against Morgan's great ship-
pine trust. This is but one instance of the avaricious and blurlorbuss methods adonted
by ornft unionism thwurh adhering to the dictates of an official whose incentive was to tret nn easy job by rid-
Ins; on the backs of d<?ludf«d workers. We see it in New Zealand to-day, and we know the feeling of pride and antagonism throughout these insular unions. The engineer in his tin-pot union dons the superior air and looks down upon the Iron moulder; the carpenter ur*on the bricklayer; while the clerk in his own estimation is monarch of all he surveys. The same .feeling exists in other craft unions which havo joined the United Labor Pnrty—so how can they be united when dissension is in the camp, and a feeling that one union is superior to the other. Of late we have seen much masquerading unionism which was dramatised during the recent strike by men who nosed as loyal unionists. By their fruits we shall know them, for such desecrate the name of unionism., manhood and make the fisht for the worker even more hard. However there is always sympathy extended towards us. for the beacon-light of discontent has been also flaring from distant shores, a3 a warning to capitalistic taskmieters that the producers of the soil want their demands from which they fc»r«
been exploited, and they're hastening the day when there shall be one -union, one brotherhood, and all of us brethren. So, let's keep moving, 'tis wiser than, sitting aside, Dreaming and sighing, and waiting the tide, In life's earnest battle they only prevail Who daily march onward and n«r«r My fftii.