2 that which is genuine and that which is false; between that *which is real and that which is unreal. People are frequently told that substitutes are just as good as that which is real and true. I have never found in all my life’s experiences where a substitute was as good as the original. A substitute in the form of a company union cannot compare or cannot take the place of bona fide trade unions. Another outstanding difference is in administration. Company unions are autocratic while trade unions are democratic. The control of company unions naturally rests with those who build and govern them. Many employers not only demand and exercise automatic control over industry, but through company unions they exercise autocratic control over those employed in industry. This could not be accomplished if the workers organized into independent trade unions. In exercising control over company unions employers accomplish a double purpose. They satisfy the instinct of the workers to organize and they completely dominate and control the company union with which the workers are identified. These facts do not apply to the administration of trade unions. Democracy is practiced by the membership of trade unions and individual members participate in the establishment of the trade union, in the selection of its officers and in the formulation and adoption of its policies and forms of procedure. The affairs of a trade union are administered by those who compose its membership. The trade union takes an active interest in civic, educational, political and social affairs and in expressing its judgment and opinion upon matters of public interest it reflects the uninfluenced will of the majority of the membership. Company unions are local in character whereas trade unions are national and international. Each employer who has set up a company union within his manufacturing plant, in his mines or on his transportation lines has his own personally controlled company union. There is no relationship or cooperation between company unions in different manufacturing plants. Each company union is a single company unit and stands alone, separate and apart from other company unions. This is not true of trade unions. Under the form of organization established by the American Federation of Labor a relationship, economic and fraternal, has been developed and perfected. All subordinate units of the trade union movement are directly associated and affiliated with all other units of the same craft and calling in what is commonly known as national and international unions. In turn these national and international unions with their subordinate units, are affiliated in one compact, cooperating movement called the American Federation of Labor. The most obscure and humble member of a trade union becomes a component part of the American Federation of Labor and, in accordance with its democratic policies and principles, has a voice and a vote upon all questions affecting the welfare and common interest of the organized labor movement. Can anyone deny that the trade union, national and international in scope and influence, composed of thousands of powerful units which are made up of millions of membersall loyal to the cause, all striving together for a common goal, all seeking the same objectiveis more effective, serviceable and powerful than a company union which is local in character and influence, controlled and directed by a corporation and limited in its activities by the prescribed rules set up by an industrial expert employed by the corporation? The answer to this question is found in the strength, power and influence of the American Federation of Labor. Another distinguishing difference is shown in the limitations placed upon the members of company unions in the selection of their officers and advocates. They are restricted in their choice of officers and spokesmen to those who are employed by the corporation owning the industry. The trade unions, through affiliation with other trade unions of their craft and calling, have a wider field from which to select their officers and advocates, clothed with the responsibility of representing them in wage negotiations and before legislative assemblies. One of the primary aims of trade unions is to secure the passage of workmen’s compensation legislation and other social justice measures which mean much to the happiness, welfare and prosperity of the workers. Because of this fact, it is highly important that laboring men and women be permitted to select able competent representatives. They claim the right to exercise the same authority in the selection of their officers as a client exercises in the selection of an attorney. Who dares deny to laboring men the exercise of such a fundamental American right? When workmen’s compensation legislation and other measures of vital importance to labor and laboring men and women are pending before legislatures, who is it that speaks for labor and pleads the laborers’ cause? Is it the representative of company unions? No! It is officers and spokesmen of the bona fide, independent, democratic trade unions, and they speak not only for the members of the organized labor movement but also for all who toil, whether they are in company unions or in the ranks of those unfortunate workers who have been denied the right to become organized into trade unions. The record of the American Federation of Labor, in promoting the economic and industrial interests of the wage earners upon the American continent, is one of service and achievement. It has never failed the membership of organized labor nor has it faltered when confronted with tremendous difficulties and serious problems. It has been tested and tried in adversity and in’ prosperity. It has made steady and substantial progress ever since its formation more than fifty years ago. It is everlasting. It cannot be destroyed. It is the training school for working men and women who have been denied the opportunity to secure an academic education. The officers, advocates and spokesmen of organized labor are those who have worked at their trade, who from experience and service know the problems, the heartbeats and the hopes of the individual worker of their trade. They are selected by their fellow workers and no one who has not come from the ranks of organized labor is eligible to serve as an officer and representative of organized labor. All such representatives must be members of organized labor. It is into this democratic, wholesome, efficient organiza tion men and women who work for wages are invited. They are asked to become members of the great group of American working men and women. Organized labor extends a call to those who are unorganized and to those who have isolated themselves by joining company unions. Our calls ask you to come with us, to work with us and to share with us in the enjoyment and blessings which come through concentrated, constructive, organized effort. We want you as a part of the organized labor movement. We earnestly desire the sympathy, the support and the goodwill of the liberty-loving, fair-minded, American citizens. Our work is difficult and our task is great. Our problems are many and complex but if in all our labors and in all our service we are inspired by the consciousness of your understanding and interest we cannot fail. We will succeed. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19
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