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and-such a plant are rotten. Supply the workers
The Foster Spy Service, New York City, writes this kind of business-getting letter to employers: “We carry on an intrigue which results in dissatisfaction, disagreements, resignations of officers, and general decrease in membership in the Unions." The Corporation Auxiliary Company, Continental Bank Building, Chicago, writes in this way: "In many cases we have seen to it that local union charters have been returned and a number of unions disbanded."
Now you see how these leeches and black-mailers dupe employers into paying them tens of millions of dollars to hire regiments of strike-breakers and fill the unions with sneaks in an effort to divide and destroy labor's organizations. And it really seems incredible that an employer would believe a spy. He ought to know that you cannot hold a spy to the truth; that he must lie or create a basis on which to report; that his spy business demands that he prearrange conditions and foster trouble where peace prevailed, and in every way try to get the employer at his mercy.
This was strikingly illustrated recently in New York City, in the case of a woman who became suspicious of her husband and employed a spy agency to keep her informed regarding all his movements. The spy was put to work, and every day the wife received a typewritten report mailed to a private post office box. Soon the husband completed the business which had kept him away from home most of the time, and then took his wife to Chicago for a vacation of four weeks. The wife, however, forgot to tell the spy agency of her departure, and on her return she found a daily report in her mail box for every day she had been away, just what her husband had done each day and where he had gone in the city of New York. Of course, the husband and wife were together all the time in Chicago; but that made no difference to the keen-minded spy. So the wife went to the spy agency and explained that it was all a mistake, because her husband had been with her all the time. But this meant nothing to the manager of the agency, who insisted that the husband had not been out of New York; and so he demanded full payment just the same. When the wife protested he said, “All right, I will take the bill to your husband for payment,” and, of course, the poor woman was placed at the mercy of the scoundrel and had to pay the bill in full, at the rate of $15.00 a day, in order to keep the matter away from her husband. And this, my friends, is only one of thousands of such cases in our social, commercial and industrial worlds, and I cite it simply to illustrate my statement that a spy cannot be held to the truth, that he must either lie or create a basis on which to report, otherwise his business of spying could not exist.
Let me now read you what Sherman Rogers, industrial correspondent of 'The Outlook," recently had to say about employers who employ these sneaking liars. When speaking to the Chicago Association of Commerce, he said:
Any employer that employs liars to go down and get dope in the plant is going to have lots of labor trouble, and they ought to have a thousand times more than they have got. If you have got to go and hire a born liar to tell you about your men, well, you ought to go out of business. Any man that will go down and double-cross a man that he breaks bread with is just a low enough snake to come into the office and double-cross you, and he always does just that. If you men want to know who causes labor troubles you just go home tonight, close the bathroom door and take a look in the looking-glass, and you will be looking at about ninetenths of the cause of trouble.
Now listen to what Roger Babson, advisor of employers, had to say to them in a special bulletin just issued:
Immense sums are being paid them (the spies) by our employers. This is a serious blunder on the part of the corporation leaders. It stirs up trouble where none exists. It is the most potent breeder of radicalism that we have. The boring from within which radical agitators are charged with is not a drop in the bucket to the boring that the spy does for money which the employer pays. These spy agencies set out to find rottenness, and if they do not actually find it, some fake it or make it.
Such, my friends, is the gist of the industrial spy and strikebreaking business in this country. And don't forget that America is the only civilized country in the world where this disgraceful system is tolerated; and the thing that puzzles me, is just how much longer the American people are going to tolerate the craven, faithless and black-mailing "detective," stool-pigeon and armed guard, who go about unmolested, fanning the flames of distrust, suspicion and hatred, creating violence and breeding murder. We will never have peace in industry as long as they remain; and if they are to go, then it will be up to the organized workers to drive them out. Babson and his Bureau can give advice, but the employers have not acted, and will not act upon it. Everywhere the agitation against these thieving renegades must be begun on a big scale. We must press the subject at every opportunity; we must make it our business to show that they are at the bottom of most of our labor troubles and the breeders of violence and murder, and we must not stop until state and federal legislation is enacted which provides that the stool-pigeon and gunman must go for all time.
The Wage Argument
H. H. Broach
From an address given before a pub-
The whole controversy that has stirred up your city, my friends, is about wages and living standards; about whether working men, whose needs are constantly pressing, shall be paid enough to provide themselves and their families with good shelter, good food and pleasant surroundings, and be able to enjoy a few of the little things that go to make life worth living. That is the sole issue. And our position is simply this: we refuse to accept the theory that the dollar must have its dividend while human beings go in want; that wages should be fixed in accordance with just what it costs to live-allowing no margin for advancement—while the profits of the employers are not fixed in accordance with what it costs them to live.
The employers want to measure wages in cold dollars and cents. We do not. We insist that they be measured in human values: not only by what they actually purchase, but by what it costs to purchase a well-rounded existence, to enjoy, to develop and advance. They want to talk about income for the hour; we affirm that a larger unit of measurement is the only just basis. We want to talk about income for the year, because men must live, eat and starve by the year—not by the hour; and when an hour's pay is lost, it is gone forever. Unlike the employers, we cannot offset the bad years with the good ones. We have to refuse to accept low wages because it means privation. Low wages deprive our children of education, and that means ignorance. Low wages deprive them of good, wholesome food, and that means sickness and disease. Low wages destroy self-respect, and make men desperate and drive them to form all sorts of negative habits. So that, my friends, is briefly our position.
Now there are different views as to what constitutes a living wage, and just what living standards should prevail. For the unions, let me say this: We hold that the minimum that should be guaranteed to any worker, is a home with sufficient furnishings to make it bright and comfortable; with means of good physical existence; with insurance against sickness, old age, accident, unemployment, and the loss of life; and he should be guaranteed sufficient means to permit him to have access to some of the pleasures of life. We support the view expressed by President Harding on May 23, 1921, when he declared that “The lowest wages paid must be enough for comfort and to insure that the struggle for existence shall not crowd out the things purely worth living for, and should provide for amusement, recreation and saving."
You have been told in this controversy that to pay the wages we demand would be harmful to business. But if all our experiences in the past have taught us any thing, it is that good wages mean good business. Why even school children now know that a low wage is no solution for economic ills; that good wages, high wages, mean advanced buying power for all the people, which always results in increased demand for goods and products of all kinds; and as every business man and employer knows, increased demand always means increased profits, even if high wages are paid at the same time. The business man and employer also know that a poorly paid workman is a poor buyer; and what the unions are striving to do is to see that he receives enough wages to enable him to buy a $30.00 suit instead of a $15.00 one; a $3.00 hat instead of a $1.00 one; we want him to be able to buy better things for his home; good seats at the theatres, with a little saved against future debt accumulation. And any merchant, employer or business man who opposes this effort simply stands in the way of progress and enlightenment, and presses the whole population back toward suffering and misery, in order to decorate his own shelves with cobwebs and dust and raise havoc with himself.
You have also been told that living costs are going to fall to a considerable extent. Perhaps this claim of the employers is true. I do not know; neither does any one else. But I do know that every employer I ever met proved to be an exceedingly poor prophet when it came to predicting what living costs would be. Not even an economist has yet been found who can positively say that living costs will fall, and if so, how much. So you cannot blame us for declining to accept the predictions made by the employers. Instead we prefer to accept the opinions of some of our most qualified and leading authorities—men of the highest skill, whose opinions are arrived at by scientific investigations conducted on a basis sanctioned by the authority of the United States government. Professor Wm. F. Ogburn, of the University of Ohio, emphatically denies that prices will fall any more, and he brands as false the claim that falling prices in the past have benefited the wage earners. Mr. B. C. Forbes, who writes extensively on economic subjects, with entire sympathy with employing interests, has just declared that it now costs, in dollars and cents, half as much again to live as it cost before the war, and that the trend in prices continues upward. Professor Irving Fisher, of Yale University, agrees with these