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"Getting and holding a steady job is the most important thought in the mind of both the skilled and the unskilled laborer today," declared Whiting Williams last evening at the Union, speaking in the light of his ten months' experience as ordinary workingman in the mines, shipyards and factories of the United States and Great Britain. "When I was working in a steel center in Pennsylvania thousands had been laid off, and more were losing their jobs every day. Seventy-five men waited out in the cold for several hours on the chance of being one of the two men wanted for one day's work. When you have seen such conditions you can realize the often-asked question of where the workers get their absurd idea of restricting output. If you see the pile of raw material getting smaller and smaller every hour, and your job going with it, you feel pretty sore.
Doesn't Understand Point of View
"The ordinary laborer works in amazing ignorance of what the whole system means. He interprets everything to mean the company doesn't give a rap about him, and so he doesn't give a rap about the company, and calls it square. He therefore devotes all his energies to a pretence of working without any real exertion.
"But in spite of all this, the great mass of laborers are not naturally Bolshevists; the 30,000,000 workers of the civilized world want to be shown the way out. The Bolshevists urge a bloody revolution, and some times progress better than the larger number of advocates of steady evolution, because of their better understanding, appreciation and sympathy with the workers. A jobless laborer is easy prey for them; if he is busy, he pays no attention. In Glasgow, where nearly all the shipworkers have irregular jobs there is unbelievable unrest and misery. On the other hand, in Middleboro, England, the radicals can get no converts because the men are happy in a steady job, fair hours, good wages, a sliding scale, and a labor organization that has the countenance of the management. Bolshevism cannot get a hold in a community where decent labor conditions prevail.
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