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Recent explosions of labor troubles at Passaic have reenforced the impression of that town's turbulence. Its outbreaks conform curiously to precedent: a crowd of jeering strikers, a detachment of militant police, stone throwing, clubbing and arrests are stereotyped events often recounted in the newspapers.
Responsibility for the immediate disturbances is no doubt mutual. The steel of official determination meets the flint of strike lender Weisbord's ultimatums and the fighting spark incites both pickets and policemen. Ideas kindle into action as quickly as a thrown stone can smash a window.
Mr. Weisbord's recent threat to call a strike of school children unless the officers abandon Cossack methods is an example of the mental position which have led to stern riots and sterner repressions. For the moment one wonder at this unreasonable boycott which would harm the laborer more than the capitalist. The heat of strife has blinded the leader, who is himself a product of higher education, in the permanent avenue of escape for his followers offered by intelligent preparation for solving problems.
But behind this incidental obstruction laid to the workmen is a primary cause for discontent for which the mill owners appeal to be responsible. The wielders of industrial influence had it in their power to apply the healing remedies of compromise and concession to alter unsatisfactory working conditions. The present oscillations of disorder are a direct result of failure to make use of this opportunity. IT indeed seems just to charge the greater proportion of the blame to the executives who were in a position to avoid the strike.
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