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More industrial unionism and a possible Labor Party within the next four years was forecast last night by J. Raymond Walsh, instructor in Economics, in a Guardian lecture broadcast over WAAB.
"Formerly there was no idea more attractive to the working man than the ladder of success," Walsh began. "Workers believed that they could rely on themselves for success, and this independent spirit made unions unattractive, but now it is becoming obvious especially after some of the changes brought about by the depression that there is much less chance to advance."
Almost the only way for a workman to rise is to become a foreman, he said, but that opportunity has greatly decreased. "The number of foremen has increased a little more than half as fast as the number of factories since the depression, while the means to launch into self-employment have almost vanished. Labor leaders frankly admit that unlimited opportunity for the workman is a thing of the past."
Rise of C.I.O.
"The reduction in the need for skilled workers means that the weakness of craft unions is growing, and thus has come the rise of the C.I.O. with its unions organized throughout whole industries. Unskilled workers are given equal privileges with the skilled, which they did not get in the craft unions of the A.F. of L., with the result that the latter has been defeated in industries where over half the workers are unskilled. The C.I.O. is out to organize all labor."
The organization of ten million men would hold forth great political possibilities, he continued. Formerly labor organizations seldom attempted to enter the arena of politics, but he believes that the increased activity of the government in labor's affairs, the N.R.A. and work relief, have increased the workman's desire to have an influence in the state, which will encourage a labor party.
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