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The Neglected Side
OF

Trade-Uiiiomsm.
THe Boycott.

BY

WALTER GORDON MERRITT.

a

The Neglected Side
OF

Trade-Umonism.
The Boycott.

BY

WALTER GORDON MERRITT.

rf-

THE NEGLECTED SIDE OF TRADE-UNIONISM
BY WALTER GORDON MERRITT.

At the T wenty-first Annual Convention of the A merican Federation of Labor, held at Scranton last December, the b oycott was
specifically b rought forward a s the most e ffective w eapon available
for t he p urpose o f coercing independent manufacturers a nd i ndependent employees. President Gompers in his address insisted that
not o nly was the s trike the exercise of a l awful and moral right, but
that t he b oycott w as e qually a l awful a nd moral right. A t t his
convention c ommittees o f v arious trades reported t he n ames o f
numerous f irms b oycotted.
The b oycott policy of the t rade unions as asserted in this report
has been negligently ignored by n ewspapers, and other periodicals.
It is o nly actual physical violence against the r ights of l iberty and
property t hat h as r eceived a ny c onsiderable attention. T he more
peaceable methods of e ncroaching on t hese same rights h ave been
left u ncriticised. While t he o pen a nd f orcible i nfliction o f i njury
will n ever succeed i n w inning p ublic approbation o r the c onsent o f
the c ourts, t he m ore peaceable methods a re the m ore alarming b ecause so s ubtle in t heir operation. Though they are f ully as great
an e ncroachment o n i ndividual a nd p ublic rights a nd cause a s m uch
substantial damage they are more easily disguised and concealed and
to s uperficial o bservation are not-so flagrant. It is t his permanently
established system o f r uining others t hat d emands public opposition
•— t he ceaseless gnawing of the s ilent boycott.
Recognizing t he reason a nd the need f or l abor organizations
when c onfined to a j ust and legal purpose, the p ublic must not be
blind t o s uch u njust a nd i llegal methods a s are a dopted b y the Scranton c onvention. T he e xtent a nd e fficiency o f these illegitimate
schemes, w hich are now to be c onsidered, are p artly due to the a pathy
and i gnorance of the p ublic at large.

L

engine o f t yranny h as b een created. Resolutions a re o ffered b y
local unions asking t he A merican Federation o f L abor t o b oycott
certain concerns. These r esolutions are r eferred to a B oycott Committee f or c onsideration. I f the decision i s f avorable President
Gompers sends o ut l etters t o the v arious a ffiliated u nions promulgating it. Here is a r eport by the B oycott Committee on a r esolution
introduced a t the S cranton Convention.
''The C ommittee recommends t hat t he i ncoming Executive
Council endeavor to b ring about a s atisfactory settlement of the
controversy between t he N ational Cash Register Company, Dayton,
Ohio, and the M etal Polishers by F ebruary i st, 1902. In case of a
failure t o c ome t o an a greement t he E xecutive Council will declare
a b oycott against t he N ational Cash Register Co., Dayton, Ohio,
and p lace t he p roduct o f the said Company o n the u nfair list o f the
A. F. of L."
The l etter r esulting f rom these p roceedings n ow f ollows, a nd it
would s eem f rom i ts d ate t hat t hey d id not w ait until February i st,
to d eclare this boycott.

BOYCOTT OF THE PRODUCT.
First, as to the Means by which the Boycott of the Product is
Accomplished. The i ndispensable p art of all b oycotts is a d istinguishing mark. I n the case o f labor organizations, t he e fficient
weapon is the U nion L abel; or in some cases the s pecific t rademark
of t he boycotted Manufacturer. T he f ormer i s the p re-eminently
important part of t heir machine of conspiracy. Registered in most
of t he States, n o u nlicensed person c an use it w ithout incurring
severe penalty according to our laws, thus making a complete monopoly. It is now a well recognized t rade m ark, by w hich the d ealer
and w alking delegate d istinguish a ll goods o f u nion manufacture,
from those of n on-union make. As s oon as this practical method of
discrimination w as a dopted t he e stablishment o f the b oycott w as
assured. All articles without the label are severely proscribed.
This label does n ot necessarily represent quality, earning capacity, sanitary conditions, or s hort h ours, but is a c lub to coerce
emoloyers a nd i njure i ndependent workmen b y m aking possible t he
boycott. It is so t otally void of the u sual significance of t rademarks t hat in the absence of special s tatutes m any courts have
denied it p rotection. It c annot exist as a mere abstract r ight, they
say, but only as an i ncident to b usiness indicating certain facts concerning the p urchased article. The u nion label is used in all m anner of f actories, most of t hem only partly organized and represents
no u niform c onditions for w hich it w ould be a g uarantee to the consumer. Because of such decisions the u nions have in m any cases
been obliged to establish its legality by special act of the State legislatures. It is u seless to say t hat such a mark is only used to r ight
wrongs. The b oycott is u sed in defiance of r ight and as a p ower to
subdue both employers a nd e mployees w ho d are t o exercise their
liberty. The n otorious example of boycott of the special machine
made by the N ational Cash Register C ompany of D ayton, O hio—the
modern Utopia o f wage earning a nd c areful p rovision f or t hose i n
its e mploy—illustrates t he flagrant-use of t his illegal a nd m orally
wrong power. The t hreat of b eing deprived of v aluable trade causes
the d istributor to select union goods with the label and the general
consumer n ot in the l abor union buys what i s o ffered h im regardless
of the label.
Next, as to the Plan for the Dissemination of the Boycott. By
combining many unions of all trades w ith an aggregate m embership
of great v olume into a central n ational body known as the A merican
Federation of Labor, t hrough the use of the b oycott, a gigantic

Notice.
HEADQUARTERS

AMERICAN FEDERATION O F L ABOR,
423-425 G ST. N. W., W ASHINGTON, D. C .,
January 3, 1902.
To All Affiliated Unions •
At the r equest o f the u nions interested, a nd a fter d ue i nvestigation a nd a ttempt a t s ettlement, t he f ollowing c oncerns have been
declared U NFAIR:
The N ational Cash Register Co., D ayton, O.
The N ational Biscuit Co., Chicago, 111.
Henry H. R oelofs & Co., P hiladelphia, Pa.
Jamestown Street R ailway Company, Jamestown, N . Y.
Secretaries a re r equested t o read t his notice a t u nion meetings,
and labor and r eform press please copy.
Fraternally yours,
SAMUEL GOMPERS,
President A. F. of L.
After t he r eceipt o f such a l etter t he l ocal unions appoint committees t o w ait u pon t he j obbers a nd r etailers w ho are in the h abit
of h andling t he b oycotted goods informing them t hat they represent
a large number of o rganized laborers who w ill not p atronize them if
they sell t he b oycotted article. Frequently local unions have a
national organization o f the same craft, a nd the n ational unions

L

e mploy a gents t o t ravel over t he w hole country t o spread t he boycott i n b ehalf o f t heir o wn p articular product. T he c onstant circulation o f v ituperative letters, pamphlets a nd labor periodicals
conspires with t he ceaseless vigilance o f the w alking delegate a nd
the t raveling agent, to bar the sale of the goods made by the condemned manufacturers. I n every trade i n w hich they have a u nion
all a rticles of n on-union manufacture are p roscribed, especially those
manufactured by specifically boycotted concerns. It is a s ystem of
reciprocity carried o n b etween t he n umerous ramifications o f the
American F ederation of Labor all o ver and b eyond this country—"You boycott all n on-union goods in my l ine and I w ill b oycott all
non-union goods o f y our l ine."
A v ery important factor in the p romotion of the use of the u nion
label, a nd the b oycott i s the R etail Clerks' Union. Their i nfluence
is exerted over their employers to s ecure the p urchase of o nly union
articles. If t hey are not e ntirely successful in c learing the store of
non-union goods i n t his way, they still further strengthen t he system by g iving prominence a nd r ecommendation t o the a rticle with
the label. T he c onsumer w ho k nows nothing o f the label ' makes h is
purchase according t o the a dvice o f the w ily c lerk, w ho w ill n ot show
the goods made in f ree and open shops.
The old m axim h as been r e-affirmed; "Those w ho are not with
us are a gainst us." A ll those w ho w ill n ot j oin t he u nions i n v iolating the law and i nflicting i njury a nd i njustice, a re t hemselves made
the v ictims of the same illegal acts t hey discountenanced. A m erchant i n one t own w as i nformed t hat i f he c ontinued subscribing f or
the New York Sun, he could not sell another pennysworth of goods.
An a gent w ho i nnocently rode o n the b oycotted trolley i n
another town was f ollowed f rom store to store by e missaries,
of t he u nion, w ho p rohibited t he m erchants f rom b uying a ny goods
of h im. A ny one who is c ourageous enough t o p atronize t he p roscribed f irms a fter notice f rom t he u nion, f inds himself ensnared b y
the same conspiracy h e r efused t o s upport. T he u nions themselves
have an established system of l evying fines on t heir members who
buy n on-union articles o r p atronize t he p roscribed concerns. T he
delivery wagon of a n on-union baker was f ollowed in o rder to o btain
a list of u nion patrons and levy fines on t hem.
There i s s till another phase t o t his conspiracy. Whenever t he
edict of the boycott is issued under the a uthority of Samuel Gompers,
as P resident, it is q uite a c ommon occurrence for the m embers of
the d ifferent b uilding trades organized into unions t o r efuse t o
handle t he p roduct o f the boycotted concern, thus paralyzing busi-

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ness e nterprises, a nd d epriving t he b oycotted f irm and t heir
employees of t heir o pportunity of e arning a l ivelihood.
Though t he articles manufactured b y i ndependent manufacturers
may be b etter or c heaper than those of u nion m anufacture, the consumer does n ot h ave access t o t hem f or t hey lack t he u nion label o r
sanction of the u nions, which is the necessary passport to reach the
market. Retailers a nd j obbers dare n ot buy t hem. Extravagant
as the p hrase may s eem, it is l iterally a r eign of t error. Let it be
emphasized t hat t hese a re not s trike conditions, b ut the ceaseless,
boycotting o f goods during p eaceful t imes when public sentiment isindifferent. I t has not the excuse o f a ngry passion o r s udden impulse. It is the r esult of -an e laborate and p remeditated scheme tobring t o disaster a nd r uin a ll n on-union manufacturers a nd e mployees, a nd to d eprive them o f t heir inalienable right t o the u nimpeded
pursuit of a l ivelihood.
Except i n t owns where union sentiment i s p redominant, t his
does n ot o rdinarily take t he f orm o f p opular boycott b y t he
consumer. T he average purchaser does n ot k now whether h e is.
buying a u nion o r n on-union article. A m ajority undoubtedly w ould
not r ecognize t he U nion Label. This e mblem o f t yranny a nd i njustice is g enerally situated in an i nconspicuous place. It is not t he
influence w ielded over t he c onsuming public that makes t he b oycott
so s uccessful; i t is the t error a nd f right excited i n the m inds o f the
jobber a nd r etailer when t he w alking delegate appears. They f ear
that their trade w ill b e boycotted i f t hey b uy n on-union goods and.
would r ather b uy goods against which there i s no o pposition a nd the
purchase of w hich w ®uld make them no enemies. As t here is no
organized anti-union sentiment they think they w ill r emain o n the
safe side a nd buy o nly union goods.
It sometimes happens t hat t his general a nd c ontinuous boycott
is n ot d isastrous enough t o s atisfy t he u nions, a nd t hey institute
what is t ermed a special boycott. Some independent manufacturer
because of his v ictory in a s trike or because of u nusual b usiness success a nd the f ailure o f t heir ordinary e fforts t o i njure him, will a rouse
their antagonism a nd his name w ill b e v irulently denounced i n the
usual t erms o f d emagogical extravagance. A ll u nion m en w ill b e
exhorted to become active in the d estruction of his business. Special agents f ollow h is salesmen f rom p oint t o p oint a nd secure t he
countermand o f o rders just placed.
Such is the b oycott by a r eign of t error—terror to the dealer
lest his n ame too be added to the u nfair list and he will be u nable to
find a m arket for his goods. It is e nforcing the boycott by a b oy-

cott a nd f eat o f b oycott. People must a ttack o thers that they b e
not a ttacked t hemselves. Many w ho c ondemn such a p olicy a s
repugnant to justice, fair play and honest competition in w hich the
most competent succeeds, a re obliged t o c o-operate i n it for s elfdefence.
The i llegality of the b oycott can scarcely be q uestioned. A
boycott cannot e ven b e j ustified w hen done f or p urposes o f c ompetition b ut the u nions here have n o such excuse. Their direct motive
is t he i njury a nd the r uin o f the m anufacturer. T o be sure their
ultimate object i s the a melioration o f t heir o wn c ondition, b ut t hat
is t oo r emote t o p ermit t he b oycott t o be t ermed b y any s uch euphemistic n ame a s c ompetition. I t is a m onstrous conspiracy t o put
up p rices t o stem a ll the f orces o f e conomic laws, a nd rise upon t he
rains o f t heir victims. O f t rue competition they know nothing, a nd
if a ll t hey a nd t heir advocates claim f or t hem were true, they would
not be o bliged t o r esort t o the r uin o f n on-union c itizens i n o rder t o
rise. I f t hey were seeking t o i mprove sanitary conditions a nd the
^efficiency o f l abor, a nd w ere succeeding i n so doing, they w ould n ot
be a fraid t o c ompare a u nion article with a n on-union article o f the
same grade. If their objects were so commendable and they were
improving i ndustrial conditions, public sympathy a nd p ublic interest
would a ssure them t he m arket without t he use of the b oycott. I t
would n ot be i ndispensable t o t heir success t hat n on-union goods
should b e k ept o ut of the m arket. A s it is t hey rise n ot by the
superiority o f t heir o wn w ork, b ut by the d estruction o f t heir competitors.
The b oycott o f the m arket i s in no sense- c ompetition a nd has
no d efence in l aw or j ustice. According to the d efinitions of c ertain
courts i t is a w ilful a nd i ntentional i nfliction o f i njury i n o rder t o
attain some object. It is an organized e ffort to e xclude a p erson
from business relations with others by i ntimidation. A m an's b usiness i s his p roperty a nd he is e ntitled t o p rotection f rom u nlawful
interference t herewith. I t is based upon t he f undamental r ights o f
life, l iberty a nd the p ursuit o f h appiness, w hich a re r ecognized i n
our D eclaration o f I ndependence. I t d eclared a ll men to be b orn
free a nd i ndependent, a nd to h ave certain inherent a nd i ndefeasible
rights, among w hich a re those o f e njoying a nd d efending life a nd
property, and of a cquiring, possessing and p rotecting property.

THE BOYCOTT OF THE NON-UNION W ORKINQMAN.

The boycott of n on-union goods is u ndoubtedly the strength
and l ife o f the w hole union movement. B y v irtue o f the p ower o f
the A merican Federation o f L abor i n t his conspiracy a re all o ther
movements made e ffective. T he b oycott o f the n on-union man,
which w e are now a bout t o c onsider, i s l argely dependent o n the
power they wield through t he b oycott o f the m arket. N o aspect o f
union activity should arouse a stronger protest f rom the non-partisan
than t he c ondition o f the n on-union w orkman whom t he u nions
attack. T he c apitalist i t is t hought, c an t ake care o f h imself b ut
that t he n on-union laborer should b e m ade a n o bject o f d isaster
seems without excuse, and the m ore so b ecause it is a m ovement by
only o ne-tenth o f the w hole labor population. Then too, those w ho
deserve t he m ost sympathy because o f t heir greater m isery, a nd
whose h elplessness makes them a s till easier prey t o the a varice o f
capital, a re n ot, a nd c annot become members o f the u nion.
By the b oycott of the p roduct of the m anufacturer, ninety per
cent.* o f the l abor population a re u sed a s s tepping stones o n w hich
the U nion b oycotters rise t he h igher i n t he scale o f prosperity.
With every step of t heirs, u riorganized labor is f orced still farther
down. B y b oycotting a nd r efusing t o w ork with non-union men,
.and e nforcing their policy with t hreats o f s triking, a large p roportion o f the l abor world i s s hut o ut f rom e mployment i n u nion concerns, where they could b e e mployed t o m utual advantage. Their
industrial freedom is being assailed on all sides. Those inalienable
rights t hat J efferson declared t o be s elf-evident h ave been plac'ed i n
jeopardy. T he f ree a nd i ndependent m an finds it n early impossible
to o btain and k eep a p osition in a t own containing a strong u nion
faction, a nd his a bility t o e arn subsistence f or h imself, h is w ife a nd
children i s i mpaired. H is i ndisputable r ight t o w ork where h e
pleases has b een infringed on to say n othing of the moral wrong of
social ostracism t hat f ollows t he so-called " scab."
Now a nd t hen w e h ear f rom i ndignant voices incidents o f the
grievous injury i nflicted b y the b oycott against t he n on-unionist. A
woman w as engaged b y a t rolley company to play t he p iano f or v audeville p erformances, which occurred a t one of t heir summer parks.
Everything w as s atisfactory until a c ommittee o f the u nion threatened a b oycott of the t rolley l ine if she w ere not d ischarged, because
she did not b elong t o the M usicians' Union. T he c hivalrous union
See, statement of Labor C ommissioner, Carroll D. W right.

w ith a ll its s ympathy f or its f ellow-laborers p itted t he s trength o f its
organization a gainst this helpless woman, a nd she was obliged t o
abandon h er w ork. This i s not an i solated case, b ut c ould b e a dded
to by i nnumerable others. N o man who r eads, o r has had any intercourse with unions, w ill d oubt t he f requency o f s imilar a cts o f
injustice. Here again w e find the R etail C lerks' U nion active i n the
furtherance o f the b oycott. They d o not rest s atisfied till e very
clerk i n the s tore becomes a m ember o f the u nion, o r loses h is p osition. Prominent buttons o n t heir coats bring t he u nion c ustomer t o
their counter, w hile t he n on-union c lerk i s so a voided t hat h is sales
are d iminished, a nd his a pparent i nefficiency b rought t o the n otice o f
the e mployer. I n t his w ay able salesmen lose their positions.
In the r ecent coal strike, Mr. T homas, President of the E rie
Railroad, said that much o f the C ompany's opposition t o the u nion
is based upon i ts d iscrimination against t he e mployment o f n on-union
men. " It is," h e d eclares, "the inalienable right o f a man to l abor
without r egard to n ationality, creed or association. To seek to p revent it is a c rime, and we c annot even by i mplication sanction such
a c ourse."
In a series of a rticles, entitled "The Rights of M an," Dr.
Abbott s ays: "If any s ection of society endeavors to p revent a ny
man f rom w orking a nd f rom e njoying t he p roduct o f his w ork t hat
section of society is u njust. If any o rganization undertakes to p revent a ny man f rom w orking when h e w ill, w here h e w ill, f or w hom
he w ill, a nd at w hat wages h e w ill, t hat o rganization violates t he
essential rights of labor. It is not p rimarily the e nemy of c apital;
it is p rimarily t he e nemy o f l abor; f or e very m an has a r ight t o w ork
and every man has a r ight to the.products of i ndustry."
Mr. T homas a nd Dr. A bbott appreciate t he a ppalling tyranny
and o utrage practiced o n f ree a nd i ndependent citizens. T he u nion
arbitrarily determines i ts m embership. Some a re i ntimidated tojoin i n o rder t o p rotect their liberty a nd p roperty, a nd e specially
their ability t o o btain employment. Others s uffer f rom t he same
hardships, b ut c annot j oin b ecause t he U nion does n ot deem i t e xpedient to a dmit them. S o do the d ictators select f rom a mong o ur c itizens,
those w ho s hall b e e ndowed with special opportunities t o e arn a l ivelihood. Not to be a m ember of t his association is a d isqualification t hat
bars o ne f rom many lines o f e mployment; a d isqualification w hich cannot be s urmounted b y p erseverance o r c ompetency, b ut r ather depends
on the w ill o f the m inority. Whether skilled a nd s uperior workmen,
and men of h onesty and i ntegrity, the r esult is the same. An o verwhelming p roportion o f the l abor o f the U nited States i s d isqualified

from entering certain businesses and concerns, at the w ill of the
organized a nd a ggressive one-tenth. T he p roduct o f the Free and
Independent Labor population i s l iable t o be b oycotted t hat t he
price of U nion labor and a rticles of U nion manufacture may be
maintained at an a rbitrary level by m eans of a m onopoly limited in
its m embership.
It w ould certainly seem that t he laws must a fford a r emedy f or
the w oman pianist, a nd t hat u nder a g overnment "conceived i n l iberty," t he i ndustrial freedom o f our c itizens s hould b e s ecure.
According to Dr. A bbott as we h ave seen, the i ndustrial freedom of
a laborer means t he r ight o f e very m an to w ork "when h e w ill,
where h e w ill, f or w hom h e w ill a nd at w hat wages h e w ill." Unions
have n o r ight t o o rganize together a nd use the p ower they possess,
because o f the e mployers' dependency o n t hem, t o c ompel t he discharge o f certain m en for not b elonging t o t heir association. T he
motive i s u nreasonable a nd u njust, a nd the c onspiracy i s o ppressive.
The r ights o f t hose attacked have been encroached upon a nd the
courts should b e u nanimous i n the assertion a nd p rotection o f t hem.
Whether it is the b oycott of the p roduct or of n on-union labor,
the d uty of the c ourts to suppress it is p lain. President G ompers
himself a cknowledges t he i llegality o f t heir acts when h e said i n one
of his s peeches: "Some years ago the F ederal Congress passed a
law f or the i ncorporation o f our t rade unions. Beyond question t he
advocates o f the b ill really believed they were doing organized workers a real service; b ut at the t ime a nd since w e h ave repeatedly
warned o ur f ellow u nionists t o r efrain f rom s eeking t he so-called
protection o f the l aw, which i n cases referred t o j ustify t he s uspicion and c onclusion that the courts would in time have declared our
unions liable t o be m ulcted i n d amages." T hey w ill n o l onger t rust
the l aw, b ut set t hemselves above t he law in f avor o f u nlawfulness.
If the S cranton Convention believed the b oycott to be a legal and
moral right why s hould they fear to seek the protection of the law ?
LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY.

In spite of P resident G ompers' c ontemptuous reference to the
"so-called p rotection of the l aw," if our p resent laws d efine t heir
acts as illegal they resort to the legislature to h ave them changed.
Even i n the N ational Congress t he A merican Federation o f L abor
has salaried representatives w ho are e ver alert t o s ecure favorable
legislation. As t hey represent a large n umber of votes, and t here
is no o rganized opposition, their i nfluence i s e normous. Again t he

^

'Spectre b oycott appears, a nd the l egislator w ho is t emerarious
'enough to oppose their bills finds himself boycotted at the polls
by the c ombined strength o f o rganized labor. T he u nion label,
which, as we h ave seen, had no legal status in the c ourts of
law a nd r epresents nothing b ut a b oycott, h as b een legalized i n
many States by l egislation at the i nstigation of o rganized labor.
-Recently t hey have been trying t o lobby through Congress a b ill t o
'limit t he m eaning o f the w ord conspiracy b y w hich they hope t o
:impair the p ower of the c ourts in g ranting injunctions. Its o bject
is to p revent a ll legal interference with picketing, boycotting a nd
•other s imilar acts w hich a re now r ecognized a s u nlawful. M r. R al:ston, a s a ttorney f or the A merican Federation o f Labor, advocating
a s imilar b ill said i t w ould permit t he b oycott even though i t s tarved
a man to d eath. A b rief consideration should show h ow p ernicious
such a b ill i s. Yet such i s the i nfluence o f o rganized labor a nd the
subservience of Congress to t heir demands t hat it passed the House
and its d efeat i n the S enate w as a m atter o f g rave doubt. I s it
strange t hat people a re a larmed a t the labor movement when e ven
the l egislatures ignore t he r ights o f the m ajority a nd l egislate i n
favor of a few ?
nONOPOLY.

If all labor was o rganized and the p rice of l abor was to rise
•everywhere, the price of the a rticles of c onsumption would experience a sympathetic rise, and the working man would be no better
off. L ikewise i f the u nions admitted t oo m any m en of each trade
they would introduce competition i n t heir r anks a nd t hus defeat
their own ends by forcing down the price of labor. Accordingly the
number o f a pprentices i n each union factory i s l imited, a nd l imited
so c losely as at t imes to be i nsufficient to the n atural growth of the
business, and only enough to answer f or the u sual number of deaths.
And j ust a s t hey limit t he n umber o f a pprentices i n each individual
factory so as not to h ave too m any employees eligible for e mployment in that factory, just so do they l imit the membership of unions
throughout t he c ountry, that t he price o f u nion wages m ay be
inflated b y c ornering t he supply.
If it were so easy to a meliorate the c ondition of labor as a w hole
we w ould not hear so m uch talk about Socialism. As it is w hat one
section wins the o ther loses. Therefore in o rder to be some winners t here must b e some excluded w ho are to be the losers.

r

CONSPIRACY IN RESTRAINT OF TRADE.

The essence of the U nion policy is a c onspiracy in restraint of
trade to raise the price of labor in d efiance of c ompetition.
By m eans of t his monopoly strengthened as it is by the outrageous b oycott they have placed their wages on a l evel above u norganized labor. T he n on-union m an can get no e mployment i n a u nion
factory, a nd is o bliged t o a ccept lower wages than ever f rom t he
much d epleted p rofits of his boycotted employer. It is a glaringly
unjust c onspiracy by w hich a p art of that f air r eturn of wages which
economic l aws have given t o all l abor i s t aken f rom h im and a ppropriated t o f atten t he p ocketbook o f the u nion man. T he c onsumer
too bears a n u njust b urden inasmuch a s the b oycott o ften d eprives
him o f the o pportunity o f p urchasing t he c heaper article. T he r esult
is an i nequitable division of the b urdens of e arning a l ivelihood depending o n c ertain artificial a nd illegal barriers.
There is t his danger of i njustice in all c ombinations, and it is.
the cause of the attacks on t rusts, yet c onsidering the p resent state
of society, the c ourts have given laborers the p rivilege of c ombining
to c ontrol the price of labor, and h ave denied capitalists the right of
combining to control the price of their commodities. People may
not o bject t o t his discrimination i n f avor o f the w eak, b ut to
allow l aborers t o s trengthen their power f or i njustice b y b oycotting non-union goods and n on-union labor, is inconsistent with our
free i nstitutions a nd at the same time places t oo m uch arbitrary
power a t t heir o wn s elfish d isposal. Though they m ay c ombine
in order to enforce their demands absolute freedom must be given
the f ree a nd i ndependent laborers t o w ork f or w hom a nd w hat
they p lease;, a nd the m anufacturer must b e assured f ree access
to the market. It is our only safeguard as to the liberty of the
individual, t he p rosperity o f the c ountry, a nd a f air d istribution o f
the p rofits o f i ndustry. Remove t he i llegal boycott a nd give adequate legal protection to the great mass of f ree and i ndependent
non-union w orking people, a nd matters w ill a djust themselves b y
natural laws.