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(4) State regulation of wages was extended to cover almost the whole field of employment. The revision of wages rates and the determination of differences between employers and employees under the Munitions Act passed in 1917 into the hands of a Committee on Production. During the first year of its existence this Committee issued 1,333 awards, covering the industries of the country, and dealing with piece work, hours, holidays, etc., but especially with applications for increased wages necessary to meet the increased cost of living.

Since the Armistice. The cessation of hostilities in the war zone was soon followed by the outbreak of hostilities in the industrial zone. During the first nine months of 1919 there were 1,157 strikes, affecting 2,500,000 workers and entailing the loss of 26,000,000 working days; 1920 was little better, with the coal strike of October as the outstanding event. The causes of this unrest were numerous and complex. Wages disputes. were most prominent, for unionists had to get increased rates to meet the rapid rise in prices which followed the decontrolling of commodities, or wished to get their war-time bonuses converted into permanent wage increases. Some outbreaks concerned reduced hours, for although there was a general adoption of the 47, 48, or even 44 hour week, some sections strove for 40 hours, and the miners demanded a six-hour day. Shorter hours were demanded in many places as a means for preventing unemployment among ex-service men. But although wages and hours questions were important, the roots of discontent went deeper. There was a strong belief that “profiteering” was rampant, that capital was 'doing'' better out of the peace than it had done out of the war—a belief strengthened by the extravagant spending of the rich and the flood of high dividends and bonus shares given to shareholders. There was a firm conviction that the peace settlement was one of trade spoils to the victors, and that “big business' was pulling the strings of government, both in internal politics and in foreign affairs—e.g., the war on Soviet Russia. Finally, unionism became

“revolutionary,” and began to press hard for nationalization, especially of railways and mines. The failure to get a big strong Labour Party returned at the December, 1918, election meant that organized labour must endeavour to achieve its aims by industrial action. The Coalition party in the new parliament was composed largely of “hard-faced men who look as. if they had done very well out of the war,” and the size of the anti-Labour majority was such as to offer Labour little hope of getting its wishes realized—or the good things promised it during the war-by political action.

Further, since the government continued to retain control over some big industries, especially coal and railways, all negotiations for improved conditions had to be carried on with an authority which was the political and industrial antagonist of labour. Hence the only possible method seemed to be the use of force, and those who advocated direct action in order to achieve both political and industrial ends grew in number and influence.

The tendencies of the period are best seen in the controversies which raged around coal-mining in 1919 and 1920. In January, 1919, the Miners' Federation put forward claims for a six-hour day, increased wages, and the nationalization of the industry, supporting these claims by a threat to strike. To avert the strike the government appointed a royal commission, containing an equal number of representatives of capital and labour, with Mr. Justice Sankey as president. The Commission met at once, and recommended a wages increase, a seven-hour day till 1921, and a six-hour day after that

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date. It then proceeded to examine the plea for nationalization, and after a series of exciting public sessions, in which 116 witnesses, including several dukes, were asked 28,000 questions, recommended in a majority report signed by the chairman that coal-mining be nationalized and the industry administered by national, district, and local councils, composed of representatives of the crown, the workers, the technicians, and the coal consumers. The government declined to accept this recommendation. The miners thereupon endeavoured to persuade the unions generally to declare a general strike in order to coerce the government into submission, but the attempt failed. Organized labour declined, although much provoked, to use the industrial weapon for political ends. And yet in the summer of 1920, when war with Russia threatened, organized labour established a Council of Action and threatened the government with a general strike unless all designs of attack on Soviet Russia were at once abandoned. The men who opposed the strike for nationalization fathered the threat to strike to prevent war.

The position to-day (1920) is complex. Meanwhile unionism advances with giant strides numerically, and in September, 1920, had over 7,000,000 members on its books. What this big army will do at any time depends upon the character and ideals of its leaders, the material condition of its members, the future of British industry, and the actions--wise or foolish—of its opponents.

Books Recommended. Webb, S. & B., “History of Trade Unionism, 1666-1920, ” and “Industrial Democracy”; Cole, G. D. H., “World of Labour, ” “ Labour in War-time,” and “Introduction to Trade Unionism’’; Ashley, W. J., “The Adjustment of Wages’’; Layton, W. T., “Capital and Labour.”

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CHAPTER XV.

TRADE UNIONISM IN EUROPE AND AMERICA.

(a) EUROPE.

General Characteristics. From Great Britain the trade union movement spread to the rest of Europe, and even farther afield, and to-day is known in every land where modern forms of industry exist. In 1912 there were 7,000,000 unionists on the mainland of Europe; nearly half of them dwelt in Germany, but with the ever-growing industrialization of all European countries unions were to be found even in such small or backward regions as Finland, Spain, and the Balkan States.

The story of the growth of this movement is very similar in all the countries. Machinery, steam, and capital entered the land. The gulf between employer and employed grew wider. All the unpleasant features which we associate with the Industrial Revolution in Britain appeared and produced a desire among wage-earners to act in union to protect themselves. This desire was often created and strengthened by the influence of a local socialist movement; continental unionism did not begin until the sixties or seventies, and by that time socialism was being preached in many lands. In Germany socialism and unionism went hand in hand, to the advantage of both; in other countries socialism was parent to industrial organization; everywhere the antagonisms to one's own employer in particular and to the capitalist system as a whole were closely akin, and the chief unions strongly imbued with social democratic sentiments.

From its inception European unionism had to face great difficulties. The opposition of the employers was more fierce and unscrupulous than in England, and full recognition is not yet granted in many countries and industries. Employers met organization with counter-organization; the lockout was a popular weapon, and the employers frequently succeeded in straining to breaking-point the defence of the wage-earners. Meanwhile governments did their bit by rigorous policies of repression. In most European countries autocracy or autocratic traditions survived up to quite recent times; the feudal idea of lord and serf suffered little in strength by its translation into terms of modern industrialism. In France the various revolutions handed power over to the commercial and industrial interests, while the lack of education or of political power left the European wagetarners generally at the mercy of their rulers and employers. Further, the alliance between the socialist and the trade union movement strengthened the opposition to the latter. Hence for decades the various governments refused to give legal sanction to labour organizations, and even when this was eventually granted it was so hedged round by restrictions and threats as to make its value small. Strikes were suppressed by the use of troops, and martial law hung over the heads of the union leaders. Unionism was for long regarded as little more than a conspiracy, which must be crushed as an enemy of the state whenever it dared to raise its head. This attitude of hostility had not been abandoned in some countries on the outbreak of the

war.

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The alliance between social democracy and trade unionism had two other curious effects. The first was the creation of anti-socialist or nonsocialist unions, which aimed at keeping the wage-earners from passing under the influence of the social democrats by gathering them into a "safe" rival fold. Of these the most important are the “Christian unions” established under the shelter of the Roman Catholic Church, and found in most European countries. Radical unions also exist, and a small sprinkling of patriotic” or “national” unions can be discovered by diligent search. Radical and separatist political feeling is another cause of schism in some countries, especially in the former Austrian Empire. On the whole, however, the strength of these bodies is small when compared with that of the social democratic organizations, and the latter are the real leaders of the unionist movement throughout Europe.

The second effect was to create dissatisfaction among advocates of social revolution. The big unions of Europe adopted industrial methods very similar to those of Great Britain. Conciliation, collective bargaining, and, if necessary, strikes, were the lines of advance; industrial warfare was avoided wherever possible, as it exhausted the funds and might threaten th's life of the organization. Much friendly society work was also carried on. Of any hope or intention of transforming economic society the unions as unions had little; they left that to the political movement, and regarded the revolutionary general strike as a clumsy two-edged weapon. Big changes in society could come only as the result of political action. This attitude was repugnant to those who had lost all faith in the state, distrusted political action, and regarded state ownership and control as little if any better than private enterprise. These opinions were held by many, especially in France and Italy, and formed the basis of syndicalism, with its doctrine of the general strike. Syndicalism, therefore, stands opposed to the cautious policy pursued especially by German unionism, and its clamour for vigorous direct action to achieve the social revolution has gained converts in different landş.

German Unionism Before the War. In point of numbers Germany had in 1912 more members enrolled in its unions than any other country. In that year there were 3,300,000 unionists in Germany, 3,000,000 in the United Kingdom, and 2,500,000 in the United States. If one takes into account the size of the industrial population, however, Germany's percentage fell below that of Great Britain. Still, when we remember that up to 1890 unionism in Germany was illegal, and that the membership of her labour organizations in 1890 was only about 300,000, the figures for 1912 indicate the energy which marked German union propaganda during the preceding twenty years.

German unions were of three kinds :

(1) The “Free” or Social Democratic bodies, which in 1912 had 2,530,000 members.

(2) The Radical unions, with 109,000 members.
(3) The Christian unions, with 345,000 names enrolled.

Of these the second and third were, as their membership indicates, of minor importance, and can be dismissed in a few lines. They were both anti-socialist, and were based on a harmony rather than an antagonism of interests between employer and employee. The Radical unions, formed in 1868 by Max Hirsch, gathered together men who were in sympathy with political Radicalism. They preached free competition and self-help, repudiated any political action, sought friendly relations with employers by means of collective bargaining instead of strikes, and gave friendly society benefits. Thus they resembled the cold unionism” of England, and drew into their ranks the skilled well-paid artisans, especially the engineers. Owing to their non-political character, they were not suppressed by the government, and flourished whilst the socialist bodies were under legal bau (1878-1890). . After 1890 they stagnated and their membership actually declined after 1910. The Christian unions were established in 1893 by the Roman Catholic Church, which was afraid that its devotees might be drawn into the socialist organizations and thus imbibe the anti-religious doctrines preached by many socialists. These unions accepted the existing political and economic order as “necessary and expedient,” and sought by collective bargaining to obtain “ a larger influence in the determination of the social order and the conditions of labour.” Progress was made chiefly in those districts where Roman Catholicism was strongest and socialism had little hope of making headway. Miners, textile workers, and railway men constitute the bulk of the membership. In spite of all efforts to keep the men tractable and peaceful, the unions have adopted much of the organization of the socialistic unions, and on some occasions have joined with the latter in industrial disputes. In fact, there were many signs before the war that class-consciousness was growing in the Christian unions, and that they were drawing nearer to the ideal of the socialist bodies. Germany presented a few instances of what the Social Democrat called “yellow'' unions. These were subsidized, if not established, by the employers on “free labour” lines, and must keep the peace, with their eyes shut and their mouths open. Along with the "patriotic” and “national” unions, whose character is evident from their names, they were insignificant, and had no real influence on labour conditions.

The “Free' or Socialist Unions. The full strength of German working-class enthusiasm has been directed into two parallel channels, political and industrial. The two movements have helped each other along, but the limits of their respective activities are clearly marked. Both were, before the war, characterized by efficiency in organization, singleness of purpose, and staunch class loyalty. Both had to work in face of strong opposition, but while the political movement until 1918 ran its head with little effect against the autocratic governing system, the trade unions achieved a fair measure of success in their efforts to improve industrial conditions.

The socialist unions, which first appeared about 1868, were born of the new political socialist movements influenced by Marx and Lassalle. When the followers of these two preachers fused in 1875 the unions began to make some progress, which was helped by the growing industrialism following the Franco-German War. In 1878 Bismarck seized an opportunity to declare socialist bodies illegal, and for twelve years the whole movement, political and industrial, lay under the ban. In ten years 108 trade unions were dissolved by the authorities, but in spite of this the movement managed to keep alive.

In 1890 the repressive law was repealed and the industrial code of 1891 gave the right to combine and strike to all except state employees, agricultural labourers, and domestic servants. A trade union congress was at once called, the General Commission of Trade Unions established, and a plan of campaign drawn up. Fierce opposition had to be met, and until 1893 the membership fell by half a million, standing at 220,000 in that year. Then the tide turned. By 1904 a million members had been enrolled; the next

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