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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/141

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Labor and the Manager.

of balance. You cannot blame the artisan, skilled or unskilled, for guarding the entrance to his craft. It is human nature, and it is right. The debatable ground, however, is as to where the entrance of the public at large should be to prevent the matter being overdone. No one labor organization can expect, in the long run, to be given preferred consideration over another; neither can the labor unions, comprising only a small percentage of the country’s population, expect indefinitely to dominate society at large.

It is useless to expect to accomplish much in the way of increased elasticity of labor as long as railway officials, through so-called departments, insist upon narrowing and specialized rigidity. Such reforms to be effective must begin at the top. It will all come out in the wash, but in the meantime the laundry bills are disproportionate and may place cleanliness far beyond godliness.

General Sherman, one of the versatile geniuses developed by our great Civil War, once said that most men consider the immediate at the expense of the remote; that a few like himself were handicapped by considering the remote rather than the immediate; that really