Page:Historical Catechism of American Unionism.pdf/10

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31. How were strikes conducted in those days?
As the unions were local in scope and composed of skilled mechanics, the very earliest attempts to win concessions from the employing tradesmen were to resolve the union into a co-operative concern competing for business with their former employers. Where this policy was not adopted, it was customary for those who remained in employment to support those who were battling for the points at issue, which were wages and hours. The shoe-makers, printers and carpenters very early adopted a system of providing funds from which striking members were supported. The policy of "non-intercourse" (boycott) was a very effective weapon with the early unionists, who employed it seriously and applied it vigorously. They would not patronize a boarding house where scabs were admitted; buy from a store that supplied them with goods; nor have anything to do with anyone who had dealings, social or otherwise, with a scab.
32. What did the early unions mostly concern themselves with?
Wages and hours. As the apprentice system had a bearing upon wages, it received much attention. Part-time workers, in the sense that only part of the time required for apprenticeship has been served, worked for lower rates than certified journeymen. This resulted in lowering the wages and throwing sufficient of the journeymen out of employment to make it a burning question.
33. How did the workers propose to deal with these questions?
They sought to establish the "closed shop", wherein they believed these questions might be more easily dealt with.
34. Did they have closed shop employments in those days?
The shoemakers union would not permit its members to work in any shop where non-union men were employed, nor for any employer who hired non-union help. The printers were opposed to scabs also.
35. Are there any instances where scabs were successfully barred from shops?
In Philadelphia, New York and Pittsburg the shoe-