Page:Historical Catechism of American Unionism.pdf/41

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were swept away and all of them lost members. Gompers estimated that not more than 50,000 remained in the organizations in 1878.

140. What effect did this have on the workers?
Much that had been gained in wage increases and shorter hours in the eight-hour movement was lost. Many bitter strikes were fought in efforts to resist wage cuts and increased hours. The cigarmakers fought a losing strike which lasted 107 days. The textile workers resisted wage cuts, which amounted to about 45 per cent, unavailingly. The miners fought hard strikes in the 70's and went down to defeat. Their officers did not "play the game."
141. What were the Molly McGuires?
The history of the Mollies has only been written by their enemies. What we do know definitely about them from their enemies is that they were "framed" and betrayed by hirelings of the Reading Railroad Company which operated large coal holdings in the anthracite regions of Pennsylvania. A scoundrel by the name of McParland was sent down into this region as a spy and agent provocateur. He incited his dupes to assist him in committing murder, or to accompany him in murdering expeditions. He was the ring-leader for a price. This fellow's word hung ten men and sent fourteen to prison. He was hailed spotless as an angel—he had victimized the members of the Mollies and enabled the P. & R. R. R. to resume operation in their coal properties.
142. When did the policy of employing labor spies begin?
That is hard to answer. Gowen, president of the Philadelphia and Reading R. R., hired the infamous McParland, and again, we find him using Pinkerton detectives in the B. of L. E. Gowen had notified the engineers on his road to withdraw from the B. of L. E. They did, but they intended to pull a surprise strike. The Pinkerton spies informed Gowan who had new men to take their places.
143. Were the engineers the only organization of railroad employes?
No. There were organizations of conductors and firemen. In 1877 great headway was made in organizing a Trainmen's Union. This was to include "engineers, fire-