Open main menu

Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/380

This page needs to be proofread.
369
FORCING THE ISSUE

off; they keep coming here about all kinds of trivial matters, wasting my time as well as their own, and not doing the cause of the union the least good in the world. Now I don't want to shut off just complaints. But when a man cuts his work to come in here in the interest of the union, why should n't I cut his pay, and why should n't the union make it up to him? If the union did this, it would also see that he did n't cut his work just for the sake of a holiday; it would n't care to pay for such holidays. Don't you think that's a reasonable position for the management to take?"

Two of the men seemed wavering; at least neither of them had any counter argument. The third, who was Caskey, talked incoherently to the effect that the union was poor and the management rich, and that this scheme was just robbing the poor workingman in two ways.

Floyd ignored Caskey and addressed the other two men. "The rule is not designed to work hardship to any one except the chronic kickers," he said. "The union should cooperate with me in discouraging them. I will say, since the remarks have already become somewhat personal, that Mr. Caskey here is precisely one of the men who should be discouraged."

Caskey blinked at him angrily with bis little eyes, but said nothing, and after a further unprofitable interchange the delegation withdrew.

Floyd had reasoned rightly that an affront to the executive committee, especially one so well deserved, could not be made to rouse any unanimous or dangerous sentiment in the large body of workmen, however offensive it might be to a few individuals like Tustin and Caskey. But Gregg informed him that at "headquarters" the men were much incensed; "they feel you're looking for trouble, and they're getting ready to give it to you," he said.

"That 's exactly the mood I want to have them in," Floyd replied. "They may do something rash, and then