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the seed for bloodier and more devastating wars in the future. We strongly denounce the words and actions of these enemies of the Republic who, falsely assuming to speak in the name of labor and democracy, are now ceaselessly striving to obstruct the operations of the Government. They abuse the rights of free speech, free assemblage and free press. In the name of liberty they encourage anarchy; in the name of democracy they strive to defeat the will of the majority, and in the name of humanity they render every possible aid and comfort to the brutal Prussian autocracy. If the sinister councils of these persons were followed, labor would be reduced to subjection, and democracy would be obliterated from earth. We declare that the betrayal of one's fellow-workers during a strike finds its exact counterpart in the betrayal of one's fellow citizens in time of war, and that both are offenses which deserve detestation of mankind."

The American Alliance for Labor and Democracy has continued its work since the close of the war. It has become the main propaganda organ of the American Federation of Labor distributing to the press of this country both the general daily and periodical press, and all the organized labor press of the United States, weekly bulletin sheets in which the authoritative views of leaders of organized labor are set forth and made available to the public. It is one of the most powerful agencies for the dissemination of the views of organized labor.

Report of the Convention at Atlantic City.
Reconstruction Program of the A. F. of L.


Two codes of rules and regulations affect the workers; the law upon the statute books, and the rules within industry.

The first determines their relationship as citizens to all other citizens and to property. The second largely determines the relationship of employer and employee, the terms of employment, the conditions of labor, and the rules and regulations affecting the workers as employees. The first is secured through the application of the methods of democracy in the enactment of legislation, and is based upon the principle that the laws which govern a free people should exist only with their consent.

The second, except where effective trade unionism exists, is established by the arbitrary or autocratic whim, desire or opinion

of the employer and is based upon the principle that industry and commerce cannot be successfully conducted unless the employer exercises the unquestioned right to establish such rules, regulations and provisions affecting the employees as self-interest prompts. Both forms of law vitally affect the workers' opportunities in life and determine their standard of living. The rules, regulations and conditions within industry in many instances affect them more than legislative enactments. It is, therefore, essential that the workers should have a voice in determining the laws within industry and commerce which affect them, equivalent to the voice which they have as citizens in determining the legis lative enactments which shall govern them. It is as inconceivable that the workers as free citizens should remain under autocratically made law within industry and commerce as it is that the nation could remain a democracy while certain individuals or groups exercise autocratic powers.

It is, therefore, essential that the workers everywhere should insist upon their right to organize into trade unions, and that effective legislation should be enacted which would make it a criminal offense for any employer to interfere with or hamper the exercise of this right or to interfere with the legitimate activities of trade unions.


Political economy of the old school, conceived by doctrinaires, was based upon unsound and false doctrines, and has since been used to blindfold, deceive and defeat the workers' demands for adequate wages, better living and working conditions, and a just share of the fruits of their labor. We hold strictly to the trade union philosophy and its developed political economy based upon demonstrated facts. Unemployment is due to underconsumption. Underconsumption is caused by low or insufficient wages. Just wages will prevent industrial stagnation and lessen periodical unemployment. Give the workers just wages and their consuming capacity is correspondingly increased. A man's ability to consume is controlled by the wages received. Just wages will create a market at home which will far surpass any market that may exist elsewhere and will lessen unemployment.

The employment of idle workmen on public work will not permanently remove the cause of unemployment. It is an expedient at best. There is no basis in fact for the claim that the so-called law of supply and demand is natural in its operations and impos

sible of control or regulation. The trade union movement has maintained standards, wages, hours and life in periods of industrial depression and idleness. These in themselves are a refutation of the declared immutability of the law of supply and demand. Conditions in commerce and industry, methods of production, storing of commodities, regulation of the volume of production, banking systems, the flow and direction of enterprise influenced by combinations and trusts have effectively destroyed the theory of a natural law of supply and demand as had been formulated by doctrinaire economists.


There are no means whereby the workers can obtain and maintain fair wages except through trade union effort. Therefore, economic organization is paramount to all their other activities. Organization of the workers leads to better wages, fewer working hours, improved working conditions; it develops independence, manhood and character; it fosters tolerance and real justice and makes for a constantly growing better economic, social and political life for the burden-bearing masses. In countries where wages are best, the greatest progress has been made in economic, social and political advancement, in science, art, literature, education and in the wealth of the people generally. All low wage-paying countries contrasted with America is proof for this statement.

The American standard of life must be maintained and improved. The value of wages is determined by the purchasing power of the dollar. There is no such thing as good wages when the cost of living in decency and comfort equals or exceeds the wages received. There must be no reduction in wages; in many instances wages must be increased. The workers of the nation demand a living wage for all wage-earners, skilled or unskilleda wage which will enable the worker and his family to live in health and comfort, provide a competence for illness and old age, and afford to all the opportunity of cultivating the best that is within mankind.


Reasonable hours of labor promote the economic and social well-being of the toiling masses. Their attainment should be one of labor's principal and essential activities. The shorter work day and a short work week make for a constantly growing, higher and better standard of productivity, health, longevit morale

and citizenship. The right of labor to fix its hours of work must not be abrogated, abridged or interfered with. The day's working time should be limited to not more than eight hours, with overtime prohibited, except under the most extraordinary emergencies. The week's working time should be limited to not more than five and one-half days.


Women should receive the same pay as men for equal work performed. Women workers must not be permitted to perform tasks disproportionate to their physical strength or which tend to impair their potential motherhood and prevent the continuation of a nation of strong, healthy, sturdy and intelligent men and



The children constitute the nation's most valuable asset. The full responsibility of the Government should be recognized by such measures as will protect the health of every child at birth and during its immature years.

It must be one of the chief functions of the nation through effective legislation to put an immediate end to the exploitation of children under sixteen years by prohibiting their employment, for gain, under sixteen years of age and restricting the employment of children of less than eighteen years of age to not more than twenty hours within any one week, and with not less than twenty hours at school during the same period. Exploitation of child life for private gain must not be permitted.


The fixing of wages, hours and conditions of labor for public employees by legislation hampers the necessary exercise of organization and collective bargaining. Public employees must not be denied the right of organization, free activities and collective bargaining and must not be limited in the exercise of their rights as citizens.


To attain the greatest possible development of civilization, it is essential, among other things, that the people should never delegate to others those activities and responsibilities which they are capable of assuming for themselves. Democracy can function

best with the least interference by the state compatible with due protection to the rights of all citizens.

There are many problems arising from production, transportation and distribution, which would be readily solved by applying the methods of co-operation. Unnecessary middlemen who exact a tax from the community without rendering any useful service can be eliminated.

The farmers, through co-operative dairies, canneries, packing houses, grain elevators, distributing houses, and other co-operative enterprises, can secure higher prices for their products and yet place these in the consumer's hands at lower prices than would otherwise be paid. There is an almost limitless field for the consumers in which to establish co-operative buying and selling, and in this most necessary development, the trade unionists should take an immediate and active part.

Trade unions secure fair wages. Co-operation protects the wage-earner from the profiteer. Participation in these co-operative agencies must of necessity prepare the mass of the people to participate more effectively in the solution of the industrial, commercial, social and political problems which continually arise.


It is manifestly evident that a people are not self-governing unless they enjoy the unquestioned power to determine the form and substance of the laws which shall govern them. Self-government cannot adequately function if there exists within the nation a superior power or authority which can finally determine what legislation enacted by the people, or their duly elected representatives, shall be placed upon the statute books and what shall be declared null and void. An insuperable obstacle of self-government in the United States exists in the power which has been gradually assumed by the Supreme Courts of the Federal and State governments to declare legislation null and void upon the ground that, in the court's opinion, it is unconstitutional.

It is essential that the people, acting directly or through Congress or state legislatures, should have final authority in determining which laws shall be enacted. Adequate steps must be taken, therefore, which will provide that in the event of a Supreme Court declaring an act of Congress or of a state legislature unconstitu tional and the people acting directly or through Congress or a state legislature should re-enact the measure, it shall then become the law without being subject to annulment by any court

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