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All Trades--One Union

Somewhere in the One Big Union plan there is a logical place for every wage worker, so that all fellow workers can most effectively exercise their solidarity.

A few notes should be added about the structure of the One Big Union. Some of the industrial unions may appear to have too wide a scope for convenience; rolling mills, building textile machinery, and watch-making may seem to be more than one union should include. But the system of classification used permits any subdivision within the union for the formation of any section for which there may be actual practical reasons. Further it should be remembered that all the workers on one job form their own job or shop branch, and in it decide all matters that relate exclusively to that particular job.

Since some jobs include a considerable number of subordinate activities, the rule that all on the job belong in the same union requires that workers be in different industrial unions than their occupation might lead one to expect. For instance, in a hospital, besides nurses, doctors, technicians, interns, etc., there are laundry workers, cooks, electricians, and many other hands, all of whom are in the same industry, and therefore in the same industrial union of Health Service Workers (I.U. 610).

If it were not for the One Big Union idea, such industrial organization might build some handicaps. The laundry workers in hospitals might want to meet with other laundry workers to establish standard conditions in all laundries. With One Big Union to which they all belong, they have all the facilities for doing so, and for electing any committees to carry out their decisions. Or drivers, if they work for a shop or a factory, belong in the job unit and industrial union of their fellow employees. Yet they may want to meet with other drivers to agree on a common policy in regard to loading, using helpers, or the like. One Big Union enables them to do that, too. In any job situation, apprentices, trainees, skilled and unskilled workers all have more in common with each other than with the boss. One Big Union welds them all together to fight the bosses with the combined strength of the work force.

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