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trade unions

The Socialist Party and the Trade Unions

 The Socialist Party and the Trade Unions have a common origin in the class struggle. The former is the organised expression on the political field of the conscious recognition of that struggle by the workers. Its growth is the measure of their determination to end the struggle by converting the means of living into common property, and thus establishing a harmony of interests within society.

 The class struggle, however, does not commence with the conscious recognition of it as a fact. “In the beginning is the thing ”; the idea follows in its wake, and is, in fact, its reflection in the human mind.

 Long before the origin of the Socialist Party the class struggle was in progress. Strikes and lock-outs, machine-breaking and penal legislation have all testified to the antagonism of interests in modern society for over a century.

Trade Unions—Sick Benefit Clubs

 Clyne's Confession

    Mr. J. R. Clynes, speaking at Southport on Saturday in support of the benevolent fund established by the local branch of the National Union of General Municipal Workers, said he thought the trade union was the proper organisation through which the spirit of benevolence that was in most of them should work. Many people were under the impression that trade unions existed only for making mischief, that they were always trying to stir up discontent. There could be no greater delusion than that. If trade unions did not exist we would have a condition of mob law.

Editorial: The Organisation of the Working Class


 Ever since the existing social order originated in the downfall of feudalism, there has been going on a struggle between the two classes of which it is composed, i.e., the capitalist or master-class and the wage-slave or working-class. As a result of this struggle, ever increasing in its intensity and ever widening in its scope, there has arisen a certain degree of organisation on the part of both classes. Up to the present the initiative in the struggle has lain with the masters and the efficiency of their organisation is correspondingly greater than that of the workers, whose lot has in the main consisted of a series of defeats resulting in increased poverty and exploitation. There is urgent need for improvement in the workers’ organisation, hence the propaganda of the Socialist Party.

Book Review: 'African Trade Unions'

African Unions

'African Trade Unions', by loan Davies. Penguin African Library, 5s.

As capitalism develops it brings into being the working class—that social group made up of those who depend on their wage or salary to live. In Africa capitalism dominates society, even if many are not yet wage-workers or cash crop farmers. Primitive production for use is being replaced by production for sale on the world market. Wage-workers in fact only make up a small part of the working population.

The proportion of wage-earners ranges from 25 per cent in the Congo to four per cent in Nigeria and the former French West African territories.

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