Editorial: Trade Unions and the Employers
While we support any move which will eliminate the existing craft outlook and other barriers which separate trade unionists, we do not make the mistake of supposing that the problems of the working class will be solved by the mere substitution of one great union for many smaller ones. What is of much greater importance is to get the workers to see that capitalism itself is the enemy. The remedy, Socialism, means, not high wages or low wages, but the abolition of the wages system. Trade unions, whether few or many, could not achieve this end, even if the members desired it, which at present the majority do not. A useful corrective to attaching too much importance to a mere change of the form of organisation is contained in a remark made by Mr. Bevin in a speech advocating trade union amalgamation at the conference of the Transport and General Workers’ Union.
Nobody welcomed their amalgamation more than the employers, who now met one body instead of dozens, with their internecine friction (“Daily Herald,” July 20).
Trade union amalgamation requires nothing more than some small adjustments in the administration of the employers’ industries. Socialism means the end of the employing class. Employers, therefore, under certain conditions, welcome amalgamation. Under no conditions do employers offer such a welcome to the work of the Socialist Party.