50 Years Ago: It is different in the USA
Father Bernard Vaughan has been through the United States on a tour. As is usual with people who pay flying visits to other countries, he has come back equipped with a complete knowledge of the conditions obtaining there, ranging from the hobble skirt to the delightful methods of the industrial system. He told his audience, when lecturing on his experiences at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, recently, that he knew of no country in the world where a man could be more sure of a living wage for an honest day’s work than the States. “I found in the States that the employers generally got into closer touch with their employees than anywhere else. They seem to ‘pal’ with their servants instead of patronising them. The employers consider their servants, they study them, they try to give them a co-partnership, a personal interest in their work. I was much impressed by the relations between capital and labour. They are drawn closely together and those impersonal terms of industry have been exchanged for real personal relations.”
Now that’s refreshing! Ever since I heard this I have been disgusted with my little lot. Oh! why wasn’t I born in America! I’ve had lots of bosses, but never one that I could “pal” with. Comrades in America, I envy you! I’ve read a lot about America, too, but never saw it in this light before. So far as my investigations into American industrial conditions go, the only ‘‘personal relations” in which the close “touch” is manifested I have been able to discover, are those in which the policeman’s is used as the medium. It would be interesting to know what our fellow-workers in the U.S.A. think of Vaughan’s analysis!