Ottawa-Outaouais IWW

The General Membership Branch of the Ottawa-Outaouais region

Ottawa-Outaouais IWW header image 6

1935: Organize the Unemployed! (Pamphlet)

Unemployment!

No Food!

No Clothes!

No Shelter!

No Pleasures!

Read the Inside Pages

That is exactly what UNEMPLOYMENT is to us who have to endure it year after year; five years of it! Yet there is no sign of times getting better. All the plans of our “brains” in parliament have come and gone-with no results but more unemployment, more soup kitchens, more road camps operating on the “stagger system” of a few days on, and a few days off, not enough to secure the necessities of life, more slave camps of the Lac Seul type, where single unemployed are herded away from towns and cities, where they can be regimented by the military forces and kept from voicing their discontent of the failure of the present system of society. The high-way camps of British Columbia where the wages paid are $5.00 per month. Everywhere it is the same story; no work and soup; work and get a five spot for a month’s work. What a future for the working class of Canada to look forward to! Starved, ragged hordes of men looking for a chance to work. Beaten and jailed if they demand a decent wage while working-yet the Profits of the Master Class Has Increased Since the Depression Began! Why do workers who have worked in the past and filled the ware houses of the world with the necessities of life, have to live on soup or work for $5.00 per month? It is because they are not organized as well as those who own the natural resources and factories, mines and mills of this country. Those of you who are workingn have had your wages cut under the threat that the unemployed would take your job at the lower rate if you refused. Modern machinery has enabled you to produce 60% more in 1935 than you did in 1921. Yet you still work the same hours. Your wages only enable you to buy enough of your products to exist on from day to day. It was the same in the past. You produce more to-day than you ever did. You do it in less time than it took you a few years ago because of these machines that you marvel at. That is why you are out of work. That is why the workers have filled the ware houses to overflowing with commodities that you can’t get because you haven’t got the money to buy them. As long as this surplus exists, you will remain unemployed. As time goes on, more machines are put into use and more workers are displaced-not only for a few months, but for all time if the hours of work are not cut down so as to create more jobs. And the Hours of work will not be lowered by those who profit by long hours, The Master Class? The workers will benefit by it and they are the ones that will have to act in a way that will cut them down. The only way to do so is to organize, not only the employed workers, but unemployed as well, in one union that will assure support of the latter to the former when they strike for better wages and shorter hours, thus creating a demand for more goods thru their increased buying power (wages), and in making more jobs through the shorter work-day. That is the only solution for unemployment, The bally-hoo of Politicians about high-ways, parks, air-ports and soup-lines have given us nothing but starvation and prolonged misery under the name of relief. Now they offer “unemployed insurance” as a means to solve the problem of workers who produce too much and starve in the midst of plenty! What an example of the “leading brains” of a country! It is but an added burden on the backs of the tax-payer (worker) and a cut in the wages of those who are working. It will mean a more efficient means for the enforcement of a black-list against all workers who are active in the organization of workers throughout the country. Labor produces all the wealth-is it not an insult for us to exist on a dole when we have built a world! The owners of industry have amassed millions of dollars through our skill and our brawn. They are organized and we are the proud, but ragged mass of workers who thot that we could get by without being organized.

To-day we are paying the penalty-and paying heavily. Have we not learned a lesson during the past five years? Is it not clear that if we are to benefit from modern machinery, we will have to follow the master’s example and organize to fight for what we have produced. We want it and we will have to get it without the aid of any but ourselves. They are organized in a union that assures them the support of all capitalists when their interests are threatened. You have witnessed this in strikes, and in the matter of paying wages and in the length of the working day, job conditions and so on. In all these things, they act as one, because it is to their interests to do so. It is to the interest of every worker to organize in an Industrial Union such as the I.W.W., so as to work hand in hand with other workers in industry, and to learn to act as One Class against the owning class. Good times are not coming back unless you organize and bring them back.