Story type: Essay
A letter signed “Several Democrats from St. Paul” reads, in part, as follows:
“In order to convert several rank Republicans it is necessary that we should be able to explain the difference between a trust and a labor union. Will you kindly, through your columns, make a clear explanation of this distinction? Our opponents holdthat both trusts and unions are combinations, which appears to be true, but there is apparently a weak point in our ability to definitely show the difference, and we beg that you explain it.” —-
Trusts and unions are both combinations, beyond question. But a pronounced difference distinguishes them, and we shall endeavor to make it clear.
You see a horse after a hard day’s work grazing in a swampy meadow. He has done his duty and is getting what he can in return.
On the horse’s flank you may see a leach sucking blood.
The LEACH is the trust.
The HORSE is the labor UNION.
Possibly you have read “Sindbad the Sailor,” with its story of the Old Alan of the Sea. The Old Man of the Sea rode round on the sailor’s back squeezing his neck with his tightly twisted legs.
The OLD MAN is the TRUST.
The SAILOR is the labor UNION. —-
In Chicago two combinations are fighting. One is a combination of citizens–the Citizens’ Union. The other is a combination of public robbers–the Gas Trust. Each combination is trying to get what it wants. Surely you can see the difference between the two combinations.
The citizens are striving in a purely legitimate way to obtain their RIGHTS.
Similarly, Labor Unions, when soundly organized, are striving properly and legitimately to obtain their RIGHTS.
Gas Trusts and other Trusts endeavor improperly and illegitimately to obtain what does not belong to them. —-
In old times, on the high seas, there were two classes of vessels. The great majority were honest vessels of commerce, doing good to the world, while striving, of course, to benefit their crews and owners.
Those honest SHIPS were the Labor UNIONS. On the same waters there sailed other ships–fast, daring–manned by unscrupulous, although able, men.
Those were the pirate ships.
The TRUSTS compared to Labor UNIONS are the pirate ships compared to honest ships of commerce.
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