Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung -- April 29, 1881Immigration and the Unions
The workingmen undoubtedly feel already the results of the immense immigration. We, of this newspaper are not against immigration, therefore would not engage in combating such, but the question, what will happen, as the result of an over supply of labor, which of course, is a great factor, in decreasing wages, is before us. At the present, most of the immigrants come from Germany, and a large number of those are industrial workers, who have to look for employment, in larger cities only. Several thousand of those workers have come to Chicago, during the last three weeks, some with, and some without their families. It is natural, that all of these people, try first of all, to secure work. The fact is that Chicago has an oversupply of workingmen, which means, that not all of our resident workingmen can find work; what shall be the fate of the newly arrived immigrants, unless they set the price for their services much lower, than what the present wage is? As they are not acquainted with our working methods, there is no question but, that lower wages will be the final result.2
This is also an explanation, for the enthusiasm, with which the capitalistic press greets the immigrants.
Labor has to be interested in one and the only thing, not to permit that, their standard of life shall be lowered, and still more, to work and insist for a higher standard of life...To suppose, that immigration is responsible for the decrease in wages, is not accurate. This is the case only, when the workingmen, especially the immigrants, do not join any organizations.
If labor is well organized, which means also, a higher standard of living, then immigration could not hurt them, for, the more people, the higher the need, and the higher the need, the more work is required. This, in connection with being a member of Union Organizations, immigration can not have any bad effects on our labor. But it is of utmost importance, that the immigrants do not lose time, and join the Union Organizations, which is of great advantage to every one. But, the organizations have to live up, to what they are supposed to be.
Of course, a great regulator in questions of this kind, is the shortening of working hours, which could be obtained only, through labor organizations, and to create such, is the work of existing Unions. Such a procedure would protect our resident workingmen as well as the immigrants.
III G, I D 2 a 2, I D 2 a 3, I D 2 c
Your search criteria returned no results.