Skip to main content

Other Practical Advantages

Industrial Union structure is designed to unite workers in the way that will be most convenient for us. With whom can we best bargain collectively? With whom are we most likely to go out on strike? Such questions as these are the practical ones that decide in what industrial union any group of workers should be placed. The kitchen crew on an oil rig, the mess department aboard ship, the staff of a factory canteen, all do the same sort of work as that done by the employees of a restaurant, but they can bargain more effectively if they are organized respectively with other oil workers, seamen, and factory workers.

In distribution, these common sense rules must be applied. Where the workers involved distribute only one company's products, as with many gasoline stations, it will be best to organize with the workers supplying the product. The workers in the oil fields and refineries will be in a better bargaining position if they can cut off the distribution of their product. Similarly the bargaining position of the gas station attendants is better with the backing of those other workers employed by the same company. Crews on oil tankers however may find it best to organize with other seamen, but they will not touch "hot oil" in oil worker's strikes.

But where there are no such close relations with production, distribution workers will be better off organized together whether they work in department stores, clothing shops, or whatever. In all these instances it should be plain that unless industrial unionism adds up to One Big Union the labor movement will be handicapped in providing the different types of coordination that varying circumstances require.

One Big Union is the glue that holds the industrial departments together. Without it they would fall into a useless, disorganized confusion.

Next page: One Class--One Union