A Poor Wise Man (Chapter 33)

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Chapter 33 : Page 1 of 2

Acting on Willy Cameron's suggestion, Dan Boyd retained his membership in the union and frequented the meetings. He learned various things, that the strike vote had been padded, for instance, and that the Radicals had taken advantage of the absence of some of the conservative leaders to secure such support as they had received. He found the better class of workmen dissatisfied and unhappy. Some of them, men who loved their tools, had resented the order to put them down where they were and walk out, and this resentment, childish as it seemed, was an expression of their general dissatisfaction with the autocracy they had themselves built up.

Finally Dan's persistent attendance and meek acquiescence, added to his war record, brought him reward. He was elected member of a conference to take to the Central Labor Council the suggestion for a general strike. It was arranged that the delegates take the floor one after the other, and hold it for as long as possible. Then they were to ask the President of the Council to put the question.

The arguments were carefully prepared. The general strike was to be urged as the one salvation of the labor movement. It would prove the solidarity of labor. And, at the Council meeting a few days later, the rank and file were impressed by the arguments. Dan, gnawing his nails and listening, watched anxiously. The idea was favorably received, and the delegates went back to their local unions, to urge, coerce and threaten.


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