William D. Haywood


Pick and Shovel Pointers

(February 1911)


Source: From International Socialist Review, Vol. 11 No. 8, February 1911.
Transcription: Matthew Siegfried.
HTML mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists Internet Archive (2019).
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2022). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.


AGREEMENTS with capitalists are the death warrants of labor.

There can be no closed shop as long as the boss has the keys.

There is no chivalry in the work shop. Capitalism compels sex equality.

Every new invention of machinery makes the journeyman of today the apprentice of tomorrow.

Trade unionists keep men out of the union and then wonder why the Manufacturers’ Association can get scabs.

Labor organizations should be free to fight for their class interests at all times.

You recognize this fist as a fighting weapon. It is made up of five members, five organizations. They can all work independently when necessary but when called upon can become a united force.

Suppose one of them is tied up with an agreement – a white rag – for a year or more. What becomes of it? It will wither and decay. And what is true of this finger is true of a labor organization. It is useless to itself and stands in the way of its fellows.

An agreement between the capitalist class and the working class is an unholy alliance, and when entered into by any body of workingmen it removes them from their class and the class struggle and makes them auxiliaries of the enemy of labor.

When the soldier enlists he enters into an agreement to fight the battles of the capitalist class and shoot down his fellow workers. When the trade unionists sign an agreement with the capitalist class, they likewise enlist to furnish the soldiers with guns, with food and with clothing. They are the enlisted men behind the man behind the gun.

Last updated on 10 June 2022