Carlos Hudson Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Jack Ranger

A Dictionary for Workers

(5 May 1947)

From Labor Action, Vol. 11 No. 18, 5 May 1947, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Bedeaux System, the so-called ‘B-System’. A scientific speed-up plan to intensify exploitation of the worker.

Black Legion, a ‘fascist’ secret society financed by the automobile corporations; which arose in the Detroit area in the late 1930s with the aim of smashing the Auto Workers Union and other labor organizations.

bloc, a temporary agreement between individuals or organizations with different programs to unite for a definite limited action.

Blanquism, a military conspiracy without a definite class character which has little public sympathy or understanding.

Bonapartism, the name applied to a government which tries to appear to be impartial and non-partisan during a time of great social tension in a nation, but which actually serves the cause of reaction against the masses. Such a government almost always assumes the character of a military dictatorship.

bourgeoisie, the members of the capitalist class. In the early days of capitalism, the merchants and business men lived in cities or burgs. Thus the burghers or bourgeoisie have come to mean the owning class and its supporters, while anything that is bourgeois is capitalist in character.

boycott, union, an organized refusal to buy non-union goods or services; or in the case of a secondary boycott, refusal to handle for shipment or to work with materials which are made in a non-union shop.

Brotherhood, a union. The independent unions of railroad workers, such as locomotive firemen, engineers and conductors, are referred to as Brotherhoods. Many national AFL unions have the name brotherhood, such as International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

bug, popular term for the union label.

Building Trades Council, a local or state-wide delegate council representing those unions active in the building and construction industry, which functions to further the ends of all workers represented, to settle jurisdictional disputes, to encourage construction and housing, etc.

bureaucracy, originally meaning a centralized system of administration of a government or organization, organized. by department or bureaus. It has now come to signify the tendency of any officials to be bound with red tape, to be lazy or insolent or rude, or to pay too great attention to their own careers rather than taking care of the tasks their jobs call for,

business agent, a paid representative of a union who is usually responsible for collecting dues and fines, for negotiating agreements, and seeing they are lived up. to, for receiving reports from members and stewards, and presenting reports to the membership on conditions under which the membership works, for organizing workers within the jurisdiction of the union, for representing the union before the public and the labor movement, etc. The office of business agent was found necessary early in the life of organized labor, when employers discriminated against unionists dependent upon them for their livelihood. The business agent is usually one who has formerly worked in the industry.

Carlos Hudson Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers’ Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 19 October 2022