CHAPTER IX
AFL-CIO Can Invigorate Voluntary Welfare

"Give your fair share!" What is
My share, when every dollar
That I make is used for food and
Clothes and cars and now and then
A beer?

"Give your time, then!" "Maybe
That would work, for work
Is what my Father did, full
Fifty hours—so he said more times
Than not.

"Our industry works forty hours now;
Perhaps some Saturday, or afternoons
We'd work.And then the Scouts
Would get the dough they need.Say,
Why not?

"But think of all the problems! And
We might get cheated.Still, there's
Joe—and Al—and Bill; they serve on
All those boards and things.Let's
Try it!"

LOCAL TRADE UNIONS, like other organizations in the United States, have long tried to assume a certain amount of responsibility for the welfare of underprivileged persons.Akin to the Masons, Elks, Lions, or American Association of University Women in this respect, union locals have bought Christmas baskets, sold benefit tickets, solicited funds, and made it their business to act constructively when a member's family might find itself in dire distress.International union organizations, on the other hand, have continued to think of themselves as inherently public-service organizations. By helping union members to get higher wages, they feel they serve the greater community. Nevertheless, and perhaps for this very reason, labor leaders have been slow to assume the policy-making and governing roles over the

-181-

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