History and Functions of Central Labor Unions

By William Maxwell Burke | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III.
OBJECTS AND PRINCIPLES OF CENTRAL LABOR UNIONS.

I. OBJECTS.

EVERY Central Labor Union publishes along with its constitution and by-laws certain objects for which it exists. These are ideals, rarely fulfilled completely, serving as an outline which the active, healthy union is always trying to fill out.

It is impossible to determine to what extent these objects are accomplished. There are no statistics of Central Labor Unions, even though it be the duty of an officer or a committee in each union to gather and preserve such statistics, and the minutes of the Centrals do not furnish the material necessary to determine how much has been done. In fact most of the work done in the furtherance of many of the avowed objects of the Central Unions would not appear in the minutes at all. Often, however, by results in legislation, in education, and in organization can we see the work accomplished by the Central.

The following "objects" have not been taken from any one constitution, but include practically all those found in the constitutions of Central Labor Unions in the United States. There is variation in the "objects," as published but there is little, if any, variation in the real end or aim of Central Labor Unions. The principal difference is that some constitutions are more complete than others. Certain clauses are incorporated which, though not found in other constitutions, are as much a part of the work of one as of

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