Employee Representation

Walter Gordon Merritt
1922 The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science  
Counsel, League for Industrial Rights M OST conflicts between nations or between classes arise from barriers to understanding. These barriers removed, ideas, like water, seek their level. In the field of industry these barriers must be razed by machinery for systematic contact and common counsel, if conflict is to be avoided. Millions of our industrial workers are daily brought beneath the same roofs with the owners or managers of business, but barriers of ignorance and language and the lack of
more » ... age and the lack of proper machinery for contact and intercommunication, foster a mutual state of fear and distrust, with unsound conceptions of each other's problems. The average employer is no philosopher or reconstructionist and knows little of the psychology of the working classes. The average worker knows little of the problems and embarrassments of business. Unless this gulf is bridged and the traffic of ideas resumed, our existing industrial institutions and our constitutional rights of liberty and property can scarcely survive. Conference in industrial relations is part of the price of peace and cooperation. The latest promise of substantial progress in this direction springs from the new intra-factory organizations of employees operating under a definite form of industrial government. As a means of adjusting differences and promoting co6peration, common purpose and a broader outlook, as a conduit for the interchange of ideas and viewpoints, this modern type of works council, usually operating independently of the unions, has in a few years made a record of achievement which is unsurpassed. For the light and en-couragement it has brought us we are indebted to those employers who had the vision and courage to embark while others faltered.
doi:10.1177/000271622210300107 fatcat:qyr7qy2esngshhjbdocueqpuyi