Australasian Knights of Labor.
The alarming development and aggressiveness of the power of money and corporations under the present industrial and political systems will inevitably lead to the hopeless degradation of the people It is imperative, if we desire to enjoy the full blessings of life, that unjust accumulation and this power for evil of aggregated wealth shall be prevented. This much-desired object can be accomplished only by the united efforts of those who obey the divine injunction:—“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.” Therefore we have formed the Order of the Knights of Labor for the purpose of organizing, educating and directing the power of the industrial masses.
It is not a political party, it is more, for in it are crystallized sentiments and measures for the benefit of the whole people; but it should be borne in mind, when exercising the right of suffrage that most of the objects herein set forth can only be obtained through legislation, and that it is the duty, regardless of party, of all to assist in nominating and supporting with their votes such candidates as will support these measures. No one shall, however, be compelled to vote with the majority.
Calling upon all who believe in securing “the greatest good to the greatest number” to join and assist us, we declare to the world that our aims are :
I.—To make industrial and moral worth, not wealth, the true standard of individual and national greatness.
II.—To secure to the workers the full enjoyment of the wealth they create; sufficient leisure in which to develop their intellectual, moral and social faculties; all of the benefits, recreations and pleasures of association; in a word, to enable them to share in the gains and honor of advancing civilization.
In order to secure these results, we demand at the hands of the law-making power of Municipality, State and Nation :
III.—The establishment of the Referendum in the making of all laws.
IV.—The establishment of Bureaus of Labor Statistics, that we may arrive at a correct knowledge of the educational, moral, and financial condition of the laboring masses, and the establishment of free State Labor Bureaus.
V.—The land, including all the natural sources of wealth, is the heritage of all the people, and should not be subject to speculative traffic. Occupancy and use should be the only title to the possession of land. The taxes upon land should be levied upon its full value for use, exclusive of improvements, and should be sufficient to take for the community all unearned increment.
VI.—The abrogation of a11 laws that do not beat equally upon capitalists and laborers, and the removal of unjust technicalities, delays and discriminations in the administration of justice.
VII.—The adoption of measures providing for the health and safety of those engaged in mining manufacturing and building industries, and for indemnification to those engaged therein, for injuries received through lack of necessary safeguards.
VIII.—The recognition, by incorporation, of orders and other associations organized by the workers to improve their condition and to protect their rights.
IX.—The enactment of laws to compel corporations to pay their employees weekly, in lawful money, for the labor of the preceding week, and giving mechanics and laborers a first lien upon the product of their labor to the extent of their full wages.
X.—The abolition of the contract system on National, State and Municipal works.
XI.—The enactment of laws providing for arbitration between employers and employed, and to enforce the decision of the arbitrators.
XII.—The prohibition by law, of the employment of children under fifteen years of age; the compulsory attendance at school for at least ten months in the year of all children between the ages of seven and fifteen years; and the furnishing at the expense of the State of free text books.
XIII.—That a graduated tax on incomes and inheritances be levied.
XIV.—The establishment of a national monetary system, in which a circulating medium in necessary quantity shall issue directly to the people, without the intervention of banks; that all the national issue shall be full legal tender in payment of all debts, public and private ; and that the government shall not guarantee or recognize any private banks or create any banking corporations.
XV.—That interest-bearing bonds, bills of credit or notes shall never be issued by the government; but that, when need arises, the emergency shall be met by issue of legal-tender, non-interest-bearing money.
XVI.—That the importation of foreign labor under contract be prohibited.
XVII.—That, in connection with the post-office, the government shall provide facilities for deposits of savings of the people in small sums.
XVIII.—That the government shall obtain possession, under the right of eminent domain, of all telegraphs, telephones and railroads ; and that hereafter no charter or license be issued to any corporation for construction or operation of any means of transporting intelligence, passengers or freight.
And while making the foregoing demands upon the State and National Governments, we will endeavour to associate our own labors:
XIX—To establish co-operative institutions, such as will tend to supersede the System, by the introduction of a co-operative industrial system.
XX.—To secure for both sexes equal rights.
XXI.—To gain some of the benefits of laborsaving machinery by a gradual reduction of the hours of labor to eight per day, or less.
XXII.—To persuade employers to agree to arbitrate all differences which may arise between them and their employes, in order that the bonds of sympathy between them may be strengthened and that strikes may be rendered unnecessary.
If you believe in organization you are invited to join with us the gaining objects. All information in any be obtained from the undersigned officers:—
W. CORBETT, G.M.W. J. MILLER, U R S.
[l. KINGSTON, G.F.S.