Graphic Witness: Hugo Gellert
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Hugo Gellert: Comrade Gulliver

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JUNK

THAT evening I visited the home of a Ford worker. He was not a bit surprised to see me. He told me that our mutual friend, the Negro Poet, who gave me his address, notified him about my coming. The worker's wife served coffee and warm apple pie in the spotlessly white kitchen. She expressed disappointment because I had not come for dinner.

They had friends in the Soviet Union. They showed me a letter from a former Ford worker, who is now employed at a Moscow automobile factory and is a shock brigader. He was elected a member of the Moscow Soviet. "And he wasn't even a Russian citizen," they told me over and over again. They seemed to think there was something extraordinary about that.

Another man came. When they introduced me to him, he exclaimed:

"Why, you're the man who asked all those questions at the factory this morning. You sure made the foreman mad. I told the boys about you at lunch. When you asked about 'rests', that was a hot one! The boys enjoyed that. We don't even get time off to sneeze. Specially now, since we got that raise. I guess you read about it. The papers were full of ballyhoo about our six-dollar day. But they didn't say that we only work one or two days a week. They increased our pay twenty percent but production was stepped up as high as sixty percent. As a result the midnight shift was laid off. When the men got the gate their blood was up and they smashed machines. It took the machine guns of the 'Service Department' and death staring them in the face to stop them.

"When I heard you ask all those questions this morning I was looking for a break to tell you a thing or two. But I couldn't. We have to be mighty careful at the plant. It's lousy with stool pigeons."

"I was doing a little figuring last Sunday," said the host. "When I got the job six years ago, in my department a hundred and sixty men made three thousand tire carriers. To-day sixteen men make nearly seven thousand of them. Sixteen men produce more than twice as much as a hundred and sixty did six years ago. If this keeps up we will all be without jobs. There are seventeen million unemployed in the United States. And to-day we can produce more without them, than with them when all were working. How the poor stiffs can expect ever to he employed again is beyond me!"

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