Hugh’s Story

Hugh McNair illustration


Handing over your savings hurts almost as much as your shoulder does. But you need to get better, or you’ll be hurting for money even worse.

The doctor shakes his head. “Badly strained, but with some rest, you’ll be all right. Thank your lucky stars you’re not a factory worker! The things I’ve seen! Lost fingers, broken bones, hands caught in cog wheels. There are so few protections …”

The Doctor shakes himself and calls into the next room, “Mr. Jacob Schultz, I’ll be with you in a moment!”

As you pass the next patient — a young man with a black eye — you think. There really should be protections for factory workers. What if it’s your parents, next time? You’ve never thought about joining a union before, but maybe it’s time.

But is this your fight? It isn’t legal to strike, after all. Maybe you should focus on healing your shoulder. Blacksmithing is a steady job, after all. Isn’t it fair to look after yourself, first?

What should you do? Join a union or return to work?