What happened next – Smith’s labor groups

With help from Bodil Hasselgren

L.O. Smith set up labor groups to get his workers involved politically, but the groups did not work out in the long run. He was disappointed both with the workers’ engagement and their economic contribution. Smith made a rather bitter statement:

I have paid over 156,000 SEK out of my own pocket to develop the groups, without the least benefit to myself. And I haven’t had any recognition. Consumer associations that are set up to offer workers cheap prices have never worked in the long run. They will only work if the workers themselves contribute too.

The labor groups disappeared, but their ideas remained. Soon enough, the system was embraced by the socialists. Perhaps Smith’s stern statement encouraged the workers to get more organized? Smith continued to support workers’ rights politically by endorsing their right to vote.