The present work is an address delivered by Karl Marx at two sessions of the General Council of the First International on June 20 and 27, 1865. The circumstances which led to this report are briefly as follows:
At the session of the General Council on April 4, 1865, John Weston, an influential member of the General Council and English workers’ representative, proposed that the General Council should discuss the following questions:
Can the social and material prospects of the working class be in general improved by wage increases?
Do not the efforts of the trade unions to secure increases have a harmful effect on other branches of industry?
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