Art Preis Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Joseph Keller

Stalinist Union Traitors Urge Forced Labor

(10 February 1945)

From The Militant, Vol. IX No. 6, 10 February 1945, pp. 1 & 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Stalinist traitors in the CIO secretly button-holed Congressmen in Washington and urged them to vote for the Roosevelt-sponsored May-Bailey slave labor bill. This gave some House members a pretext for “shifting” to support of the forced labor measure on the grounds that “labor” was “split” on the issue, it was disclosed by the New York daily PM, Jan. 31.

Stalinist Treachery

The Stalinist treachery, according to PM, “was revealed by the shift of several New York City Representatives who said they had been visited over the weekend by delegations representing Left-wing CIO locals and the Greater New York Industrial Union Council who urged them to approve the May-Bailey Bill now under debate.” “Left-wing” is PM’s customary misleading designation for the extreme right- wing Stalinist reactionaries.

PM reports further: “‘I was nearly knocked off my feet,’ one Congressman said. ‘I thought labor was solidly opposed to the bill and I had intended to vote against it. With this division of opinion, however, I intend to go along with the Commander-in-Chief, unless the bill is amended to discriminate further against labor.’”

Exposed by PM’s revelations, Earl Browder’s Communist (Stalinist) Political Association and its union stooges are frantically attempting to cover up their naked betrayal. The notorious Stalinist hatchet-men, Michael Quill and Saul Mills, acting president and secretary respectively of the Greater New York CIO Council, issued a “denial” which denied absolutely nothing. They simply pointed to a “for the record” resolution passed several weeks ago in the Council as “proof.” But they carefully refrained from denying that Stalinist CIO officials had acted “unofficially,” as PM reported.

A virtual confession of the truth of PM’s specific charges is contained, however, in the Daily Worker, February 1, which devotes an entire page to an “answer.” The “answer” does not attempt to deny PM’s facts. It seeks to divert attention from the real charges by a hysterical counter-attack against “the usual attempt of certain elements ... to find ‘splits’ in the CIO.”

Not only does the Daily Worker slide around the specific charges, but it tries to justify the treacherous act of its union stooges. It claims there is a “considerable" difference of opinion on the May-Bailey bill in the labor movement. “The Daily Worker has often in the past differed with many labor leaders, and labor leaders have even more often disagreed with the Daily Worker. There is nothing so strange about that.” Etc,

Not a line about whether or not Stalinist officials in the CIO acted as strikebreakers against the entire labor movement by misusing their union titles to lobby for Congressional votes for the most dangerous piece of union busting legislation ever cooked up by the American capitalists.

Most of the article is devoted to “our stand on the manpower issue.” The Daily Worker brazenly touts the May-Bailey bill and wants labor to embrace the bill as “its own.” Labor is advised not “to allow initiative on the May bill to its enemies.” Don’t wait for others to put the noose on your neck, put it on yourself!

Deadly Enemies

The Daily Worker tries to claim that “national service” is just the thing for labor. Didn’t the demand for it come “from President Roosevelt, certainly not an enemy of labor”? Moreover, the Daily Worker gives its own word for it that “all the talk about national service being ‘slavery’ and violation of the freedom of contract is just plain poppycock.” Rising to a frenzied crescendo, the Worker howls: “How will Hitler and Hirohito take it if such a measure is defeated?” Thus according to the Daily Worker, Hitler and Hirohito are rooting to beat hell for the American workers to remain free from forced labor.

Once more the Stalinists expose themselves as the deadliest internal enemies of the American labor movement. They are ready to commit any crime against the working class in the interests of the Kremlin’s diplomatic alliance with Wall Street. In every wartime defensive struggle of the workers, the Stalinists have yelped with the reactionary pack trying to drag labor down. They advocate a permanent no-strike pledge. They conduct the most vicious and unremitting slander campaigns against union militants. They hail every act of government strikebreaking. They boast of open finkery, as in the Montgomery Ward strikes. Now they sneak behind the back of the labor movement to help the capitalist government aim its forced labor knife.

For its own safety, American labor must ruthlessly call to account the sinister Stalinist traitors. Stalinism will poison and ultimately destroy the unions if it is permitted to spread further through the body of labor.

Preis Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 21 June 2018