Art Preis Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Joseph Keller

Trade Union Notes

(20 April 1946)

From The Militant, Vol. X No. 16, 20 April 1946, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

900 Strikes Planned Within Next 30 Days

More than 900 strikes are scheduled to be called in the 30 days after April 10 unless the workers’ demands are satisfied, according to a report last week of the Department of Labor.

This flood of strike notices, totalling 830 in the month ending April 10, surpassed the previous monthly high of slightly more than 600 set last fall before Congress voted to withhold NLRB funds to prevent the taking of strike polls. Only 16 strike notices are being withdrawn on the average per week. Labor Department officials glumly admitted, while 210 were filed in the last week covered by the report.

Most of the notices have been filed against individual plants. This indicates a new wave of strikes, largely against the independent concerns. These latter, some of them extremely wealthy, are notoriously anti-union. They can be expected to put up bitter resistance to the unions demands.

The wage gains won by the big strikes in auto, steel and other basic industries have inspired a sweeping spirit of militancy throughout all sections of the organized workers.

* * *

CIO Utility Workers Hold First Convention

The first convention of the newly organized CIO Utility Workers Union of America was held in Atlantic City last week. This union was chartered by the CIO last August. Its most important contract to date, secured in January, covers 20,000 members in the Consolidated Edison Company, New York City.

An industrial union for the hundreds of thousands of utility workers is needed to unify the poorly-organized utility workers and fight for improvement of their conditions.

One bad step which the convention took was the incorporation of an “anti-red” clause into its new constitution. This would bar any person who formerly belonged to the Communist Party from ever holding office and provides for the expulsion of present members.

Clauses of this type not only violate the right of union members to freely maintain their political opinions, but often become the means for victimization of good union militants or bureaucratic hounding of anyone else the leadership may not like.

This anti-democratic clause had been approved by Allen S. Haywood, CIO National Organization Director. It was endorsed in violently red-baiting speeches at the convention by two other chief lieutenants of CIO President Philip Murray, CIO Secretary-Treasurer James B. Carey and CIO Steel Workers Secretary-Treasurer David J. McDonald.

* * *

Time Marches Back for Luce Publications

In a prominent advertisement in the N.Y. Times, April 10, the Time Magazine Unit of the CIO Newspaper Guild of New York published an open letter, headed “TIME marches back!”. It was addressed to Henry R. Luce, tycoon-publisher of such powerful organs as Time, Life and Fortune, and producer of the March of Time, with its slogan “Time marches on.”

The Guild charges representatives of the Luce interests with refusing to grant Time editorial employes the maintenance of membership clause contained in the previous contract which had been in effect 18 months. This clause had been approved by the War Labor Board. Negotiations for a new contract have been in progress since last November.

In its advertisement, the Guild reports that the Luce spokesmen “have refused to bargain with us on one of the most vital points in our 1945 contract – the continued security and existence of our union at Time Inc.

The attitude of the capitalist press to its own employees is indicative of its policies in writing about organized labor generally.

* * *

Disabled Veterans Get UAW Support

One more illustration of the fact that only the workers have any real interest in aiding the veterans was given at the recent CIO United Automobile Workers convention in Atlantic City.

A committee of four white and Negro disabled veterans from the Atlantic City hospital made a moving appeal to the convention to support their plea for specially-equipped automobiles to be provided by the government so that they might be able to travel about and lead lives as close to normal as possible.

The convention passed a strong resolution demanding that the government provide such automobiles for all veterans who are unable to move about freely because of loss or paralysis of lower limbs. It instructed the officers of the union to present this demand personally to President Truman and the officials of the War and Navy Departments.

In addition, the convention authorized the purchase of three specially equipped automobiles as a gift for the veterans at the Atlantic City hospital to be used in training them to drive automobile’s despite their physical handicaps.

Preis Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 16 October 2018