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Charlotte Labor Journal
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VOL, XVI; NO. 4f
Subscription S2j00 Per Year
Congress Told Many Labor Bills Strictly “Punitive”
moil wins of danger
Washington, D. C.—Expansion
<of the “slave labor system” is a
"dire threat to the free workers
of all countries," according to the
International Labor Relations
Committee of the American Fed
eration of Labor. '
This was the pronouncement is
sued here by Matthew Woll, AFL
vice president, who declared that
'‘forced labor has become a post
war institution in many lands."
"In Europe alone," Mr. Woll’s
statement declared, “it has been
estimated that nearly one-third
of all productive work is now
being done by slave labor.” Hie
Survey, upon which Mr. Woll was
reporting, reported that: :
“Slave labor is a challenge
which free labor must meet and
must meet at once—or be drivejl
into slavery itself.” ,
Despite the interval sisals Urn
end of the war -telfttonsePmw
and women from former enemy
countries are still being held as
slave laborers.”
Large numbers of war prison
ers still are being held in Great
Britain, Poland, Yugoslavia and
Czechoslovakia, the summary
points out, in asserting crimes
-committed by the Nazis were no
excuse “for the crimes being per
petrated today, especially in the
name of democratic and peace
loving peoples."
“Under no guise is the return
to chattel slavery ami the Dark
Ages permissible or desirable,"
said Mr. Woll, in the statement
which was said to have the ap
proval of the executive council
of the AFL
“What a sad retrogression.
Compare this with what happened
after the first war when, within
ten months after the end at hos
tilities, all prisoners of war were
freed. With such impetuosity
has mankind been going backward
that even ad organisation calling
itself the World Federation of
Trade Unions has proposed the
imposition "of forced labor on the
Ruhr coal miners.
“Paradoxical as it may appear,
it is the land which calls itself
'socialist,’ the government which
parades as a 'workers’ republic,’
that is tlw worst and biggest
slave center on earth today. It
is from Soviet Russia that the
tidal wave of labor enslavement
has swept westward. The Irkutsk
Pravds only recently boasted that
5,000,000 prisoners of war are
being used as penal labor in Si
In the Kremlin domain there
•re millions of Soviet citisens
doomed to slave labor camps
merely because, they are suspected
or convicted of disapproving or
disagreeing with some act or pol
icy of the ruling group. <
"But the Moscow dictatorship
also holds in slavery millions of
aoh-Kussians ... hundreds of
thousands of these slaves were
rounded up by the Soviet police
and snared by its spy dragnet in
the capitals of Russia's conquered
and satellite^ lands. ...
"Barrack economy anywhere is
a menace to free labor every
where. When Japanese soldiers
are turned into slave-toilers on
the Volga-Lake Baikal railway for
the benefit of the Russian bu
reaucracy or when Papuans and
„ (Continued so Pago 4)
Green* Asks AFL Unions To
^ *
Back Teachers’ Pay Demands
* - r- " f — ■ ' 1
SmiohjI Ut»r Struct
Chicago, HI.—Two hundred and
fifty delegate*, representing ap
proximately 800 unite with a
membership of 80,000, are ex
pected her* for t|w 17th conven
tion of the International Prethee
hood of Blacksmiths (AFL) next
week.. Headquarters for the con
vention will be in the Morrison
President Boy Hern is seriously
ill and will be unable to attend
this oonelave.
Vice President John Pelkofer
will preside. Mr. Pelkofer has
been acting as president at the
organisation during Mr. Horn’s
illness. * *
Many vital problems will be
presented to the convention by
delegates from all parts of the.
Nation, including revision of the
union’s constitution.
Melroy Hera, sew of President
Horn and business manager of
the Gasoline Station Attendants’
Union in St. Louis, is scheduled
to extend his father’s greetings
to the convention.'
Mr. Pelkofer reported that
“wonderful progress has been
made throughout our entire trade
since the last convention.’’ The
union today is. at peak strength
and has won marked gains in
wages and working conditions,
Mr. Pelkofer told newsmen.
Also, in conjunction with other
AFL shop craft unions, the black
smiths have established contrac
tual relations on every railroad
!n the United States except the
Pennsylvania, and a drive to
organise shop craft workers on
I that road is now under way, he
I_,. t ■
New 4ork City. — Increued
wages to the rising costs of liv
ing are being sought by the East
Const Division of the Seafarers
International Union (AFL), fol
lowing a meeting here.
Operators with which the union
has contracts .were notified of the
new requests aftej a special
meeting of the SIU.
In announcing the move, a un
ion spokesman pointed out that
last year the SIU, sided by other
AFL maritime unions, had
brought American shipping to a
"complete standstill” when the
Wage Stabilisation Board ruled
against increases that the union
had negotiated with shipowners.
No definite demands have been
set by the union but a negotiat
ing committee, headed by J. P.
Shuler, assistant secretary-treas
urer, will attempt to "work out”
a satisfactory wage scale with
operator representatives, it was
reported. ‘ *
Assetring that the gains won
by the union last year had been
"practically wiped out” by the
rising cost of essentials, Paul
Hall, port agent for the SIU,
"We cannot allow ourselves to
go back to the substandard liv
ing. that seamen had to endure
for so long.
"We expect the operators to
bargain in good faith. If not; we
can always, rely on economic ac
tion at the point of production.”
Sixteen States still exclude
women fronf Jury service, accord
ing to the U. $. Department of
Labor Women’s Bureau.
IjPishington, D. C.—AFL Presi
dent William Green, in letters
io all AFL Central Labor Unions,
has sounded a stronjr appeal to
all central bodies to five vigorous'
support to efforts of teachers i
throughout the Nation in their1
efforts to provide increased stand
ards through advocat on of in
creased educational appropria
Deploring the inadequate funds
supplied for teachers, Mr. Green i
declared: %
“The 1946 convention of the
American Federation of Labor
gave serious attention to the
crisis % education whjgh has
frown out uf inadequate compen
sation and resulted in teacher
“Teaching is an occupation
vital to our democracy, and
should be dignified by pay in
proportion to value of services.
To assure pay adequate to main
tain and improve education's op
portunities for all children, two
approaches are necessary—Fed
eral aid to local schools and
larger local appropriations, or
more effective tax measures.
“Only through the sustained
and co-ordinated efforts of the
labor movement, acting through
all federated bodies and local un
ions, can these ends be realised.
Education is the concern of every
Pointing out that throughout
its lifetime, the AFL has active
ly supported the Nation's public
school system “as the basis of
equal educational opportunity for
all, Mr. Green added:,
‘“Unfortunately, teachers them
selves have not organised prop
erly to promote their economic
interests. It was not until the first
World War that teachers realised
an economic foundation was nec
essary for sustained professional
standards and began organising
in unions affiliated with the AFL.
During the present period of cri
sis the American Federation of
Teachers has made unparalleled
progress and now has local* ia
over 300 cities.
"The teacher* union* are the
agencies with which Central La
bor Union* should co-operate in
working out adequate tax reve
nues earmarked for education.
I urge ■ each Central Labor Un
ion to take the initiative in its
locality in securing larger appro
prations for education, and to
work in co-operation with our
unions for these workers."
Meanwhile. Boris Shiskia, AFL
economist, addressing the annual
conference of the New York
Teachers* Guild in New York,
cited particularly the need of pro
viding instructors with an ade
quate salary if the task rests
with them of teaching children
how to obtain an adequate stand
ard of liping.
Mr. Shiskin told the group:
“Since I941„ the year of our
entry into war, half the school
teachers have left the school sys
tem. .They were forced out of
their chosen pursuit'by economic
(Continued On Fag* 4)
Washington, D. C. — Workers
and'other consumers are making
up their income deficit by draw
ing on their savings and buying
on credit, it was reported in the
Monthly Survey of the American
Federation of Labor, which de
clared that consumer credit has
increased 45 per cent in the last
year while Savings have dropped
41 per cent. „
“These are the first signs of
danger,” the report said. “To sup
port production by consumer bor
rowing and by spending savings
is to build our industrial structure
on a hollow foundation which will
collapse. An enduring foundation
can only be built out of increased
consumer intome, and about 75
to 80 per cent of American con
sumers are workers and their
“‘Wages aad salaries ycovl^a
about 70 per cent of consumer in
come, which is spent for foods.
Factory workers’ average weekly
‘real’ wage in December, 1040,
was 4 per cent below the same
month of the previous year and
the ‘real’ wage of workers in re
tail stores dropped 2 per cent In,
the same period—to cite as typi
cal examples industries which
• mploy 40 per cent of all non
farm workers. That is why woix
?rs have had to borrow and draw
on their saving*. That is why
workers’ income must be re
stored.” *
Discussing the question of
whether labor and employers can
be partners, the survey said:
“American industries and con
sumers are reaping the benefits of
labor’s co-operation. A reliable
investors’ service anticipates ex
cellent earnings statements’ for
the first quarter of 1947, and
expects profits for the full year
of 1947 “to exceed the record net
results of 1946.’ Full year results
depend on the course of indus
trial developments.”
The "key” question, seen in the
report, "centers about the will
ingness of employers, through
peaceful negotiations, to agree to
the wage increases Which today's
favorable situation makes pos
sible. Or will employers make it
neccessary for workers to strike
in order to obtain fair wage
"Workers’ total income declined
by *6,600,000,000 while the income
of other croupe rose by a total
of *8,600,000,000," in the period
between 1946 and 1949, the re
port revealed.
‘“This cut hi workers’ income
is serious for two reasons,” it
added, “it means a decline in
workers’ living standards, espe
cially when it comes at a time
of price increases, and the mar
ket for « industry’s products will
be cut unless workers’ income is
increased. The Nation’s 40,000,
000 wage and salaried workers
buy a great deal larger share of
industry’s consumer goods prod
uct than do the 10,000,000 farm
ers and business men.”
High Point, N. C —The Ameri
can Federation of Labor waa vic
torious recently in an election
held for employes of the Plant
ers Oil and Fertiliser Co.
Economists Ask For
V *
Commission To Explore
Labor Relationships
New York City.—Charges that
the majority of the 70 manage
ment witAesses who have ap
peared before the U. S. House
Labor Committee arguing for re
strictive labor leg station are per
sons who have been cited by the
National Labor Relations Board
or courts for unfair labor prac
tices were made by Representa
tive Arthur Klein of New York.
Representative Klein, member
at the committee, apebo befsrso
conference of 500 delegates from
160 local labor unions here. He
disclosed he is gathering data
on the labor records of the man
agement witnesses, who, he said
outnumbered the labor witnesses
seven to one. He will publish y*
results in the Congressional Rec
ord, he said.
“The labor bills before Con-,
gress will do away with the gains
of labor for the past 40 to 60
years,” he asserted.
Charles & Zimmerman, fvice
president of the AFL Internation
•I Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Uru
ion, displayed a handbill that
would hare announced a general
strike in the garment industry if
a settlement had not been reached
two days ago. The union very
nearly had its first strike in IS
years because, the employers had
been encouraged to “get tough” by
anti-labor agitation, he charged.
“Happily,” he added, “they
changed their minds and agreed
to bargain in good faith.”
Emil Schlesinger, general coun
sel to the ILGWU, said the por
tal-to-portal bill proposed would
scrap the wages and hours law.
Messages were read from Sec
retary of Labor Lewis B. Schwel
lenbach and Senator Robert Wag
ner. Resolutions were adopted
unanimously opposing restrictive
labor legislation.
Johnson City, Tcnn. — Eight
hundred employe* of Pot Dnlry
Products Company, in SS plants
in six states have boon organised
end brought under n standard'
agreement negotiated by the In*
teraational Brotherhood of Team
sters. The contract is system*
•ride and the dosed shop and
check-off are established with
system-wide seniority.
Up to three months payment
td full wages during illness, six
legal holidays and double pay if
crocked are some of the benefits
established. Dressing and clean
ip time for inside workers prior
a and finishing work is paid time.
Atlanta, Ga.—The United Mine
Workers of America (APL) have
iron elections among itrlnifsl and
supervisory employes) in three
West Virginia coal mines, located
it PineviUe, Valley Head and
Ben wood, W. Va.
Amhurst, Mass.—Many of the
labor bills now pending: before
Congress represent “punitive leg
islation, designed to destroy many
successful collective bargaining
practices and to jeopardise the
rights of workers, rather than to
And solutions to existing prob
This was the conclus'on reached
by a group of 160 economists and
political scientists in session here
who addressed a letter to Senator
Taft, chairman of the Senate La
bor Committee, urging support
of , President Truman’s proposal
for a joint commission to con
duct a careful investigation of
labor-management relations.
Ttoay saaaessiets nagv mutate* -
the Senate Committee upon the
comprehensive hearings it has
been holding. They nevertheless
expressed grave doubts whether
committee hearings “valuable as
they are as an expression of
public opinion, can produce the
objective record of factual mate
rial which is needed at the pres-t
ent time.” * !
“Committee hearing*,” the
group stated, “must necessarily
take place against the background
of pending wage negotiations be
tween several major Industries
and (he unions representing their
workers,' and cannot help reflect
ing the pressures arising from
this situation. Furthermore, the
testimony heard will be directed
at the bills under consideration,
many of which seem punitive.'*
The educators concluded:
"We strongly oppose any leg*
station which attempts to wipe
out the gains made in the last
decade granting jthe workers a
somewhat mors equal bargaining
position with industry, and which
propose now to place workers at
the mercy of their employers.
"We hope that your comsrittep
win realise that only a forward
looking appronch to the problem
of labor - management relation*
mmm lead to any real solution o»d
prevent reprisals, against workers
which will endanger democratic
Washington, D. C.—Any chance
in the policy of encouraging col*
lective bargaining would haw
unhsppy ^onsccjiHHQCfM ^
Paul M. Htnof, chairman of the
National Labor Relations Board,
declared before the Senate Labor
Relations Committee which b
considering far-reaching prep sente
far revision of labor legislation.
“Successful collective bargain
ing would be frustrated if any
of the employe’s rights, guaran
teed by the Wagner Act, were
subtracted from that statute," he
Atlantic City, N. i.—The nS>
tion’s economy be adjusted
to n wage-price level 80 per float
above pre-war standards, asserted
Senator Taft of Ohio in u ad
dryss before the American Asso
ciation of Sfhwl Administrators

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