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Repeal Of ‘Slave’ La.w Is Labor’s First Objective;
Defeating Its Enemies A Close Second, Says Green
San Francisco.—Secretary of Labor Lewis B. Schwellen
bach declared that during the last 15 months labor’s wage
rates have never been able “to catch up with soaring
prices. .
In an address before the 66th convention of the Ameri
can Federation of Labor, Mr. Schwellenbach singled out
the high cost of living as the “most important economic
issue facing the United States at the present time.
Condemning those who seek to make labor the “goat
for our present inflated price level, the Secretary said:
“I think we should fight with all of our vigor any effort
to continue the campaign to tie upon1 the wage earners of
the country the label of being exclusively responsible for
the increase.” , , . , .
Mr. Schwellenbach asserted the most powerful, forceful
leadership in the solution of the nation’s economic problems
must come from the trade union movement. It represents
the largest factor in our population, he said, and touches
more intimately than any other factor the problems of the
great mass of the American people.
Secretary Sehweilenbach decriea
the suspicion with which labor
unions are viewed by many of
our people who, at the same time,
kowtow to many organizations
found all through the pattern of
American life.. He said:
“When we get into the field of
labor, when the people who work
and give the toil and the sweat
which makes possible the sMMfc
efficient operation of opr mechan
ical equipment, when they try to
organize immediately they are
suspected their efforts to organ
ize are resisted, their efforts to
effectuate some results for the
people whom they represent, take
on a sinister aspect in the public
view. Those who have joined in
the rank and file of organized
workers are told that their lead
ers are deceiving them and at
tempting to sell them down the
river to their employers.’’
Turning to a discussion of the
rising cost of living, Mr. Schwel
lenbach urged labor to under
take a fair analysis of the wage
price relationship and said:
“If we do, it will be such a
refreshing contract to the cam
paign that has been carried on
against you.
”1 think tnmt in part
control the propaganda machines
and who are opposed to organ-,
ized labor want the American
people to forget the prediction
that they made in May and June!
of 1946, and to shoulder the
blame upon their favorite whip-J
ping boy, the laboi; unions. The j
facts don’t bear them out. The
so-called economists whom they
employ to get the figures to sup
port their statements must blush
with shame every time the pub
licity agent grinds out a release
“Let me repeat the statement
that frankness and honesty com
pel me to state there is a rela
tionship between wage increases
and price increases. It is not.
however, a pushing up process
or a pulling up process. All
American labor attempted to do
was to pursue prices and never,
in the last 15 months, have they
been able, to catch up.
“Living costs during that per
iod have increased 20 per cent.
Weekly and hourly earnings of
factory workers have risen less
than 15 per cent. The $49 or
$50 take-home pay of the aver
age worker today buys just about
the same goods and services that
.his $33 did just after Pearl
“In other words, wage increases
have been used as the excuse for
price increases.”
In contrast to the failure of
the average worker to keep up
with the rising cost of living,
the Secretary pointed to the high
profits enjoyed by manufactur
ers and declared that any profits
(Continued on Pago 4)
Washington, D. C. — As the
President’s Citizens Food Com
mittee prepared to meet at the
White House, prices shot sky
ward again and most food com
modities rose the full legal limit
on the trade exchanges.
The sensational rise,, following
a slump in prices on the nation’s
primary markets, was attributed
to the statement of the Harrimaa
Foreign Aid Committee that this
country should export 570 million
bushels of grain, including 500
million bushels of wheat, during
the year ending next June 30.
Upon receipt of this news the
wheat exchange promptly went on
a rampage with the price jumping
the full 10 cents allowable short
ly after the market opened.
The trend highlighted the prob
lems of the committee headed by
Cnaries Luckman appointed to
formulate plans for an over-all
conservation program to resist
food prfce increases and to pro
vide enough food for export to
needy European countries.
AFL President William Green
accepted appointment to the Citi
zens Committee and indicated ap
proval of the President’s volun
tary conservation plan.
Mr. Green told reporters after
a White House call that the Presi
dent had advanced a “construc
tive program” and added, “I
think it is needed because the
lituation is serious.”
Mr. Green said the problem in
volved “not only high prices here*
but starvation in Europe” and he
added, “We can’t let Europe
Hicks b Named To
Parks Commission
Sterling L. Hicks, past presi
dent of Charlotte Central Labor
Union, and president of the Radio
Technicians local of the I. B. E.
| W„ was last week named by the
1 City Council to be a member of
the Charlotte Parks and Recre
ation Commission, This appoint
ment gives Labor representation
I on the Parks commission for1 the
■ first time in several years.
Mr. Hicks is prominent in local
, labor circles and organized labor
is delighted that he waS selected
I for the position.
^ ft I
N<Hf0»*l S«wmr
Council Predicts That
Workers W ill Win Out
San Francisco.—Rallying the forces of organized labor
to mobilize their full strength for the drive to repeal the
Taft-Hartley Act, their Executive Council of the American
Federation of Labor struck an optimistic note in its report
to the 66th annual AFL convention here.
Without minimizing the harsh and repressive effects of
the new law, the Executive Council predicted that it would
serve to arouse the nation's workers to a fighting pitch of
union loyalty which is bound to result in a great resurgence
of the trade movement. ,
After assailing Congress and reactionary employers for
the enactment of the Taft-Hartley Act, the Executive Coun
cil said in the introduction to its report:
“The action of Congress is doubly regrettable because
the world is looking to the United States for material help
and for proof that democracy assures rights and oppor
tunities for all national groups. Though the fighting war
is over we have not yet won the peace for democracy. In
the present crisis of international relations, all our national
policies are under world review and directly affect our
ability to carry out our international programs. Reac
tionary employers used their great opportunity not to serve
but to embarrass the cause of democracy.
“These efforts to handicap and weaken unions have
roused wage earners of the United States who have the
resourcefulness and the faith to meet their difficulties in
a way that will serve and strengthen our democratic insti
tutions. The coming year will witness a revival of trade
unions which will make each member conscious of his re
Other highlights of the Executive
Council’s report to the convention
Re!at;ons With the CIO
The Executive Council warned
against any collaboration with the
CIO until both organizations are
merged into a single, united la
bor movement.
The AFL. the Council said,
stands reaiy to meet with the
CIO for the purpose of working
out details of such a merger, as
pledged by both sides.
“We believe that this is the
first and primary requirement,”
the report said. "AM other things
are incidental. "We cannot haye
peace and war at the same time.
We cannot pretend to work to
gether in the legislative field
while engaged in fighting and!
raiding each other in another!
field. We believe the rank and |
file in both the AFL and the CIO
favor the establishment of organi
zational unity immediately, and
the termination of strife, division,
hatred and bitterness.”
Foreign Policy
Condemnation of Soviet Russia’s
aggressive and expansionist pol
icies feature! the Council’s dec
laration on foreign policy.
“The American Federation of
Labor is gratified to note the ex
tent to which our government has
abandoned a policy of appease
ment and adopted a policy of
plain speaking,” the Council re
port said.
“We note with approval a pro
posal in Congress to urge amend
ment of the Charter of the United
Nations to abolish the veto power
of the five nations and to substi
(Continued on Page 2)
San Francisco.—The Executive
Council recommended a vastly ex
panded eiucational and public re
'atiotis program to be carried on
n 1948.
” If approved by the convention,
"he AFL will embark on a news
paper advertising drive and spon
sor a highly popular natu>n-wid>
radio program during t;>48.
The text of the statement fol
The extfcnt to which big busi
ness dominates the media through
which public opinion is influenced
ind molded was forcibly impressed
upon labor during the period
when the Taft-Kartley Bill was
being considered by Congress.
Almost without fail, the speci
ous propaganda formulated by the
sponsors and supporters of this
egisiation was given wide pub
licity in the press and over ths
radio. On the other hand, at
tempts by labor officials to re
fute this propaganda and 50 «**
pose the true nature of the leg
islation were given scant mention.
The daily newspapers, with an
amazing degree of unanimity,
supported the legislation editori
ally. Many newspaper columnists
carried on a virtual crusade for
the Taft-Hartley Bill and vic
iously attacked anyone who op
posed it. The same was true,
to a large extent, of radio com
mentators, one of whom even
had the effrontery to identify the
measure as “the labor reform
Because of this situation, the
Executive Council authorized a
special advertising and radio
campaign, financed by assessments
on national and international un
ions, to bring home the truth
about the legislation to the Amer
ican people. Thus, for the first
time in its history, the American
Federation of Labor was com
pelled to buy space in the news
papers and time on the air, day
after day and week after week,
to express its views in a way
that would command public atten
The fact that the Taft-Hartley
Bill was eventually enacted over
President Truman’s veto does not
detract from the effectiveness of
the educational campaign against
it which was carried on by the
American Federation of Labor.
The need for the establishment
ani maintenance of a permanent
public relations program for the
purpose of offsetting the wide
spread propaganda activities of
the powerful forces arrayed
against organized labor is both
very great and clearly apparent.
The Ameican Federation of La
bor program should be aimed not
only at the repeal of the Taft
Hartley Act and the ^defeat of
similarly repressive ! le^iation,
but it should also stress the pos
itive achievements of the Ameri
can Federation of Labor in behalf
of the nation’s workers and the
American people as a whole.
The task of building up better
relations for organized (abort will
require expansion of the Informa
tion and Publicity Service of the
AFL. It will require a planned
annual program of newspaper ad
vertising and it will likewise in
volve a carefully prepared series
of radio programs on an annual
basis designed to reach a maxi
mum audience. In the radio field,
the entertainment unions affili
ated with the American Federa
(Continued « Page 4)
San Francisco.— Sounding; the keynote at the opening
of the 66th convention of the American Federation of La
bor, William Green, AFL President, declared repeal of the
Taft-Hartley law is the number one objective of the labor
Mr. Green, speaking before the 700 delegates to the larg
est convention over held by the AFL, pledged uncompro
mising efforts on the part of labor to work for the defeat
of every' member of Congress who voted for the oppressive
Wild cheering by the enthusiastic audience greeted Mr.
Green’s references to the Taft-Hartley law and the politi
cal campaign against its sponsors. Throughout! hip speech
spontaneous applause could be heard ringing through the
vast hall where the representatives of the AFL’s largest
membership in history, nearly 7.600,000, gathered to map
lal>or’s plans for the forthcoming year.
New York City.—The executive
council of the New York State
Federation of Labor adopted a
program which will result in pre
venting Communists from taking
■ part in future conventions and
conferences of the federation.
Fourteen members of the 16
man council who attended a meet
ing here voted unanimously for a
resolution to that effect.
While the proposed amendment
to the federation's policy does not
mention Communists by name, a
spokesman for the council made
it clear that they were objects of
the action.
The state feieration already
bars Communists from “seeking
or holding any office” in the
Before it can become effective
the amendment must be offered
to the annual convention of the
federation next July. It would not
become operative until a year
from its acceptance. The change
would prevent Communists from
acting as representatives or del
egates either at federation con
ventions or at conferences par
| ticipated in by it.
The council aUo called on Gov
ernor Dewey to set up a commit
tee, on which labor would be rep
resented, to investigate the. high
cost of food and other commodi
ties and to recommend action and
legislation to the State Legisla
ture. (
Other resolution* condemned the
“gross misuse of the veto power"
by Soviet representatives to the
United Nations and instructed
delegates to the national conven
tion of the American Federation
of Labor in San Francisco to back
all moves to repeal the Taft-Hart
ley Act.
New York City. — Walter S.
Pasnick, representative of the
American Federation of State,
County, and Municipal Employes,
announced a drive for a $500 wage
increase for city employes.
Mr. Pasnick cited thre ever in
creasing cost of jiving as one of
the basic causeg of the wage de
mand and noted that employes
are resigning from the city serv
ices because of the prevailing low
level of wages and salaries.
He charged that the city cannot
go on to furnish services to its
residents at the expense of its
employes, whose average wage is
$35.75 a week as compared with
the average weekly income of fac
tory workers of $49-25. j
Tne neat week of the sessions
are devoted to guest speakers
who will present their views on
timely subjects. Meanwhile behind
the scenes, convention commit
tees prepare the programs and
resolutions for presentation to
and action by the delegates. ' An
air of tenseness prevailed as the
union members assembled here
prepared to face the momentous
tom* which He ahead. * ""
The opening session was called
to order by John Shelly, Cali
fornia State Senator and presi
dent of the California Federa
ation of Labor and three members
Mr. Green, following addresses
of welcome by Governor Earl
Warr'en and Mayor Roger Lap
ham of San Francisco. Other
preliminary addresses were deliv
ered by C. J. Haggerty, secretary
treasurer of the California Feier
ation f Labor, and three members
of Congress. U. S. Senator Sheri
dan Downey, and Representative
Richard J. Welch and Frank R.
H avert ner, boLn of San Fran
President Green's strong, reso
nant voice echoed through the hall
as he called upon the workers of
the nation and the delegates to the
convention to work to get out the
vote in 1948.
“In order to accomplish this
purpose, this convention, I know,
will direct and order we estab
lish election day in 1948 as a holi
day so that the workers can
march to the polls and vote
against their enemies. We have
the votes if we can get them into
the hallot box.
“The milions of workers whom
Lincoln said God must have loved
because He mad^ so many of
them, along with their staunch
and devoted friends outside the
tabor movement, will march to the
polls arid cast their votes, and if
they do, there will he no doubt as
to the outcome of the eiect'on.
“So now we must perpare for
this. It is up to us to do the job.
The workers of the nation can do
it and will do it in my judgment.
If we organize irght from the bot
tom to the op, and see to it that
every worker records hia vote oh
election day to those who voted
against them and stood' against
them in their hour of need.
"Our appeal will he to the
workers of the nation and to all
our friends to stand with us in
thia crisis, defeating this attempt
to limit freedom, liberty, anil de
mocracy and to substitute there
for dictatorship and governmental
control of the economic life and
activity of the workers of this na- ,
tion. In that way we will be
fighting, not only to preserve la
bor from tljis anti-labor legisla
tion, but in addition for the pres
ervation of freedom, liberty, de
mocracy and justice in the United
States of America.”

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