t CHARLOTTE # VOL. XVII? NO. 30 CHARLOTTE. N. t\. THURSDAY. DECEMBER 11, 1947 Subscription S2.00 Per Year Taft-Hartley Law Exposed By J. ALBERT WOLU ul HERBERT S. THATCHER <Members uf the law firm of Fadwuy Woil, Thatcher. Glenn for the American Fedaratiom of Labor) Tbi» is the first of a series a# article* to be published by the AFL Weekly News Service in refutation of an article appearing in the Saturday Evening Post which praised the Taft-Hartley law to the skies. Author of the Post article was J. Mack Swi pert, law partner of Senator Robert A. Taft—enough said: AFL President William Green requested the Post to grunt him the opportunity of replying to the article but the request was curtly refused by Ben Hibbo, the editor.' who frankly ad mitted that his magazine was one-sided on the question of the Taft-Hartley law. We proceed now to an examination of the Post article entitled “The Taft-Hartley Law: Does It Really Hurt Labor?" Mr. Swigert’s article enumerates and elaborates upon, what he terms, “fourteen privileges which have descended upon the workingman without his knowledge, like a legacy to an unknowning heir.” Each of these so-called “privi leges” will be discussed and answered in turn, but, before doing so, it is necessary to dispose of the flat statement made at the beginning of the article that “Not a single word has been omitted from the “rights-of- employes’ sec tion of the Wagner Act. The employer is still forbidden to ‘interfere with, restrain or coerce employes in the ex ercise of’ these rights. Every employer ‘unfair-labor prac tice* listed in the Wagner Act is still in effect.” wiwi cAainpiv ut inv uevice of telling only half the truth would be difficult to find. While it is true that no words have been omitted from the original prohi bitions against employer unfair practices, it s also true that many wor is have been added, with the net result that these protections have been considerably weakened in a number of imporant respects. Thus, the very important pro tections against interference and discrimination through discharge or demotion are greatl>4 impaired by not permitting the board to consider employer anti-union state ments (unless involving actual threats) as background evidence of discriminatory action. It will now be extremely difficult to prove an anti-union motive in any discharge or demotion. At the same time, the employer has been given a carte blanche to ridicule or villify the principle of organi sation, although up until now tt has been considered that the ques tion of organization is the busi ness of the employes and not of the employer. Under another amendment the employer is excused from a dis criminatory discharge if he can show that there was any cau«f whatsoever for the discharft. even though he may also admitted ly have been motivated by an an ti-union bias. Another amendment redefining what constitutes good-faith col lective bargaining grealy dilutes that requirement. It is express ly stated that good-faith bar gaining does not include the making of any concession. How any progress in collective bar gaining can be accomplished without either side making some concession somewhere along the line is difficult to imagine. Cer tainly, a Congress which was in terested in furthering the collec tive bargaining process would not have written a definition of “good-faith bargaining.” In addition, the protections atcainst unfair practices have been weakened by amending the definition of “employer" so a^ to exclude any person or group “act ing in interest of” an employer. Under the old act. groups such as local Chambers of Commerce, Vigilante Committees, “Free En terprise Associations” and the like, who often did the dirty work for employers, were sub jected to cease and desist orders when they acted in the interest of particular employers. Under the present act such groups ap parently cannot be reached. Finally, large groups of em ployes who formerly received the protection of the Wagner Act are no longer covered by the law. Thus, the entire category of so called “supervisors,” which might mean anything from leadmen and strawbosses to foremen, no longer find protection in their right to organise. The same is true with respect to so-called “independent contractors,” and the act changes the old exemption of agricultural employes so as to exclude addi tional classes of workers in agri culture who previously received the protections of the law. From the foregoing brief analy sis, it is quite obvious that it is simply not true to say that employes have the same protec ton against unfair labor practices under the Taft-Hartley Act as they did under the Wagner Act. Thus the Post article starts off with a gross misrepresentation. As before stated, the author of the Post article has enumerated fourteen so-called “privileges" which he claims have descended upon the workingman under the act. The merits of the conten (Continued On Page 4) BARUCH URGES COMPUL SORY HEALTH PLAN; HITS DOCTORS WHO BAR PLAN New York City. — Compulsory health insurance is the only method which promises success :n the task of providing: adequate -nodical care for the threat mass of citizens of this country. This was the view expressed by Bernard M- Baruch, well-known r-.rd respected philanthropist and advisor to the Government on many national problems, before a group of prominent doctors at "•ndiiiff a meeting sponsored by 'K- Medical Society of New York State. Stating that he did not fear Government taking "its legitimate part in medicine, kny more than in education or housing,” Mr. Ba ruch chided the doctors for their obstructionist? attitude in fighting the expansion of medical care to all. He said i “In the matter of adequate med ical care, too many doctors have been fighting a rear-guard action for too long. I feel I must warn those doctors, time is running against them. The medical pro fession has justly earned great influence in the community. It can keep that hoicT only as it moves forward. It will lose that hold if it has nothing but ob jections to offer, if it has eyes onlv for what not to do.” i • i Terming a healthy, educated1 citizenry as the “greatest asset: of any nation,” Mr. Baruch de-1 dared that voluntary plans for I medical care are not good enough to achieve this goal. He declared: "What troubles me most are the needs of that sizeable seg ment of society, which does not earn eonugh pay for voluntary insurance. "The American Medical Asso ciation, its Bureau of Medical B^unomics, estimated in 1939 that fixities earning $3,000 or less, two-third? of the population, can | not afford the cost of serious ill -! ness. Some of these can afford voluntary insurance, although in flation has reduced their number. But what of the little fellow who cannot? ' “Nothing has been suggested so far, which promises success, other than some form of insurance cov ering these people by law and flranced by the Government, at least in part.” Mr. Baruch criticised the tactics of many doctors in attempting to portray the iasue of medical care as a choice, “all Mack or all white.” Objecting to this over simplification, he declared that medical needs of the people can be met “without the Government taking over medicine.” He said: “‘All law imposes compulsion. A form of compulsory, health In surance for those who cannot af ford to pay for voluntary insur ance can be devised, .adequately safeguarded, without involving what has been termed socialised ] medicine.” TO PROBE INCREASE IN JOBS Washington, D. C.—The Joint Congressional Economy Commit tee urged immediate investigation of what it said was a sudden in crease in Federal Government em ployment during October. The October report of the com - mittee showed a net increase of 2,626 in civilian personnel em ployed by executive agencies. The increase reversed a downward trend which had been unbroken for 17 months, the committee re ported. LABOR PLANS POLITICAL LEAGUE Conference Decides To Conduct All-Out Political Battle In 1948 Races i MEANT ASKS ADOPTION OF MARSHALL PLAN TO STEM ROSSIANS - BRING PEACE ___ j Washington, D. 0. — George Meanv, Secretary-Treasurer of the American Federation of Labor, called upon t Congress to swiftly enact the Marshal! Plan for the recovery of Europe as a means of promoting world peace. In a radio address over the na l *ion-wide network of the Mutual Broadcasting System. Mr. Mean.v reiterated th- position token by 'he AFL cor,vent cn which met last October it, San Francisco. I Sir. Weary etniiri/ized the need to preserve the democratic way of life .in ta«* natives cf Western Europe and d are: that our failure to render assistance in their hour of reed will result in 'he expansion ••? Soviet Russia over all of Etrope. He declared “Mr. Stalin, the Ru-sian Hitler, and all his and henchmen are moving, heave-: and earth to block the Mu shall Plan. There 's no mystery about their motive*. They knew that if France and Italy and the then non-Commu nist countries fail to receive as sistance, they will fail into the Russian basket N* thing helps the Communist cause more etten tirely* than hunger and misery and economic chaos. Until aid from* AmenJT" s in time to j turn the tide, Stalin’s fifth col-; unmists in these nations will con tinue to have things the way the,/ j like them. “If we do nothing, if we male? ! the tragic choice cf saving, some j money and letting Western Eu-, rope work out its wn saturation! unaided by America, it is but) a matter of time, and not a great ! deal of time at that, before we! vyill find we nave a : ew ne ghbor on the Atlantic shore. j “That neighbor will not be friendly to our v. ay of life, will not have cur concept of human, free :orv. pot v. ill that neighbor believe in our kind of civilization.] If we pera/t the rations of Wes tern Europe to fall, our new neighbor on the Atlantic will be Joseph Stalin’s brutal, fascist dicatorship. Stalin wili then be master of alt Europe. The Com munist philosophy will then be dominant in the world and we. here in America, would find our selves in a most uncomfortame ; , i position. “America would then be con- j fronted with the choice of letting I Stalin enslave us, too, or else refusing to bow and being forced to defend ourselves. In other words, the ultimate price of a refusal to put the Marshall Plan into effect could well be a war in which America would be prac tically alone.” The AFL leader asserted that the self-interest of every Amer ican worker is the basic reason for helping Europe to recover ec onomically. Realizing that adop tion of the Marshall Plan means additional sacrifices on the part of American citizens, he said: “It is far better, far wiser, far more practical, in our judgment, to make moderate sacrifices today in order to avoid being compelled to make sacrifices a thousand times as great tomorrow. That is just plain common sense.” Mr. Meany said that the cost of the Marshall Plan, estimated at about |4 billion a year for four years, is only about 5 per cent of what this nation spent on the recent fighting war. Annual cost of the plan, he declared “will be not more than what we will ingly spent in just 16 days of war.” He quoted from the unanimously approved resolution passed by the AFL convention; ‘“The cost to the American peo ple • * • will be small as com (Please Turn to Page 4) -- MOTOR VEHICLE OUTPUT AT YEAR’S PEAK IN OCT. Petroit—The automtive indus try attained the higrhw production -'•nrth of 1947 dui^r.K October wher factory sales of* 431.001 new motor vehilces were f orded, th? Automobile Manufacturers Ass. . eintion announced. The total included 21' '* as semrer cars, IIS, 3d5 nn-’ot tru-ks both monthly hiyh point- •"< i the year- and IdtW motor t.h- -. the AM A report showed., Best previous month * IT was April when fa.-tn- i to •Fled 421.399 vehicles .-i. ;dt K tli.Tdj passenjor car- . ! ••*.. '*M trucks. ---4. N. V. STATE FEDERATION ASKS RAISE IN BENEFITS ASbar.X X. Y.—Th| AFL's New State Federate - of Labor voted to seek increase* in' unern f-.'ment insurance benefits and workmen's compensatior at the > xt session of the state legis lature. The action was taken at the federation’s annual legislative conference attended by some 200 delegates representing the 1,500. 1 ■ *0 AFL members in New York State. J; A bill approved by the con ference would raiie. workmen's compensation benefits from the existing range of $12 to $28 a Week to $20 to $35. • 1 Another bill approved would 'also the maximum unemployment r su'rance benefits from $21 a week '27. The conference also ?e ided to support recommenda-1 1 ns wftfch the unemployment j nsurarice advisory council is .ex- ! x'eted to make to provide for [ 'erendency allowances in addi- , ion to the proposed higher rates.1 While the advisory committee ns ro: yet formulated its pro ivani. it was understood that it j could roomemend ar. allowance of' ' t w -e'~: for the first ependent ' .■'■.id'tior.a! $2 » week for a j se i m! dependent and a further. 2 for three or more. The two unemployment in*ur-1 t nm-isals would raise the! maximum benefits to §•! 1 a week, i The, present maximum of $21 does not provide dependency al-! lowances. The conference voted dlso to seek repeal of the Condon-Wadi in law-, enacted last year at Gov ernor Dewey’s insistence., It pro vides for the automatic discharg of any employe of a governmen tal agency who goes on strike ar.d sets up conditions for his reem ployment in Government service. Before deciding to seek re peal, the conference voted down a proposal to seek legislation pro viding for grievance machiney to handle employe complaints about wages, hours and working condi tions. This had been urged as a means of taking the sting out of the punitive provisions of the Condon-Waldlin law. AFL BARTENDERS’ UNION GAINS $5 PAY INCREASE New York City—Hugo Ernst, president of the Hotel apd Res taurant Employes and Bartenders Union, announced that its Local IS here gained new favorable agreement with operators of nearly 800 bars. Mr. Ernst said that the bar tenders got the $5 increase they sought, bringing the minimum wage up to $60 a week and gained two additional holidaye, giving 4hem si* annually. Other questions, such as reduction ia working hours and employer contribution to a welfare fund were placed in the hands of a labor-management committee. i UNITED -MUONS TO DIS CUSS ATI PLAN FOR PROBE OF WORLD SLAVE LABOR New York City.—An A FI, pro posal that the United Nations investigate world slave labor con ri.tior* will be discussed hy the Economic nrd Social Council on Fei ruary 2. M >uhew Well, .»Ft Executive *■ I " -mber ur.i chairman f :* international relations com • irt ■ , att-, unceti th*> AFL re quest had been included on the enda for the February session. The : ejue-t was based on a solution adopted at the AFL <• nvention :r San Francisco in - *‘t< 1 r, which declared that -e' labor had become a posts ■ i sritijt on in many tan - and ■ ;< i pi-ig- nsed us u means of ’•'i-h ny political enemies and e r \ -’tr t! e •. f :.sic human The AFL characterized these eveirsiers to servitude as “cal . - ; crass vlcl t ns of the Geneva Crnven tion of March, t • .ft, and a deliberate flouting of the Nuremberg verdict again*’ Ported labor.’’ The American group added that the spread of slave labor represented “a dan gerous threat V the working standards hard-won gams and human rights of the free work • r*1' fPT ST*'- --wtfnr-,. ,i|p Mr. Well, an official consultant to the Economis and Social Coun cil. made it -rfMr that the pro posat ■ Was directed against the birieti Union and its satellites. He estimated that at least 10, OOO.ftOO political prisoners were performing forced labor in So viet concentration camps. The survival of such conditions was a nullification of the principles un derlying the establishment of the United Nations, the AFL official •emended. A« evidence that displaced per sons and prisoners of war were being subjected to compulsory labor in the Soviet orbit, Mr. Well made public a photostatic copy of a handbill that, he said, had been posted by the Czechoslovak government in the industrial dis tnct of Maehrisch Schoenberg two month* a^ter V-E Day. The leaflet, signed by a func tionary of the “Office for the Protection of Labor” announced that “all subjects of uerman race, regardless of sex, over 10 and not over 00 years of age. at present living in their home* or ia labor camps,” were liable for compul sory labor. Working hours were to range from 12 to 15 hours a day, and “negligence” in carrying out work assignments was to be punished by withdrawal of ration cards or prison sentences. “Sabotage at work, deserting ■or shirking work or resisting the guards will be moat severely punished, in the grave cases evsu with the death penalty,” the hand bill proclaimed. Mr. Woll expressed confidence that the Economic and Social Council would approve the pro posal for a survey of slave labor, even though the Soviet Union op posed the move. MINNESOTA ACTS TO AID ’ DISPLACED PERSONS Minneapolis, Minn.—Minnesota became the first state to take a definite position on the resettle ment of Europe’s displaced per sons in the United States. The Minnesota Commission on the Resettlement of Displaced Persons, which was appointed by Gov. Luther W. Younfdahl, an nounced that a survey would start to determine how many displaced persons might be “happily and prosperously resettled” in Min nesota. CONFERENCE TO ORGANIZE CAMPAIGN FOR COM ING POLITICAL BATTLE Washington. D. C.—The presidents of the 105 national and international unions affiliated with the American Fed eration of Labor met here to draft final organizational plans for "Labor’s Educational and Political League.” The meeting, without precedent in AFL history, was the outgrowth of action taken by the recent AFL convention which directed the establishment of a political organization ti> participate in the coming crucial political battles of 1918. AFL'S FEDERATION OF P. 0. CLERKS URGES C0N6RESS GRANT SI,000 PAY BOOST « ' . « o The AFL’s National :f Port (rtf! ■ i '1 rk i •Hoi up t Congress to enact >*ri»lation Riant hr a permanent 1. i()t> a year salary increase M ( > $t. ""Vffice clerks. Th.s ac ion was taken at a ' :al l Rulat vo conftfrer.ee here attest :e'i by 300 delegates from •*.'! states r.nd representing 70,into of the nation’s 100,000. post office clerks. The resolution was passed unanimously. Leo K. George, president of the federation, introduced the resolu tior. In support t*f th«> measure he declared that morale in the postoffice department is at a Jow ehb because the starting salary of f’d.lOO of clerks is insufficient o attract efficient personnel. Of ftTff"• IWJJIU3e* -srr wf»ki, M». George said the low salary scales or -e many of them to take out; side jobs in order to make ends meet in these days, of soaring prices. In. addition to the pay raise measure, the conference voted to endorse a proposal of Represen tative Olin E. Teague to allow veterans credit for the years they served in the armed forces in ■citing starting salaries provided if ■ veterans joined the postal service. Also adopted was a resolution endorsing a proposal of Repre sentative William H. Stevenson, Republican, of Wisconsin, increas ing annuity benefits at retire ment. The plan, which has been passed by the House and has re ceived Senate committee approval, would increase employe contribu tions to *5 per cent from the pres ent 5 per cent. HOD CARRIERS UNION AMENDS CONSTITUTION Chicago.-—Delegates to a special convention of the Hod Carriers, Building and Common Laborers’ Union voted to amend the union’s constitution to conform to the re quirement of the Taft-Hartley law. Joseph V. Moreschi, formerly of Chicago, who is president of the union, which has 400.000 mem bers. told the delegates before the constitutional changes were voted that although its officers were opposed to the Taft-Hartley law ui principle, “It neverthe less is the law of our land, and as Americans it is our duty to abide by its terms as long as it remains the law." WHOLESALE PRICES HIT NEW POST WAR HIGH Washington, D. C.—Wholesale price as measured by the Bureau of Labor statistics hit a new-post war high of 159.8 per cent of the 1926 average during the week ending November 29. This was an advance of 0.4 per cent above the preceding week and left the bureau’s index only about 4 P*r cent below the all-time peak of May, 1920. At 169.88, the index stood 14.9 per cent above a year earlier and 41.8 per cent above the last week of June, 1946, when OPA con trols were virtually scrapped. Determined to wage an unceas ing drive for the repeal of the obnoxious Taft-Hartley law, the convention decided to invade the political arena to, insure the elec tion of a Congress more respon ■>; e to human n ods and to turn it of office all those who con sist t tty ignored the need of America'* workers. 1 th this r.i;i ’date from tho A i. convention, the union heads „-it!ie: d for a two-day session in n out the detaiis of the league’s organization atid to pave the way :■ r its operation to h thieve the following purposes: 1. To see that all union mem bers go to the polls in ,,11*48. 2. To make known to union members .the meaning of the ec onomic and political policies of the American Federation of Labor and the evil effects of the Taft* fWUhiatrtKW upon tr.iieh' wtiritwi. 3. To bring about the defeat at the polls of labor’s foes in Congress and the various state legislatures. Prior to the conference of na tional union presidents, the AFL Executive Council met in a day long^ session' at which time ten tative plans were drawn up for presentation to the! larger group. No information concerning tho nature of the proposals was avail able as this edition went to press. It :s expected that ‘Labor’s Lducutn.nal and Political League” will i>e organized at the national level with state and district branches to direct the program in the local and community areas. Several- of the , AFL’s state fed erations have already set up ma chinery to carry on political cam paigns ir. their own states and to co-operate with the national or ganization. In addition to the organization al details to be considered, the meeting was expected to devolep ways and means of financing tho activities of the league and to establish a goal for the fund* necessary to carry out its pur poses. The Executive Council discussed these matters in a general way at a metting following the AFL convention, but nothing was an nounced in the way of a definite proposal. At that time, members of the council were of the opinion that regular funds of the AFL could be used within the meaning of the Taft-Hartley law to carry on the educational aspects of the campaign. This embraces the task of acquainting workers with AFL policies and explaining how the provisions of the law ad versely affect union activities. In regard to the political phase, the council was of the opinion that necessary funds should be raised by voluntary contributions made by union members and friends of the labor movement. RADIO ARTISTS FORM LOCAL El Paso, Tex.—George F. Web ber, AFL organiser, announced the formation here of a local union affiliated with the Ameri can Federation of Radio Artist*.