North Carolina Newspapers

    Unions Approve All"
Out Political Drive,
EditorV Not* — Following: is the text of the statement |
adopcd unanimously by the conference of presidents of all AFL
national and international unions establishing: and setting forth
the organization and purposes of Labor's Educatioal and Politi
cal League:
The United States Congress having placed unwarrantable?
and highly destructive limitations and restrictions upon the
rights of wage earners to voluntary organization and their
effective functioning in the industrial as well as the legis
lative and political fields, it is imperative that labor, or
ganized as well as unorganized, meet this challenge of un
warrantable limitations and restrictions upon the rights
and liberties of the worker?) of America.'
The enactment oi tne
Hartley law has not only awak
ened a greater interest in poli
tical action on the part of labor;
indeed, its provisions, particularly
as they relate to political activi
ties on the part of our trade un
ions make it imperative for labor
to organize in the political field
under terms and conditions re
quired- by the Taft-Hartley law if
we are to re-establish the mutual
benefit and advancement and for
their full participation in all mat
ters affecting the well-being of
wa^e earners and the welfare
of the public good. At no pre
vious time in history have the
rank and file members, as well as
the leaders of labor been so
aroused as at present to the im
perative need of organization on
the political field. <
The real import of the Taft
Hartley law has, as yet, not been
experienced. This is fast coming
to pass as more and more of our
trade unions, as well as fair em
ployers and managers of industry
come to conference for purposes
of continuing their former peace
ful and co-operative relations and
•under terms and conditions here
tofore held perfectly proper and
legal and tested by time and ex
perience as safe and sound from
every point of view. It is dif
ficult to understand that that
which was constitutional, right,
sound and proper yesterday should
be unlawful and unsound today.
An immediate result has already
developed wherein bitter feeling
has increased and wherein both
Management and Labor are re
sorting to various devices and
subterfuges to evade and avoid
an ill-conceived, obnoxious, un
workable and destructive con
gressional enactment. Legisla
tion that drives workers send man
agement to resort to sack meth
ods i( certainly not hi the inter
ests of the pablic good and does
r.ot make for industrial stability.
There are many other issues
agitating the peace of mind of
wage earners, organized and un
organized. We are met with hos
tile antilabor legislation in a
number of states. While every
effort is being made through the
courts to frustrate, these uncon
stitutional and unwarrantable re
strictions upon the wage earners
of our land and upon their trade
unions, nevertheless, these efforts
must be supplemented by po
litical action'. 1 Then, too, there
are such issues as high prices,
h< using, health, wage and hour
legislation, the* growth of corpor
ate control, monopoly, taxation
and the like requiring the atten
tion cf the workers of our land.
A number of our International
Union, State Federations of Labor
an . City Central Bodies have al
ready established various mech
anisms for carrying on political
'activities, obviously, co-ordination
an ? extension of these efforts is
| eminently desirable. Our imined
i an ;&sk is to bring to a realiza
tion our people everywhere the1
problems involved; to galvanize
workers of- America, their friends
and sympathizers into concrete
action along definite and public
spirited channels.
It was in this spirit and to the
attainment of these objectives
that the recent convention of the
American Federation of Labor
held in San Francisco, California.
October 6th to the 16th last, rec
ommended the formation of “La
bor’s Educational and Polities!
League” and the calling of a con
ference of the presidents of all
the affiliated National and inter
national Unions for the purpose
of completing the Structure, out
lining the methods of .procedure
and in giving early and effectual
realization to the political activi
ties made imperative under pres
ent conditions and circumstance*.
Convention Recommendations |
The convention recommended j
that
1. It shall be the duty of “La
bor's Educational and Political
League" to prepare and dissemi
ate information by such media
of communication as the league
may decide for the purpose of
acquainting the workers of the
nation with the aconomic and
. olitical policies of the Ameri
can Federation of Labor.
2. "fhe league shali prepare
and disseminate information con
cerning the attitude of candidates
for romination and—or election
to federal offices, with particular
reference to their attitude toward
the political and economic policies
of the American Federation of
Labor. *
3. The league shall take such
at he" actions as it may deem ad
,-isable in furtherance of its objec
ives.
4. The league shall provide for
ihe raising of necessary funds,
for the conduct of its business, in
fAich manner as it may deter
mine.
5. The league shall be author
ized to employ staff members
‘ecessary to conduct its business
and fix their compensation and
expenses.
Structure and Procedure
To effectuate these purpose®
wd attain these objectives, the
convention directed the calling of
this conference of presidents of
tjie affiliated National and Inter
national Unions. In so doing the
following proposals are submitted
for consideration amd disposition
by the conference as will meet
be wholeeharted approval of all
affiliates and we hope too will
omntend themselves to all per
sons and organizations interested
n the preservation and perpet
uity of the rights and liberties
of free workers, free trade unions
a* well as of free enterprise.
1. A national committee shall
he set up, consisting of the fol
lowing,:
(a) The American Federation
of Labor Executive Connell mem
lb) The presidents of all the
National and International Unions
affiliated with the American Fed*
crstioif of Labor.
*. The national committee shall
elect a chairman and a secretary
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reasurer for the league for the
•ear 1948.
3. An administrative commit
ee consisting of the members of
h1 rvecutive (^ouncil of the A.
F*. of L. and of fifteen (15) rep
resentatives of National and In
:ernational Unions selected by the
national committee. The admin
istrative committee is authorized
to add to its nimbers from time
to time additional members not to
gxceed five as circumstances and
the best interests of the league1
may require.
4. That each National and In
ternational Union set up its own
committee for the- purpose of
raising funds and each other
duties as time and experience
require. It is also proposed that
local union campaign committees
be formed to operate under the
direction of the National and In
ternational Union campaign com
mittees to carry out the pur
poses of the league.
5. State Federations of Labor
and City Central Labor Unions
shall set up state and city-wide
committees independent of their
trade* unions, and which shall em
brace representation of each craft
and class organized in the state
and—or city; and as far as prac
ticable. each Congressional Dis
trict should be represented on
the state committee from among
the several organizations.
6. The {tational committe*
shall meet whenever called into
onference by the administrative
committee and or when peti
tioned by at least a majority num
ber of affiliates.
7. The administrative com
mittee and all other committees
-.hull meet at such time and places
as may be determined by them
and under such rules as may he
adopted by them.
8. A national director and
such staff as may be necessary
shall be appointed by the admin
istrative committee to direct and
manage the activities of the
league under guidance and di
rection of the administrative com
mittee.
y. Regional directors may uc
appointed by the administrative
committee to advise and guide
local groups and assist them in
the techniques of campaign, to
help them to co-operate with
other elements in the community
and to correlate the work of the
different districts
10. A co-operative alliance may
be formed with friendly and co
operative groups in the various
Congressional Districts, such as
non-communist liberal organisa
tions and which receive the ap
proval of both the local commit
tees concerned and of the ad
ministrative committee. «
Tasks of the L. E. P. L.
1. A national headuarters shall
be set up to assist local organisa
tions, particulraly in the fields
of research and publicity. Its
duties shall include:
(a) Compiling detailed records
on candidates, including ireful
quotations from their speeches.
(b) Preparing radio material,
ncluding recordings of dramatic
programs, short spot announce
ments, etc.
<c) Preparing model speeches
and press releases.
(d) Preparing model ad lay
outs for newspapers, preparing
handbills, etc.
(e) Preparing special features,
with charts, cartoons, etc., for
labor pa peas.
(f) Coordinating the work of
state and Vocal committees
through regional organisers or
offices to the end that thorough
organization may be effected from
precinct to state levels.
2. The administrative commit
tee, after consultation and advice
of State Federations of Labor and
City Central Labor Unions, shall
recommend Congressional and
Senatorial endorsements subject
to the approval of the National
committee.
Character of Campaign
1. It is of utmost importance
to bring about the largest pos
sible registration of union mem
bers, their friends, associates and
sympathizers and in getting out
the votes.
In this connection, attention is
called to action of the recent A.
F. of L. convention heartily ap
proving the policy of mobilizing
labor’s strength so that it can
be, made most effective on elec
tion day. In addition to favor
ing legislation making either pri
maries, or election day, or both, ]
legal holidays, the convention
recommended that “affiliated or
ganizations and their local unions
in negotiating agreementwith
employers include provisions j
which would assure the workers (
a holiday or an adequate oppor-|
(unity to perform their essential |
obligations as citizens and to I
demonstrate the effective part
they can, and which they should
play in the election of public
officials.”
2. The broadcast possible co
operation of approved, friendly
and sympathetic groups is to be
encouraged.
'8. Thought should be given to
the .manner of enlisting reason
able support of the membership,
of employes of federal, state and
municipal governments and ot
political subdivisions thereof not
■ a vioiauon ot the hatch »Act,
and-—or other laws restricting
such employes engaging in politi
cal activities.
4. Women’s auxiliaries should
be given representation on com
mittees and be called on for serv
oil ail occasions.
5. The Taft-Hartley law shall
be one of the principle^ issues in
noting the candidates' records
on that point, as well as meas
ures designed to benefit the work
ers and their trade unions as weli
as measures designed for the
public good.
6. The administrative commit
tee shall determine the Congres
sional and Senatorial Districts
here the eftor.s of the league
houl.i be most 1 concentrated.
iVlu r. ver primary elections are
he determining factor, stress vs
<■ lii in such primary cam
paigns.
7. A constant and ever pro
gressive educational and public
relations program is to be en
gaged in making use of all media
of communication and as time and
opportunity accord and afford.
Financing of Campaign
As indicated in the recommen
dations adopted at the recent
convention of the American Fed
artion of Labor, funds for the1
conduct of the L. E. P. L. made
j imperative by the Taft-Hartley
i law, shall be raised by volun
tary contributions. Trade union
funds cannot be used for this
purpose.
To that end, it ia proposed: -
1. A special finance commit*
tee be appointed consisting of
such members as the adminis
trative committee may determine.
Further, that such finance com
mittee. in addition to designing
the plan for carrying on the ap
peal for voluntary contributions,
prepare and recommend from time
to time to the administrative
committee the budgeting and dis
tribution of funds received.
2. It is proposed that .poeh
National and International Un
ion appoint its own committee to
carry oH the appeal among their
members for voluntary contribu
tions. It is suggested, in, this
connection, that a goal of not less
han one dollar (fl.OO) per mem
ber be set for 1948 and that at
least fifty cents (60c) of each
dollar ($1.00) contributed be al
'ocated to the league, and the
other 50c be disposed of by local
or National and International Un
ion campaign committees as may
be directed by them. It is further
proposed that the local commit
tees co-operate with all National
and Inernational Unions in this
appeal.
3. The administrative commit
tee shall determine the amount
of funds to be allocated for use
from time to time by the state
and other committees.
It is urgent that all local, Na
tional and International Unions
cooperate to the fullest extent
in this appeal and leave no stone
upturned to assure the succesg
of the campaign about to be in
augurated.
4. The administration commit
tee to l>e empowered to amend
the rules of the league to meet
any legal reqirements that may j
1 appear.
Conclusion
As stated at the recent A. F.
of L. convention, if we are to j
serve most effectively th^ inter- j
ests of the workers of the nation ,
and adequately to meet the chal- j
lenge presented by predatory and ,
vested interests, we must then I
wholeheartedly ’respond to the
urgency of the occasion andj
unitedly co-operate in the highest'
(Continued on Fage 4)
^ ss «
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