North Carolina Newspapers

VOL. XVIII; NO. 31 CHARLOTTE, N. C„ THURSDAY. DECEMBER 18. 1917 Subscription <2.00 Per Year
Taft-Hartley Law Exposed!
This is the third of a series of articles 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
Swigcrt, law partner of Senator Robert A. Taft—enough said.
1. “The Right |0 Work’’
The Post article takes* the position that the “most basic
right” conferred by the new law is the provision which
outlaws the clo^bd shop and permits a union shop onlj
under certain lftnited conditions and for certain limited
In support of his, position, the author cites several ad
mittedly extreme" examples of situations where unions have
arbitrarily refused to accept employes into membership
under closed-shop contracts, in both of which cases a job
was lost. The author cites these abuses as sufficient
reason not only for correcting the abuses but for outlawing
the institution. In doing so, he purposely ignored the
fact that these infrequent abuses are very isolated and
extreme cases which do not justify the complete prohibition
or rigid restriction of the closed shop any more than it
would be reasonable to kill a patient for the purpose of
curing a cold.
Further, the author neglects to
note that, if such abuses do ex
ist, they cbuid be easily reached
by regulation prohibiting arbitrary
action in admission and expulsion
of members under closed shop
agreements. As a matter of
fact a remedy for such arbitrary
action already exists in the com
mon and statutory laws of the
states in any case .where a job is
Further, the article did not
note that the board under the old
Wagner Act had already adopted
various protections against ar
bitrary use of the closed shop.
Under the so-called “Rutland
Court doctrine,” unions are pre
vented, under certain conditions,
from utilising the closed shop to
expel a person for dual unionism.
The article, while stating that
the new law permits the union
shop under whicti employes can be
required to join the union 30 days
after they are hired, does not ex
plain how the union shop ha3
been rendered virtually meaning
less. ^ •
To begin with, before a union
shop agreement can even be dis
cussed with an employer, a great
many conditions have to be met.
First, various reports, statements
and affidavits, the latter attest
ing to the state of mind in re
spect to communism of persons
far removed from the employea
at a particular plant and from
the union which represents them,
first be filed. It must then be
shown that the union represents
a majority of the employes cov
ered by the contract. Following
this, an election must be held in
which a majority of all those in
the contract unit (not just a
majority of those voting, as is
common in political elections)
must indicate they desire a union
Under this regulation the fol
lowing can happen. Suppose there
are 100 employes in the contract
unit and only 50 show up at the
union-shop election, but all 50
vote in favor of the union shop..
The union shop is nevertheless
prohibited because the majority of
those in the unit did not acquiesce.
Further, this added election re
quirement casts an all but impos
sible burden upon the board.
There are over 50,000 union agree
ments in the country. The board
ordinarily conducts 5,000 repre
sentation elections a year, and it
is still six months behind in its
docket. Now, it must also con
duct union-shop elections. If any
issues are raised in connection
with the union-shop elections, it
is easy to see how the necessary
authorization can be postponed
for as long as two or three years
while the board attempts to wade
through its backlog of cases.
The foreoging are only pre
liminary requirements; even after
all of these requirements are ful
filled, the employer need not agree
to a union-shop contract, but
needs only listen to the union’s
arguments. Even if the employer
does finally agree to the union
shop, the act greatly limits the
application and effect of the
agreement if he, in his own mind,
believes that membership is not
available to all persons on the
same basis, or that the person
whose discharge was requested
was expelled for reasons other
than non-payment of dues or
initiation fees. By this device,
enforcement is predicted upon the
employer’s state of mind.
Even though the employer doe*
desire to comply, the union can
use the union shop only for the
purpose of enforcing collection of
dues. Thus, several of the prin
cipal functions of the union shop,
namely, to police an agreement by
expelling persons who violate it,
as by engaging in wildcat strikes,
and the elimination of labor spies
and saboteurs by causing their
(Continued On Page 4)
Washington. D. C.—AFL Pres
ident William Green urged sup
port for the activities of the Un
ion Label Trades Department with
special emphasis upon the ob
servance of Union Label .Week
beginning May 10, 1948.
In a circular letter to all or
ganizations affiliated with the
American Federation of Labor,
Mr. Green urged that wide pub
licity be given the observance
and that every effort be made V>
insure its success.
Mr. Green acted in response to
a mandate from the recent AFL
convention which requested all
unions to urge manufacturers to
use the union label on their prod
ucts and recommend that all pos
sible publicity be given to pro
mote the Union label, shop cards,
and service buttons.
The convention adopted a sep
arate resolution on the subject
of the designation of Union Label
Week. It stressed the necessity
of employing publicity to acquaint
the public with AFL policy on
labor-management-consumer rela
tions and to demonstrate the
many case* in which excellent re
lations do exist between labor
and management. The resolution
concluded as follows:
“Resolved, That the American
Federation of Labor approve of
this means of public relations and
I urge all national and international
| unions, state federatoins of labor,
I city central bodies, local unions,
I union label leagues and women’s
i auxiliaries of labor to co-operaete
■ in co-ordinating their activities
I for the display of everything that
I is union-made and services that
I are performed by members of
i the American Federation of La
I bor unions during that week; and
be it further
“Resolved, That the labor pa
' pers and labor jourrftls be urged
j to co-operate and that the radio,
' ag well as motion pictures, be
utilized for the purpose of pub
, licizing this Union Label Week.”
Geneva. Switzerland.—The Pre
I paratory Commission of the Inter
national Refugee Organisation an
| nounced that 56,625 displaced
. persons had been re-established
| in their countries of origin or in
new homes under the commis
sion's auspices during its first
| three months of operations.
About three-fifths of these per
(son* were settled in new homes
and the remainder were repatri
ated. From July 1 to October 1,
1947, the total number of persons
receiving care and maintenance
from the Preparatory Commission
(decreased from 663,400 to 656,
831. The net decreases was less
than the repatriation, and reset
tlement because the commission
took over responsibility for new
groups of refugees, including
more than 18,000 in the United
States zone of Austria.
In September, the United King
. dom received 3,084 displaced per
1 sons, Belgium 3,032, France 3,045,
Canada 1.187 and the United
' States 1,707. The largest groups
i of refugees returning to their
country of origin was 3,400 Poles,
1 followed by 2,241 Ukrainans.
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.
Conference Decides To Conduct All-Out Political Battle In 1948 Races
Washing-ten, D. C. — George
Meany, Secretary-Treasurer of the
American Federation of Labor,
called upon Congress to swiftly
enact the Marshall Plan for the
recovery of Europe as a means
of promoting world peace.
In a radio address over the na
tion-wide network of the Mutual
Broadcasting System, Mr. Meany
reiterated the position taken by
the AFL convention which met
last October in San Francisco.
Mr. Meany emphasized the need
to preserve the democratic way
of life in the nations of Western
Europe and declared that our
failure to render assistance in
their hour of need will result in
the expansion of Soviet Russia
over all of Europe. He declared
“Mr. Stalin, the Russian Hitler,
' and all his agents and henchmen
are raoving heaven and earth to
block the Marshall Plan. There
•s no mystery about their motive*.
They knew that if France and
Italy and the other non-Commu
nist countries fail to receive as
sistance, they will fall into the
Russian basket. Nothing helps
the Communist cause more elec
tive'/ than, hunger and misery
and economic chaos. Until aid
from America comes in time to
1 turn the tide, Stalin’s fifth col
umnists in these nations will con
tinue to have things the way the/
like them.
“If we do nothing, if we mak?
the tragic choice of saving some
money and letting Western Eu
rope work out its own salavation
unaided by America, it is bu‘
a matter of time, and not a great
deal of time at that, before we
will find we have a new neighbor
on the Atlantic shore.
“That neighbor will not be
frkndly to our way of life, will
not have our concei t of human
freedom, nor will that neighbor
Helieva ir. our kind of civilization.
If we permit the nations of Wes
tern Europe to fall, olir near
neighbor on the Atlantic will be
Joseph Stalin's brutal, fascist
dictatorship. Stalin will then be
master of all Europe. The Com
munist philosophy will then be
dominant in the world and we,
here in America, would find our
selves in a most uncomfortable
“America would then be con
fronted with the choice of letting
3talin 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 alohe.”
The ArL 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 Tom to Page 4)
Detroit—The automtive indus
try attained the highes production
month of 1947 during October
when factory sales of 431,001 new
motor rehilces were recorded, the
Automobile Manufacturers Asso
ciation announced.
The total Included 315,699 pas
senger cars, 118, 365 motor trucks
both monthly high points for the
year—and 1667 motor coaches, the
AMA report showed.
B^st previous month of 1947
was April when factory sales to
taled 423,399 vehicles, including
314,765 passenger cars and 106,
984 trucks.
Albany, N*. Y.—The AFL's New
York State Federation of Labor
voted to seek increases in unem
ployment insurance benefits and
workmen's compensation at the
next session of the state legis
The action was taken at the
federation's annual legislative
confetence attended by some 200
delegates representing the 1.500,
, 000 AFL members in New York
i State.
A bill approved by the con
ference would raise workmen's
compensation benefits from the
existing range of $12 to $28 a
week to $20 to $85.
Another bill approved would
raise the maximum unemployment
:rsuranre benefits from $21 a
| week to $27. The conference also j
decided to support recommenda- ;
ions which the unemployment i
insurance advisory council is ex- j
pectei to make to provide for I
dependency allowance* in addi
tion to the proposed higher rates.
While the advisory committee j
has not yet formulated its pro-[
gram, it was understood that it j
would rcomemend an allowance of
53 a week for the first dependent,
an additional $2 a week for a
second dependent and a further |
$2 for three or more.
The two unemployment insur-1
ance proposals would raise the,
maximum benefits to $34 a week, j
The present maximum of $21 ;
does not provide dependency al- j
The conference voted ‘also to j
seek repeal of the Condon-Wadlin
law, enacted last year at Gov
ernor Dewey’s insistence. It pro
- vide* for the automatic discharge
of any employe of a governmen
tal agency who goes on strike and
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
Cpndon-Waldlin law.
New York City—Hugo Ernst,
president of the Hotel and Res
taurant Employes and Bartender*
Union, announced that its Local
15 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 holidays,
giving them six annually. Othe^
questions, such as reduction £i
working hours and employer
contribution to a welfare fund
were placed in the hands of a
labor-management committee.
ffi . • j
Washington, D. C.—The AFL,'s
Metal Polishers, Buffers. Platers
and Helpers International Union
was honored by the American
War Dads organization for its
“outstanding and constructive
program” for veterans injured in
World War II.
At a recent conference of presi
dents of AFL national and inter
national unions, a beautiful bronze
plaque was presented to Ray Kel
say, union president, by Mr. Arch
Stafford, past national president
of the American War Dads. Pres
entation of the plaque was auth
orized by the 1947 annua! con
vention of the American War
Dads in recognition of the service
rendered by the union’s veterans
rehabilitation program.
The plaque was engraved with
the following inscription:
The preservation of the dig
nity of each individual human
being is the foundation of so
ciety and government.
“In the aftermath of war that
wrecked spiritual and physical
scar* on many boys, understand*
in* Of duty, to the <Jetr,oc0rtia
ideal of human valiies ofttimes Is
| dimmed.
“In convention assembled, the
American War Dads give unani
mous expression by this writing
to the altruism of the Metal Pol
ishers, Buffers, Platers and Help
ers International Union, affiliate
of til' American Federation of
Labor, for blending the skills of
brave and patient men with op
portunity and vision in the re
habilitation program of their vet
erans' division.
“Character is the measure of (
nobility. • Artisians sharing the*ir i
craftsmanship with others ,to the
end that ability supplants dis
ability, courage dislodges dis
couragement, and hope becomes
reality, is exemplification of noble
service and compliance with holy
“For a most outstanding and
constructive program instituted
in the industrial field of United
States for the sons of men
injured in unselfish sacrifice, we
do honor and confer this award.”
Accepting the plaque with Mr.
Kelsay were Dennis Oatea, vice
president of the- union, and Lewis
Ci. Hines, legislative representa
tive for the AFL.
St. Louis.—A voluntary wage
cut of 50 cents an hour for 60
electrical fixtures assemblers em
ployed in St. Louis fixture plants,
to restore the firms to an equita
ble competitive position, was part
of a contract signed by 15 firms,
it was announced.
Frank W. Jacobs, vice-president
of the AFL interantional Broth
erhood of Electrical Workers, said
the assemblers were reduced from
$1.60 to $1.10 an hour, tprgely on
a showing that the seats Por as
semblers in other major cities is
$1.06 an hour.
“W’e had succeeded in building
up wages for assemblers some
years ago when assembling of
ornate fixtures was a skilled job,’*
Jacobs stated, “but with changes
in production methods, St. Louis
manufacturers were being penal
ised by the high scale .
“It was a tough issue to face.
The wage cut was an unpopular
issue, but was accepted finally by
our members as a union respon
sibility to correct an inequity.
Washington. D. C.—AFL President William Green de
clared the purpose of Labor’s Educational and Political
League is to “obtain a real mandate from all the American
people in the 1948 elections.’'
Chicago.—The AFL's National
Federation of Post Office Clerks
called upon Congress to enact
legislation granting a permanent!
$1,000 a year salary increase to
all post office clerks.
This action was taken at a
special legislative conference here
attended by 309 delegates from
I 13 states and representing 70,000
of the nation’s 100,000 post office
! clerks. The resolution was passes!
1 unanimously.
Leo E. George, president of the
! federation, introduced the resolu
tion. In support of the measure
he declared that morale in the
postoffice department is at a low
I ebb because the starting salary
of $2,100 of clerks is insufficient
| to attract efficient personnel. Of
the employes in service, Mr.
George said the low salary scales
force many of them to take out
aide jobs in order to make ends
meet in these date.of sasd&y
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
setting starting salaries provided
the veterans joined the postal
Also adopted was a resolution
endorsing a proposal of Repre
sentative William H. Stevenson,
Republican, of Wisconsin, increas
ing annuity benefits at retire- j
ment. The plan, which has been
passed by the House and has re-,
ceived Senate committee approval,
would increase employe contribu
tions to 0 per cent from the pres
ent 5 per cent.
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
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 in principle, “It neverthe
less is the law of our lunu. ana
as Americans it is our duty to
abide by its terms as long as it
remains the law.”
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 i, per cent below the
all-time peak of May, 1920.
At 159.88, 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-j
trols were virtually scrapped. (
El Paso, Tex.—George F. Web
ber, AFL o.-ganiser, announcedI
the formation here of a local |
union affiliated with the Ameri-,
can Federation of Radio Artists, j
“We are^tryitig to bring about
a house-cleaning in Congress,” he
said, “a much-needed eviction of
those false representatives of the
neopie whose only loyalty is to
big business and great wealth.
YVe hope to defeat! all of them.”
___ The A FL president hit at the
National Association of Manufac
turers for the stand taken at ita
recent meeting to work for a
hngthening of the workweek and
the elimination of over-time pay
after 40 hours of w'ork. He de
“Not a word was said at this
convention about the crying need
for reducing the coat of living.
On the contrary, the National As
sociation of Manufacturers went
on record as opposing practically
all of President Truman's recom
mendations for halting inflation.
About the only suggestion the
NAM had to offer to increase
production and bring prices down
waa an endorsement of a longer
work week.
“Of course there is a hidden
joker in the NAM plan. If any
one takes the trouble to examino
the facts, he will find that there
is njh'1'og in the Fair Labor Stan
»tak# l!nw \r ib any union’ con
tract that limits working hours
to 40 a week. On the contrary,
labor in this country would be
glad to work longer than 40 hours
a week to increase production.
The only requirement! in law and
in union contracts is ' that over
time rates must he paid for in ex
cess of 40 hours a week.
“Naturally, the NAM will say
that overtime pay increases pro
duction costs and therefore prices.
That is not accurate, to say the
least. One does not have to be
an economist to realize that a
manufacturing plant, operating on
a 40-hour week, is bound to gain
considerable savings in overhead
if the workweek is lengthened.
For instance, its rent bill and its
property taxes would not be in
creased. In our expenjence, we
have found that the savings avail
able to industry in a longer work
week are more than sufficient to
absorb the extra cost of overtime
Mr. Green cited NAM's “lino”
as an example of the type of
propaganda which labor's political
organization will have ter combat
in their efforts to present the
truth to the American people.
Noting the tremendous wealth
lichind the NAM and the millions
which are spent by that organ
ization each year in newspaper
advertising and other forms of
publicity work, Mr. Green said
labor, too. must, enter the field
and spend money to win support.
He said:
“If !al>or hopes to combat these
powerful forces arrayed againet
it. we, too. will have to engage
in newspaper advertising and in
radio presentations in order to ex
pose the propaganda of our op
ponents and to bring home the
truth to the American people.
Such activities will cost a good
deal of money and Labor's Educa
tional and Political League will
have to depend on the dollar bills
contributed voluntarily by indi
vidual union members and their
friends in order to raise that
“The league also intends to ex
amine the voting records of all
members of Congress seeking re
election. These records will be
published and made available to
the voters in each district.
“Let me make it clear that if
a candidate for Congress voted
for the Taft-Hartley Act, he can
not hope to obtain the endorse
ment of the league.
(Contiaaed on Page 4)

Page Text

This is the computer-generated OCR text representation of this newspaper page. It may be empty, if no text could be automatically recognized. This data is also available in Plain Text and XML formats.

Return to page view