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North Carolina
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VOL. XIX: NO. 32
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Green Given Place
In New Worid Union
LONDON.—AFL President William Green was chosen a
member of the top executive board of the new anti-Com
munist International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.
AFL Secretary-Treasurer George Meany and Irving
Brown, AFL representative in Europe, were named alter
nates on- the policy-making panel which will govern the
confederation of 48,000,000 workers in 53 countries. Percy
Bengough, president of the Canadian Trades and Labor
Congress, was named to the executive board.
As the new organization formal- —-■ ....:
ly came into being, AFL Vice Pres
idents George George Harrison and
David Dubinsky said that the main
American objectives had been sup
ported by the founding conference
and are incorporated in the consti
The confederation pledged to
fight for workers and against to
talitarianism everywhere.
One article in the constitution
which did not mention communism
by name, called for establishment
of a world system of collective se
curity and urged support within
the framework of the United Na
tions for measures against totali
tarian aggression.
The confederation elected Paul
Finet, of Belgium president, Dutch
Delegate J. H. Oldenbroek of the
International Transport Workers
Federation as its first secretary
general, selected Brussels as head
quarters and named a 19-man ex
ecutive board, including 2 Ameri
Green and Murray Elected.
President William Green of the
AFL and President Philip Murray
of the CIO were elected to 2 of the
4 North American seats on the ex
Brown for the
Carey and EL
mer F. Cope for the CIO.
The constitution pledged the new
confederation to:
1. Co-ordinate the defense or free
trade unions against any campaign
“aiming at their destruction pr at
the restriction of their rights,” or
at their subjugation “by totalitar
ian or other antilabor forces.”
2. Establish a powerful interna
tional organization of free trade
unions to promote the interests of
working people throughout the
world and “enhance the dignity of
3. Assist in developing and fost
ering growth of trade unions in
economically and socially unde
veloped countries.
4. Work for full employment
anywhere and aid „the economic,
social and cultural interests of
countries suffering the after-ef
fects of war.
5. Protect and expand the sys
tem of free labor everywhere and
“eliminate forced labor every
6. Work for establishment of a
world system of collective securi
ty, but, pending its attainment, to
further and support within the U.
N. charter all measures necessary
(Continued On Page 5)
AFL Help Asked Oi
New Englod Study
Washington.—The N a t i o n a 1
Planning Association has asked the
American Federaltion of Labor to
join in a study and analysis of the
effect of national policies on New
The AFL’s New England region
al offices have been invited to par
ticipate actively in the formation
.of the Committee of New England
! to make the analysis and recom
| mend changes which may be need
led to assure the area’s full de
velopment along lines consistent
with its own and the national in
The Planning Association said
the work should be completed by
the end of 1950.
Formation of this special Com
mittee of New England results
from a request by the Joint Com
mittee an tb« Economic Report of
Congress tint NPA initiate a co
operative project to report to the
congressional committee on “The
Impact of Federal Policies on the
Economy of New England.”. The
proposed report would be along
lines similar to a special report
prepared under the auspices of the
NPA Committee of the South,
which was issued as a joint com
mittee print last July.
In accordance wjth NPA’s estab
lished procedures, the committee
members will be drawn from a
cross-section of leaders from all
parts of New England who are
broadly representative of the area’s
varied interests—from agriculture,
business and manufacturing, fi
nance, labor, government, and the
E. J. Coil, director of the Nation
al Planning Association, in an
nouncing the plans for the Com
mittee of New England, stressed
that the success of such a study
depends in large measure on the
support and co-operation of the
people of New England. He said:
“New Englanders themselves
know they can best decide what
they want, what they do not like,
and to what extent they agree that
federal action is helping or hinder
ing their region’s economic devel
Sees U. S. Neglecting
Its Musical Heritage
New York Correspondent for AFL News Service.
New York.—Federal, state and local governments “should con
sider seriously what can be done to further the arts in our country.”
The proposal is made by Secretary of Labor Maurie J. Tobin in
an exclusive article for the current “Alegro,” monthly publication
of Local 802, American Federation of Musicians.
“As a first step,” he writes, “it might be advisable for leading
groups in our midst to appoint a commission of outstanding citizens,
specialists in the various arts, to examine the state of the arts in
the United States and to make recommendations, after detailed
jstudy, to those in positions of influence and authority.
“In an investigation of this kind, I should like to see the status
of the musicians, as a creative being, thoroughly studied. I know
that organized labor, which would, of course, be represented on such
a commission, would thoroughly support such a project.”
The cabinet member declared that there is “insufficient encourage
ment given in our country to the development of our musical
heritage,” that musical talent in America “has little opportunity
for creative employment” and that each year “potentially fine tal
ents among our young men and women are driven away and
“It seems to me that as a country we should devote more of our
resources to maturing our human resources, not only physically
but also spiritually and culturally. I think that we must in coming
years seek out the talented youngsters—the potentially good artists,
whether with pallet or piano, with chisel or camera—aad encourage
them, help them so that our country can materially contribute even
more richly to the cultural growth of the democratic world.”
Dates of 1950 Primary Elections
| Second Primory
We* 1*4* State SwHm Im
Devaluation Hikes
Living Costs For
Britain’s Workers
General Secretary of Britain’s
Largest Trade Union, the Trans
port and General Workers’ Union.
London.—Once again, in time of
crisis, Britain’s Trades Union Con
gress was called upon by the
United Kingdom government to
advise on the best way of reaching
ment pn wages pol
licy with
The TUC general council’s decis
ion recommending a still stricter
policy of voluntary wage restraint,
marks a courageous attempt to
give an authoritative lead to
Britain’s trade union movement in
the critical economic situation.
This decision resulted from TUC
decisions which have been taking
place since the pound sterling was
devalued in September 1949.
The changed value of the pound
created a new situation. The cost
of living was bound to rise a few
points—automatically raising those
wage rates linked to the cost of
living by sliding-scale agreements.
It was also bound to increase rank
and rile pressure on other unions
to urge new wage claims. Any gen
eral rise in wages, salaries, or
profits, however, would raise labor
costs and so defeat the main ob
ject of the currency change, mak
ing Britain’s goods more competi
tive in North American markets.
Britain’s government, therefore,
approached the TUC with a view to
ensuring wage stability through
voluntary trade union co-operation.
As a result, the TUC’s general
council has announced a 7-point
policy statement, recommending
wages stabilization in relation to
the cost of living.
At present, the cost of living
index in Britain is 112. It is (fco
posed that all agreed wages in in
dustry should remain fixed for 12
months up to January 1, 1951, pro
viding that during that time the
cost of living figure does not rise
as high as 118 or fall below 198.
If either of these contingencies
should arise collective bargaining
machinery could be set in motion
so that unions could claim in
creased wages in relation to the
increased cost of living, and unions
which have sliding-scale agree
ments relating wages to the cost
of living should also be entitled to
claim increments due.
A 61-point rise in the cost of liv
ing would be equivalent to a 5 per
cent reduction in wages.
However, the object of this poli
cy is to stabilize prices and to pre
vent a rapid rise in the cost of
living. At the same time, this poli
cy preserves intact existing volun
tary negotiation machinery for use
in the event of a 6-point cost-of
living rise. Indeed, the policy state
ment insists that the existing ma
chinery must be preserved as the
only method of governing the ad
justment of wages and working
conditions, and maintaing the au-1
thority of the trade unions.
AFL Workers Start White House Repairs
WiiUiitML-Mmktn ef A PL MMiif tMn natane, met mm
o( their metayer, eecceeefel bidder fer the retract to receoatruct
the foundation valla aed interior ef Aaieriea’s meet reacted addreee.
Other APL workmen were bear iaeide the preeideatial roaideaco and
patting ap a high beard fence which will hide the lower pert ef the
White Heaae from public view during the repair work.
4,000 Fishermen
Go AFL In South
Biloxi, Miss.—One of the largest
independent fishermen’s organiza
tions in the Gulf Coast area has
affiliated with the American Fed
eration of Labor through the Sea
farers International Union.
J. L. Rhodes, AFL southern di
rector, said it is the Gulf Coast
!Shrimpers’ and Oystetmen’* Asso
1 ciaticn, heretofore an independent
association of fishermen
along the Gulf Coast area of Mis
sissippi, with headquarters at Bi
loxi, a branch office at Pascagoula,
Miss., and a large hotel at Bi'.oxi
for the convenience cf its members.
The association is completing its
affiliation as rapidly as the
change-over can be made. There are
almost 4,000 members in the asso
ciation and all of its members will
be transferred to the Seafarers In
ternational Union in accordance
with the affiliation agreement.
The Seafarers Inter national
Union chartered the Gulf Coast
Shrimpers’ and Oystermen’s Asso
ciation as a subordinate branch of
the Seafarers International Union
in the southern district.
Officers of the organization are
Louis Simmons, president; Mackie
Fountain, vice president; Charles
Allen, secretary, and Leon Strong,
Assisting in the affiliation and
negotiations leading up to the cul
mination of the affiliation effort
were W. L. Hines, president of the
Mississippi Federation of Labor
and organiser for the American
Federation of Labor, together with.
Zander Urges AFL
Spur Cooperatives
Kansas City, Mo.—Arnold S.
Zander, chairman of the AFL com
mittee on co-operatives and presi
dent of State, County and Munici
pal Workers, said co-operatives
stabilize farm income and protect
the family farm.
He participated in a panel dis
cussion at the 21st annual meeting
of the Consumers’ Co-operative As
i sociaiion. Other participants were
Secretary of Agriculture Charles
Brannar. and Jerry Voorhis, sec
retary’ of the Co-operative League.
Reviewing the role of co-opera
tives in the British Isles in aiding
i the economic position of working
people, Mr. Zander stressed the
j necessity for U. 3. union members
to spur the development of the co
operatives for their protection as
consumers and as an aid to
Reporting that the consumers’
co-operative association had start
ed with 13,000 in member capital
in 1929, President Howard A. Cow
den said:
"Today we have assets of $49,
000,000 and a members’ equity of
$26,000,000. We serve nearly 400,
000 farm and city people. If we
achieve the same average rate of
growth as European co-ops did
from their 21st to 42d year, we
will have quadrupled oar volume
and our membership, and multi
plied our capital 10 times.”
the Seafarers International repre
sentatives, U. C. Borsarge and
Leon Neira, and Vice President
Calvin Tanner.
Mates Mart Organizing Drive
For 1,000,000 More Members
WASHINGTON, — Harry O’ Reitty, AFL director of
organization, announced that state federations of labor are
setting January dates for Samuel Gompers Memorial Organ
izing rallies in the drive for 1,000,000 new AFL members
in 1950.
Label Trades Head
Is Critically III
Cornwall, N. Y —Ira M. Orn
burn, 60, secretary-treasurer of th«
AFL Union Label Trades Be part
ment, is seriously ill in Cornwall
Mr. Omburn suffered a stroke
and entered the hospital on Dec.
5. Dr. H. M. Gasparian, his phy
sician, said that Mr. Omburn is
Members of Mr, Omburat fam
ily were called to bis bedside, Mr.
Omburn is a native of Moberly,
1 Mo. He Joined the International
Union of Cigar Makers in 1908. He
has been secretary-treasurer of the
Union Label Trades Department
for many years and is the founder
of the Union Industries Show, the
only labor-management show of
its kind in the world.
Washington.—Stephen L. Debat
ta announced severance of his con
nection with the Trade Union Cour
ier. He wrote to the AFL News
“Following the denunciation in
your Nov. 29 issue of the Trade
Union Courier, published in New
York, I feel compelled for my own
protection to make it known
through your columns that I have
severed my connection with that
publication on Oct. 16 and do no
longer represent it here.
“Furthermore the Trade Union
Courier is no longer reprsented in
Washington and has no office here,
despite the fact that it continues
to carry on its masthead the ad
dress and telephone number of its
former office."
Ohio will hold its rally Jan 21
and 22 in Columbus. Indiana will
meet Jan. 28 and 29 in Indianapo
Southern states are setting dates
to follow consecutively after each
other in line with ths recommenda
tions of the • successful 14-stats
southern organizing conference
held in New Orleans.
The organizing rallies are the
opening features of the Samuel
Gompers Centennial Year to be ob
served throughout 1950 by the
American Federation of Labor in
honor of the 100th anniversary of
the founder and first president of
the AFL.
The year will open with a na
tional Gompers Memorial Dinner at
Hotel Statler, Washington, on Jan.
S, in advance of the January 27
birthday of Mr. Gompers.
The 1,000,000 member organis
ing drive is linked in with efforts
of AFL’s Labor League for Politi
cal Education to elect a liberal
Congress in the 1950 campaign;
Supreme Court
Says Local Option
Rent Law Invalid
Washington.—The constitutional*
ity of the 1948 federal rent control
Court recently in a fcrftr erder re
versing the decision of n lower
court The ruling, unanimous and
with Justice William 0. Douglas
not participating, upset a decision
by Judge Elwyn R. Shaw in the
Chicago Federal District Court
Judge Shaw had held the law in
valid because a "local option” clause
I allowed states or cities to end or
establish their own rent controls.
Judge Shaw construed this as an
unconstitutional delegation of pow
er by Congress. He found that it
would not have passed the 1948
statute without this "local option"
section, and consequently he held
the whole act invalid.
The Chicago case arose when the
Housing Expediter sued to stop *
Shoreline Co-o p e r a t i v e Apart
ments, Inc., of that city from evict
ing tenants of a co-operatively
owned apartment house. Udder the
law, tenants of a co-operative
house cannot be ejected unless 65
per cent of them are stockholders.
The expediter said that not that
many lived in the building.
In appealing the Shoreline case
to the Supreme Court, the Depart
ment of Justice said that about 14,
000,000 housing accommodations
remained under rent control in the
Tighe E. Woods, Federal Hous
(Continued On Page 5)
Union Label Drive
Interests Britishers
Washington.—British trades unionists like the American Fed
eration of Labor’s campaign for the use of union labels on union
made goods.
"Fh^ Town Crier,” Birmingham, England, labor weekly, asked
AFL Secretary-Treasurer George Meany for information on this
‘<T?VS of thing is not done very much over here.” Editor D.
Rhydderch of the paper told Mr. Meany. “We thought it would be a
good thing to devote some attention to what is an admirable trad*
union practice.
“I would like to borrow one of the little blocks you always have
“°nt P»*« your Weekly News Service (Allied Printing
Trades Council). This would be a useful example of what your
unions do.
Rhydderch also requested a copy of the picture published
by the News Service of the Glass Bottle Blowers aad Retail Clerks
Association exhibit at the St Paul convention.
I. M. Ornburn, secretary-treasurer of the AFL Union
Trades Department furnished a complete catalogue of union
a history of the union label campaign, copies of some of the
and the News Berries furnished the requests to make a siseabla
packet of infomatioB for Mr. Rhydderch.
_The moral of tha story is: If tho union label campaign has stirred
much interest in Birmingham, England, wouldn't it bs rimtlv
to our campaign everywhere here at horns?
to give a fresh
* .#

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