Page 3, 23rd December 1937

23rd December 1937
Page 3
Page 3, 23rd December 1937 — TRADE UNION SPLIT IN U.S.A.

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Locations: Washington, NEW YORK, Detroit


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Mistaken Aversion to C.I.O. by Some Catholics

From Our Own Correspondent


The long hoped for peace between the AFL (American Federation of Labour) and the CIO (Committee for Industrial Organisation), the two major labour unions in America, is as far off as ever, after the collapse of peace talks in Washington. After some preliminary fencing by unimportant underlings. the chiefs of the two unions, William Green of the AFL, and John L. Lewis of the CIO, met in Washington, and tried to find a means of patching up their difieiences.

The CIO put forth two claims: the allocation of specified industries for organisation by the CIO, and the recognition of CIO by the AFL as an entity in a unified labour movement. No progress was made at the talks, and now it is likely that jurisdictional disputes between the two labour bodies will continue on their unpopular way.

"Wildcat " Strikes In Detroit, the CIO has been having difficulties of its own, with several " wildcat or unauthorised sit down strikes called by local unions. Homer Martin, Detroit organiser, had his hands full, trying to get the local sit downers to recognise previously made contracts and return to work. But it was not merely a matter of irresponsibility on the part of local union heads that Mr. Martin had to face; with strong discipline he could have ironed out that difficulty—what complicated the problem was the extremism of a few left wingers in the local unions. The extremists were trying to prolong the strike chiefly to create unrest, and discredit Martin and other responsible union heads.

It should be noted that only a small minority favoured the wildcat strikes, and after Mr. Martin talked to the union men, the majority voted to end the sit down.

Clamping Down on Leftism

Because the CIO has these difficulties now and then with the leftists in the rank and file, some Catholics have raised their hands in high horror and charged the whole organisation with being Communist. On the other hand, Catholics who know what is going on in labour circles, look upon these internal fights against the left wingers as a healthy indication of a sincere attempt to keep the violent left wing unionists under stern control, and out of power. On the whole, the CIO's efforts to clamp down on leftism in its ranks have been effective; at the very least, it can be said that the CIO is not taking dictation, or even proferred advice from the left without a fight.

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