Page 11, 9th December 1938

9th December 1938
Page 11
Page 11, 9th December 1938 — AMERICAN LABOUR FORCES SPLIT,
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Locations: PITTSBURG, NEW YORK

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AMERICAN LABOUR FORCES SPLIT,

COMMUNISTS FALL THE C.I.O. AND

WITHOUT HONOUR

THE CIO. (CONGR ESS OF INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONS) HELD A CONVENTION AT PITTSBURG RECENTLY.

The two main results of the Congress are of the 'utmost importance. They are: 1, an official and apparently final break with the A.F.L. (American Federation of Labour); and 2, a triple defeat suffered by the Communist element in the C.I.O.

In connection with the latter point. it is interesting that the opening prayer of the convention was said by Fr. Charles Owen Rice, of the Catholic Radical Alliance, Pittsburg, and that two of the four newly-appointed officers of the

C.I.O. are Catholics.

From our own .01r-respondent

NEW YORK.

American Labour was definitely divided into two organizational groups when the C.I.O. drew up a constitution and set itself up as independent of the

A.F.L.

While American Labour has been divided for two and a half years by the break between the C.I.O. and the A.F.L., the C.I.O. constitution now makes the break an official, and apparently, a final one.

LABOUR CIRCLES BUZZING

The writing of a constitution was not the only news-making incident of the C.I.O. convention. Labour circles are still buzzing with excited comment over the triple defeat suffered by Left wingers in the C.I.O.

Leftist leaders sought to push through an amendment to the constitution which would guarantee that the C.I.O. would never discriminate against any workers because of their " political beliefs." Since Stalinist leaders were the only ones worried about this amendment, it was apparent that the effort was being made in their behalf.

Chairman Lewis soon closed discussion and the constitution was quickly ratified without the Leftist amendment.

SECOND SETBACK

The second setback suffered by the Stalinists came during the nominations of national officers.

Left wing leaders Curran (ex-Catholic), Bridges (Australian alien), Rathborne, Merrill (née Cohen) and Quill (ex-Irish Republican Army) descended on Lewis in their wrath and demanded nomination of John Brophy (Catholic, and former director of the C.I.O.) for the post of secretary-treasurer. Lewis was adamant, and in face of Left wing threats challenged the Leftists to a floor fight in the convention. The Leftists backed down, and the Lewis slate went through.

The new officers of the CIO. are : John L. Lewis, president; Sidney Hillman, veteran unionist and pink Socialist, vice-president; Phillip Murray. another veteran unionist, a Scottish Catholic, vice-president; James B. Carey, a Catholic, a youthful leader of the electrical workers, with a splendid record of honest, constructive unionism to his credit. secretary-treasurer.

"I DON'T MEAN YOU "

The third defeat suffered by the Left came in the way of a rebuke to Heywood Broun, president of the American Newspaper Guild, and the Guild itself. Broun had been instrumental in pushing through a resolution charging the Press with anti-Labour news treatment. Newspapermen working at the convention complained to Lewis, and Broun apologized to the working Press explaining that his censure was aimed at publishers, and not at reporters.

AWAY FROM THE LEFT The whole general line of the convention was toward the Centre, and away from—indeed, against the Left. The new tendency is undoubtedly the result of the storm of criticism visited on the C.I.O. because of Its tolerance of left wing factionists within the organization.

The location of the C.I.O. convention in Pittsburg undoubtedly aided the C.I.O. in its efforts to topple the Leftists. C.I.O. unions in the Pittsburg area, in which coal mines and steel mills are concentrated, are made up for the largest part of Catholic working men.




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