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‘“TVill you be at the union meeting tonight?” 

Free trade unions are an essential part of 
the democratic way of life. In a democracy 
each individual has a responsibility to be 
alert and to do his part. In a democracy it 
is the duty of each member of an organiza- 
tion to take a genuine interest in the affairs of 
that organization. Leaving your tasks for 
others to do is not the democratic way. 

Are you fulfilling your obligations as a 
trade unionist by attending meetings regu- 
larly? Or are you neglectful? You can’t 

be a good trade unionist unless you are a 
good citizen first—and a good citizen does 
not fail to attend and take an active part in 
the meetings of his union. 

Do your share to make democracy live. 
Take a genuine interest in the affairs of your 
union. Study the organization’s problems. 
Bring new members into the fold. And at- 
tend union meetings regularly. This is the 
democratic way—and it is also the sensible 
and practical way to build your trade union. 


ine Be 


Official Monthly Magazine of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations 

JANUARY, 1956 GEORGE MEANY, Editor Vol. 63, No. | 

Workers U; nite 

(ww Thee bese ie 

In our time, with its great concentrations 










Harry C. Bates 
Dave Beck 

James B. Carey 
Wittiam C. DoHERTY 
Davin DuBINsKY 
Grorce M. Harrison 

A. J. Hayes 

Maurice A, HutcHEsoN 
Josepu D. KEENAN 

O. A. Knicut 


The AFL-CIO Executive Council 



Cuartes J. MacGowan 
Davip J. McDona~p 
Wititram L. McFetripce 
Jacos S. Potorsky 

Wa ter P. ReuTHer 
Emit RIEvE 

Wititarp S. TowNnsenpD 
Ricuarp F. Wats 


of wealth and industry, vast powers are 
exercised by their possessors. The very 
concentration and possession are potent 
organization. Unless the workers had com- 
bined in unions of labor, their condition 
today would be such as to shock the mind. 

That any hope for material improvement, 
moral advancement or higher ethical con- 
sideration is possible without the organiza- 
tion of labor few now seriously believe. 
Yet when that which we call “the labor 
question” is discussed, there are not many 
who will undertake to ascertain the labor- 
ers’ side of it. 

The trade union demands a comprehen- 
sive reduction in the hours of labor so as 
to afford the workers sufficient leisure in 
which to cultivate their mental and moral 
faculties. It demands better homes, better 
surroundings, better opportunities for the 
cultivation of the higher and nobler func- 
tions of human activity. Asking nothing 
but what is just for ourselves, we impose 
no injustice upon others. 

The trade union cultivates self-respect, 
manhood and character. Its influence for 
good encompasses the whole human family. 
It seeks systematically to attain better rela- 
tions between the employers and employed. 
It compels a higher ethical consideration 
for the rights of all. 

As an individual gains strength by the 
exercise of natural functions, so do the 
laborers gain strength in proportion as they 
assert and manfully stand for their rights, 
and even make temporary sacrifices in 
order to attain them. Samuel Gompers. 


Our front cover this month is a color photo- 
graph which was shot at the close of the first 
day of the AFL-CIO convention. Taking part in 
the four-way handshake symbolic of the 
achievement of labor unity are, from left to 
right, James B. Carey, William F, Schnitzler, 
George Meany and Walter Reuther. Although 
American labor’s monthly magazine is now in its 
seventh decade of uninterrupted publication, this 
is the first time that we have ever printed a full- 
color photo on our front cover. 

Published monthly by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations at 901 Massachusetts 
\ve. N.W., Washington 1, D. C. Editor—George Meany. Director of Publications—Henry C. Fleisher. Managing Editor 

—Bernard Tassler. Assistant Editor—Fred Ross. 

Subscriptions, $2 a year in U.S. and Canada. Other rates on applica- 

tion. Entered as second-class matter at Washington and accepted for mailing at special rate of postage provided in 
Section 1103, Act of Oct. 3, 1917. No paid advertising is ever accepted. No material may be reprinted without permission. 

Fest Som 
17 CESSES 17 

vast 71st 


A band played 
as the delegates 
and guests assembled. 

The American and Canadian 
national anthems were sung. 
Cardinal Spc!iman delivered the invocation. 


What Happened... As It Happened 

Oh: OF THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS Federation of Labor and President Walter Re \\)er 
i American history took place in New York City’s of the Congress of Industrial Organizations. W hile 
vast 71st Regiment Armory during the morning of the delegates and guests were assembling, they 
Monday, December 5, 1955. It was then that were entertained by a band under the baton of 
the united American Federation of Labor and Paul Lavalle. 

Longress of Industrial Organizations was brought Mr. Reuther, as the convention’s temporary 
pinto being. chairman, spoke the following words: 

© At 9:30 o’clock the first constitutional conven- “On behalf of the Joint Labor Unity Commit- 
jin of the AFL-CIO was called to order jointly tee, I now declare this founding convention of the 
#y President George Meany of the American American Federation of Labor and Congress of 

MANUARY, 1956 3 

With this king-sized gavel, the AFL-CIO’s first convention was 

called to order by George Meany and Walter Reuther. 

Industrial Organizations in order for business.” 
The national anthems of the United States and 
Canada were sung by Miss Lillian Hayes and 
The delegates and 

Joseph Bono, respectively. 
guests joined in the singing. All remained stand- 
ing as the invocation was delivered by His Emi- 
nence, Francis Cardinal Spellman. 

“Bless, O Lord, we beseech Thee,” said the 
Cardinal, “this merger of our nation’s two great 
labor bodies and grant peace and harmony in all 
their deliberations and actions. Let the spirit of 
cooperation and collaboration prevail in the difh- 
cult days ahead when so many complex problems 
challenge the wisdom and restraint of its leaders. 
We pray Thee, bless them with knowledge and 
understanding, wisdom and justice in their coun- 
cils. Let this new unity which brings 15,000,000 
laboring men together in common purpose be the 
means of renewing their remembrance of Thy 
provident care and of Thy bountiful provision for 
all their needs.” 

And Cardinal Spellman’s invocation closed 

with these words: 


The delegates were welcomed to 
the metropolis by Mayor Wagner, 
son of Wagner Act’s author. 

“From strength to strength may organized labor 
go forward, remaining conscious always of the 
stewardship it holds for so many millions of 
workers as it closes the ranks today in this his 
toric merger, and may the blessing of God the 
Father, of Christ the Worker and of the Holy 
Spirit be with it now and always.” 

Then the delegates and guests took their seats. 
and Temporary Chairman Reuther introduced the 
president of the New York City Central Trades 
and Labor Council, the secretary-treasurer of the 
New York City Industrial Union Council, the 
president of the New York State Federation o! 
Labor and the president of the New York State 

Each o! 

the four New Yorkers warmly welcomed the cor- 

Congress of Industrial Organizations. 


Mayor Robert F. Wagner, son of the late Sena 
He ex 
tended his best wishes for the success of “your 
noble work for the betterment of America and 

tor Wagner, addressed the convention. 

the world.” 
“You who have assembled in this convention 



have ha 
you to 
you hay 
will anc 
a furthe 
not end 
bers of 
hailed t 
in brin; 
have be 
united | 
At tl 
the unit 
ion. M 
“T wa 
“Tt is 
at this t 
me to e 
made to 
for itsel 


The delegates’ unanimous 
choice for the presidency of 
AFL-CIO was George Meany. 

have had many knotty problems to solve, to bring 
you to this point,” Mayor Wagner said. “That 
you have worked out so many is a tribute to your 
will and to your purpose. It is encouraging and 
a further tribute that you know that your work is 
not ended.” 

Temporary Chairman Reuther asked all mem- 
bers of the Joint Unity Committee to rise. He 
hailed them as “the people who have worked hard 
in bringing us where we are today—who really 
have been the architects of this beginning of a 
united labor movement.” The audience applauded 

At this point Mr. Reuther, with appropriate 
remarks, yielded the gavel to Harry C. Bates, a 
veteran of American trade unionism, a leader in 
the unity efforts and the president of the Brick- 
layers, Masons and Plasterers International Un- 
ion. Mr. Bates spoke as follows: 

“T want to thank President Reuther for his kind 
remarks. Up until he made this speech here this 
morning I didn’t know that I was such a good 

“It is with great pleasure that I present to you 
at this time one of America’s most able and dis- 
tinguished labor statesmen. It is unnecessary for 
me to elaborate on the wonderful contributions 

made to labor by this man. His record speaks 

for itself. I present for an address to this con- 

JANUARY, 1956 

vention Brother Walter Reuther, president of the 
CIO and president of the United Automobile 
Workers, CIO, of America.” 

Delegates Hear Walter Reuther 
In his address to the convention, Temporary 
Chairman Reuther said: 
“All of us are truly blessed in having the great 

Applause was frequent during 
the thrill-packed morning session 
cf the convention’s opening day. 

This picture of the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO was snapped shortly after these men had been elected 

by the convention. 

Seated, left to right, are Harry C. Bates, James C. Petrillo, David Dubinsky, Matthew 

Woll, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer William F. Schnitzler, AFL-CIO President George Meany, Walter 
Reuther, George M. Harrison, David J. McDonald and James B. Carey. In the second row are A. Philip 
Randolph, Maurice A. Hutcheson, Dave Beck, A. J. Hayes, William C. Doherty, Charles J. MacGowan, 
William L. McFetridge, A. L. Spradling, Jacob S. Potofsky and Willard S. Townsend. In the back 
row: O. A. Knight, Joseph Beirne, Richard F. Walsh, L. S. Buckmaster, Herman Winter, Emil 

Rieve, Joseph Curran and William C. Birthright. Vice-President Joseph D. Keenan is not in this picture. 

human experience of sharing in the shaping of the 
decisions of this historic convention. In truth we 
stand on the threshold of the beginning of what I 
know will be the most glorious chapter in the his- 
tory of the American labor movement. 

“Millions of workers throughout the warld are 
watching us with high hope and rejoicing as they 
see the forces of free labor joining together in this 
convention. And behind the Iron Curtain, where 
men slave in the darkness of the Communist ty- 
ranny, our actions here this week will give men 
renewed hope in their struggle to be free. 

“We are building a new and united labor move- 
ment, and we are building it well, because the poli- 
cies that we have established are morally right and 
they are socially responsible. We are building on 
a foundation of principles that are both sound and 

“We say frankly we have not achieved perfec- 
tion, because no work of man is perfect. There 
will be problems, but I believe with all of my 
heart that the same good will, the same common 
sense and the same good faith that brought us from 
where we were to where we are today, that same 

good sense and good faith will solve the new prob- 


lems that may lie ahead in working out the final 
mechanics of labor unity. 

“I say to George Meany and our many friends 
who make up the leadership of the former Ameri- 
can Federation of Labor unions, and I say this in 
behalf of myself and my colleagues and for the 
millions of workers back home whom we have the 
privilege of representing—I say, George, to you 
and your colleagues we extend the hand of friend- 
ship and the hand of fellowship, and I say, te- 
gether, united in the solidarity of human brother. 
hood, we shall go forward to build a labor move: 
ment and a better America for all people in this 
great and wonderful country of ours. 

“This is an unparalleled opportunity to begin 
to lay the basis for moving forward, for organiz 
ing the millions of unorganized workers who are 
still denied the protection and the benefits that only 
trade union membership can give them. 

“T am confident that we will find the means of 
rising above the conflicts of the past and we will 
find a way in America to organize the unorganized 
into craft unions where that is proper and into 
industrial unions. There are enough unorganized 

workers in America to keep every craft union and 


years t 
to the | 
these ¢ 
are the 
hour d 
cial se 
shall a, 
of org: 
who ye 
was di 

that wh 
We wil 
good f 
That sh 


our nei 
cause ¥ 
tions, a 


will all 
in buil 




industrial union working side by side for many 
years to come, if we do the job together. 

“Every union can grow. Every union can bring 
to the membership that they bring into their ranks 
these great blessings of organized labor. 

“Now, as we meet today our enemies have plans 
under way to mobilize their forces. These are the 
forces of selfishness and greed and reaction. They 
are the same forces who fought against the eight- 
hour day, against the child labor law, against so- 
cial security, against free public education. They 
shall again be rising up and challenging the rights 
of organized labor to come together. Watch the 
editorial columns, and many of the same papers 
who yesterday criticized labor because its house 
was divided—they are now going to criticize us 
because we are united, because they say this is the 
beginning of a monopoly. 

“We say they are wrong. We agree with Mayor 
Wagner. We reject the slogan of General Motors 
that what is good for G.M. is good for America. 
We will buy Mayor Wagner’s slogan that what is 
good for America is good for American labor. 
That shall be our slogan. 

‘“‘We want to make progress, not at the expense 
of our neighbors; we want to make progress with 
our neighbors and with the American people be- 
cause we share the same hopes, the same aspira- 
tions, and we dream the same dreams of a better 

“We offer our hand to men and women of good 
will all over America, and we say, let us work 
together in the vineyards of American democracy 
in building a better tomorrow in which people 

JANUARY, 1956 

everywhere can share more fully in the blessings 

of economic and social justice, in which people can 
live at peace and freedom together. * * * 

“Senator Goldwater proposed yesterday that the 
American labor movement be politically disfran- 
chised. He says we have no rights with respect to 
endorsing candidates for public office. I say what 
we need to say to Mr. Goldwater is, ‘Our answer 
to you, Senator, is not less political action but more 
political action on the part of the American labor 

“This is our country. We are workers and we 
are citizens, and politics is the practical house- 
keeping job of democracy, and the American labor 
movement intends to help keep that democracy in 
this country of ours. 

“We have said very clearly that we are going 
to work within the two-party system, endorsing 
candidates not based upon their party label but 
based upon the competence and the integrity of 
the individual, and where his party stands on the 
basic issues as they affect the American people. To 
do this we need to work hard to raise the level of 
political understanding in America on the part of 
the great mass of people. * * * 

“TI say to George Meany: George, this is a great 
new beginning. You will lead the American labor 
movement to higher and higher levels of achieve- 
ment. You will enable the labor movement to make 
a greater and greater contribution to the whole of 
America and the free world. And I pledge to you, 
George, with all of my heart, that those of us who 
share in the leadership of the CIO shall stand with 
you, and together with your colleagues from the 

Elected by unanimous vote as 
first secretary-treasurer, William 
F. Schnitzler pledged that he 
would give his very best. 

James B. Carey was a very 
active figure throughout the 
history-making convention. 

AFL we shall fight together, we shall march to- 
gether, we shall build together, and we shall win 
together that better tomorrow for the American 

“Thank you and may God bless all of you.” 

William F. Schnitzler, for the Joint Labor Unity 
Committee, acting as the convention’s Credentials 
Committee, reported as follows: 

“We have received the names of 1,487 certified 
delegates eligible to be seated in the first constitu- 
tional convention of the American Federation of 
Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, 
representing 135 national and international un- 
ions, five departments, ninety-three state branches, 
490 central bodies and industrial union councils, 
148 local unions and local industrial unions, and 
recommend that they be seated forthwith.” 

The report of the Credentials Committee was 
adopted unanimously. 

Temporary Chairman Reuther then recognized 
James B. Carey, president of the International Un- 
ion of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers. 
He read the convention call, and the delegates or- 
dered it inscribed in the official minutes. Then Mr. 
Carey read the report of the Joint Unity Commit- 
tee setting forth proposed rules and order of busi- 
ness for the convention. They were approved 
by the delegates. 

David McDonald, president of the United Steel- 
workers of America, in an address to the conven- 
tion on behalf of the Joint Unity Committee, ex- 
pressed his feeling of tremendous pride “in being 
privileged to make this report” detailing the steps 


which had culminated in the achievement of the 
AFL-CIO merger. 

“T was there in °35 when we separated,” Mr. 
McDonald said, “‘and I am more than delighted to 
have played a small role in bringing about organic 

The Steelworkers’ leader, in the concluding por. 
tion of his speech, emphasized that American la. 
bor, united, will be “a more effective instrumen. 
tality for the national good.” 

“We have the magnificent opportunity through 

unity,” he said, “to build to new heights our demo. 
cratic, responsible, united labor movement. Ow 
AFL-CIO is based upon a full recognition and ae. 
ceptance of the inherent dignity of the human per. 
sonality. We are dedicated to the building of a 
better future for the people of our nation and for 
a stronger free world.” 

For the Joint AFL-CIO Unity Committee, Mr. 
McDonald then submitted the following resolu 

“Be Ir REsoLveD, That this initial constitu. 
tional convention of the American Federation of 
Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations 
confirms and ratifies the action of the separate con- 
ventions of the American Federation of Labor and 
of the Congress of Industrial Organizations in rati- 
fying, approving and adopting the resolution on 
the achievement of labor unity, the agreement for 
the merger of the American Federation of Labor 
and the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the 
implementation agreement and the constitution of 
the American Federation of Labor and Congress of 
Industrial Organizations.” 

The resolution was submitted to the delegates in 
a standing vote. Temporary Chairman Reuther 
then said: 

Charles MacGowan (left) of the Boilermakers 

gave a light to David McDonald, president 
of the United Steelworkers of America. 


tion has 
this gree 

The a 

Mr. R 
Bates o 
nized PI 

“It ha 
of the ¢ 
at conve 
ions tha 
name of 
The fou 
ing con: 
We will 
virtue o 
each me 
for the 
great bo 
by side 
man car 
every hi 
peace is 

“As é 
new hor 

the fow 


Walter Reuther’s speech nominating George Meany for the presidency was enthusiastically applauded. 

“The chair is proud to declare that the resolu- 
tion has been adopted by the unanimous action of 
this great convention.” 

The applause was deafening. 

Mr. Reuther then yielded the chair to President 
Bates of the Bricklayers, who announced that 
nominations were now in order and then recog- 
nized Plumbers’ President Peter T. Schoemann. 

“Tt has always been a custom and tradition,” Mr. 
Schoemann told the convention, “‘not only of the 
American Federation of Labor but at conventions 
of the Congress of Industrial Organizations and 
at conventions of international and national un- 
ions that a delegate from the union of which the 
proposed nominee is a member would place the 
name of that nominee before the convention. * * * 
The foundation for this new home of labor is be- 
ing constructed by this first convention. * * * 
We will build the structure on this foundation by 
virtue of the mutual respect and tolerance that 
each member of this new house of labor will have 
for the problems and interests of each affiliated 
union. Within this new house of labor the two 
great bodies of the labor movement will work side 
by side to create such a strong structure that no 
man can destroy it. Because we all know that in 
every home there must be unity and harmony if 
peace is to prevail. 

“As a first step in rearing the structure for this 
new house of labor where we are today building 

the foundation, and in the interests of building 

JANUARY, 1956 

this foundation in the spirit of unity and harmony, 
as the general president of the United Association 
of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing 
and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and 
Canada, I now yield and relinquish the floor to 
Brother Walter Reuther, the president of the Con- 
gress of Industrial Organizations, and give to him 
the first honor and the first place on the floor of 
this convention to lay the first brick in this new 
house of labor so that, in turn, we all may follow 
and build a permanent and enduring structure.” 

George Meany Is Nominated 

Brother Reuther went to the microphones and 
spoke as follows: 

“This is indeed one of the happiest moments of my 
life when | rise before this convention to place in nomi- 
nation the name of a great man to lead in the building 
of this greater labor movement. I am going to say a 
lot of wonderful things about this man because I believe 
them deep down in my heart. There is only one think 
that I want to say that I am unsure of. I have been ad- 
vised by Pete Schoemann that my candidate is a good 
plumber, but I have no personal knowledge of that. All 
of the other things that I shall attribute to him are 
things of which I have first-hand and personal knowl- 

“He is a great trade unionist. He is a great Ameri- 
can and a great leader. He is a man out of the ranks of 
labor and he knows the problems and the needs of the 
average American working family. He understands 
their hopes and their aspirations and their dreams. 

“His capacity as a leader was recognized early, and 
he rose steadily through his own union, through the 
State Federation of the State of New York, and then 


finally he was chosen as the secretary-treasurer of the 
American Federation of Labor and then advanced to 
its highest office, the presidency. 

“Through years of dedicated service he has won the 
loyalty and the respect and friendship of millions of 
workers throughout our great country. He is a man 
with great courage and deep conviction, a man of intelli- 
gence, a man of courage and integrity. He loves justice, 
but he hates injustice and all forms of tyranny. His has 
been the strong and clear voice speaking out against 
racial intolerance and discrimination in our national life. 
His has been the voice warning labor that it must clear 
its house of corruption and those who would comprom- 
ise the ethical and moral values which have symbolized 
the greatness of our free labor movement. 

“He has made an outstanding contribution not only 
in America but in the world labor movement. He has 
served as a vice-president of the International Confedera- 
tion of Free Trade Unions, and in that capacity has made 
a great contribution mobilizing forces of the free world 
in the struggle against the evil, ugly and immoral forces 
of Communist tyranny. 

“His was among the earliest voices in the ranks of 
labor urging unity, making it understood that no one 
should have a vested ‘interest in division and disunity. 
He understood from the very beginning that the whole 
labor movement transcends in importance the interests 
of any section of the labor movement, even though it 
may be your own section. He believed within the family 
of a united labor movement there could be worked out a 
proper, harmonious and constructive relationship be- 
tween both craft and industrial unions. Both being 
recognized as equal and necessary, both having a great 
deal more in common than they have in conflict. 

“During the many meetings of the Unity Committee 
his was a voice of wise counsel, patience and understand- 
ing. And, therefore, it was logical that when we got to 
that place in our discussions that we talked about who 
should lead this new labor movement, his name was ob- 
viously, universally and with great enthusiasm chosen. 

“He is a man of good will, a man of good faith, a man 
of deep religious convictions. He has faith in his God, 


faith in his fellow man and faith in the cause of organized 

“I am confident that he will guide this movement of 
ours with a steady hand but with a sensitive heart, with 
understanding, for he, too, knows that power without 
morality, power untempered by humility, breeds great 
dangers. And he will wield the power that he will have 
as the president of the largest free trade union in the 
world. He will wield that in the interest of people. in 
the interest of advancing basic democracy and human 
values that we say free people cherish. 

“T am confident that we can all leave here, on the con- 
cluding day of this convention, sure in our hearts that 
our union is in good hands, in the able hands of the man 
who will lead us to great achievements, who will write 
this, the most glorious chapter in the history of organized 

“It is a great personal privilege and high honor to 
have the opportunity of placing in nomination for the 
presidency of the American Federation of Labor and 
Congress of Industrial Organizations that great Ameri- 
can, that great trade unionist, a man I consider a great 
and wonderful personal friend, George Meany.” 

After Walter Reuther had nominated George 
Meany for the presidency of the AFL-CIO, the 
nomination was seconded by Plumbers’ President 
Schoemann and by Thomas A. Murray, the veteran 
president of the New York State Federation of 
Labor. The chairman then called for further 
nominations. There was none. George M. Harri- 
son, president of the Brotherhood of Railway 
Clerks, moved that the nominations be closed and 
that the unanimous ballot of the convention be cast 

for Mr. Meany. 

William F. Schnitzler, carrying out the unani- 

mous mandate of the convention, solemnly spoke 

as follows: 




the pos 
tion of 
The de 
newly « 
duct th 
credit < 
of the 
and to 

rr ea ey 


In ac 
chair ay 
was the 


Veteran Matthew Woll played an important 
role in AFL-CIO’s initial convention, 

just as he had done at so many other 
labor sessions in the past forty years. 

“Chairman Bates, I hereby cast the unanimous 
ballot of this convention for George Meany for 
the position of president of the American Federa- 
tion of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organi- 
zations for the ensuing term.” 

“And I,” intoned Mr. Bates, “declare George 
Meany duly elected as president of the American 
Federation of Labor and Congress of Industria] 
Organizations for the ensuing term.” 

There was utter pandemonium as President 
Hundreds of photo- 
graphs were snapped by an army of cameramen. 
The delegates and guests applauded, cheered and 
whistled. Mr. Bates presented the gavel to the 
newly elected head of the combined AFL-CIO. 

“I know,” said Mr. Bates, “that you will con- 

Meany stepped forward. 

duct the affairs of this great organization with 
credit and honor to yourself and to the interests 
of the 15,000,000 members of the organization 
and to the country as a whole. I wish you every 
success in your future endeavors.” 

President Meany then delivered his acceptance 


At the conclusion of his address, President 

Meany was given a tremendous ovation. 

In accordance with the merger agreement, the 
chair announced that the next order of business 
was the election of the AFL-CIO’s vice-presidents. 
Matthew Woll, beloved veteran of American trade 
unionism, nominated the following: George M. 

Harrison, Harry C. Bates, W. C. Birthright, W. C. 

JANUARY, 1956 

Doherty, David Dubinsky, Charles J. MacGowan, 
Herman Winter, William L. McFetridge, James C. 
Petrillo, Dave Beck, Maurice Hutcheson, A. J. 
Hayes, Joseph D. Keenan, A. Philip Randolph, 
Richard Walsh, A. L. Spradling and Matthew 
Woll. Emil Rieve nominated the following: Walter 
Reuther, James B. Carey, Joseph Curran, L. S. 
Buckmaster, O. A. Knight, Joseph A. Beirne, 
David J. McDonald, Jacob S. Potofsky, Willard S. 
Townsend and Emil Rieve. 

There were no additional nominations. The 
twenty-seven vice-presidential nominees were de- 
clared elected unanimously. 

The next order of business was the election of 
the AFL-CIO’s first secretary-treasurer. William 
F. Schnitzler was nominated by James B. Carev 
who said: 

“It is appropriate that I, who have been privi- 
leged to serve for years as secretary-treasurer of 
the CIO, should have the added privilege and 
honor of nominating the first secretary-treasurer 
of the united American labor movement. 

“Our first secretary-treasurer of the American 
Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial 
Organizations will be a man who knows the Ameri- 
can labor movement intimately—from its grass 
roots to its highest pinnacles of responsibility and 
leadership. The first secretary-treasurer of the 
AFL-CIO will be a man who came from the rank 
and file, served as business agent of his local and 
then as an international representative of his un- 
ion. His talents and conscientiousness soon ele- 
vated him to higher positions of trust and honor 
— first as vice-president of his international union 
and then as president. 

“‘As secretary-treasurer of the AFL since 1953, 
he has more than justified the faith and confidence 
that both his colleagues and the rank and file had 
placed in him. A leader of outstanding integrity, 
vigor and imagination, he has performed bril- 
liantly his multiple tasks as secretary-treasurer 
of the AFL. 

“The great confidence reposed in him in the past 
gives substance to the confidence we place in him 
today—for the future. 

“T am deeply pleased and honored to nominate 
as the first secretary-treasurer of the American 
Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial 
Organizations one of the chief architects of labor 
unity, one of the prime builders of our new house 

of labor—William F. Schnitzler.” 


Machinist Al Hayes 
was elected to AFL-CIO 
Executive Council. 

Labor unity pleased 
Bill McFetridge of the 
Building Service Union. 

James C. Petrillo was 
elected to the Council. 
He leads Musicians. 

Louis Marciante, president of the New Jersey 
State Federation of Labor, seconded the nomini- 
tion in a short speech in which he recalled that 
he had known Mr. Schnitzler as an outstanding 
trade unionist over a period of many years and 


had watched his steady “‘growth and development” 
with profound pleasure. 

“T inspected the size of his hat this morning,” 
Mr. Marciante asserted, “‘and it is the same size 
hat he had twenty-five years ago. He is still the 
same Bill Schnitzler who can represent labor's 
viewpoint intelligently and in the fashion that the 
American trade union movement demands.” 

After the convention had unanimously elected 
Mr. Schnitzler, President Meany spoke as follows: 

“This gives me as much pleasure as anything 
that has happened here this morning.” 

Sehnitzler Is Elected 

Secretary-Treasurer Schnitzler told the conven- 
tion that he was “moved beyond words.” He said 
that he was deeply appreciative of “the honor that 
has been bestowed on me.” He paid a high tribute 
to the Unity Committee “that gave of itself so 
much during these past months—men who had 
dedicated themselves to bringing about the merger 
of these organizations.” 

“During this entire time I have seen how they 
have given so unselfishly of themselves,” Secre- 
tary Schnitzler declared. “They had one great 
role that they had to accomplish, and that was the 
unifying of these great federations.” 

He closed his acceptance remarks with the fol- 
lowing words: 

“From this morning on we venture into a new 
era. This convention will be writing new goals, 
will be drawing now horizons, and charting courses 
to achieve that which we have established for our- 
selves. And for me personally, I hope that each 
one of you are imbued in the same manner and 
spirit that, as we enter this new era, we enter it with 
the greatest comforts, that the leadership that will 
be given by the same men who made the merger 
possible will lead us to newer and greater heights 
than ever before. 

“From the bottom of my heart, I want to say 
thanks in the humblest way possible, and look for- 
ward to the help and the cooperation from each 
and every one of you as we carry out our respon- 
sibilities that lie immediately ahead of us. With 
the good Lord willing, we will be together and 


are | 



The ¢ 
of th 





| yon: 



The Kohler Chorus sang 

‘We Shall Not Be Moved’ and 

‘Your Land and My Land.’ 

nother number was the current 

hit, ‘Sixteen Tons.’ 

Delegates’ contributions to 

aid the Kohler strikers 

were generous after they heard 
President Meany say: 

‘We should determine that 
these strikers shall not lose.’ 

again and again, reviewing our successes and 
charting new goals for the memberships that we 
are honored and privileged to represent.” 

President Meany introduced the new vice-presi- 
dents, Brothers Townsend, Spradling, Randolph 
and Walsh. He then told the delegates that, in 
accordance with the instructions of the Joint Unity 
Committee, all the committee business would be 
conducted by one over-all Resolutions Committee. 
The co-chairmen were Matthew Woll of the Photo- 
Engravers and David J. McDonald of the Steel- 
workers. The co-secretaries were Joseph Curran 
of the National Maritime Union and Reuben G. 
Soderstrom of the Illinois State Federation of 

At the afternoon session the convention was ad- 
dressed by President Eisenhower, speaking over a 

AFI tin 

Vice-President George M. Harrison was named a 
member of the AFL-CIO Executive Committee. 

JANUARY, 1956 


Lawyer J. Albert Woll listened 
to Joseph A. Beirne, the president of 
the Communications Workers of America. 

direct telephone wire from Gettysburg, Pennsy]l- 
vania. [The text of Mr. Eisenhower’s address 
begins on Page 45.] 

The Resolutions Committee submitted resolu- 
tions on civil defense, cooperatives, foreign con- 
tract labor and migratory farm workers, home 
rule for the District of Columbia, statehood for 
Alaska and Hawaii, public safety and public rela- 
tions. Delegate Curran and Delegate Soderstrom, 
as co-secretaries of the Resolutions Committee, 
alternated in reading the resolutions and the com- 
mittee’s reports. All the resolutions which were 
submitted to the convention at the afternoon ses- 
sion won the delegates’ approval. 

At 3:30 o’clock the momentous first day of the 
merger convention went into recess. 



Reuther, representatives of the organ- 
izations which have joined here to- 
day, the Executive Board of the C1O, 
Executive Council of the American 
Federation of Labor, and delegates 
in attendance at this most important 

I feel that this is the most impor- 
tant trade union development of our 
time. Whether we deserve the atten- 
tion or not, | am quite sure that the 
eyes of workers all over .the world 
are on this meeting this’ morning. 
Millions of workers, millions of ordi- 
nary people behind the Iron Curtain 
of despotism and degradation, are 
looking toward us this morning with 
eyes of hope. Many millions more, 

who live in the shadow of that curtain 
of iniquity, are, | am sure, praying 
for the success of this organization 
which we are bringing into being 


I can readily understand the feel- 
ing of elation which I sense present 
here today among the delegates and 
surely among the officers over the end 
of these years of division and of the 
inauguration of this new united 
movement. I too, share that feeling 
of elation that we have come this far 
along the road to unity for all labor 
in America. But when I think of the 
opportunities that lie ahead and of 
the tremendous responsibilities that 
go with those opportunities, I give 
way to some sober thought as to our 
obligation to meet the test, not only 
of grasping these opportunities for 
moving forward, but also of remov- 
ing the obstacles and solving the 
problems that will lie in our path of 
meeting the test of great responsi- 
bility that goes with an organization 
of 15,000,000 citizens in a nation of 
160,000,000 people. 

I think in approaching this task we 
should take a serious and good look 
at ourselves to make sure that we 
know just what our obligations are 
and to make sure that we have the 
type of organization that can meet 
these obstacles and grasp these op- 
portunities to better the day in both 
the life and work of the great mass of 
the workers of this nation. 

We must think in terms of the true 
meaning of a trade union movement, 
a movement that has for its sole, defi- 
nite and single purpose the advance- 
ment of the welfare and interest of 
the great mass of workers who are 
part of this movement. 

That must be the motivating influ- 
ence and manner in which we move 
forward. Let all of our actions -be 
keyed into that simple, plain principle 
that a trade union has no other rea- 
son for existence than the job of car- 
rying out and carrying forward and 
advancing the interests and welfare 
of its members. 

In building and advancing the 
cause of our union, let us not think 
in terms of personal prestige, of hav- 
ing a big union for the sake of hav- 
ing a big union. Let us not think in 
terms of a great big financial struc- 

These pictures 
were taken during 
President Meany’s 

acceptance talk. 

ture and of great power. Let us thii.\ 
in terms of the simple philosophy of 
those who founded this movement of 
advancing the cause of workers. 

AFL-CIO Is the Only Label 

As we go forward together in this 
movement, let us stop thinking in 
terms of prior labels. Let us make up 
our minds that from this moment on 
there is just one label on all the or. 
ganizations and all of the membership 
of this great organization, and that 
label is AFL-CIO and nothing else. 
Let us apply this philosophy in terms 
of good faith, determination to live 
together, to work together and to 
think together for one united organ- 

We have brought into being this 
morning a trade union instrumental- 
ity to carry out the work we have all 
been engaged in and to do it a little 
better, we feel, than we were able to 
do it as a divided movement. We 
have a constitution that we worked 
on for many, many long weeks. We 
make no claim as to its perfection, 
but we do feel that it is an instrument 
under which we can live and that it 
carries with it the principles that we 
have always had in this movement in 



this coun 
ization to 
tains the 
which ou 
the early 
It was 
that that 
governs | 
we wrote 
we are I 
that the 
would no 
if we did 
this organ 
tespect. ir 
I & spiri 
that unior 
the wo 
e mu 
Must grow 



> See 


The head of united labor emphasized that workers are citizens and 
have a duty to take part in shaping policies of the government. 

this country of complete and absolute 
autonomy for each and every organ- 
ization to run its own affairs. It con- 
tains the voluntary principle upon 
which our movement was founded in 
the early days. 

It was once said many years ago 
that that government is best which 
governs least. It is in that spirit that 
we wrote this constitution. After all, 
we are practical enough to realize 
that the words in the constitution 
would not have very much meaning 
if we did not enter into the work of 
itis organization in a spirit of mutual 
respect. in a spirit of cooperation and 
ma spirit dedicated to the principle 
that unions are created for the benefit 
ofthe workers who toil for wages. 

We must grow, this trade union 
movement, with the nation, but we 
must grow in a right way. Let us or- 

JANUARY, 1956 

ganize the unorganized. Let us not 
waste our time and our efforts trying 
to reorganize those who are already 

Let us try to bring the blessings 
and benefits that we know are in- 
herent in a trade union movement to 
the millions of those who are still un- 
organized. Then as we face the fu- 
ture this morning where there is a 
great spirit, as I said before, of ela- 
tion and happiness, we should give 
some sober thought to the kind of 
world that we live in, to the problems 
that we have at home and the prob- 
lems that we have abroad, to the 
problems that we face in the new in- 
dustrial age which is coming upon 
us, to the problems that have been 
ever present in the conduct of the 
relations of our country with the 
other nations of the world. 

Let us undeystand that despite the 
many advances, despite the great 
achievements of the organized labor 
movement over the years, we still 
have those who believe that we would 
be better off without unions; those 
who believe in the archaic traditions 
of the 1880s and 1890s; those who 
believe that America is built from the 
top down, that if you keep the great 
corporations fat and wealthy, enough 
will trickle down to keep those at the 
lower level of our economic structure 
happy and contented. We still have 
this opposition, and this opposition 
has made its mark in the last seven or 
eight years. 

Backward Legislative Trend 

We would be less than truthful if 
we did not admit to ourselves that the 
legislative trend insofar as liberal and 
remedial legislation is concerned, leg- 
islation in which we have a vital in- 
terest, that legislative trend in the last 
eight years has been backward and 
not forward. And it is up to us, us- 
ing every weapon that we have at our - 
command under the Constitution of 
this country, using every method that 
is legal to advance the cause of the 
workers—it is up to us to reverse that 

We have come a long way in build- 
ing up the standard of life and of 
work with the people of this great 
nation, but we can’t say that we have 
come all the way. We can’t afford to 
look back for any other reason except 
to draw from the experiences of the 
past in order to apply their lessons to 
move forward for the future. We 
have no right to look back with a feel- 
ing of satisfaction, because there is 
still much to be done. 

We still need better schools and 
more schools for the children of 
America. We hear from time to time 
the great orators of our political par- 
ties, especially during the season of 
the year when the schools are gradu- 
ating their children, about America’s 
greatest possession, the future of 
America, the children of America. 
And we are still in the disgraceful 
position where we cannot say that we 
have adequate facilities to train and 
educate those children. And we have 
got to wipe out this idea—that this 
is the job of each and every little com- 
munity, no matter what its economic 
or financial position might be. 

If the children of America are the 
nation’s wealth of the future, if they 
are our most proud possession, then 
they are the concern of the entire na- 
tion, and the nation itself should take 
a hand through federal aid to educa- 
tion to see that we have good schools. 

Then we have housing. That is 
still a problem. Yes, we have made 


some forward strides, but we still 
have a long way to go. We still have 
thousands and thousands and tens of 
thousands of people who are living in 
slums, who have not as yet received 
the full benefits of which we like to 
boast, of the great and high standard 
of life that we have here in our Amer- 
ican Continent. 

We need better roads. We need to 
improve our social security system. 
We need to bring about a system of 
medical care that will take care of the 
health of the nation as a whole. These 
problems must be met. 

T-H and ‘Right to Work’ 

Then we have the problem that 
strikes right home, the problem of 
preserving the right of workers to im- 
prove their conditions through the in- 
strumentality of a trade union, the 
problem of seeing to it that the La- 
bor-Management Act on our statute 
books is made fair to both labor and 
management, and not an instrument 
by which management, if it will, can 
destroy or hamper the development 
of trade unions. 

We have got to amend that act and 
we have got to wipe off the statute 
books of eighteen states the so-called 
“right to work” laws, which are laws 
destructive of the rights of union 

Then we must think soberly of our 
position as a nation and of the things 
we like to feel are really in the tradi- 
tion of America. We speak of our 
freedom, we speak of the Founding 
Fathers. We speak of the Constitu- 
tion and the Bill of Rights. I think 
we have some right to be proud of 
those things, to be proud of our tradi- 
tion and our heritage; but I think we 
have no right to complacently sit by 
as long as those rights are denied to 
any portion of the population of this 
great country. 

We have had striking evidence in 
the last few days, if we needed any 
such evidence, that the Constitution 
of the United States and the Bill of 
Rights and the civil liberties that we 
all like to boast of do not prevail in 
certain parts of our country for peo- 
ple whose skin is a little different in 
color than that of ourselves. We have 
men who call themselves statesmen 
who are public servants, elected by 
the people, and still who, in the inter- 
est of “white supremacy,” defy a deci- 
sion of the United States Supreme 
Court in regard to desegregation. 
Yes, they are amending the Constitu- 
tion to suit themselves insofar as its 
application is concerned, and what 
they are saying in effect, is that this 
Constitution does not prevail in the 



I say to these people, a good many 
of whom call themselves Christians, 
that when they go to church on Sun- 
day they should remember that the 
words “and thy neighbor as thyself” 
are still an integral part of the Ten 
Commandments, and they should ap- 
ply that in dealing with their fellow- 

Then we have got to give some 
sober thought today to our duties as 
citizens, taking our place in the com- 
munity life of the nation, making our 
contribution to good government, 
making our contribution as citizens 
to the policies of our government in 
dealing with other nations of the 

In my book labor not only has a 
right to raise its voice in regard to 
the policies under which our federal 
government is administered, but we 
have a duty as citizens to take part in 
shaping the policies of our govern- 
ment; and as workers we have a spe- 
cial interest in the foreign policy of 
our government. We have a special 
interest in seeing to it that our gov- 
ernment makes its full contribution to 
the preservation of human freedom 
everywhere on this earth where it is 
possible to make a contribution. 

A free trade union requires an at- 
mosphere of freedom, and we have 
long ago learned in this shrinking 
world of ours that the enslavement of 
workers anywhere, the denial of the 
right of workers to have free trade 
unions anywhere, is a threat to free 
labor everywhere, which includes the 
United States of America. 

Soviets Still Menace Freedom 

And we know where the major 
threat comes to world freedom. We 
don’t have to be diplomatic in analyz- 
ing this question. We don’t have to 
deceive ourselves. We can call the 
shots as we see them. We have no 
commercial, political or financial rea- 
son to see peace where there is no 
peace. We have been meeting this 
cold war situation for many years, 
beginning with the Truman Plan in 
1946. the Marshall Plan, the NATO, 
Point Four, and everything else, and 
I think, up until this spring, meeting 
it quite successfully. 

Then, of course, we ran into the 
new “smiling face” technique of those 
who would destroy us and destroy 
every right that we hold dear. At the 
conclusion of the summit conference 
in July we were told that it was a 
great success, that the spirit of 
Geneva had lessened tensions and 
everything was going to be fine. We 
were told that by the heads of our 
government. [ say to you here today 
that when we were told that the 
American people were hoodwinked. 

few mon 
“Our ° 


at peace 
also thre 

not only 
at a per! 
achieve t 
a life-and 
is achiev: 
That is 

Far East 
ing up P 
Then wv 
on the A 
have seen 

‘ a i Then just 

The delegates registered approval. the same 

It was not a success; I wish to God J some of 
it was. Beria, we 
The American people were fooled, and destri 
if you please, and told that tensions This, th 
were lessened and everything was & This is tl 
going to be all right. We were told @ Geneva ir 
that we should now shake the hands § can faith : 
of these who would deny us our free- J got to thir 
dom, these who would destroy us. § know that 
We were told that tensions would be & we are cre 
lessened. will not 
Well, I can say personally I have atmospher 
searched with painstaking care for J system of 
these lessened tensions. What do! @ have. The 
find in that search? I find the same ford to 
old line, a new threat in the blockade propagand 
of Berlin, attempting to throw thos § {rom time 
people into the godless ideology of J "ss in the 
communism by saying that East Ber- @ 's no peaci 

lin is no longer under the four-power . 

rule, that it is under the rule of thei Can’t Be 
so-called satellite state, the so-called Labor h 
East German “democratic” govern §j ‘lations y 
ment. ny. We y 

Hitler was 
we were a 
also not n 
Franco Spe 
We can’t ¢ 
trying day: 
or neutral; 
and shall b 
In meet 
home and 
tul of our 
whole bec: 
here a few 
for the nat 
have got to 
that this m 
is dedicated 
to the good 
Who can 
and better 
00d for A 
that the pu 

As a contribution to these lessene! 
tensions we see Egypt armed by a 
Communist satellite for attack. Then 
we see the tour of slander, where the 
top people repersenting the Soviet 
Union are using India as a sounding 
board for their attacks upon the free 
nations of the world. 

Then we see the foreign ministers 
conference five weeks ago, which wa 
supposed to carry out and implement 
the agreements reached at Geneva it 
July. There we see a complete repu: 
diation of everything that was done at 
the July high-level conference. 

Then we see the stepped-up wal 
preparations of Moscow's partner I! 
the Far East. 

Let me give you an idea of the pee 
ple we are told to extend the hand © 
fellowship to, an idea of their phi 
losophy, the hand of Moscow’s Far 
East branch, Mao Tse-tung. In ¢ 


manual distributed to his people a 
few months ago he had this to say: 
“Our war is sacred, just and pro- 
gressive and aims at peace. We aim 
at peace not only in one country but 
also throughout the world, and we 
not only aim at temporary peace but 
at a permanent peace. In order to 

achieve this objective, we must wage 
a life-and-death struggle until our aim 
is achieved.” 

That is the philosophy of Moscow’s 
far East partners who are now step- 
ping up preparations for war on their 


Then we see the increased pressure 
on the Adenauer government. We 
have seen in the last week or so the 
H-bomb blast in the Gobi Desert. 
Then just to show that they are just 
the same at home in applying their 
ideology, we had a new purge where 
some of the top men, assistants to 
Beria, were put up against the wall 
and destroyed. 

This, then, is “the spirit of Geneva.” 
This is the thing that came out of 
i Geneva in July, the child of Ameri- 
can faith and Soviet fraud. We have 
sot to think of this thing because we 
know that the kind of instrumentality 
we are creating here today cannot and 
will not exist unless it exists in an 
atmosphere of freedom and under a 
system of government such as we 
have. The businessman, perhaps, can 
afford to fall for this Communist 
propaganda, and of course politicians 
from time to time see peace and prog- 
ress in these negotiations where there 
isno peace and no progress. 

Can’t Be Neutral on Tyranny 

Labor has never been neutral in its 
relations with dictatorship or tyran- 
ny. We were never non-Nazi when 
Hitler was riding high. We were not 
non-Fascists in the days of Mussolini; 
we were anti-Fascists. And we are 
also not non-Falangists in regard to 
franco Spain; we are anti-Falangists. 
We can’t afford the luxury in these 
rying days of being non-Communist 
neutral; we are not; and we must 
nd shall be anti-Communist. 

In meeting all these problems at 
home and abroad we must be mind- 
lul of our duty to the nation as a 
whole because, as it was well said 
here a few minutes ago, what is good 
lor the nation is good for us. We 
have got to show the American people 
that this movement, this organization 
isdedicated to the good of our nation, 
to the good of all the citizens of our 

Who can deny that higher wages 
and better working conditions are 
good for America? Who can deny 
hat the purchasing power built up 

JANUARY, 1956 

largely through the instrumentality of 
free trade unions is the most vital fac- 
tor in this dynamic economy of ours? 
Who can deny that trade unions are 
dedicated to the welfare of the nation 
as a whole? 

Yes, we are going to use every 
means at our disposal to carry forth 
our program both at home and 
abroad. We are going to continue to 
support the International Confedera- 
tion of Free Trade Unions in its fight 
to keep labor free and in due time to 
strike the chains from those who are 
enslaved behind the Iron Curtain. 

We are going to use our economic 
weapon in dealing with the employers 
if that is necessary in order to get a 
fair share of the wealth that we joint- 
ly produce with management. And 
we are going to meet those who would 
destroy our movement and who would 
turn back the clock—we are going to 
meet them on the political front, if 
you please. 

Where We Stand on Politics 

I am somewhat amused by this hue 
and cry about labor political activity, 
about the “labor bosses controlling 
votes.” I am sure they know that we 
don’t control votes. No one can tell 
the American worker how he has got 
to vote, and that includes you, me and 
everybody else. 

I sometimes wonder about these 
people who are making these state- 
ments about labor political power. I 
am wondering if their consciences are 
starting to bother them. What is our 
political philosophy? Our political 
philosophy is to inform our own peo- 
ple on the issues that they have before 
them, and in particular the issues that 
affect the welfare of our own people. 

Are the members of the United 
States Senate opposed to an intelli- 
gent electorate? I thought when they 
ran for office—and I have heard 
many of them—I thought they all 
said that they wanted the public to 
always be informed; they wanted 
them to know about these issues. 
Well, that is what we want. We want 
our people to be informed on all the 
issues facing the electorate, and we 
want in particular for them to be in- 
formed on the issues that affect their 
lives and their daily work. 

They are worried now about a la- 
bor party. Well, I don’t see any sen- 
timent for a labor party, and I don’t 
see any sentiment for labor to take 
over one of the existing parties. That 
is a new one now, that we are going 
lo take over one of the existing par- 
ties. Well, I know this: that we have 
a right and a duty to meet those who 
are opposed to us wherever they pre- 
sent the challenge. 

In the early days we met the starva- 

tion method. We met the company 
thug, the company spy, the company 
injunction and the company judge. 
We met the “American Plan,” so- 
called, designed to destroy our move- 
ment. And now where is the chal- 
lenge? The challenge is in the legis- 
lative halls, and our answer is polit- 
ical education and political activity. 
Because if we are going to carry on 
this work, they have proved beyond 
question that they can hamstring us 
and render us impotent by adverse 
legislation. And if we are going to 
carry on this work as we must, we 
must meet that challenge in the leg- 
islative halls—and that means polit- 
ical education. 

As I said before, in carrying out 
our work we must do so in a way that 
will commend us to our neighbor. 
After all, the American worker is just 
a part, one part, one segment of this 
great big family we call the United 
States of America; a big segment, if 
you please, but still a segment. 

We must carry on our work in a 
way that will bring commendation 
from those with whom we come in 
contact. We must try to conduct our 
affairs in consonance with the high 
principles upon which our movement 
is founded and which we are attempt- 
ing to carry forward. I feel this we 
can do. 

For myself, I appreciate beyond 
question, beyond doubt, beyond 
means to express to you, the con- 
fidence that you have shown, that my 
colleagues of the AFL and CIO have 
shown, in entrusting to me this very 
responsible task. I will give myself 
to it as best I can. 

I am not given to predictions. | 
tell you now I will never surrender 
principle for expediency. I tell you 
now that, insofar as it is my place to 
influence decisions, those decisions 
will be made without regard to where 
the union formerly was and without 
regard to how big or how little a 
union is. 

Let us remember that on this very, 
very happy occasion we have merely 
taken the first step, that we have 
created a tool, an instrumentality, 
something that we can use to carry 
forward for the people we represent; 
and if we carry forward in good faith 
in our relations with one another, 
and true to the principles and tradi- 
tions upon which our movement was 
founded, I am sure that we can suc- 

So let us face the future, confident 
beyond question that the cause we 
espouse, confident beyond expression 
that the things we ask for are just and 
proper. And if we do this—and I am 
sure that we will—then, with God’s 
help, we shall not fail. 


Political education was the timely topic that held the 
interest of Jack Kroll (left) and James McDevitt. 

HE SECOND DAY of the first constitutional 

convention of the AFL-CIO was opened with 
an invocation by the Very Reverend Dr. James A. 
Pike, dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. 
Then President Meany recognized Emil Mazey, 
secretary of the United Automobile Workers. 

After a short talk on the prolonged strike of 
3,000 workers against ““America’s most anti-union 
company, the Kohler Company,” Mr. Mazey intro- 
duced the Kohler Chorus, made up of strikers, 
their wives and daughters and members of other 
unions in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The chorus sang 
“We Shall Not Be Moved,” “Sixteen Tons,” 
“Your Land and My Land” and “Solidarity.” 

President Meany, on behalf of the convention, 
thanked the group and voiced “our wishes for a 
successful conclusion of this strike which has be- 
come a symbol of a bitter fight between a giant 
corporation and its workers.” 

“We should determine at this convention,” 
President Meany said, “that come what may, these 
strikers shall not lose.” 

The convention then turned its attention to the 
problems of housing. The delegates adopted a 
resolution which pointed out that “one-third of 
the nation is still ill-housed.”” Most low-income 

families and many middle-income families are 


Joseph Curran, president of the 

National Maritime Union, served as 
co-secretary of Resolutions Committee. 

forced to live in overcrowded, dilapidated slums, 
the resolution said. 

“We believe,” the convention proclaimed, “the 
very foundations of our private enterprise system 
and our democratic way of life require that our 
We believe this can 

be achieved in a manner fully consistent with our 

people be properly housed. 
economic system. In fact, an adequate housing 
program will greatly enhance the basic strength 
of our economy.” 

The convention called for the construction of 
2,000,000 new dwelling units a year as “the im- 
mediate objective of national.policy.” A major 
portion of the new homes should be constructed 
and marketed at costs within the reach of families 
with annual incomes below $5000, “most of whom 

are now priced out of the private housing market, 

° ‘ . . ) 
the delegates said. Cooperative housing should 
be “especially encouraged,” the resolution de- 

Community Services 
The next subject before the convention was com 
. . ry . ) Iie 
munity services. The resolution was read by Reu 
ben Soderstrom, secretary of the Resolution= Com 

mittee. The resolution said in part: 

“The AFL-CIO is dedicated to the proposition 


that wha 
labor. I 
CIO func 
hers and 
lished a 
munity * 

tions Wo 

a great | 


tion. W 

that com 
inroads | 
to people 
are poor 
“T kne 
ards of 
that no | 
want or | 


that what is good for the community is good for 
labor. It is in this spirit that members of the AFL- 
(10 function first and foremost as citizens of their 
communities. Further to encourage the active 
participation and total integration of union mem- 
bers and their families in community affairs, the 
\FL-CIO, by constitutional provision, has estab- 
lished a permanent National Committee on Com- 
munity Services.” 

Joseph Beirne, president of the Communica- 
tions Workers of America, spoke on the resolution. 

“This is a field,” he said, “‘wherein we can make 
a great contribution and do a bigger job in ad- 
vancing the aims and the ideals of our organiza- 
tion. We have talked and we honestly believe 
that communism, for example, makes its biggest 
inroads in the thinking of people when it can talk 
io people whose stomachs are empty, whose houses 
ire poor, who live in a country where disease and 
pestilence prevail. 

“I know that we have made great strides for the 
members of our unions in lifting up their stand- 
ards of living, but we should not fool ourselves 
that no place in America is there poverty, is there 

want or is there disease. Right here in New York 

City and in any large city in these United States 
we can find people, we can find families, we can 
find children who are in need. It becomes almost 
silly for us to think in terms of fighting this larger 
problem of communism while we neglect our own 
people in our own neighborhoods, in our own 
backyards, in our own nation. 

“Through community services work we have 
the opportunity to make a great contribution to 
furthering the needs, to advancing the standards 
of those people who are our neighbors but who 
We have an 

obligation to do this, and we should do it. 

may not be members of our unions. 

“In the resolution we ask for every union within 
this great federation to establish a Community 
In the constitution of our or- 

Services Committee. 

ganization we have given constitutional standing 
to our community services work. The constitu- 
tion and this resolution do not do the job. We 
need people from every union, from every local, 
to so integrate themselves in community affairs 
that we will make a truism of our slogan that what 
is good for America is good for us.” 

The resolution was adopted. 

Governor Averell Harriman of New York ad- 

Attendance was excellent. Eligible to be seated when the parley opened were 1,487 delegates. 

JANUALY, 1956 

dressed the convention. He told the delegates that 
the enemies of American labor “are plotting and 
carrying on a powerful and systematic attack de- 
signed to weaken the influence of labor in Amer- 
ican life.” 

“This attack is a triple-threat attack,” Governor 
Harriman declared. “In the federal government 
they have packed the administrative agencies with 
men who are anti-labor. In the state legislatures 
they are turning out union-busting laws wherever 
they can under the guise of ‘right to work.’ And 

then to make it impossible for labor to fight back, 

they are attempting to strip labor of its political 

rights, to split labor and the public, and to drive 
a wedge between the working man and labor lead- 

Recalling that President Eisenhower in his 
1952 campaign had said that the Taft-Hartley Act 
ought to be amended so that it could not be used 
to “bust unions,” the Governor noted that the law 
has not been changed, adding: 

“And now his very own appointees are using it 
for that purpose.” 

Labor’s enemies, he said, want to deprive work- 
ers of their political rights because, if they can ac- 
complish this purpose, then labor’s economic 
rights “can be destroyed as well.” 

“That is the motive behind what is going on 
today,” Mr. Harriman asserted. ‘But we are not 
going to let them get away with it. We will never 
permit labor to be forced to sign a political yellow- 
dog contract.” 

Turning to the international scene, the speaker 
warned that the free world has been losing ground 
in the struggle with communism. He pointed out 
that the Kremlin won a great victory at the Geneva 
summit conference through the achievement of 
“not just relaxation of tensions but relaxation of 

“George Meany pointed out bluntly last sum- 
mer the dangers of accepting the so-called ‘spirit 
of Geneva,’ ”’ Governor Harriman recalled. “I 
did the same while I was in Europe. We were not 
popular at the time, but the warning needed to be 
sounded and it still needs to be heeded. * * * The 
plain fact is that the Kremlin has breached the 
lines so carefully built in the alliance of free 

Secretary of Labor James P. Mitchell addressed 
the conyention after Secretary Schnitzler read the 

text of a gubernatorial proclamation designating 

the week of December 5 to 12 as Free Labor Weel. 
in New York State. 
his address, called the merger “a high momen 

The Secretary of Labor, jy 

in American history.” 

“I’m for unity all the way,” Mr. Mitchel! said, 
“Tt will surely bring the benefits and protection 
of unionism to more of our working people. | 
will surely make clearer and more emphatic the 
voice of labor in the field of public affairs. [ wel. 
come both these developments.” 

He urged labor to seek “ways to develop a 
broader base of understanding with American 

Mr. Mitchell described President Eisenhower 
as a man with an intense desire for peace. The 
speaker concluded with these words: 

“Please, please, let us not deter him in his in 
tense, continual quest for peace.” 

MacGowan Lauds Kansas Veto 

Discussing the report of the Resolutions Com. 
mittee on state anti-union laws, Vice-President 
Charles J. MacGowan praised Republican Gover. 
nor Fred Hall of Kansas, who vetoed a “right to 
work” bill despite the clamor of powerful voices 
demanding that he put his signature on the reac: 
tionary measure. 

“I think the labor movement of America owes 
a very great obligation to the Governor,” Mr. Mace- 
Gowan said. “He needs a lot of help, and I hope 
that we will not give encouragement to the ‘right 
to work’ advocates in other states by failing to 
bring about the renomination of Fred Hall next 

By unanimous vote, the delegates approved th 
resolution calling for an intensification of efforls 
to bring about the eradication of Section 14(b) of 
the Taft-Hartley Act. 
the states are empowered to pass laws even worse 
The resolution 

It is under this section thal 

than the federal anti-labor statute. 
also said: 

“The AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions wil 
fight for the repeal of all state anti-labor laws an( 
for their replacement by legislation fairly pre 

tecting the basic rights of labor. We will resolute: 
ly resist all attempts by reactionary employers 
use state legislatures and courts to hamper uniol- 
ization and to weaken unions.” 

Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota wes 
asked to stand and take a bow. He was applaudet 
when he said: 


She has be 
Mrs. Fran 

Marion F 
of He 
and Welf 
speech to 

“T wai 
unity of 
lieve me. 
be good f 

At the 
mittee re 
assailed 4 
while its. 
“many of 
subvert th 
In actir 


She has been a union member for many years, 
Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt told the convention. 

Marion Folsom, Secretary 
of Health, Education 
ind Welfare, touched on 
many subjects in his 
speech to the convention. 

“I want to congratulate and commend your 
eadership and the delegates in making this great 
nity of American organized labor a reality. Be- 
eve me, friends, this is going to be good for 
\merica. Being good for America, it is going to 
good for you. 1 am delighted.” 

\t the afternoon session the Resolutions Com- 
ittee reported on the Taft-Hartley Act and the 
\ational Labor Relations Board. The resolution 
‘sailed the Taft-Hartley Act, pointing out that 

‘hile its claimed purpose is to encourage the or- 

“anization of workers into unions of their ewn 
loosing and to promote collective bargaining, 
lany of the detailed provisions of Taft-Hartley 
‘ubvert these professed aims.” 
In actual operation, the resolution declared, the 

JANUARY. 1956 

Those who seek to deprive Negro Americans 
of their rights as citizens were denounced 
by Thurgood Marshall, N.A.A.C.P. counsel. 

New Yerk’s Governor Harriman 
charged the Administration isn’t 
doing very well in foreign affairs. 

He assailed the efforts of reactionaries 
to deny workers their political rights. 

Taft-Hartley Act has been used to block union 
organization, to weaken unions and to interfere 
with free collective bargaining. 

“The organization of the unorganized,” said the 
report of the committee, “has been grievously 
hampered. Prior to Taft-Hartley the percentage 
of organized workers in the economy was steadily 
Since Taft-Hartley this rate of in- 

crease has been greatly reduced, and two-thirds of 


the workers who are eligible for union member- 
ship remain unorganized today. By impeding the 
unionization of unorganized workers who stand in 
need of it, the act threatens the standards of all 
organized labor.” 

The National Labor Relations Board was de- 

nounced for having “clearly acted to impose anti- 


Events were closely observed 
by Dave Beck of Teamsters. 

George Richardson, secretary, 
Fire Fighters Association. 

John Brophy had attended 
many a labor conclave. 

Rubber Workers’ group was led 
by President L. S. Buckmaster. 

New Yorker Louis Hollander 
welcomed the convention. 

O. A. Knight, president of 
Oil and Atomic Workers. 

Joseph Keenan was 
elected to the Council. 

Richard Gray, president of the 
Building Trades Department 


labor re 
By u 
of the T 
sound a 
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to its ca 
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The « 
to defen 
The rest 
tinue te 
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Visions : 
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Industrial Union Department held its first convention and unanimously elected Walter Reuther as president. 

labor restrictions beyond those required by Taft- 

By unanimous vote, the delegates ordered the 
AFL-CIO to press for the elimination of the evils 
of the Taft-Hartley Act and for the enactment of a 
sound and fair national labor relations law based 
on the principles of the Wagner Act. The Ad- 
ministration was scored for “its failure to live up 
to its campaign promises to rid Taft-Hartley of its 
anti-labor provisions.” The NLRB was blistered 
for “legislating by administrative action.” 

The delegates voted unanimously to “continue 
to defend and nurture free collective bargaining.” 
The resolution on this subject said: 

“The AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions will con- 
tinue to fight for better wages, spurred by the 
knowledge that the nation’s power to consume 
must keep pace with its growing power to produce. 
We will seek also in collectiye bargaining to re- 
duce the workweek with no reduction in take-home 
pay; to provide greater protection for workers 
against the economic hazards of illness, old-age, 
and irregular employment through such programs 
as health and welfare plans, guaranteed employ- 
ment plans, improvéd insurance and _ pension 
plans; to liberalize paid holiday and vacation pro- 
visions: and to improve working conditions. 

“Al! of these measures are necessary basic ele- 
ments ‘1 our efforts to gain continued improve- 
ment i:: American standards of living.” 

(Turn to Page 26) 

JANUARY, 1956 

Emil Rieve, president of Textile Workers Union, 
was interviewed by a news writer from Holyoke. 

= ai j &. 
From Hollywood came Leon Ames (left) 
and Pat Somerset of the Screen Actors. 

Jory Selina: 

The merger convention was witnessed by trade unionists 

from every continent. Introduced by AFL-CIO President Meany, 
the visitors were given a warm welcome by the delegates. 

From Across the Occans 

was J. H. Oldenbroek, 

Honored guests at this Hotel Commodore dinner secretary of I.C.F.T.U. 
were the visiting leaders of free labor who had 
journeyed to New York from many countries. 

ae i 

Robert Bothereau (left) of France I.L.G.W.U.’s Luigi Antonini (left) gave _ 
had a chat with Jack Potofsky. 

close attention to Italy’s Giulio Pastore. 


Adlai Stevenson’s address was one of 
the highlights of the convention. 

The Rev. Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the 
American Jewish Congress, addressed the conven- 
tion. He was the first of three representatives of 
the natien’s major religious faiths scheduled to 
speak at the merger meeting. In introducing 
Rabbi Goldstein, President Meany noted that the 
American labor movement has always recognized 
the necessity for Divine guidance and for coopera- 
tion between labor and religious groups. 

“America has a tremendous stake in a labor 
movement that is strong, free and united,” the 
Jewish religious leader said. “Being strong, labor 
will see to it that the gains which have been made 
are maintained and advanced. 

“Labor conditions have reached a fairly high 
plateau, the result of more than two decades of 
continuous progress. But it is not a uniform 
plateau and it will not be straightened out until 
the reactionary Taft-Hartley Law is revoked from 
the statute books and the phony ‘right to work’ 
laws—so-called—-have been exploded and punce- 
tured wherever they exist.” 

Rabbi Goldstein expressed the conviction that 
organized labor, as represented in the merger con- 


vention, is “a socially conscious and a socially 

In times of national crisis, 

responsible force.” 

he recalled, “it has proved itself worthy of its 
power.” He described Mr. Meany, Mr. Reuther 
and the other AFL-CIO leaders as “not only indus- 
trial statesmen but leading American patriots.” 


The merger will be 
good for America, 
Minnesota’s Senator 
Hubert Humphrey said. 

Noting that Jews are active advocates of “a bet- 
ter day for all men,” Rabbi Goldstein said: 

“The American labor movement, on this historic 
day, has reason to pay grateful tribute to the 
memories of Samuel Gompers and Sidney Hill- 
man among the architects of our industrial de- 

Foreign Visitors Introduced 

President Meany preserted to the convention a 
number of visitors representing trade unions in 
various parts of the world. He called their names 
one by one. The visitors from other countries 
lined up on the platform. The delegates ap- 
plauded them vigorously. 

John W. Livingston, director of organization of 
the American Federation of Labor and Congress 

Secretary of Labor Mitchell 
said he was heartily in 
favor of the unification. 


of Ir 

job o 
take « 


will v 
all tin 
upon | 
and p 
not de 

ment | 


was ul 
to the 
less th 
gates ¢ 
work in 
now i¥ 



of Industrial Organizations, was introduced by 
President Meany as “one who is going to have a 
very important assignment in the work of this 
federation in the future.” 

“The job of organizing the unorganized, the 
io) of servicing the organized, especially in the 
smaller unions, reposes in the Department of Or- 
ganization,’ Mr. Meany said. “I would like to 
present to you now the brother who is going to 
take on that responsibility.” 

Mr. Livingston, who has come to his new re- 
sponsibilities from the United Auto Workers, said: 

“I can and do give you this pledge—that we 
will work at this job untiringly and continue to 
increase our ranks of membership. We expect at 
all times to advance and promote organizational 
drives throughout the land, and we expect to call 
upon national and international unions to advance 
and promote organizational drives where they are 
not doing so at this time. We expect to ask those 

national and international unions that have drives 

under way in high gear at the present time to put 
those organizational drives in overdrive.” 

\ resolution calling upon the federal govern- 
ment te revise its tax policy was adopted unani- 
mously. The delegates asked that the policy be 
changed so as to strengthen consumer buying pow- 
er, especially among those in the low and middle 
income brackets. Elimination of tax loopholes 
which favor corporations and wealthy families 
was urged. 

The convention advocated “special attention” 
to the problems of families whose earnings are 

less than $3000 a year. The minimum wage law 

should be amended to cover millions of low-paid 

workers who now lack its protection and the hourly 
minimum should be boosted to $1.25 at least, the 
delegates declared. 

The parley also called for social security im- 
provements and modernization of the “inade- 
quate” unemployment compensation system. In 
regard to unemployment compensation, the dele- 
gates demanded the elimination of “harsh” dis- 
jualilication provisions. 

unanimous vote, the convention pledged 
continued efforts to advance the conditions of 
working women. It was pointed out that women 
now -onstitute one-third of the labor force, but 
man\ are employed in “occupations and indus- 
tries which have not had the benefits of unionism 

iere low wages, inadequate security and 

RY, 1956 

The ingredients of success in organization were 
analyzed by Harry E. O'Reilly (left) and 
John Livingston, AFL-CIO organizing director. 

Mr. Livingston also met with Peter McGavin, 
who is thoroughly experienced in organizing. 
Mr. McGavin is assistant to President Meany. 

we . 

President Meany introduced the former officer 
of the Auto Workers. Mr. Livingston’s new 
assignment was called ‘very important.’ 

substandard conditions of work prevail.” The 
erroneously labeled “Equal Rights Amendment” 
was condemned. This proposal, it was noted, 
would jeopardize laws which now protect women 
against substandard wages, hours and working 

President Meany announced that the AFL-CIO 

Executive Council had met and designated the 

HE CONVENTION was called to order at 9:30. 

The Rev. Dr. Bernard Segal, of the United 
Synagogue of America, gave the invocation. The 
death of Secretary A. Shoemake of the Mainte- 
nance of Way Employes was announced. Secre- 
tary Schnitzler read several messages. Then the 
Resolutions Committee was called upon to con- 
tinue with its report. 

A resolution which asked Congress to enact a 
comprehensive health program was unanimously 

adopted. The convention requested a program 

“geared to the nation’s needs and resources.” The 
delegates appealed for “a national health insur- 
ance system which would make complete prepaid 
health protection available to all Americans.” 
Federal assistance was advocated for schools train- 
ing doctors, dentists, nurses and medical techni- 
cians “in the form of grants for construction, 
equipment and maintenance of physical facilities, 
for student scholarships and for research.” 

The administration of health and welfare plans 
was the next subject on which the Resolutions Com- 
mittee reported. Describing this resolution as 
“very important,” President Meany requested the 
delegates’ undivided attention. The resolution 
set forth principles to be observed in the admin- 
istration of health and welfare plans and also 
advocated federal and state legislation to outlaw 

“Legislation should be enacted by the Congress 
of the United States,” 
mitted to the convention, “requiring annual re- 

said the resolution sub- 

ports and public disclosure of the financial opera- 
tions of health, welfare and pension plans, includ- 
ing the details of the related financial transactions 
of insurance carriers and/or service agencies. 


members of the Executive Committee, as provided 
by the AFL-C1O constitution. 

“This Executive Committee,” Mr. Meany said, 
**is to consist of Brothers Matthew Woll, Walier 
Reuther, David McDonald, George Harrison, 
James B. Carey, Harry C. Bates, Secretary-Treas. 
urer Schnitzler and myself.” 

The convention recessed at 4:45 P.M. 

* * * The law should provide criminal penalties 
for non-filing or false filing. * * * The proposed 
statute should spell out in detail the information 
to be sought in a disclosure form, with authority 
lodged in the Secretary of Labor to prescribe ap- 
propriate rules. * * * 

“State insurance laws should be amended so 
that in cases where an agent or broker is not em- 
ployed and no such services are rendered, the re- 
quirement that commissions must nevertheless be 
paid to an agent or retained by the insurance car- 
rier is eliminated. 

“Where the services of agents or brokers are 
employed, the payment of excessive commissions 
and service charges should be banned. A code of 
standards governing commissions and charges 
should be adopted and enforced by state insurance 

The resolution also urged that “the fiduciary 
obligations generally applicable to trustees under 
state law should be applicable to trustees of health 
and welfare plans” and recommended th~ passage 

of additional legislation if that should be required 

in order to bring about the desired result. 

After Delegate William Sorenson, representing 
the Poughkeepsie Central Labor Union, con- 
demned “unscrupulous” physicians who contin- 
ually increase their fees as welfare funds grow, 
President Meany remarked that the AFL-CIO 
Executive Council “can make study of the point 
raised by Delegate Sorenson, and I am quite sure 
they will have the authority to support legislation 
in that direction if they feel the study warrants 
that support.” 

The motion for adoption of the resolution on 
the administration of health and welfare plans 


tion ar 
rity OV 
been v 
other | 
gress h 
with th 
do not 
gress a 
build tl 
In re 
of Hea 
lar em 
ing the 


was carried. After this item was disposed of, 
Marion B. Folsom, Secretary of Health, Educa- 
tion and Welfare, addressed the convention. 

“We have made great progress in social secu- 
rity over the years,” he said, “because we have 
been willing to change to meet changing condi- 
tions. We look forward to continued improve- 
ments, with extension of coverage to the few 
groups who are still excluded and other steps 
which can be taken soundly at this time. On the 
other hand, we should remember that the social 
security system has remained sound because Con- 
gress has rejected proposals that might weaken it. 

“We must always be especially careful that 
proposals for new benefits are actually in keeping 
with the changing aspects of our times, that they 
do not run counter to trends in population, work 
habits and our social life.” 

Secretary Folsom voiced his confidence that the 
Eisenhower Administration “will present to Con- 
eress a broadened and improved program to help 
build thousands of schools for our children.” He 
believed, the speaker asserted, that it is “perfectly 
possible” to give aid for the construction of 
schools “‘without in any way endangering the 
freedom of local school systems.” 

In regard to health, the head of the Department 
of Health, Education and Welfare placed particu- 
lar emphasis on prevention and research. He 
advocated increased speed and efficiency in apply- 
ing the fruits of medical research. 

“The health, education and welfare of the 

John Frey was there. 
He’s the president 
emeritus of the Metal 
Trades Department. 

American people,” said Mr. Folsom, “will yield 
best to progress, I believe, if we pursue vigorously 
a policy of prevention and elimination of need— 
of striking hard at the root causes of need instead 
of the surface symptoms.” 

The Rev. Father Raymond A. McGowan ad- 
dressed the convention. For many years he was 
national director of the National Catholic Welfare 
Conference, said President Meany in introducing 
him, and his keen interest in the work of the trade 
union movement goes back over many years. 

“T like the merger of the American Federation 
of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organiza- 
tions,” Father McGowan told the delegates, “‘pri- 
marily because I liked both of them when they 
were separate. Now that they have come to- 
gether, I can like them all the more.” 

When the AFL and the CIO were separate, he 
said, they both did good work, but the united or- 
ganization will be able to do that work “more 

“Fundamentally what I wanted and fundamen- 
tally what I still want is morality in economic 
life,” Father McGowan declared. ‘“‘Fundamental- 
ly you people wanted the same thing and you still 
want it. You want a good living for the people in 
industry. You want also to share in the increas- 
ing productivity of our times, to which you are 
entitled. You want also such a division of income 
as will provide steady employment. 

“T think these are all matters of moral obliga- 
tion. Because I think they are matters of moral 

Mr. Becu addressed the convention. 

Omer Becu (left), president of 
the L.C.F.T.U., and George Harrison, 
president of the Railway Clerks. 

JANUARY, 1956 




Addresses by religious leaders emphasized the significance of labor unity. Protestant, Catholic and Jewish speakers 
were Dr. Eugene Carson Blake (left), Father Raymond A. McGowan (center) and Rabbi Israel Goldstein. 

obligation. I have been all the more taken by the 
labor movement and I have come to look upon 
the labor movement as primarily an arm for ef- 
fective economic morality in the United States. 

“That is a big thing, I think. It is an extraordi- 
nary element in American life. If we didn’t have 
a great body of men and women organized and 
primarily dedicated to the establishment of mor- 
ality in economic life, we would be indeed a de- 
plorable country. * * * 

“There are opportunities of organizing that you 
know much more about than [. There are oppor- 
tunities of getting better degislation and, may I 

add, better administration of whatever legislation 

exists. May I add also, better state legislation, 
because our states have lagged far behind the 
federal laws in the protection of the right of labor 
to organize and in the protection of wages and 
working conditions. 

“There are possibilities before you now in 
greater measure than they were when you were 
separated. For those reasons I am in favor— 
very much in favor—of the merger, and I think 
that you will have a future before you that will 
far exceed your present anticipations. * * * 

“May God bless you in your work. May God 
help you with His Providence so that you will 

take these principles and get the right policies 

Cameramen were on the scene to record the historic proceedings for the millions who could not be present. 


and apy 
able to 

can ove 
May Go 
tion and 


“It g 
of us ir 
that thes 
he told t 
that, sta 

ranks of 
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metho Is 
ma vi 

due to t 
saw the 

again fo 


A suit with the union label 
was raffled off by the 
Amalgamated Clothing Workers. 

and applications from them; so that you will be 
able to run your unions honestly and with integ- 
rity, and so that you will be able to organize 
more people; so that you will be able to influence 
the federal government and especially the state 
governments to pass better and more sound legis- 
lation, and to get better action on the laws that 
are best. 

“All these things lie before you. There will be 
many difficulties. There are always difficulties in 
eases of this sort, but the difficulties I think you 
can overcome, and | hope you will overcome them. 
May God bless you during the rest of this conven- 
tion and all the rest of your life.” 

Omer Becu, president of the International Con- 
federation of Free Trade Unions, hailed the mer- 

“It gives me great pleasure and certainly all 
of us in I.C.F.T.U. the profoundest satisfaction 
that these two stout pillars have now become one,” 
he told the convention. ‘‘We are firmly convinced 
that, standing together, they will be immensely 
stronger than standing apart.” 

Mr. Becu said that the former division in the 
tanks of American labor was “anything but fruit- 

“It has resulted in a testing of two alternative 
methods which has brought out the value in both, 
in a vigorous rivalry of endeavor which has 
brought much advantage to labor. Great credit is 
due to the clear-sightedness of the leaders who 
‘aw the need for experiment and transition and 
gain ‘or their vision today in seeing the need to 

JANUARY, 1956 

The secretaries of New York City’s 
central bodies, Morris Iushewitz 
(left) and James C. Quinn, served 
as assistants to Secretary Schnitzler. 

| 2 a Wh 

Alice Leopold (left) of U.S. Department 
of Labor and Mrs. Margaret Thornburgh 
talked about women as workers and voters. 

bring it to a close and to build a united movement 
based on the experience which has been gained.” 

The merger is “one of the greatest advances in 
trade union history,” Mr. Becu declared, adding 
that the joining of the AFL and CIO “is, if pos- 
sible, of even greater significance to world labor 

The con- 

solidation will mean not only a strengthening of 

than it is to American labor itself.” 

U.S. labor in domestic affairs but also will permit 
American labor to play “an ever bigger role in 
the world at large,” he said. 

“As president of the I.C.F.T.U.,” declared Mr. 
Becu, “these prospects cannot but give me the 

All your friends in the 

keenest satisfaction. 
I.C.F.T.U. will watch your great experiment with 

intense interest and warm sympathy.” 

Ethical Practices 

The Resolutions Committee, resuming its re- 
port, presented a resolution on the subject of 
ethical practices. The resolution said: 

“The American labor movement has ever been 
quick in its denunciation of public officials who 
betray their trust. We have been equally critical 
of businessmen who have used corrupt methods 
and bribery to gain their selfish, acquisitive ends. 
We must be equally quick to recognize and con- 
demn those instances of racketeering, corruption 
and disregard for ethical standards when they 
occur inside our labor movement. * * * 

“The first constitutional convention of the 
AFL-CIO calls upon all its affiliated national and 
international unions to take whatever steps are 
necessary within their own organizations to effect 
the policies and ethical standards set forth in the 
constitution of the AFL-CIO. When constitu- 
tional amendments or changes in internal admin- 
istrative procedures are necessary for the affiliated 
organizations to carry out the responsibilities 
incumbent upon autonomous organizations, such 
amendments and changes should be undertaken at 
the earliest practicable time. 

“This first constitutional convention of the 
AFL-CIO pledges its full support, good offices and 
staff facilities of the AFL-CIO Committee on 
Ethical Practices to all national and international 
unions in their efforts to carry out and put into 
practice the constitutional mandate to keep our 
organization ‘free from any taint of corruption 
or communism.’ ” 

Vice-President Carey spoke on the resolution. 


“There is general agreement, I believe,” said 
Mr. Carey, “that those instances of corruption and 
malfeasance which we deplore and which have 
sometimes shadowed the reputation of democratic 
unionism have all been made possible, even been 
encouraged, by the absence of full financial 
reports to union members. 

“More often than not, malfeasance and illicit 
diversion of funds have occurred behind a dark 
curtain of ignorance, of carefully cultivated obscu- 
rity. But wherever union members are given the 
opportunity of scrutinizing regular—and I empha. 
size regular—comprehensive financial reports, the 
incidence of corruption drops enormously. 

“It follows, therefore, that the best of all pos. 

- sible insurance against unethical practices in the 

labor movement is to provide our union member. 
ships with full and detailed accountings of what 
happens to their money. Needless to say, I mean 
much fuller and much more detailed accountings 
than are required by federal law. Union mem. 
bers should regularly receive comprehensive re- 
ports not just on the organization’s general fund 
but on such moneys as those in the defense or 
strike fund, building fund, welfare and insurance 

“Union members, moreover, should receive 
these reports not as a matter of privilege and con- 
descension but as a matter of right. It is a union's 
sacred obligation, I feel, not merely to handle 
every bit of revenue and every expenditure with 
the utmost scrupulousness; it is the union’s obliga 
tion also to acquaint the union member with the 
full facts concerning receipts and disbursals. 

“Such practice is, of course, a fundamental 
aspect of democratic unionism. We hold that not 
only does democratic unionism require the men- 
bership’s familiarity with its organization’s finar 
cial affairs; democracy in union life also requires 
that the members participate to the maximum 
extent possible in making financial decisions.” 

After Vice-President Carey’s remarks the rese- 
lution was put to a vote and adopted by the con- 

President Meany announced that the first cor- 
stitutional convention of the Industrial Union 
Department of the AFL-CIO would be held at the 
conclusion of the afternoon session of the AFIL- 
CIO convention. He called attention to the avail- 
ability of application’ blanks for the use of any 
organization desiring to affiliate with the Depart 


ment. E 
of the Al 
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ment. He also told the delegates that, as president 
of the AFL-CIO, he would serve as the temporary 
chairman when the founding meeting of the 
Department convened. 

At the afternoou session President Meany read 
a telegram from the Amalgamated Meat Cutters 
and the United Packinghouse Workers. Signed 
by the presidents and the secretaries of both 
unions, the message made known that they had 
reached “an accord which we are certain repre- 
sents the basis for an early merger of our two 

The convention heard and then unanimously 
approved a lengthy resolution on foreign policy. 

“Unlike preceding international crises,” this 
resolution said, “the present struggle between the 
Communist dictatorships and the free world is not 

f collision between two power blocs, in the old 

Nineteenth Century sense, but between two con- 
ficting ways of life—democracy (despite all its 
imperfections) and Communist totalitarianism, 
with its alleembracing program of world conquest 
and transformation. Soviet imperialism seeks to 
subvert and conquer the free world and remold 
all society in line with its Communist preconcep- 
This vital difference 

between the old imperialisms and the new Soviet 

tions of a new social order. 

imperialism accounts for the continuous charac- 
ter of the present crisis as distinct from preced- 
ing ones. 

“The AFL and the CIO have notable records 
of opposition to world communism and Soviet 
Both have also resolutely opposed 
fascism, Nazism, Falangism, Peronism and every 


other form of dictatorship. The united organiza- 
tion that has grown out of the merger of the two 
\merican trade union centers will not slacken 
in that opposition.” 

The free trade union movement cannot live 
without democracy, the resolution pointed out. 

“At this critical juncture of history,” the docu- 
ment asserted, “‘we are in duty bound to help our 
country meet its heavy responsibilities as a power- 
lul force for the attainment of lasting world peace, 

‘reedom and human well-being.” 

Communist Russia was criticized sharply. At 
the recent conference of the Big Four foreign min- 
isters in Geneva, the resolution said, the Soviets 
lemonstrated that they are willing to “do little or 
nothing to remove or even reduce the acute inter- 
national tension of the last decade.” 

JANUARY, 1956 

Thurgood Marshall, the general counsel of the 
National Association for the Advancement of Col- 
ored People, addressed the convention. On behalf 
of that organization, he saluted the merged AFL- 

“The additional strength from this merger,” 
Mr. Marshall said, “will most certainly be used 
for the benefit of the country in general.” 

The speaker denounced those who commit 
crimes, including murder, in order to intimidate 
Negro Americans and “preserve racial segrega- 
tion and other forms of discrimination, including 
the denial of the right to vote.” It should be 
noted, he declared, that “this vicious anti-Negro 
program extends to white citizens who dare to 
speak out for justice for Negroes.” 

“In this great expansion program of bringing 
great industries into the South,” said Mr. Mar- 
shall, “organized labor has a more important task 
than ever before in seeing to it that the plants 
involved are not only organized on a completely 
non-racial basis but that the communities sur- 
rounding these plants are run in a democratic 
fashion, which today means, according to the law 
of the land, the absence of facial segregation. 
Anything short of this will merely mean that the 
expansion program in the South will become a 
further example of extended racial discrimina- 
At this late date 
it goes without saying that organized labor has a 

tion on an even larger scale. 

terrific stake in vigorously opposing racial segre- 
gation in community life, whether it be in the 
North or South.” 

The convention adopted a comprehensive res- 
olution on civil liberties and internal security. 
The fight to protect the nation against Communist 
aggression must be carried on with vigor and 
determination, the delegates said, but the menace 
can be met “without endangering our traditional 
liberties or infringing upon the freedoms guaran- 
teed by the Bill of Rights.” There is no justifica- 
tion, it was pointed out, for adopting “the methods 
of our totalitarian foes” while we are protecting 
our democratic country. The resolution voiced 
satisfaction that developments over the past year 
on the civil liberties front “afford considerable 
ground for optimism.” 

Governor G. Mennen Williams of Michigan and 
Governor Dennis J. Roberts of Rhode Island vis- 
ited the conventicn and spoke briefly. They con- 
gratulated American labor on the merger. 



Elected to membership on the 
Executive Council was Barbers’ 
president, William Birthright. 

- H 

Delegation of the United 
Furniture Workers was led by 
Morris Pizer, union’s president. 

Colorfully garbed laborite from 
Africa exchanged views with 
Vice-President Herman Winter. 

RESIDENT MEANY called the convention to 
order at 9:30 a.m. The invocation was given by 
the Rev. James H. Robinson, senior pastor of the 
Church of the Master. Secretary Schnitzler then 
read a number of messages to the convention, 
including one from President Jose Figueres of 
Costa Rica. This communication read as follows: 
“For two and a half decades I have followed 
with devotion the development of the American 

labor movement. I admire the courage and fore- 
sight of your leaders, past and present, and the 
faith of your workers. You have given a large 
contribution to three different accomplishments of 
the American economy 

raising the standard of 

living, broadening the market and gradually cre- 
ating a system of regulated free enterprise or 
mixed economy which embodies the old ideals of 
socialism and capitalism. 

“At the present time there is a growing recog: 
nition of the advantages of large economic units 
or corporations. This calls for large labor organi- 
zations as well. 

“The historic labor reunion that you are effec 
ing now is one more demonstration of the states 
manship of your leaders and a tribute to the basic 
ability of Americans to get together among them- 
selves and with the rest of the world.” 

Among the other messages read by Secretary 

Mrs. Claude Jodoin was on hand 

for the historic meeting. 

She is 

the wife of the president of 
Canada’s Trades and Labor Congress. 

= George T. Brown was one of the 
= busiest of men during the four 
exciting days in the Armory. 


free trad 
Signed by 
sage to th 

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Schnitzler was one from the organization of 
free trade unionists exiled from Czechoslovakia. 
Signed by Frank Cifka, its secretary general, the 
Czechoslovak Free Trade Union Federation’s mes- 
sage to the AFL-CIO said: 

“Your convention creating the largest trade 
union organization in the free world will have 
udoubtedly profound long-range effects in the 
United States and abroad, and will affect also the 
trade unionists in Czechoslovakia and other Com- 
munist dominated countries. 

“We know very well—and we are transmitting 
this knowledge on every occasion to our brothers 
behind the Iron Curtain—that free trade unionists 
are stout defenders of democratic principles and 
ardent opponents of communism. We are glad to 

be able to say on this occasion that the leaders of 

the American trade union movement stand in the 
first row of the unified front against the Communist 
plans for world domination. 

“The refusal of Brother Meany and of other 

President Meany welcomed Vice-Presidents 
Willard Townsend, Richard Walsh, 
A. Philip Randolph and A. L. Spradling. 

JANUARY, 1956 

Walter Reuther and Harry Bates will 
continue to work together for the 
advancement of labor’s cause. 

The Auto Workers’ and Bricklayers’ 
presidents were elected vice-presidents 
of the new merged federation. 

American labor leaders to accept the invitations 
to send labor delegations to the U.S.S.R. and to 
satellite countries gave encouragement to our 
brothers in Czechoslovakia, flooded by the official 
Communist reports and propaganda about Western 
delegations visiting the Soviet orbit. 

“There is no doubt in our minds that the unified 
labor movement of the United States will intensify 
the struggle against the Communist conspiracy and 
will lend its support to the cause of the freedom- 
loving people behind the Iron Curtain. With your 
support and help, sooner or later the Czechoslovak 
trade unionists will be able to rejoin the big family 
of free labor.” 

Program for Veterans 

President Meany recognized Joseph Curran, 
secretary of the Resolutions Committee, who read 
a resolution on the subject of veterans. This reso- 
lution pointed out that the United States has a 
veterans population of 22,000,000 and is ex- 

Ck EC ee 

ee ae 


pected to add 1,000,000 annually to “this already 
large segment of our American population.” 

“Many. of these veterans. or members of. their 
immediate families,” it was pointed out, “are 
members of our affiliated unions. These veterans 
share with the rest of. the nation an interest and 
concern in the general economic and social condi- 
tions which determine whether we have jobs or 
unemployment, decent standards of living or pri- 
vation, social legislation and medical care or 
avoidable illness and disability, adequate housing 
or slum tenements. 

“Any veteran being discharged from service 
faces problems of readjustment. Organized labor 
has always recognized that the returning veteran 
is entitled to full restitution and protection against 
the loss of any of his rights, benefits and oppor- 
tunities, which he may have been deprived of as a 
result of his absence from civilian life. 

“The demands of these veterans for jobs, secu- 
rity, housing, education and a decent standard of 
living are identical with the demands of the labor 

By unanimous vote, the delegates pledged active 
support to a comprehensive veterans’ program. 
The convention called for “proper reemployment 
rights and reinstatement rights” for all returning 
veterans, including “full credit for all accumu- 
lated employes’ benefits to which they would have 
been entitled if they had not left their employment 
to enter the armed forces.” At the same time the 
AFL-CIO promised to work “constantly and vigor- 
ously” for fair and equal treatment for all citizens 
subject to the draft “through the elimination of 
preferential treatment to any occupational group.” 
Each affliated union was urged to establish a 
Veterans’ Committee. Other points covered in the 

Ralph Helstein, president of 
United Packinghouse Workers. 


ti ing 



. ae 

man ar 
hymn, ‘ 
the wo 
hey we 
‘ All | 

George Meany was a good listener as an amusing 
story was related to him by Thomas A. Murray, veteran 


leader of the New York State Federation of Labor. We 7 
convention’s action included pensions, loans, com- 
pensation, housing, medical care, rehabilitation Toge 
and military justice. 

A resolution dealing with military manpower Te 
policies was read to the convention by Reuben Well 
Soderstrom, secretary of the Resolutions Commit. A 
tee. This resolution underscored labor’s concem 
“that the nation’s program for service in the armed All t 
forces be equitable and fully consistent with our 
democratic heritage.” Wet 

The convention unanimously opposed the adop- 
tion of any program of universal military training, Mas 
voiced strong support of a couitinuation of the Ie’ 
selective service system and urged the Department 
of Defense to develop an adequately conceived Unit 
and effective reserve training program under the Al 
Armed Forces Reserve Act of 1955. All # 

“We recognize,” the convention declared, “that 
it is essential today for the United States to main § Wet 
tain its armed forces at adequate strength to de: 
fend ourselves against military aggression as well 
as to aid our allies around the world. 

“The past year has witnessed a further reduction 
in the size of the nation’s military forces. This 
continuing decline raises a serious question in our 
minds: Does the nation now have sufficient forces 
to meet the country’s international commitments 
around the globe? * * * 

“The adoption of compulsory military training 
would be contrary to the traditional American way 
of life. It would disrupt family life and educa 
tional opportunities. It would turn over to the 
military control of the nation’s youth at a time 
when young men are in a very formative stage.” 

At this point the convention was treated to 8 


@irring new song in honor of the AFL-CIO merger. 
President Meany introduced Joseph Glazer of the 

ubber Workers, a renowned folk singer, who 
Pexplained that “All Together” had been written 
earlier in the week “‘on the floor of the conven- 
tion.” Mr. Glazer made known that Harry Fleisch- 
man and H. H. Bookbinder had joined him in 
writing the new stanzas to the music of the old 
hymn, “There Is Power in the Blood.” These were 
the words of the new song, “All Together,” as 
they were heard by the convention: 

All together, all together, we are stronger 
every way, AFL-CIO. 

We will build together, work together for 
a better day, AFL and CIO. 

Together we'll build and together we'll 
Together we'll make this a happier land. 
We'll work and we'll sing and we'll march 
hand in hand. 
And build our union strong. 

All together, all together, we are stronger 
every way, AFL-CIO. 

We will build together, work together for 
a better day, AFL and CIO. 

No matter your race, no matter your creed, 
It’s justice for all that we want and we 
United in brotherhood, we will succeed 
And build our union strong. 

All together, all together, we are stronger 
every way, AFL-CIO. 

We will build together, work together for 
a better day, AFL and CIO. 


JANUARY, 1956 

Label drive and Florida hotel strike were 
discussed by James Cross (left), president of 
the Bakery Workers, and E. S. Miller, head 
of the Hotel and Restaurant Employes. 

If you are afraid when your hair’s turning 
They'll open the gates and cast you away, 
Then join with your brothers and demand 
fair play 

And build your union strong. 

All together, all together, we are stronger 
every way, AFL-CIO. 

We will build together, work together for 
a better day, AFL and CIO. 

*What’s good for America,” we’re proud 
to note, 
“Is good for labor,” and this you may 
So ring those bells and get out the vote 
To build our country strong. 

All together, all together, we are stronger 
every way, AFL-CIO. 

We will build together, work together for 
a better day, AFL and CIO. 

New song written in honor 
of the merger was introduced by 
Joe Glazer of the Rubber Workers. 

Lewis M. Herrmann, representing the Interna- 
tional Labor Press of America, was introduced by 
President Meany. Mr. Herrmann’s report voiced 
great satisfaction that “the officers of this merged 
labor movement have evinced keen interest in the 
establishment of a closer and more effective liaison 
between AFL-CIO headquarters and the adminis- 
trative officers of the labor press, so that the full 
potentialities of this important segment of the 
labor movement may be properly utilized.” 

“The labor press,” said the report, “is the right 
arm of the labor movement, which must blaze the 
way for our unions if they are to make real prog- 
ress. Experience has shown that we cannot depend 
for a fair presentation of our problems upon the 
general daily press, which instinctively plays the 
game of the greedy reactionary forces of our 

“A strong labor movement must have a militant, 
loyal and powerful labor press. The realization 
of this objective is now in the hands of the leaders 
of this great federation of trade unions.” 

Mr. Herrmann’s report called attention to the 
notable advances registered by labor publications 
since the early days of the trade union movement. 

“We may well be proud today,” said the report, 
“of counting among our membership international 
union magazines and local labor papers which 
compare favorably with some of the best publica- 
tions to be found in the general press of this caux- 

The I.L.P.A.’s delegate emphasized the need 
for continued strengthening of the labor press “‘to 


bring the story of labor not only to the 16,000,- 
000 members and their families within the AFL- 
CIO fold but to counteract the poison propaganda 

Boris Shishkin (left) and 
Paul Sifton compared notes. 

against labor being constantly fed to the general 
public by the daily press.” 

The Resolutions Committee resumed its report, 
A resolution on manpower policy for full mobi. 
lization urged that, in the event of an emergency, 
military authorities should not be made respon. 
sible for “deciding questions which are essentially 
civilian in character.” The regular civil authori. 
ties must continue to be responsible for major 
governmental decisions, the resolution said. La. 
bor’s firm conviction that voluntarism should be 
the basis of all manpower planning for mobiliza- 
tion was reiterated. The resolution also recom. 
mended the continuation by the Administration of 
the development of manpower mobilization meas. 
ures through consultation with the National Labor. 
Management Manpower Policy Committee. 

“We vigorously oppose the use of martial law 
as a response to atomic attack,” the resolution 

The resolution, as submitted, was approved by 
the convention. 

Action on Atomic Energy 

Next the Resolutions Committee submitted— 
and the delegates approved—a lengthy statement 
and resolution on the subject of atomic energy. 
It was pointed out that in the United States, where 
the largest investments of public funds have been 
made in developing atomic energy, “action for 
more rapid and broadened application of peace: 
ful uses of nuclear science must be urged upon 
the Atomic Energy Commission.” 

“In stimulating a more aggressive program of 
development for civilian uses,” the resolution said, 
“the A.E.C. and the nation must remain alert to 
the danger of commercial monopoly. The govern 
ment must vigorously enforce its authority to pre- 
vent any firm from using patent rights to gain 
monopolistic control of any important phase of 
nuclear development. 

‘A relatively few industrial giants have had the 
opportunity as contractors for the government in 
the military development phases of the atomic pro- 
gram to gain special ‘know-how’ and _ personnel 
in this complex field. They must not be allowed 
to convert their headstart or inside knowledge into 
an unduly favored position or exclusive control 
of any aspect of private application. 

“The widening of private activity in this field 


must té 
bring t 
their i 
The go 
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must take place on a truly competitive basis to 
bring to the American people the benefits to which 
their investment in atomic energy entitles them. 
The government must, therefore, encourage par- 
ticipation by as wide a variety of responsible pri- 
vate enterprises as practicable and must assure 
such enterprises an equal opportunity through 
appropriate provisions for access to necessary 
atomic information and resources. 

“Now, therefore, be it 

“RESOLVED, The AFL-CIO urges the following 
as fundamental elements in an enlightened United 
States atomic energy program in the best inter- 
ests of the American public and the world as a 

“(1) The United States should participate 
wholeheartedly in the formation and operation of 
an International Agency on Atomic Energy adher- 
ing to the principles urged upon the members of 
the United Nations by the I.C.F.T.U. 

“(2) The United States should encourage and 
participate in regional agreements under tke 
United Nations Charter to make possible for sev- 
eral countries within the appropriate region to 
assure mutual availability of capital, technical 
know-how and equipment, as well as to develop 
common programs in whose benefits all would 

“(3) Development of peaceful uses of the 
atom should be promoted as rapidly, fuliy and 
equitably as possible, to hasten the day when 
the atom’s potential is reflected in improved stand- 
ards of living for all. 

“(4) The tasks of overcoming technological 
obstacles and of putting atomic energy into prac- 
tical everyday civilian use in this country, includ- 
ing the construction of large-scale power reac- 
tors, must be carried through both by the federal 
government itself and by expanded participation 
of private enterprise. 

“(5) In encouraging broadened participation 
by private industry, the federal government must 
not relinquish its responsibility to assure that 
atomic energy is developed and applied in the pub- 
lic interest and under standards established and 
maintained to that end. Federal policy must pre- 
vent the development of monopoly in any aspect 

of this new industry. Full consideration must be 
iven to the probable need for federal standards 
to be established either through the licensing pow- 

JANUARY, 1956 

David Dubinsky, president 
of Ladies’ Garment Workers, 
was jaunty. He had urged 
labor unity for many years. 

er of the Atomic Energy Commission or by legis- 

(6) Since expanded peacetime atomic de- 
velopment will have a marked economic and so- 
cial impact, its likely effects must be weighed 
carefully in advance and a program must be 
drawn to meet the human needs arising out of any 
dislocation of existing industry. 

“(7) The public must be kept informed fully 
of the nation’s peacetime atomic plants and prog- 

ress. The program of easing and eliminating 
secrecy restrictions on non-military technical in- 
formation must be greatly accelerated. 

“(8) The growth of atomic energy operations 
requires that particular attention be directed to 
the development of: (a) A sound labor-manage- 
ment relations program, with maximum emphasis 
on free collective bargaining as an integral part 
of broadened private enterprise. (b) Effective 
health and safety standards to meet the special 
hazards presented in work with radioactive mate- 
rials. (c) Provisions for fair compensation for 
workmen suffering radiation injury. (d) A vol- 
untary manpower program to assure a necessary 
supply of competent skilled labor to meet our 
atomic needs. 

“(9) A statutory Labor-Management Advisory 
Committee should be established to advise the 
Atomic Energy Commission in developing these 

President Meany directed the attention of the 
delegates to the. presence of eighty Protestant and 
Orthodox clergymen from Greater New York. 
After noting that their visit to the convention had 
been arranged by the National Council of Church- 


Charles Geddes 
came from Britain. 

Milton Webster of 
Sleeping Car Porters. 

es in cooperation with the Protestant Council of 
the City of New York, President Meany said: 

“I want to call attention to the fact that they are 
here in the balcony on my right and say to them 
that we are very happy to have them with us this 

President Meany then introduced twenty-eight 
foreign labor representatives. These were in addi- 
tion to the large number of labor representatives 
from other countries who had been presented two 
days earlier. The twenty-eight men were from 
Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Canada, Japan, 
Austria, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Czecho- 

National Commander J. Addington Wagner of 
the American Legion addressed the convention. 

“The Communists have failed utterly in their 
efforts to capture American labor,” the Legion 
leader told the delegates. “‘I believe that this fail- 
ure is the strongest assurance we have of the abil- 
ity of the American pecple to resist Communist 
infiltration. We are all aware of the tremendous 
efforts which have been made by communism dur- 
ing the past twenty-five years to take over the 
American labor movement. Had they succeeded, 
they would have been well on the way to complete 
victory in our country and, indeed, in all the 
world. But they failed. And in their failure is the 
greatest proof of the soundness and the moral 
strength of American labor unions, of working 
men and women and of America.” 

Commander Wagner assailed the “negative ap- 
proach” of American foreign policy in recent 

“The Communists act and we react,” he de- 
clared. “They move and we counter. They have 
successfully retained the initiative throughout the 
years—and their ability to call the turn has been 
most profitable to them—and it still is.” 


The speaker warned that negotiations with the 
Communists cannot succeed because “Communis 
leaders have demonstrated that they are bound 
to act in bad faith.” Therefore, he said, thoy 
who are opposed to totalitarian tyranny must di. 
rect their efforts “toward the collapse of the Com. 
munist movement rather than toward co-existence 
with it.” 

“The Red leaders themselves, from Lenin on,” 
Commander Wagner pointed out, “have main. 
tained that their system and ours cannot co-exist: 
that one or the other must prevail. This much at 
least of the Communist gospel the American gov. 
ernment and the American people must acknowl. 
edge as true.” 

The speaker called for greater frankness in 
speaking to the American people, to our allies 
and to the Communists themselves. 

“Instead of attempiing to sweeten the bitter 
failure that was Geneva,” the Legion chieftain 
said, “the American government, in our belief, 
should tell the people that Russia has again played 
us false, and that we have no reason to antici: 
pate any letup in the struggle between the two 

President Meany then introduced Dr. Eugene 
Carson Blake, president of the National Council 
of Churches. Dr. Blake was the third of the reli- 
gious leaders scheduled for addresses to the con- 
vention, the other two having been leaders of the 
Catholic and Jewish faiths. 

“First of all,” said Dr. Blake, “I would like to 
express to you and your officers the appreciation 
of the National Council of Churches and my ap. 
preciation for this opportunity to speak to you al 
this significant convention marking the merger of 

the two great bodies representative of organized 

labor in our country. 

“When the founding fathers were establishing 
the political framework of our democracy, the 
wisest of them were deeply concerned to construc! 

a society in which there would be both unity anl§ 

diversity in American life. Unity was necessa 
if the nation was to survive. Diversity was neces 
sary if men were to be free. They wrote a Cor 
stitution and amended it almest immediately with 
a Bill of Rights which was thus designed to gover 
a nation both strong and free. 

“That they planned well, our history to thi 
hour is proof enough. After nearly 170 year. 


the na 
one 0 
the re 
the st 
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with si 
now hi: 
I cong 
on the 
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every ¢ 
is so 



the nation is strong and Americans are free. * * * 

“For the first hundred years of the republic 
one of the great lacks among the voluntary or- 
ganized groups of the nation was an adequate 
labor movement. Americans were free in those 
years only because of the geographic frontier 
which with freedom of movement allowed the op- 

pressed to move westward if they would. With 

the relative shutting down of the frontier in the 
Twentieth Century, American freedom demanded 
the strengthening of a labor movement, and the 
climax of its development is marked by this mer- 
ger convention. 

“There have been some who have looked with 
apprehension at the increased strength of labor 
with such a large and unified organization as you 
now have at your service. I am not one of those. 
I congratulate you on this occasion just as I con- 
gratulated the Protestant and Orthodox churches 
on their achievement of five years ago in estab- 
lishing the National Council of Churches which 
represents a constituency of 35,000,000 communi- 
cants plus a great many millions more loosely 

“Now, I would be afraid of the National Coun- 
cil of Churches if we all agreed about everything. 
We have in our constituency capitalists and man- 
agers as well as labor leaders and workers, and 
every church worthy of the name is glad that this 
is so 

“And that is the reason I am glad that you have 
invited various spokesmen from the various reli- 

JANUARY, 1956 

gious bodies of this nation. Some of you are 
Protestant, some Roman Catholic, some Jewish by 
faith and some Orthodox. That too is good. 

“And so I should like to pledge to you the in- 
terest and concern of the Protestant and Orthodox 
churches in you and in your movement. All our 
ecclesiastical interests and all your labor interests 
ought to be neither identical with each other nor 
alien from each other. On the most important 
issues of moral concern we ought always to be 
staunch allies. * * * 

“In the complex pattern of American life, our 
strength and unity will be preserved only as we 
all recognize our duty to God and to our neigh- 
bors. Our freedom will be preserved only as we 
work with all men of integrity and good will 
whose interests and convictions on many matters 
differ, but whose loyalty to God transcends the 
boundaries of the nation and whose loyalty to the 
nation transcends the boundaries of all special 

The Resolutions Committee then resumed its 
report. Full support of the trade unionists who 
are engaged in protracted strikes against hard- 
shelled employers in various industries was 
pledged in a resolution. The Westinghouse strike 
was specifically mentioned, as were the Kohler 
strike in Wisconsin, the Flight Engineers’ strike 
against United Air Lines and the strike of the 
Hotel and Restaurant Employes against major 
hotels in Miami Beach and Miami. 

“American unions believe in peaceful collec- 

Vice-Presidents W. C. 
Doherty (left) and 
Maurice A. Hutcheson 
with J. A. Wagner, 
national commander of 
the American Legion. 

oN a a EC a SE eS 8 

tive bargaining,” the convention declared. “It is 
always our aim to reach agreement through peace- 
ful negotiations, without resort to the strike wea- 
pon. We are well aware that the effects of a strike 
are felt not only by the employer, but pre-emi- 
nently by the striking workers themselves, and in 
lesser degree by the general public. 

“Our unions do not lightly decide to strike or 
engage in walkouts for frivolous or trivial rea- 
sons. We do not strike until every other legitimate 
means of arriving at a satisfactory settlement has 
been exhausted. 

“In the final analysis, however, a strike is, in 
many situations, the workers’ only weapon and 
recourse to it their only hope of winning better 
wages, hours and working conditions. This can 
be clearly seen in some of the bitter strikes in 
which our affiliates are now engaged.” 

Westinghouse Strike Facts 

AFL-CIO Vice-President James B. Carey, pres- 
ident of the International Union of Electrical, 
Radio and Machine Workers, told the delegates 
the facts about the long Westinghouse strike. He 
described the unfair tactics used by the employer. 

“Our members are walking the picket lines,” 
Mr. Carey said. “They are facing this billion- 
dollar corporation as trade unionists must face 
corporations that are so irresponsible that they 
would tear up a union contract.” 

He told the convention of the company’s futile 
efforts to break the strike and organize a “back 
to work”” movement. 

“The managers and foremen and supervisors 
were asked to leave the union and go to work,” 
Mr. Carey related. “They are sending letters to 
the homes of our members. They are hiring scabs 
where they can. They are using the local police 
and the sheriffs, the deputies and the state police. 
They have got injunctions, and in some cases they 
are still seeking to enforce those injunctions. They 
engage in rumors and whispering campaigns that 
the strike is nearly over. They send fake letters 
from strikers’ wives to government officials and to 
the newspapers. They furlough 40 per cent of 
the officials of the corporation and the technicians 
to give them time to engage in scab recruiting. 
They are offering $20-a-day handouts to ask our 
people to scab in these plants.” 

The president of the union hailed the thousands 
of striking workers as “courageous people who are 


fighting the battle so necessary for the continua 
existence of labor.” He promised that they yil 
continue their struggle until victory is achieved 

“We look to the day when we can be of assig. 

ance to any other group confronted with the sami 

kind of problem.” 
Adlai Stevenson Speaks 

Adlai Stevenson was introduced for an addres 
to the convention. In introducing the 1952 Demo. 
cratic candidate for the Presidency, Mr. Meany 
said: f 

“I am very happy to present this morning on 
who I am sure everybody in this hall knows—an 
knows very well—because of his tremendous cam. 
paign three years ago. However, perhaps a good 
many people do not know of his very splendid rec. 
ord as a public servant prior to that campaign. 
Of course, the people of Illinois know all abou 
that, but I am sure that a great many Americans 
do not know of that record. 

“Tt is on the basis of that record and also on the 
basis of the ideas and ideals and aspirations that 
he presented to the American people three years 
ago that we are very happy to welcome him here 
again this morning to deliver an address to you 
and to tell us what he has on his mind for 1956. 
It is a great deal of pleasure to present to you the 
Honorable Adlai Stevenson.” 

Former Governor Stevenson was given a most 
enthusiastic reception by the delegates and guests. 
He smiled and waved to the vast assemblage. 

In his opening remarks, referring to the achieve- 
ment of merger, the speaker said: 

“Here in a very real sense history and destiny 
have come together for a moment in time. Be- 
hind this meeting lies a century and a half of 
preparation, of building, of upward struggle, of 
fighting for a liberty no working man could win 
alone, but only in company with his brothers.” 

The joining together of the American Federa- 
tion of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Or- 
ganizations, Mr. Stevenson said, has added to le 
bor’s development “that element that has in the 
past twenty years been lacking.” 

“This week the two halves of a bridge that has 
long been building have been brought together, 
he declared. “Where there was separateness and 
division, now there is unity. Where there was in- 
completeness, now there is completeness. 


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“To you, George Meany, and to you, Walter 
Reuther, and to all of you in the labor movement, 
the nation is indebted for making America—and 
therefore freedom—stronger.” 

Mr. Stevenson urged increased participation in 
public affairs by all citizens. 

“The more people who take part in the processes 
of American government,” he said, “the stronger 
it is going to be. And the better informed they 
are, the better job of democratic self-government 
they are going to do. Democracy needs all the 
political participation it can get out of just as 
many individuals and just as many responsible 
groups as is possible. 

“Like you, I have been astonished by some 
worried declarations I’ve heard in the last few 
days about the dangers of an unlimited franchise 
for working people and their organized political 
activities. And while I’ve adverted to this sub- 
ject of voting, let me say that, like you, too, and 
every democracy-loving person in America—Re- 
publican or Democrat—I’ve been shocked and 
ashamed by the recent reports of bloody violence 
and gross intimidation to prevent people from ex- 
ercising their right—indeed their duty—to vote 
in one section of our country.” 

Mr. Stevenson castigated those who seek to 
foster antagonism between labor and other seg- 
ments of the nation. He said that the effective 
operation of democratic capitalism in the United 
States “depends upon full recognition that organ- 
ized labor is an essential and a responsible partner 
in the economy and the community.” 

Labor’s Concerns Are Not Narrow 

Labor is concerned not only with the problems 
of labor, he pointed out, but “even more” with 
the problems of citizens as citizens and of people 
as people. The hopes and aspirations of wage- 
eamers, he said, are the hopes and aspirations 
“of all people.” 

Turning to the problems of peace, Mr. Steven- 
son said: 

“Our country’s role in winning wars—labor’s 

tole in helping to win wars—has been duly rec- 

ognized. But its potential for winning peace has 
not been—even despite the accomplishments of 
American labor representatives in fighting com- 
munism on its own ground, where it counts most, 
nthe factories of Europe, in the rice fields of Asia 
and all around the world. 

JANUARY, 1956 

“In the long run, the issue between communism 
and democracy is going to be finally settled not 
in the counsels of diplomats or by the heads of 
governments but in the minds and hearts—yes, 
and the stomachs—of the multitudes of the ordi- 
nary working people of Asia, of Africa, of Eu- 
rope, yes, and of the Americas, too. 

“The voice of our America which can speak 
most clearly and persuasively to these people is 
the voice of American labor—of the AFL-CIO. 
I know that from this convention there will go 
out to working men and women in every country 
—who speak a multitude of tongues but who have 
it in common that they work with their hands and 
hold freedom in their hearts—the report of de- 
mocracy’s deeds and of how much more real they 
are than communism’s hollow promises. And I 
am glad you representatives from the I.C.F.T.U. 
are here to carry back to your people that message. 

“Here at home our central purpose is, in its 
broadest sense, to create fuller lives for all our 
people. I am acutely conscious of the fact that 
virtually every speaker who has appeared before 
you this week has developed that theme. But it is 
that important to our thinking. For this is a time 
of transition from the old to the new; from the 
small to the big; from embattled labor, if you 
please, to mighty labor; from national isolation 
to national involvement. It is a time of transition, 
too, from the ancient problem of sharing scarcity 
to the modern problem of distributing abundance. 

“Yet we must start from a recognition of the 
ironical fact that in this age of abundance there 
remain today 30,000,000 people in America who 
are still seeking freedom from want.” 

After outlining what must be done to eradicate 
completely poverty and injustice and to “improve 
our economic shock absorbers,” the 1952 Presi- 
dential candidate, who had labor’s support in that 
campaign, emphasized that the battle against in- 
security is only half the battle for a better life. 

“A full dinner pail is a necessity,” he said. 
“But Americans have never lived by bread alone. 
We have lived by ideals and by moral values.” 

The strengthening of the American way of life, 
Mr. Stevenson asserted, involves making democ- 
racy work for those who toil at their places of 
employment and “making more secure the rights 
of labor to organize and to bargain collectively.” 

“The laws must be fair to all,” he said, “‘to the 
workers, to the employers and to the people, too. 


ee ee 

Many delegates asked President Meany 
to autograph photos of himself. 

The so-called ‘right to work’ laws do not meet this 
test. And there has long been agreement that 
many of the provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act 
are inequitable and unworkable and should be 
changed or removed.” 

Governor Stevenson closed his address with the 
following words: 

“We conquered the depression—working to- 
gether. And we won the war—working together. 
But we have not learned to work fully together 
to use the fruits of abundance for our broader 
welfare — for our programs for education, for 
hospitals, for slum clearance and urban rehabili- 
tation, for social security. None of these things 
which we must do together has kept up with our 
expanding national wealth. 

“‘What then will it take to meet this challenge, 
to satisfy our hopes and aspirations for something 
beyond the heaping up of material abundance? 
Well, it will take a willingness to do together what 
cannot be done by individuals alone. I think there 
is among us this full willingness today. 

“It will take, too, a leadership which has faith 
in the future, and vision, and an understanding 
of what the people of America really want, and 
of how much they really want it. It will take a 
government which finds its mandates in consider- 
ation of the general welfare, and of no single in- 
terest. It will take a commitment that in our daily 
lives we live by the Bill of Rights which we sub- 
scribe to as a nation. 

“It will take a refusal ever to be satisfied, a 
vision of an American growing ever more beauti- 
ful and a freedom ever more complete, a deep 
conviction, if you please, in the continued per- 
fectability of the human spirit. 


“It will take the full-hearted belief of all of us 
that we in America have only just begun to live, 

“These—and nothing less than these—are our 
hopes and aspirations. 

“A nation’s best wishes go with you of labor 
as you set out now on your united, stronger pur. 
suit of these high purposes. Good luck.” 

Flerida Hotel Strike 

Discussion of the report on support for striking 
unions was resumed. Edward Miller, president 
of the Hotel and Restaurant Employes, told the 
convention that his union has already spent more 
than $1,000,000 on the prolonged Miami and Mi- 
ami Beach hotel strike. He appealed for moral 
support from every union and every unionist. 

“We have heard so much here this week on what 
is going on behind the Iron Curtain,” Mr. Miller 
remarked. “If we only travel through the South, 
we will find some of the same conditions.” 

The hotel strike will continue until victory has 
been achieved, the head of the union said. Four 
hotels have been unionized, he reported, “‘and we 
hope to have more in the near future.” All trade 
unionists and all friends of labor were reminded 
that the non-union hotels in Miami Beach and Mi. 
ami are strictly off limits. Mr. Miller praised 
Adlai Stevenson and Mayor Wagner of New York 
for their refusal, when they were in Florida re 
cently, to enter any non-union hotel. He also 
gave credit to the labor press for publicizing his 
union’s struggle for a square deal. 

Delegate Howard Walton of the Florida Indus- 
trial Union Council went to a microphone and 

“I feel that I would be remiss today if I did 
not mention the recent seventy-two-day strike of 
the Communications Workers of America in the 
nine Southern states. Down there we have sup- 
port in reality, and we have support of the type 
that would exemplify what we are attempting to 
do with this merged organization. Oftentimes 
the success of a strike in a good many small con- 
munities depends on the wholehearted support that 
we have from our brothers in the AFL unions. 
And I would just like to take this opportunity to 
say thanks very much for a job that was well done. 
We appreciated it, and if everybody else can ge! 
the type of support while on strike that you folks 

gave to us, I am quite sure we will lick the job.” 

The report of the committee was approved. 




tion, I | 
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‘Marital’ ring rite performed by Thomas Murphy of the 
Bricklayers was enjoyed by ‘the principal parties.’ 

Delegate Thomas Murphy of the Bricklayers, 
Masons and Plasterers International Union was 
recognized by the chair. From the platform, Mr. 
Murphy spoke as follows: 

“During the two or three days of this conven- 
tion, I have read in the papers that it has been 
called a marriage. In most instances a marriage 
symbolizes an exchange of gifts or at least an ex- 
change of rings between the interested parties.” 

He then explained that the New York Executive 
Committee of the Bricklayers had asked him, on 
behalf of the committee, to present rings to “the 
principal parties.” Before making the presenta- 
tions, he described the rings for the benefit of the 

“It is two clasped hands, symbolic of the 
clasped hands that you see on the poster,” Mr. 

Murphy said. “It comes apart and is inscribed 

on one side ‘NYEC’ and on the other side ‘AFL- 
CIO.’ The hands join in one great federation that 
we have seen married and born this week~in this 

The rings were then presented to Mr. Meany 
and to Mr. Reuther. 

The afternoon session of the final day of the 
convention was called to order at 2:10 p.m. With 
Melvyn Douglas as master of ceremonies, the con- 
vention had a short entertainment interlude. “It 
Is Better With a Union Man,” the show-stopping 
song from “Pins and Needles,” was rendered by 
Harry Clark. For the first time the new song, 
“One Union,” was sung by Jack Cassidy. “One 
Big Union for Two,” also from “Pins and Need- 
les,” was sung by Florence Henderson and Jack 
Washburn. Harold Rome, the composer, was in- 

Mr. Douglas, clesing this portion of the pro- 
gram, said: 

“As a member of almost all the entertainment 
unions, may I express my great and sincere pride 
in having been asked to come here today to help 
lighten the load of these deliberations? I know 
J speak for the 100,000 or more workers of our 
great entertainment industry, all of them members 
of the AFL-CIO, when I say that we wish you well 
in the great work through which you are shaping, 
right here in this great hall, a better and finer and 
brighter future for the coming generations of 

[A report on the highlights of the remainder of the 
fourth and final day of the AFL-CIO convention, as well 
as a large number of convention pictures for which space 

could not be found in this issue, will be printed in next 
month’s AFL-CIO American Federationist. ] 

What President Eisenhower Said 
in His Telephoned Speech 

y to 


Because of his illness, the 
Chief Executive talked to 
the convention by wire. 

JANUARY, 1956 

MR. MEANY, Mr. Schnitzler, mem- 
bers of the Executive Council, dele- 
gates to this convention and ladies 
and gentlemen of the AFL-CIO all 
over everywhere in America: 

You of organized labor and those 
who have gone before you in the un- 
ion movement have helped make a 
unique contribution to the general 
welfare of the republic—the develop- 
ment of the American philosophy of 
labor. This philosophy, if adopted 
globally, could bring about a world 
prosperous, at peace, sharing the 

fruits of earth with justice to all men. 
It would raise to freedom and pros- 
perity hundreds of millions of men 
and women and their children who 
toil in slavery behind the Curtain. 
The first line of this philosophy is 
that the ultimate values of mankind 
are spiritual. These values include 
liberty, human dignity, opportunity 
and equal rights and justice. 
Workers want recognition as hu- 
man beings and as individuals before 
everything else. They want a job 
that gives them a feeling of satisfac- 


tion and self-expression, good wages, 
respectable working conditions, rea- 
sonable hours, protection of status 
and security. These constitute the 
necessary foundations on which you 
build to reach your higher aims. 

Moreover, we cannot be satisfied 
with welfare in the aggregate. If any 
group or section of citizens is denied 
its fair play in the common prosper- 
ity, all others among us are thereby 

The second principle of the Amer- 
ican philosophy is this: The economic 
interest of employer and employe is 
a mutual prosperity. Their economic 
future is inseparable. Together they 
must advance in mutual respect, in 
mutual understanding, toward mutual 
prosperity. Of course, there will be 
contests over the sharing of benefits 
of production and so we have the 
right to strike and to argue all night 
when necessary in collective bargain- 
ing sessions. But in a deeper sense 
this surface struggle is subordinate to 
the overwhelming common interest in 
greater production and a better life 
for all to share. 

The American worker strives for 
betterment not by destroying his em- 
ployer and his employer’s business, 
but by understanding his employer’s 
problems of competition, prices, mar- 
kets. And the American employer 
can never forget that, since mass pro- 
duction assumes a mass market, good 
wages and progressive employment 
practices for his employes are good 

The class struggle doctrine of Marx 
was the invention of a lonely refugee 
scribbling in a dark recess of the 
British Museum. He abhorred and 
detested the great middle class. He 
did not foresee that in America labor, 
respected and prosperous, would con- 
stitute—with the farmer and the busi- 
nessman—his hated middle class. 
But our second principle, the mutual 
interest of employer and employe—is 
the natural outgrowth of teamwork 
for progress, characteristic of the 
American economy where the bar- 
riers of class do not exist. 

The third principle is this: Labor 
relations will be managed best when 
worked out in honest negotiation be- 
tween employers and unions, without 
government’s unwarranted interfer- 

This requires maturity in the pri- 
vate handling of labor matters within 
the framework of law, for the protec- 
tion of the public interest and the 
rights of both labor and management. 
The splendid record of labor peace 
and unparalleled prosperity during 
the last three years demonstrates our 
industrial maturity. 

Some of the most difficult and un- 


precedented negotiations in the his- 
tory of collective bargaining took 
place during this period, against the 
backdrop of non-interference by gov- 
ernment except only to protect the 
public interest, in the rare cases of 
genuine national emergency. This 
third principle, relying as it does on 
collective bargaining, assumes that 
labor organizations and management 
will both observe the highest stand- 
ards of integrity, responsibility and 
concern for the national welfare. 
You are more than union members 
bound together by a common goal 
of better wages, better working con- 
ditions and protection of your secu- 
rity. You are American citizens. 
The roads you travel, the schools 

‘your children attend, the taxes you 

pay, the standards of integrity in gov- 
ernment, the conduct of the public 
business is your business as Ameri- 
cans. And while all of you, as to the 
public business, have a common goal 
—a stronger and better America— 
your views as to the best means of 
reaching that goal vary as they do in 
any other group of American citizens. 

So in your new national organiza- 
tion, as well as in your many con- 
stituent organizations, you have a 
great opportunity of making your 
meetings the world’s most effective 
exhibit of democratic processes. In 
those meetings the rights of minor- 
ities holding different social, eco- 
nomic and political views must be 
scrupulously protected and their 
views accurately reflected. In this 
way, as American citizens, you will 
help the public correct the faulty, for- 
tify the good, build stoutly for the fu- 
ture, and reinforce the most cherished 
freedoms of each individual citizen. 

This country has long understood 
that by helping other peoples to a bet- 
ter understanding and practice of rep- 
resentative government, we strengthen 
both them and ourselves. The same 
truth applies to the economic field. 
We strengthen other free people and 

ourselves when we help them to up. 
derstand the workings of a free ecop. 
omy, to improve their own standard 
of living, and to join with us in worl 
trade that serves to strengthen and 
unite us all, 

In the world struggle some of the 
finest weapons for all Americans are 
these three simple tenets of free labor. 
They are again, man is created in the 
Divine Image and has spiritual a. 
pirations that transcend the material: 
second, the real interests of employers 
and employes are mutual; third, yp. 
ions and employers can and should 
work out their own destinies. As we 
appreciate and practice that message 
without cease we will wage a trium. 
phant crusade for prosperity, free. 
dom and peace among men. 

To close, it is fitting that we let our 
hearts be filled with the earnest pray. 
er that with the help of a kind provi. 
dence the world may be led out of 
bitterness and materialism and forge 
into a new era of harmony and spir. 
itual growth and self-realization for 
all men. 

At the close of President Eisen. 
hower’s talk, President Meany spoke « 

“I am sure that I express the senti- 
ments of all in this hall this afternoon 
when I say to the President that we 
sincerely appreciate this very fine 
message delivered to us by telephone 
line from Gettysburg, where the Pres. 
ident is still in the process of recuper- 
ation from his recent illness. 

“In the final analysis we are all 
Americans, and as Americans we ap- 
preciate the service and the demands 
that are made upon the time of who- 
ever is selected to lead this nation. 
In your behalf, I extend to President 
Eisenhower our sincere thanks for 
this greeting and our heartfelt wishes 
for a complete recovery so that he 
may be able to carry on the duties of 
this most trying job in these very 
trying times.” 

The delegates listened attentively to Mr. Eisenhower’s words. 
In the last three years, said the Chief Executive, there has been 
a ‘splendid record of labor peace and unparalleled prosperity.’ 



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This is the way the AFL-CIO con- 
vention ended ... 

When the Resolutions Committee 
had completed its work and been dis- 
charged by President Meany with the 
thanks of the officers and delegates for 
% yery fine job,” the chair recognized 
Vice-President Charles MacGowan, 
the president emeritus of the Boiler- 
makers and Blacksmiths. Brother Mac- 
Gowan spoke as follows: 

Mr. Chairman and delegates to this 
most historic convention: 

As one who has spent more than 
forty-five years in the trade union 
movement and now is going down 
into the long shadows, and also as 
a member of the Unity Committee, 
| want to leave one or two thoughts 
with this fine body of men. 

You well know that man is afraid 
of the unknown, just as a child is 
afraid of the darkness. After all, it is 
said that men are but grown-up chil- 

The vote in both the conventions 
and again in the joint convention was 
unanimously in favor of the merger. 
But notwithstanding that, as some 
men have talked to me, they are fear- 
ful of the unknown in the future. 
We have a tremendous task ahead of 
us putting together the various bodies 
in the states and in the localities. 
Many times you will find that old 
sores are controlling; many times 
you will find that personal prejudices 
are involved. 

Well, it was not easy for Walter 

Reuther to step down from the presi- 
dency of the CIO. It was not easy 
for Jim Carey to step down from the 
ofice of secretary-treasurer. But 
they did it willingly; they did it of 
their own accord. There was no 
compulsion applied to them. Should 
at not be an example that can be 
imitated and followed in all of the 
other segments of this great move- 
ment? I commit it to your mem- 
bership everywhere as a good be- 
j Now, with respect to any appre- 
hetsions—this job is not going to 
be easy. There are going to be con- 
flicts, but I approach this merger in 
the solid faith that everybody else 
who joined in it did the job in good 
faith. Instead of operating on our 
suspicions, let us operate on the basis 
' everybody else is in good faith, 

Ihave been a little bit disturbed by 

JANUARY, 1956 

Let us go forward on the basis 
that all act in good faith, 

and discard fears and prejudices, 
Vice-President MacGowan urged. 

some overtones involving the ques- 
tion of power that this movement is 
going to have. Are we copying the 
language of the N.A.M. or the Cham- 
ber of Commerce? Labor has never 
abused power, and they are not going 
to abuse it now. 

We are going to work from 
strength in carrying the message of 
the underprivileged and the wage- 
earners of our country and of the 
whole world into every place where 
we can carry it. 

But power indicates “cloak and 
dagger” business, the club with the 
gun. Let’s quit using the term 
“power.” Strengthen influence, edu- 
cation and determination to hold our 
banner high and clean and convince 
our enemies that they have got the 
approach wrong, is what we need to 
use instead. 

Thank you very much. 

When Brother MacGowan had con- 
cluded, President Meany introduced 
AFL-CIO Vice-President Walter 
Reuther, who spoke as follows: 

Brother Chairman and delegates, 
I have been asked to make a few 
closing remarks. 

This has indeed been an historic 
week. We have laid well the foun- 
dations for the building of the united 
labor movement. In these closing 
minutes let us leave this convention 

in a spirit of rededication to the 
ideals and the aspirations out of 
which the American labor movement 
has drawn its strength and its vitality 
in the years back. Let us go forward 
in that ever task of finding a fuller 
measure of economic and social jus- 
tice, of human dignity and human 
happiness for all the people of our 
great nation. 

We leave here conscious that the 
greater numbers and the greater 
power which we take unto ourselves 
place in our hands a greater respon- 
sibility. We say to our fellow work- 
ers and our fellow citizens through- 
out this great land of ours: We shall 
use this greater power with a sense 
of moral and social responsibility, 
and we shall dedicate it in the serv- 
ice of all the people of our great na- 
tion. We believe with all our hearts 
that this wonderful country of ours 
is in fact the last best hope of free 
men everywhere. And we extend to 
the people of this great nation of 
workers, farmers, small businessmen, 
people everywhere, the hand of fellow- 
ship and friendship and the hand of 
cooperation. We say: Let us work to- 
gether in the vineyards of American 
democracy, not only dreaming our 
dreams of a better tomorrow but 
daring to build those dreams. 

We want to work with the people 
of America in the days ahead in mak- 
ing it possible for every child to have 
an adequate schooling and the op- 
portunity to grow into a better, finer 
human being. We want to wipe out 
the slums so that every family can 
have a decent home and a healthy 
neighborhood. We want to afford 
our own people a fuller measure of 
security and human dignity. We 
want to banish from America every 
ugly and immoral form of racial 
discrimination. We want to say to 
the people of the world: We want to 
stand with you in fighting every ugly 
and evil form of tyranny, reaction on 
the right and reaction on the left. 

We want to prove to the world that 
the kind of tomorrow that we are 
working to fashion for free men 
everywhere is a world in which peo- 
ple can have economic security, all 
of the good things of life in a ma- 
terial sense, without the need of sac- 
rificing their basic political and spir- 
itual freedom. 

We reject the Communist philoso- 
phy that man can solve his economic 


problems only if he enslaves the hu- 
man soul. We believe that you can 
have both bread and freedom, and 
the trade union movement is dedi- 
cated to bringing that end to ful- 

And so we say to the people of the 
world: We extend our hand to you 
everywhere, to men of good will, and 
together we shall go forward, and to- 
gether we shall build that better to- 
morrow in the image of peace, in the 
image of freedom, in the image of 
social justice and the the image of 
human brotherhood. 

God bless all of you on your way 
home, and may He bless your fam- 

President Meany then made his clos- 
ing remarks, speaking as follows: 

Now as we get to the closing mo- 
ments of this convention, I would like 
to express my sincere appreciation to 
all the delegates in attendance for the 
very fine attention and the very fine 
attendance that we have had, as well 
as the very fine spirit that is manifest 
all over this hall. 

We have had our convention and 
despite all the complicated and 
lengthy resolves in our resolutions, 
we have reiterated the traditional ob- 
jective of the trade union movement 
to advance the cause of those who 

work for wages, and to advance that 
cause not at the expense of our neigh- 
bors but to advance the cause of our 
country as something that is pre- 
requisite to any improvements in the 
conditions of those we represent. 

We have made it clear that in 
carrying on the work of the trade 

union movement we are prepared to 
make our full contribution to the 
welfare of our neighbors, of the com- 
munities in which we live, and to the 
nation as a whole. 

In preparing to make this contri- 
bution, we have also made it crystal 
clear that we of the American labor 
movement are determined to remain 
free, and that in order to remain free 
we are determined to make our con- 
tribution in the relation of our own 
nation to the other nations of the 
world in order that freedom may be 
preserved for all mankind. 

Despite these simple objectives 
which will stand the test of decency 
and morality, we find little men with 
loud voices and sometimes big titles 
who are critical of what we are do- 
ing, who seem to see something that 
is inimical to the welfare of the 
country. I would like to say to those 
little men that their criticism will not 
turn us aside from our chosen paths 
and that when we say we want to 
cooperate with all segments of the 
community, including management, 
including the employer, inciuding 
the industrialist, they are not to get 
the wrong impression by that. 

This is not going to be a milk-toast 
movement. We are going to seek 
these things in the militant manner in 
which our organiation was founded. 
We are going to use every legal 
means at the command of American 
citizens to organize the unorganized, 
to bring the benefits of the trade 
union movement to the millions who 
lack those benefits today. 

No little men with loud voices in 
either political or industrial life are 
going to turn us aside. 

I am sure from the spirit that | 
have seen manifested at this conyep. 
tion both on this platform and among 
those holding positions of responsi. 
bility and on the floor of this cop. 
vention among those who represent 
the millions of men and women who 
go to make up this great organiza. 
tion, that we can do this job. We 
can do it in a way that will redound 
to the credit of the entire movement, 
We can do it in a way that will warm 
the hearts of the veterans of ow 
movement. We can do it in a way 
that will commend our efforts in this 
movement and the people in it to all 
of our neighbors and all of the people 
in the communities in which we live. 

It is in that spirit that I bring this 
convention to a close with a simple 
thank you to all of you present here 
on this auspicious occasion. Thank 
you very much. 

Before the gavel falls for the last 
time, I will ask Bill Doherty, who has 
a very good baritone voice, to lead 
us in the singing of “God Bless 

AFL-CIO Vice-President Doherty, 
the president of the National Asso- 
ciation of Letter Carriers, led the 
vast assemblage in the singing of the 
stirring song. President Meany then 
spoke but one short sentence: 

“This convention is now adjourned 
sine die.” 

And so, at 5:20 o’clock on the aft- 
ernoon of Thursday, December 8, 
1955, the first constitutional conver 
tion of the American Federation of 
Labor and Congress of Industrial 
Organizations, having completed its 
momentous work, slipped into history. 

With the singing of ‘God Bless America,’ the curtain was rung down on the greatest convention of labor in U.S. history. 
The song was led by Vice-President Doherty. The others seen in the front row, from left to right, are James C. Quinn, 
Secretary-Treasurer William Schnitzler, Vice-President Walter Reuther, President Meany and Vice-President James Carey. 

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As in Grandma's Time 

exclaimed Billy as he stood in 
the doorway. 

“Whoopee!” shouted Phil. “It 
looks like our sleigh ride will be a 
success after all.” 

“[ was afraid it was going to rain 
and melt the snow and ice,” said Flor- 
ence, tying her scarf securely under 
her chin. “I’m glad it is snowing 

“See you at 5 at Union Hall, Flo?” 
asked Phil, turning up the collar of 
his coat. 

“Sure.” she replied. “Come on, 
Gail, let’s brave the elements.” And 
the two girls started down the walk. 

The Junior Union’s Winter-Won- 
derland Party was scheduled for that 
evening. At 5 o'clock two old-fash- 
ioned open sleds piled with warm 
straw were driven up to Union Hall. 
The teams of powerful horses which 
pulled them tossed their heads, mak- 
ing their harness bells jingle merrily. 
The arrival of the sleds was the signal 
for the twenty-seven young people 
waiting inside the building to rush 
out and clamber aboard. 

“We're certainly packed,” gasped 
Gail, snuggling down in place. “Move 
over a little, can’t you?” she said to 
Billy, who sat next to her. 

“I can if Max doesn’t mind being 
squashed,” he replied. 

“Don’t mind at all,” said Max with 
agrin. “We’re all going to be more 
or less squashed before we get out of 
this thing, but it’s fun.” 

The shouts and gay laughter of the 
young people were enough to startle 
the horses, but the drivers of the two 
teams held a tight rein on them. Soon 
everyone was piled into place, and the 
horses were driven off at a trot. 

The destination was a well-known 
eating place seven miles from town. 
By automobile this was a trivial dis- 
tance, hut by sled it took more than 
an hour to reach the big farmhouse 
Which had been converted into an 
inn, Arrangements having been made 
well in advance, the boys and girls 
Were greeted warmly by the manager. 
He remembered many of them from 
Previous parties, 

The dinner was delicious, and it 
Was greatly enjoyed by the hungry 

‘} OY, just look at it come down!” 

youngsters. Dancing and games fol- 

“I’m having a wonderful time,” 
Florence announced as she and Gail 
and Billy and Phil helped to form a 
set for a square dance. 

A glance around the room at the 
other merry dancers showed that her 
feelings were shared by all. 

It seemed as if only an hour had 
elapsed when the music stopped and 
one of the drivers appeared, all bun- 
dled up, his face crimson. 

“You kids better cool off a spell, 
then get wrapped up good,” he said. 
“We've got to start back. Radio says 
we're likely to have a small blizzard 
before morning. We don’t want to 
get stuck with you kids along the 
road. Your parents wouldn’t think 
a thing of that.” 

“Nor would we,” said Florence. 

“No more cavorting around, then,” 
the driver said. “Get cooled off a bit 
and come on out. We'll leave in ten 

BOUT two miles outside of town 
there was a curving stretch of 
road which went along the river. 
When the sleds came to this place the 
drivers found the snow had drifted 
considerably. The icy wind was 
blowing furiously. It was difficult for 
the horses, big and strong though 
they were, to pull their heavy loads 
against the force of the wind. 

The drivers shouted to the horses. 
The voices of the youngsters also 
urged them forward. But the sleds 
scarcely moved. The lead team 
stopped to allow the big animals to 
rest, and the second team took ad- 
vantage of the respite, too. 

“Hey, what’s the matter?” cried 
Billy. “Are we stuck?” 

“Not stuck, just taking a breather,” 
the driver answered. “And we better 
get through here before the snow 
plows come. We have to have enough 
snow to slide along, you know. But 
perhaps you kids who've never been 
in a sled wouldn’t know.” 

Modern kids missed a lot in some 
ways, he thought. Then he shook the 
reins and hollered to his horses to 
move again. The animals strained at 
their task and managed to get through 

the deepest drifts. The road ahead 
was covered with little more than 
enough snow to give the runners a 
smooth surface to travel over. 

As the two sleds reached the edge 
of town, they encountered the. snow 
plows starting out. The drivers of 
the sleds took to the side streets, and 
in a few minutes the sleds halted be- 
fore the brightly lighted Union Hall. 

Shouting and laughing, the happy 
girls and boys jumped to the ground 
and raced into the warm building. 

“Oh, brother!” exclaimed Billy. 
“Just take a deep breath. Something 
tells me there’s hot cocoa around 

The red-cheeked boy was right. 
Members of a women’s auxiliary had 
been having a meeting. They had de- 
cided to fix a surprise for the Junior 

“After all,” said Mrs. Westover, 
“these trade union affairs are pretty 
much family affairs, even if we do 
have our separate good times.” 

“Yes, indeed,” agreed Mrs. O’Brien. 
“Trade unionism is part of the life of 
every member of a unionist’s family.” 

“Come, now, boys and girls,” spoke 
Mrs. Biederman. “Do get something 
warm into you before we all start for 

Half an hour later Billy and Flor- 
ence were walking home. Suddenly 
Florence stopped. 

“Just look at the beautiful snow, 
Billy,” she said. “It really is a win- 
ter wonderland tonight, isn’t it?” 

were wr rer wr er wr ee wr rrr rrr rrer 


Werthwhile free literature 
about the U.S. labor movement 
and its contributions to the build- 
ing of a better Amerwa will be 
sent upon request lo any young 
person who is interested. The 
AFL-CIO is glad to make this 
material available to the girls and 
To obtain 
this free literature, simply mail 

boys of the nation. 

your name and address to Junior 
Union, AFL-CIO Headquarters 
Building, 901 Massachusetts Ave. 
N.W., Washington 1, D. C. 


rere rrr rrr rr rrr ooo Ss 







Edward Morgan goes after the 

he reports the truth. 

He finds the truth and 
He is a 

top-flight reporter and com- 

nightly broadcasts. 

Millions enjoy his 
Are you 

listening to Edward Morgan? 

In these times, only a well-informed citizen 
can be a good citizen. Never before was it 
sO urgent as it is today that every American 
be fully and accurately informed on the 
important news developments in the United 
States and around the globe. To know the 
news of the day—and to know what the news 

really means—-you can’t do better than to 
listen regularly to Edward Morgan. Sponsored 
by the AFL-CIO, he is heard evenings, Mon- 
day through Friday, over ABC. Jf you ap- 
preciate a genuine listening treat, don’t miss 
the broadcasts of Edward Morgan. And tell 
your friends and neighbors to tune in, too.