Notes from Reading List
Acheson, Sam.35000 Days in Texas. A History of Texas as Seen Through the eyes of the Dallas News. MacMillan, New York, 1938. With historical photos and whimsical writing, Acheson proudly tells what most people would be ashamed to admit: the history of the Dallas Morning News. Galveston news established 1842 as political vehicle for Mirabeau Lamar, genocidal president of the republic of Texas. He opposed Sam Houston.
They supported secession and confederacy. They opposed reconstruction. They supported Jay Gould against the Knights of Labor in 1886. They were devoted to the cause of anti-communism long before anybody else:
P87: in 1873 the Grange established to oppose railroad barons. "We regard the movement with suspicion; we fear the germ of communism."
P 112: Gould support organized by dmn
P138: Hogg urged a Texas Railroad Commission in 1885. dmn opposed "communistic forces"
P147 anti-trust law "desolate communism of poverty and disability"
P149 TX railroad commission in 1889 "An insidious form of communism."
P155 Law prohibiting foreigners from owning TX land "radical communism" 1891
P161: Campaigning for Clark against James Hogg: "Democratic conservatism versus the more or less revolutionary impulses of communism, pointing to the final subversion of the whole fabric of constitutional liberty."
P265: opposed candidacy of James E Ferguson in 1914 "...he betrayed himself a socialist by advocating a law to limit what landlords might charge their tenants."
P 135: 1891 James Hogg is governor of Texas for 2 terms
1885: Farmers' Alliance formed National HQ at Jefferson, Market and Wood in downtown Dallas
4-22-89 Oklahoma Land Rush
1890 Dallas was merged with the City of East Dallas
10-1-1885 First edition of dmn. Col A.H. Belo moved to Dallas
p 93: General Phil Sheridan had said, "If I owned Texas and all Hell, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell."
3-21-07 Cornerstone of Scottish Rite Cathedral laid in Dallas
3-31-07 "the Flippen-Prather Realty Company announced the opening of the first 100 acres of Highland Park, a restricted residential suburban development"
p248: "The Citizens Association came into being on March 4, 1907.... It was nothing short, The News believed, of the birth of the Greater Dallas movement.... On May 21, they won their first City elections.
P250: Trinity River flooded Dallas May 25, 1908
1915: SMU opened
Aronowitz, Stanley, From the Ashes of the Old. American Labor and America's Future. Houghton Mifflin, NY, 1998. Aronowitz is a New York sociologist with some labor background. He begins with history of labor since 1945. He notes changes in the economic situation that called for new thinking among trade unionists, but faults us for not having adapted. He insists that his prescriptions must be followed or doom will follow, and he predicts that we won’t comply!
He hails the many successes and uses them to argue for radical change. He supports the Sweeney leadership, but thinks it should change much more radically.
Toward the end of the book, when he is talking primarily about politics, I began to feel that he had "stopped preaching and gone to meddling."
Before he was finished, I felt that his prescriptions had left the realm of practical remedies, even of possible changes, and gone over into utopian dreaming.
Naturally, his conclusions about the likelihood of his prescriptions' being implemented is pretty dismal. Consequently, his outlook isn't completely positive. Much food for thought, though, in his descriptions of events. A person might do well to read the last 3 pages first, so they can get Aronson pegged before they get into the main material.
Pg 48: says France has smaller proportion of labor organized, but is much more effective
p. 49: says labor did not resist "ending welfare as we know it" because we didn't want to estrange ourselves from Clinton
P 68: History of AFT
P 131: History of ACORN, which he admires
P 208: pretty na‹ve about labor's chances of getting good media coverage
Alwyn Barr and Robert A Calvert, Editors, Black Leaders, Texans for their Times. Texas State Historical Association, 1981. Covers "Dave, a Rebellious Slave," "William Goyens of Nacogdoches",“Matt Gains, Reconstruction politician," “William M "gooseneck" McDonald, business and fraternal leader," “Mary Branch, educator,” “WR Banks, Educator,” “Heman Marion Sweatt, Civil Rights Plaintiff,” and “John Biggers, Artist." I was really impressed with this effort to reveal the lives of Black Texans through a few biographies covering pre-revolutionary to modern times.
Pg 19: in 1860 there were 355 free blacks in Texas, maybe less
P20: In 1850 there were 397 free Negroes in Texas and 434,495 in the United States. Texas was 15th among the slave states. Apparently, there were a lot more before 1836.
Pg 22 idea of "one drop of blood."
25: Mixed marriages were 21 in 1860
28 the site of Goyens Hill in Nacogdoches
30 Texas racism exposed again
error in pages 32-34
35 Lamar esp racist. He was president 12/38
35 Summer of 1839 was Cherokee removal
37 locates Goyens' grave
pg 30: Texas constitution in 1836 said "No free person of African descent either in whole or in part, shall be permitted to reside permanently in the republic, without the consent of Congress." Manumission of slaves within the nation was forbidden without congressional consent.
93: In 1890s Texas Republican Party split into "Black and Tan" faction and "Lily Whites," who wanted to eliminate Blacks from the party. Ft Worth's William M. McDonald was a leader of the Black and Tans for decades.
117: 1/17/81 Tillotson college opened in Austin
161: 10/12/45 Lulua White, NAACP in Houston named Heman Marion Sweatt, a mail carrier, as plaintiff for case to integrate UT
162: Oct 1913 in Chattanooga, National Alliance of Postal Employees formed with Houstonian Henry L. Mims as first president
170: March 1947 measure passed to create Houston College for Negroes which later became Texas Southern University
172: Thurgood Marshall believed that Black Texans were more opposed to segregation than anybody else.
177: "Sweatt supported the movement to have Henry Wallace's Progressive party placed on the ballot in Texas in the 1948 presidential election. So many of the people he agreed with were accused of being communistic that Sweatt was loath to deny that he himself was one...."
Alwyn Barr has another interesting title "Black Texans: A history of Negroes in Texas, 1528-1971 (Austin, 1973)
Bornstein, Andrew and others: “A Rich Man’s War and a Poor Man’s Fight. A handbook for trade unionists on the Vietnam War” first printing Labor Day, 1971. Washington Labor for Peace, 304 Colorado Building, Washington DC 20005. “This handbook is primarily the responsibility of the following: Andrew Bornstein, David Eisen, David Elsila, Tom Gagliardo, Al Lannon, Tony Mazzocchi, Richard Prosten, Marvin Rogoff, Daniel Schulder, Patricia Schulder, Don Spatz, Katherine Stone, Patricia Strandt, Frank Wallick. It explains the war and talks about what to do about it. Page 69 begins a number of statements from unions against the war, beginning with the UAW Convention Resolution of April 1970.
The UAW Resolution includes the line “We demanded the early and complete withdrawal of United States troops from Vietnam….” And ends, “The UAW will continue to press for an end to the United States involvement in Vietnam and will join other responsible and non-violent voices in the peace movement to bring about the total and the earliest possible withdrawal of United States Troops.”
This from an editorial of the ACWU newspaper, //ital// Advance, “The Amalgamated Clothing Workers, as it has in the past, adds its voice to those of the multitudes crying ‘enough!’ and calling for an end to the war by the end of the year.” (April 30, 1971).
Other statements from AFSCME, IBT, ILWU, Amalgamated Meat Cutters, Int’l Chemical Workers, RWDSW Local 1199, Newspaper Guild, Retail Clerks, Textile Workers, and this one from the AFT convention, August, 1971:
“THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the American Federation of Teachers support an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of all United States’ forces from Indochina as soon as reasonable precautions can be taken to insure the safety of United States troops; and
‘BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that economic resources presently dedicated to the military effort in Southeast Asia be reassigned to improving education, health, housing, and other urgently needed social services.”
Then it reprints a number of labor union editorials and a bibliography of films.
Brooks, Thomas R, Toil And Trouble. A History of American Labor. Dell Publishing, NY, 1964. Dallas AFL-CIO leader Gene Freeland recommended including this book in our labor history reading list. In 300 pages, Mr. Brooks attempts to recapitulate the story of American labor, draw its lessons, and recommend a course of action. Because of his unique point of view, his work adds to the story told in other histories. In general, he thinks that American labor was in decline in 1964 (actually, I think that membership peaked in 1958) and that the solution is to "mobilize grassroots political sentiment in favor of Federal responsibility for full production, full distribution, and full employment." Brooks' unique viewpoint is both the strength of the book, because he emphasizes different aspects of the story than other authors, and its weakness. His viewpoint is strongly influenced by the "Great Society" thinking of the Johnson period and by the witch-hunting anti-communism that had dominated American political thinking throughout the period after World War II. The book jacket says that Brooks had been an assistant labor editor of Business Week magazine. --Gene Lantz
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Dale Baum. The Shattering of Texas Unionism: Politics in the Lone Star State During the Civil War Era. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1999. xvi + 283 pp. 39 tables, 9 maps, bibliography, and index. $37.50 (cloth), ISBN 0-8071-2245-9. I'm excited about this new book, so I'm posting comments from the review I downloaded even though I haven't got the book yet. You can load the full review from:
It is reviewed by James L. Huston, Department of History, Oklahoma State University.
Published by H-CivWar (August, 1999). He says that Texas became a "one-party" state came in the secession election of 1861 and the first Reconstruction election of 1866 as white Texans united "to thwart any alteration in the status of African Americans." He notes the electoral significance of German immigrants, who opposed slavery to begin with, and Mexican descendants, who didn't trust the Anglos to begin with. But neither group significantly affected the outcome of elections for the next century of domination by the Democratic Party.
Baum apparently uses modern statistical methods to document coercion, fraud, intimidation, and disenfranchisement as factors in Texas elections of the period. I can hardly wait to read it!
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L.D. Clark, A Bright Tragic Thing. A Tale of Civil War Texas. Cinco Puntos Press, El Paso, Texas. 1992. I borrowed it from Lakewood Library. Fictional account of Great Hangings of Gainesville in 1862. Clark is Great Grandson of Nathanial Miles Clark, who was hanged then. His picture is on front. Book isn't very good, but it does highlight this little-known bit of Texas history.
Edited by LD Clark, Civil War Recollections of James Lemuel Clark, Texas A&M Univ Press, 1984. 7 of the 12 jurors during Gainsville lynchings were slaveholders and they insisted on a simple majority rule in the decisions for execution. So the slaveholders alone could condemn a person to death!
In 1860 Cooke County pop was 4,000, 66 were slaveowners which owned 300-400 slaves. These men exerted power and influence far out of proportion to their numbers. they knew how to play up the sectionalism without which the slavocrats of the South would never have been able to raise a rebellion against the US. Clark was son of Nathanial Miles Clark, who was hanged. This book edited by Great Grandson.
Pg 23: "One estimate put the membership at 1,700 in a five county area and Childs claimed that he had sworn in 50 men in one recent eight day period." (of the League).
This from Clark book pg 43: Junius Foster, unionist editor of Sherman Patriot, refused to retract a public statement approving of Colonel Young's death. He was killed by shotgun blast, probably by Young's son.
James Lemuel Clark's remembrances seem to be a rebuttal of Diamond's "official" account. "I say tha were not eney Kansas men in this part of the country at that time, an will ask him to prove what he published." Lists names of 32 of the victims.
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Cooke County Library Vertical Files, "A letter from U.D. Fox to his daughter." About civil-war era hangings in Cook County. "You would like to her the cause of my leaving home the caus of it is that sum of the same company that is at the hed of that hanging scrape in Cook county tha tride to git me to join their mob company and I refused to do so and after this sum time tha set in to lying against me and tha a ... (illegible part) ... that I was a abolition and was making up a company to rob and murder women and children and a great many other report two tedious to name and then tha must take old Fox up to se if he is gilty and at the same time tha had ther two witness fixt an told them that if tha didn't sware jist as tha told them tha would hang the witness is rite up moing this all to be facts and noing them as I did I did not feel disposed to be tride by them
--U.D. Fox **Return to Reading List**
DeLeon, Arnoldo, They Called Them Greasers. Anglo Attitudes Toward Mexicans in Texas, 1821-1900. UT Austin, 1983. Author details and analyzes racist attitudes from writings of the 19th century in Texas. It gets hard to read because its like having slime dumped on the reader, but it's undeniably true and undeniably powerful: Anglo Texans have always held racist attitudes toward the Mexicans they conquered. Pg 52 talks about a plot to free slaves in Colorado County, September 6, 1856. "When whites discovered the plans, all Mexicans in the county were arrested and ordered to leave within five days. A resolution was adopted unanimously 'forever forbidding any Mexican from coming within the limits of the county.'
As for the Blacks, three of the ringleaders were hung, two hundred lashed, and two whipped to death." On page 53 is an account of the Juan Cortina insurgency. He shot an Anglo sheriff in response to a racist epithet in Brownsville on July 13, 1859. He became a hero and gathered armed men. He published several proclamations "which in light of history, could hardly be challenged as to veracity. He accused whites of despoiling Mexicanos of their land, of prosecuting and robbing the native element for no other crime than that of being of Mexican origin. Since 1848, he grieved, 'flocks of vampires, in the guise of men, came and scattered themselves in the settlements, without any capital except the corrupt heart and the most perverse intentions,' robbing the natives of their land titles and property, hunting them down, incarcerating and murdering them." At one point, in October, Cortina took and occupied Brownsville before being pushed out by federal troops. On Page 83 the author notes that "the Cortina War... coincided with the anxiety that settled portentously over the entire South following John Brown's October, 1859, raid on Harper's Ferry."
On page 55 is an account of Mexicans in Zapata County in April 1861 who vowed that they would not take the oath of allegiance to the state or Confederacy -- but would remain loyal to the United States. They organized into an army of 40-80 men and headed for Carrizo, the county seat. Confederate forces defeated them at Rancho Clareno, below Carrizo, and killed several, including two leaders. "Tejano Union resistance against the Texas Confederates continued throughout the war, primarily in South Texas, where Tejanos harassed Confederate troops and seized cotton and stock for Union forces." Author also says, "After the war, while ex-Confederates did all they could to subvert Republican rule in the state, many Tejanos persisted in their Union sentiment and sympathized with Radical Reconstruction. Most of the Mexicanos of El Paso, for example, remained opposed to the Democratic Party and loyal to the Reconstruction governments."
Dubofsky, Melvin, and Van Tine, Warren, editors. Labor Leaders in America. Univ of Illinois. Urbana and Chicago, 1987.
David Montgomery, "William H Sylvis and the Search for Working Class Citizenship."
Sylvis: "It is not what is done for people, but what they do for themselves, that acts upon their character and condition." (1865)
Pg 15: "What is wanted then is for every union to help inculcate the grand, ennobling idea that the interests of labor are one; that there should be no distinction of race or nationality; no calssification of Jew of Gentile, Christian or Infidel; that there is but one dividing line -- that which separates mankind into two great classes, the class that labors and the class that lives by others' labor." --Conclusion of the Address of the National Labor Congress to the Workingmen of the United States (1869) See below for more on Sylvis (click here)
Pg30: Richard Oestreicher, "Terence Powderly, the Knights of Labor, and Artisanal Republicanism." Puts to rest some of the romantic ideas about superiority of the Knights.
P52: Powderly actively opposed strikes. Denounced Haymarket defendants. Tried to purge all opposition from K of L
P 56: They accepted everybody except, "lawyers, bankers, liquor dealers, and gamblers" but Powderly became a lawyer in 1894
Laslett, John H.M., "Samuel Gompers and the Rise of American Business Unionism."
P76: Advocated organizing African American workers in 1892
P81: 8-hour movement moved AFL away from GOP and toward Demos in 1980 elections
P84: "In 1913, Gompers openly confessed that he was no longer an opponent of the capitalist system in any way, shape, or form."
P86: AFL topped at about 3M under Gompers. Fell to under 3M in 1921 and was 2,724,000 in 1924 when he died.
P89 Nick Salvatore, "Eugene V Debs: From Trade Unionist to Socialist."
P111 Joseph R Conlin, "William D 'Big Bill' Hayswood: The Westerner as Labor Radical."
P134 Craig Phelan, "William Green and the Idea of Christian Cooperation."
P160 Alice Kessler-Harris, "Rose Schneiderman and the Limits of Women's Trade Unionism" Women's Trade Union League head
P185 Dubofsky & Van Tine, "John L Lewis and the Triumph of Mass-Production Unionism."
P207 Steven Fraser, "Sidney Hillman; Labor's Machiavelli." They invented the term "labor statesman" for Hillman. "Leave it to Sidney" was used as a way to mock and ridicule FDR. Hillman set up labor training during WWII. This is the first place in American history that I have seen any mention of labor training programs, so I think it is OK to say that Hillman started it.
P230 Hillman helped create WFTU
P234 Ronald W Schatz, "Phillip Murray and the Subordination of the Industrial Unions to the United States Government." Lewis, Murray, and Green all came out of UMWA!
William H Harris, "A Philip Randolph, Black Workers and the Labor Movement."
P280 Nelson Lichtenstein, "Walter Reuther and the Rise of Labor-Liberalism." Says Emil Mazey and Victor Reuther pushed him leftward.
P301 Killed May 1970 "Walter Reuther's death almost precisely coincided with the end of a thirty-year boom in the history of American capitalism."
P303 Estelle James, "Jimmy Hoffa, Labor Hero or Labor's Own Foe?" became head of IBT 1957 after building strong base from Detroit outward. She gives a lot of credit to the organizing methods Hoffa learned from Farrell Dobbs
P324 Rober H Zeiger, "George Meany: Labor's Organization Man."
P345 He deplored rank and file ratification of contracts. In 1974, he told Dick Cavett that he had been wrong about Vietnam!
P350 Cletus E Daniel, "Cesar Chavez and the Unionization of California Farm Workers." He created UFWOC. AFL later federated it with AWOC to create UFW. Of all these biographies, Chavez is the only one who actually seemed to go against his times; and thus was the only true individual labor hero
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Foley, Neil, The White Scourge. Mexicans, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Texas Cotton Culture. University of California, Berkeley, 1997. Most of Texas' labor history concerns agricultural workers. Before World War II, the area was almost completely given over to farming. In a comparative sense, even the oil fields and refineries employed far fewer hands than the farms and plantations. University of Texas history Associate Professor Neil Foley made several important contributions in this historical and sociological study of the hands that brought in the crops.
The period covered includes the early European settlers and their slaves. It goes up to the 1960s. It focuses mostly on cotton and mostly on the blackland prairie known as Central Texas -- from Dallas to Houston to Corpus Christi to San Antonio.
An eager student of Texas labor history might be disappointed at the comparative lack of success in this detailed story of the massive Texas population working in the fields. Even in the 1930's, when sharecroppers and itinerant farm workers made headlines, and even a little historical progress, in Alabama and Arkansas, Texas lagged far behind.
The treatment of Texas agricultural workers was a disgrace! Foley points out and proves what should have been obvious but is almost always ignored in Texas -- the use of racist oppression to keep wages, benefits, and social services at sub-human minimums.
The failures of progressives in the state, Foley shows, stemmed from their failure to bridge the chasms separating what he terms, "poor whites," "Mexicans," and "Blacks" who worked for the land owners. Texas' Populist Party, before the turn of the century, attempted to bring all three ethnic groups into the same organization, as did the Knights of Labor and the Industrial Workers of the World. But the Socialists and American Federation of Labor organizers of the early part of this century allowed "separate but equal" local organizations that were doomed to eternal weakness.
Foley also reveals that the League of Latin American Citizens permitted, and in some cases virtually demanded, discrimination against Blacks and foreign-born Mexicans.
Foley rightfully dedicates a lot of his space to the problems faced by agricultural women. As bad as life was in Texas for the men in the fields, it was qualitatively worse for the mothers and their small children.
Foley's overall picture of the sorry treatment of agricultural workers in the state answers every important question but one, and that one will haunt every Texas reader who takes up this engrossing book: "What are the conditions being faced by Texas agricultural workers today?"
William Sylvis, Pioneer of American Labor
Grossman, Johnathan P., William Sylvis, Pioneer of American Labor. A Study of the Labor Movement During the Era of the Civil War. Columbia Univ, 1945-1973, 1986. He made the molders a great union 1859-1868.
He was the main force in establishing the National Labor Union in Baltimore, August 1866. First national labor federation. He became its president 1868
Pr189: In 1864 he said, “I love this union cause. I love it more dear than I do my family or my life. I am willing to devote to it all that I am or have to hope for in this world!”
Around 1868, he trued to the cooperative movement. Discouraged by strikes. Niave of theory and past experiments
Pg191: “Man is a progressive animal. Progress is destined to go forward until… all mankind shall be free.”
Here are some of the things that Sylvis advocated: End of convict labor, labor party, political action, restrictions on immigration, international cooperation of labor, 8 hour day, cutting hours to overcome unemployment, International labor unity, unity of races & nationalities, currency reform, universal suffrage, housing reform, ending tax exemptions for the wealthy, opposition to slavery, opposition to war, opposition to agribusiness and other monopolists, favored organizing the South. He had some successes with these demands during his own lifetime. Died 5:35 AM July 27, 1869. He was 41 years old and lacked money for a funeral or a burial plot, since he had lawyas spent his personal money for union causes or loans to the unemployed. He was buried Laurel Hill Cemetery in Phila. Borh 11/28/28.
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Hall, Covington, Labor Struggles in the Deep South & Other Writings. Edited & Introduced by David Roediger. Charles S Kerr, Chicago, 1999. Covington Hall was an IWW supporter, orator, and editor in Louisiana and Texas during the first half of the 20th century. These are his personal recollections of big labor events, especially from an area from New Orleans into East Texas. Dallas is mentioned. I got the book as a gift from Gary Kennedy. It contains a lot of IWW drawings well reproduced.
Page 49 begins an account of the Knights of Labor effort to organize sugar workers in Louisiana beginning in 1887. Around November 23, the climax came with a massacre in the Thibodeaux area. "It will never be known how many were killed and wouided in this massacre; at the time the number of killed and wounded was estimated at between 500 and 7600, including a few women, accidentally mistaken for men. All night long the shooting went on..." (Page 56)
Covington Hall also gives an excellent account of the General Strike in New Orleans November 5-11, 1892. Page 186 begins an account of the formation of The Working Class Union, which, I believe, later on became part of the Greencorn Rebellion in Southeastern Oklahoma. Page 187 mentions that Frank Little of the IWW had "spoken before many Socialist Party locals in Oklahoma." As Hall explains it, the IWW would not allow farmers nor even sharecroppers, to join. Consequently, they formed their own organization. Hall felt that the IWW had made "one of the biggest mistakes in its history..."
Hall's opinion of the Texas Rangers is consistent with other labor reporters. On page 213, in a section on the many lynchings, he wrote: "Down on the border recently those noble 'preservers of lawanorder,' the infamous Texas Rangers, posed before a camera, showing themselves dragging down the public road, behind their horses, the bodies of two Mexicans--the bodies being at the end of ropes, the ropes around the necks of the dead...." One theme that runs through the book is the running feuds between AFL and IWW. To some extent, he also accuses the AFL of bad dealings during K of L activities. The book ends with some of Hall's essays and poetry. In the intro, Roediger says that Covington Hall died February 21, 1952. Publication of his writings was long delayed because he left no clear heirs. Roediger says, though, that Covington Hall has been a major source for American labor historians all along.
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Kelley, Robin D.G., Hammer and Hoe. Alabama Communists During the Great Depression. Univ of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill and London, 1990. It's dedicated to "Hosea Hudson… whose assiduous note-taking and impeccable memory made this book possible…" This is a pretty fascinating account of the inside workings of Communists in the progressive movement during a time when "progressive movement' generally meant standing up to the Ku Klux Klan and the establishment throughout Alabama. People were kicked, killed, tarred & feathered, etc., but they kept on coming. Some of the heroes are white. Most of their success seems to have come in organizing African Americans, even when they were primarily trying to link up with white "progressives." It doesn't talk a lot about the Scottsboro case, but it seems to be always in the background of the story. Even if this had no value as history, which it does, it would still be a great read just as testament to bravery and dedication of many of the people in it. One lesson they learned was that the upwardly mobile African Americans in the NAACP and other "progressive" organizations were often their worst "friends." On page 177 if says, "…although the Alabama Party reported only thirty-four dues-paying members in December 1937, in response to a friendly recruitment contest instigated by Texas Communists, Birmingham organizers managed to sign up 366 new members in January 1938 alone." Terrifically well annotated. It would take a lifetime just to run down all the references.
Tom Juravich & Kate Bronfenbrenner, Ravenswood. The Steelworkers' victory and the revival of American Labor. ILR Press, an imprint of Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 1999. Steelworkers locked on 10/31/90. They went back in 6/29/92. In Rural West Virginia was Ravenswood Aluminum Company (RAC). Formerly owned by Kaiser. One main key was finding out just who was owning the stock and manipulating the situation.
Pg 200: "For a strike threat to be credible, employers must believe that the union is both willing and able to take on an employer and win."
Pg 204: "Everything the workers risked and lost might never have been put in such jeopardy if the union had not waited until almost five months into the struggle tolaunch a full-blown coordinated campaign. How differently the story might have unfolded if the research had been done, the membership and community mobilized, and the strategic pressure brought to bear a year before bargaining even started..."
Pg 216 "The labor movement must be constructive, creative, and ever willing to change, but it must never, never forget out to fight." --George Becker
Solid unity within local. Only 17 of 1,700 ever scabbed!
Outreach to allies, even in Europe
Stakeholders, not just allies
Caravans for info
The Paw Paw band
Home visits to every member who didn't show up for picket duty
Punishing end-product users (cans)
Leafletting, even at national sports places
Puppet show & other visuals
Health and safety
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Robyn Duff Ladino with Foreword by Alwyn Barr, Desegregating Texas Schools. Eisenhower, Shivers, and the Crisis at Mansfield High. U T, Austin 1996. With pictures and journalistic reporting, Ladino explains one of the most important events in the modern civil rights movement. But it wasn't a happy event. The three students eventually went to Ft Worth by bus, just as they had for a long time.
P22: Ft Worth Atty L Clifford Davis was civil rts attorney. Governor Alan Shivers gets a lot of the blame. He supported Ike in 1952 and 1956. Ike waggled and dodged the issue.
7/28/56 Texans voted more than 3 to 1 for segregation measures
Yarborough's governor campaign was also for segregation
P 71: Tom Moody was President of Mansfield NAACP
p 72 Ulysses Simpson Tates was NAACP Lawyer. John F Lawson. Three plaintsiffs: Charles Moody, Floyd Moody, Nathaniel Jackson. All teenagers attending high school in Ft Worth
P79: 10-7-55 Davis filed class action suit: Nathaniel Jackson, a minor, et al V O.C. Rawdon, et al
P 79: JA "Tiny" Gooch of Dallas was Atty for school board
P 93: 8-27-56 Federal District Court ordered Mansfield to integrate the High School Was first in Texas.
Mob rule, with implicit and direct support from the governor, Texas rangers, and local law "enforcement" officers stopped the effort.
8-30-56 to 9-40-56 an effigy hung from flagpole at Mansfield High School. Another effigy was hung on August 31 and remained above the school's main entrance for several more days.
P96: Principal Willie Pigg refused to remove effigy
P108 Rep Joe Pool was especially loathsome in supporting segregation
P109 Owen Metcalf led the segregationists
P 33 says an investigator questioned residents about their knowledge of Davis' activities. Only black interviewed was "the owner of the barbecue stand where blacks and whites ate in separate areas." Could this have been Hershel Matthews, the first Black steward at UAW 893? Excellent index
Mers, Gilbert, Working the Waterfront. The Ups and Downs of a Rebel Longshoreman. University of Texas Press, Austin, 1988. In a roundabout and talky way, Gilbert Mers gives his eyewitness account of the important events in waterfront unions on the Gulf Coast from the 1930s until recently. Mers held various union jobs, including Local President of a key longshoreman's union during the time when all waterfront workers were trying to combine into one powerful Gulf Coast Maritime Union.
Mers probably played the key role, but it is a little bit hard to tell through all the simple modesty in his book. He devoted himself out of love for the workers' cause.
He also loved his work and his co-workers, plain and simple. A good deal of the book is taken up with careful explanations of how various cargoes were loaded or unloaded on ships. There are also long descriptions of men who worked the docks or dealt with the unions.
Mers' charming gentility almost breaks down only once in the book, when he describes the scabherding and strikebreaking role of the Texas Rangers. He tells how they randomly pistol whipped picketers, threatened unarmed union men with tommy guns, kept scabs as virtual slaves, and generally earned the top position as most hated of all by union men.
The reader begins to care for Gilbert Mers from the very start, and loves him dearly by the time the book ends. At the same time, one begins to feel a reluctant pity while viewing the younger Mers in his union work. He joined various contradictory groups, some of them bitter enemies of one another, in his attempt to live up to his abstract ideal of how a union man should act. In-fighting eventually killed most of Mers' dream of one big union on the Gulf Coast waterfront.
I shook hands with Gilbert Mers around 1986. He told me that he was a "Wobbly", IWW, Industrial Workers of the World. Since they haven't been an effective labor organization for at least fifty years, it seemed like the natural place for an abstract idealist to end up.
He was a wonderful man who made several real contributions, not the least of which is this book. Dr. George Green of UTA wrote a fine introduction that puts Mers' experiences in perspective with other American labor history on the docks.
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A.L. Morton, The Life and Ideas of Robert Owen. International Publishers. New York, 1978. A great deal of Owen's historical fame comes from his early success at New Lanark mills 1813-1821, but I note on pg 18 that there was a tremendous rise in the industry all through that whole period. It might have been hard to not succeed!
In 1824 he brought his lecture tour to the U.S.A. He bought Harmony in Indiana and had another of his spectacular failures there. His New Harmony experiment opened May 25, 1825.
All through the book, it is evident that Owen saw the reforming of society of coming from enlightened factory owners such as himself. "power to the people" would have been an alien class concept to him. Nevertheless, he enjoyed great fame. In a section from anti-duhring, Engels says, "He was the most popular man in Europe." (p 234 Owen book)
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Rogers, Walter & Elizabeth, John Donar: Common Man. Unlike Big Wheels Rolled in Texas, which I reviewed in the first section of this page, the couple's first collaboration is an easy read. I guess it's an autobiography of Walter Rogers using psydonym of John Donar. I'm not completely sure which is the pseudonym, but I have met one person who knew them, and he says Rogers was their actual name. Anyway, "John Donar" ran away from home in Pennsylvania when he was 12. He knocked around itinerant farm work and a few jails before landing in WWI. He served very honorably, but deserted when he was about to be forced to attack striking miners in Appalachia. He joined the IWW and spends the rest of the book, to 1940, as "10-day John;" in other words, a traveling IWW man whose average employment lasted only 10 days because he only took each job to organize the workers to begin with. He apparently led a really exciting life as an independent labor organizer and had some role in great struggles of the period. Just the parts about his life as a soldier in Europe are well worth the price of the book, if one can be found.
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Tomlins, Christopher L., The State and the Unions. Labor Relations, Law, and the Organized Labor Movement in America, 1880-1960. Cambridge University Press, 1985-1995. "Industrial pluralism" is predicated on a denial of the proposition that the interests of employers and workers are necessarily incompatible. It is the basis of labor law since the Wagner Act in 1935. Tomlins delves deeply into the formation of law since the last century, much as any historian or legal scholar might. However, his conclusions are rather different as expressed in the last lines: (Last page, 328) "...a counterfeit liberty is the most that American workers and their organizations have been able to gain through the state. Its reality they must create for themselves."
The book is really worthwhile for its conclusions as well as for the facts presented. However, it isn't good history at all. He seems to treat developments in labor law as natural outgrowths of real situations, tempered by the philosophical outlooks of the people who made or affected the laws. The AFL, government, and business are treated as if they were the only players on labor's world stage. The larger working class actually impelled all of these changes; the AFL simply participated in codifying them. Neither IWW nor USSR are even in the index!
It ruins the value of the book as a history.
In the 1830s, labor unions were persecuted under conspiracy laws. In the 1870s, injunctions were the main way that employers and politicians went after labor. After that, the anti-trust laws were turned against them. Then, in the 1930s, labor law became a part of larger contract law.
p13: After the Amalgamated Steel Workers lost against U.S. Steel, they accepted a contract that "required the union to pledge not to extend, nor even accept, organization in any plant not then under contract." They never recovered from that agreement.
p 28: Early in 19th century, states began to give up the effort to regulate corporations through control of their charters, especially after New Jersey and other states made it so attractive to incorporate there. The federal government always refused to regulate their charters.
P65: Buck Stove and Range Company -- prohibited AFL from encouraging a boycott of the company's products. (1908) Pg 67 "...on 23 December, 1908 the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia found Gompers, Secretary-Treasurer Frank Morrison, and the Federation's second vice-president, John Mitchell, to be in contempt of court for violating the Buck's Stove injunction."
Author says that craft unionism was not as big an issue is most people think. pg 70 "By 1915, in fact, only 28 of the 133 AFL unions could still be described as pure craft organizations, and of these at least half were cooperating informally withother affiliates across craft lines." Author takes this position several times, but in the AFL's protests of NLRB later on, their objects seemed to be based on craft unionism.
1924: AFL convention held in El Paso.
P95: says that bargaining with 'independent unions' began to be looked on with favor during chaos after 1929. I have to take exception. He means 'independent' only in the sense that they were not company unions. He only refers to AFL unions without mention of IWW, CIO, or actual 'independent' unions, which is what the corporations, the law, and the AFL were trying to avoid.
The section on the NLRB begins on 103 and continues throughout the book. He details the slow development of labor law as now practiced. It came mostly from NLRB decisions, not from legislation nor even court decisions. He pre-summarizes the point of most of the book on page 102: "Order and stability, no less than democracy, were goals of labor relations policy. By 1940, indeed, order and stability were fast becoming the only goals."
P105. April 6, Senate approves an AFL endorsed thirty hours bill sponsored by Senator Hugo Black. This goaded Roosevelt to take action to get NRA, then Wagner Act passed (NLRA), rather than allow the 30 hour week to become law and the main way of fighting unemployment.
Author says that craft unionism vs industrial unionism (pg 143+-) was not the real issue in the CIO creation. He says that John L. Lewis was looking for a chance to split because he didn't see how he could actually take over the AFL. It was only a power struggle, Tomlins says.
187: NLRB philosophy "Unions, it said, had no inherent rights." But the people forming the unions maintained their rights as citizens. Corporations, on the other hand, had their own rights.
203 "By early 1939 the politics of the Washington office [of NLRB] had become highly factionalized. Secretary Witt was one of the more prominent members of a communist grouping with which Board member Edwin smith was also identified."
Their side continued to develop the legal aspects of NLRB. They wanted to base NLRB's power on manifestations of public authority "...the strategy which had dictated the creation of its centralized structure in the first place." They were eventually defeated by
p 204: William M Leiserson came on Board with a "brief from the president 'to clean up the mess' of political factionalism and communist influence at the NLRB."
247: Author believes that almost all provisions of Taft-Hartley had already been made law by the practices of the NLRB before 1947. Says that union leaders wanted "policies designed to suppress rank and file collective action and to entrench union authority even in the face of the hostility of a majority of those whonm the union represented..."
263: I think this is the legal basis for company's "right" to outsource work: April 1945 in Mahoning Mining Company, "the Board held that an employer could 'change his business structure, sell our contract out of a portion of his operations, or make any like change which might affect the constituency of the appropriate union' without incurring any obligation to bargain with or even consult... [the union]."
P 295 Board highly approved the anti-communist aspects of Taft Hartley
Later decisions would make it easier for AFL or CIO unions to raid the ones they kicked out for refusing to sign loyalty affidavits.
p 307: (May, 1949) Los Angeles Building and Construction Trades Council decision "The employer was thus established in complete control of work assignments."
P 313: "John L Lewis had always stated that the organized labor movement would have been better off if neither the Wagner nor the Taft-Hartley Acts have ever been passed. He repeated his opinion for the benefit of the Senate Committee in 1953.
P 315: "That unions and their members should 'lie down like good dogs' or face the consequences from state agencies prepared to deal all the aces to their adversaries was the message which the Taft-Hartley Act sent the entire organized labor movement in 1947."
P 321 by 1957 the NLRB had effectively stopped challenging arbitration decisions. "Effectively the Supreme Court's Decisions placed grievance arbitration at the center of national labor relations policy."
P 323 "stability in industrial relations the primary objective of the Act"
323 "Such guarantees, however, were not extended to ideologically unacceptable incumbents. Thus, in the years after the anti-communist purge within the CIO in 1948-9, which culminated in the expulsion of its eleven communist-influenced affiliates, the Board successfully manipulated its contract-bar rules to the disadvantage of the communist unions by developing a 'schism' doctrine which effectively encouraged the raiding of Communist-led incumbents by AFL and CIO unions."
Pg 327 " 'The principal difference between the working people and the courts,' Samuel Gompers told members of both houses of Congress in 1914, 'lies in the marked tendency of the courts to guarantee to the workman an academic and theoretic liberty which he does not want by denying him industrial rights to which he is ethically entitled.' Or, in other words, what the state offered workers and their organizations was ultimately no more than the opportunity to participate in the construction of their own subordination."
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Warren, Leslie, Dallas Public and Private; Aspects of an American City. Grossman Publishers, NY, 1964. Description of Dallas life around Kennedy Assasination. Leslie was a reporter at the Dallas Morning News when Kennedy was assassinated. He had lived in Dallas for a number of years. Immediately after November 22, 1962, there was a lot of interest in Dallas because many Americans blamed the city itself for the assassination. Leslie states openly that Dallas isn't that much different from other cities, while insinuating at the same time that unbelievable, even comical, right-wing elements are given free rein here. His view of the history of the city is the same as the Chamber of Commerce's, but his close-up view of contemporary 1964 Dallas is worth reading.
As a suppressed psychological evaluation of the city said at the time of the assassination: "I would agree that this is not the only place where this could have happened. But it is one of the places where it or something like it was quite likely to happen...." Leslie gives some background on the KKK, General Edwin Walker, the Minute Women, and the public violence against Lyndon & Lady Bird Johnson and against Adlai E Stevenson prior to the assassination. From the constant large numbers of people gathered in Dealy Plaza and pointing at the School Book Depository every day in Dallas, I have to assume there would still be interest in Leslie's book.
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David R Roediger & Philip S. Foner OUR OWN TIME. A History of American Labor and the Working Day. Verso Press, London, New York, 1989. First published by Greenwood Press, 1989. This is a finely detailed documentation of American labor's economic and political struggle for shorter working hours. Their thesis is that shorter hours was the goal that unified various workers' groups. I was so impressed with it that I took the following notes:
Intro vii: George Meany said, "In effect, the progress toward a shorter work-day and a shorter work week is the history of the labor movement itself." (1956)
Intro x: Hours of labor tables. Covers 1840-1972.
Pg7: "…the carpenters mounted America's first 10-hour day strike in May, 1791."
Pg 19: "The following chapter argues that increasing attention to the hours issue was the key element in the transformation of labor's consciousness and organization during this period." (1830-42). They claim it brought the movement together.
Pg 40: "On March 31, 1840, President Martin Van Buren did issue a broadly applicable executive order granting the ten-hour day to all those government employees engaged in manual labor."
Pg 41: Shorter hours was linked to "republicanism" or participatory government.
Pg 84-85: Shorter hours advocates like Ira Steward often linked their arguments with abolitionism. (1851)
Pg 139: "We want to feel the sunshine / We want to smell the flowers / We're sure that God has willed it / And we mean to have eight hours. // We're summoning our forces / From Shipyard, shop and mill; / Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest / eight hours for what we will!" (1886)
Pg 139: List of cities with demonstrations on May 1, 1886 includes Galveston! In general, it was the AFL, not the Knights of Labor, who defended the Haymarket Martyrs and pushed for the 8-hour day in the 1880s and 1890s.
Pg 165: "/Women cared more about time than the AFL cared about women…" All through book, point is made that women were often backbone of movement for shorter hours.
Pg 166: Lucy Parsons of Texas helped lead Chicago demo of 300 for shorter hours, 5/2/86
Pg 188: (1907) General strike among Louisiana and East Texas lumber workers protested, amont other things, a lengthening of hours. Brotherhood of Timber Workers later joined IWW
Pg 198: 1916,9/2 Operating railway employees win 8-hour day. "A giant victory for labor."
Pg 221: 1929,9/14 Ella Mae Wiggins murdered when he truckload of striking unionists ambushed by vigilantes. Textile strike in Gastonia, NC. All arrested were acquitted.
Pg 228: "At the turn of the century Gompers commented that the ministry was ceasing to be part of that 'host that prayed for us one minute on Sunday and preyed on us all the rest of the week' and was showing an interest in Sunday leisure.
Pg 246: 1932,5/15 NY Times announces that AFL dropped its traditional opposition to unemployment insurance. Later that year, they reversed Gompers' tradition of "voluntarism" and asked for 6-hour day legislation.
Pg 249: Roosevelt opposed Senator Black's 30[hour bill, but pushed NIRA with section 7(a)
Pg 249: 1933,6/16 National Industrial Recovery Act became law, including section 7(a) that said, "employees shall have the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and shall be free from interference, restraint, or coercion of employees… in the designation of such representatives." During this period, CIO won major victories on shorter hours.
Pg 255: 1938,6/25 Fair Labor Standards Act signed by FDR. Effective 10-24-38.
Pg 261: WWII war "It saw also the major judicial defeat for labor in Walling v. A.H. Belo Corporation…" Belo owns Dallas Morning News!
Pg 262: Reuther often attacked "30 for 40" during 1950s as an ill-timed and even subversive demand
Pg 266: 1947,6/23 Taft-Hartley passed over Truman's veto "the most important piece of anti-labor legislation in US history."
Pg 271: In 1961 Reuther introduced resolution to afl-cio "Creating Job Opportunities by Reducing Work time."
Pg 271: Kennedy Administration had promised to support shorter hours but opposed Adam Clayton Powell's 1961 bill for 35 hour week.
Pg 275: PATCO called for 320-hour workweek as a health and safety demand. June 1981
Pg 276: "Since 1940, the labor force participation rate of such housewives has risen from about 15% to just over 50%…"
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Stein, Leon (Editor), Out of the Sweatshop. The Struggle for Industrial Democracy. Quadrangle/ The NY Times book Co.. 1977. Articles & essays from the time of the sweatshops to 1970s. Lots of original material from the big names of that period such as Jacob A Riis, Theodore Dreiser, John R Commons, etc. For some reason it completely skips the period of the CIO.
Sweeney, John J (President of AFL-CIO) with David Kusnet, America Needs a Raise, Righting for Economic Security and Social Justice. Houghton Miflin, Boston New York, 1996.
Pg8: “Our ultimate goal is a new social contract, by which workers will share not only in prosperity but in power.”
P95: Explains his slate’s victory in October, 1995 “first contested election of AFL-CIO” Central Bodies sent 488 delegates (up from 186 in 1992) and ¾ of them went for the New Voice slate. Other details of their program, including more inclusion of women & minorities.
P122: “It means organizing for economic security and social justice in our workplaces, in our communities, and at every level of the political process. And that means building a new movement of working people.”
P131: “Because so many low-wage industries have settled in the South, that region is a special focus of our organizing efforts….Maybe you remember the horrible fire that killed twenty-five workers at the Imperial food Products Plant in Hamlet, North Carolina, on September 3, 1991. With grim irony, that was the day after Labor Day.”
P136: Living Wage first passed by Baltimore City Council. “As of July 1, 1995, all workers employed by city contractors were to be paid at least $6.10 an hour. And within four years, their minimum wage is to jump to $7.70. That victory not only raised workers’ wages, but lifted their spirits, as they saw what they could accomplish by working together.”
P149: Sweeney “soft” on labor-management schemes. “…there are already examples of partnerships between employers and employees that are beneficial to both sides and that improve quality and competitiveness. These examples offer a glimpse of what we can accomplish together with the new social contract we seek.”
My conclusions as of (9/1/00): I celebrate the victory of the Sweeney leadership virtually every day in the labor movement. They have brought us back to labor militancy and back to the idea of working with our allies among environmentalists, students, minorities, women, churches, immigrants-rights groups, labor “radicals”, community organizations, etc. We have returned to the fight and we have re-learned how to fight.
My criticisms are twofold: (1) the “new” leadership ignores history completely, and I worry that they will lose their way, although they certainly haven’t yet; and (2) This “partnership” business is a ticket to labor destruction. Fortunately, the corporations’ aggressiveness in destroying labor economically and politically has precluded any serious “partnership” arguments among the rank and file.
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