James P. Cannon

Daily Strike Bulletin

Minneapolis—August 8, 1934

Spilling the Dirt—a Bughouse Fable

Thanks to the historians at the Minnesota Historical Society for help in locating the The Daily Strike Bulletins of General Drivers Local 574 and other documents from the 1934 Truckers Strike

BY a lucky combination of circumstances the real issues of the strike have at last been brought out into the open. The dirty dogs at the head of Local 574 have been exposed. The federal mediators, too. Here’s the lowdown. Watch closely, and remember that the hand is quicker than the eye.

First: Joseph R. Cochran, chairman of the Employers Advisory Committee, spilled the beans in a statement issued last night. He put this here Father Haas and Mr. Dunnigan on the spot and showed them up as Communist agents “boring from within” the United States Government. He said: “If the Haas-Dunnigan proposals were accepted by the employers, it would enable Local 574 to claim a victory for Communist leadership ... Thus communism, after all, is still the zeal issue in this strike. ”

Second: The editor of the Organizer was picked up and taken before the kangaroo court for questioning. The examining officer had been eating onions and drinking scab beer, and his breath was so strong that it overcame the editor and he broke down and confessed everything.

Since reports of this confession will most likely be printed in the other papers in garbled form, we publish it here verbatim as it was really made. (A secret agent of Local 574, working as court stenographer, smuggled out a carbon copy of the original confession.) Here it is:

OFFICER: You might as well come clean now. Give us the whole dope.

EDITOR: O.K., officer, I’m willing to tell everything. But, would you mind turning your breath the other way for a minute. I’m a little bit sick.

OFFICER: Who’s dis guy called Father Haas? What’s the tie-up between him and Governor Olson and youse guys?

EDITOR: His real name is Haasky. He’s a Russian Bolshevik, brought over here by the Brain Trust to put across a modified form of communism through the NRA. Cochran got the goods on him, all right. His proposal of 42 1/2 cents an hour is practically the same thing as communism. He writes editorials for the Militant under an assumed name.

OFFICER: Spill the rest of it. What about Dunnigan, Olson, Brown and the Dunne brothers-how many of these here Dunne brothers is there all told?

EDITOR: Their real name is Dunnskovitsky. They are Irish Jews from County Cork, smuggled into the country about six months ago disguised as sacks of Irish potatoes. There are 17 of them in Minneapolis, all the same age, and they all holler for 42 1/2 cents an hour. They say that’s the beginning of communism, and they are all strong for it. They have a brother in New York who is a famous acrobat. He inspired the popular ballad, “The Man on the Flying Trapeze”. Mr. Dunnigan’s right name is Dunnigansky-a cousin of- the Dunne boys and hand in glove with them on the 42 1/2 cents an hour racket.

OFFICER: What about Brown?

EDITOR: He’s a Jew named Bronstein, a fish peddler from the east side of New York. He came here a few weeks ago and tried to sell Bismark herring down at the market. Then he lined up with the Dunnskovitskys and muscled into the union racket, and got himself elected president of Local 574. He’s sitting pretty now and doesn’t have to peddle herring any more. By the way, he is a son of Leon Bronstein - that’s the original name of this guy Trotsky that started all the trouble over in Russia.

OFFICER: How about Governor Olson? He’s in wit youse guys in the communist racket, ain’t he?

EDITOR: Sure! That’s the slickest part of the whole game. That guy’s a card. His right name is not Olson, and he’s not a Swede either-that’s just a gag to get the Scandinavian vote. He’s a Russian importation-direct from Moscow-and his real name is Olsonovich. He’s been a big help to the strike. That raid he pulled off at the union headquarters, and the throwing of the pickets into the stockade, was all a trick to get sympathy for the strikers.

OFFICER: This is gettin’ too deep for me. Who cooked up this whole scheme, anyway?

EDITOR: Well, to tell the truth, it was all planned out in Constantinople a few months ago. Some of the boys worked a week driving trucks and saved up enough money to take a trip to Europe. They went over to Constantinople to see Trotsky and get instructions for their next move. Trotsky said: “Boys, I want a revolution in Minneapolis before snow flies. ” They said “O.K. ” and started to leave.

Just as they were about to take the boat, Vincent Dunne stepped up to old man Trotsky and said, “What’s your last word of advice before we go? ”

OFFICER: What did Trotsky say?

EDITOR: He said, “Boys, keep your eye on Olsonovich. He is liable to double cross you any minute”.