Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Peter Greene

Progressive Labor Plans to Organize West Side Tenants

Seeks Stronger Position For Area Residents

First Published: Columbia Daily Spectator, Volume CXI, Number 37, 23 November 1966.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The West Side Progressive Labor Club, a militant Communist organization, has embarked on a massive plan to unionize West Side and Morningside tenants, Jake Rosen, a spokesman for the club announced yesterday. Although only one building, 255 W. 108th St. has been unionized so far, Warren Pierce, a tenant organizer for the club, claimed that interest has been high in the neighborhood. Mr. Rosen predicted that when active recruitment of tenants begins this winter a large section of the west side might become unionized. According to Mr. Rosen, the tenant union, much like a labor union, would give tenants a strong bargaining position on such problems as building conditions and rent rates. He said he envisioned residents organizing into local unions by block or by houses having the same landlord. Individual locals would belong to an overall West Side union. “This concept is only about two months old here,” he said, but noted that tenant unions have already been successful in San Francisco and Chicago. The club had unsuccessfully attempted to infiltrate the Bryn Mawr tenants association early in 1965. The group had offered its help to the tenants of the building, long known as a center of crime, in their fight to prevent Columbia from gaining complete control of the residence hotel. Mr. Pierce commented yesterday however, that this attempt was unsuccessful because “there was only one building involved.”