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The Militant, 20 September 1948

Farrell Dobbs Scores Truman Strikebreaking Role

Exposes Demagogy in President’s Bid for Vote of Labor

From The Militant, Vol. 12 No. 38, 20 September 1948, pp. 1 & 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


FLINT, Mich., Sept. 11 – In a ringing reply over radio station WFDF to Truman’s Labor Day speech at Detroit, Farrell Dobbs, presidential candidate of the Socialist Workers Party, today scored Truman’s demagogic pose as a “friend of labor.”

Dobbs underlined the sharp contrast between Truman’s “pro-labor” campaign promises with his anti-labor record. Before his last-minute “veto” of the Taft-Hartley Act, Truman demanded Congress pass a savage anti-labor law to draft strikers into the army. The Socialist Workers Party candidate reminded his radio audience of the three strikebreaking assaults against the coal miners launched by Truman, through the courts. He pointed to Truman’s use of the Army two times to break strikes of the railroad workers.

Anti-Labor Politicians

The Democrats and Republicans, Dobbs explained, work hand in glove with the employers promoting the war drive and the furious anti-labor offensive. As for Henry Wallace, Dobbs cited Wallace’s record to show that he, too, was just another capitalist politician seeking to profit from “the failure of the union officialdom to launch a Labor Party.”

“There is a mighty power in the hands of your United Auto Workers Union and the sister unions of the CIO, AFL and Railroad Brotherhoods," said the SWP Presidential candidate.

“That is why President Truman came here to launch his election campaign in a speech at Flint Park on Labor Day. That is why the Republican Party quickly rushed Harold Stassen into Michigan to speak in rebuttal against Truman, The capitalist politicians know that without the electoral support of the mighty labor movement they couldn’t hold public office for fifteen minutes.

“Truman tried to cover up his black record as a strikebreaker by giving you a friendly wave of the arm, a big grin and a promise of a period of new hope. Stassen tried to make you believe that the Taft-Hartley Act is for your own good. Both Truman and Stassen talked about almost everything but the real problems confronting the workers.”

The Central Issue

Pointing out that the outstanding issue of the 1948 elections was the unceasing and sharpening “war between labor and capital,” Dobbs emphasized how well the rich know this and how it shapes their policies along with those of their government in Washington. The crying need is for the working people also to fully understand this in order to smash the furious anti-labor offensive.

A number of serious defeats recently suffered by the workers on the political as well as the economic field were explained by Dobbs as due to the “false policy of the union leadership,” who continue to “cling tighter than ever to the skirts of capitalist politicians.”

“The auto workers,” said Dobbs, “have a right to ask: What was Walter Reuther doing on the platform with strikebreaker Truman in Detroit? Why are the top union officials trying to breathe new life into the corrupt Democratic Party, while they cynically tell the workers who want to build an independent Labor Party, ‘Now is not the time’.”

In conclusion Dobbs said:

“Workers of Flint! Close your ranks against the union testers! Defend democracy in your unions! Seek out the able young men and women in your ranks that can lead you with a correct program. Combine your economic struggles on the picket line With independent labor political action.

“Unite with the Socialist Workers Party to rid America of the plague of capitalism With its wars and depressions! Cast your vote for a socialist society of peace, freedom and plenty by voting for the candidate of the Socialist Workers Party!”

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