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M. Bell

Ohio Hits High in Priorities Unemployment

(January 1942)

From Labor Action, Vol. 6 No. 4, 26 January 1942, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The 29,487 unemployment benefit payments made in December for the state of Ohio set a new peak for 1941, according to the report of the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation. As against November payments of $714,564, the December payments ran, to $l,122,967.

The 60 per cent rise in Cleveland of $71,368 was the highest in the State. This has been mostly in the auto industry, where priorities and conversion have shut down some shops completely. In Akron, another drastic increase of 49 per cent was reflected in a rise of $11,866 unemployment benefits paid.

Great secrecy shrouds the lay-offs caused by priorities or rubber curtailment due to the war with Japan. Not a figure on lay-offs due to these causes has appeared an the Akron press, only the above-cited on unemployment benefits. However, the logical effect of abandoning civilian production of rubber has been the immediate lay-off of many salesmen throughout the country. According to the United .Rubber Workers (CIO) the effects have not been severely felt as yet in the production end.

The union has been largely responsible for effecting transfers of laid-off members into other war production industries. Also, due to URWA and management protests, enough rubber will be released to keep workers in the heavy truck tire divisions on a 30-hour week basis for the remainder of January. Thus, expected drastic lay-offs have been averted for a month.

It is reported that some departments in Akron rubber plants are working on curtailed schedules, but the conspiracy of silence of the OPM, companies and the press prevents and accurate knowledge at the present time.

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