Glotzer Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index   |   ETOL Main Page

Albert Gates

We Reply to the Buffalo CIO Council

(August 1944)

From Labor Action, Vol. 8 No. 32, 7 August 1944, pp. 1 & 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Several weeks age Labor Action carried a story from its Buffalo correspondent reporting the action of the local CIO Council in attacking Labor Action by resolution and requesting the FBI to investigate its policies and financial backing.

The scabby Daily Worker, official mouthpiece of the American Communist Party, now masquerading as the Communist Political Association, reported the passage of such a resolution on June 24. Accordingly, Labor Action officially communicated with the Buffalo CIO Council and requested two things: (1) To verify or deny these reports and (2) to send Labor Action a copy of the resolution if such a resolution was passed.

It is now more than three weeks since that letter was sent and no reply has yet been received from the Buffalo CIO Council, a fact in itself extremely suspicious. We have no doubt about the action which was reported to us; we merely wanted confirmation from the Council itself. It is a sad commentary, however, that a body, having passed a resolution of condemnation, fails to notify the person or paper which it condemns.

What motivated the passing of the resolution condemning Labor Action and who are the forces behind it? The answer to these questions will reveal the interesting fact that the inspirers of such an action and those completely concerned with it are the Communists, the American agents of Joe Stalin. The man who pushed the resolution through is Manny Fried, regional director of the United Electrical, Radio & Machine, Workers Union, completely dominated and bureaucratically controlled by the Stalinists, a union in which all discredited Communists who got dumped from posts in other unions, get their labor-skate jobs.

We do not know the details of the action of the Council, but the pattern is not difficult to trace. The Communists inspired the resolution against Labor Action and pushed it through the Council. It is quite evident that the other Council members who are not Communists and have nothing in common with their view were imposed upon and convinced to vote by a series of lies and cheap red-baiting engaged in by the Stalinists. If these non-Communists knew what Labor Action was, knew its program, knew its record, they would not have voted for such a resolution, whose origin is in the headquarters of the Communist Party.

Labor Action is not an underground paper. It is published openly and speaks its mind freely. It has a program which appears in its columns. Its source of support, is also no secret. It comes from workers who agree with the paper and support it, as is the case with so many other labor and working class political papers. The fact that the resolution asks the FBI to probe into the politics and financial backing of the paper is the least of our worries.

But what is this all about, then? The answer is clear. Labor Action is a militant, working class, political, socialist paper. It is anti-capitalist. As an anti-capitalist paper it is the most consistent and persistent opponent of fascism. It was opposed to fascism when it first raised its head; it opposed Hitler when the Communists were locked arm in arm with him; it is against fascism now, whether abroad or at home.

As a socialist paper, Labor Action stands for a change in the social order. We are opposed to this system of exploitation, of production for profit. We are against a system of unemployment and poverty for the millions and riches for a handful of capitalists. We are for socialism, a system of production for use, in which the means of life, production, and distribution are not monopolized by a handful of capitalists for their own enrichment.

Our views on the war are clear, too. We do not believe this is a war for freedom, permanent peace and democracy and security, for the Atlantic Charter and the Four Freedoms. We do not believe that this is a war against fascism as a political system, but between rival powers. It is a war between different capitalist countries, all of them fighting over territory, markets, raw materials, etc. There is no guarantee that out of this war fascism will cease to exist. Only the workers can destroy that vicious political regime of capitalism which comes into power with the aid of big business!

For the Workers at Home

At home we fight against placing the burdens of the war on the backs of the workers. That is why we have opposed the wage freeze, the breakdown of union controls, and the collective bargaining system, deterioration of working conditions, destruction of union standards. All of these have resulted from an offensive by the monopoly , capitalist industries, the big trusts. Labor’s hands are tied

by the no-strike pledge and we have fought against it. The no-strike pledge is crippling the union movement and making it an easy prey of the bosses’ drive against unionism. For these things and many others, the American Communists have organized a nation-wide campaign against Labor Action.

The reason for this is clear enough. Labor Action’s program is popular among the thousands of workers who read it. We are not alone in our program. Thousands of union militants agree with us. They too are against the no-strike pledge; they too ate against the wage freeze; they too are for strengthening union conditions and union controls in the shops. They fight with us for higher wages NOW, in the midst of the war, when big business is profiteering from their labor and production!

But that isn’t all. Labor Action says that the workers must be organized independently on the political field as well. Labor Action says that the workers have been sold down the river too many times by the boss political parties, the Republicans and Democrats. Labor Action says that w,hat the workers in this country need is a party of their own, AN INDEPENDENT LABOR PARTY! And many thousands of workers agree with us.

Labor Action supports those workers who go out on strike to fight for their very lives, their standard of living, their families. We understand that the fight the workers now make is most important for the future. It is a fight against the dreary prospects of the post-war period. Any fight the workers engage in now is a fight to maintain the standard of living of the workers in the coming days. It is also a fight for the soldier who is coming hack. Labor Action does not want these soldiers to come back to unemployment, low wages, long hours and poor working conditions. The only thing that can guarantee the soldiers a more decent standard of living is the union movement, but a union movement that defends its gains and fights for its life, a militant and powerful union movement.

American Communist Policy

For these and many other reasons the reactionaries hate us, the bosses hate us, misleaders of labor hate us, and, of course, the American Communists hate us. But there is an even more pressing reason so far as the Stalinists are concerned. As agents of Stalin they are interested in only one thing: to support Russia, defend its policies and make a general nuisance of themselves in the American labor movement, to confuse the workers and sell them down the river.

They support a bureaucratic regime that lives off the backs of the workers in Russia. We tell the truth about that regime and fight for the freedom of the Russian workers. They don’t like that.

They helped put Hitler in power in Germany! We told the truth about that.

They made a pact with Hitler in 1939, which opened up the Second World War. We told the truth about that and they didn’t like that, either.

They denounced Roosevelt as a fascist, then hailed him as a democrat, then denounced him as a warmonger and then again hailed him as a liberator. All of this followed the line of Russian diplomacy and Russian Interests.

They defended Germany, Italy and Japan before the United States got into the war and said the war was imperialist. They denounced Great Britain and the United States, Churchill and Roosevelt as warmongers before Hitler attacked Russia. They said Germany was innocently attacked by the Allies! They lied about the war then; they lie about it now. And we told the truth about them.

But most important of all, since Stalin has become an ally of Roosevelt and Churchill they have switched their line again. From their slogan, “The Yanks Are Not Coming,” there are now not enough Yanks to go! From their opposition to war production, now there can never be enough war production. On the home front they fight every attempt of the workers to improve their living standards and their working conditions.

New Friends of Big Business

The American Communists are now the advocates of “free enterprise,” that system which brings so much misery to the workers and their families. They defend the profit system and hail the achievement of the blood-thirsty monopolies that gouge the people. The American Communists are now the chief advocates of policies which cannot but lead to the destruction of the labor movement. Bridges, their mouthpiece in the CIO, is the open advocate of a no-strike policy even after the war. What they want to do is effectively hogtie the labor movement and make way for its destruction.

The American Communists act as the office boys for big business in this country. Browder has become the great friend of the National Association of Manufacturers and the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Because Labor Action has effectively exposed their role, because Labor Action wages an incessant struggle in defense of the best interests of the labor movement, the Communists inside of the union movement have been organizing a nation-wide attack against it, as well as the Workers Party, whose views it represents.

But they won’t get away with it. The workers will see through this bosses’ scheme. They are quickly recognizing where these brethren stand.

Our only advice to the unionists who supported the Buffalo CIO Council action is to get a copy of Labor Action, read it, study its program and you will find more than ample reason to reverse your decision. You cannot but find our program an excellent fighting weapon in the interests of the whole labor movement. And you will then come to understand why we say that the Communists are the greatest enemies inside of the union organizations, calculated to do the greatest harm to the workers in this country.

Top of page

Labor Action 1944 Index | Writers’ Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Last updated on 14 December 2015