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Murray Weiss

CP-Frankensteen Forces Propose
Aid to FBI Hounding of Unions

(22 November 1941)

From The Militant, Vol. V No. 48, 29 November 1941, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 22. – The Stalinists have found a new way to aid the Gestapo-FBI to hound militant union men. Last week at the North American Aircraft local of the United Automobile Workers, CIO, in Los Angeles, they attempted to push through a resolution calling for the establishment of a union “Fact Finding Committee” of ten to ferret out all information concerning activities of workers which “hamper the progress of national defense.”

The information thus gathered could then be distorted by the FBI and other anti-labor forces to persecute the Union and its members. Regular union activity could be lumped indiscriminately under the heading of activities obstructive to “national defence,” and linked with “subversive activities.”

It will be recalled that the Stalinists who led the North American strike last June were themselves victims of the FBI and the Army officials who took over the plant. Some of the secondary Stalinist leaders in the North American local are still being victimized, by being denied their jobs, for their participation in that strike. They have been charged with being “subversive.”

Militants Opposed

An extremely heated discussion took place on the resolution. Militant workers of all political opinions launched a vigorous attack against the Stalinist-Frankensteen machine. They pointed to the obvious danger of this committee being used to persecute and get rid of militant union men. They insisted that it was treachery to the interests of the labor movement to call the labor-hating, union-busting FBI into the affairs of the union.

Highly significant was the action of a group of young Stalinists who split openly with the Stalinist fraction on this issue. They fought side by side with the militants in defeating this vicious resolution.

The Stalinist-Frankensteen machine in control of the local was forced to retreat. This obviously reactionary plan for an FBI “Fact Finding Committee” within the union aroused such a storm of protest that the chairman quickly suppressed all discussion and adjourned the meeting. The resolution was referred to a committee of three for “study.”

Progressive unionists in all industries must be on guard against this campaign which represents the latest treachery of the Communist Party. Under the guise of innocuous-sounding “fact finding committees” the Stalinists are seeking to assist the FBI in its efforts to strait-jacket the labor movement.

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