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Jack Wilson

News Men’s Guild to Join A.F. of L.

(June 1935)

From The New Militant, Vol. I No. 26, 15 June 1935, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

CLEVELAND, Ohio, June 10. – After a bitter five day fight, progressives in the American Newspaper Guild, having 7,000 members, swung the Guild in action as another progressive force in the American labor movement during the second annual convention held here.

The 120 delegates fought for hours over the question of A.F. of L. affiliation. Three definite forces presented points of view for adoption.

A “right wing” clique fought against affiliation because it would make reporters trade unionists. Another group insisted that affiliation to the A.F. of L. would mean approval to the reactionary betrayal of Green, Lewis, Dubinsky and other labor misleaders.

Affiliate Industrially

The correct position of affiliating as an industrial international but disassociating themselves from the bureaucrats was advanced by the New York delegation and certain middle-western groups aided by a few scattered guilds.

The third group gained a 72 to 57 majority to have a resolution with its policy succeed in passing as a recommendation to the general membership for a referendum vote on the question.

A “for A.F. of L. affiliation” slate of candidates was elected as progressives took command of the convention. Heywood Broun was re-elected president; Jonathan Eddy, national secretary and Garland Ashcraft, treasurer.

On the question of labor legislation, the convention voted by 80 to 40 to support the Wagner Labor Bill, despite sharp attack on it and the advocacy of a class struggle policy by militants.

An attack of the now extinct New Deal and on the A.F. of L. bureaucrats were other high points of the convention which saw the complete submergence of “professionalism” to the attitude of trade unionism.

A favorable referendum by the membership on the affiliation question seems assured as previous surveys indicated a. preponderant majority for it.

Whether the A.F. of L. will give an international charter to the guild is another question, on which opinion is divided.

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