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B.J. Widick

Akron C.I.O. to Build Union for WPA Workers

W.A.A. Fights Move; Stalinists Want Open Field

(August 1938)

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. II No. 34, 20 August 1938, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

AKRON, Ohio. – Disgusted with the misleadership of the Stalinists in control of the Workers Alliance, the Akron C.I.O. council voted to organize W.P.A. workers into a C.I.O.-chartered union, and an organizing committee was set up in cooperation with the regional C.I.O. office to do the work.

This action followed widespread criticism of the Workers Alliance leadership by militant rubber workers now employed on W.P.A. projects. The Stalinists’ policy of doing nothing to embarrass the Roosevelt administration caused the criticism.

C.I.O. Calls Meet

A meeting called by the C.I.O. organizing committee for W.P.A. workers was held last week, despite sabotage of the Stalinists who spread false rumors that the organizing campaign was called off.

An apparently reliable report was received here from Washington that John L. .Lewis had definitely vetoed the proposal advanced by leaders of the Workers Alliance to give them an international C.I.O. charter. The word is being passed along in C.I.O. circles that Lewis wants to organize the unemployed and the W.P.A. people but is anxious to exclude the Stalinist leadership.

The effect of the C.I.O. council action in Akron is to place the Stalinists in the position of fighting a progressive proposal of the labor movement to make the battle of the unemployed its own, and they are meeting the opposition of most of the prominent Akron labor leaders.

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Last updated: 14 September 2015