From the Minneapolis Labor Review
First Published: May 11, 1934
Source: Minneapolis Labor Review, May 11, 1934, Volume 27, No. 403. Official organ of Minneapolis Central Labor Union and Hennepin County, the Minneapolis Building Trades Council, the United Card and Label Council, and the Minnesota Pipe Trades Association .
Online Version: Marxists Internet Archive, 2004
Transcribed/HTML Markup: David Walters for the Marxists Internet Archive History section. Originally transcribed by the Labor Review Archive Project, in PDF format, initiated by the The Minneapolis Central Labor Union Council and the Minneapolis Labor Review.
Organized Labor Does Not Intend To Stand Aside For Industrial Wolves
As is always its custom the Citizens Alliance is attempting to change the situation of peace and negotiation that at first appeared probable between Drivers and employers to one where the workers must fight or surrender to those conditions of serfdom and starvation that too long have characterized the transportation industry of the city.
These Citizens Alliance racketeers will be directly to blame if there is a strike and if there is strike it will be one that the Alliance racketeers will not soon forget.
There is very little probability that if there is a strike that it will be confined to Drivers, Oil Station Attendants, Platform Men and others directly connected with the transportation industry.
Employees of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees are also uneasy and while they intend to pursue every avenue to obtain a peaceful settlement of their grievances as will the General Drivers’ union, it appears that the Citizens Alliance lies taken such a grip on the employers that a strike may be precipitated in both these lines of transportation.
Other thousands of members of organized labor are carefully watching the situation, They have many old scores to settle with the Citizens Alliance and do not intend to see the Minneapolis wolves of industry and finance jump the Drivers or the Street Car Men and stand idly by.
It is industrial war that the city is facing as the result of Lawyer Levy arid Stool Pigeon Herder McAloon of the Citizens Alliance overstepping the committee that originally started to negotiate for the employers and issuing an ultimatum regarding which this committee is reported not to have been informed.
Monday evening more than 2,000 Drivers attended the meeting at the Eagles’ Hall, Fourth Avenue So. and Eighth street, To he sure that is more than the big hail accommodates, but Drivers came and went as their different times for reporting for work and quitting work occurred. It is conservatively estimated that at least 2,000 were present at various times.
A strike committee of 75 was selected. It met Wednesday evening at Labor Headquarters. It voted to recommend to the big meeting Monday evening that a strike be declared unless in the meantime a settlement has been reached.
The Publicity Committee for the General Drivers’ union has issued the following statement:
“We are in receipt of a communication, supposedly from a committee representing the Minneapolis employers of truck drivers, helpers, filling station attendants, and other workers connected with this industry.
“General Drivers’ Union, Local No. 574, contend that this communication is a repudiation of agreements entered in good faith by the General Drivers’ Union committee. First, the employers’ committee contends in this communication that they do not recognize General Drivers’ Local No. 674 as truly representing the employees. This statement by the employers’ committee demonstrates the fact that they have not acted in good faith with the union committee.
“At a meeting held in the Regional Labor Board office on Tuesday, May 1. the union committee agreed to let the Regional Labor Board cheek our books with the employers’ payroll as proof that we truly represented the workers who are in the union. The employers’ committee in return for this, agreed to submit to the union committee the list of employers whom they contend they represent. Although the employers’ committee has not taken advantage of our offer to demonstrate to them our right to represent these people, we contend this does not release them from the responsibility of dealing with the union committee.
“The employers state further that this was an ‘informal meeting’ and that they Were not bound to any promises they made the union committee at that meeting.
“The union committee contends, on the other hand, that this was a formal meeting called by the Regional Labor Board and answered in good faith by the union committee to attempt to adjust our agreement. If the employers at this time wish to repudiate this agreement that they entered into on May 1, the responsibility is theirs. "The issue here is clear-cut. It is as the employers state ‘the open shop versus the closed shop.’ Recent experience with employers in Minneapolis during the coal strike has demonstrated the fact that an open shop agreement with union recognition means only an invitation to the employers for discrimination and general discharge of union employees.
“As proof of the foregoing statement, the General Drivers’ Union have in their possession documents published by the Citizens Alliance and the employers, advising and coaching the employers as to methods they should use in destroying the union organization which is the first step towards depressing wages.
“It is true that the General Drivers’ Union is asking for higher wages for its members and better working conditions and they are also asking for the only possible guarantee of the permanency of wage increases and better conditions and that is the closed shop.
“Despite the statement of employers that a closed shop agreement is a violation of act IA of the National Industrial Recovery Act, the General Drivers’ Union contends first that the closed shop is not a violation of act 7A, and second, that it is only a manner in which wages and working conditions can be maintained.
“The General Driven’ Union realize that controversies of this type are not fought in the columns of newspapers&8212;that if the employers have determined upon struggle, we are prepared to answer their challenge.”