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WITHIN THE diversity 






WASHINGTON 6, D. C. 1947 

1 - : s-:zr "di the proletariat] means noth- 

slz ~ :t r:r less than power which directly 
'- : :?. -.-.z-Ience. which is not limited by any 
. -5 :: :rs:r:c:ed by any absolute rule. Dictator- 
5* -Z r-rir-i — note this once and for all — unlimited 
: -: resting on violence and not on law — lenin. 

• • • 

It is particularly important for the purpose of 
winning over the majority of the proletariat, to 
capture the trade unions . . . — Comintern. 

• • • 

The conquest of political power by the prole- 
tariat is a gigantic forward step for the prole- 
tariat as a class, and the Party must more than 
ever, and not merely in the old way but in a new 
way. educate and guide the trade unions, at the 
same time not forgetting that they are and will 
long remain an indispensable "school of Com- 
munism" and a preparatory 7 school for training 
the proletarians to exercise their dictatorship. 
. . . We must be able to withstand all this, to 
agree to any sacrifice, and even — if need be — to 
resort to all sorts of stratagems, artifices, illegal 
methods, to evasions and subterfuges, only so as 
to get into the trade unions, to remain in them, 
su : :o carry on Communist w T ork within them at 

all COStS — LENIN. 

• • • 

It is inconceivable that the Soviet Republic 
should continue to exist for a long period side 
by side with imperialist states — ultimately one or 
the other must conquer — STALIN. 

• • • 

We . . . stand steadfast and immovable against 
Communism and totalitarianism. . . . We resent 
the attempts of those who seek to utilize any 
I ranch of organized labor for the purpose of 

:~ rosing upon our nation a form of foreign- 
:;:.:eived ideology — William green. 

v- • v 





Report of 

Committee on Socialism and Communism 

Approved by the Board of Directors 




THE MASTERMINDS of Communist strategy, 
especially since the time of Lenin, have insisted that 
the labor movement must be moved steadily left- 
ward, radicalized and infiltrated. Without a leftist 
labor movement the Communists stand small chance 
of gaining the objective of a revolutionary destruc- 
tion of our way of life. 

For this reason top management in American 
industry and commerce must concern itself with this 
problem. Sound industrial relations as practiced by 
the foreman, the division head, the industrial rela- 
tions executive and top management may serve as 
a check to Communist infiltration. But this is not 
enough, as the following analysis reveals. 

Furthermore, management alone cannot solve the 
problem. The cooperation of anti-Communist work- 
men and labor leaders in indispensable. The dis- 
closures, along with the recommendations in this 
report, should be of help to those who are aware of 
the nature of the problem and who wish to do some- 
thing about it. 

"^Meantime, every effort must be made to set forth 
the facts of Communist infiltration and strategy in 
all fields — government, literary, entertainment, edu- 
cation and wherever the Communists are at work. 
Countermeasures in all these fields must be taken 
simultaneously so that each effort will reinforce the 

For the person interested in these problems, we 
also commend the materials listed in the bibliog- 
raphy and the two earlier reports published by the 
National Chamber. 

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THE PROBLEM of Communism in labor rela- 
tions can no longer safely be ignored. It affects 
vitally the employer, the worker, and the public. 
The fundamental reason for this lies in the nature 
of Communism. As noted in the earlier report, 
UNITED STATES, the American Communist 
Party is not a political movement in the normal 
sense of the term. Nor is it a reform movement com- 
parable to the great surges in American history 
which have altered our destiny. 

Communism fundamentally is a secret conspira- 
torial movement in the interests of a foreign power. 
Its policies are not American-made. They are made 
in Moscow and directed from Moscow. If the 
interests of the Soviet Union happen to coincide 
with American aims, as they did during the War, 
American Communists can become "superpatriots." 
When they diverge, as they have done since V-J 
Day, the Red groups seek to sabotage every phase 
of American life. Such sabotage is particularly 
dangerous and effective in the fields of labor rela- 

If Communism were merely a domestic move- 
ment aiming at social reform, its tactics alone would 
make it dangerous. It is utterly ruthless in its bid 
for power. During the War, when all-out production 
was its motto, its drives for power in the labor move- 
ment seriously impeded the war effort. It promoted 
factionalism and dissension and thus undermined 
labor morale. Its secret plottings within unions led 
to a general spirit of distrust and dissatisfaction. 
Communists seem incapable of constructive efforts, 
even when they try to aid the union or management 
to increase production. 

The immediate victim of their tactics is the em- 
ployer with a Communist-controlled union. He is 
subject to constant political harassment, bad faith, 

and every form of deception and chicanery. Even 
with the maximum of good will towards his workers, 
he will find himself unable to achieve peace and 
harmony. Production will suffer and costs will 
mount. As one commentator puts it: "Every time 
Molotov toughens up on Secretary Byrnes, the local 
union comrades play rough with the foremen and 
executives in plants around the country," * 

Other employers suffer as well. Even where their 
unions are under honest, American leadership, they 
cannot insulate themselves from the trend. Some- 
times they pay the price through strikes of suppliers. 
At other times, they find their own union leaders 
forced to parrot demands made by Communist 

Gains or even demands made in one sector of the 
A.F. of L. or the C.I.O. tend to repeat themselves 
elsewhere. It must be remembered that the labor 
movement is intensely political. If non-Communist 
leaders do not gain as much as their opponents, 
they may soon find themselves with an active Com- 
munist opposition in their own union. The opposi- 
tion makes capital of the reasonable demands of the 
honest leadership. Hence irresponsibility in labor 
tends to become infectious. 

An illustration of this analysis can be found in 
the policies of Walter Reuther. In the political 
struggles of labor, Reuther is considered a leader 
of the anti-Communist bloc. But at the same time, 
he is the head of a union which has a powerful Com- 
munist minority. He faces sabotage, not only from 
this clique, but also from the national headquarters 
of the C.I.O. Communist influences there have 
persuaded the top leadership that Reuther is a 
threat to their positions. As a result, Reuther faces 
an alternative: he must either be aggressive or retire 
in favor of some Communist dupe. This explains 
in part the conflict in his public statements. On the 
one hand, he may favor increased labor productivity 
and decry inflationary wage rises. On the other 
hand, he makes wage demands which cannot be 
other than inflationary. 

* Fortune, November 1946, p. 285. 

6 * 

Labor Suffers from Communism 

1ABOR SUFFERS from this internecine struggle. 
J Its legitimate objectives are obscured in fac- 
tional struggles. It is maneuvered into expressive 
and fruitless strikes. Thus, most labor leaders con- 
cede today that the 1946 strikes brought >no net 
gains to labor. Higher wages were offset by higher 
prices. A.F. of L. leaders have been extremely crit- 
ical of the C.I.O. strike policy. They consider it 
political rather than economic. And one of the most 
important factors in labor's political struggles is 
the Communist issue. 

There are many current indications that labor 
realizes how the Communist menace hurts its cause. 
Thus, in 1946 the heads of two C.I.O. unions re- 
signed and gave as their reason Communist control 
of their groups. The National C.I.O. Convention in 
1946 saw fit to denounce Communist interference. 
State Industrial Council (C.I.O.) meetings in Wis- 
consin, Massachusetts, and New York took action 
against the Communists. There were rumblings in 
two other Communist-controlled unions. The first 
instance of restiveness was when Joseph Curran of 
the National Maritime Union engaged in an all-out 
struggle with the Communist officers associated with 
him. Then Lewis Merrill of the Office and Profes- 
sional Workers, who has been a regular writer for 
the Communist weekly, New Masses, disclaimed 
Communist interference in his union, although his 
sincerity in doing so has been questioned.* 

It is obvious that the public is a victim in these 
struggles. The shortages, inconveniences and suf- 
ferings of 1946 are too recent to need detailed re- 
counting. Yet, they may appear trivial compared to 
possible future events. If the foreign policies of the 

♦The resigning Presidents were Morris Muster, head of 
the United Furniture Workers (The New York Times, July 
1, 1946, p. 1) and Frank R. McGrath, head of the United 
Shoe Workers (New Work World Telegram, October 3, 1946, 
p. 2). For a summary of the Industrial Council moves, see 
Business Week, December 28, 1946, p. 64 and January 4, 
1947, p. 56. In early 1947, Joseph Curran openly charged 
his fellow officials with putting Communist interests above 
union interests (The New York Times, January 5, 1947, 
Section 1, p. 7). 

United States continue to diverge from those of 
the Soviet Union, we may be in for an era of thinly 
disguised political strikes. Strikes of this nature are 
basically sabotage. They will not be settled in any 
easy fashion. 

The Present Situation 

IN EARLY 1947, the problem of Communism 
exists in scattered Locals of A.F. of L. unions, 
and in a more serious way in international unions 
as well as Locals of the C.I.O. In the A.F. of L., 
pressure from the top combined with trained and 
conservative unionism on the part of the rank-and- 
file have tended to keep out Communist infiltration. 
Exceptions exist where there is a heavy concentra- 
tion of Communists in a given region, such as New 
York or Los Angeles. In these sections, many A.F. 
of L. Locals and those of independent unions have 
been infiltrated seriously. 

By contrast, the C.I.O. has shown great weakness 
in fighting Communist inroads. Furthermore, so 
many of the rank-and-file are new to unionism that 
aggressive pressure from the bottom has usually 
been lacking. Untrained unionists have often been 
quite helpless to ward off an invasion by a clever 
and unscrupulous clique of Communists in a Local. 
Their resentment at such tactics, however, rose to 
such a pitch in 1946 that the national leadership 
was forced to take some action against Red control. 
At this writing, trends are confused and uncertain, 
the more so since Communists are presently going 
underground and concealing their identities when 
this is possible.* 

Master Strategy 

SOME INDICATION of probable future pat- 
terns may be found in the general Communist 
plan for seizing power in labor, as outlined in 

* For a highly competent discussion of this problem, con- 
sult the new series by Andrew Avery, COMMUNIST 
POWER IN INDUSTRY {Chicago Journal of Commerce, 
IS cents). 

8 * 

Comintern schools. In Moscow plans, the primary 

emphasis is upon heavy and strategic industries, 
since control here is most useful for sabotage and 
revolution. Among these industries are railroads and 
communications, steel, and such war industries (or 
potential war industries) as the automobile, farm 
implement, electrical, shipbuilding, atomic energy, 
and related heavy industries. In addition, penetra- 
tion is sought into government either through 
unions or through direct espionage. Finally, unions 
which deal with office and professional workers are 
penetrated by Communists, since they are used for 
commercial and industrial espionage. 

It will be noted that this ideal pattern conforms 
with the existing plan of Communist penetration in 
the United States, with the exception of steel and 
railroads, where Communist success has been only 
sporadic to date. In these situations, however, cur- 
rent orders call for concentration of efforts to 
remedy past failures to obtain control over labor. 

The value of knowledge by business leaders of 
the overall pattern is obvious. If they are in a field 
which is considered strategic, they can count on no 
respite from Communist attempts to control their 
labor unions. Vigilance can never be relaxed. It does 
not follow from this, however, that firms not within 
the strategic category are automatically assured of 
labor harmony. Control of strategic industries is not 
the only labor objective of Communists. They seek 
control of the labor movement as a whole; they use 
it as a source of members and a medium for propa- 
ganda; and they draw vast funds from captive 
unions. Accordingly, if any labor situation is ripe 
for exploitation, Communists will seize upon it. 
The only difference between strategic and non- 
strategic situations is that in the former case, the 
Communists will come back again and again, no 
matter how often they are defeated. In non-strategic 
unions, a resounding and thorough victory over the 
Red element may ensure peace for several years. 

A Specialized Problem 

IN DISCUSSING the problem of Communism 
in labor relations, it is basic that we note its 
specialized nature. Neither the average employer 
nor the average worker is equipped to handle it. In- 
deed, they often fail to recognize it at all. Many an 
industrialist feels that labor is inherently ungrateful 
and irresponsible whereas the real basis of his prob- 
lem may be a Communist political machine which 
has enslaved his workers as well as himself. Also 
there are employers who, feeling that they know 
Communist tactics, attack honest union officials as 
Reds even though they are merely factual, calculat- 
ing, and hard bargainers. It is a fact that labor 
leaders may be forced into an intransigent position 
because they are caught between two fires: the fight 
against the Communists within the union, and the 
bargaining with the employer to obtain minimum 
concessions. Intelligent recognition of these facts by 
employers would in itself lead to much more har- 
monious labor relations. 

The problem may be stated in another manner. 
Today labor relations are not confined exclusively 
to problems arising in a given plant or firm. Local 
problems are important, but the sources of many 
of the difficult local questions are found elsewhere. 
Unless industrial relations directors have a trained 
realization of the roots of their problems, they may 
be very unrealistic and ineffective in handling this 
type of situation locally and in making recommen- 
dations to meet it. Mistrust and mutual recrimina- 
tions replace genuine collective bargaining. Discus- 
sions of rates of pay or conditions of employment 
become academic, when a political machine is look- 
ing for excuses to cause trouble.* 

Purely political strikes by Communist-controlled 
unions cannot as yet be called commonplace. How- 
ever, before we entered the War, the North Ameri- 
can Aircraft strike and the Allis-Chalmers strike 
were inspired by the then current Soviet policy of 
preventing aid to Hitler's enemies. More recently, 

* See: Communist Power in Industry. 


a brief shipping strike in 1945 was politically in- 
spired. Although the possibility of having more 
political strikes cannot be discounted, they should 
be considered the exception rather than the rule at 
this time. What is much more common is the pro- 
longing of an apparently economic strike for polit- 
ical reasons. Thus in the 1946 Allis-Chalmers strike 
a group of workers declared: "We have returned to 
work after being taken to the cleaners by a bunch 
of Communist revolutionaries." * This same senti- 
ment was voiced by workers in two other strikes, in 
Connecticut and New Jersey. Unfortunately, such a 
realization often arises only after grave damage has 
been done. To repeat, the diagnosis of such problems 
requires expert and specialized knowledge. 

Communist-Inspired Strikes 

IN VIEW of probable future trends, special at- 
tention should be given to the problem of the 
Communist-inspired strikes. Strikes hurt. They are 
injurious not only to those involved, but also to the 
general public. The employer loses immediate earn- 
ings and the future good will both of his workers 
and his customers. To the worker, a strike means 
physical and mental suffering for an uncertain goal. 
Even if he attains his ends, he may be in such a 
weakened economic position that he may have to 
work for several years to make up for wages lost 
during the strike. The general public loses when 
production is interrupted and when purchases by 
the strikers decline. The larger the number involved 
in the strike, the greater is the public loss. At times 
public health and security may be placed in 
jeopardy, as was the case with the coal and power 
strikes. The unions themselves usually fear strikes. 
This fear is based on the heavy cost which has 
often been sufficient to wreck strong Locals. Even 
when a union feels that its cause is just, it still must 
decide whether a struggle would be worth its pos- 
sible cost. 

Even with basic good will, hard bargaining at 

*New York Times, Nov. 25, 1946. 



times leads to an impasse which may result in a 
short strike. But on the whole, labor leaders know 
that when management suffers, they suffer. Only in 
the rarest of cases will they risk bankrupting a com- 
pany in order to attain an objective. Such is not the 
case with Communist-controlled unions. They are 
willing to fight employers piecemeal and to cause 
the maximum of confusion in the minds of the 
worker and the public alike. They seek turmoil for 
its own sake. They would gladly bankrupt an em- 
ployer, thereby causing unemployment and building 
up bitterness and hate towards all employers and 
the American way of life. Hence it is vital that each 
employer possess an understanding of this problem 
before he is confronted with it. 

One further illustration shows the implications of 
Communism in labor relations, There has been 
much recent discussion of labor-management com- 
mittees. Much thought has been given to the ques- 
tion of management prerogatives and of labor partic- 
ipation in functions hitherto exclusively reserved 
to management. Many employers view with sym- 
pathy labor's objectives in seeking teamwork with 
management. They know that cooperation aids 
morale and stimulates production. But concessions 
of this type to a Communist-controlled union are 
most dangerous. If such committees are agreed upon, 
Communists are given a wedge which enables them 
to penetrate effectively into the field of management. 
This in turn permits them to increase the area of 
conflict and disruption. Unfortunately the fear of 
such a turn of events inhibits an employer in making 
such concessions even to a good Local. There are 
numerous examples of generous contracts made with 
fair-minded union leadership which later boomer- 
anged when new faces and strange ideologies ap- 
peared at the bargaining table. ■ 

The Case of Local 94 

INSTEAD OF dealing with the problem in the 
abstract, a case history may be offered. The 
plant in question was in a war industry, employing 

12 * 


Aosrim TEJUIS 

forty thousand workers. Management from the be- 
ginning cooperated with labor and did nothing to 
hinder the formation of a union. Local 94 was con- 
nected with a C.LO. union generally credited with 
being non-Communist. One of the national officers, 
however, was politically ambitious and connived 
with Communist groups in order to gain their polit- 
ical support. 

At the beginning, Local 94 won recognition in a 
struggle with the A.F. of L. It became bargaining 
agent for twenty thousand workers. Its officers were 
fairly competent, and showed an appreciation of 
their responsibility. Bargaining and discussions were 
hard, straight, and constructive. Then the govern- 
ment expanded the contract and employment soon 
doubled. New faces appeared at the union hall, and 
many of them were actively interested in union 

Capitalizing upon the lack of experience of the 
Local's officers, a request by a few workers was 
usually sufficient to bring forth the scheduling of an 
official departmental meeting. What was the result? 
Suddenly a request would arise for another election, 
for a particular departmental shop steward. The 
incumbent's term might not have expired, but his 
pride in the job he had done would not permit him 
to stand upon this technicality. He wanted a vote 
of confidence. So he acceded to the demand and 
submitted to an election. The meeting was called, 
the election scheduled, the battle lines drawn. The 
incumbent did not realize that the meeting was 
packed with a roving group of employees from other 
departments. Suspicions could not be proved and 
election was by acclamation. Naturally, the incum- 
bent was ousted — the Communist infiltration had 

The next move was a decision to print a weekly 
paper. This decision was made at a sparsely at- 
tended union meeting. Volunteer editors were im- 
mediately available, all of them Communist. From 
the very first edition, management was deprecated, 
belittled, and lied about. Malicious and personal 
attacks were made upon supervisory personnel. 
This gutter sheet plumbed the depths in its vitriolic 

* 13 



invective. And it had its effect in a new plant; this 
was a shop whose workers had little personal knowl- 
edge of any operations, other than those in their 
own immediate section. They had migrated from 
almost every State of the Union, and had no knowl- 
edge of the previous history of personal accom- 
plishments by which to judge either management or 
their fellow workers. As a result, the vicious lies 
obtained credence, and bargaining became very 

At this juncture, the Communist faction pro- 
ceeded to attack and undermine the existing union 
officers. This was done by prolonging union meet- 
ings until impossible hours. General membership 
meetings started at 8:00 p.m. and now might con- 
tinue until 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. These meetings began 
to be called more and more frequently and upon 
any pretext. This proved to be a terrific strain upon 
the health of the officers, all of whom worked in the 
plant. Their shift started at 6:00 a.m. and they 
could not afford to remain away from work. More- 
over, they were concerned over the vicious rumors 
being circulated against them, and wished to show 
an example of industry and zeal. Like the shop 
stewards, they lost their heads and decided to call 
for an election as a show of confidence. This they 
did in the middle of their terms. 

In the meantime, the Communists had built up 
a good political machine at the plant. By capturing 
shop steward jobs, they were able to process 
grievances and build a following. Their slanderous 
rumors against the officers were having their effect. 
At the same time, they were cultivating minority 
groups, particularly the Negroes and members of 
some national groups. Aiding in this process was the 
anti-Negro bias of a vice-president of the Local. 
As a result, the incumbents were thoroughly de- 
feated, and a group of Communists along with their 
dupes were swept into power. In this Local, the 
Communists as such were satisfied to take over the 
posts of business agent and secretary. The president 
was a weak tool in their hands. Other posts went 
to ambitious leaders who could command votes. 
The power behind the throne was a shrewd, dis- 


barred lawyer, who was a New York Communist 
who preferred "war work" to the Army. Later the 
State Communist chairman took direct personal 
command of strategy in union meetings by sending 
messages from a nearby restaurant. 

The Results of Communist Control 

UNDER Communist leadership, agitation was 
the order of the day. Turbulence and strife 
were deemed necessary to keep and to extend con- 
trol of the Local. This policy of turmoil posed a 
difficult problem for the local leaders, when the 
Party Line called for all-out production. They 
solved their problem by giving up agitating through- 
out the entire plant and instead concentrated on 
irritating stoppages, "quickies," and slow-downs, 
all involving small numbers of workers strategically 
located. Numerically more significant were the 
noon-time protest meetings. Actually they were less 
vital, since the men were on their lunch period. 
Their presence did not impede production, nor did 
it even necessarily indicate interest of those present 
in the subject discussed. However, in this way, Com- 
munists hoped to continue agitation without inter- 
fering substantially with production, the USSR be- 
ing under vigorous attack by the Nazis. In fact 
production dropped off twenty per cent. As a result, 
they gave up "demonstration tactics," and confined 
themselves to exploiting grievances. The slightest 
complaint would be magnified out of all proportion, 
and processed through all the steps of the grievance 
procedure. Reasonable, factual data meant nothing 
to them. Every grievance lost was automatically ap- 
pealed to the higher steps in the procedure. 

Within the Local a terrific all-out effort was made 
to eliminate this group of Communist disturbers. 
Charges were placed against individual members of 
the group and a trial was held which was unneces- 
sarily extended over too long a period of time, at 
considerable financial loss to those making the 
charges. This was a period of turbulent charges 
and counter charges, and appeals to the Inter- 


national. Here, however, a combination of weak 
leadership on the one hand and the influence of the 
pro-Communist International officer on the other 
hand, prevented decisive action. (Actually things 
became so bad that Communists came within a 
hair's breadth of taking over the International 
Only after the War, and with the contraction of the 
industry, did the non-Communist leadership again 
become secure.) But within the Local, the bitter 
struggles tended to disgust decent members, who 
stayed away from union meetings and failed to vote 
in elections. Some of the dissidents went over to the 
A.F. of L. and tried unsuccessfully to change the 
affiliation of the Local. An adverse National Labor 
Relations Board decision on this matter was con- 
sidered favorable to the Communist group. 

During this whole struggle, attendance at Local 
meetings fell off. With a claimed local membership 
of nearly thirty thousand, it was not unusual to 
have less than a hundred persons present at general 
membership meetings. Usually a majority of these 
were Communists or their sympathizers. If they 
were uncertain of their majority, they would stage 
a disturbance and disrupt the meeting. Even when 
an active, but not too intelligent, anti-Communist 
faction formed, attendance rarely reached three 
hundred. Communist caucusing and knowledge of 
parliamentary maneuvers usually enabled them to 
outwit their opponents. As an incidental point, the 
fact that Communists and their dupes numbered 
less than a hundred at meetings shows the effective- 
ness of their tactics. A few dozen trained organizers 
were able to control absolutely the union policy of 
forty thousand workers. 

The situation was cleared up only when the In- 
ternational stiffened its attitude and suspended the 
autonomy of this and several other Communist- 
controlled Locals. Trained administrators were sent 
to take over the Locals and what was left of the 
finances. In this particular instance they found that 
hundreds of thousands of dollars had been directly 
dissipated in Communist causes. This Local did not 
have a serious strike during the War, but not a 
cent was left of the million dollars collected in dues. 

16 * 

As a result of this episode, the workers suffered, the 
employer was plagued continuously, and the war 
effort was impeded. This is a typical, not an excep- 
tional, Communist situation. 

Reaction to Communist Dictatorship 

THE CASE of Local 94 was described in detail, 
because it represents a pattern which is found 
elsewhere. Wherever the Communists either control 
a union or seek to control it, the same elements will 
be found: unrest, low morale, disturbed production, 
and, within the union, complete dictatorship. Em- 
ployers find themselves in positions where nothing 
they do will satisfy the insatiable demands made by 
the leadership of the Local. They may find them- 
selves embroiled in long and exhausting strikes. 
Such certainly was the case with Allis-Chalmers. 
Significant in this connection is a letter which this 
company sent to its workers on October 11, 1946. 
The firm presented to the employees photostatic 
evidence that the leaders of their local union had 
signed the nominating papers for a Communist can- 
didate for Governor of the State of Wisconsin. 

The result of the application of this "common 
pattern" is best demonstrated and expressed by 
the attitude of business men as described in Modern 
Industry (November 15, 1946). The tabulation of 
the survey shows that if managements who now deal 
with the C.I.O., where the problem of Communism 
is most severe, were allowed a choice, only 9.5 per 
cent would continue with the C.I.O., whereas 25 
per cent of the group would prefer to deal with the 
A.F. of L. Of the employers who now deal with 
A.F. of L. unions, not a single one could be found 
to prefer the C.I.O. It is reasonable to infer that 
the strictly trade union practices of both groups 
do not differ greatly. After all, the C.I.O. began 
with unions which split off from the older group. 
The one point of major difference probably is the 
irresponsibility induced by the political activities of 
Communists, although some non-Communists in 
the CJ.O. talk in terms of class warfare. 

* 17 

How to Recognize the Problem 

IN THE LIGHT of the preceding analysis, it 
is clear that the Communist problem is real in 
industrial relations. Yet it can still happen that an 
employer faces or will shortly face such a situation, 
and remain entirely unaware of his danger. He may 
know that his troubles have increased tremendously, 
but may blame the situation on general national 
conditions. Accordingly, it is vital that employers 
and their industrial relations executives become 
trained to recognize and to combat this problem. 

Recognition on the general level demands some 
knowledge of both Communist literature and anti- 
Communist studies and publications. The most 
authentic Communist publications nationally are 
the Daily Worker and the Worker (Sunday), and 
Political Affairs. There are also a number of authen- 
tic local or regional Communist periodicals. In 
addition, an industrial relations director should 
consult the publications of Communist-controlled 

Useful studies by opponents are: COMMUNIST 
(Chamber of Commerce of the United States) ; 
cago Journal of Commerce) ; THE COMMUNIST 
stitute of America) ; and the periodicals Plain Talk 
and the New Leader. (See bibliography.) 

From these sources, an industrial relations direc- 
tor can obtain the general "line" and jargon of the 
Communist Party. He will learn which issues are 
considered important at the moment. Indeed, he 
may be able to obtain from Political Affairs a rather 
detailed blueprint of the collective bargaining de- 
mands which he is likely to meet when his contract 
expires. In addition, he learns which unions and 
persons are favored or opposed by the Party. 

Naturally, a national edition of the Communist 
press cannot carry sufficient details of local activi- 
ties. When possible, the national press should be 

18 * 

supplemented by reading local or union papers. 
Furthermore, the reading of the anti-Communist 
press will help sharpen an executive's perception of 
key Communist issues and personnel.* 

With competent knowledge of the general Com- 
munist line and personalities, it becomes possible 
to judge the political complexion of a Local. The 
material included in the union paper, if one is pub- 
lished locally, is often a good guide to the type of 
control. Resolutions adopted in meetings and stands 
on public issues also furnish sound indications. 
Knowledge of the record and history of key local 
union personnel is also useful. If there has been any 
tendency towards ideological factionalism in a Local 
or an International, it is likely that officers will have 
taken sides with one group or another. Attitudes 
towards prominent union leaders engaged in such 
struggles also indicate an individual's cast of 
thought. Also Communists have their own distinc- 
tive jargon which can be recognized by a regular 
reader of their press. They label their opponents as 
"Fascist," "reactionary," "imperialist," and similar 
epithets fashionable in Communist circles. 

Once the fact of political influence seems estab- 
lished, it is then important to discover the Com- 
munist leaders. It can be taken for granted that 
their numbers will be insignificantly small. But they 
will be surrounded by opportunists and dupes whom 
they are using to consolidate their power. As a rule, 
the opportunist is an able leader who will play Com- 
munist labor politics for personal gain, but who 
does not use their jargon or share their general 
political interests. The dupe ordinarily is a weak 
character with a superficial popularity. Preferably 
he is from a dominant racial or religious group. He 
does not use Communist jargon in his ordinary talk, 
but his speeches, if he makes any, are often written 
for him by the Communist leaders and may contain 

* In this connection, attention should be called to two 
publications by groups connected with the Association of 
Catholic Trade Unionists, the Wage Earner in Detroit and 
the Labor Leader in New York. These are mature labor 
papers in their own right, and show a keen perception of 
the Communist issue. For an analysis of the A.C.T.U. 
movement, see Fortune, November, 1946, p. 188. 


words and phrases foreign to his normal expressions. 
Within the Local, Communists try to keep positions 
of real power (editor, organizational director, secre- 
tary, and business agent) for themselves. They may 
share some of these jobs with dupes, but prefer to 
give them positions which are merely honorary 
(such as president). Opportunists get the remaining 
jobs, and are permitted to share the shop steward 
positions with the Communists. In addition, there 
is likely to be a scattering of American-minded 
labor leaders who associate with the Communists 
because there is no other choice at the moment. If 
such leaders can form a strong group, they can 
often wean away the opportunists and attain to 

The Communist at Work 

EARLIER the case history of Local 94 was pre- 
sented. It will be useful now to narrow the 
focus and see in detail how Communists seize power 
in a Local. In this connection, it is important to 
note that their methods are mainly political and 
only incidentally ideological. They use political 
machine tactics to gain power, knowing that once 
they are in control, they will have ample oppor- 
tunity for ideological propaganda. 

Labor unions offer a perfect arena for the use of 
all the arts in the game of politics. Their struggles 
are the most bitter, skillful, and cut-throat of any 
to be seen in this country, Civic politics reach their 
peak only at intervals; labor politics continue in- 

When the Communists decide to capture a Local, 
they send a small group of their members to seek 
employment in a plant represented by that Local. 
When employed, each of these becomes extremely 
active in union affairs with the hope that he can 
attract a following. At the same time, these militant 
agitators seek to cultivate ambitious union members 
who aspire to leadership. They build up the ego of 
these individuals and induce them to seek union 
office. To achieve such office, these opportunists are 

20 * 

encouraged to be active at union meetings. If neces- 
sary the Communists will supply them with ideaj 
and issues. At the same time the Red caucus will 
urge each of the proteges to weld his personal fol- 
lowing into a compact voting group.* 

The next step is to unite these several proteges 
into a disciplined caucus. This group meets in- 
formally and prepares its program in advance for 
regular union meetings. The innocents are aided in 
picking issues, and their speeches are written for 
them if necessary. If they are timid in gaining the 
floor, an experienced Communist parliamentarian 
will gain it for them and turn it over to them. 
Communists will second the motions and make 
favorable speeches. The caucus and its followers 
will be scattered rather widely throughout the hall 
and upon signal will join in with loud applause and 
lusty shouting. In no time, the motion is railroaded 
through against disorganized and unprepared oppo- 
sition. The fledgling caucus is flushed by its success 
and anxious for further action. 

In these meetings, all the devices and tricks per- 
mitted by parliamentary procedure, and many that 
are not, are used to the fullest. When possible, 
motions are rushed through without debate. If 
serious opposition forms, the meeting is delayed or 
prolonged until opponents tire, give up the fight, 
leave the hall, and go home. From the beginning of 
the campaign, character assassination is practiced 
against the leaders of the opposition. Rumors are 
spread to undermine their influence with the general 
membership. Every effort is made to create trouble 
within the home. Anonymous letters and phone calls 
reach their wives, hinting that absences from home 
are not really on matters of union business. Com- 
munist women are prepared to seduce any opponent 
who is weak enough to fall for their wiles. Then 
blackmail effectively silences opposition from this 

* For a detailed account of an actual case see: COM- 
MUNISM ACROSS THE COUNTER, by Bernard Fielding, 
Plain Talk, January, 1947, p. 19. 


Communist Seizure of Union Offices 

WHILE union meetings are being taken over, 
a quiet campaign is being organized against 
those shop stewards and committeemen of key 
crafts or units, who refuse to accept advice and 
directions of the Communists. The plan is to take 
from them their union positions, thereby giving the 
Red group greater strategic power. This is usually 
done by seeking to prove that the official is ineffec- 
tive in processing grievances. To do this, the Com- 
munist presents a complaint which has no solid 
foundation. He insists that it be carried through all 
the steps of the grievance procedure. When it fails, 
as it must, he is vocal in his criticism of the way it 
was handled. He joins with other workers who may 
have lost grievances, and hints that the steward 
is not a fighter, or that he sold out to the employer. 
Sooner or later, these tactics get on the nerves of the 
steward and he challenges the complainant to try 
to do better himself. The Communist is "invited" 
to go to the foreman with the steward to present his 
own case. But this time he has a fool-proof grievance 
which he has been saving for the occasion. He 
wins and thus builds up his prestige among the 

Often one such display is sufficient to unseat a 
shop steward. If he still holds on, the Communist 
insists upon being present for future grievance 
discussions. This is a trap which will help to oust 
the steward no matter how he answers. If he agrees, 
solid complaints are taken up and usually won. 
This means further prestige for the Communist. If 
the steward refuses to accede, he is given weak 
grievances which he loses. Immediately the rumors 
are renewed and intensified. The chances are that 
at the next departmental meeting, the Communist 
will take over as steward. If the plant is large and 
members do not know one another, Communists 
will pack the meeting just to be certain. 

With the groundwork laid, concentration shifts 
to the annual election of local officers. Here the 
tactics are repeated. The opposition is goaded into 


sponsoring some impossible demands, in order to 
outbid the Communists. They are often maneuvered 
into supporting poorly qualified candidates from 
minority groups, merely as an evidence of tolerance 
and sincerity. In the meantime, the Communists 
are spreading lying rumors about the officers. 
Simultaneously, they cultivate racial, religious, and 
national groups. Factions within the opposition are 
promoted, so that its vote will be scattered. Under 
these conditions, the compact, solid minority usually 
rides through without trouble. 

Once consolidated into power, the Communists 
hang on by ruthless and dictatorial methods. If 
possible, the vocal and consistent opposition is ex- 
pelled on trumped-up charges. Elections are 
fraudulent in the extreme. Many jobs are filled at 
union meetings which are closely controlled. Mem- 
bership cards are often distributed to outsiders from 
other Communist controlled unions, so that they 
can vote in meetings and at elections. Ballot boxes 
are stolen or stuffed. As a result, the opposition 
often gives up and a Communist dictatorship is 
fastened upon the Local. The membership becomes 
apathetic, but it is constantly being exploited into 
hatred of the employer and disruptive tactics. Pro- 
duction and morale suffer, and costs mount.* 

The Employer Takes Action 

UNTIL RECENTLY, it has been widely held 
that the employer is helpless in such a situ- 
ation.** Yet, granted that the Wagner Act forbids 
him to interfere with the organization of his em- 
ployees, the employer is not completely powerless. 

*HOW TO SPOT A COMMUNIST, by Karl Baarslag, 
The American Legion Magazine, January 1947, p. 9. WILL 
and Stewart Alsop, Saturday Evening Post, February 22 
and March 1, 1947. HOW TO SPOT A COMMUNIST, 
Leo Cherne, Look, March 4, 1947. These articles are 
especially useful to the anti-Communist employee and labor 

** Communists in the labor movement have been aided 
and abetted by the Communist influences within the Na- 
tional Labor Relations Board from time to time. 

* 23 


Such a feeling of pessimism is extreme. Present 
interpretations of the Wagner Act permit consider- 
able freedom of speech by the employer .* Further- 
more, although an employer may not intervene in 
union politics he can at least abstain from actions 
which aid the Communists. 

This negative comfort is more substantial than 
it seems at first glance. In Communist situations 
it can be taken for granted that the workers them- 
selves will form an opposition group. If the Inter- 
national is clean, it will normally be most anxious 
to remove a disruptive faction from its midst. 
Where the employer is wise enough not to interfere 
with such struggles, the anti-Communist group will 
often be successful. By contrast, it is not uncommon 
that industrial relations executives react in blind 
panic against all union demands by a Communist- 
controlled Local. This suits the Communists per- 
fectly, since they can rally middle-of-the-roaders 
against the employer and divert attention from the 
factional struggle against them. An anti-Communist 
union group cannot successfully argue the union's 
cause with the employers and fight the Com- 
munists within the union simultaneously. 

As a first step in the counterattack, industrial 
relations directors should familiarize themselves 
with the Communist problem nationally and locally, 
as indicated earlier. Then it is important that such 
executives consult among themselves locally and 
within each industry where a Communist problem 
is indicated. The Communists themselves are or- 
ganized along such lines, and it would be a mistake 
if the employers were divided and defeated singly. 
In such meetings, much can be learned of Com- 
munist tactics in making and administering union 
contracts. Naturally information gained from such 
sources must be used with caution until each indi- 
vidual has gained much experience. Many executives 
still do not distinguish hard-bargaining and sincere 

*The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (Dec. S, 1946), 
held that the employer has the right to indicate his prefer- 
ence and opinion on labor union matters and even to en- 
deavor to persuade his employees, provided such ^suasion 
does not take the form of coercion. (NLRB v. KOPMAN 

24 * 

union officials, or even trouble makers, from actual 
Communists. But experience will indicate which 
individuals at such a meeting, or which of his own 
company personnel, are best-informed and most 
competent in making such distinctions and in the 
handling of this problem. 

At the beginning, at least, it may be desirable to 
call in outside consultants who are expert in handling 
Communism in the labor movement. Unfortunately 
thus far, none of the national services which are 
offered to industrial relations directors has concen- 
trated upon this problem. Undoubtedly some indi- 
vidual industrial relations consultants are familiar 
with it. But the issue has been recognized too 
recently to permit the building up of specialized 
competent services in relation to it. At this writing, 
industrial relations executives must do considerable 
personal work to familiarize themselves with the 
background and current trends of Communism in 
labor unions. 

Keeping Out a Communist Union 

IF A PLANT is unorganized, the executive who 
understands how to handle the problem should 
use every legal means to keep out a Communist- 
controlled union. Under present rulings, it is per- 
mitted for an employer to give out this type of 
information to his workers. Such an action should 
be taken, however, only when Communist control 
is reasonably proved. False use of such charges as 
an anti-union device actually strengthens the Reds. 
Furthermore, it is likely to boomerang against the 
employer when subsequently he may be faced with 

the real thing. 

In a situation of this type, the first step is to 
consult various listings to find the political connec- 
tions of the petitioning International Union.* The 
next step is to document the charges made against 

♦ For listings, consult THE COMMUNIST IN LABOR 
RELATIONS TODAY (Research Institute of America, 
Journal o7 Commerce, 1946); COMMUNIST POWER W 
INDUSTRY (Chicago Journal of Commerce, 1947). 

* 25 

the union. Often considerable material about its 
officers can be found in the reports of the House 
Committee on Un-American Activities. Records of 
the unions' conventions and material from the union 
paper may show a consistent following of the Com- 
munist line. It would be well to have such informa- 
tion prepared by, or at least checked by an expert, 
so no inaccuracies can creep in. As a further point, 
it must be remembered that to charge an individual 
with being a Communist or of harboring Com- 
munist sympathies constitutes libel per se in several 
jurisdictions. Evidence of Communist affiliation 
which is admissible in court and sufficient to prove 
such affiliation may be difficult to secure. The pres- 
ent "line" calls for Communist labor officials to go 
underground and not to admit their affiliations. 
Hence for individuals, the most that can normally 
be proved is that they are consorters with Com- 
munists and pro-Communists in their views. This, 
however, is sufficient to show the danger involved 
in their control of a Local. 

The employer can then show the workers that 
Communism is un-American. He can do this either 
directly in his own publications or, preferably, by 
distributing literature prepared by outside groups. 
(See bibliography). He will also be able to prove 
that Communists do not seek to improve conditions, 
nor are their first thoughts the interests of the 
workers. The employees can be shown that they will 
be involved in politically directed strikes. Their 
union funds will be siphoned off to support various 
Communist front organizations. Their energies will 
be absorbed by constant bickering and factional 
disputes. Such internal union disputes are making 
almost daily headlines in the nation's press. Photo- 
stats of these articles or their headlines can be 
used quite effectively.* 

If the employer publishes such statements, he 
must make it very clear that he is not using this as 
a form of threat or coercion, or to interfere in any 
way with the freedom of choice by his workers. The 

* An outstanding illustration of an expose" was the series 
of sixty articles by John Sentinel in the Milwaukee Sentinel, 
Sept. 23-Nov, 21, 1946. 

law guarantees to them complete freedom in making 
their own decisions in this matter. He is speaking 
for their interests in issuing this appeal. He will 
frankly admit that he does not like to deal with 
people whose loyalty is to a foreign power. But 
this is the workers' decision, and they must consider 
their own interests. (All of this shows the necessity 
of amending the Wagner Act so as to allow em- 
ployers full freedom of speech.) 

It is likely that if a plant is being organized for 
the first time, several rival unions will be competing 
for the votes of the workers. It is not at all im- 
probable that such an appeal by the employer will 
be further documented and supported by all rivals 
of the Communist-controlled union. This will 
naturally strengthen the employer's case. 

Working With a Communist Union 

IF A Communist-controlled Local is already in 
a plant, the tactics indicated above should not 
be used. Under these conditions, any attack is 
viewed by the workers as an attempt to weaken 
their union. The result would be to solidify all fac- 
tions against the employer.* The most that can be 
done in the way of passing out information is in 
the treatment of individual issues. Thus, an em- 
ployer may explain at length the reasons for the 
position he has taken in collective bargaining. He 
should do this if he knows that a fair settlement of 
a problem is being impeded for political reasons. 
But in regard to the Communist issue in his Local, 
silence is normally the better rule. If the company 
paper normally discusses world and domestic 
events, relevant general material on the subject 
would be in order. Thus, it may be helpful to discuss 
Communist tyranny in Yugoslavia or Poland, or 
the harsh peace treaties which were imposed upon 
Italy and other nations at Soviet instigation. But 
the application of such material to local conditions 

*An illustration of this point, in 1947, employer and 
newspaper attacks upon a proven Communist-controlled 
Local, weakened by a record-breaking strike, were not suc- 
cessful in persuading the majority of the workers to change 
affiliation to an independent union. 


* 27 

had best be left to the good judgment of the workers 
themselves. It might also be possible to mail anti- 
Communist literature, such as that listed in the 
bibliography, to the homes of potential leaders of 
an opposition. 

Of course, if some outside group with no economic 
interest in the company is attacking Communism, 
this is a piece of good fortune for the employer.* 
Thus, for example, veterans and church groups have 
often been concerned with the problem. Activities 
of this sort cannot be construed as attacks upon 
unionism. This will be the more constructive if the 
employer does not attempt to intervene and direct 
the crusade to his own problem. Such intervention 
might be resented. He can be well satisfied if the 
general atmosphere is hostile to Communism. The 
workers can then take the matter into their own 
hands in dealing with their union. 

Non-interference with union matters does not 
mean that an employer must be passive in the 
situation. His first duty is to obtain an informed 
insight into conditions in the Local. He should try 
to discover and classify the leaders in the Com- 
munist faction. Some of these he will consider as 
professed Communists, while others will be labeled 
as opportunists or dupes. He will then catalogue 
other union leaders in regard to their attitudes and 
effectiveness. Some may be neutral in the struggle 
between factions, interested only in a good Local. 
Others may be strongly anti-Communist and ready 
to fight the group in control. Still others may be 
opposed to Communism, but unwilling to fight, or 
unconvinced that the leadership is really controlled 
by Reds. Information of this type can be quite 
useful in the light of subsequent recommendations. 

The Contract With a Red Local 

IN NEGOTIATING a contract with a Com- 
munist-controlled Local, an employer must go 
in with his eyes open. He is dealing with persons 

* E.g. Exposing the Red Threat to Free Enterprise and 
Individual Liberty, by Frederick Woltman, New York: 
World-Telegram, 1947. 

who are not sincere. They will lie and distort what 
he says.* They will make impossible demands for 
the sake of stirring up trouble. They will encumber 
the contract with ambiguous trick phrases and 
booby-trap clauses to cause subsequent trouble. 
Hence the employer must be alert and prepared to 
meet unscrupulous opposition. But he is by no 
means helpless. Communists cannot ordinarily call 
a strike as a matter of whim. They must have some 
appearance of a case to present to the workers. 
And, if the employer does not let himself become 
panicked into rash statements or thoughtless action, 
the Communists may not succeed in causing trouble 
at this juncture of the proceedings. 

As a matter of general attitude in such negotia- 
tions, the employer must avoid two extremes. First, 
he should beware of being extremely generous, in 
the hope of appeasing or buying off the opposition. 
Such tactics are fatal. The employer will not be 
thanked for his kindness. On the contrary, he will 
be confronted with new demands which he may find 
very hard to meet. In this connection it may be well 
to note the case of a firm which had an unauthor- 
ized strike called by a Communist faction. Not all 
the workers went out on strike. The company 
unwisely offered to pay wages to the strikers for 
time not worked, and triple wages to those who 
remained on the job. The result, as could be guessed, 
was a bitter attack on the firm by the Communist 
leaders with an unfair labor practice charge placed 
in the hands of the State labor relations board. 

Secondly, equally dangerous for an employer, is 
the adoption of the fatalistic attitude that he will 
get a strike anyway, so he had better not make any 
concessions at all. Such an approach is a guarantee 
that he will get his strike, with all the workers 
solidly united behind the Communist leaders. The 
employer would be wiser to be prepared to accept 
the national pattern in economic clauses, if his 
competitive position will permit it. Naturally, as a 
matter of sound collective bargaining tactics, he 
will not make all his concessions in his first offer. 

* If this is doubted, see instructions of Lenin and the 
Comintern on inside cover of this report. 


* 29 

If he is to grant benefits to the workers, he should 
be ready to ask for guarantees of production in- 
creases which will help to offset increased costs. His 
counter-demands will run largely in terms of security 
against wildcat strikes, "quickies," and other un- 
authorized stoppages of production. He can rightly 
demand no strikes for the duration of the agreement. 
Furthermore there should be definite penalties 
against individuals and against the union for viola- 
tions of the agreement. 

Another general point of value is the recording 
of all discussions, with the minutes of the meeting 
signed by both sides. Language of the contract 
should be clear and unequivocal, with a minimum 
leeway left for good faith or subsequent interpreta- 
tion. It is well to have experienced talent available 
for the writing of terms. At the same time, the scope 
of legal advice should be clearly denned. It must 
not be forgotten that industrial relations directors 
have to carry out the contract on the working level. 
In drawing the contract, they should be given a 
position at least coordinate with, and preferably 
superior to, legal counsel. The legal mind is not 
always trained for the give and take of collective 
bargaining discussions. Legal talent is best employed 
for accuracy of phrasing of clauses drawn up by 
production and industrial relations executives. 

Details of the Contract 

THE MOST important details in a contract 
with a Communist-controlled union concern 
management and union security. Management 
should be extremely careful in granting any con- 
cessions which impede any of its prerogatives. Par- 
ticular care should be exercised in drawing up the 
scope of the arbitration clause. Arbitration under 
a contract is frequently desirable. It provides im- 
partial determination of disputes in regard to appli- 
cation and interpretation of a contract. If the 
contract is carefully and accurately drawn, arbitra- 
tion will prevent the Communists from effectively 


sabotaging it. Even if they engineer disputes, they 
will lose them when brought before an impartial 
party. Thus the onus for the trouble is shifted from 
the employer to the Local leaders. Yet it would be 
dangerous to entrust to an arbitrator functions 
which properly belong to management. Certainly a 
clause which permits arbitration of any dispute 
between the union and the company is extreme. 
Management's right to change the scope of its 
operations, to promote workers to executive posi- 
tions, to transfer workers, to alter shifts, and the 
like, should in principle be non-arbitrable. Individual 
discharges, layoffs, upgrading within the unit of 
representation, and such may be arbitrable as to 
fact and within the scope of the contract. 

With a Communist-controlled Local, it is a most 
dangerous principle to admit any action which in- 
volves a review of managerial decisions. As noted 
earlier, many employers favor some type of labor- 
management cooperation. With the Communists, 
however, these clauses would be used to enforce 
labor dictation to management in the latter's field. 
Communist Locals are often willing to sacrifice 
economic gains in order to drive a wedge into the 
field of management prerogatives and responsi- 

Likewise an employer should be most careful in 
granting extreme forms of union security when his 
Local is Communist-dominated. The leaders would 
make almost any concession to gain a closed shop, 
a union shop, or maintenance of membership. Such 
a clause would be invaluable to them in exercising 
dictatorship over their members. Trumped-up ex- 
pulsions would give them an opportunity for de- 
manding the discharge of their opponents. If some 
form of security clause already exists or must be 
given, it is necessary to insist upon impartial review 
of all union expulsions, should discharges be in- 
volved. The best way is to give union members 
the same right to appeal discharge cases under union 
security clauses as they have in other discharge 
cases. The impartial chairman would have the right 
and duty to pass upon the adequacy of the trial 
given to the member in question. 

* 31 


Plant Discipline 

THE CONTRACT with a Communist-con- 
trolled Local should be clear and strict in 
defining matters of plant discipline. Naturally Com- 
munists will try to do as much political work as 
possible during working hours and while on the 
job. Furthermore, they will be away from the plant 
frequently for political reasons. To prevent this, it 
is necessary to have a graduated series of penalties 
for unexcused absences. These can range from a 
light suspension for a first offense to discharge for 
a third offense within a reasonable period of time. 
Such rules are within management's prerogatives 
and need not be part of the contract The contract 
should specify, however, the rights of shop stewards 
and committeemen to be off the job, with permission 
and only to settle grievances. The total amount of 
time permitted should be specified but flexible in 
its use, so that real grievances can be processed. 
However, such allowances should be definitely tied 
up to the settling of grievances, and not available as 
an excuse for political meddling. Normally shop 
stewards should be confined to their department, 
except when their presence is required to settle a 
grievance on a higher level. There is no objection to 
the company's paying, at least in part, for time 
used to settle grievances, providing such a privilege 
is not abused. The burden of payment should be 
on the company or the union. If it must be borne 
by the individual shop steward, the better men will 
not accept the position and it will fall to the ever- 
seeking Communists by default. 

The company should be reasonable in granting 
leaves of absence to employees upon union request, 
but strict in confining them to union matters only. 
Such leaves are customary for full-time officers. 
Temporary leaves should be granted for attendance 
at union conventions and other large-scale meetings. 
Naturally such leaves are without pay. Full-time 
officers in mass production unions are not normally 
permitted to enter the plant and roam at will. They 
are given every reasonable facility to meet with 
Industrial relations executives. But their contacts 

32 * 

with union members should be after working hours. 
Contract clauses should be sought which will 
provide strict discipline for violations of the agree- 
ment. Individuals responsible for unauthorized 
stoppages or slow-downs should be subject to sus- 
pension for a first offense, and expulsion for a 
second. If an unauthorized strike which ties up the 
entire plant is sanctioned by the Local officers or 
connived in by them, the contract might be abro- 
gated and subject to renegotiation. 

Caution for the Future 

A NY NEGOTIATIONS with a Communist- 
i\ controlled group should be undertaken with 
an eye to the future. It is not the reasonableness of 
the proposition in itself which should be determin- 
ing, but rather the possible use which the faction 
in control will make of it, Grants which may be 
perfectly reasonable in other circumstances may be 
dangerous under these conditions. Furthermore, in 
bargaining with such a group, the employer should 
make crystal-clear the tie-ins which surround a pro- 
posal or offer. If he concedes an economic point to 
avoid an overly strict union security clause, he may 
find the rejected clause reopened later in the negoti- 
ations. Or the Communists may engineer rank-and- 
file rejection of the entire contract. Their aim is 
to explore the entire field of labor-management re- 
lations and to obtain quickly the maximum employer 
concessions. These they accept only conditionally. 
They then use these grants as a foundation for 
further demands. Unless it is certain that a bar- 
gaining committee can and will deliver acceptance 
of the contract, the conditional nature of the con- 
cessions must be insisted upon again and again. 

This picture of vicious collective bargaining, 
without mutual trust, is indeed somber. It would be 
tragic if such a spirit were to pervade all negotia- 
tions between unions and employers. Certainly the 
suggestions given here are not meant to apply where 
decent elements have secured control of a Local. 
But the question arises: what if their control is 

* 33 

insecure? Here the employer must prudently choose 
between two alternatives. On the one hand, if the 
decent elements can get a fair contract, with gen- 
erous concessions, it will strengthen their hand in 
the factional struggle. On the other hand, if they 
lose control, such a contract might be badly abused. 
The employer has to judge probabilities and make 
a prudent decision. Possibly generous economic con- 
cessions, plus a strong stand on management pre- 
rogatives and against excessive union security would 
be the best general answer in most cases. 

Concurrent with a fair but strict policy in negoti- 
ations should be constant efforts to build up good 
will among the workers. If the employer removes 
real causes of grievances, has well-trained super- 
visory personnel, and a reasonable attitude towards 
the workers, Communist propaganda against him 
will eventually boomerang. The union members 
will become dissatisfied with their leaders, and may 
ultimately revolt against them. They will realize 
that the employer is trying to do the right thing, 
and that their own leaders are hindering the process. 

Working Under the Contract 

jNCE A CONTRACT is signed with a union, 
there arises the problem of day-by-day 
application of this document to the problems in the 
plant. This is a new phase of contact with the 
union. Whatever troubles may have arisen during 
negotiations should, if possible, be a closed book. 
The signed agreement is the law which should gov- 
ern labor-management relations during the life of 
the contract. In theory, at least, both sides should 
live up to the terms agreed upon, no matter how 
good or bad they consider them to be. In practice, 
a Communist-controlled Local is likely to bring up 
again and again points which it bargained away in 
negotiations. The employer must be prepared for 
this and ready to insist upon a scrupulous observ- 
ance of the agreement. Here is where adequate and 
impartial arbitration within the contract may prove 
its worth. 

34 * 

The most important phase of the daily applica- 
tion of the contract is the machinery for handling 
grievances. The employer must expect grievances 
no matter how carefully he may strive to be fair to 
his workers. The sheer size of many modern plants 
makes some friction and misunderstanding inevi- 
table. This fact should be explained to foremen and 
other supervisory officials. Their normal reaction is 
to regard complaints as reflections upon their own 
ability. Accordingly, they tend to fight complainants 
in a spirit of resentment. With careful training, how- 
ever, they can be made to realize that top manage- 
ment expects a certain number of grievances as a 
routine feature of operations. It is only when the 
number of complaints is unusually large or small 
that a problem may exist. 

Under normal grievance procedure, the settling 
of complaints tends to remove irritations and im- 
prove morale. Production is benefited by an efficient 
system for handling grievances. But when there 
are sharp deviations from average results in a given 
department, the industrial relations office faces a 
difficulty. If complaints are below average, this 
may indicate exceptional tact and ability on the 
part of the foreman. On the other hand, it may 
spring from poor work on the part of the union 
shop steward. Paradoxically, such a situation is 
not to an employer's advantage. If real grievances 
are not presented and quickly solved, morale suf- 
fers. A foreman who browbeats a timid shop stew- 
ard is following a short-sighted policy. Also, a sub- 
normal amount of grievances can arise where a 
foreman is weak and yielding in applying estab- 
lished company policy. Such a situation means 
trouble, since concessions which deviate from the 
contract create annoying precedents which will be 
used by an alert Local. Uniform interpretation of 
the contract is essential for harmonious industrial 

Where grievances in a department tend con- 
sistently to exceed the average, a different set of 
problems arises. Such a situation could be caused 
by a foreman who is either excessively harsh or 
unduly fearful. The one tends to belittle grievances 

* 35 

and must be forced into acting upon them. The 
other is afraid to make mistakes and hence tries 
to pass all but the simplest problems to higher 
levels. Both these types are undesirable, the for- 
mer because he damages morale and the latter 
because he tends to clog up the grievance machinery. 
On the other hand, the fault may lie with the 
union shop steward. He may be aggressive or 
quarrelsome by nature, or he may be following 
Communist tactics. Earlier we noted how Com- 
munists try to capitalize upon the grievance ma- 
chinery to win a following. Here is a real test of 
the skill possessed by industrial relations executives. 

Communists and 
the Grievance Procedure 

WHERE an abnormal grievance situation 
exists, and the fault cannot properly be laid 
at the door of the foreman, a careful diagnosis 
will reveal how to catalogue the shop steward who 
is provoking trouble. The isolated rebel and the 
malcontent are usually easy to spot. Neither has 
close relationship with the Communist faction and 
they are generally independent in union politics. 
The Communists may try to use them in order 
to capture their following, but the relationship 
tends to be unstable at best. Even when they 
may work with Communists for a while, they do not 
follow Communist ideology nor do they espouse 
their political ends. Such individuals, while a 
problem, do not work in an organized and planned 
manner to bedevil the employer. Good foremanship 
and sound industrial relations normally tend to 
eliminate this type. The men soon realize that 
such troublemakers do their cause more harm than 

The situation is altered where grievances are 
being manufactured for political and factional pur- 
poses. Even here normal grievance policy must 
prevail, but it must be applied with special in- 
telligence and discretion. Normal policy may be 
denned as an eager willingness to settle at the 

36 * 

first step all reasonable grievances. Such a policy 
would discourage, through courteous explanation, 
carrying completely unreasonable complaints to 
higher steps. The good foreman seeks to develop 
such an understanding with the shop steward that 
each can completely trust the other's word and 
sound judgment. Under such conditions, a fore- 
man may be willing frequently to stretch a point 
in favor of the shop steward, since he realizes that 
his good will is not likely to be abused. Where 
these conditions obtain, settlement at the lowest 
level is the normal result, 

As has been said even with a Communist shop 
steward, the basic elements of normal procedure 
must still be retained. Just grievances should be 
settled expeditiously. The difficulty arises, however, 
through the lack of mutual trust between the 
shop steward and the foreman. The foreman un- 
der such circumstances cannot ordinarily trust 
either the word or the judgment of the steward. He 
may legitimately suspect ulterior designs and well- 
concealed traps. As a result, he is usually forced to 
perform as exhaustive an investigation as is per- 
mitted within the time limit set by the agreement. 
Where there is reasonable doubt, he normally 
refers grievances to higher levels, since any con- 
cession by one foreman will be used as a plant-wide 
precedent. For the same reason he cannot stretch a 
point or grant the benefit of the doubt to the shop 
steward. To preserve morale, he is on the alert 
for direct, on-the-spot settlements cf problems with 
the individual worker, avoiding the grievance ma- 
chinery where possible. He may find the workers 
themselves anxious to by-pass the normal processes, 
since they realize that their real complaints are 
.thrown into the same hopper with manufactured 
political grievances. If identical policy is fol- 
lowed towards all employees and no discrimination 
tolerated, political grievances often can be left 
to die with the arbitrator and real problems 
settled directly. Formal complaints must, under 
ruling of the National Labor Relations Board, be 
handled in the presence of the union representa- 
tive, but informal settlements can be made and in 

* 37 

most instances lead to smooth relationships even 
under a Communist shop steward. 

Where a Communist is trying to win the post of 
shop steward, the foreman must avoid the trap 
described earlier. He should never permit the 
Communist as an individual to bring complaints 
to him, but should insist upon dealing with the 
legitimate shop steward. In dealing with the latter, 
he must be fair and even generous, as was de- 
scribed in connection with normal grievance policy. 
If the foreman knows that the steward is being 
badgered by a Communist into submitting poor 
grievances, he should cooperate with the steward 
by explaining, in the presence of the complaining 
employee if necessary, why the grievance cannot 
be settled in his favor. Such a careful explanation 
can serve to discredit the Communist and shift the 
burden of rejection from the shoulders of the 
decent and honest shop steward. 

The effect of such a policy should be great. It 
should serve to educate the rank and file members 
on the basic elements of a fair labor policy. They 
will realize that the aggressive, belligerent tactics 
of the Communist do not produce lasting results. 
Rather they will note that such an approach tends 
mostly to slow down and interfere with legitimate 
bargaining. It will soon be evident to them that 
decent union stewards are producing better results 
because of their policy of honesty and mutual 
trust. The result will be a definite if gradual swing 
in favor of such competent and successful officials. 
Since grievances are to a union what patronage 
is to a political machine, it will not be long be- 
fore the Communists are bereft of power. 

The Industrial Relations Director 

THE PROBLEM of applying the contract so 
as to minimize Communist difficulties pro- 
vides real obstacles for the industrial relations 
executive. That he may do this well, top manage- 
ment must give him adequate authority to act and 
repose confidence in his judgment. If they cannot 
do this, he should be replaced. 

38 * 

The first step in the industrial relations de- 
partment is to explain the contract thoroughly and 
carefully to the entire supervisory personnel. A 
good practice is to mimeograph a detailed explana- 
tion of each clause and to give the foremen a bound 
copy. Pertinent provisions of the Wagner Act and 
other applicable state and federal laws can be 
included in this volume. Meetings should be held to 
supplement written explanation by oral presenta- 
tion, and to encourage the asking of questions. The 
general outlines of the Communist problem should 
also be presented in these meetings. 

Foremen should be instructed to bring doubtful 
situations to the industrial relations department. 
They should regularly report on their personal 
relations with shop stewards. Any traces of fac- 
tionalism or efforts at political activity within de- 
partments should be reported at once. This will 
give the industrial relations director a chance to 
review the situation and to give more detailed ad- 
vice to the foreman in question. In this way, fore- 
men will not become unconscious accessories to the 
Communists' plans to take over shop steward 
positions. Foremen should cooperate likewise with 
the existing non-Communist stewards and not per- 
mit outside interference from agitators. It must be 
remembered that the best place to choke off Com- 
munist-inspired grievances is at the first step. 

If the shop steward of a department is a Com- 
munist, it is likely that the burden of his activity 
will be shifted to higher grievance steps. He will 
present so many nuisance grievances that refusals 
and appeals will be normal procedure. At the higher 
level, the industrial relations executive will be 
meeting with the union grievance committee or 
business agent. The executive's problem is to pre- 
vent the Communists from capitalizing upon the 
situation for political purposes. He knows that he 
must grant reasonable grievances at this step, or 
lose them at a higher step. But with care, he can 
see that Communists do not get too much credit for 
winning good cases. Thus, in most situations a 
grievance committee is not politically uniform. 
Some members at least will be non-Communist. 

* 39 

Their word and judgment can be trusted. If a case, 
on the surface, looks good to the industrial rela- 
tions director, he can direct the conversation to a 
decent union official, asking for his comment or 
opinion. When the latter favors the granting of the 
grievance, the executive can answer "yes," thus 
disposing of the case. On the other hand, when 
Communist- inspired and unreasonable grievances 
come up, they should be given the burden of 
defending them. When the answer from manage- 
ment is "no," they bear the onus of the defeat. 
Such methods will cause Communist tactics to 
boomerang, and build up the prestige of the Amer- 
ican-minded union officials. 

The industrial relations director should expect 
personal insult and vituperation from Communists 
on grievance committees. Under such attacks, he 
should remain completely calm and retain absolute 
self-control. Anger clouds sound judgment, and 
leads to hasty and ill-considered decisions. If the 
executive keeps calm, even though he may appear 
to be affected, he will frequently find that the Com- 
munists have baited themselves into frenzied loss of 
control, He can then call the meeting sharply to 
order and bring them back to the business at hand. 
Such tactics will hurt their prestige and often 
goad them into compromising revelations. 

The executive can keep control of meetings only 
if he has effective power to make decisions. He 
cannot be expected to produce results if he is 
nothing more than an "office boy" who must re- 
port above for every decision. On the other hand, 
he has nothing to gain by pretending to have ab- 
solute power. Difficult problems will require delay 
and consultation, and the wise executive will state 
the situation frankly. 

At times it is possible to handle "hot" or "loaded" 
grievances at a still higher level, if the industrial 
relations director feels that the complaint is sound, 
but has been presented at the meeting with the 
grievance committee primarily for political pur- 
poses. Thus, he can defer a favorable decision until 
after the meeting when the atmosphere is less 
charged. This may be at the arbitration level, or 

it may be in direct dealings with Local or Inter- 
national union officials. Such may be advisable even 
if the officials in question are Communists. The 
executive thus demonstrates his fairness, once he 
sees the facts, and at the same time prevents the 
grievance meeting from being used for political 
purposes. Furthermore, if management loses a fair 
share of arbitration cases, it is spared the necessity 
of constantly changing arbitrators. Arbitrators who 
predominantly rule for one side will be accused 
of bias, even though in fact they were completely 
objective and used sound judgment. 

In all the situations outlined here, it must be 
noted that the grievances themselves must be de- 
cided upon their merits. It would be unjust, and 
tactically dangerous, to treat complaints on the 
basis of the politics of the official who presents 
them. But the manner in which they are handled 
can have deep political implications. The unwary 
executive will find himself maneuvered into giving 
support to a Communist faction. If he uses dis- 
crimination and intelligence, however, he will outwit 
the disruptive elements within the union. 

Dealing with Union Officials 

THE REFLECTIONS on contacts with shop 
stewards lead naturally to the broader subject 
of relations with union officials. In this regard, an 
employer faced with a Communist problem must 
avoid two mistakes above all. The first is the 
development of a general resentment against all 
union officials because of his sour experiences with 
the Communists. Such a reaction tends to strengthen 
the hands of the radical group, since the moderates 
are thrown in with them whether they like it or 
not. A much more sensible policy is to treat each 
official on his own merits. If his character and ac- 
tions are such as to merit confidence and trust, he 
should be handled accordingly. The effect of such 
discrimination is to strengthen the hands of the 
anti-Communist faction. They do not want special 
favors from the employer; indeed, the open grant- 



ing of such favors would boomerang into charges 
that they were "Company men." But at the same 
time they cannot carry on a two-front strategy, 
caught between the company and the Reds at the 

same time. 

A second error to be avoided is the identifying 
of a fair union official with a docile union officer. 
The adjectives are by no means synonymous. 
Thus, some industrial relations executives com- 
plain when a non-Communist official proves to be 
an aggressive bargainer at the conference table. 
Some have even been quoted as saying that 
they would prefer to deal with a Communist 
rather than with such an officer. It is true that at 
times individual Communists may be more 
pleasant personalities than occasional opponents. 
Yet, it must be remembered that Communist con- 
trol' means an organized and continual assault upon 
employers' rights. Communists set up standards 
which at times their opponents must imitate 
through the sheer necessity of self-preservation 
within the union's political structure. Often the 
employer himself is at fault through the failure to 
grant opportune and face-saving concessions to 
opponents of the Communist faction. It is not 
unheard-of that employers will win small battles 
at the conference table, costing American-minded 
officials their union jobs, and then lose major wars 
when their radical successors give employers a 
taste of real demands. 

Even under the Wagner Act, the employer often 
has real, if thoroughly unconscious, influence 
in naming of union officers. Small but gracious 
concessions, frequent consultations, and recogni- 
tion can often build up the stature of a union 
official. Likewise, the thoughtless by-passing of the 
same man, the announcement of concessions 
through the plant bulletin board rather than 
through the union paper, and similar oversights can 
lower his prestige to an alarming degree. The 
NLRB does not allow direct intervention in union 
affairs. But if the employer is not free to pick the 
officers he likes, the least he can do is abstain 
from actions which hurt them. He does not need to 

42 * 

embarrass and punish the decent element just to 
prove that he is impartial.* 

A word might be said about direct dealings with 
union officials in an informal manner. It is occa- 
sionally possible to sit down to dinner with an 
international officer, the local president or business 
agent. Such informal meetings can be productive of 
real candor. Both sides can talk freely without 
worrying about a reaction from those to whom 
they must report. Such conferences need not have 
the slightest element of the dishonest about them. 
In fact, if such should be even hinted, the em- 
ployer should drop them at once, and this from a 
purely selfish point of view, as well as from an 
ethical consideration. An official who would betray 
the men who elected him would betray the executive 
who confided in him. The only reason for off-the- 
record meetings is that collective bargaining, like 
the fashioning of peace treaties, requires a certain 
public attitude that does not make compromise and 
adjustment easy. Privately, an executive may ad- 
mit that a contract clause is too severe; publicly, he 
may feel compelled to defend it. The same might 
be true of the local president in regard to certain 
demands made by the union. 

Where collective bargaining is not new, in- 
formal meetings as described are frequent enough 
to be commonplace. Thus, in a by no means hy- 
pothetical case, an international officer used to 
have dinner weekly with an industrial relations 
executive. They would go over outstanding prob- 
lems and grievances. But each kept his freedom 
of action. The employer's representative was un- 
able to grant certain concessions strongly desired 
by the union official. The latter in turn did not 
hesitate to call strikes when he felt that the issues 
warranted them. Consultation did not bring a 
millennium. But it did narrow sharply the area of 
conflict. Furthermore, in this particular case, it 

* It is probable that the 80th Congress will modify the 
Wagner Act so that employers can work more effectively, 
and without fear of law violation, with American-minded 
employees in opposing Communists within the labor move- 


served to hinder effectively the workings of a 
highly skilled Communist faction operating in the 
plant under discussion. This union official was de- 
cent, but not docile. He worked hard and intelli- 
gently for his men, but he was experienced and 
reasonable enough to see the employer's problems 
as well. Such a man is far better, even from the 
employer's viewpoint, than a docile company tool 
who will soon be outmaneuvered and ousted by his 
own people or by the Communists. 

A Summary 

TO HANDLE Communism in labor relations, 
certain steps are essential. They may be 
briefly recapitulated here. 

1) The employer must realize that this is a 
specialized and serious problem. He must be pre- 
pared to recognize with accuracy the Communist 
line and tactics. He must consult with others so as 
to facilitate the spotting of Communists in action. 

2} If he has no union, he should use every 
legitimate step to keep a Communist-controlled 
group from taking over his plant. 

3) Where he faces the problem of Communism 
within a local, he should recognize this fact in con- 
tract negotiations. If Communists are not already 
in power, inept handling of negotiations might bring 
them in. Should they be in power, the contract 
must be drawn with great exactness. As little as 
possible should be left to good will or the applica- 
tion of common sense. Management prerogative and 
arbitration provisions must be tight and clear. 

4^ The problem of Communism will affect 
grievance procedure. Ordinarily grievances should 
be handled in an atmosphere of generosity and 
trust. With Communists, such an attitude would be 
abused. Careful and exhaustive investigation to 
avoid fraud and trickery is called for. 

5} When the employer is confronted with 
American-minded union officials, he should treat 


them with friendliness and trust. They should not 
be compelled to fight both him and the Communists, 
Decent officials are not of necessity docile or pliant 
to every company wish. 

The Worker Fights Communism 

THUS FAR, the consideration has been ex- 
clusively in terms of the employer's interest 
in fighting Communism. It has been mentioned in- 
cidentally that workers too are in the struggle. 

Actually such a presentation is so specialized as 
to be almost misleading. The real struggle against 
the Reds in labor must be carried out by the union 
members themselves. As a rule, the best the em- 
ployer can do is to protect his own interests and 
try not to interfere with the decent element in the 
union. Such action by the employer is important, 
but it would not be very effective if the workers 
themselves were not vitally interested and active. 

Workers who fight Communism are usually in- 
fluenced by one or more of three motives: patriot- 
ism, religion or desire for sound unionism. Many 
realize that the Communist is essentially a foreign 
agent. Whether he realizes it or not, he takes or- 
ders from New York which are directed by Moscow 
through Paris. Non-Communists know that his 
power in labor will be used against the best in- 
terests of the country; Others may be impressed 
by the low-level ethics and the anti-religious nature 
of Communism. Whatever be their faith, they know 
that the totalitarian State does not leave the con- 
science free. In this regard, members of minority 
groups especially cultivated by the Communists 
often become their most aggressive opponents, this 
in order to save the good name of their group. 
Finally, most union members soon discover that a 
Communist cannot be a good union member. He 
will invariably seek to use the union in the in- 
terests of an outside political party. Furthermore, 
his disruptive factional tactics hurt the legitimate 
interests of labor. 
The effectiveness of the opposition is not neces- 

* 45 


sarily proportional to the strength of motivation. 
To fight Communists in labor, interest is not enough. 
Interest must flame into zeal, and be tempered by 
intelligence and experience. Communist control of 
unions is achieved by political-machine tactics. It 
can be countered only by a better machine which 
organizes the majority against a skilled and un- 
scrupulous minority. Accordingly, the best fighters 
against Reds in labor are experienced unionists. In 
this category would be included craftsmen, miners, 
and railroad workers with a long history of union- 
ism. As their allies they may have some proletarian 
groups such as Socialists and Social Democrats, 
and non-Stalinist Communist groups. The last- 
named Communists may be as bad as their ene- 
mies, from whom they do not differ in ideology, but 
only in loyalty to the Soviet Union leadership. In 
practice, they are rarely numerous enough to take 
over a Local. Normally, they merely add experience 
and militancy to the anti-Communist faction. In 
union struggles, such experienced leaders contribute 
organizing ability and generalship, although their 
diverse ideologies may add confusion. Those who 
have patriotic or religious motivation, but lack 
experience, at first can offer only zeal and numbers, 
the while acquiring experience. 

There has been no mention of the employer's part 
in promoting anti-Communist activity within the 
union itself. The reason is simple: he has no part. 
Much as he may be tempted to join in, he must 
remain on the sidelines. Intervention on his part 
would only damage the cause which he hopes will 
win. Nothing is more fatal for a union group than 
to be labeled "company tools." Of course the Com- 
munists will use such ammunition anyway, but the 
employer does not need to furnish them with it. 
Two temptations in particular must be avoided. 
The first is the providing of the anti-Communist 
faction with funds. They will need money badly. 
Literature must be paid for. Time will be lost from 
work. It will be a hard struggle, but the employer 
must not assist. Possibly the International may 
help, or some other Local which has won its strug- 
gle, or some patriotic or religious group. Outside 

46 * 

aid in a factional struggle is always dangerous, but 
sometimes necessary. But when it comes from the 
employer, it is fatal. 

In the second place, the employer may not aid 
through the relaxation of plant discipline. He can- 
not openly countenance factional activity by anti- 
Communist groups during working time. Well- 
meaning individuals should be warned when an 
infraction is noticed. Repeated offenses must be 
punished by suspension or similar penalties. The 
employer can take for granted that the Communists 
will make complaints against such violations. If he 
fails to act on such charges, he will label the oppo- 
sition as company-dominated and probably face 
Wagner Act charges. By taking the initiative him- 
self in warning the opposing faction, he can avoid 
such trouble. He is then in a much better position 
rigidly to enforce similar rules against the Com- 
munist group. 

Tactics in the Struggle 

THE WORKER fights Communism primarily 
through building a better political machine 
than does the Red faction. As an illustration of such 
tactics, we may take the case of Local 23. Here a 
Communist group gained power largely through 
surprise at the previous election. However, they 
were not given time to consolidate their strength. 
Their opponent, a trained union leader, gathered 
around him a small faction of loyal union members. 
They met quietly in one another's houses, while 
holding the Communists in check from meeting to 
meeting, and worked out a slate for the next election. 
Each member canvassed throughout the entire plant 
and built up strength for a particular candidate, but 
no indication was given that these candidates were 
part of a unified slate. At the last minute, a merger 
was effected and the strength controlled by each 
member of the caucus was thrown to all the candi- 
dates in the group. The Communists were caught 
off guard and soundly defeated. 

A situation such as the one just described will 

* 47 

not be repeated often. But it does teach certain 
lessons which have universal application. The first 
is that the issue of Communism was not raised in 
the whole election campaign. Of course, the problem 
of Communism versus sound unionism was the 
cement which bound together the initial caucus. 
But the men campaigned for support on the basis 
of union issues and the ability of candidates they 
had selected. This was not a negative approach; it 
was a positive program. They did not seek merely 
to displace Communists as such; they replaced 
them with candidates who were better timber for 
union officers. The result was that they won support 
from all sides. 

Union elections do not precisely parallel civic 
elections. In the latter case, a sound attack upon 
the "ins" often brings a large protest vote to the 
polls. With labor, the attacking of officers as Com- 
munists is more likely to produce confusion and 
lethargy. The Communists themselves will not 
normally admit the charge. They will smear and 
discredit the opposition. The average worker be- 
comes so puzzled that his reaction is: "A plague 
on both your houses." Of course if, in an exceptional 
case, it can be proved that most of the officers are 
really Communists, such an attack will be effective. 
But it is one thing to be certain of a fact, and 
another and different thing to be prepared to prove 
it in public controversy and to an untrained audi- 
ence. Ordinarily Communist charges are best re- 
served for the inner caucus and for word-of-mouth 
reports spread through the plant by the anti- 
Communist opposition. 

The best political opposition to a Communist 
group is a well-rounded, truly representative, and 
able group of prospective officers on an election 
slate. If each of these men has a sizable following, 
he will be able to add it to the common pool on 
election day. The campaign issues raised by such a 
group should be both positive and negative. Posi- 
tively, they should advocate measures which will 
improve the well-being of the Local. These are 
usually constructive, common-sense ideas which are 
likely to prevail in collective bargaining. Negatively, 

they should attack the Communist officers on union 
rather than political issues. They will have ample 
reasons to point to neglect of duty, misuse of funds,* 
wasting of time in union meetings discussing purely 
political problems, and related abuses. The Com- 
munist issue as such should not be raised by the 
group; rather as individuals they should circulate 
such information by word of mouth. 

A union slate which is likely to defeat a Com- 
munist group of officers must be both competent and 
representative of the membership. The old axiom 
"You cannot beat somebody with nobody" is true 
in union politics. The fact that a member is strongly 
opposed to Communism is not in itself an indication 
that he will make a successful union officer. Among 
competent candidates, choices should be made with 
a view to balanced representation. Departmental, 
shift, racial, national, and religious factors are 
normally considered in picking a good slate. In 
principle, all major departments, all fully staffed 
shifts, and each sizable minority group should have 
a candidate on the ticket. This will prevent splinter 
slates which divide the anti-Communist opposition 
and permit the Communists to exercise the balance 
of power. Every reasonable compromise should be 
made in order to avoid the situation of too many 
candidates for a given office. Communists try to 
provoke such splits so that they can more easily 
defeat a divided opposition. 

Once a pro-American group of officers is elected, 
they should contact similar groups in their union 
and also non-Communist Locals of other unions in 
their region. They can thus pool information on 
Communist personnel and tactics. From others they 
can receive advice on policies and programs. At 
times such friendly neighbors can assist in passing 
out literature, organizing demonstrations, and ex- 
posing local Communist concentrations. 

* Many millions of dollars have been drained from Com- 
munist-controlled union treasuries for the support of their 
political mass meetings and front organizations. 



Consolidation of Power 

i/^OMMUNISTS, once they have gained power, 
^^l do not as a rule yield readily. When they are 
ousted from office, they scheme to promote factions, 
discredit the new officers, and try to return to power. 
Hence alertness upon the part of the decent new 
officers is vital. Being men of principle, they will 
not use the Communist tactics of trying to expel 
their opposition from the Local. On the other hand, 
in attempting to be fair, they should not lean over 
backwards and tolerate tactics which they would 
not countenance from others. Open disruption in 
union meetings, gross violations of plant discipline, 
and departmental strife should not be defended or 
condoned. Disruptive tactics should be met by ex- 
pulsion after a fair trial. If the employer penalizes 
a Communist for flagrant violations of plant rules, 
the officers should not allow themselves to be pres- 
sured into defending the culprit. 

The new officers will meet their greatest problems 
in handling grievance procedures and in running 
union meetings. In regard to grievances, the Com- 
munists will use the tactics noted earlier in the 
attempt to undermine shop stewards. They will also 
appeal hopeless cases in order to discredit the union 
grievance committee, the business agents, and the 
arbitration procedure. Against such tactics, the 
officers should present a united front. Shop stewards 
should reject obviously unsound and political com- 
plaints. The business agent and the grievance com- 
mittee should stand by the shop stewards. If some 
of the stewards are Communist and do send poor 
grievances to the higher steps, the poor ones should 
in general be weeded out ruthlessly. Occasionally 
some which are obviously weak might be presented, 
with the results and the reasons for rejection written 
up in the Local paper. The common sense of the 
members will do the rest, and the whole proceeding 
will serve to discredit Communist leadership and 
tactics. But under no conditions should the Com- 
munists be allowed to clog up the grievance ma- 
chinery. Nor should they be permitted direct access 

50 * 

to management to present complaints, unless they 
are entitled to do so because of a union office they 

Union meetings should be run with the same care 
and firmness. The officers should master parlia- 
mentary procedure and not tolerate disruptive or 
delaying tactics. Free and fair discussion of issues 
must be encouraged, but the officers should be alert 
to Communist attempts to prolong meetings or to 
inject extraneous problems. In this regard, it would 
be a fatal mistake to disband the caucus which 
originally won the election. The caucus can ensure 
attendance of meetings, enter into preliminary dis- 
cussion of important points, and arrange disciplined 
voting to table Communist-inspired nuisance or 
political motions. 

Building from the Bottom 

THE PRECEDING SECTION envisioned con- 
ditions where a non-Communist group was able 
to capture power in a single attempt. Frequently, 
however, such immediate success is not to be had. 
The American-minded faction must work step by 
step to gain control. In general, their approach 
will be political, but minus the Communist unscru- 
pulous and unethical aspects. The three main steps 
are: discrediting of the Communist officers; cap- 
turing of shop steward and committeemen positions; 
and control of union meetings. 

To discredit Communist officers, it is not neces- 
sary to follow their method of a slanderous whis- 
pering campaign. In most cases, telling the truth 
about their activities is sufficiently damning and, of 
course, much harder to deny. Their main weakness 
will be neglect of the Local in the interest of 
Communist activities. The Party is so exacting in 
regard to its members that they are likely to spend 
a great deal of time in doing work ordered by it. 
The result is poor service at the Local office, neglect 
of grievances, at least when the Communists feel 
entrenched, and the cancellation of regular union 
meetings. As a smoke screen, the Communists will 

* 51 

try to organize strikes, stoppages, "quickies," and 
protest meetings, but this type of action soon loses 
its effectiveness and increases unrest among the 
members. In addition, close scrutiny of the Local's 
financial matters will often furnish much damaging 
material. The condition of the Local's treasury 
should be contrasted to that of a well-run non- 
Communist Local of the same union or within the 
same locality. Moreover, Communists will make 
many mistakes in running the union. They are not 
supermen. Finally, the easily proved charges of 
Communist affiliation should be circulated widely. 
If the affiliation is known, but cannot be established 
in a manner easily recognized by the general mem- 
bership, such information should be aired only to 
those discriminating enough to weigh the evidence. 
Shop stewards stand or fall in direct relation to 
their success in winning grievances. The normal 
Communist steward is not too successful since he 
aims to create disruption rather than harmony. The 
result is that even sound complaints are often not 
adjusted, since the foreman has learned to distrust 
both the word and the judgment of such a steward. 
These failures can be capitalized upon by an alert 
union member in the department. He may insinuate 
that better results could be obtained if the workers 
handled their own grievances directly with the 
foreman. Or they may be able to get a non- 
Communist in the grievance committee to handle 
them upon appeal. Or, finally, the non-Communist 
in the department may be able to goad the shop 
steward into letting him take up cases with the 
foreman. He should have witnesses for any such 
permission, however, lest he be charged with vi- 
olating the union constitution or by-laws by dealing 
directly with management in such matters. 

Control of union meetings usually involves a 
caucus to prepare issues and the bringing of suf- 
ficient members to meetings. The caucus should be 
well versed in parliamentary law and the various 
tactics used by the Communists to run meetings. 
Such a caucus prepares issues in detail before 
meetings, outlining who is to make and who is to 
second motions, give speeches, and call for the vote. 

52 * 

Above all, this caucus must be ready to handle 
delaying tactics, so that meetings will not be pro- 
longed unduly. They must appoint alert floor 
leaders who are prepared to meet emergency situ- 
ations and who will be followed intelligently by 
other members of the group. Techniques of this 
sort can scarcely be learned from books, although 
excellent literature is available * The best method 
is to obtain the guidance of a trained non-Com- 
munist union leader. Labor schools are available in 
many communities where such fundamentals can 
be learned. 

Special Difficulties 

THE DIFFICULTIES of the struggle against 
Communist control vary with localities and the 
size of the plant. The problem is most severe where 
the plant is large and its workers diverse in regard 
to race, religion, and national origin. Under such 
conditions, workers do not often have personal 
knowledge of their officers, and factions are easily 
formed. In smaller plants, with a uniform working 
force, personal contacts are more frequent and 
Communist infiltration correspondingly more diffi- 
cult. The mechanical skill and general intelligence 
of workers also enter into the situation. This is 
particularly true in the matter of organizing^ a 
caucus for union meetings. On the other hand, in- 
telligent workers are often unwilling to enter into 
the bitter struggle involved in ousting a Communist 
group. Partly for this reason, Communism is strongly 

* A brief study of parliamentary law has been prepared by 
A. Claessens for the International Ladies Garment Workers 
Union. (The A. B.C. of Parliamentary Law, I.L.G.W.U., 
3 West 16th St., New York City.) The same union publishes 
a Handbook of Trade Union Methods. (Each 25tf.) The 
United Automobile Workers (411 West Milwaukee, Detroit, 
Mich.) has a pamphlet on shop steward duties. No com- 
plete list of union pamphlets exists today, but the Labor 
Education Service, Division of Labor Standards, U. S. Dept. 
of Labor, is understood to be preparing such a list. In ad- 
dition, it is publishing its own literature in the field. 
Democracy in Trade Unions: A Survey with a Program of 
Action, and supplement published by the American Civil 
Liberties Union, 170 Fifth Ave., New York 10. 

* 53 

entrenched in the United Electrical Workers, the 
United Public Workers of America, and in the New 
York and Los Angeles Locals of the American News- 
paper Guild. This situation is due more to a lack of 
interest than a lack of ability to oust bad leader- 

Another special difficulty in ousting Communists 
arises from their control of the election machinery. 
It can be taken for granted that they will conduct 
a dishonest election to maintain their power. If the 
national union is controlled by non-Communists, it 
is frequently possible for members to appeal to it 
so that the election may be supervised. In other 
situations, the election committee is picked by the 
membership. If the opposition to Communists is 
well organized, it is often able to control this com- 
mittee. On the other hand, it is possible that Com- 
munists control both the national union and the 
Local. In such a case, the only remedy presently 
available in most cases is secession of a large group 
and the petition for the National Labor Relations 
Board election for new representation. Such a dras- 
tic remedy is often unsatisfactory, however, and a 
better solution, some urge, would be outside super- 
vision of elections. 


The Communist-controlled union is basically dif- 
ferent from any other labor union. The handling of 
it requires fundamentally distinct attitudes and 


In dealing with such groups the following under- 
lying points must be remembered: 

I. That such a union is primarily a bridgehead 
of a foreign power, Soviet Union leaders. When a 

*To illustrate this point, a newspaper reporter quota one 
of the best-known writers for the Philadelphia Record to the 
effect that indifference on the part of the high-salaried re- 
porters was largely responsible for the Guild .action wh^h 
put three newspapers out of business m 1947. They rarey 
attended union meetings. "If there is any moral in this, 
U is to keep an eye on the Guild to see that there ,s always 
a healthy opposition to any steam roller." Woshrngtan Post, 
February 3, 1947, p. 6. 

54 * 

conflict arises between Soviet aims and American 
ideals, the Communist union will support the former 
and criticize American foreign and domestic policies. 
A union of this type is a pliable instrument, when 
needed, for military espionage and sabotage. It will 
fit into the general Communist propaganda machine, 
which aims to further the Soviet Union and deride 
the United States. If a military conflict were to 
arise, it will be a fifth column, attacking its own 
people from within. This is why, as was noted 
earlier, Communist labor leaders concentrate first 
on strategic industries and occupations. 

II. The labor movement under Communism is 
an instrument for dislocating our economic and 
social structure. Communists do not seek genuine 
betterment of conditions. Rather they thrive upon 
strife for its own sake. They would rather have 
strikes than peaceful and generous settlement of 
industrial disputes. They would prefer agitation to 
the removal of grievances or social ills which afford 
the excuse for agitation. Reasonable appeals or 
sensible compromises mean nothing to them. They 
seek a war to the finish with the business com- 
munity and our way of life. 

HI. The labor movement is to Communists a 
broad foundation for all their other activities, 
whether propaganda and "education," agitation 
among minority groups, or infiltration of govern- 
ment. From the labor movement, they hope to gain 
militant members. Its treasuries are drained of funds 
for various Party-controlled organizations and pro- 
grams. This is the mass which is to be guided and 
deceived into ultimate revolution and immediate 
disruption of the present economic system. 

In the light of these facts the employer cannot 
be complacent about the problem of Communism in 
labor. It would be fatal short-sightedness if he 
were so preoccupied with immediate problems that 
he overlooked the master strategy and the under- 
lying motivation. And it would be quite unfortunate 
if he were to feel that normal techniques and usual 
procedures in industrial relations would be adequate 
to meet problems of this nature. 

* 55 

The analysis given here leads to one primary 
conclusion, that the ousting of Communists from 
labor unions is a highly complex problem. It is 
mainly a task for the workers themselves. With 
them, good will is essential but not enough. Skill, 
experience, and intelligence are required to perfect 
the organization needed to beat a Communist po- 
litical machine. In this struggle, the employer can 
help substantially, even though indirectly. If he is 
alert to Communist tactics, vigilant in avoiding 
their traps, and careful not to give them help, he will 
encourage the decent element in the union to re- 
move subversive leaders. The fact that his aid is 
indirect and often of the negative type does not 
make it the less important or essential. On the 
contrary, an intelligent application of the principles 
outlined here would contribute tremendously to the 
task. But, if the employer is not awake, the burden 
of the non-Communist opposition is increased 
many fold. 

The difficulties to be found and overcome should 
not be exaggerated. The underlying realities of the 
situation all favor the non-Communist opposition. 
The majority of the workers oppose Communism 
and wish honest union leadership. The Communists 
can usually be relied upon to be their own best 
enemies, through their neglect of duty and intense 
interest in outside matters. A well-informed em- 
ployer can do much, without interfering with union 
activities or otherwise running afoul of the Wagner 
Act. General public sentiment today runs against 
Communists, their goals, and their methods. Ac- 
cordingly, patience, skill and diligence will produce 
results which should be most gratifying. 

From the larger point of view, the cleansing of 
the labor movement of Communism will have im- 
portant results for the entire country. It will lead 
to sounder, more peaceful, and more reasonable 
labor-management relations. Furthermore, it will 
hurt the Communists badly in their fifth-column 
work for the Soviet Union. Of their four main types 
of activity — labor, minority groups, government, 
and propaganda — labor is considered basic. The re- 
moval of this support will cripple their work in other 

56 * 


fields, especially if direct attacks along all these 
lines are made simultaneously. Countermeasures 
are apt to be ineffective unless such simultaneous 
efforts are made on all fronts. 

Communism and Communists have nothing to 
offer to the American people. Machiavelli pointed 
out four hundred years ago that, in the beginning, 
a disease is hard to diagnose and easy to cure; but 
if neglected it becomes easy to diagnose and hard 
to cure. It is in this spirit that the Chamber of 
Commerce submits this report to the American 



Scribner), 1946, $3^0. The autoc , g v d ^ K _ 

official who t^ted Amencan freedom ^^ 

main here. A -f^X"f Soviet officials, 
and the espionage activities 01 

Strib»er), 1946, $!.». A» "*"„„„„ pi.uslbly the 

ti,^ TVuift 4bowt American 
6.TIOW, BENJAMIN, I C«*»-" ** g^ and Co ., Inc.), 
ST?!? Sank revdaUons of an es-Communist ; 
considerable material on labor. 

VAlT1N . JAN Co^^^^bS^.^ 
^MStfW-^51* sabota S e, and 

revolutionary tactics. 
Plain «* (240 Madison Avenue ^i*S 
$3.00 per »*"^iSi direction. Deals 
JrSrin^os^CoUunist activities. Strong 


^ * i«i Q+rPPt New York 3), Weekly, 

Th . Now Leader (7 ^fS^ publication which to 

$3.00 per year A Saaa iu ^ opposing otah . 

SL^^hoXSU -called democratic so- 


„ . ft M Dent 224 Bloor St. W., 

rA^sfirasfiss- on *» ***** 

of America, New York), 1946^ Um in the 

the Institute). A ^f^^S accurate and 
American labor movement. Analysis nig y 
recommendations valuable. 

„al of Commerce Chicago^ 1 .f^^^ q{ .^ yld _ 
des on Communism. The aumo : 8 reference 

- uals and organizations. Accurate. 
WO rk on names of front groups. 

Cc mmU n-,„ Power VS^S^S 


unions, and Communist labor leaders. An excellent rec- 

Union Wreckers in Our Meeting Halls by H. W. Bennett (Los 
Angeles: 540 Maple Ave.), 1946, 5#. Prepared by a 
member of a union, gives firsthand experience. 

Communism: A World Menace by John F. Cronin (Washing- 
ton; National Catholic Welfare Conference), 1947, lOtf. 
Excellent introduction to the philosophy and tactics of 
Communists at home and abroad. 

Exposing the Red Threat to Free Enterprise and Individual 
Liberty by Frederick Woltman (New York: New York 
World Telegram), 1947. Illustration of the type of 
photostatic reproduction of newspaper headlines, news 
stories, and signed articles, which may be useful in 
handling a local situation. 

How to Spot a Communist by Karl Baarslag, AMERICAN 
LEGION magazine, January 1947. p. 9 and February, 
p. 19. 2S#, quantity discount. Tells how Communists 
operate inside labor unions in terms of the caucus, tac- 
tics and strategy. Very useful to anti-communist labor 
leaders and union members. Also available in pamphlet 
form from Argus Publishing Co., Box 577, Benjamin 
Franklin Sta., Washington. D. C. 

Communist Infiltration in the United States (Washington: 
Chamber of Commerce of the USA), 1946, Deluxe and 
small-sized editions, 25c 4 and 10c\ discount on quantity 
orders. A Congressional Committee states: "Great credit 
should be given to the United States Chamber of Com- 
merce for ... a highly readable and factual treatise. 
. . . Local chambers of commerce, individual business- 
men, patriotic organizations, fraternal groups, and our 
churches can render a real public service at slight ex- 
pense by making available to all students in high schools 
and colleges and to citizens generally the highly informa- 
tive treatment on Communism now available from the 
United States Chamber of Commerce." * 

Communists Within the Government: THE FACTS AND A PRO- 
GRAM (Washington: Chamber of Commerce of the 
USA), 1947, 504 single copy, discount on quantity 
orders. Dealing primarily with Communist infiltration 
into the Government service and setting forth a program 
of countermeasures. Contains excellent evidence on the 
role which pro-communist labor unions have played in 
the process of infiltrating the Government. 

American Competitive Enterprise System (Washington: Cham- 
ber of Commerce of the USA) , 10C\ quantity discount. 
Brief statement of the essentials of our economic system 
designed especially for the interested workman, foreman 
and beginning economics student. An industrialist who 
used 10,000 copies states: "It is the best statement, 
within the space used, of the fundamentals of our system 
which I have seen." 

COMMUNISM, 1946-1947 

Francis P, Matthews, Chairman, 
Chairman, Securities Acceptance Corp., 
Omaha, Nebraska 

Thomas C. Boushall, President, 
Bank of Virginia, 
Richmond 16, Virginia 

Fred L. Conklin, President, 

Provident Life Insurance Company, 
Bismarck, North Dakota 

Carlyle Fraser, President, 
Genuine Parts Company, 
Atlanta, Georgia 

Richard K. Lane, President, 

Public Service Company of Oklahoma, 
Tulsa, Oklahoma 

Emerson P. Schmidt, Secretary, 
Director, Economic Research Department, 
Chamber of Commerce of the USA, 
Washington 6, D. C. 


* For additional reading matter, consult the extended bibliography 
in this document.