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^i,- 4if^. C-
adopted • October • i^j6
c^merican^ Labor Tarty
NEW political alignment is tak-
ing shape in our country in response to
new economic and social trends. The
formation of the American Labor Party
in New York State, as the permanent
political instrument of all labor and pro-
gressive forces, is an answer to the ur-
gent need for a party rooted in the com-
mon people and giving concrete politi-
cal expression to their aspirations.
The American Labor Party will pro-
vide leadership and direction to the
overwhelming majority of Americans
whose interests the older parties, by
their very nature, cannot adequately
represent. It marks the political com-
ing of age of vast sectors of the pop-
ulation: workers menaced by economic
exploitation and insecurity; farmers
burdened with debt; storekeepers and
small businessmen victimized by an
evergrowing monopolistic trend in both
production and distribution; white col-
lar workers and professional men and
women whose standards of living have
been seriously impaired. These are the
people whom the American Labor Party
represents in their struggle for econom-
ic security and a more civilized and
Only such a party, the Instrument not
alone of labor in field and factory but
of all liberal and progressive forces, can
achieve the higher standards of living
which a country so rich in productive
capacity should afford its people. Only
such a party can liberate the American
people from poverty and insecurity,
safeguard our democratic institutions,
maintain our civil liberties and pre-
serve peace. To further these objec-
tives the American Labor Party offers
the following program.
The American Labor Party considers
it vital for workers to receive a larger
share of our national income. The in-
equality that exists today is the princi-
pal cause of the economic castastrophes
that overtake us periodically, from one
of which we are even now painfully
recovering. To correct this condition
it is essential that workers have
the indisputable right to organize, to
strike, and to bargain collectively. The
American Labor Party pledges itself to
vigorous action in support of these
rights. It will strive for the fullest pro-
tection of men and women workers
from starvation and overwork and from
the hazards of industry, and for the
complete removal of children from the
possibility of exploitation by industry.
Labor's right to organize is not yet a reality.
The courts have whittled away the protection
given by the National Labor Relations Act so
that today millions of workers in New York
State, as elsewhere, cannot exercise freely their
most important civil liberty — the right to form
unions. The American Labor Party advocates
laws to assure and make effective labor's right
Company Unions and *' Mercenaries"
Company unions and such devices as the
"yellow dog" contract are used by employers
to defeat legitimate labor organization. The
use of arms and munitions furnished by
pseudo detective agencies, the deputizing of
guards supplied by these agencies, and the
employment of state militia and other govern-
ment forces to defeat legal and peaceable
strikes all represent a perversion of govern'
ment to the service of open'shop industrialists.
It is essential to pass legislation outlawing
company unions, prohibiting so'called detec'
tive agencies from furnishing *'mercenaries",
and preventing the lawenforcement power of
the state from being turned into an instru'
ment for the oppression of workers. The
American Labor Party will initiate and sup'
port such legislation vigorously.
The Party pledges itself to work in har-
mony and cooperation with the organized la'
bor movement for far'reaching minimum'
wage lav7s which shall adequately meet the
needs of the millions of unorganis;ed and un^
protected workers in the state. The basic hu'
man right of decent living and working condi'
tions for men and women and children is of
paramount importance. No legal technicalities
or subterfuges must be allowed to stand in the
way of that paramount right.
Maximum Hours j
Regulation of maximum hours, on an
industrywide basis, irrespective of state lines,
is essential to protect workers from exhaustr
ing toil and to enable industry to absorb mil'
lions of unemployed. The American Labor
Party pledges itself to work politically, jointly
with the economic organi2;ations of labor, for
the stabili2;ation and the progressive reduction
of the number of hours in a working week,
looking toward the ultimate establishment of a
30 'hour v/eek in all industry.
The American Labor Party will work for
the enactment of laws guaranteeing the great'
est degree of physical protection to the worker
at his task. It pledges itself further to the
principle of complete coverage for all the con'
sequences of industrial ha2iards.'
Child workers are not only pitiful victims
of exploitation but their employment in indus^
try breaks down any decent working st^nd'
ards. The problem is nationwide and the
solution must of necessity be nationwide. The
Party pledges itself to vigorous support of
the Child Labor Amendment as well as to the
enactment and strict enforcement of effective
We hold that there should be no distinc
tion between male and female workers in op'
portunity to work and in reward for services.
However, in the face of indisputable facts
showing that women are exploited through
low wages, long hours and bad working con'
ditions, the American Labor Party pledges it'
self to work unceasingly for legislation to
correct these injustices.
Private feccharging employment agencies
prey on the unemployed. More adequate
funds and wider extension of free federal and
state employment exchanges throughout the
nation, coordinated with imemployment in'
surance systems, are needed. The Party
pledges itself to work for these objectives. It
recognii;es also the necessity of directing
special attention to the employment of those
The technical progress and produc-
tive genius of the American people
should be made the basis of security
and higher living standards rather than
a threat to our national well-being.
Those who are unemployed through no
fault of their own must be given ade-
quate relief; the aged and incapacitated
must be protected. The technique for
achieving these guarantees still remains
to be perfected, but the principle can-
not be disputed. No American willing
to do his share of the nation's work
should be denied food, clothing and
The threat of unemployment, incapacitation
and old age hangs over the American worker,
farmer and professional man. It menaces the
small business man as well. Our nation is rich
enough to afford protection to all its popu'
lation against this threat. The American Labor
Party is pledged to a fundamental and all'
embracing program of unemployment insur*
ance, old age pensions and other types of in*
surance against social insecurity. Such a pre
gram, by increasing the share of the national
income that goes to those who receive too
little of it today, will help to stabilize our
national economy and prevent the recurrence
of disastrous depressions.
In the present emergency and until an effec^
tive social-security program is operative, those
in want must be provided with adequate re^
lief. Since individual states cannot cope with
the problem, direct federal participation in
relief efforts remains essential. The guiding
purpose must be to alleviate suffering, to re
habilitate workers and farmers hit by the eco'
nomic depression. The American Labor Party
will press for adequate relief that will not un^
dermine prevailing wages, hours and working
As consumers, the American people
have problems which cannot be solved
without government aid. The govern-
ment must make provision for decent,
low-cost housing. Consumer coopera-
tives must be protected and encouraged
as a check on rapacious monopoly. The
farmer's return on his labor must be in-
creased. The cost of public utility ser-
vices must be reduced and the quality
improved. Our natural resources must
Private enterprise has failed to provide
people of small incomes, particularly manual
and white collar workers, with decent housing.
Shanty and tenement slums still disfigure our
land. Physically and morally we all suffer
from them. Selfish, narrow'visioned real es'
tate manipulators are consistently blocking
every national large scale effort at slum"
clearance and rehousing. The community
must solve this basic problem through its na-
tional and local governments. The Party
pledges itself to work for the initiation by the
government of enough low-cost housing pro'
jects to make possible the decent re-housing of
our population at moderate cost.
The American family is entitled to obtain
full value for its hard earned dollars. Con'
sumers cooperatives permit the economical
purchase of goods and services and act as an
effective safeguard against monopoly. The
American Labor Party favors government
encouragement of genuine cooperative enter-:
It is not the price that the farmer receives
but his income which is of importance. His
income depends upon the purchasing power of
the workers — that is, the income of urban
workers of all groups and classes. Today, as
in the 1 870's when the Granger movement took
shape, the farmers who represent almost one
third of our populations and the city wage^
earner have a common interest in a more equit'
able distribution of the national income. To
the extent that the fraction of the population
which comes between worker and farmer ap^
propriates profits unduly, the American Labor
Party holds it is a proper function of govern"
mcnt to step in to regulate these profits and
thus to protect farmers and workers.
Regulation of public utilities has not afforded
effective protection to the public. Public wel"
fare demands more than regulation; it de-
mands government ownership and operation
of utilities. The mere threat of public opera^
tion has often reduced rates. Sucessful local
government operation of light and power
plants, and the great T.V.A., have pointed
the way. Public welfare demands that many
other basic necessities of life, not yet so con-
sidered, be put in the public utility category.
The common resources of our nation must be
riiade available to their fullest extent to farmers
and city dwellers alike. The American Labor
Party pledges itself to initiate and support
legislation securing to the consumer the max'
imum benefit from our public utilities at low/
est possible cost.
Conservation of Natural Resources
The natural wealth of the nation in earth
and water, in forest, field and soil and in min^
erals and chemicals must be conserved and
utili2;ed to benefit all the people. Exploitation
of these resources for the enrichment of a few
Flood and drought have demonstrated the
necessity for long-range planning to conserve
the people's resources. The Party will pro'
mote all possible effort in this direction.
GOVERNMENT FOR THE
Government in a democracy is pri-
marily a representative agency for min-
istering to the vital needs of the people.
Government services for public welfare
necessitate wise public spending. Taxa-
tion for this purpose is socially essential
and an obligation that must be met. The
proper functioning of government in
the interests of the entire people must
not be paralyzed by narrow legalistic
technicalities and subterfuges.
Public expenditures must be free from waste
and corruption. But the outcry against in-
creased taxation must not blind us to the
necessity for public spending in the public in'
terest. It is essential that taxes be based on
ability to pay so that they do not decrease
consuming power or burden the very groups
in the community whom the government seeks
to aid. Wealth created by the. people as a
whole must be used for the general good. The
Party pledges itself to the principle of taxa-
tion based on capacity to pay.
As the functions of goverment multiply, it
becomes increasingly important that public
servants be competent and dedicated to the
service of the community. The American
Labor Party favors the extension of the Merit
System to every iield of government service
and the remuneration of public employes on a
level high enough to attract the most com'
Legislation on a national 'scale is vital in
order that standards of work and life be
raised to the level of the most advanced states
instead of declining to the level of the most
backward. The efforts of the Federal govern-
[ 10 ]
ment to deal with pressing social and ecc
nomic problems are defeated by narrow judi-
cial interpretations. Recent rulings deprive
even states of their power to act for the pub-
lic welfare. The Party therefore will work
for such legislation and constitutional amend'
ment as will clearly ensure the right of Con-
gress to enact laws for the entire people of the
In order that the law of our nation may not
be turned into a straitjacket to stifle natural
growth and adjustment of the country to
changing economic and sodal conditions, a
more progressive-minded and responsive judi-
ciary is essential. Living realities rather than
the dead hand of the past should weigh in the
scales of justice. The Party proposes to place
upon the bench both in the lower and the
higher courts men and women of wider vision
and more intimate and sympathetic under^
standing of popular needs.
Democratic institutions are under at-
tack throughout the world. The more
reason, therefore, why the ideals of our
nation — inviolable civil liberties, edu-
cation and equality of opportunity for
all, racial and religious tolerance, the
preservation of democracy at home and
its encouragement abroad — should be
vigorously defended- In these ideals
the American Labor Party places its
faith; for their defense, it pledges its
strength. It will resist, to the utmost,
anti-democratic and dictatorial systems
under whatever label they may be pur-
veyed to our people.
The basic right of universal education has
always had the support of American labor
and progressive forces. The best traditions
of American democracy are rooted in our edu"
cational system. The Party favors increased
government expenditures for the public
school system, the maintenance of adequate
salaries for teachers, and the extension of op'
portunities for education among all age
groups and in all regions of the state and
The constitutional and traditional American
rights of free speech, press and assembly, a
fair jury trial and protection of the individual
citizen against misuse of power by officials
must be maintained against all threats. Such
attacks on our Bill of Rights as the teachers'
oath bills, discriminations against any class
or race, and denial of the right of free discus'
sion of public questions, must be repelled. The
American Labor Party pledges itself to ag'
gressive defense of these civil rights and their
enforcement in a truly democratic spirit.
The American Labor Party is deeply con^
scious that war threats center today in those
European nations, ruled by Fascist dictator'
ships, where independent labor movements
have been destroyed and the forces of govern^
ment are brutally used to crush all expression
of the popular will. The United States will
scarcely be able to escape the consequences of
war, no matter how remote the theatre of
battle. To remove one of the major causes of
war, the American Labor Party demands leg-
islation that will eliminate the profit incentive
from the arms and munitions industry. To
avert war and protect the principles and in'
stitutions of free government, the American
Labor Party also urges the closest cooperation
among the - labor movements in all free
countries and participation, to the fullest ex'
tent consistent with the interests of the United
States, in all constructive international efforts
dedicated to the preservation of peace.
* * * :Ji
In the regrouping of political forces
now under way the establishment of a
powerful labor party becomes inevit-
On the basis of our broad program
for social betterment, higher standards
of living, and democratic methods of
government, the American Labor Party
appeals to all workers, farmers, profes-
sional men, small businessmen and
others who are natural allies in the com-
mon fight against special privilege. The
American Labor Party calls on these
basic sections of the population to join
adopted* October * i^j6
State Campaign Headquarters
Hotel Claridge — 44th St. and Broadway
New York City