The Pittsburgh Press (September 10, 1944)
Attack on McCarran called ‘brazen lies’
By Fred W. Perkins, Pittsburgh Press staff writer
Washington – (Sept. 9)
Denunciations of CIO political activities continued today with a blast from Labor, organ of 115 railway brotherhoods and unions, against Sidney Hillman and the CIO Political Action Committee for unsuccessful efforts to unseat Senator Pat McCarran (D-NV).
The white-haired chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who recently severely condemned administration procedure in the Montgomery Ward seizure of last spring, won renomination this week, defeating Lieutenant Governor Vail Pittman, brother of the late Senator Kay Pittman.
Labor charged the Hillman committee with “lies,” with having “united with reactionaries,” and with using Communistic tactics in an effort which the publication asserted was thwarted by the railway unions and the American Federation of Labor.
Other AFL attacks
That was one of a series of attacks on the CIO politicos from labor sources. In a recent one, Philip Pearl, publicist for the AFL, characterized the CIO-PAC as “the strongest anti-labor force in America today” and predicted it would prove not only to be “a fearful boomerang for the CIO but that it will do a lasting harm to the cause of the entire labor movement of America.”
To this Len de Caux, publicist for the CIO, replied in print that the AFL had been deceived into repeating slanders which had been originated by “anti-labor sources,” including some newspapers that were charged with being anti-union.
‘Brazen lies’ circulated
Today’s Labor article said:
Reactionary Democrats in Nevada have always been against McCarran because of his outspoken support of labor and other progressive measures. They thought they could “get him” this time.
Hillman’s outfit, which apparently had money to “throw at the bords,” was not interested in McCarran’s labor record. It opposed him because he refused to embrace its peculiar “ideologies” and circulated the most brazen lies concerning his work in the Senate.
Some workers were deceived. They were not familiar with Communist tactics and imagined Hillman’s propagandists must be telling the truth.
Chiefs of the standard railroad labor organizations and the AFL put on a staff campaign for McCarran and succeeded in neutralizing the vicious work of the CIO crowd.
‘Menace’ to labor program
Labor also gave some observations on the overall effect of the CIO’s political efforts.
More and more, as the campaign develops, it becomes evident that Hillman and his Communist colleagues are a serious menace to organized labor’s political program. The CIO never had many supporters in Congress and now it is so discredited that the foes of labor have discovered the most effective argument they can use against a measure favored by the workers is to brand it a “CIO bill.”
That’s bad enough, but now the CIO under Hillman’s leadership is invading states and Congressional districts, assailing candidates who have sturdily championed the cause of the workers and bringing the entire labor movement into disrepute among voters who do not appreciate that the noisy Reds who are on Hillman’s payroll do not speak for the American labor movement.
By Fred W. Perkins, Press Washington correspondent
The general hope is that indefinitely after the war there will be a job for every man and women who wants a job, including the returned veterans. The political importance of the question is shown by the main theme of Governor Thomas E. Dewey’s opening campaign speech, when he portrayed the Republican Party as best able to produce and maintain the private industrial activity necessary for full employment.
But support economic conditions so shape themselves, no matter who wins the election, that dismissals from industry will become seriously numerous? What will be the fairest way of choosing the workers who will have to leave private employment and depend for a while at least upon whatever form of public works or public unemployment compensation that may be provided?
Discussion has started here, but has not reached the stage of official public comment, on the possibility of adapting to industry the rating system that the War Department announces it will use in selecting the men (not officers) to be discharged first from the Army after the defeat of Germany.
Priority of separation from the Army (for men who want to be separated) will be determined by the number of points the veteran can compile for himself from the following four factors:
SERVICE CREDIT: Based upon the total number of months of Army service since Sept. 16, 1940.
OVERSEAS CREDIT: Based upon the number of months served overseas.
COMBAT CREDIT: Based upon the first and each additional award to the individual of the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Legion of Merit, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, Purple Heart and Bronze Service Stars (battle participation stars).
PARENTHOOD CREDIT: Which gives credit for each dependent child under 18 up to a limit of three children.
The fairness of this scheme is attested by the War Department’s statement that:
Opinions expressed by the soldiers themselves became the accepted principles of the plan. As finally worked out, the plan accepted by the War Department as best meeting the tests of justice and impartiality will allow men who have been overseas and men with dependent children to have priority of separation. Ninety percent of the soldiers interviewed said that that is the way it should be.
Could such a plan be adapted to the unwelcome task (supposing that it becomes necessary) of choosing the men and women to be separated from the production end of the war machine? Some who have studied the subject think it could be, but with the No. 1 essential requirement that it would have to be applied without suspicion of unfairness, and with complete and unselfish cooperation from management and the representatives of labor.
It has been suggested that it might be a good subject for investigation by the labor-management organization which has functioned in the War Production Board, with local branches in several thousand war-production plants. Another suggestion is that to be fully effective the plan would have to be applied nationally in industry.
This for industry?
The job preference of a civilian worker might be evaluated on such factors as the following:
- His length of service in industry (what unions call seniority).
- His efficiency rating as an able, industrious and productive worker.
- His age, with some allowance to older men below the usual years of retirement.
- The number of his dependents.
There might be, in addition to the merit factors, some of demerit – for instance, in the individual’s record on unexcused absenteeism.
It is generally agreed that the plan could not be expected to work without a higher degree of sympathetic cooperation between management and the unions than apparently now exists in some important industries. It would requite a completely different atmosphere from that repotted in some industrial centers which fear that the end of the war in Europe will mean a resumption of domestic warfare between labor organizations and employers.