Election 1944: PA labor factions split on campaign (10-21-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 22, 1944)


Labor factions split on campaign

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (UP) – (Oct. 21)
The Pennsylvania Federation of Labor “Committee to Elect Roosevelt,” in a circular to the state AFL union membership, today took issue with the campaign arguments of the new “Labor’s Non-Partisan Committee of Pennsylvania For Dewey and Bricker,” headed by David Williams, deputy State Labor and Industry secretary and former State AFL, secretary-treasurer.

The circular, signed by committee chairman and state AFL president James L. McDevitt of Philadelphia, said members of the Dewey-Bricker group “speak now as individuals,” whereas the Federation’s committee is acting under authorization and direction of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor.

The letter pointed out that some members of Mr. Williams’ committee were delegates to the Federation convention in April, “but did not speak or vote in opposition to the Roosevelt endorsement.”

Mr. McDevitt charged the “nonpartisan committee” with using “the scare technique with respect to their comments concerning Communists.”

Mr. McDevitt said:

We have led the fight against all persons and organizations that have identified themselves with Communistic ideologies, and have not hesitated to expel them from the ranks of our movement, in accordance with the provisions of our constitution, whenever we were able to secure creditable evidence.