The American Labor Movement during The Cold War - A panel discussion on the Communist influence on the CIO, as broadcast on the eve of the CIO's Annual Convention in Ohio in 1949.
September 5, 2011

The CIO Convention in Ohio in 1949 - Looking for Communists everywhere.

As the Cold War grew in intensity, Communist infiltration of our trade unions became the main topic of conversation in the late 1940's. To many, Communists and the Union movement were synonymous. So as an answer to the suspicions, many union leaders took to the airwaves in an attempt to calm the fears of an increasingly nervous public.

This broadcast of the radio discussion program America United, first aired on October 30, 1949, featured a panel of Executive members of the CIO, who were gathered for their annual convention in Ohio. The topic of conversation was the outlook for Labor in 1950. But the subject quickly morphed into Communist infiltration.

Allen S. Haywood (VP: CIO): “American labor doesn’t want to have anything to do with totalitarianism.”

The Red Scare was making itself felt in every aspect of American life, and the American Labor Movement was most hard hit. In a couple of years it would be the Army's turn. But for now Labor was in the fish tank.

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