Newstalgia Reference Room - continuing our look at the Modern Labor Movement with William Green, successor to Samuel Gompers as President of the AF of L debating President of the National Association of Manufacturers, Earl Bunting over the pending Taft-Hartley Bill in 1947.
February 26, 2011

William Green - carrying on the tradition of Gompers.

Continuing our look at the Modern Labor Movement in America, William Green who succeeded Samuel Gompers as President of the American Federation of Labor, in a debate with President of the National Association of Manufacturers Earl Bunting over pending Taft-Hartley Legislation in 1947.

William Green (AF of L): “I appreciate this opportunity of debating the pending anti-Labor legislation with the President of the National Association of Manufacturers because that organization, the N.A.M. is the real sponsor of the slave labor provisions in the Taft-Hartley Bill. What is the N.A.M.? It is an organization dominated by the most reactionary, labor hating interests in America. In support of that charge, let me cite a few of the major black spots in the N.A.M.’s record. The N.A.M. opposed the Child Labor Amendment, because in taking children out of school and putting them to work in factories, certain employers could/can cut wage costs. Isn’t that a noble position? The N.A.M. opposed Social Security, bank deposit insurance, the Wage-Hour Act and the whole body of social justice legislation intended to make life a little better and safer for the great masses of the American people. Less than a year ago, the N.A.M. promised that prices would be reduced if only price controls were killed. And then its members proceeded to make a killing at the expense of the American people.”

It's important to realize resistance to the Union Movement has been with us since the 1880's. It doesn't seem likely ever to change. The situations, circumstances and people are different, but the core remains - it's maintaining dignity, fairness and quality of life versus "I got mine, you get yours".

Simple as that.

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