> FEDERATIONIST

‘“TVill you be at the union meeting tonight?”

Free trade unions are an essential part of the democratic way of life. In a democracy each individual has a responsibility to be alert and to do his part. In a democracy it is the duty of each member of an organiza- tion to take a genuine interest in the affairs of that organization. Leaving your tasks for others to do is not the democratic way.

Are you fulfilling your obligations as a trade unionist by attending meetings regu- larly? Or are you neglectful? You can’t

be a good trade unionist unless you are a good citizen first—and a good citizen does not fail to attend and take an active part in the meetings of his union.

Do your share to make democracy live. Take a genuine interest in the affairs of your union. Study the organization’s problems. Bring new members into the fold. And at- tend union meetings regularly. This is the democratic way—and it is also the sensible and practical way to build your trade union.

DON'T LET BAD WEATHER KEEP YOU AWAY

Pub Ave. ine Be tion, Sect

Cirerican ERD ERATIONS

Official Monthly Magazine of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations

JANUARY, 1956 GEORGE MEANY, Editor Vol. 63, No. |

Workers U; nite

(ww Thee bese ie

In our time, with its great concentrations

THE MERGER CONVENTION—FIRST DAY...

SECOND DAY THIRD DAY FOURTH DAY

GEORGE MEANY’S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH

PEOPLE AT THE MERGER MEETING

FREE TRADE UNIONISTS SAW THE MAKING OF HISTORY

WHAT PRESIDENT EISENHOWER SAID..

HOW THE MERGER CONVENTION ENDED

JUNIOR UNION STORY

President GeorcE MEANY

Harry C. Bates Dave Beck JosepH BEIRNE

L. S. BucKMASTER James B. Carey JosepH CURRAN Wittiam C. DoHERTY Davin DuBINsKY Grorce M. Harrison

A. J. Hayes

Maurice A, HutcHEsoN Josepu D. KEENAN

O. A. Knicut

Wituiam C. BIRTHRIGHT

The AFL-CIO Executive Council

Secretary-Treasurer WituiaM F. ScHNITZLER

Vice-Presidents

Cuartes J. MacGowan Davip J. McDona~p Wititram L. McFetripce James C. PETRILLO Jacos S. Potorsky

A. Pump RANDOLPH Wa ter P. ReuTHer Emit RIEvE

A. L. SpRADLING Wititarp S. TowNnsenpD Ricuarp F. Wats HerMANn WINTER MatTTHEW WOLL

_}

of wealth and industry, vast powers are exercised by their possessors. The very concentration and possession are potent organization. Unless the workers had com- bined in unions of labor, their condition today would be such as to shock the mind.

That any hope for material improvement, moral advancement or higher ethical con- sideration is possible without the organiza- tion of labor few now seriously believe. Yet when that which we call “the labor question” is discussed, there are not many who will undertake to ascertain the labor- ers’ side of it.

The trade union demands a comprehen- sive reduction in the hours of labor so as to afford the workers sufficient leisure in which to cultivate their mental and moral faculties. It demands better homes, better surroundings, better opportunities for the cultivation of the higher and nobler func- tions of human activity. Asking nothing but what is just for ourselves, we impose no injustice upon others.

The trade union cultivates self-respect, manhood and character. Its influence for good encompasses the whole human family. It seeks systematically to attain better rela- tions between the employers and employed. It compels a higher ethical consideration for the rights of all.

As an individual gains strength by the exercise of natural functions, so do the laborers gain strength in proportion as they assert and manfully stand for their rights, and even make temporary sacrifices in order to attain them. Samuel Gompers.

THIS MONTH’S COVER

Our front cover this month is a color photo- graph which was shot at the close of the first day of the AFL-CIO convention. Taking part in the four-way handshake symbolic of the achievement of labor unity are, from left to right, James B. Carey, William F, Schnitzler, George Meany and Walter Reuther. Although American labor’s monthly magazine is now in its seventh decade of uninterrupted publication, this is the first time that we have ever printed a full- color photo on our front cover.

Published monthly by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations at 901 Massachusetts \ve. N.W., Washington 1, D. C. Editor—George Meany. Director of Publications—Henry C. Fleisher. Managing Editor

—Bernard Tassler. Assistant Editor—Fred Ross.

Subscriptions, $2 a year in U.S. and Canada. Other rates on applica-

tion. Entered as second-class matter at Washington and accepted for mailing at special rate of postage provided in Section 1103, Act of Oct. 3, 1917. No paid advertising is ever accepted. No material may be reprinted without permission.

Fest Som 17 CESSES 17

vast 71st

Monday,

A band played as the delegates and guests assembled.

The American and Canadian national anthems were sung. Cardinal Spc!iman delivered the invocation.

THE MERGER CONVENTION

What Happened... As It Happened

Oh: OF THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS Federation of Labor and President Walter Re \\)er i American history took place in New York City’s of the Congress of Industrial Organizations. W hile vast 71st Regiment Armory during the morning of the delegates and guests were assembling, they Monday, December 5, 1955. It was then that were entertained by a band under the baton of the united American Federation of Labor and Paul Lavalle.

Longress of Industrial Organizations was brought Mr. Reuther, as the convention’s temporary pinto being. chairman, spoke the following words:

© At 9:30 o’clock the first constitutional conven- “On behalf of the Joint Labor Unity Commit- jin of the AFL-CIO was called to order jointly tee, I now declare this founding convention of the #y President George Meany of the American American Federation of Labor and Congress of

MANUARY, 1956 3

With this king-sized gavel, the AFL-CIO’s first convention was

called to order by George Meany and Walter Reuther.

Industrial Organizations in order for business.” The national anthems of the United States and Canada were sung by Miss Lillian Hayes and The delegates and

Joseph Bono, respectively. guests joined in the singing. All remained stand- ing as the invocation was delivered by His Emi- nence, Francis Cardinal Spellman.

“Bless, O Lord, we beseech Thee,” said the Cardinal, “this merger of our nation’s two great labor bodies and grant peace and harmony in all their deliberations and actions. Let the spirit of cooperation and collaboration prevail in the difh- cult days ahead when so many complex problems challenge the wisdom and restraint of its leaders. We pray Thee, bless them with knowledge and understanding, wisdom and justice in their coun- cils. Let this new unity which brings 15,000,000 laboring men together in common purpose be the means of renewing their remembrance of Thy provident care and of Thy bountiful provision for all their needs.”

And Cardinal Spellman’s invocation closed

with these words:

4

The delegates were welcomed to the metropolis by Mayor Wagner, son of Wagner Act’s author.

“From strength to strength may organized labor go forward, remaining conscious always of the stewardship it holds for so many millions of workers as it closes the ranks today in this his toric merger, and may the blessing of God the Father, of Christ the Worker and of the Holy Spirit be with it now and always.”

Then the delegates and guests took their seats. and Temporary Chairman Reuther introduced the president of the New York City Central Trades and Labor Council, the secretary-treasurer of the New York City Industrial Union Council, the president of the New York State Federation o! Labor and the president of the New York State

Each o!

the four New Yorkers warmly welcomed the cor-

Congress of Industrial Organizations.

vention.

Mayor Robert F. Wagner, son of the late Sena He ex tended his best wishes for the success of “your noble work for the betterment of America and

tor Wagner, addressed the convention.

the world.” “You who have assembled in this convention

AFL-CIO AMERICAN FEDERATIONIST

The choice AFL-CIC¢

have ha you to you hay will anc a furthe not end Tem] bers of hailed t in brin; have be united | enthusiz At tl remarks veteran the unit layers, ion. M “T wa remarks morning man. “Tt is at this t tinguish me to e made to for itsel

JANUARY

The delegates’ unanimous choice for the presidency of AFL-CIO was George Meany.

have had many knotty problems to solve, to bring you to this point,” Mayor Wagner said. “That you have worked out so many is a tribute to your will and to your purpose. It is encouraging and a further tribute that you know that your work is not ended.”

Temporary Chairman Reuther asked all mem- bers of the Joint Unity Committee to rise. He hailed them as “the people who have worked hard in bringing us where we are today—who really have been the architects of this beginning of a united labor movement.” The audience applauded enthusiastically.

At this point Mr. Reuther, with appropriate remarks, yielded the gavel to Harry C. Bates, a veteran of American trade unionism, a leader in the unity efforts and the president of the Brick- layers, Masons and Plasterers International Un- ion. Mr. Bates spoke as follows:

“T want to thank President Reuther for his kind remarks. Up until he made this speech here this morning I didn’t know that I was such a good man.

“It is with great pleasure that I present to you at this time one of America’s most able and dis- tinguished labor statesmen. It is unnecessary for me to elaborate on the wonderful contributions

made to labor by this man. His record speaks

for itself. I present for an address to this con-

JANUARY, 1956

vention Brother Walter Reuther, president of the CIO and president of the United Automobile Workers, CIO, of America.”

Delegates Hear Walter Reuther In his address to the convention, Temporary Chairman Reuther said: “All of us are truly blessed in having the great

Applause was frequent during the thrill-packed morning session cf the convention’s opening day.

This picture of the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO was snapped shortly after these men had been elected

by the convention.

Seated, left to right, are Harry C. Bates, James C. Petrillo, David Dubinsky, Matthew

Woll, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer William F. Schnitzler, AFL-CIO President George Meany, Walter Reuther, George M. Harrison, David J. McDonald and James B. Carey. In the second row are A. Philip Randolph, Maurice A. Hutcheson, Dave Beck, A. J. Hayes, William C. Doherty, Charles J. MacGowan, William L. McFetridge, A. L. Spradling, Jacob S. Potofsky and Willard S. Townsend. In the back row: O. A. Knight, Joseph Beirne, Richard F. Walsh, L. S. Buckmaster, Herman Winter, Emil

Rieve, Joseph Curran and William C. Birthright. Vice-President Joseph D. Keenan is not in this picture.

human experience of sharing in the shaping of the decisions of this historic convention. In truth we stand on the threshold of the beginning of what I know will be the most glorious chapter in the his- tory of the American labor movement.

“Millions of workers throughout the warld are watching us with high hope and rejoicing as they see the forces of free labor joining together in this convention. And behind the Iron Curtain, where men slave in the darkness of the Communist ty- ranny, our actions here this week will give men renewed hope in their struggle to be free.

“We are building a new and united labor move- ment, and we are building it well, because the poli- cies that we have established are morally right and they are socially responsible. We are building on a foundation of principles that are both sound and honorable.

“We say frankly we have not achieved perfec- tion, because no work of man is perfect. There will be problems, but I believe with all of my heart that the same good will, the same common sense and the same good faith that brought us from where we were to where we are today, that same

good sense and good faith will solve the new prob-

6

lems that may lie ahead in working out the final mechanics of labor unity.

“I say to George Meany and our many friends who make up the leadership of the former Ameri- can Federation of Labor unions, and I say this in behalf of myself and my colleagues and for the millions of workers back home whom we have the privilege of representing—I say, George, to you and your colleagues we extend the hand of friend- ship and the hand of fellowship, and I say, te- gether, united in the solidarity of human brother. hood, we shall go forward to build a labor move: ment and a better America for all people in this great and wonderful country of ours.

“This is an unparalleled opportunity to begin to lay the basis for moving forward, for organiz ing the millions of unorganized workers who are still denied the protection and the benefits that only trade union membership can give them.

“T am confident that we will find the means of rising above the conflicts of the past and we will find a way in America to organize the unorganized into craft unions where that is proper and into industrial unions. There are enough unorganized

workers in America to keep every craft union and

AFL-CIO AMERICAN FEDERATIONIST

indust. years t “Ev to the | these ¢ “No under forces are the hour d cial se shall a, of org: editori: who ye was di

Wagne that wh We wil good f That sh

“We

our nei cause ¥ tions, a

tomorr¢

“We will all togethe: in buil

JANUAR

ed

ito ed nd

industrial union working side by side for many years to come, if we do the job together.

“Every union can grow. Every union can bring to the membership that they bring into their ranks these great blessings of organized labor.

“Now, as we meet today our enemies have plans under way to mobilize their forces. These are the forces of selfishness and greed and reaction. They are the same forces who fought against the eight- hour day, against the child labor law, against so- cial security, against free public education. They shall again be rising up and challenging the rights of organized labor to come together. Watch the editorial columns, and many of the same papers who yesterday criticized labor because its house was divided—they are now going to criticize us because we are united, because they say this is the beginning of a monopoly.

“We say they are wrong. We agree with Mayor Wagner. We reject the slogan of General Motors that what is good for G.M. is good for America. We will buy Mayor Wagner’s slogan that what is good for America is good for American labor. That shall be our slogan.

‘“‘We want to make progress, not at the expense of our neighbors; we want to make progress with our neighbors and with the American people be- cause we share the same hopes, the same aspira- tions, and we dream the same dreams of a better tomorrow.

“We offer our hand to men and women of good will all over America, and we say, let us work together in the vineyards of American democracy in building a better tomorrow in which people

JANUARY, 1956

everywhere can share more fully in the blessings

of economic and social justice, in which people can live at peace and freedom together. * * *

“Senator Goldwater proposed yesterday that the American labor movement be politically disfran- chised. He says we have no rights with respect to endorsing candidates for public office. I say what we need to say to Mr. Goldwater is, ‘Our answer to you, Senator, is not less political action but more political action on the part of the American labor movement.’

“This is our country. We are workers and we are citizens, and politics is the practical house- keeping job of democracy, and the American labor movement intends to help keep that democracy in this country of ours.

“We have said very clearly that we are going to work within the two-party system, endorsing candidates not based upon their party label but based upon the competence and the integrity of the individual, and where his party stands on the basic issues as they affect the American people. To do this we need to work hard to raise the level of political understanding in America on the part of the great mass of people. * * *

“TI say to George Meany: George, this is a great new beginning. You will lead the American labor movement to higher and higher levels of achieve- ment. You will enable the labor movement to make a greater and greater contribution to the whole of America and the free world. And I pledge to you, George, with all of my heart, that those of us who share in the leadership of the CIO shall stand with you, and together with your colleagues from the

Elected by unanimous vote as first secretary-treasurer, William F. Schnitzler pledged that he would give his very best.

James B. Carey was a very active figure throughout the history-making convention.

AFL we shall fight together, we shall march to- gether, we shall build together, and we shall win together that better tomorrow for the American people.

“Thank you and may God bless all of you.”

William F. Schnitzler, for the Joint Labor Unity Committee, acting as the convention’s Credentials Committee, reported as follows:

“We have received the names of 1,487 certified delegates eligible to be seated in the first constitu- tional convention of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, representing 135 national and international un- ions, five departments, ninety-three state branches, 490 central bodies and industrial union councils, 148 local unions and local industrial unions, and recommend that they be seated forthwith.”

The report of the Credentials Committee was adopted unanimously.

Temporary Chairman Reuther then recognized James B. Carey, president of the International Un- ion of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers. He read the convention call, and the delegates or- dered it inscribed in the official minutes. Then Mr. Carey read the report of the Joint Unity Commit- tee setting forth proposed rules and order of busi- ness for the convention. They were approved by the delegates.

David McDonald, president of the United Steel- workers of America, in an address to the conven- tion on behalf of the Joint Unity Committee, ex- pressed his feeling of tremendous pride “in being privileged to make this report” detailing the steps

8

which had culminated in the achievement of the AFL-CIO merger.

“T was there in °35 when we separated,” Mr. McDonald said, “‘and I am more than delighted to have played a small role in bringing about organic unity.”

The Steelworkers’ leader, in the concluding por. tion of his speech, emphasized that American la. bor, united, will be “a more effective instrumen. tality for the national good.”

“We have the magnificent opportunity through

unity,” he said, “to build to new heights our demo. cratic, responsible, united labor movement. Ow AFL-CIO is based upon a full recognition and ae. ceptance of the inherent dignity of the human per. sonality. We are dedicated to the building of a better future for the people of our nation and for a stronger free world.”

For the Joint AFL-CIO Unity Committee, Mr. McDonald then submitted the following resolu tion:

“Be Ir REsoLveD, That this initial constitu. tional convention of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations confirms and ratifies the action of the separate con- ventions of the American Federation of Labor and of the Congress of Industrial Organizations in rati- fying, approving and adopting the resolution on the achievement of labor unity, the agreement for the merger of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the implementation agreement and the constitution of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.”

The resolution was submitted to the delegates in a standing vote. Temporary Chairman Reuther then said:

Charles MacGowan (left) of the Boilermakers

gave a light to David McDonald, president of the United Steelworkers of America.

AFL-CIO AMERICAN FEDERATIONIST

“The tion has this gree

The a

Mr. R Bates o nominat nized PI

“It ha Schoem: America of the ¢ at conve ions tha proposes name of The fou ing con: We will virtue o each me for the union. great bo by side man car every hi peace is

“As é new hor

the fow

JANUAR

Walter Reuther’s speech nominating George Meany for the presidency was enthusiastically applauded.

“The chair is proud to declare that the resolu- tion has been adopted by the unanimous action of this great convention.”

The applause was deafening.

Mr. Reuther then yielded the chair to President Bates of the Bricklayers, who announced that nominations were now in order and then recog- nized Plumbers’ President Peter T. Schoemann.

“Tt has always been a custom and tradition,” Mr. Schoemann told the convention, “‘not only of the American Federation of Labor but at conventions of the Congress of Industrial Organizations and at conventions of international and national un- ions that a delegate from the union of which the proposed nominee is a member would place the name of that nominee before the convention. * * * The foundation for this new home of labor is be- ing constructed by this first convention. * * * We will build the structure on this foundation by virtue of the mutual respect and tolerance that each member of this new house of labor will have for the problems and interests of each affiliated union. Within this new house of labor the two great bodies of the labor movement will work side by side to create such a strong structure that no man can destroy it. Because we all know that in every home there must be unity and harmony if peace is to prevail.

“As a first step in rearing the structure for this new house of labor where we are today building

the foundation, and in the interests of building

JANUARY, 1956

this foundation in the spirit of unity and harmony, as the general president of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada, I now yield and relinquish the floor to Brother Walter Reuther, the president of the Con- gress of Industrial Organizations, and give to him the first honor and the first place on the floor of this convention to lay the first brick in this new house of labor so that, in turn, we all may follow and build a permanent and enduring structure.”

George Meany Is Nominated

Brother Reuther went to the microphones and spoke as follows:

“This is indeed one of the happiest moments of my life when | rise before this convention to place in nomi- nation the name of a great man to lead in the building of this greater labor movement. I am going to say a lot of wonderful things about this man because I believe them deep down in my heart. There is only one think that I want to say that I am unsure of. I have been ad- vised by Pete Schoemann that my candidate is a good plumber, but I have no personal knowledge of that. All of the other things that I shall attribute to him are things of which I have first-hand and personal knowl- edge.

“He is a great trade unionist. He is a great Ameri- can and a great leader. He is a man out of the ranks of labor and he knows the problems and the needs of the average American working family. He understands their hopes and their aspirations and their dreams.

“His capacity as a leader was recognized early, and he rose steadily through his own union, through the State Federation of the State of New York, and then

9

finally he was chosen as the secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Labor and then advanced to its highest office, the presidency.

“Through years of dedicated service he has won the loyalty and the respect and friendship of millions of workers throughout our great country. He is a man with great courage and deep conviction, a man of intelli- gence, a man of courage and integrity. He loves justice, but he hates injustice and all forms of tyranny. His has been the strong and clear voice speaking out against racial intolerance and discrimination in our national life. His has been the voice warning labor that it must clear its house of corruption and those who would comprom- ise the ethical and moral values which have symbolized the greatness of our free labor movement.

“He has made an outstanding contribution not only in America but in the world labor movement. He has served as a vice-president of the International Confedera- tion of Free Trade Unions, and in that capacity has made a great contribution mobilizing forces of the free world in the struggle against the evil, ugly and immoral forces of Communist tyranny.

“His was among the earliest voices in the ranks of labor urging unity, making it understood that no one should have a vested ‘interest in division and disunity. He understood from the very beginning that the whole labor movement transcends in importance the interests of any section of the labor movement, even though it may be your own section. He believed within the family of a united labor movement there could be worked out a proper, harmonious and constructive relationship be- tween both craft and industrial unions. Both being recognized as equal and necessary, both having a great deal more in common than they have in conflict.

“During the many meetings of the Unity Committee his was a voice of wise counsel, patience and understand- ing. And, therefore, it was logical that when we got to that place in our discussions that we talked about who should lead this new labor movement, his name was ob- viously, universally and with great enthusiasm chosen.

“He is a man of good will, a man of good faith, a man of deep religious convictions. He has faith in his God,

f

faith in his fellow man and faith in the cause of organized labor.

“I am confident that he will guide this movement of ours with a steady hand but with a sensitive heart, with understanding, for he, too, knows that power without morality, power untempered by humility, breeds great dangers. And he will wield the power that he will have as the president of the largest free trade union in the world. He will wield that in the interest of people. in the interest of advancing basic democracy and human values that we say free people cherish.

“T am confident that we can all leave here, on the con- cluding day of this convention, sure in our hearts that our union is in good hands, in the able hands of the man who will lead us to great achievements, who will write this, the most glorious chapter in the history of organized labor.

“It is a great personal privilege and high honor to have the opportunity of placing in nomination for the presidency of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations that great Ameri- can, that great trade unionist, a man I consider a great and wonderful personal friend, George Meany.”

After Walter Reuther had nominated George Meany for the presidency of the AFL-CIO, the nomination was seconded by Plumbers’ President Schoemann and by Thomas A. Murray, the veteran president of the New York State Federation of Labor. The chairman then called for further nominations. There was none. George M. Harri- son, president of the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks, moved that the nominations be closed and that the unanimous ballot of the convention be cast

for Mr. Meany.

William F. Schnitzler, carrying out the unani-

mous mandate of the convention, solemnly spoke

as follows:

AFL-CIO AMERICAN FEDERATIONIST

“Chi

ballot

the pos tion of zations “An Meany Federa Organi Ther Meany graphs The de whistle newly « “Tk duct th credit < of the and to success Pres: speech. TNS TH AD

rr ea ey

At Meany

In ac chair ay was the Matthey unionis: Harriso

JANUAR

Veteran Matthew Woll played an important role in AFL-CIO’s initial convention,

just as he had done at so many other labor sessions in the past forty years.

“Chairman Bates, I hereby cast the unanimous ballot of this convention for George Meany for the position of president of the American Federa- tion of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organi- zations for the ensuing term.”

“And I,” intoned Mr. Bates, “declare George Meany duly elected as president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industria] Organizations for the ensuing term.”

There was utter pandemonium as President Hundreds of photo- graphs were snapped by an army of cameramen. The delegates and guests applauded, cheered and whistled. Mr. Bates presented the gavel to the newly elected head of the combined AFL-CIO.

“I know,” said Mr. Bates, “that you will con-

Meany stepped forward.

duct the affairs of this great organization with credit and honor to yourself and to the interests of the 15,000,000 members of the organization and to the country as a whole. I wish you every success in your future endeavors.”

President Meany then delivered his acceptance speech.

THE FULL TEXT OF MR. MEANY’S ADDRESS BEGINS ON PAGE 14.

At the conclusion of his address, President

Meany was given a tremendous ovation.

In accordance with the merger agreement, the chair announced that the next order of business was the election of the AFL-CIO’s vice-presidents. Matthew Woll, beloved veteran of American trade unionism, nominated the following: George M.

Harrison, Harry C. Bates, W. C. Birthright, W. C.

JANUARY, 1956

Doherty, David Dubinsky, Charles J. MacGowan, Herman Winter, William L. McFetridge, James C. Petrillo, Dave Beck, Maurice Hutcheson, A. J. Hayes, Joseph D. Keenan, A. Philip Randolph, Richard Walsh, A. L. Spradling and Matthew Woll. Emil Rieve nominated the following: Walter Reuther, James B. Carey, Joseph Curran, L. S. Buckmaster, O. A. Knight, Joseph A. Beirne, David J. McDonald, Jacob S. Potofsky, Willard S. Townsend and Emil Rieve.

There were no additional nominations. The twenty-seven vice-presidential nominees were de- clared elected unanimously.

The next order of business was the election of the AFL-CIO’s first secretary-treasurer. William F. Schnitzler was nominated by James B. Carev who said:

“It is appropriate that I, who have been privi- leged to serve for years as secretary-treasurer of the CIO, should have the added privilege and honor of nominating the first secretary-treasurer of the united American labor movement.

“Our first secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations will be a man who knows the Ameri- can labor movement intimately—from its grass roots to its highest pinnacles of responsibility and leadership. The first secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO will be a man who came from the rank and file, served as business agent of his local and then as an international representative of his un- ion. His talents and conscientiousness soon ele- vated him to higher positions of trust and honor first as vice-president of his international union and then as president.

“‘As secretary-treasurer of the AFL since 1953, he has more than justified the faith and confidence that both his colleagues and the rank and file had placed in him. A leader of outstanding integrity, vigor and imagination, he has performed bril- liantly his multiple tasks as secretary-treasurer of the AFL.

“The great confidence reposed in him in the past gives substance to the confidence we place in him today—for the future.

“T am deeply pleased and honored to nominate as the first secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations one of the chief architects of labor unity, one of the prime builders of our new house

of labor—William F. Schnitzler.”

11

Machinist Al Hayes was elected to AFL-CIO Executive Council.

Labor unity pleased Bill McFetridge of the Building Service Union.

James C. Petrillo was elected to the Council. He leads Musicians.

Louis Marciante, president of the New Jersey State Federation of Labor, seconded the nomini- tion in a short speech in which he recalled that he had known Mr. Schnitzler as an outstanding trade unionist over a period of many years and

ee

had watched his steady “‘growth and development” with profound pleasure.

“T inspected the size of his hat this morning,” Mr. Marciante asserted, “‘and it is the same size hat he had twenty-five years ago. He is still the same Bill Schnitzler who can represent labor's viewpoint intelligently and in the fashion that the American trade union movement demands.”

After the convention had unanimously elected Mr. Schnitzler, President Meany spoke as follows:

“This gives me as much pleasure as anything that has happened here this morning.”

Sehnitzler Is Elected

Secretary-Treasurer Schnitzler told the conven- tion that he was “moved beyond words.” He said that he was deeply appreciative of “the honor that has been bestowed on me.” He paid a high tribute to the Unity Committee “that gave of itself so much during these past months—men who had dedicated themselves to bringing about the merger of these organizations.”

“During this entire time I have seen how they have given so unselfishly of themselves,” Secre- tary Schnitzler declared. “They had one great role that they had to accomplish, and that was the unifying of these great federations.”

He closed his acceptance remarks with the fol- lowing words:

“From this morning on we venture into a new era. This convention will be writing new goals, will be drawing now horizons, and charting courses to achieve that which we have established for our- selves. And for me personally, I hope that each one of you are imbued in the same manner and spirit that, as we enter this new era, we enter it with the greatest comforts, that the leadership that will be given by the same men who made the merger possible will lead us to newer and greater heights than ever before.

“From the bottom of my heart, I want to say thanks in the humblest way possible, and look for- ward to the help and the cooperation from each and every one of you as we carry out our respon- sibilities that lie immediately ahead of us. With the good Lord willing, we will be together and

AFL-CIO AMERICAN FEDERATIONIST

agail char are |

Py

dents and

acco! Com) cond: The ¢ Engr work of th Sode: Labo:

At

dress

1eWw als, rses yur ach and vith will rger

ohts

say for- pach | yon: Vith

and

NIST

The Kohler Chorus sang

‘We Shall Not Be Moved’ and

‘Your Land and My Land.’

nother number was the current

hit, ‘Sixteen Tons.’

Delegates’ contributions to

aid the Kohler strikers

were generous after they heard President Meany say:

‘We should determine that these strikers shall not lose.’

again and again, reviewing our successes and charting new goals for the memberships that we are honored and privileged to represent.”

President Meany introduced the new vice-presi- dents, Brothers Townsend, Spradling, Randolph and Walsh. He then told the delegates that, in accordance with the instructions of the Joint Unity Committee, all the committee business would be conducted by one over-all Resolutions Committee. The co-chairmen were Matthew Woll of the Photo- Engravers and David J. McDonald of the Steel- workers. The co-secretaries were Joseph Curran of the National Maritime Union and Reuben G. Soderstrom of the Illinois State Federation of Labor.

At the afternoon session the convention was ad- dressed by President Eisenhower, speaking over a

AFI tin

Vice-President George M. Harrison was named a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Committee.

JANUARY, 1956

$3

Lawyer J. Albert Woll listened to Joseph A. Beirne, the president of the Communications Workers of America.

direct telephone wire from Gettysburg, Pennsy]l- vania. [The text of Mr. Eisenhower’s address begins on Page 45.]

The Resolutions Committee submitted resolu- tions on civil defense, cooperatives, foreign con- tract labor and migratory farm workers, home rule for the District of Columbia, statehood for Alaska and Hawaii, public safety and public rela- tions. Delegate Curran and Delegate Soderstrom, as co-secretaries of the Resolutions Committee, alternated in reading the resolutions and the com- mittee’s reports. All the resolutions which were submitted to the convention at the afternoon ses- sion won the delegates’ approval.

At 3:30 o’clock the momentous first day of the merger convention went into recess.

13

GRORGE MBANY'S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH |

CHAIRMAN BATES, President Reuther, representatives of the organ- izations which have joined here to- day, the Executive Board of the C1O, Executive Council of the American Federation of Labor, and delegates in attendance at this most important convention:

I feel that this is the most impor- tant trade union development of our time. Whether we deserve the atten- tion or not, | am quite sure that the eyes of workers all over .the world are on this meeting this’ morning. Millions of workers, millions of ordi- nary people behind the Iron Curtain of despotism and degradation, are looking toward us this morning with eyes of hope. Many millions more,

who live in the shadow of that curtain of iniquity, are, | am sure, praying for the success of this organization which we are bringing into being

today.

I can readily understand the feel- ing of elation which I sense present here today among the delegates and surely among the officers over the end of these years of division and of the inauguration of this new united movement. I too, share that feeling of elation that we have come this far along the road to unity for all labor in America. But when I think of the opportunities that lie ahead and of the tremendous responsibilities that go with those opportunities, I give way to some sober thought as to our obligation to meet the test, not only of grasping these opportunities for moving forward, but also of remov- ing the obstacles and solving the problems that will lie in our path of meeting the test of great responsi- bility that goes with an organization of 15,000,000 citizens in a nation of 160,000,000 people.

I think in approaching this task we should take a serious and good look at ourselves to make sure that we know just what our obligations are and to make sure that we have the type of organization that can meet these obstacles and grasp these op- portunities to better the day in both the life and work of the great mass of the workers of this nation.

We must think in terms of the true meaning of a trade union movement, a movement that has for its sole, defi- nite and single purpose the advance- ment of the welfare and interest of the great mass of workers who are part of this movement.