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First a small rant, please bear with me!

My study of the labor books written by Mary Heaton Vorse began due to a desire to read first-hand accounts of union members and labor activists who worked directly with Mother Jones. What I found out about the books written by these heroes appalled me. Most are out of print, and many are hard to come by, even from libraries. I fear that this problem will only get worse as austerity takes hold. Already, libraries are being defunded. Perhaps this problem can be examined at some later time, and solutions proposed. It is not the subject of this diary, but I do want everyone who cares about the history of the working class to be aware that we are losing easy access to the first-person stories of our Labor Heroes.

Mary Heaton Vorse, 1874-1966

Mary Heaton Vorse was a journalist who wrote for main-stream newspapers and magazines as well as for left-wing publications such as The Masses. She was well known for her reporting of labor struggles from 1912-1938. With great courage, she covered the labor struggles of the day straight from the front-lines of battle, sustaining injury more than once.

To other reporters on the job there is something a little startling about the way in which Mrs. Vorse manages to find herself in the thick of things. Calm, unhurried, she succeeds nevertheless in arriving at the right place at the right time. Perhaps it is because of the friendships that she has made through the years. While she is a first-rate reporter, she is more than that, more than an observer. Her sympathies are deeply engaged in the struggle that she has witnessed.
                              -Marquis W. Childs, from the 1938 Foreword to Labors New Millions.
The Labor Books

During her long career, Vorse published eighteen books, and more than 400 articles and stories in leading American journals of the day. Happily, I have been able to find and purchase her three labor books: Men and Steel, 1922; A Footnote To Folly, 1935; and Labor's New Millions, 1938. My copy of Men and Steel is full of black fingerprint smudges. In my mind, steel dust. Footnote is a memoir covering the heartbreaking years 1912-1922, the strikes of the day, as well as her travels, on assignment, to war-torn Europe.

While reading Labor's New Millions which covers the great CIO organizing drives of 1936 & 1937, we come upon Little Steel gallantly fighting for their "loyal" employees' right to work during a strike. "Right to Work" was the most cynical part of the Mohawk Valley Formula used by Little Steel to crush the 1937 SWOC strike. In light of recent events, I decided to narrow the focus of this diary, which brings us (at last) to the title of the diary.

The Right of the Worker to Work

"Right to work" was the clever turn of phrase used to enforce Little Steel's "back to work" movement. It was the heart and soul of the Mohawk Valley Formula, a brilliant new plan invented for strike breaking and union busting. Introduced by James H Rand Jr, the plan was outlined by the National Labor Relations Board  in the Rand Hearings:

First: When a strike is threatened, label the union leaders as "agitators" to discredit them with the public and their own followers. Conduct balloting under the foremen to ascertain the strength of the union and to make possible misrepresentation of the strikers as a small minority. Exert economic pressure through threats to move the plant, align bankers, real estate owners and businessmen into a "Citizens' Committee."

Second: Raise high the banner of "law and order", thereby causing the community to mass legal and police weapons against imagined violence and to forget that employees have equal right with others in the community.

Third: Call a "mass meeting" to coordinate public sentiment against the strike and strengthen the Citizens' Committee.

Fourth: Form a large police force to intimidate the strikers and exert a psychological effect. Utilize local police, state police, vigilantes and special deputies chosen, if possible, from other neighborhoods.

Fifth: Convince the strikers their cause is hopeless with a "back-to-work" movement by a puppet association of so-called "loyal employees" secretly organized by the employer.

Sixth: When enough applications are on hand, set a date for opening the plant by having such opening requested by the puppet "back-to-work" association.

Seventh: Stage the "opening" theatrically by throwing open the gates and having the employees march in a mass protected by squads of armed police so as to dramatize and exaggerate the opening and heighten the demoralizing effect.

Eighth: Demoralize the strikers with a continuing show of force. If necessary turn the locality into a warlike camp and barricade it from the outside world.

Ninth: Close the publicity barrage on them that the plant is in full operation and the strikers are merely a minority attempting to interfere with the "right to work". With this, the campaign is over--the employer has broken the strike.

POWER INC

The Senate La Follette Civil Liberties Committee later revealed that between May and June of 1937, The Companies of Little Steel spent $43,901.88 on arms and munitions, more than half of that total supplied by Republic Steel. And, according to the complaint of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee to the NLRB:

  Company officers and agents...have followed SWOC organizers and have brutally attacked and beaten them. The company, both prior to and since the strike, has considerably increased the number of its police force for the purpose of interfering with the rights of its employees to picket the plants peacefully.
   The company maintains at its plants in Youngstown, Niles, Warren, Canton, and Cleveland, in the state of Ohio, extensive arsenals, stocked with machine guns, rifles, revolvers, tear gas, and other bombs.." These charges were later confirmed by the NLRB.
                                                          -p. 137, Labor's New Millions
The Right of the Worker to Live (?)

Clearly then, Little Steel came prepared to battle, and not to negotiate. Preferring to win with a cynical propaganda campaign, but prepared to spill the blood of their employees, if need be. The strike was called on May 26, 1937. On Memorial Day, May 30th, Workers were massacred in front of the Republic Mills in Chicago. On the evening of June 19th, Workers were shot down in Youngstown.

Mary Heaton Vorse described one of the murders at Youngstown:

The press and that section of Congress that is so eloquent about the right to work, about a worker's right to remain alive, were quick to cry that the police shot in self-defense. Jim Eperjessi, the fifty-seven-year-old steel worker, was not shot in self-defense. He was fired on, pointblank, by deputies standing in a truck. I know because I was there. I stood beside the truck; I saw the flash and I heard the shots....
   With Scotty O'Hara, I went down Poland Avenue toward Stop Five...The street was dark...A truck load of deputies passed, and stopped a little beyond us. Suddenly, without the slightest provocation, the deputies opened fire on the workers.Two men ran toward us and dropped at our feet. Scotty O'Hara also sprawled on the ground, ...the next I knew, I was lying on the ground myself near one man who was groaning and another who lay motionless.
   An hour and half later, when I came from the hopital where my wound had been sewed up, the wounded were still arriving.
                                                          -p.143-4, Labor's New Millions
Vorse describes the tense days in Youngstown after the massacre. Strikers sent a telegram to the President asking him to intervene, to stop the opening of plants with scabs scheduled for June 22. 
The air was heavy with approaching disaster. Every striker felt there would be [another] massacre...Many private citizens sent telegrams of similar import. Ministers offered prayers that bloodshed might be averted. Knots of people gathered on street corners and quarreled over the issues involved: the right of the workers to work, against the right of the workers to live.
                                                          -p. 144 (cont)
But in the end, the right of the workers to live was not respected. The Mohawk Valley Formula, won the day and the Little Steel Strike was broken. 1937 was a year of great victories for the CIO, but Little Steel was a tough nut to crack. Vorse's book was written in 1938, and so the story of successful organizing at Little Steel is a story for another day.

WE NEVER FORGET

Let the dead walk before you, and acquaint yourselves with their names.
                                                  -Mary Heaton Vorse
Chicago:
Earl Handley
Otis Jones
Kenneth Reed
Joe Rothmund
Lee Tisdale
Anthony Tagliori
Hilding Anderson
Alfred Causey
Leon Francesco
Sam Popovitch

Youngstown
George Bogavitch
James Eperjessi

Massilon
July 11, 1937:

Fugencio Calzado
Nick Vadies

Beaver Falls:
George Mike

Location Unknown:
Chris Lopez

Unknown Worker
A man in Cleveland

Woody Guthrie-Vigilante Man
note:
my research links the
white armbands to the Citizens Committees.


From all over the country came a cry about this interference with the "right to work." It is interesting to note that all those protests came from the people who said not a word when, during the depression, employers dismissed thousands of workers. Nor have these same upholders of man's sacred right to work, spoken a word against the cutting of the W.P.A.
                                                          -Mary Heaton Vorse
Source:
Labor's New Millions
Chapters 11-15
by Mary Heaton Vorse
Modern Age Books, Inc, 1938

For Further Study:
Men and Steel
http://books.google.com/...

Footnote to Folly
http://books.google.com/...

Labor's New Millions
http://books.google.com/...

Labor's New Millions
http://books.google.com/...

This diary is dedicated
To those who did not live to see Victory,
The Martyrs of the Little Steel Strike of 1937
Who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause.
In Solidarity,
JayRaye

Originally posted to Anti-Capitalist Meetup on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:00 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, WE NEVER FORGET, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is an excellent glimpse of a piece (14+ / 0-)

    of history. It is about many events and people that have been pretty much expunged from the collective American memory. One that particularly stands out for me is the extent to which we have totally lost the tradition of investigative muckraking journalism. Destroying it was essential to the political control of the economic elite.

    •  Thank you, Richard. (8+ / 0-)

      yep, investigating from the front lines of battle with bullets flying, can't get much closer than that!

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Jan: USW Local Mourns Fallen Brother

      by JayRaye on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:23:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wonderful to see you, I was just about (6+ / 0-)

        to tell people that we needed to have the discussion w/o your being here as I thought you were working. Such a wonderful piece!

        "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:28:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  thank you, expat. (6+ / 0-)

          yep, here I am. Shift got canceled.
          Needed the work, but glad that I can be here.

          I wanted to cover this part of Labor's New Millions because of the "right to work" angle. This period of labor history could be where that phrase originated, altho hesitate to ever say "first time." First that I'm aware of, anyway. & used with grim results by Little Steel against the SWOC.

          Most of this book takes your breath away with victory after victory in 1937. There was a period in Cincinnati where the CIO was signing up 4-5 thousand per week!

          WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Jan: USW Local Mourns Fallen Brother

          by JayRaye on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:40:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The thing that is very interesting (7+ / 0-)

            about the term right to work in the states as opposed to the UK is that in the UK the term comes from the socialists in the early part of the 19th century and it is a demand that people actually had jobs due to the introduction of machinery leading to unemployment, deskilling and destruction of skilled labour ... it was a demand in favour of working people. The meaning of the term in the US was inverted and corrupted by capitalists and then used against organised labor and the right to be unionised. In the UK they do not still get the corruption of this term and you see left-wing groups reviving the term to protect workers that are facing unemployment or are unemployed demanding that cuts to jobs be stopped.

            "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:47:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yes, well, you know, the US has the most clever (7+ / 0-)

              Capitalist in the whole world! We're #1!

              Our capitalist will give us the right to work, by God, if they have to kill us to do it!

              But seriously, working people and their organizations need to do a better job at stating what we are for.

              I thot MHV did a good job by putting forward: "right to live."

              Perhaps we could broaden it by calling for the right to live a decent life in return for our labor. But, of course, that doesn't fit on a bumper sticker.

              WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Jan: USW Local Mourns Fallen Brother

              by JayRaye on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:00:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  given the nature of the capitalist system (8+ / 0-)

                before the introduction of the social welfare state, the right to a job was literally the right to life. The current attack on the social welfare state is trying to reintroduce that notion; in fact, the claims of the UK gov't that the poor cannot earn more than those that are willing to work (as though the problem is a labour supply problem because the poor are lazy, drunk, and breed to much) using Bentham's principle of lesser eligibility (poor relief must be lower than the lowest of paid workers) is a revival of a similar argument. We need to remind people that these are not new, they have been used successfully before and that we know what they are playing at and that this must be fought. Demonisation of unions goes hand in hand with demonisation of the poor and disabled ... it is an attempt (and one that is successful at that) of pitting workers against each other to lower the income of the working class.

                "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

                by NY brit expat on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:06:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yep, they want us poor and desperate and (6+ / 0-)

                  without pride in ourselves and our work. That's the biggest problem with Unions, teaching workers to have pride in themselves and pride in their work, and solidarity with each other.  

                  The level of degradation that I've seen here in Texas was almost unbelievable.  Could hardly believe it when I moved here from MN. My work takes me right into people's homes. We have poverty there, in MN, of course. But here they degrade the poor in ways that are hard to imagine in a civilized society.

                  WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Jan: USW Local Mourns Fallen Brother

                  by JayRaye on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:21:26 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  one important thing is the way that the (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JayRaye, annieli, radarlady, Dirtandiron

                    poor are being treated, they concentrate on treating the poor as though they are in need of charity; benefits arising from the failures of the system to enable full employment and to provide income to stimulate demand for the goods and services of the private sector (and hence benefit the private sector) are treated as charity. As charity it becomes the donations of others as a gift or due to guilt; as a right to eat, keep a roof over your head, etc, that is solidarity and it is deserved. I do not know if I am making this clear ...  the difference between talking about the rights of the poor and unemployed and their being given charity out of the goodness of the hearts of those that give to charity is miles apart.

                    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

                    by NY brit expat on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:26:50 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I understand, and I agree completely. (6+ / 0-)

                      Here in Texas, they are treated with contempt. They barely have the right to walk down the street or sit in the park. It's hard to describe. And there are far fewer public spaces in TX compared with MN. People act like they own the sidewalk in front of their homes.

                      Being poor is like a crime here, and yet, so many people are poor, possibly 40%, not sure. I've seen houses with open sewers, holes in the floor where rats can (and do) come in at night. And older children and young adults with teeth missing or rotting.

                      This is Texas! One of our great right-to-work states.

                      Michiganders should come and visit, we'll head down further into South Texas so they can see what lies in store for them.

                      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Jan: USW Local Mourns Fallen Brother

                      by JayRaye on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:41:40 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Muckraking (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, longtalldrink, CharlieHipHop
      One that particularly stands out for me is the extent to which we have totally lost the tradition of investigative muckraking journalism. Destroying it was essential to the political control of the economic elite.
      Yes, today any news reports would be slanted against the strikers. And fox "news" would be rambling on about "union violence" and "thugs".  The news media has hurt our country because now the average working man/woman sees the world through the eyes of the Koch Brothers, all the while they work harder for less money and benefits.

      Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

      by Dirtandiron on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:06:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Such an excellent piece and even (9+ / 0-)

    though it was written about a strike that took place in 1937, the tactics of right to work laws and strike breaking are still in use today. If we forget our past, we will only find ourselves constantly repeating the same struggles over and over again and we cannot understand why we are fighting the same struggle. I cannot tell you how many of my political t-shirts can still be worn today.

    I also wanted to thank you for introducing Mary Heaton Vorse to a new audience. I hope I can hunt down some of her books on the ABE, thanks so much for this excellent piece.

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:11:38 AM PST

  •  Piece cross-posted to (8+ / 0-)

    voices on the square:

    http://www.voicesonthesquare.com/...

    the wild wild left:

    http://www.wildwildleft.com/...

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:14:31 AM PST

  •  ACM schedule (5+ / 0-)

    Hi fellow travellers:

    We need volunteers to write pieces, in fact, we need someone to do next week's piece. We have so far the following schedule:

    February

    3rd:
    10th:
    17th:
    24th:
    Geminijen

    March:

    3rd:
    10th:
    17th:
    24th:
    31st:

    Can you do a piece? Please let us know by responding to this comment or send a private message to ny brit expat or send an email to our email group: dkanticapitalistgroup@gmail.com

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:18:22 AM PST

    •  would love some feedback as to the new time (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, gooderservice, annieli, radarlady

      1) do people prefer this time than 3pm pacific?
      2) do you think we are getting sufficient participation in our posts?
      3) shall we stay at this time?

      What do members of the ACM and participants think?

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:35:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm more likely to be home (3+ / 0-)

        either in the morning or later in the afternoon. But, still, I'm flexible unless I'm working of course.

        WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Jan: USW Local Mourns Fallen Brother

        by JayRaye on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:43:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  either time is fine (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayRaye, NY brit expat, radarlady, mrkvica

        perhaps more outreach needs to be made via the Open Threads or cross-tags?

        Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ "We're like a strip club with a million bouncers and no strippers." (HBO's Real Time, January 18, 2013)

        by annieli on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:54:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  annieli am about to demonstrate (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annieli, JayRaye, radarlady

          my ignorance even though I have been here for ages; how do we make use of the open threads ... the tags that have been used are well chosen. so help!

          "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

          by NY brit expat on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:01:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  one can advertise one's diary in the Open Threads (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NY brit expat, JayRaye, radarlady

            it's allowed in the DK FAQs - and more eyes can be driven there and even "ACM" in diary titles as shorthand might be a better shorthand if only because some logocentric folks here get nervous with "anti-capitalism" as then do with "gubs". I'd do it but I'm not an editor so I feel hat's not my place.

            Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ "We're like a strip club with a million bouncers and no strippers." (HBO's Real Time, January 18, 2013)

            by annieli on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:14:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  annieli if you could do it that would (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              radarlady, annieli

              be amazing; barring that, explaining to me clearly in a private message how it is done so that I can share it with the other admin would be great!

              "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

              by NY brit expat on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:16:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  from the DK FAQ (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JayRaye, NY brit expat, radarlady
                Diary pimping
                People sometimes post comments urging people to read some other diary. This practice is known as "diary pimping". It is a legitimate thing to do under two circumstances. Firstly, when the subjects of the two diaries are closely related. Secondly, pimping is accepted in open threads, generic storyless diaries posted to the front page at regular intervals. Pimping in random diaries (or, especially, diaries on the Recommended list) will likely result in the comments being hidden.

                Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ "We're like a strip club with a million bouncers and no strippers." (HBO's Real Time, January 18, 2013)

                by annieli on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:19:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  I'll take March 31, if only because (4+ / 0-)

      most of my domestic troubles should resolved by then.

      Not sure what I'll diary, but teleology or historical materialism will make my mind up for me

      Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ "We're like a strip club with a million bouncers and no strippers." (HBO's Real Time, January 18, 2013)

      by annieli on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:56:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What an asset to this site you are, JayRaye (7+ / 0-)

    Your knowledge of labor's history and the way you bring that history into today's struggles are examples of what this site is about.  I learn so much from you.

    Excellent work, as usual.

  •  To Rescue: thx very much! nt (5+ / 0-)

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Jan: USW Local Mourns Fallen Brother

    by JayRaye on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:47:02 AM PST

  •  I took a labor studies class last term (7+ / 0-)

    and learned all about the battles in the Steel industry. I had never heard of Mary Heaton Vorse, I will suggest her to the prof of the class.

    •  Her book Men and Steel (7+ / 0-)

      Covers the 1919 Great Steel Strike. She was on the front lines there also. The constabulary road up and down the streets on big horses, right up onto peoples front porches to drive them back into there homes. Visiting a striking family, she was pulled away just in time by a striker's wife.

      There is nothing like first-hand accounts!

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Jan: USW Local Mourns Fallen Brother

      by JayRaye on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:26:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent Post (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, NY brit expat, annieli

    I wish I could have been here earlier, but a bad cold has put me on my backside most of the day!

    This is a really great post.

    Too few people remember--as you do--that the history of class conflict is both labor history and capital history, and the creation and development of various nefarious anti-union strategies is a big part that is too often ignored. The effect of that is to create silence around some of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history perpetrated by capital.

    I wonder when the term "right to work" came to mean what had been called an "open shop." (In the 9-step example above, rtw means something different).

    In traditional labor parlance, a "closed shop" was one where non-union members were unwelcome, while an "open shop" was one where union membership was unnecessary. Obviously, labor always sought a closed shop, which was especially important in those days before institutionalized collective bargaining, when wages and hours were often contested via direct action on the shop floor. Knowing that all one's coworkers were also in the union heightened solidaristic feelings and behavior, making success more likely.

    By 1946, anyway, "rtw" seems to have become the propaganda phrase for the open shop.

    "Karl Marx and Frederick Engels came to the checkout at the 7-11 Marx was skint - but he had sense Engels lent him the necessary pence What have we got? Yeh-o, magnificence!!" (The Clash, 1976-1983)

    by Le Gauchiste on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 04:58:45 PM PST

    •  that is an excellent question, we (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, annieli

      can see some of the beginnings of this argument here so it had to be in the period between this battle and 1946 ... the one person who may be able to answer this question is JayRaye who has excellent knowledge on the history of trade unions in the US.

      Good to see you here LeGauchiste!

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:10:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, the 40s aren't my strongest area. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Le Gauchiste, annieli

        But here's where I would start research: I would look into the fight which finally organized much of little steel. I believe it was during the war (from memory). My guess would be that Little Steel modified their propaganda campaign to fit whichever fight they were in. They hired publicity men with advertising experience to help them.

        I think it's important to follow their propaganda, then and now. Perhaps we could get better at countering it. We better learn one of these days before our labor movement is done for.

        WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Jan: Right-to-Work/Right-to-Live(?)

        by JayRaye on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:40:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  MHV: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annieli
          [The Mohawk Valley Formula] was given  to a waiting world by young Mr. James H. Rand, Jr., but is reported to be the invention of a famous public relations man specializing in industrial matters.
          She didn't name the man or the firm.

          WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Jan: Right-to-Work/Right-to-Live(?)

          by JayRaye on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:57:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you, Le Gauchiste, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli

      hope you feel better.

      Shades of meaning have changed, yes, but "right-to-work" has always implied that the sturdy rugged individual worker should be able to make his own contract, independently, with the employer. And some how the union is preventing him from doing that, forcing him to bargain collectively, and horror of  horrors perhaps even forcing him to go out on strike against the dear boss.

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Jan: Right-to-Work/Right-to-Live(?)

      by JayRaye on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:17:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  reced on the title alone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye

    I'm gonnna get that tatooed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  •  I wish I could rec this post 10000 times! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye

    It's very, very important that we not forget WHY people were willing to fight and die for better working conditions.

    "Right to work" versus "right to live" - what a great comparison!

    •  Thank You! (0+ / 0-)

      All credit for the comparison goes to Mary Heaton Vorse. Who stood side by side with the Strikers and faced the bullets with them.

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Jan: Right-to-Work/Right-to-Live(?)

      by JayRaye on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:42:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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