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Union leader reports: Railroad unity drive under way Twin national drives are under way to bring about united action by the 400,000 members of the five Railroad Transportation Brotherhoods in future wage and rules struggles, and eventual complete consolidation of these organizations. This was announced here this; week by Roy Griffith, local chair ; man of Lodge 26 of the Order of j Railway Conductors, Toledo, Ohio. Griffith is national organizing director of the Consolidation Committee of Train Crew Or ganizations, composed of repre sentatives of the Order of Rail way Conductors, the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and the Switchmen’s Union of North America. The committee’s headquarters are 444 Greenwood Ave., Toledo. * » * FIRST conference of the train crew organization was held June 25 where 40 representatives of the three unions worked out plans for unity. “The aim and purpose of this rank and file committee,” Grifrith said, “is to gain the support of all conductors, trainmen and switchmen and and by this united movement compel the consolidation of these three train crew unions into one strong organisation." A similar Consolidation Com mittee of Enginemen has been formed by rank and file members of the Brotherhood of Locomo tive Engineers and the Brother hood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, headed by R. R Walker, organizing director. 1101 Hippodrome Building, Cleveland. * -» * BOTH committees with essen tially the same aims are progres sive movement to consolidate the two groups of engine and tra.n service organizations into one unit. They are not new labor or ganizations and no attempt is be ing made to enter into the han dling of grievances or other mat ' ters coming within the jurfsdic tion of ihe general committees orj grand lodge officers.” “The chaotic situation that confronted all railroad labor in the recent strike,” Griffith said, "has very definitely point ed out the need for consolida tion. For years many of us have reasoned that it is neces sary for our railroad organiza tions to act with greater unity. “The truth of this reasoning j was demonstrated when we : note that in spite of the split io our ranks which was brought; about by the fact that chiefs j cf our Brotherhoods could not I or would not agree on a com- j mon cause that would benefit our entire memberships, the rank and file of all five trans portation brotherhoods stood together in a consolidated move and succeeded in bring ing about a moral victory in this strike, even though we did not obtain the essential ends of which the strike was called. j This proves conclusively that [ we must consolidate to prevent j such a chaotic state of affairs arising in the future.” * * * SPEAKING of the conductors, trainmen and switchmen, Grif fith went on to say: “We who are familiar with railroad unions have learned through our struggles for better working conditions that these three organizations are growing farther apart each year, because the heads of these organizations have failed to support a unified program in the interests of their membership. “The rank and file membership are penalized and become the suf ferers. because of this disunity and we inherit the fallacious results embodied in the old adage ‘United we stand, divided we fall.” "Preservation then demands THE CHICAGO STAR, SEPTEMBER lb, 10 bG Illinois labor body to discuss political action Political action and higher wages are expected to take the spot light next week, as the Illinois Federation of Labor hold.-: its bien nial convention in Rockford. . JlyLj. ' Jjfl PRESIDENT Albert Fitzger ald of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (CIO) presided at the opening session of the union’s convention in ' Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Sep tember 9. Parley on Franco here October 6 ! A midwest conference on the problem of Franco Spain will be held Sunday, Oct. 6, at 2 P.M. in , the West Room of the Ashland ! Boulevard Auditorium, under the i Auspices of the Chicago Commit tee for Spanish Freedom. The speakers will be Dr. Rus sell A. Nixon, Ph. D., formerly director of research in the Amcri i can Military Government, Ger | many, on German Cartels and j External Assets; and Abel Plenn, | author of “Wind In The Olive | Trees”, formerly attached to the U.S. Office of War Information | in Madrid. j Shortly after the conference, a ! delegation w'ill leave for New York, where it will present to the American representative in tne United Nations Assembly thfc case for imposing economic sane tions on the pro-A.xis regime in Spain and thus bringing Franco’s I downfall. j consolidation,” Griffith empha j sized. Meetings of both the en ’ gine and the train crew cosolida tion committees are being held at all the large terminals in the United States. At these meetings the rank and file members of each group elect representatives from the different organizations from each railroad or seniority district. Representatives of each organization then elect one among themselves to act as dis co-chairmen compose the respec co-chairmen compose tre respec tive engine and train crew con solidation committees. The success of this movement, Griffith said, rests with the rank and file and the district represen tatives. “If consolidation is the desire of the majority then we must progressively and actively suDport it and nothing can stop it,” he added. | Seven AFL locals have submit ted a resolution calling for state wide political mobilization, "at all levels of our trade union or ganization,” to break down mem bership lists by wards and pre cincts, to carry on a registration drive, and to cooperate with oili er organizations in support of endorsed candidates and issues. The resolution, based on the July 30th call of AFL Presid°nt William Green for “extensive po litical activity on every level of union organization,” is expected to stimulate lively discussion among the delegates. * * * ANOTHER issue expected to arouse convention interest is the proposal by the Typographical Union for support of their fight for a general wage increase. S’m ilar proposals are anticipated from the Meat Cutters’ and other AFL unions. A resolution supporting the AFI. Executive Council request for the breaking of relations with Franco Spain, and one cading foi the withdrawal of American troops from China will bring the question of foreign policy into focus. In addition, some relegates will distribute copies of a plea ; for AFL, participation in the | World Federation of Trade Uo ions, issued by Samuel Gomners’ local of the Cigarmakers Union in Tampa, Florida. Although election of officers j will be part of the convention’s order of business, no major con tests are anticipated. The chief state AFL officers, President Reuben Soderstrom and tary-Tyeasurer Victor Olander. are exneeted to be unanimously re-elected. ■* * f* THE WEEK LONG session win he opened Monday with an ad dress bv Governor Dwight j Green. Numerous public officials are scheduled to speak during the gathering. CIO wins contract at Walgreen After six months of negotia tions, agreement has been reach ed on the provisions foi a new contract between the Walgreen warehouse in Chicago, and Local 208 of the Warehouse and Dis tribution Workers Union, ILWU CIO. The new contract .will include a general 18f4c per hour wage in crease, retroactive in full to March 12, 1946, elimination of the piece work system, with clas sification rates established rang ing from $36.00 to $57.50 per week for a forty hour week with back pay to March 12 for all piece workers. Also included will be mainten ance of membership and check off, the first union security ever granted by the Walgreen com pany in Chicago; Six paid holi days, six paid sick leave days per year, vacation with pay ranging from one week after six months to four weeks after 25 years; an improved grievance procedure in cluding arbitration; additional sick leave pay for prolonged ill ness at the rate of one half pay: » maternity leave ranging up to six months without loss of seni ority. inside LABOR j by ‘FOP’ DEARBORN THIS MAN MURRAY PHIL MURRAY made an important speech in Chicago last Sun day to the District 31 Convention of the United Steelworkers cf America (CIO). When Joe Gcrmano, District Director, introduced the CIO presi dent, he remarked that Murray had been in town since Wednesday ijWMmMwnWMgaiaaMgiaaMMl evening —a fact not generally iSi- ' known and that 1m had not been feeling well. jpkffir Gcrmano told of the numerous \ phone calls and demands on • §®| Murray’s time as many sought HI Murray’s counsel or brought their thinking to his 1 1 tention. „ are * * * MORE than one CIO member psi fey MM in the Steven’s Grand Ballroom Saapaßle- Jlf| .jrfSjU bearing their presidents deep. ’■ JBS rich baritone and characteristic • JggjjH slight Scotch bu.':. listening to ■ his persuasive reasoning an i ■n H Stirling phrases, guffawing his biting sarcasm at “Windy JrHHHH Wilke” and Bill Green’s ”<!o. n • pondered the importance of 'ids ■*“" -.ffjPL mil ’'ißWr iF.an to the Amo, icon labor move, mu; merit. tvTTTitTjAV More than that, many present at the conference, aware of tne underlying drama of Murray’s appearance at that particular con ference at that particular time, could not but reflect on the cruel and inexorable pressures being brought upon this man who has come to symbolize progressive labor unity. I ollowing Murray’s address, I had an enlightening conversa tion with one of Chicago’s outstanding labor leaders, who expressed some of the following thoughts. I put them down here for what they’re worth: * # # WHEN the early stages of the mounting anti-Soviet hysteria found slim reeds bending before the gathering storm, Murray continued as the stout oak of CIO unity. He made his now famous Atlantic City declara tion at the international conven tion of the United Steel Work ers last Soring in which he courageously defended the basic concepts of CIO unity. No one knows better than Phil Murray that the ten year • * * THE HOARY booby trap device of red baiting and Rankinesque witch hunts which demolished or left impotent so many promising movements of the people found some advocates in CIO circles. But Phil Murray, never went much for these infernal methods of self destruction. He publicly defended the rights of all militants, regard less of party or church affiliation, to membership and office in ‘he CIO. Let the Wail Street war hounds howl, he refused to be a party to any internal moves that could only lead to tearing the CIO apai t in fratricidal warfare. 51 * * TO this courageous policy, clear vision, and devotion to the welfare of a united CIO, can he attributed the many major in dustrial battles waged and won this year and the promise of greater CIO victories in the near future. Some of the remarks made by Murray in his talk Sunday sounded to seme of us as if the pressure of the war hysteria /nob has Phil Murray worried. I interrupted and asked my * * * MY informant thought it had no special significance. The strong plea made for PAC support, the tracing of the history of CIO ne gotiations regarding equitable representation in the ILO, the out lining of the domestic program of the CIO with emphasis on the impending “portal to portal” pay fight, had consumed most of the time allotted to his remarks. But, said my friend, it’s a sign of the times that you ask that question. The slightest thing, even an omission is often looked upon as packed with significance. In this case, fortunately, you’re wrong. Murray has a keen appreciation of the fact that the WFTU is one of the if not THE main hope for continued world peace. Packing workers Hit by 'Q* fever The mysterious disease that swept the sheep kill at Swift & Co. early in August was revealed last week to have been Aus tralian “Q” fever, a comparative ly rare tick-born disease. The discovery was the result of an investigation by city and federal health authorities, after it had been requested by the CIO United Public Workers. Five gov ernment Inspectors in Swift's sheep kill, represented by the union, and about 35 Swift work- history of the powerful Con gress of Industrial Organiza tions is a history of successful mass organization and militant mass struggles of a united mem bership giving support to a united leadership. Many were the strains and stresses, yea. qven minor defections, hut in the face of every new great challenge (including the resig nation of John L. Lewis) the urge and drive for unity met every test. friend if he attributed any spe cial significance to the fact that Murray had made no mention cf the World Federation of Trade Unions. It had appeared lo me that the newsworthy por tion of his remarks announcing the severing of connections with the International Labor Office and announcinir that no CIO “assistants” would be sent to the eoming Montreal sessions of the ILO was a natural take off point for some remarks on the WFTU. ers in the department had been affected. The positive diagnosis of the disease finally established tiie union’s claim that the m’alady had its source in the Yards, which had been questioned by the company. A joint conference was held two weeks ago with State Labor Director Robert L. Gordon by representatives of both the Public Workers and the United Packinghouse Workers’ Swift local, in which the unions proposed an investigation of the general conditigns of health and sanitation in the Yards.