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4 If The CIO HEWS, August 17, 1942 Inequalities CIO President Murray presented to the recent UAW-CIO convention some amazing figures on In equalities which are most harmful to the war effort. They Included the swollen war profits of scores el corporations and huge salary increases for cor poration executives. Murray contrasted these with the meager wage increases granted to low-paid workers, which do not even offset increased living eosts. Consider, for example, the following profit in creases between 1940 and 1941: Bell Aircraft, 2,820%; Bendix Aviation, 212%; Consolidated Air craft, 1,000%; General Electric, 80.5%; Acme Steel, 136%; Bethlehem Steel, 57%; General Motors, 82.7%; Hercules Powder, 105%; American Woolen, 409%; American Rolling Mills, 138%. Murray pointed still further huge profit in creases for these and other corporations in the first six months of 1942, ranging from 37 to 326%. As to the corporation big shots, who have been arguing so fervently against wage increases of a few cents for their employes: Eugene Grace considered 5 l / 2 %, or 44 cents a day, too much of a boost for the steelworkers. But he took a raise of $55,000 himself—from $478,144 in 1940 to $537,724 in 1941. Murray put into the record a list of scores of similar salary increases for corporation executives. They range as high as 218%, and all of them in volve increases of tens of thousands of dollars in salaries which run into six figures. Included are huge increases for men who do not even have man agement functions, but just sit on boards of direc tors to keep an eye on the profits. We called the above-mentioned figures “amazing” because they will amaze most newspaper readers, who read columns of complaint daily about alleged high wages but not a word of objection to such tremendous profit and salary increases. Labor does not call attention to such in equalities in any carping spirit. “Its complaint is not one of a selfish nature,” Murray said, “calculated to improve its position against somebody eise’s position.” Labor seeks an end to profiteering inequali ties in the Interests of national efficiency and morale to win the war. It demands equality of sacrifice so all may do their fair share in a united nation for this all-important purpose. If maximum war effort is to be achieved, labor and the other low-income groups must not be made to do all the sacrificing. A tax program must be adopted that reaches deep into war profits, that limits the individual Incomes of the rich to $25,000, and that distributes the burden according to ability to pay. Such taxation Is one of the President’s seven points. All the points of his seven-point program must be equally applied if our whole economy is to be mobilized for speedy victory over the Axis. A Political "Must" Abolition of the poll tax is a war measure of Immediate importance for victory. So long as democracy and the right to vote are denied to some 10 million Americans in eight states, Hitler’s propagandists can question the sincerity of our democratic war aims. But, more than that, our democracy must func tion effectively if we are to have really united effort for victory. To deny large sections of our popula tion their constitutional rights and treat them as Grade B citizens, is to deprive them of their voice in shaping our Victory Drive. Because so many Americans are denied the right to vote through the poll tax, our country is cursed with a bloc of poll-tax Congressmen, elected by a small minority, who constantly hamstring measures needed to win the war. The worst enemies of labor in Congress belong to this poll-tax group. Most of them are guilty of disrupting national unity by their constant efforts to turn rich against poor, race against race, middle class against labor, and by their consistent opposi tion to progressive social legislation that benefits the masses of the common people. Here are some of the things you can do to re move this poll-tax obstacle from our road to victory: 1. Urge your Congressman to sign the peti tion to discharge the Geyer anti-poll tax bill, so Congress may vote on it. 2. Write the Senate judiciary committee to report out the Pepper bill, the Senate companion piece of the Geyer bill. 3. Make certain that all candidates for Con gress in this year’s elections declare themselves at once on the poll-tax question. fte HVI3 Published Weekly Congress of Industrial Organizations Philip Murray President James B. Carey Secretary Vice-Presidents Joseph Curran Reid Robinson S. H. Dalrymple Frank Rosenblum Emil Rieve R. J. Thomas Len De Caux ~.. Editor and Publicity Director Special rates for block subscriptions and bundle orders upon application. Publication and Editorial Office: 1106 Connecticut Avenue, N. W., Washington, D. C. Vol. V, August 17, 1942 No. 33 LOOKING AHEAD By Len De Caux THE SNEAKING propaganda of racial prejudice and intolerance is the poison gas with which Hitler seeks to prepare the way for his troops in •very country. Its stench is now clearly percept!* ble in the United States. And it is to labor’s credit that it is the first to sound the alarm. A delegation of southern labor representatives has recently visited Washington to call to the atten tion of President Roosevelt a series of events which fit into a pattern of conspiracy to promote racial strife endangering war production and war unity. ★ ★ ★ Among these events are the following: 1. An inflammatory speech by Horace C. Wil kinson, former Ku Klux Klan leader, at Bessemer, Ala., which has been widely circulated through the South. Appealing throughout to anti-Negro preju dice, Wilkinson attacked the administration, the President’s Fair Employment Practices Committee, and both the Republican party and the New Deal Democrats. He called for formation of a “state wide, southwide and nation-wide” League to Main tain White Supremacy. 2. The rejection by Gov. Dixon of Alabama of a war production contract because it contained the usual non-discrimination clause, and his attack on the Fair Employment Committee, followed by a flood of propaganda against federal attempts to prevent anti-Negro discrimination in war jobs. . ★ ★ ★ 3. Dixon’s action has been used by anti-union company officials to inflame racial feelings and to attack labor unions—resulting in threats and beat ings for union officials and strikes of whites against Negroes or vice versa in ore mines and elsewhere. 4. An outbreak of anti-Negro violence, includ ing the beating and jailing of Roland Hayes, Negro tenor, his wife and daughter at Rome, Ga.; the re ported murder of a Negro shipyard worker in Mo bile; the lynching of Willie Vinson in Texas; the killing of a Negro soldier in Flagstaff, Ariz.; and the beating of many Negroes in Beaumont, Tex. 5. The political campaign of Gene Talmadge in Georgia based on the single issue of race preju dice, which he is deliberately exploiting. ★ ★ ★ Racial intolerance and violence are not in them selves a new phenomenon. But the above-mentioned incidents, and others that could be cited, bear evi dence of being part of a concerted campaign to pro mote racial strife for selfish political purposes. It is reported, for instance, that before Wilkinson made his violent anti-Negro speech, he met with some 25 reactionary southern Congressmen. The widespread propaganda around his speech and Dix on’s action also indicate they were more than iso lated individual outbursts. Southern progressives point out that racial preju dice is being deliberately exploited to build a politi cal movement directed against President Roosevelt’* war policies, against progressive social legislation and against labor. One of the most serious immediate effects of all this propaganda of racial intolerance is its impact on war production. Racial disturbances have oc curred in northern as well as southern plants, pro moted by similar elements in both cases. ★ ★ ★ The labor unions, particularly those of the CIO, are the strongest forces working to scotch this dan gerous conspiracy against national unity and our war effort. The CIO Steelworkers' locals in Ensley and Fair field, Ala., for instance, have issued leaflets declar ing that “an appeal to racial prejudice is reprehen sible at any time, but when made in time of war it is plain treason to our country. ” The CIO and its unions have long been doing a splendid job of improving race relations by their insistence on organizing both Negroes and white* and by their opposition to anti-Negro discrimina tions—so that all workers may come to know each other as fellow-unionists and fellow-Americans, rather than as members of different races. ★ ★ ★ Liberal southern papers are also joining with labor in opposing the present campaign of race in citement. The Montgomery Advertiser, for instance, takes issue with Governor Dixon in an editorial which emphasizes the importance of Negro labor in war production and declares: “Whites who understand the war know that defeating the fraudulent New Order based upon German enslavement of other peoples will stand or fall upon success in rallying brown men, yellow men, black men and whites, to the cause.” Reference must also be made to the untiring activities of the Southern Conference for Human Welfare to unite all groups behind the war effort. The CIO is proud to join with all such patriotic Americans, in north and south, in guarding the home front against disruption through racial strife and other Hitler devices to divide and conquer.