Union Voice/Readers Write: Seafarers’ role in ‘48 Stock Exchange strike; Return of the Yellow Dogs; The Gold Standard
Seafarers’ role in ‘48 Stock Exchange strike: “A little piece of SIU history in your historic photo of the day (3/29 Labor History),” writes Dan Duncan at the Seafarer’s union. “Look behind the cops and you will see a couple of men wearing ‘white caps.’ Seafarers stood between the striking female workers (whose union eventually became OPEIU) and the police during the 'Battle of Wall Street.' Many SIU members took cracks on the head from the cops’ night sticks to protect the striking females. The officers would try to go after a bleeding white cap, but our members loaded those clubbed into nearby station wagons and placed the wounded mariners on ships sailing out of NY harbor where they healed. Meantime, new ‘white caps’ would step in to take the place of those clubbed.” OPEIU president Richard Lanigan notes that the 1948 strike was “an important event in OPEIU history,” and adds “Incidentally, we still represent a bargaining unit at the Exchange.” Also check out this Huffington Post report on the strike.
Return of the Yellow Dogs: “Yellow Dog contracts (Today in Labor History 3/23 UC) have been back in vogue for quite some time, just smarter,” writes UC reader Jim Bertolone, President of APWU Local 215 in Rochester, NY. “Whether Wegman's or major retailers , they ask a number of psychological questions on employment applications to create a profile to determine if a prospective employee would be inclined to join a union . Sometimes they ask outright for one's feelings on unions.”
The Gold Standard: “For the past several years, and without hesitation or solicitation, I have repeatedly told everyone interested in labor news that Union City --which comes out every weekday morning -- is the best in the business and the gold standard,” writes Roger Toussaint, former president of Transport Workers Union Local 100 in New York City. “In fact, on several occasions, I have forwarded your publication to friends and labor leaders with whom I am in contact abroad, as a model to be guided by. Go Union City!”