By Lisa Phillips
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Extra resources for A Renegade Union: Interracial Organizing and Labor Radicalism
60 This dedication made the union “progressive” in 1935. 36 . Chapter 1 The union was at this point still very small, under one thousand members, most of them Jewish men working in wholesale shops and some warehouses. When it launched major organizing drives over the period 1937–41, the racial and ethnic composition of the union changed to reflect its commitment to organizing black workers who would constitute about one-third of the union’s membership (see the following chapter). As A. Philip Randolph and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) found, advocating racial equality proved just as threatening to the AFL Executive Council as did supporting industrial unionism.
But, unlike the AFL traditionalists, John L. 49 Although the AFL supported industrial unionism at its 1934 convention, by the following year it had devoted little money to that effort. By the end of the 1935 convention, the AFL leadership grew “ever more contemptuous” of those who favored industrial unionism. Like Osman, most industrial union advocates were “one-lungers,” younger delegates who represented federal labor unions in mass production industries and, in Osman’s case, the service sector.
48 The AFL traditionalists met with strong resistance, especially from those AFL members who had stronger industrial union traditions than most. The ILGWU and the ACWA, along with the United Mine Workers (UMW), had also experienced the effects of Section 7a. But, unlike the AFL traditionalists, John L. 49 Although the AFL supported industrial unionism at its 1934 convention, by the following year it had devoted little money to that effort. By the end of the 1935 convention, the AFL leadership grew “ever more contemptuous” of those who favored industrial unionism.
A Renegade Union: Interracial Organizing and Labor Radicalism by Lisa Phillips