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PREPARED STATEMENT OF BOBBY WILLIAMS, South Boston, VA. I am a former member of the Retail Clerks International Association, Local 278 (AFL-CIO). Living in a "right-to-work" State, I was able to exercise my choice to withdraw from the union because I did not agree with its principles and methods. It took me a year, however, and the threat of presenting my case to State and Federal labor authorities to force the RCIA to stop collecting dues from me through a checkoff system with my employer. I am currently employed by Colonial Stores.
I oppose the repeal of section 14(b).
PREPARED STATEMENT OF LA RUE BERFIELD, DRIFTWOOD, PA. I faced the hard choice of joining a union I believed to be Communist dominated or being fired from my job at a plant where I had worked for 19 years, with time out for combat duty in the Air Force in World War II.
The choice was forced upon me when the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, known as the UE, entered into a so-called union shop contract with my employer, the Sylvania Electric Co. plant, at Emporium, Pa., in 1958.
I had been a member of the UE when I was expelled by the CIO on the grounds that it was Communist dominated. The UE was charged with being subversive by the U.S. Attorney General. I took an active part in an unsuccessful fight to have the UE replaced by the International Electrical Workers (IUE), and as a result wound up out of the union, but still able to hold my job because there was no "union shop" agreement at the plant at that time.
Eight years later the UE and Sylvania signed an agreement with a compulsory union membership clause and I was notified by the company that I must join the UE, or at least pay dues. I refused to either join or pay dues and was fired from the job I had held so long.
I did not pay dues to this union because I could not support such a union since it was Communist dominated. I was a member of my local school board and the civil defense organization. I would have had to resign from those positions because I took loyalty oaths in both cases, swearing that I have never been and would not be a member of an organization advocating the overthrow of the Government. It was a choice between keeping a job and betraying those oaths. I chose not to violate the oaths, even though it cost me my job.
I can't understand why our laws do not protect an American citizen from being forced, at the expense of his job, to join and support an organization dedicated to the destruction of our American Government.
Unable to obtain redress under Federal labor laws, I took my case before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, whose members expressed sympathy and pronised to do what they could by way of seeking remedial legislation. Press reports quoted members of the committee as saying I was a martyr to a legal system which protects those who associate with Communists, but not those who oppose such association.
I have no desire to be classified as a martyr. I only want my constitutional rights as an American citizen to be protected, but more importantly, I want to preserve those rights for my children.
Things were not easy in the period after I lost my job and 19 years of seniority with one company. Today my wife and I own and operate a service station and general store at the small town of Driftwood, Pa. Both of us put in a lot of hard work and long hours, but we are getting along all right now.
A right-to-work law in my State of Pennsylvania would have prevented the injustice I suffered. I feel that repeal of section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act would be a grave blow to my hopes for the protection of my constitutional rights and those of my children.
I am 44, the father of two sons. During World War II I served for 4 years in the U.S. Air Force, including 28 months in active combat duty in the Southwest Pacific.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF RAYMOND C. LOSORNIO, Tulsa, OKLA. I am Raymond C. Losornio of Tulsa, Okla., immedite past president of Tulsa Local No. 386 of the National Federation of Federal Employees. I work as an auditor for the U.S. Corps of Engineers. I have served four terms as president of
our local and have been a member of our union, which represents Federal employees, for 14 years.
I am opposed to compulsory membership and I am speaking in behalf of section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act which reserves to the States the right to prohibit compulsory unionism. It is my sincere conviction that repeal of section 14(b) would be the signal for a massive attack on voluntary unions such as the NFFE by those unions which rely on force and compulsion to gain members.
As president of Local No. 386 up to this year, when I decided not to seek reelection because of the press of other duties, an important part of my union position was selling memberships. Compulsory unionism would have made my work much easier. It would have made me less responsible to the people who pay the dues. As a union man, however, I feel that a union must gain its members on an entirely voluntary basis and that union leaders must be directly responsible to the duespaying members. That is the only way to keep a union healthy. When you start taking away from a man his freedom of choice, you are setting up a system that cannot help but lead to abuses and misuse of union power.
As the president of a union local, I suffered a great deal of abuse for my stand on right-to-work from representatives of unions which practice compulsion. My wife and I received anonymous, threatening phone calls during a right-to-work campaign in our State. But I cannot turn my back on a principle I know to be right and accept a practice I know to be wrong.
I feel very strongly that repeal of section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act would deprive many employees of their constitutional rights in forcing representation by individuals and organizations not of their own choosing. This makes it doubly important that section 14(b) be retained, thereby giving every employee his choice of representation, free of any coercion by a union or any employer
STATEMENT or ALVIN A. SCHMIDT, MIAMI, FLA. I have been an electrical worker since 1928. As a result of an injury incurred on the job during 1953, I was unable to perform my customary tasks and attempted to obtain a transfer to other duties, as called for in an agreement between management and the union and as had been recommended by my doctors. Despite repeated requests to the union and my physical inability to perform the tasks assigned me, no action on my complaint was taken.
My grievance was fully aired at two meetings of the union's exccutive board; one with management and the president, financial secretary, and business agent of my union local, and one with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers' vice president in Atlanta before he attempted to resign.
Since I lived in a right-to-work State, I was able to withdraw from the union and still keep my job. If Florida's right-to-work law were to be eliminated, I would be forced to start paying dues to a union which I found, from bitter experience, does not have my interest at heart. I was glad to be a member of and to support the union when I felt the union helped me. I feel, however, that it was my constitutional right to quit the union when I wanted to.
I strongly urge that 14(b) not be repealed.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MRS. MERIAM THOMPSON, BROTHERHOOD OF RAILWAY
STEAMSHIP HANDLERS, CLERKS, AND FREIGHT EXPRESS STATION EMPLOYEES (AFI-CIO)
In 1953 when the Southern Railway signed the union-shop agreement several of my coworkers and I decided that we could not with any conscience be forced to join the union. They had contacted us on several occasions to join the Clerks Union, but we felt that we had nothing to gain by joining, plus, on my part I have never particularly felt that unions were what I wanted or needed to work out my problems with my employer. Actually, I wanted no interference from a union.
Mr. Whiteford Blakeney had at that time, written a letter to the editor deploring the signing of the union-shop agreement between the Southern Railway and the unions. So, in preference to being fired from our jobs, we contacted Mr. Blakeney, who as you well know, is a lawyer in Charlotte, and he agreed to handle our case for us.
You know the history of the Allen case. It was at times necessary for us to appear in court, and we lost a good little bit of time from our work.
not only the time element involved, but there was also the financial end. Although Mr. Blakeney did not charge us a penny to fight our case for us through 11 long years in court, he spent several thousand dollars out of his pocket which, we of course, will pay back.
Furthermore, never having had any dealings in court, we were all pretty frightened over bringing suit against not only the unions, but also against the Southern Railway as well.
The case finally ended up in the Federal Supreme Court twice, but after so long a time, victory was Mr. Blakeney's and ours, for, as you well know, rather than open their books to the courts, the unions decided that they really did not want us as members after all. And there is another reason I would not want to join a union--their money is theirs to spend as they will without consulting its members.
What really hurt to see was the laborers and other workmen on the Southern Railway who were covered by our original injunction for several years after the signing of the union-shop agreement. The injunction finally had to be made out in the names of the individual plaintiffs, thereby no longer covering the many others thus far protected, and there were countless hundreds of these men that lost their jobs, much to their bewilderment. It was a pretty terrible thing to see men losing jobs they had held for as long as 30 to 35 years being "fired by the unions."
PREPARED STATEMENT OF HOWARD E. KELLEY, Winslow, Ariz. I am employed as a train dispatcher for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad at Winslow, Ariz.
My experience with the compulsory union membership of the so-called union shop over a period of several years has been such as to cause me to feel that repeal of section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act would be one of the worst things that could happen to the working men and women of this country. I believe that 14(b) extends the hope to every worker, including railroad employees, of eventual freedom from the tyranny of union officials that is made possible by the union shop.
It was in the 1950's that the union for my craft, the American Train Dispatchers Association, conducted an election at Winslow on a proposed union-shop agreement with the Santa Fe Railroad. We were forced to vote by open, unsealed ballot, which we had to hand to the general chairman of the ATDA union. Approximately 15 or 16 of us appeared to vote, and to the best of my knowledge, we voted unanimously against the union-shop agreement. The general chairman at that time made it clear to us that the way we voted really made no difference, and that the union intended to force us into the union shop.
This was my first experience with compulsory unionism and succeeding erperiences have been bitter ones. The ATDA did force the union-shop agreement by combining the vote of the dispatchers with that of 16 other nonoperating unions. Thus, the members of other unions were able to impose their wishes on the members of our group.
In December of 1957 the union-shop agreement went into effect and I complied by submitting an application to the ATDA with a check covering the required initiation fee and dues. On February 18, 1958, my application and check were returned with a letter notifying me that I had been “blackballed” by the union. The letter stated that I had satisfied the terms of the agreement and that my employment would not be affected. This would have been fine if it had ended the matter, but it did not.
In 1962 a new general chairman of the ATDA was elected and he told me personally that he intended to force me and four others who had been "blackballed" to pay dues to the union. Within a short time, the union began a campaign that included every type of pressure and legal action to compel me to pay dues to the union. I believed the union was legally in the wrong in its efforts to compel me to become a member and I was determined to fight back. It was not until March 17, 1965, that I finally was able to obtain a decision from an arbitrator upholding my contined exemption from the union shop and returning to me all the money I had paid to the union under protest. This battle had a measurable cost, however, of $1,583 in attorney fees and expenses, loss of time, travel expenses, etc., for myself and the other four individuals involved. In addition there were immeasurable costs in mental stress and disruption of normal family life.
The foregoing has been a very brief summary of the difficulties I have experienced because of my opposition to the union shop principle. I believe section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act and "right-to-work” must be preserved at all costs.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF Miss NANCY M. LOOPER, NATIONAL Right To WORK
COMMITTEE This statement concerns section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act. I beg of you, for the future good of our country, to do all possible to prevent repeal of section 14(b).
Unions, as private organizations, have done some good for the working class. However, that does not justify giving unions absolute power and control over the individual, over the Nation's economy and political system. That unions do good is no reason for the individual to surrender all civil liberties in exchange for stall feeding. Unions are using their strength in the fight for civil rights these days.
I am a captive worker under a union shop contract. However, I refused to join the union when my company, Southern Railway system, signed a union shop contract in 1953. At that time the application for membership stated: “I voluntarily make application for membership. If accepted, I promise to abide by the constitution and bylaws and to obey the orders of my superiors.” I, with several other employees, was fortunate enough to secure top legal talent with meager resources.
It would require too much space to relate the tensions and pressure I worked under for 12 years, the period of litigation. It takes an abiding faith in God and a vast amount of fortitude to resist the evil forces of labor They vilify and blacken, create hatred and suspicion for those who resist their demands.
I will relate only one incident, which happened in Atlanta, Ga., before the congressional investigations began. I shared an apartment with another railroad employee. She came to me one day pale with fright and sobbing. She said the grand president had just telephoned the local union officer and "ordered him to break it up.” She said she feared for my safety. I immediately located the union officer and related the message as it was given to me and asked just what he intended to do. He gave me a murderous look and said: "I hate to see you get hurt, but when this is over, people will not be so quick to get an injunction against a union.'
I survived the ordeal with the aid of a doctor and medication. Men with families cannot spend years of their lives as I did. Few have the fortitude or finances for the long strenuous struggle through the courts. Most of the working class would rather be knowingly wrong and miserable with the crowd than to stand up against the ridicule.
We produced the longest record in the history of Georgia of uncontested evidence of use of union dues money for noncollective bargaining purposes.
The unions admitted that all charges were true. We proved all major decisions and policies are made by the union representatives, with the invididual having little control over these matters.
Dues and assessments, which can be fixed at any rate by the unions, are used to support, propagate, and foster ideological and political doctrines espoused by the leaders. Dues are used to convert members and the public to political and economic ideologies of the leaders. Dues are used to elect candidates for State and Federal offices who will support the principles and doctrines espoused by the union leaders.
This makes it relatively easy for Moscow to dictate our politics. Even now Communist-doininated unions control vital communications, including those into the Pentagon and White House.
The Georgia Supreme Court said: "We believe that a single person armed witb right—the "right-to-work”-should in all courts of justice be able to defeat the selfish demands of multitudes though they be members of a labor union who seek to deprive him of that right. * * * It strikes us as being a futile gesture to sol emnly declare and sacred and indestructible constitutional right of one to freedom of speech and freedom of worship, and then sanction a denial of that same one's "right-to-work,” which is the indispensable economic support without which neither freedom could endure. One could not for long enjoy speaking and wor shiping freely if he was hungry and was denied bread or the means of obtaining it.'
Mr. Justice Douglas, concurring with the majority, quoted the Commission of Human Rights: "The social group to which the individual belongs may, like the human person himself, be wrong or right: the person alone is the judge."
Mr. Justice Douglas said: “This means that membership in a group cannot be conditioned on the individual's acceptance of the group's philosophy. Otherwise, first amendment rights are required to be exchanged for the group's attitude, philosophy, or politics. * * * Since neither Congress nor the State legislatures can abridge those rights, they cannot grant the power to private groups to abridge
them. As I read the first amendment it forbids any abridgment by Government whether directly or indirectly.”
Mr. Justice Hugo Black said: "Compelling a man by law to pay his money to elect candidates or advocate laws or doctrines he is against differs only in degree, if at all, from compelling him by law to speak for a candidate, a party, or a cause he is against. The very reason for the first amendment is to make the people of this country free to think, speak, write, and worship as they wish, not as the Government commands. * * * The stark fact is that this act of Congress is being used as a means to exact money from these employees to help get votes to win elections for parties and candidates and to support doctrines they are against. If this is constitutional, the first amendment is not the charter of political and religious liberty its sponsors believed it to be.
"That (first) amendment leaves the Federal Government no power whatever to compel one man to expend his energy, his time, or his money to advance the fortunes of candidates he would like to see defeated or to urge ideologies and causes he believes would be hurtful to the country.”
Unions are using tax-exempt status to do the things Mr. Justice Douglas and Mr. Justice Black declare unconstitutional. If this be true, Internal Revenue Service is indirectly subordinating first amendment rights where union shops exist, by allowing tax exemption for purposes described herein.
I have reported these facts to Internal Revenue Service by registered letter. Unions are even now so powerful that IRS will no doubt sweep the evidence under the rug.
Even if unions actually confined their activities to collective bargaining, there is much to be said against compulsory membership. Any and all methods, fair or foul, sabotage or lies, are the sacred rights of the working class to accomplish their purpose and to gain fringe benefits. These same methods have never been and would not be tolerated by management. Carried to an ultimate conclusion, this can lead only to despotism, tyranny, and ruin. Free enterprise must give way to collectivism. We cannot repeatedly scorn the divine laws of God, using any method to gain an end, without becoming degenerates. Man without God is nothing.
Vigilant Cicero, over 2.000 years ago, warned that only evil persons promise the people luxuries that have not been earned. Their only concern is for power, their only wish to enslave the people. Rome was once strong with faith, patriotism, and justice. Its bloody road to despotism and ruin should serve as a warning beacon to us now.
We have the history of Israel's prosperity under God, captivity and ruin when they deserted their faith and principles. Israel's King Ahab made one unholy alliance after another for political expedience and his kingdom never recovered. One such alliance was his marriage to the heathen princess Jezebel of Tyre. She was an evil person of ability and forcefulness, as are our labor leaders today. She deluded and led Israel to foreign and idolatrous altars. The kingdom was swept with immorality.
Today our Government, like Ahab, is making one unholy alliance after another with Jezebels for political expedience. Take a look at the congressional investigations of labor leaders. They all took refuge in the fifth amendment. Today these same men are demanding absolute power and control over the individual. By their own admissio:1, they want the union shop for power of discipline.
We have Apostle John's divinely inspired message to the church at Thyatira written in the first century A.D., while a slave on the Island of Patmos. John had been sent there because he was a Christian leader. Rome's ambitions had made her an ally of Satan. Christ was speaking through John on that island of rock and his message was for all generations.
In Revelations 2 :18–29, John commends the Christians at Thyatira for their works, charity, and service, but warns them against tolerating the evil Jezebel, that death and destruction would come to all who committed spiritual adultery with her. In Revelations, Jezebel is a symbol for evil, corruption, and government without God.
Thyatira was a small town in Asia Minor with little importance in that day, except that it was a town of trade guilds. All crafts were organized, the baker's the potters, tanners, workers in wool and flax, etc. No one could buy or sell without guild membership. The guilds, as our unions today, did a lot of good. However, gluttony, drunkenness, and sexual orgies were a common practice, so that there was a growing laxity about God.
Will America, the world's greatest Nation, become as a Thyatira? Will America be led to foreign and idolatrous altars by the evil genius Jezebel in the name of fringe benefits?