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Vol. 81/No. 46      December 11, 2017


25, 50 and 75 Years Ago


December 11, 1992

LOS ANGELES — California drywall construction workers won a union contract November 13 after being on strike for five months. The agreement, signed by 49 contractors and the International Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, provides for union recognition, hiring to be done through the union hall on a rotating basis, medical insurance, and a pay scale. With an estimated 4,000 drywall hangers in southern California, the struggle was the largest union organizing drive occurring in the United States.

The victory was the result of daily mass picketing that involved thousands of drywall workers throughout southern California. Hundreds of workers mobilized in demonstrations against police attacks and several deportations of strikers carried out by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

December 11, 1967

NEW YORK — Students at New York University scored a victory over Dow Chemical Company recruiters, who have been trying to get students to work for the napalm-making outfit. The NYU student government had passed a resolution stating that all recruiters on campus would have to be willing to debate students.

Dow agreed to send a person to debate. At the meeting students asked him to justify the use of napalm against the population of Vietnam. The chairman of the meeting said, “Now you know he has no answer to that question.”

The next day, about 200 students and faculty gathered in the Placement Center of NYU to further question the Dow recruiter. They jammed the hallways and held a free-speech debate with those both for and against the war speaking out. The recruiter refused to take part. At noon, the Dow man left.

December 12, 1942

Sweeping dictatorial authority to control the destinies of America’s millions of workers was granted to War Manpower Commissioner Paul V. McNutt, in an executive order issued by President Roosevelt on December 5.

The presidential decree, setting McNutt up as the virtual czar over labor in this country, opens the way toward the totalitarian regimentation of the people.

By the provision of the presidential decree McNutt has the power to shift workers from job to job, to force workers to migrate from one area to another, and to send workers from the cities into the country to perform agricultural labor.

The executive order states: “No employer shall retain in his employ any worker whose services are more urgently needed in any plant, facility, occupation or area designated by the chairman (McNutt).”  
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