Hogan, John A.
April 1949
Industrial & Labor Relations Review;Apr49, Vol. 2 Issue 3, p319
Academic Journal
In the past year and a half the leaders of organized labor in the United States have waged two eminently successful election campaigns. The first was the campaign involving the union shop elections and the second the political campaign culminating in the elections of November 2, 1948. Success in both of these tests may be fairly attributed to the organizing talent and day-to-day activity of union leaders. In the well-organized industrial areas of the country, the rank and file of union members had had little direct contact with the Taft-Hartley Act. Yet the Taft-Hartley Act was used as a powerful lever by union leaders to pry out the stay-at-home union vote in the 1948 political campaign. Union leaders and officers had had direct contact with the Taft-Hartley Act and with similar state laws. Indeed, perhaps the most important result of the Taft-Hartley Act and the state labor legislation of 1946 and 1947 was the "shock effect" of these laws on union leaders. Union officers and leaders were "alerted" to an extent seldom witnessed in the history of organized labor in this country. By skillful use of the union press and other methods of propaganda and by incessant day-to-day hammering on the issue, they made the rank and file feel what they felt — that these laws threatened the existence of the union. Then, with superb organization on a ward and precinct level, the union leaders went to work. Registration lists were checked against membership lists and against town police lists. Unregistered voters were registered. By the organization of car pools, telephone brigades, shop-gate meetings, and house-to-house doorbell ringing they got out the vote.


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