The Collaboration Club

September 25, 2007

As the first section of this Report demonstrated, the level of class struggle in the United States was much higher in the earlier stages of capitalist development than today. However, since the fundamental contradiction between labor and capital has not been resolved, class struggle even after decades of repression and cooptation remains alive if not intense. Harry Braverman in Labor and Monopoly Capital expresses the condition by explaining that "... since the workers are not destroyed as human beings but are simply utilized in inhuman ways, their critical, intelligent, conceptual facilities, no matter how deadened or diminished, always remain in some degree a threat to capital."' There are several reasons why the contradiction was not resolved at an earlier historical juncture: 1) the lack of necessary working class ideology and political leadership, 2) the extensive repression of the worker's movement by the bourgeoisie, and 3) the ability of capitalists to partially meet labor's demands for wage increases due to tremendously increased industrial productivity resulting from the Technological Revolution and to the creation of super-profits from the overseas investments of imperialism (monopoly capitalism). These factors gave rise to bourgeois social scientists theorizing about the "end of ideology," i.e., the end of class conflict and a new harmony of interests between the ruling class and workers. However, even a casual observer of the world situation can see U.S. influence and power weakening; and this means that U.S. multinational corporations will have more difficulty extracting the high level of profits necessary to maintain a higher standard of living for the U.S. working class. Present-day inflation and unemployment are signs of this crisis for U.S. imperialism. As this process intensifies, the bourgeoisie will be forced to cut back its economic costs in order to maintain its profits, and already labor is being pressured to hold wages down. Eventually, class struggle will intensify and demand a political solution. WORKERS TODAY The industrial worker, whether in the mines, the steel mill, the rubber plant or on the assembly line in Detroit, is today expressing dissatisfaction with the workplace. This job dissatisfaction has also spread to the clerical work force whose routines have become increasingly boring and monotonous. Workers in past generations were not happy about the quality of their working life, but their concerns focused more on the right to unionize, demands for a decent wage and defense against the arbitrary power of the boss. But today more workers are expressing and acting out their discontent with the job and how it's organized. In 1970, Fortune magazine summarized the situation from the management's perspective.18 For management, the truly dismaying evidence about new worker attitudes is found in job performance. Absenteeism has risen sharply; in fact it was doubled over the past ten years at General Motors and at Ford, with the sharpest climb in the past year. It has reached the point where an average of 5 percent of G.M.'s hourly workers are missing from work without explanation every day.... On some days, notably Fridays and Mondays, the figure goes as high as 10 percent. Tardiness has increased, making it even more difficult to start up the production lines promptly when a shift begins - after the foreman has scrambled around to replace missing workers. Complaints about quality are up sharply. There are more arguments with foremen, more complaints about discipline and overtime, more grievances. There is more turnover. The quit rate at Ford last year was 25.2 percent.... Some assembly-line workers are so turned off, managers report with astonishment, that they just walk away in mid-shift and don't even come back to get their pay for the time they have worked. 2 A worker who assembles dashboards at a Ford Plant declared that he had reached a dead end. The alternatives were clear: "There's only three ways out of here. You either conform and become deader each day, or you rebel, or you quit." 3 The rebellion and despair are only partially caused by job boredom or the feeling of being stuck. The brutality of production controlled by outsiders and administered by managers takes many forms: the continuous violations of workers' health and safety, the insecurity of the job, the continual speed-ups of production and the squeeze on wages during this inflationary period - all contribute to the workers' current attitude. Many of these issues are not addressed by the union representatives in the collective bargaining sessions with management, since the negotiations tend to restrict the focus to wages, pensions and insurance, duration of contract, and vacations. 4 Not only are many workers dissatisfied with the results of these negotiations, but they are angered over the union neglect of issues such as health and safety. During 1973, 11 percent of all workers had job-related injuries or illnesses according to the Department of Labor. Another study revealed that diseases suffered by*' out of every 10 factory and farm workers appear to have been caused by work conditions.s Thus many rank-and-file workers do not identify with union leaders, nor do they feel that the leadership is responsive to their needs. One opinion poll indicates that 40 percent of the membership thinks the unions represent the wishes of a few leaders. In a 1970 survey, more than two-thirds of the union members polled felt their leaders were not dedicated to the tasks of the labor movement; and 72 percent felt their unions either lost their crusading spirit, relied more on compromise, or lagged behind other organizations on important social issues. 6 This unresponsiveness and self-interest of the union bureaucracy has led to various forms of rebellion among the rank-and-file: "* The percentage of negotiated contracts involving Federal mediators which were rejected by the membership has risen sharply from 8.7 percent in 1964 to 14.2 percent in 1967, and remained over 10 percent throughout 1975.7 "* Over the past ten years, wildcat strikes which are not sanctioned by the union leadership continue at a high rate. This intensifies the conflict between the members and the union because the leadership, under the demands of the contract, must discipline the workers back to the job. * Rank-and-file, anti-leadership organizations are developing. ranging from the steelworkers' Fightback and the Teamsters' Professional Drivers Council (PROD) to left caucuses involved in local grievance demands and strikes. In response to the growing opposition, union officials are attempting to increase their power through such tactics as denying the membership the right to ratify (or reject) the contract, such as the Steelworkers' Experimental Negotiating Agreement. They also are accepting binding arbitration and 'no-strike' clauses, which are issues the union officials hear articulated in numerous labor-management organizations. 8 The extent of class collaboration is revealed by the position of a union local president during a recent membership meeting to discuss the upcoming contract negotiations with the company. When a union member argued against the 'no-strike' clause the official warned that if it was dropped from the contract the union would lose the possibility of arbitration, and thus be forced to strike to settle even a minor grievance. Perhaps this is the tradeoff (arbitration in return for no-strike) the corporate negotiators want, but the union leadership does not have to accept it. 9 INSTITUTIONS OF CONTROL The nature of labor-management relations today indicates that class collaboration has consolidated, and that the organizations where union officials meet with corporate leaders are an important forum of that collaboration. These organizations carry on a tradition of collaboration that began with the National Civic Federation, and their primary function is to control the workforce. They have become the ideological centers of collaboration serving to maintain and strengthen a form of unionism which does not threaten capitalism. Some of these organizations, like the Work In America Institute, serve as think tanks where major aspects of the labor-capital conflict are analyzed. Their goal is "industrial peace" achieved by coopting class struggle while increasing production. Specific issues discussed in such institites include: "* Institutionalizing collective bargaining as the primary mechanism of union-management collaboration. "* Increasing productivity, especially during the current economic crisis, and convincing the union officials that they must share in this national responsibility. One consequence of this collaboration is that unions allow introduction of cost-saving technology which causes layoffs "* Controlling worker discontent, which indicates distrust of the leadership and sabotages productivity, is a common concern of both union and corporate officials. Labor- management organizations analyze methods to pacify workers, such as employee stock ownership plans, job redesign, worker participation on the corporate board of directors (co-determination), etc. "* Developing support for U.S. foreign economic policy, specifically the need to protect the multinational corporation. Labor leaders since the turn of the century have supported the policies and actions of U:S. imperialism. They have collaborated not only with corporate officials but also the CIA's covert operations against progressive labor movements in other countries. o19 The purpose and activities of contemporary labor- management organizations have not been adequately investigated. Meanwhile, these organizations have researched and collected data on every aspect of the working class. Very few workers are even aware of the existence of these organizations whose members' discussions affect the future of all working people. Union members, particularly, should know whom their elected officials are meeting with and what they are planning. In this preliminary study, we focus on three organizations as the most revealing examples of labor- management collaboration: Institute of Collective Bargaining, Work in America Institute, and the National Center for Productivity & Quality of Working Life. INSTITUTE OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINNING In 1968, in the midst of serious labor disputes, the Institute of Collective Bargaining (ICB) was formed by leaders of labor and management. In the words of two ICB officers (Lane Kirkland, Secretary-Treasurer of AFL-CIO, and Elmer Klassen, Deputy Postmaster General and former President of American Can Co.), "we were drawn together by a mutual belief in collective bargaining - a conviction that this process of joint and voluntary determination of group differences had proven its value in the work place as the most effective method of resolving disputes." They added that "in a democratic society there is no alternative to collective bargaining." " Since collective bargaining is the keystone of contract unionism and is a mechanism accepted by the large corporations to maintain class collaboration, it is not surprising that an organization like ICB was formed. Its purpose is to bring together management and the labor officials in order to review collective bargaining in specific industries and companies, and also to strengthen and defend the process from attacks by both small competitive capitalists and anti-class collaborationists within the labor movement. ICB conducts annual collective bargaining forums, and the proceedings were published for 1969, 1970 and 1971. However, ICB no longer publishes its proceedings but it continues to hold annual, as well as monthly, luncheons and conferences for labor and business leaders. Primary concern in the early conferences other than specific industry case studies centered on the relationship of collective bargaining to resolution of conflict, public employees, the effect of the economy, labor legislation, media coverage, multinational corporations, rank-and-file rejection of contracts and alternatives to the strike. During one conference discussion of the contract rejection problem, the Vice-President for Industrial Relations of Bendix Corp., after implying that union officials are not totally competent in obtaining ratification of negotiated contracts, added that, "much has already been said about the role that management can play in assisting unions to obtain ratification... ." 12 Another session presented the arguments for dropping, the ratification process altogether. First, the speaker explained that the "practice of submitting negotiated agreements to the union members to be ratified by a majority vote is a uniquely U.S. invention." After pointing out that radicals are infiltrating the unions, he identified the contradiction faced by the union officials who have lost contact with the workers. "The use of the ratification vote as a method of sounding out the wishes of the group [rank-and-file] will increase as the leaders attempt to protect themselves from the hostilities that are arising within union groups. Any increase in the use of ratification votes for such Philadelphia construction workers storm anti-union building site in 1973.20 KHEEL'S UNION FRIENDS Uneven Kheel One of the key elements of collective bargaining is the use of mediators and arbitrators to serve as "neutral" third parties during labor-management disputes. The rank-and-file are told by the union that these arbitrators should be accepted as impartial judges. The following look at one of the better known labor mediators should demonstrate that, while these "neutrals" may be friends of union officials, they cannot be considered impartial in the overall labor-capital struggle. According to many union officials and businessmen, 62 year old Theodore Kheel is a first-class mediator and "labor" lawyer. A partner in the firm of Battle, Fowler, Stokes & Kheel, he has been a top labor troubleshooter and advisor for presidents Kennedy and Johnson. When urban riots erupted in the mid-1960's, President Johnson appointed Kheel to head the National Citizens' Committee for Community Relations. Kheel also served the President as a special consultant on Equal Employment Opportunity and as a member of the Maritime Advisory Commission. Kheel is well connected with the labor crisis management establishment, having served as head of the Institute of Collective Bargaining, as a director of the American Arbitration Association, and as president of the Urban League. Kheel's first job was in the legal office of the New Deal's National Labor Relations Board, but when World War II broke out he transferred to the War Labor Board. Based in New York City, Kheel tried his hand at labor relations consulting after the war, but returned to government work with the city's labor relations division until joining the law firm in 1949. KHEEL THE CAPITALIST Kheel has another side to his life - he's a wheeler-dealer capitalist, sitting on the board of directors of Athlone Industries, M.S. Smelting & Mining Corp. and Western Union. In explaining why he is a stockholder in all these companies, Kheel said he likes "... to have some reason for being a director." In 1965, the Swiss-based Lebanese financier Edmond Safra called on Kheel to charter the new Republic National Bank of New York. From then until he resigned in 1975, Kheel was chairman of the bank's board. (Republic National was identified in Congressional hearings as having been the largest depository of South Vietnamese black market currency during the Vietnam War.) As bank chairman, Kheel showed that he was not above changing his stand on issues when business interests dictated. When Governor Rockefeller's $2.5 billion transportation bond was rejected by New York voters, Kheel was generally credited with the defeat. However, by the time Rockefeller reintroduced a $3.5 billion version of the bond issue in 1973, Kheel was seeking approval from the State Banking Department for a merger of his Republic National Bank and the Brooklyn-based Kings Lafayette Trust Co. The second time around Kheel fought to get the issue passed. Kheel's close relationship with labor officials has helped him in his various capitalist ventures. In 1968, for example, he and other investors organized Stirling Homex, a modular housing company. After conferring with AFL-CIO's Lane Kirkland, Kheel negotiated for the company the first industrialized home builder contract with the building trades union, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and joiners. In addition to $50,000 in legal fees in 1970, Kheel also received a directorship in the company and an option to purchase 200,000 shares of stock at $1 each (which he exercised). When Stirling went public the stock skyrocketed to $51 per share. Several years later, when Stirling Homex went bankrupt and five company officers were convicted of a $40 million stock fraud scheme, Kheel was somehow able to steer clear of indictment. Kheel also used his labor ties to help capital arrange financing from union funds. He put together, for example, over $8 million from the Bakery and Confectionary Workers and the Lithographers Union welfare funds to help finance the Kheel-Gilbane housing development for 1,200 middle class homes in Panama in the 1960's. YANKEE'S LABOR IMPERIALIST Perhaps the best illustration of Kheel's contacts is provided by the 150,000 acre Punta Cana resort and plantation project in the Dominican Republic which he masterminded. Organized in 1969, four years after the U.S. invasion had secured the island for such investments, the project has had a sordid history from the beginning. In 1968, a man went to the courthouse in the provincial capital of Santiago and said he owned the land then occupied by peasant families but had lost his deed. The court then placed a classified ad in the newspaper asking if anyone cared to challenge the claim. After three days, when no peasant made the 140-mile trek to contest the claim, the court awarded a new deed to the man, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez. One year later he sold it for $115,000 to Kheel's new corporation, CODDETREISA. Eviction of the peasants began almost immediately, and the most any family received in compensation was $50-$70. Many received nothing. When some peasant families refused to move, "soldiers came from the palace" of President Balaguer to force them out. Kheel is the largest stockholder in the Punta Cana resort. Other investors include labor's top leaders: George Meany, Lane Kirkland, Edward Carlough (president of the sheet- metal workers) and Alexander Barkan (director of AFL- CIO's lobbying unit, COPE). Keith Terpe (president of the Latin American division of the Seafarers union) added his name to the list of Punta Cana investors, which includes Joseph Kahn and Howard Pack, chairman and president of Seatrain Lines, which employs members of Terpe's union. (Terpe was later indicted in Puerto Rico for misappropriation of union funds.) Also on the list of investors is John T. Dunlop, former Harvard dean who directed Nixon's wage-price freeze and who later became Secretary of Labor. Sources: The Vialoge Voice, November 1, 1973; Paul Hoffman, Lions in the Street (Saturday Review Press, N.Y., 1973); New York Times December 16, 1973 and January 30, 1977; Wall Streetjournol, May 25, 1973; Who's Who inAmerica, 1976-77; Fortune, January 1975, pp. 121-22.21 purposes will injure the collective bargaining process"" 3 (Emphasis added). For the union bureaucrats (which included I. W. Abel) participating in that ICB meeting, that advice makes a lot of sense - rank-and-file steel workers are not allowed to vote on their contract. Another tactic which is pushed within the ICB meetings is "alternatives to the strike." It is difficult to imagine how a union leader could seriously consider this proposal but in 1973, I. W. Abel, President of the United Steelmakers of America, accepted a no-strike clause in the contract with the industry. Ray Siemiller, former President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, in an effort to convince the businessmen at the ICB conference that collaboration was real, stated: "I doubt that there will ever be such a strike [creating a national emergency] because the American trade union movement is not engaged in class warfare; we are not seeking to destroy the system but to strengthen it.""1 Apparently the ICB has been convinced. When asked by NACLA about radical sounding statements made recently by ICB's new president, William Winpisinger, an ICB official responded by reaffirming that, the thing that distinguishes the American labor leadership from the European labor leadership is that they're non-revolutionary. Americans sign contracts for three years. During those three years you abide by the terms of the contract, and if you have any differences you submit them to arbitrators. Europeans don't have contracts. If they have a disagreement they go on strike. There's no such thing as an enforcing labor contract like in the United States where you can go to the courts and get an injunction. Also, they use strikes in a political context in Europe, not just on economic issues. The AFL-CIO has a very effective lobbying force in Washington, but their political activity is limited to lobbying, not the strike. They only strike on economic issues.'t ICB MEMBERS Chairman, Frank Borman - chairman, Eastern Airlines President, William Winpisinger - president, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Executive director, Theodore Kheel - partner, Battle, Fowler, Stokes & Kheel I. W. Abel - president, United Steelworkers of America Martin Davis - vice president, Gulf + Western Industries Frank Gallucci - vice president, Essex International Robert Georgine - president, Building and Construction Trades Dept., AFL-CIO Lane Kirkland - secretary-treasurer, AFL-CIO John O'Connell - vice president for labor relations, Bethlehem Steel Rex Reed - vice president for labor relations, AT&T Bayard Rustin - executive director, A. Philip Randolph Institute Jacob Sheinkman - secretary-treasurer, Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America Glenn Watts - president, Communication Workers of America D. Bruce Wiesley - vice-president, American Can Co. While the labor situation in Europe is not as uniform as the ICB official's quote suggests, the U.S. structure of labor laws, arbitration and contract enforcement is more developed than in the European counties. Italian unions offer the sharpest contrast to their U.S. counterparts. In Italy, all unions (including the public sector) have the right to strike (i.e., no legislation limits strike action). Trade union opposition has been a key factor in the government's reluctance to enact labor laws. The unions resist attempts to legislate what they can do, realizing this would also imply what they can not do. During the 1960s, the Italian unions accepted "truce" clauses in their collective agreements with management; however, they were not enforceable by the courts. After the "hot autumn" strikes in 1969, Italian unions refused even temporarily to waive their strike weapon since this would be a "surrender to a class enemy." WORK IN AMERICA INSTITUTE Whereas the ICB addresses issues directly related to the maintenance of contract unionism, the Work in America Institute (WAI) is concerned with developing sophisticated responses to the interrelated crises of worker alienation and stagnating productivity. In its own words, WAI aims to serve all elements of American industrial society by bringing together representatives from management, labor and government in a non-adversary setting to consider their common goals. Its ultimate goal is the solution of problems for the benefit of society as a whole. To accomplish this end, the Institute combines the talent, support and trust of management, labor, government and the foundations. To establish its guidelines, it draws upon developments in the United States and abroad, where changing concepts of work are having a profound impact." Its board of directors represent the reform-wing of the capitalist system whose goal is to maintain the basic class relationships through the tactic of cooptation: - WAI Chairman is Clark Kerr, who was a labor mediator, University of California (Berkeley) Chancellor and presently is chairman of the Carnegie Council on Policy Studies in Higher Education. - WAI President is Jerome M. Rosow, former Assistant Secretary of Labor and later Manager of Exxon's Public Affairs planning. - Irving Bluestone - Vice-President and Director, General Motors Dept., United Auto Workers. - Thomas Donahue - Executive Assistant to George Meany, AFL-CIO. - Robert D. Lilley - President, American Telephone & Telegraph. - Frederick R. Livingston - Senior Partner, Keye, Schoder, Fierman, Hays and Handler. - Gertrude G. Michelson - Senior Vice President, R. H. Macy. - William W. Winpisinger - President, International Associa- tion of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. - Daniel Yankelovich - President, Yankelovich, Skelly and White; Professor, NYU, New School. WAI is funded both by unions and corporations, with Rockefeller influence quite apparent. Sources include three Rockefeller-connected corporations (AT&T, Equitable Life Assurance Society and Exxon), John D. Rockefeller III, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Ford Foundation, German Marshall Fund of the United States, AFL-CIO, International22 Association of Machinists, UAW, Department of Commerce, HEW, and Labor, and the National Center for Productivity and Quality of Working Life. Headquartered in Scarsdale, N.Y., with an office in Washington, D.C., WAI's work is focused on the following areas: 1) quality of working life - to explore opportunity, recognition, participation, and reward for employees so as to emphasize their involvement and their contribution to their employers. 2) productivity - to focus upon the human factors in the productivity equation, including the interaction of job security needs and managing the human costs of productivity change to enhance the effectiveness of corporations. 3) education and the world of work - building bridges from education to the world of work to improve the match between the entry worker and the job. 4) employee/management cooperation - to recognize that employees contribute important know-how and ingenuity to increase output, reduce waste, maintain product quality, and improve morale; to minimize counter-productive behavior. 5) national manpower policies - to examine policies in the U.S. and other industrialized nations in terms of their implications for productivity and quality of working life. WAI serves as a clearinghouse for information relating to these issues. It publishes the monthly World of Work Report and original reports by its staff and other contributors. WAI has developed an information retrieval system of current research for business and union officials. In addition, the Institute sponsors conferences and seminars, worker- exchange programs in which small groups of blue or white collar workers are sent to corporations where new techniques are being practiced, and it co-sponsors with other organizations programs to train management and union officials in new techniques. These programs are important in the cooptive and class collaboration process, because management must be convinced that their new practices will in fact increase productivity and union bureaucrats want to be reassured that these developments will not weaken their control over rank-and-file workers. In the historical section of this Report, it was pointed out that sixty years ago certain industrialists and their academic advisors watched closely the developments in labor- management relations in Europe. Today, through the WAI and similar organizations, many of the same U.S. bourgeoisie are turning again to Europe to learn from the experiments in co-determination, worker participation in decisions and job redesign. WAI represents the thinking of the advanced sector of the bourgeoisie. They recognized the modern proletariat's discontent and try to devise methods to coopt it. The sophisticated labor-management intellectuals assert that the important contradiction is between democracy in society and The "Left"and Right of Collaborationism Two future trends in the labor bureaucracy are best represented by Lane Kirkland and William Winpisinger. Kirkland has been George Meany's right-hand man since 1961, and has served as AFL-CIO's secretary-treasurer since 1969. He is mentioned most often as Meany's hand-picked successor, possibly by the end of the year. Winpisinger, newly elected president of the International Association of Machinists (IAM), represents a new reformist tendency within the labor movement. Both men view labor's involvement in the political economy differently, but both Winpisinger and Kirkland actively collaborate with management in numerous organizations. WINPISINGER "Wimp" Winpisinger has risen rapidly to the leadership of the nation's fifth largest union (936,000 members). A high school dropout and former auto mechanic, Winpisinger has served as IAM's general vice president and chief of staff since 1972. As an outspoken critic of Meany, he will join the AFL-CIO's 35;member executive council and attempt to wrest control from the conservative building-trade unions. Winpisinger speculated, "I think maybe we might see the emergence of a leftward movement [in the executive council]." He considers council allies to be Jerry Wurf (American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees), A. F. Grospiron (Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers), Glenn E. Watts (Communication Workers of America), and Douglas Fraser (United Auto Workers) if their re-affiliation with the AFL-CIO materializes. Winpisinger says that the unions should be more involved in social and economic policy, including legislation. He acknowledges the unions have abandoned the unorganized workers, but argues this policy should be changed. He wants the defense budget cut and says the unions' traditional bread-and-butter goals are not sufficient when faced with the power of the multinational corporations. "Unemployment is the great suppressant of any leftist trend in the society. It stifles dissent on the campuses, among welfare mothers, in the factories and everywhere else. The labor movement is drifting to the right along with everybody else. We have to convince our members, even those with annual earnings in the $20,000 range, that they should not be saving their contempt for those beneath them but for the 4 percent of the population that owns 70 percent of the wealth." However, as radical as these statements may sound, Winpisinger is seeking solutions to these problems through collaboration with the ruling class. In addition to his board membership on the Work in America Institute (see above) and the only labor participant in the Conference Board's Labor Relations Forum, he is23 authoritarianism in the workplace. One example of their approach is to study the new "work-teams" at the SAAB and Volvo assembly plants in Sweden, and then send union members for on-the-job indoctrination. Profit-sharing plans become another method to raise workers' tolerance of the job conditions. Since the key factor to implementation is agreement from management, such organizations as the Profit Sharing Research Foundation provide data which demonstrate that overall profits are significantly higher for companies which have the plan. And union officials are clearly following the capitalists' lead. UAW official and WAI director Irving Bluestone admits, "Just as management is beginning to ponder the new problems of discontent and frustration in the work force, so most unions join in finding new ways to meet these problems." " 7 The concern of union leaders is based on the fact that alienated workers, regardless of age, are less loyal to their unions; and members are rebelling against what they consider "unresponsive" and "irrelevant" union leadership.' 8 NATIONAL CENTER FOR PRODUCTIVITY AND QUALITY OF WORKING LIFE When inflation started to rise in 1970, President Nixon created the National Commission on Productivity. In 1975, the phrase "quality of working life" was tacked on to the title to pacify the labor officials because government and business realized they could not accomplish their goal (increased productivity) unless the labor bureaucracy collaborated in the scheme. Moreover, even labor's cooperation does not insure its success. Under the chairmanship of Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller, officials from labor, business and government have come together "to help improve the morale and quality of work of the American worker." 9 NCP objectives are to: - encourage labor-management collaboration. - document and recommend policies to satisfy the economy's capital investment needs from a productivity standpoint. - without compromising current legislation, identify and recommend changes in government regulations which will improve productivity both in the private and public sectors. - develop a better understanding of the concept of productivity (i.e., sell the idea to workers) and encourage better techniques for measuring productivity change (i.e., determining whether the workers are really cooperating). - stimulate and support business efforts to conduct programs for industry-wide productivity improvement." An NCP board of directors meeting might be mistaken for a contract negotiation session since union leaders are sitting with executives from companies with which they bargain - the current president of the Institute of Collective Bargaining (also see above) whose chairman is Frank Borman of Eastern Airlines where the Machinists union represents the mechanics. Winpisinger doesn't lay out very clearly how things are going to move "leftward," but the Institute's Theodore Kheel does not sound alarmed. "He's not a militant in the sense that he'll hit his head against the wall, or that he'll fit his actions into some ideology. He is a militant member of the establishment because he is interested in collective bargaining, and collective bargaining is an establishment system." KIRKLAND Lane Kirkland has been in the labor bureaucracy for the past 30 years without even coming up through the union. After attending Newbury College, he graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and served as a ship's officer for Lykes Bros. Steamship Co. and United States Lines. During this period he joined the National Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots of America. After a short stint as a scientist with the Department of Navy, Kirkland enrolled and received a B.S. from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. In 1948 he joined the research staff of the AFL and became assistant director of the federation's department of social security. The next two years (1958-60) he was director of research and education at the International Union of Operating Engineers. His important move came when Meany recruited him to be his executive assistant, a post Kirkland held until his selection in 1969 to the AFL-CIO's number two position, secretary-treasurer. One of Kirkland's jobs is to administer the bureaucracy's $23 million assets. Kirkland usually lets Meany do the talking, but his own public statements do not deviate significantly from his boss's reactionary positions. Kirkland is more vocal on international issues, and his hawkish anti-communism allies him with the Pentagon on the Soviet threat. In the newly-formed Committee on the Present Danger, Kirkland helps plan a new militarism with former CIA director William Colby, John Connally, investment banker and former Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon and retired Admi;ral Elmo Zumwalt. A strong supporter of Richard Nixon and a good friend of Nelson Rockefeller, Kirkland was chosen as labor's representative for the Rockefeller Commission's whitewash of the CIA. Kirkland was acquainted with the Agency's covert operations through his membership in the American Institute for Free Labor Development. His training as a class collaborationist makes him a logical replacement for Meany. Kirkland is a former president of the Institute of Collective Bargaining, sits on the board of the Foundation of Automation and Employment, and is a token labor member, along with I. W. Abel and Leonard Woodcock, of the Trilateral Commission. The Commission was founded in 1973 under the guidance of David Rockefeller in response to the weakening of U.S. hegemony over the major capitalist nations. It brings together leaders from North America, Japan and Western Europe to work out strategies for rebuilding a strong Western alliance. Many key posts in the Carter administration, including the presidency, have been filled by Trilateral members. Sources: Business Week (2/21/77), New York Times (2/9/77), Labor Relations Outlook, 1977 (The Conference Board, December 1976), Who's Who in America 1976-77, New York Times, January 11, 1977).24 i. W. Abel (United Steel Workers) with R. Heath Larry (U.S. Steel Corp.); C. L. Dennis (Brotherhood of Railway, Airline and Steamship Employees) with F. E. Bennett (Union Pacific Railroad) and Edward Carlson (United Airlines); Frank Fitzsimmons (Teamsters) with John F. O'Connell (Bechtel Corp.) and Jerome Rosow (formerly Exxon), whose companies and union worked together on the Alaska pipeline. An important aspect of NCP's initial work is the establishment and consolidation of various types of labor-management committees. During 1976, NCP arranged workshops around the country attended by several thousand labor and management leaders. Other organizations assisting this plan include government agencies like the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, university industrial relations schools, management associations and the Work in America Institute (see above). NCP has published a Directory of Labor-Management Committees citing 180 committees whose officers will help others begin the collaboration process. 2 ' One important example of the labor-management committees already in operation is in the steel industry. After World War II when European and Japanese steel capacity had been devastated, the U.S. steel industry was in a dominant position in the domestic and worldwide markets. But by the 1960's foreign steel production had been rebuilt, modernized and had penetrated world markets - eventually the United States itself.* With the U.S. steel industry being squeezed, the big companies approached the United Steel Workers of America (USWA) during the 1971 contract negotiations with the problem of productivity. This was the first real test for USWA President I. W. Abel, who had won the 1965 election because of his attack on the "tuxedo unionism" of David McDonald. But Abel chose collaboration with the ten basic steel companies and agreed to have the unions participate in productivity committees. Some 250 plant committees were created throughout the industry to develop time-saving devices, reduce breakdowns and delays, improve quality of steel and eliminate waste. Moreover, "[A] clear understanding existed that the committees would not discuss issues which were in conflict with the collective bargaining agreement." 22 But the workers saw the company scheme as an excuse for speedups and layoffs. John T. Harrigan, Vice-President for Operations, Alan Wood Steel Co., explained how his company dealt with the workers' concerns. We found that one thing that seemed to be holding up the program was the workers' hostility to the word "productivity." To them it meant more work and less jobs. In other words, our major role was communications. We changed the committee name to "Job Protection and Alan Wood Growth," and gave some special training to supervisory union and company people " 2 3 (Emphasis added). * The monopolized sector of the U.S. steel industry has created a contradictory situation through its investment in steel production overseas. These large steel companies oppose tariffs which would limit the importation of foreign- produced steel into the United States, since this action would provoke similar restrictions by countries in which they have investments. U.S. steel companies want to remain competitive by forcing workers to speed up production, tie wages to productivity and accept layoffs. Whatever hopes steelworkers may have had regarding Abel's concern for their welfare vanished in 1973, when he gained the approval of all the local union presidents for the Experimental Negotiating Agreement (ENA). First used in the 1974 contract, ENA included a no-strike clause and agreed that all unresolved grievances would be'handled by arbitration. Once the companies were assured there would be no strikes, they stopped stockpiling steel. It was such policies of collaboration with the industrialists that provided the focus for Ed Sadlowski's rank-and-file support in his recent bid for the union presidency. UUNULUbIUN The review of these selected organizations is intended to introduce and alert the reader to the increasing activity in labor-management relations. Only organizations whose mem- bership includes representatives of both labor and capital have been considered since the purpose has been to reveal the trend toward increasing class collaboration. Many more organizational examples exist, from the plant committees to industrial relations schools, from the joint union-industry boards to national and international commissions. Within these organizations, the cards are stacked in favor of business for several reasons. First, the capitalist owns the means of production and thus controls the work place, and no union officials dispute this fundamental class relationship. A government official at a recent labor-management conference stated it clearly: "We are saying to them [management] that it is right that you retain the right to make that final decision [to accept or reject the union's suggestions]-we're not saying that management should ever lose that right-what we are saying is that before that final decision is made, hear the views and concerns of the people involved in that working environment and base that final decision on the views and concerns of those people." 2 Would anyone dispute that final decisions are based, in fact, on profits?25 Another reason for management's upper hand in these organizations is their monopoly on the expertise. Although labor officials sit on the board of trustees of many industrial relations schools, many more of the graduates go into the corporate hierarchy than into the unions. For example, the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, one of the most prestigious and active schools in this field, did a survey of where their alumni went. The results were business-46%, law firms-12%, education- 17%, government-15%, and labor-3%.2 In addition, many corporations in their attempt to control the workforce and strengthen union collaboration have elevated the task of labor relations to the status of vice-presidency within the corporate structure. When collective bargaining becomes the primary mechanism for defending workers' rights, when union leaders become pacified by $50,000-$100,000 salaries and centralized power, and when they do not identify with and fight for the working class, then they are collaborating with the ruling class. Contract unionism and its leadership is thoroughly under the influence of bourgeois ideology (i.e., labor and capital are not in conflict, property is primary and thus capitalism is the best system, individual rights and competition are central, etc.). Since today's dominant labor leadership is collaborationist and staunchly anti-communist, their commitment will be to strengthening capitalism. And with the current economic crisis, which has intensified the attack on labor, contract unionism, protected and legislated by the State, will continue to provide the cover for the exploitation of the working class. The antagonism between the rank and file and the union bureaucrats will certainly intensify. By Jon Frappier GUIDE TO SELECTED LABOR-MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATIONS American Arbitration Association (AAA) 140 West 51st St, NY, NY 10020 Formed in 1926, AAA is a membership organization which administers the settlement of labor and other disputes through its 22 regional offices. With an annual budget of over $1 million and a 250 member staff, AAA provides its union and corporate members with various services, including six specialized publications. Over 90 percent of all collective bargaining contracts have arbitration clauses for the settlement of grievances. AAA was involved in 13,000 arbitration cases in 1975. AAA also created the Labor Management Institute to develop "new dispute- settling techniques." Industrial Relations Research Association (IRRA) 7114 Social Science Building, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc., 53706 Founded in 1947, the IRRA now has about 4,000 members from unions, business, government and academia. It publishes proceedings from semi-annual meetings and a quarterly newsletter. Institute of Collective Bargaining (ICB)* 49 East 68th St., NY, NY 10021 Work in America Institute (WAI)* 700 White Plains Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583 REFERENCES HISTORY 1. V. 1. Lenin, "Differences In the European Labor Movement," Against Revisionism, In Defense of Marxism, (Moscow, Progress Publishers. 1970), p. 46. 2. Philip S. Foner, "Labor Moves Into A New Century," History of the Labor Movement in the United States, Vol. III, (New York, International Publishers, 1964), p.p. 11-31. 3. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 5. Anthony Bimba, The History of the American Working Class, (New York, International Publishers, 1937), p. 226. 6. R. Radosh, The Development of the Corporate Ideology of Jamestown Labor-Management Committee City Hall, Jamestown, NY 14701 Jamestown, a factory city of 40,000, has a history of militant labor struggle. This committee represents an attempt to cut unemployment and build industrial peace. It is an important model for future labor-management relations. Labor-Management Relations Service of the National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National Association of Cities 1620 I St., NW, Washington, DC 20006 An attempt by city government employers to work out peaceful relations with public employee unions. National Center for Productivity and Quality of Working Life* 2000 M St., NW, Suite 3002, Washington, D.C. 20036 National Commission for Industrial Peace (NCIP) Washington, D.C. 2006 Established by President Nixon in 1973, NCIP published its Report and Recommendations the following year. * Indicates organization is covered in accompanying article. American Labor Leaders, 1914-1933, (Unpublished Dissertation, 1968), pp. 25-26. 7. Foner, op. cit., p. 61. 8. Warren R. Van Tine, The Making of the Labor Bureaucrat, (University of Massachusetts, 1973), pp. 74-75. 9. J. Weinstein, "Gompers and the Left," Studies On the Left, V. 5 #4, pp. 98-99. 10. P. Foner, "Historical Materialism," Studies on the Left, V. 6 #2, pp. 72-73. 11. Bimba, op. cit., p. 229. 12. Foner, Vol lII, op. cit., pp. 71-72. 13. Radosh, "Corporate Ideology," Studies On the Left, V. 6 #6, p. 62. 14. Van Tine, op. cit., pp. 80-81.26 15. Ibid. 16. Ibid. 17. Sidney Lens, The Crisis of American Labor, (N.Y., 1959), pp. 80-81. 18. Ibid. 19. Van Tine, op. cit., p. 80. 20. William Z. Foster, Misleaders of Labor, (T.U.E.L., 1927), pp. 54-55. 21. Robert Leiter, Labor Problems and Trade Unionism, (New York, Barnes and Noble, 1952), p. 134. 22. Bimba, op. cit., pp. 250-251. 23. Ibid.; Foster, History of the CPUSA. (New York, Inter- national Publishers, 1952), pp. 136-142; Philip Foner, The Industrial Workers of the World, History of the Labor Movement Vol. IV, pp. 549-559. 24. Radosh, "Corporate Ideology," op. cit., p. 68. 25. Selig Perlman, "Labour and Capital in the USA, 1920-1937," Organized Labor in Four Continents. (ed.) Marquand, (Great Britain, Longmans, Green, 1939), pp. 330-331. 27. Perlman, op. cit., pp. 345-346. 28. Ibid., p. 336. 29. Collier and Horowitz, The Rockefellers, (New York, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1976),_pp. 142-143. 30. Radosh, "Corporate Ideology," op. cit., p. 70. 31. The most flagrant example of this was the endorsement at the 1923 AFL convention of the B. & O. Plan. The B. & O. (Baltimore and Ohio Railroad) Plan was an agreement in which the union purchased recognition from the railroad employers by supplying efficiency engineers who "with the authority of the union behind them, speed up production, eliminate waste, reduce the cost of production and eliminate undesirable workers and union working rules that hamper efficiency in profit making." Foster, Misleaders, op. cit. 32. Bimba, op. cit., pp. 357-368. 33. Joseph G. Rayback, A History of American Labor, (New York, 1966), pp. 318-319. 34. Lens, op. cit., p. 57. 35. [bid. 36. Rayback, op. cit., pp. 330-331. STATE AND LABOR RELATIONS 1. Harry A. Millis and Emily Clark Brown, From the Wagner Act to Taft-Hartley (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press), 1950, pp. 3-14. 2. For a detailed history of Wagner see, J. Joseph Huthmacher, Senator Robert F. Wagner and the Rise of Urban Liberalism (New York: Atheneum), 1968. 3. Ibid., pp. 196-98. See also R. W. Fleming, "The Significance of the Wagner Act," in Labor and the New Deal, ed. by Milton Derber and Edwin Young (Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press), 1957. 4. Quoted in Leon Keyserling, "Why the Wagner Act?" in The Wagner Act. After Ten Years, ed. by Louis G. Silverberg (Washington, D.C.: Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.), 1945, p. 13. 5. Ibid., p. 8. 6. Ibid., p. 11. 7. Millis, op. cit., p. 98. 8. Ibid., p. 205. 9. Keyserling, op. cit., p. 17. 10. Millis, op. cit., pp. 316-331. 11. For an excellent analysis of U.S. labor during the war years see the entire issue, Radical America, Vol. 9, No. 4-5, July-August 1975. 12. Matthew Josephson, Sidney Hillman: Statesman of American Labor (New York: Doubleday & Co.), 1952, p. 557. For an additional account of labor's participation in the war effort see, Joel Seidman, American Labor from Defense to Reconversion (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press), 1953. 13. Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morals, Labor's Untold Story (New York: United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, 1955), pp. 332, 337; and Josephson, op. cit., p. 580. 14. James Green, "Fighting on Two Fronts: Working Class Militancy in the 1940's," Radical America, op. cit. 15. Ibid., p. 42. 16. Josephson, op. cit. p. 527. 17. Ibid., p. 572. 18 Jack Barbash, The Practice of Unionism (New York: Harper & Bros.), 1956, p. 266. 19. Nelson Lichtenstein, "Defending the No-Strike Pledge: CIO Politics During World War II," Radical America, op. cit., p. 59. 20. Green, op. cit., p. 33. 21. Boyer and Morais, op. cit., p. 351. 22. New York Times, August 17, 1945. 23. New York Times, December 4, 1945. 24. Congress of Industrial Organizations, The Drive Against Labor (Washington, D.C.: CIO), 1947, p. 34. Good expose of the political attack on labor behind the Taft-Hartley Act. 25. See, Millis, op. cit., Part III. 26. Boyer and Morais, op. cit., p. 348. 27. Ibid., p. 347. 28. Labor Fact Book 11 (New York: International Publishers, 1953), p. 111. 29. NACLA interview, February 1977; for more on the current NLRB see National Journal December 19, 1970, pp. 2757-2770, Business Week, November 8, 1976. 30. Brochure, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Wash- ington, D.C. 20427. 31. Labor Fact Book, op. cit. 32. Joseph Shister, "The Impact of the Taft-Hartley Act on Union Strength and Collective Bargaining," in The Taft-Hartley Act After Ten Years. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 11, No. 3, April 1958; and New York Times. June 18, 1972. 33. Labor Fact Book 10 (New York: International Publishers, 1951), p. 106. 34. New York Times, September 11, 1953. For more on Landrum-Griffin see, James Youndahl, "Law, Democracy and Unions," New Politics, Vol. IV, No. 1, Winter 1965. 35. New York Herald Tribune, December 16, 1960. LABOR-MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATIONS 1. Harry Braverman, Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century (Monthly Review Press, New York, 1974), p. 139. 2. Fortune, July 1970, p. 70. 3. New York Times, April 2, 1972. 4. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service - Twenty-Eighth AnnualReport, Fiscal Year 1975, p. 37. 5. New York Times, May 12, 1975. 6. Derek C. Bok and John T. Dunlop, Labor and the American Community (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1970), p. 21; and Albert R. Verri, A Survey of Trade Union Members' Attitudes to Some Current Major Social Questions (Roosevelt University, Labor Education Division, Chicago, 1970), p. 5. 7. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, op. cit., p. 37. 8. Collective Bargaining Forum, "Exploring Alternatives to the Strike," Monthly Labor Review, September 1973, pp. 35-66. 9. Interview with union members in Oakland, CA. 10. Previous NACLA Reports have included articles on U.S. unions in Puerto Rico, and the American Institute for Free Labor Development in Argentina and the Dominican Republic. 11. Collective Bargaining Today: Proceedings of the Collective Bargaining Forum - 1969 (The Bureau of National Affairs, Washington, D.C., 1970), p. vii. 12. Ibid.,p. 119. 13. Ibid., p. 129. 14. Ibid., p. 36. 15. Interview with Institute of Collective Bargaining official, March 1977. 16. Work in America Institute brochure. 17. Special Task Force to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Work in America (MIT Press, Cambridge, 1973), p. 114. 18. Harold L. Sheppard and Neal Herrick, Where Have All the Robots Gone? Worker Dissatisfaction in the '70s (The Free Press, New York, 1972). 19. National Center for Productivity and Quality of Working Life - 1976 AnnualReport, p. 31. 20. Ibid., p. 32. 21. Ibid., pp. 34-35. 22. National Center for Productivity and Quality of Working Life, Recent Initiatives in Labor-Management Cooperation (Washington, D.C., 1976), p. 10. 23. Ibid., p. 14. 24. Ibid., p. 60. 25. Industrial and Labor Relations Report, Fall 1976 (New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University), p. 24.

Tags: US labor history, unionism, capitalism, workers management, Theodore Kheel

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