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Schoenfeld, Clay (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 49, Number 9 (June 1948)

Faculty profile,   pp. 18-20


Page 18


NATHAN P. FEINSINGER
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   WHEN WASHINGTON needed a fact-finding panel to investigate
 the Chicago meat-packing strike last March, Washington quickly
 gave the chairmanning job to a Badger. Because America's No. 1
 "strike doctor" today is a mild-mannered young professor of law
at
 the University of Wisconsin by the name of Nathan P. Feinsinger.
 "Nate," as he likes to be called by all and sundry, had personally
settled
 three of the country's biggest post-war labor disputes. He even has an Hawaiian
 territorial holiday named in his honor.
 Professor Feinsinger is without a peer in the United States today as a strike
 mediator. His record speaks for itself. The Pacific coast maritime and long-
 shoremen's strike had been dragging on
 for months in late 1946 when Secretary   A Wisconsin professor
of Labor Schwellenbach got on the
phone and told Feinsinger,             of law   is t o d a y one of
  "Get out to California and settle that  America's leading "strike
affair."
  Nate went. Working with John E.      doctors." He has person-
Roe, '28, Madison, Wis., lawyer, and   ally settled three big la-
Prof. Clark Kerr of the University of
California, he had the shippers and the bor disputes, even has
sailors seeing eye to eye in a week.   an Hawaiian holiday
  The next day he hopped a plane for
Honolulu and in another week had       naned after him.
settled the two-month long walkout of
Hawaiian sugar workers.                Grateful Gov. Owen E. Lonz duly
  Then in the summer of 1947 Fein- proclaimed July 16 as "Nathan P.
singer successfully mediated the dis- Feinsinger Day" in Hawaii.
pute between Hawaiian p i n e a p p 1 e What is the secret of this man who
growers and their workers, a labor con- can bring management and labor to-
troversy that could have cost the Is- gether when everything and everybody
lands an estimated $60,000,000 if Fein- else fails? His background is part
of
singer hadn't settled it in jig time. the answer.
18
  He is young (46 years old) and rub-
bery, both physically and mentally. He
was born on the other side of the
tracks in Brooklyn, and something in-
valuable of this upbringing lingers on
-in a natural sympathy for the under
dog and in a salty accent that imparts
a down-to-earth flavor to the conference
table.
  He worked his way through the Uni-
versity of Michigan, where he earned
a law degree in 1928. He displayed an
early interest in labor law, and the
international fame of Labor Economist
John R. Commons attracted him di-
rectly to the University of Wisconsin.
He began at Madison as an ambitious
young Law School instructor and has
risen steadily through the ranks to a
full professorship.
  For nine years Feinsinger concen-
trated on research and teaching. He
became a walking dictionary of labor
case references. His classes drew capac-
ity enrollments. He cultivated an in-
formal style of lecturing which was to
pay dividends in mediation sessions
later.
  A Feinsinger class is a far cry from
the ordinary college quiz section. Nate
strides in as the bell rings, plunks his
hat on a ccnvenient bust, props his feet


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