American Federation of Labor Records, 1888-1955

Contents List
Container Title
Box   1/2
Folder   18:10
The Influence of Rieve and the Hosiery Workers on TWUA
Scope and Content Note: Rieve, with his AFHW background, was “a master at letting people talk themselves out and come to the right conclusion.” Rieve faced a much harder task in textile than others faced in other mass-production industries because the militancy of the textile workers had been expended by the textile strike of 1934. At least 25,000 textile workers were fired as a result of the 1934 strike. Rieve came into the leadership position in TWOC after Sidney Hillman became convinced the campaign in textiles would not be a success, and at the time, Sol Barkin was in charge of a job he was not cut out for. Rieve had brought the Hosiery Workers through a difficult period, and his staff understood what unionism was about. Another thing Rieve brought out of the Hosiery Workers was his bitter experience with the Communists, who were scattered throughout the industry. Hence, unlike other CIO Organizing Committees, he did not invite the assistance of Communists and thus did not have to face that problem later on.