American Federation of Labor Records, 1888-1955

 
Contents List
Container Title
Tape/Side   1/1
Time   06:20
Why Francis Gorman and Others Sought Rechartering by the AFL in 1939
Scope and Content Note: Schaufenbil was not in the labor movement at that time; but, from talking with Gorman and others and studying the records, he concluded that when the UTW agreed to the founding of the Textile Workers Organizing Committee (TWOC), they were seduced...by a promise from Sidney Hillman and John L. Lewis that, if they would come into the arrangement and join them, they would still be a part of the AFL, but the new group...has a tremendous treasury to use in their behalf to organize the textile workers.” “...That money was not spent. Instead, TWOC took over the old United Textile Workers of America and all of the local unions and their treasuries and whatever little money was spent was spent out of the treasuries of the local unions, and this convinced the leaders of the UTWA that the CIO was not legitimate....It was trying to formulate a big organization but did not have the funds....” Nine or ten Rhode Island locals of the UTW resisted in court the confiscation of their treasuries. They won in court and then formed the nucleus of the new UTW. [Like many of Schaufenbil's opinions and descriptions, his version of this court case differs considerably from the TWUA version. Actually, it was TWOC which brought the case against the Rhode Island locals, or rather against Joseph Sylvia as the representative of these locals. While TWOC lost this case in the lower court and the UTW used this case, which declared the whole TWOC agreement invalid, as a rationale for returning to the AFL, the lower court was overturned by the Rhode Island Supreme Court.]