Do you honestly think the head of the UAW taught the Russians how to build
Blue, let Beatrice Hansen enlighten you about Walter Reuther.
I would hate to spoil the affect this revelation could make on you by quoting a Right Wing Sight. Hee Hee, Hee Hee, so here is a far left wing sight as they come.
Beatrice Hansen was an active revolutionary for most of her life from the age of eleven, when she joined the Socialist Party’s Young Falcons, until her death on March 9, 1969, at the age of forty-three, when she had long been a member of the National Committee of the Socialist Workers Party...
Not long after the 1932 election campaign, Walter Reuther was fired at Ford. No reason was given, so we do not know if it was because of his political activities, or because he began to be interested in an AFL organizing campaign among Ford workers, or both. Before the plants were unionized you could be fired without a reason being given.
Anyhow, he was fired, and he and his brother Victor decided in 1933 that it would be a good idea to take a trip around the world in order to see how the workers of other countries lived and worked and fought. One of the places they were determined to visit was the Soviet Union, where a successful workers’ revolution had taken place in 1917. Reuther at that time considered himself a left socialist in favor of the Russian revolution. They visited Berlin twenty-four hours after the Reichstag fire, where they saw young workers beaten by the Nazis and watched the stormtroopers pull in many people much like their parents. They went on the Soviet Union and there worked in an auto plant built by Ford. Reuther was quickly promoted to a post of leader in a labor brigade, and for his production he won bonuses and medals.
This happens to be one of the controversial parts of Reuther’s biography, one that he’s especially embarrassed to have discussed. They spent sixteen months in the Soviet Union, or most of the time they were abroad. Reuther now claims that he was shocked by the Stalinist dictatorship he saw in Russia and the terrorism against the Soviet workers. But there is no evidence of a documentary nature to support this claim. It doesn’t seem logical, if they were really so shocked, that they would have stayed for sixteen months—working in the plants, discussing with the Russian workers their problems, and writing articles for the Moscow newspapers on how to improve production and the standard of living of the workers.
Many years later the Reuthers were red-baited as sympathizers of the Soviet Union because of a letter written to a friend in Detroit by Victor Reuther in 1934. Actually there wouldn’t be anything dishonorable about the Reuthers being sympathizers of the Soviet Union at that time. But Reuther seems to think it would be, and he tries to hide and cover up and deny what he thought about the Soviet Union twenty or so years ago because now he is hostile to the Soviet Union and a supporter of the cold war against the Soviet Union and because, like all bureaucrats, he is embarrassed to let it be known that he has changed his position or was ever wrong on any question, now or in the past. Whether or not the 1934 letter is a fake, as the Reutherites now claim, there is little doubt that at that time Reuther was pro-Soviet and even pro-Stalinist, and that it carried over after he left the Soviet Union, because he collaborated with the American Stalinists after he returned to this country, at least for several years.
When Reuther came back to the U.S. at the end of 1935 the autoworkers were already stirring and chafing at the bit for unions. Things were beginning to happen in the plants in Detroit, as well as all over the country. The year before, 1934, was one of tremendous labor struggles, spearheaded by the Auto Lite strike in Toledo, the teamsters’ strike in Minneapolis, and the longshoremen’s general strike in San Francisco. Thousands poured in and out of the AFL as they arbitrated and aborted all the workers’ grievances. Yet in 1935, with the AFL thoroughly discredited, strikes still continued to erupt allover the country in auto. By April 1935, 30,000 GM workers were out in Ohio, and the first beachhead for unionizing GM was established. The outcome of this strike finally forced the AFL to set up its committee to investigate the organizing of the industrial workers. By October 1935 John L. Lewis resigned as vice president of the AFL and created the Committee for Industrial Organization.
In this job of organizing, Lewis had to turn to those he had previously opposed—the radicals. The UAW did not come by its militant and democratic traditions accidentally. Their foundations were consciously laid in the early stages of the union by the politically radical workers who were responsible for the first successful organization in auto—the Socialists, Stalinists, and Trotskyists. They were the only ones who had the courage and the conviction to do this job. Most of the union leaders of the time were radicals of one kind or another....
Ok BlueBee, Who's laughing now?