Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Why I Love History (or, A Brief Update)

I swear I'm like, shoulders deep in piles of documents from the National Labor Relations Board (I love FOIA!), the Amalgamated Meatcutters and Butcher Workmen and the United Food and Commercial Workers (thanks to the Wisconsin Historical Society!). Now, if I didn't have to write up my findings, I'd be in heaven. Some interesting tidbits:
  • A 1947 letter from an AMBW leader addressed to the NLRB in which the union man verifies that all required parties have signed a document stating they were not communists.
  • A secret ballot packinghouse workers used to choose between the AMBW (AFL) and the United Packinghouse Workers (CIO).
  • A twisted and very interesting story from one of Tyson's Arkansas plants. Apparently, plant management rewarded one ex-union steward with a "cleaner," better-paying job and other perks after she agreed to be the employee agitator for union de-certification. Tyson was not supposed to get involved with the de-certification process and of course they, and the woman, denied it. The NLRB officer who wrote this opinion very politely called them liars. He noted that the woman showed remarkable zeal, giving up her vacation and personal days to work towards getting the UFCW kicked out of the plant. The reason why was clear to him despite Tyson's parade of witnesses who denied it. He also took to task a Tyson rep who denied calling himself a union buster, noting that the man probably did use the title and further, took pride in such a title because he'd been plant manager at another location that had de-certified the UFCW.

All right, I'm going back to work!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i know, i feel the same way! if i could just read and know and talk to people and not prove i had done so by writing about it, now THAT would be my dream job.

Revelations and ruminations from one southern sistorian...