1-i-, 1 .1 lr 4 ” I I 1, %ay ” r ia RELIABLE REAL ESTATE SERVICE Arthur Hajecate METROPOLITAN REALTY CO. 4340 Telephone Road HOUSTON, TEXAS SPECIAL GUESTI Bob OPE _.411 `Fated to Do What They Would Have to Do’ the same amount Brown asked for the Texas AFL-CIO and was denied. Schmidt said he has had several job offers but is not in a hurry to decide. He accepted his oilworkers’ caucus nomination to serve on the state labor executive board, so there is speculation that he plans to stay in Texas. He is not an officer of the new I.U.C., but played a key part, of course, in bringing it into being and is expected initially to work with or advise it in some capacity which will not be his full-time employ . ment. The headlines which rocketed across the front pages of the state press that Texas labor was split or engaged in civil war caused some resentment among the delegates concerned that labor put forward a face of unity, but the intention of member unions to divert into their own conference’s work the money they helped deny to the Texas AFLCIO involves a division of labor’s resources at the state level. Asst. Secretary of Labor Jerry Holleman told the delegates their troubles mirrored the troubles of national labor. With the national presidency falling vacant next December if Meany retires, attention is focused on the question whether Walter Reuther, president of the auto workers and head of the national Industrial Union Department, will charter the Texas I.U.C. when it applies for a charter and thus encourage a return to a modification of the old CIO. One fact considered germane is the Texas auto workers’ alliance with the steelworkers and the craft unions for Brown, against Schmidt, in the conven tion just closed; another is the election of Roy Evans, president of an auto local, secretary-treasurer to replace Schmidt. On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal has speculated that if Reuther charters the Texas conference, industrial unionists in other states might follow the Texas lead. If one visualizes a network of industrial union departments in all the states, the Journal has commented, the old AFL-CIO divisions might be in fact renewed, with national AFLCIO becoming a paper organization presiding over the building trades and industrial union departments. What began as a personal question four years ago thus culminated this week in division within Texas labor that may have a bearing on the national labor scene. Differences In some ways Brown and Schmidt are alike. They are both liberals and have stood together in past conventions, for example, for integration. They are both leaders who regard their work in the world as something of value; they are both proud men. Their differences are differences of education, manner, and method. Brown is a rough-andtumble fellow with a foghorn voice and a game courage with the English language which does not always subdue it. Schmidt, a college graduate, handles the language smoothly and articulately. They are both strong, persuasive speakers, Brown especially if he is talking to working men, Schmidt especially if he is talking to a general audience. Brown is ambitious in an aggressive way, Schmidt in a way less aggressive. Brown is a pipefitter, that is, a craft unionist; Schmidt is an oilworker, an industrial unionist. While neither would exclude from a program the interest of the other, Brown stresses rallying the troops to the battles of picketlines and elections; Schmidt stresses community political education and gains for labor through political reform. In spite of their similarities, there is between two such men a potential for conflict. In 1957 and 1958 this conflict began. Brown was traveling the state to address workers’ education seminars and similar meetings. Schmidt says Brown took umbrage when Holleman, the president then, consulted Schmidt on decisions about Brown’s. work; Brown says Holleman always made the decisions, but agrees with Schmidt that Holleman generally decided in favor of Schmidt. The friction occurred where Schmidt’s responsibility for disbursing the organization’s funds touched Brown’s field work. Schmidt says Brown traveled around without prior approval; Brown’s point is that he was in the field and knew where he was needed better than the ones back at the office. Brown believed the work in the field was most important, but Schmidt believed the costs needed to be checked on behalf of other work by the organization. At this early stage there were also some political undertones. Early in 1959, Brown says, there was a major difference of opinion. The full-time directorship of women’s activities was discontinued, and Brown was quite unhappy about it. \(‘His program for the coming year stresses women’s MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 to be home in San Antonio more, and matters were not getting any better; he resigned the state office and went to work for ‘his local in San Antonio. Schmidt says he did this as a stepping stone to political advancement through the building trades. In San Antonio Brown organized and conducted a successful strike by the members of his local. Last fall the situation was ripped open by Holleman’s accession to Washington. The muted disagreements between Brown and Schmidt became an open, bitter, and soon irremediable feud over the presidency Holleman vacated. Brown says, “I had always told Jerry that if he moved up, I would be interested; but I didn’t expect it would be so soon. It’s the kind of place where you figure perhaps you might be head of the organization; it was just natural. Having traveled so many years and having so many friends, I felt I had the necessary votes.” A mutual friend says when Brown told Schmidt he had the votes, Schmidt could not believe it Schmidt says it is true he felt he had earned promotion, and this was a factor in the situation. Brown says Schmidt “felt that he had warranted their confidence and their support, and deserved it,” and that there was “perhaps something a little unwholesome about somebody else coming in.” Brown says this was the “strongest underlying factor” in the conflict. Schmidt says, “All this gets back to you, you know I hear Hank’s said `Schmidt’s mad because I rose up and shot him out of the saddle.’ This rankled me.” The executive board of Texas AFL-CIO in January voted 14-8 to install Brown as president until the convention. “I think Hank just set out to strip the secretary-treasurer’s office of any executive authority and reduced it to a book-keeper’s job,” Schimdt says. “The Constitution requires he consult the secretary-treasurer. In Hank’s mind consultation is a matter of touching baseafter he’s done something he’ll tell you he’s done it. I wasn’t a partner in itthis all happened the first two or three days. I told Hank it would be a lot cheaper for him to buy a check-writing machine than pay $11,000 or $12,000 for a secretarytreasurer.” “He’s a good man, a brilliant man,” Brown says of Schmidt, “but it appeared to me that he just would not accept the decision of the board as the will of the people. In his Report” \( newsletpoliticians made the decision, not the people. . . . Several attempts were made to get us together by a number of people, but his reports kept giving the president a rough time. The friends in, the field began to take offense even more than I did . . I thought, well, three or four months, he’ll cool off and time would heal it. “As you’d go out in the field they were ready to discontinue that sort of thing or have what we have had, a first-class rhubarb here. Meantime his friends were urging him to continue taking the firm stand he did. ‘As weeks and months went by the problem compounded itself.” CLASSIFIED UNION DEMOCRACY IN AC-TION reports rising reform movements in labor. 10 issues $3. Sample free. Box 62 Knickerbocker Sta., NYC 2, NY. =====4 THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 6 August 5, 1961 Political Struggle Schmidt and Brown now threw themselves into a plain political struggle. Although the senatorial campaign and legislative matters cramped his style somewhat, Brown notes that he was in the field 48 percent of his time. Schmidt began to undertake the construction of an industrial-union power base within Texas AFLCIO to counter Brown’s building trades base; the divisions of the convention first took form in this political context. For a time there was speculation Schmidt was running for presidentBrown is convinced he wasand then it began to be known he was going to have to fight for re-election. Brown and Roy Evans, president of the auto workers’ big Grand Prairie local, reached a political rapport. Evans was brought in to replace public relations director John McCully \(who had left to join Holleman in vinced Evans was running for secretary-treasurer at this time. The alliance of the convention between the building trades and the auto workers followed in natural course. In the old CIO council in Texas, there was a long-standing competition between the steelworkers and the oilworkers. When the telephone workers affiliated with the council in 1949, oil and telephone formed an alliance which controlled CIO against steel and auto workers. These are general statements, but they are generally true. In the Galveston convention just concluded, steelworkers again joined autoworkers in alliance against telephone and oilworkers; only this time, as a proBrown state vice-president from a craft union said, “They’re really Navin’ their day now! They’re leading this thing more than we are.” Brown says that in February he counted the votes and found himself with a 60-40 majority. As time went on this grew into the two-thirds he obtained, he said. On May 20, however, in the Stephen F. Austin hotel ballroom, Schmidt showed his hand. One hundred and eight representatives of 21 international industrial unions in Texas met all day behind closed doors and formed an organization one described as “reminiscent of what we had in the old CIO.” Steel and auto were not there, but it was the first time industrial unions had held a separate meeting in Texas since the merger. Quotes which made their way through the closed doors ran like these: “Unite and keep ourselves from being gobbled up by the craft unions.” “If we can’t . . . live together, let’s take our money out and find something we can live with.” Had compromise been a possibility, it would have occurred after the May meeting, for carrying the fight to the finish between the Brown and Schmidt blocs obviously portended division of some bitter kind. But Brown would not accept Schmidt as secretary-treasurer, saying he would take anyone but him; Schmidt could’ not visualize himself working in concord with Brown either. Some of Brown’s supporters were eager to press the advantage, enjoy the victory; some of Schmidt’s supporters were determined to stand the gaff if it split their spine. In this way Brown and Schmidt confronted each other on the platform at the Moody Center in Galveston like actors in a Greek play, fated to do what they would have to do. \(Second and concluding report NBC-TV, AUGUST 9 TONIGHT IN LIVING WATCH REAL JUMPIN’ SHOW COLOR ! The eTimroyDuranto Show SPONSORED BY UNITED STATES BREWERS ASSOCIATION, INC.
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