It is difficult to believe, but 1941 was one of the highest years ever for strikes in America. Only 1919 and 1937 held more labor disturbances. One in every twelve workers went on strike that year. Strikes were so prevalent that the War Department put out bulletins showing man-days lost and critical items affected at various industries. It was not just consumer goods that were involved; it was planes, ammunition, blankets, wheels, tanks etc. So much for those who chant about the good old days, when Patriotism bloomed and America was "one." It seems quite clear that America was never “one” at any point in its history, whether during peace or war. Presuming that all workers are Americans and believe in their own self-preservation and undoubtedly in time of war would be working towards victory, we see the magnitude of these Labor/management conflicts. It seems quite clear to me that this issue (labor/management conflict) has been probably the most important issue in America for the last one hundred and fifty years. This certainly makes one wonder why it has not gotten more serious historical, literary attention and analysis. Possible explanations could be guilt, shame, repression, denial, or suppression by those who would gain from the absence of truth and exposure on this matter. Most likely, it is a bit of all of the above. In World War I we saw the enactment of the Sedition and Espionage acts to handle such outrageous behavior, but in 1941 a new voice was emerging. Eleanor Roosevelt in her column asked why it was always Labor who was asked to make sacrifices in extended hours and wages while nothing was expected of Management in terms of prices, profits and excessive, executive salaries. Well, well? There is a strange voice in the wilderness. How "unpatriotic" of Eleanor. Was this new attitude due to the simple evolution of time and years? Or, was it a result of the leadership? It seems that management was using the War and its natural upsurge in patriotism to intensify its century old campaign against labor. And why not? It had worked in previous wars and conflicts. The Ford employees in Dearborn, Michigan at the River Rouge plant, the largest automotive plant in the world at the time, began to walk off the night shift on April 1, 1941. Eleven union workers had been fired. By 3 A.M. nearly eight thousand workers were out in the streets in protest. Service department head, Harry Bennett, had been building a goon squad at the Dearborn plant for years. He had filled the plant with ex prize-fighters, jailbirds, small time gangsters and fired policeman. Their job was to spy on the employees and keep union membership at a minimum. Two huge production contracts had been awarded to Ford. The Auto Unions considered this to be a slap in the face. The Ford Motor Company had miserable relations with Labor. Ford was considered by many to be the country’s biggest violator of the Wagner Act of 1935 which guaranteed Collective Bargaining. For years Ford had also hired Negroes as a part of his anti-union, anti-strike vanguard. The blacks were ready to fight for Henry. They were up on the roof of the plant throwing metal buckets down onto the strikers below, and they were rushing picket lines with clubs and metal bars in the streets below. A race riot was in the making. The Republicans accused the Unions of taking up with Hitler. This is certainly strange talk when it was Henry Ford who held the German Cross and even refused to give it up after the bombing of Pearl Harbor; when it was Henry Ford who inspired Hitler with his anti-Jew rhetoric printed in his Dearborn newspaper originated for that purpose and then circulated about the world at his personal expense under the title “The International Jew”; when it was Henry Ford who hired Charles Lindbergh who was also awarded a German Cross by Hitler and Herman Georing for help in modernizing the German Airforce. He also refused to give up his German Cross after the bombing of Pearl Harbor; when it was Henry Ford who refused in 1940 to manufacture Rolls-Royce engines because they would be used in British Spitfires; when it was Adolf who busted the unions in his own country and confiscated their treasuries immediately after taking power. If there were any Nazis in the Ford Motor Company, they were certainly not in the labor rank and file. One can certainly not make the same claim for that possibility with regards to the owner and management. At the advice of his son Edsel, Henry capitulated with the union demands. The Unions were happy but the general public was not. Most people were not happy with the idea of workers striking during war time. Some states wanted laws against striking initiated. Georgia wanted workers who struck during war time to be tried for treason. They, of course, didn't have those same patriotic inclinations after they had seceded from the Union and were in truth - traitors. Shortly thereafter in Inglewood, California the workers went on strike at the North American Aviation plant. F.D.R. sent in twenty-five hundred federal troops. The strike was over. So much for F.D.R. and his bonding with the American Labor Movement. It would also be interesting at this point to have an intellectual investigation into the Morganthau files. Morganthau was supposedly in charge of keeping records on war profiteering and businesses who were trading with the enemy during World War II. Roosevelt wanted to hold such an investigation until after the war for fear that exposing such prominent businesses and champions of American industry during the war would destroy the morale of the fighting man. I think that it is also interesting to point out that in a strike situation, it takes two to tango. Who is the greater traitor in time of War? The worker who walks off his job or the boss who refuses to negotiate? If the boss were to merely break even during a war and a worker merely to sustain his life and provide for his family's basic needs, would this not be patriotic? When the bosses refuse to negotiate during war time, is that because they fear that they will go out of business? I would hardly think so. I would like to see the profit and loss statements. I have a strong suspicion that you all know what will be found in an examination of such records.
"No Ordinary Time", Doris Kearns Goodwin. “No Ordinary Time”, Doris Kearns Goodwin, pages 225-231. “The Arms of Krupp”, William Manchester.
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Don't Laugh - This Could Have Been Your Life
Funny stories and some strange characters.
Monkey Dishes and Cocktail Fawks
My Harrowing days in the restaurant business. Great Read.
It's a Long Story
Long Short Fiction - Great stories!
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Talking To Myself
This is my third book of poetry.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Come On-A My House
This is # 4 in my Lawrence Hometown series.The old homested at 32 Chelmsford ST is pictured on the cover..
Down By The Old Mill Stream
# 5 in the Lawrence My Hometown series.
Standing on the Corner is # 6 in the lawrence My Hometown series.
The old Howard Playstead on Lawrence St.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
# 7 in the Lawrence my Hometown series.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.