Date of Original Version

1998

Type

Article

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

"If it could be said of any union that its past had shown its ability to survive even the most improbable odds, it could certainly be said of the U E ", Ronald Fiiippelli noted in his extensive study of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), Cold War in the Working Class: The Rise and Decline of the United Electrical Workers. The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), formed in March of 1936, was to become the largest and most persistent rank-and-file union in US labor history.2 In a relatively short period of time, namely between 1936 and 1947, the UE became the third largest affiliate of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). By 1947, it had collective bargaining rights in 1,536 plants employing 600,000 workers.3 This rise of the UE did not last long, however, as the left-wing tendencies of the union leaders and the rank-and-file formation of the union made it a prime target of red-baiting occurring in the late 1940's and 1950's. Although the opposition against the UE, both from the outside and within the union, became intense in 1947, opposition to the left-wing bias of UE can be traced to as early as 1945.

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Published In

The Sloping Halls Review, 5.