ORGANIZE!: My Life As A Union Man by Wyndham Mortimer

ORGANIZE!: My Life As A Union Man

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Rough-hewn labor history from the heroic days of Trade Unionism. The son of an immigrant Welsh miner, Mortimer spent his youth in the Pennsylvania coal mines (starting at the age of 12 for an hourly wage of 7¢) and the steel mills of Ohio before the sonorous voice of Eugene Debs converted him to socialism. From then on he was a convinced union man fighting the company unions and lecturing the bosses on Marx's theory of surplus value. A key organizer of the 1937 sit-down strike at General Motors in Flint, Michigan, Mortimer recalls the picket lines, the red-baiting, the blacklists and the scabs of that historic struggle. For him it was a fight on two fronts, against the bosses and against the ""backward-looking, craft-minded, middle-class mentality of the AFL Executive Council."" An intimate of John L. Lewis (""a tower of strength""), Mortimer remained loyal to the principles of the IWW and industrial unionism, an allegiance which eventually led to his ouster from UAW leadership. An artless, occasionally colorful account of workers and bosses in the 1930's. Solidarity Forever!

Pub Date: April 8th, 1971
Publisher: Beacon