"Statement of Policy in the United Automobile Workers"; Father William Smith-Paul Weber correspondence
UAW presidential candidate Walter P. Reuther's anti-communism made him extremely appealing to the Detroit American Catholic Trade Unionists (ACTU). His attraction also stemmed from what seemed to be a determination to make the kind of labor incursion into managerial prerogatives, including something similar to its rendition of economic democracy, which matched the ACTU's version of social reconstruction. To this degree, The Wage Earner supported him, despite reservations about his socialist leanings. The ACTU's UAW conference, not officially committed to Reuther, worked hard to isolate the communists. It was unsuccessful, as Richard T. Leonard, R.J. Thomas, and George F. Addes - all of whom had personal followings in the ACTU - continued their alliance with communists in the union. At the historic 1946 UAW convention, Tom Doherty, one of the ACTU's founders, its first secretary, and the former recording secretary for Chrysler #7, provided first-hand information to Paul Weber, ACTU president. Reuther won the presidency and began cleaning house in the union. He continued to be the leader of labor liberalism in the country, but the free-wheeling debates and chaotic democracy in the UAW had come to an end.
As you read these documents, reflect on the following question:
Why did the ACTU support Reuther?