Interview with William Moriarity


Moriarity interview

On Oct. 1, 1942, Father Joseph H. Donnelly, an assistant pastor in Waterbury, Conn., and just beginning a decades-long career as a labor priest, declared war on International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers (Mine-Mill) communists who had organized workers in the Brass Valley. For the next three months, the battle waged publicly and bitterly. The anti-communists were not content with having seized control of the Red-led locals. They wanted much more from CIO officials, including stepping in and firing Reid Robinson, the elected Mine-Mill president. Having raised enough fuss to force Philip Murray, the Catholic president of the CIO, to meet with them, sixteen "Save the Union" members, with William Moriarity as their spokesman, travelled to Pittsburgh in early 1943. Despite Murray's strong distaste for Robinson and his communist allies, he refused to accede to the group's demands. After two confrontations that Moriarity recounts below, the Save the Union delegates went home on January 20. Within a week, though, except for Robinson's removal, they got everything they wanted.


As you read this document, reflect on the following question:

What motivated Moriarity and the other members of the Save the Union group?