Articles on Founding of ACTU
Chapters of the Association of Catholic Trade Unionists (ACTU) differed widely in social composition, origins, duration of existence, and focus of activity. The longest running chapters, as well as the most important, were in New York City and Detroit, but there were also significant units in Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland. New York's founders were primarily skilled and white-collar workers, while Detroit's were auto workers. Men made up the vast majority of ACTU's membership and almost all of its leadership. All chapters had a working relationship with their diocesan hierarchy, but only Detroit's seems to have acted directly under their bishop's direction. (The Executive Board soon circumscribed the scope of this control, eliminating it altogether in early 1941). Chapters supported organizing drives, walked picket lines during strikes, and fought communists and racketeers in their members' unions.
As you read this document, reflect on the following questions:
1. Upon what sources did ACTU call upon to warrant its founding?
2. Is anything surprising in the 16-point program?