"Memorandum to ACTU-NY RE: Intra-Union Organization"


ACTU-Detroit membership form

Courtesy of ACUA


Paul Weber was the most significant member of the most important American Catholic Trade Unionist (ACTU) chapter in the country. A newspaper writer, he lost his job at the Detroit Mirror when it folded in 1931. After working at several news services, he moved to the Detroit Times, where he helped organize the Detroit Newspaper Guild. Holding membership card #1, he became president of the ACTU at its founding. In this document, Weber laid out Detroit's way of handling Catholic trade-unionist activity in unions. Predicated upon the recognition that very few men and women were active in their unions, the "conference" method allowed a Catholic "minority" to work with a non-Catholic minority in the pursuit of common goals. Within a few months, the Detroit ACTU had 15 conferences meeting throughout the city. Nationwide, ACTU chapters enthusiastically adopted the conference method that had much in common with the Communist Party's "fraction."


Memo to ACTU-NY



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

1. Upon what experience(s) did Weber draw in writing this document?

2. What would a non-Catholic have thought of it?