"Voters Urged To Oust Red Union"; "A Critical Labor Condition"


General Electric turbine plant in Schenectady, New York

Courtesy of the Library of Congress


A full-scale war against the communist-led United Electrical and Machine Workers of America (UE) began almost immediately after it left the CIO in 1949. James Carey, the Catholic CIO secretary-treasurer, headed up the International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE) that was founded to replace it. In local after local throughout the country, Carey's union forced runoff elections to determine the bargaining agent. There were numerous UE locals in the Albany, New York, diocese, including Remington-Rand operations at Ilion. None were more important, though, than #301 at General Electric's huge Schenectady, New York, plant, where one observer thought perhaps one-third of the workforce was Catholic. Despite the best efforts of the Albany bishop and other similarly-minded Catholics, the UE won by almost 2,000 votes on May 25, 1950. More than a year later, it more than doubled the IUE's vote. It was only in 1954, when Leo Jandreau, #301's president, switched sides that the IUE won the plant.


The Evangelist on Communists in the UE



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

Why did the Catholic Church oppose the UE?