No sooner had work resumed at the Chinatown factory when Ted Goldstein, an American Federation of Labor (AFL) organizer, began picketing the factory, claiming that the Golden Gate Manufacturing Company had reneged on agreements to send contract work out to shops with contracts with the AFL. Earlier that year, Goldstein had attempted to sign a "sweetheart" contract with the company while the ILGWU strike was in progress. In March, the AFL national president, William Green, had called for an investigation of Goldstein's actions and now in July he called on him to refrain "from interfering in any way in the program of the ILGWU." These two newspaper accounts reveal, however, the two-front battle Chinese garment workers and the ILGWU had to wage--struggling against both a determined employer and backstabbing from within the labor movement (see also Document 22B).
Pickets Still Block Garment Factory
AFL picketing against the CIO International Ladies Garment Workers Union continued today to cause the shutdown of the Golden Gate Manufacturing Co., Chinatown dressmaking factory, throwing 70 workers out of jobs.
The New AFL General Garment Workers Union picketed the factory shortly after CIO members returned to work there following a 15-week strike. The plant was forced to close about a week ago.
Jennie Matyas, organizer of the I.L.G.W.U., made public a copy of a letter she said was sent by President William Green of the AFL to Ted Goldstein, organizer of the AFL union, in care of Edward Vandeleur, secretary of the State Federation of Labor. It stated:
"I am firmly of the opinion that the best interests of the American Federation of Labor will be served by refraining from interfering in any way in the program of the ILGWU to organize ladies garment workers in San Francisco."
Miss Matyas claimed the shutdown resulted from a "membership raid" against her union, which is now CIO-affiliated.
Mr. Goldstein declared he had received no such letter from the AFL chief, but that just today President Green wired the secretary of the AFL local: "My opinion you should refrain from interfering with the strike sponsored and approved by International Ladies Garment Workers Union."
Mr. Goldstein said, "The I.L.G.W.U.'s strike is over; so Mr. Green must have been misinformed.
"We picketed the Golden Gate plant because it suddenly shut off sending out contract work to other shops employing 200 AFL members. We demanded that the company continue this contract work as it did before its CIO agreement." He said he was not raiding the CIO membership, but had Labor Council sanction for the picketing.
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