Resolution Adopted by the CCAR

LABOR

Digests of resolutions adopted by the
Central Conference of American Rabbis
between 1889 and 1974

1. We advocate workmen's compensation for industrial accidents and occupational diseases, a fair minimum wage and regulation of industrial conditions with particular reference to the special needs of women. (1918, p. 102)

2. Reiterated above and advocated that labor shall have the right to share more equitably in determining conditions of labor as well as in the reward. (1920, p. 88)

3. We favor a study of the seven day week in industry with groups seeking to investigate the economic causes of war. The twelve hour day in the steel industry was attacked. President Harding is requested to bring about a conference in the bituminous coal industry to end the present strike. (1923, p. 67)

4. We recommend the investigation of the full-fashioned hosiery industry in Indianapolis and their industrial relations. (1928, p. 23)

5. Society must guarantee each of its members the chance to labor and earn a living wage. (1928, p. 83)

6. We advocate a maximum of an eight hour day and a five day work week, in order that man may enjoy the finer interpretations of life. (1928, p. 84)

7. We petition Congress to appoint a Commission for the purpose of making a thorough investigation of the entire textile industry. (1929, p. 82)

8. In the present emergency, hours of work should be limited to not more than forty hours a week. (1930, p. 135)

9. We rejoice in the passage of the Wagner-Connery Bill which protects labor against wrongs and dangers of economic oppression. We take our stand at the side of exploited agricultural and industrial workers of America. (1935, p. 79)

10. We urge our participation in the publication of the Centralia investigation with the Federal Council of Churches of Christ. (1939, p. 79)

11. We commend the President for refraining from the policy urged by reactionary industrial interests of "freezing" the status quo in industry. (1942, p. 95)

12. We call upon our fellow citizens to refrain from premature condemnation of workers in essential war industries who have absented themselves, as indicating a lack of patriotism. (1943, p. 125)

13. We deplore the tactics of a John L. Lewis which have given labor a black eye with servicemen abroad. We believe that the press of America would do better if it emphasized the positive contribution of labor to the winning of the war. (1945, p. 121)

14. We regret the tendency of some employers to give super-seniority to returned servicemen. (1945, p. 122)

15. In any period of military mobilization there is danger that the legitimate requirements and needs of the working man will be overlooked. This is a serious mistake on two counts:--first, because it weakens our defense by depriving labor of its proper stake in American civilization, thus denying us our maximum Production Potential; and secondly, by belying our claim that we are genuinely concerned with the expansion of democracy everywhere. The progress made by American labor in the period of the New Deal and during the second World War must be continued. Toward that end we urge that representatives of their own choosing be appointed to speak for labor on a basis equal to that of management in all agencies concerned with the mobilization for defense, so that our military effort may be the proper concern of the entire American people, not of any one section or segment. (1951, p. 104)

16. See Automation.

(a) Collective Bargaining

    1. We urge recognition of the right of labor to organize and to bargain collectively. (1918, p. 102)

    2. Reiterated 1920, p. 88; 1928, p. 82.

    3. See Civil Liberties, Sec. 2 (1935).

    4. We recommend that Jewish Federations urge upon affiliated social agencies a policy that will assure to Social Workers the right to organize in order to advance their professional welfare. (1936, p. 78)

    5. We believe that issues such as the closed shop and industry-wide bargaining should be decided not by legislation but through collective bargaining between management and labor. (1947, p. 70)

    (b) Legislation (Labor)

    1. We call upon Congress to defeat legislation whose purpose it is to emasculate the Wages and Hours Law. (1939, p. 162)

    2. We reaffirm our sympathy with the National Labor Relations Act as a wise procedure in achieving true economic democracy. We heartily endorse the affirmation of President Roosevelt that recent gains in social and labor legislation must be safeguarded. (1940, p. 104, 105)

    3. See Interfaith Cooperation, Sec. 2 (1941).

    4. We condemn the Connolly-Smith Anti-Strike Law passed by Congress over the President's veto. We suggest that the law be restudied and a more helpful measure be enacted. (1943, p. 126)

    5. We favor the principle of a dismissal wage and urge the passage of the Wagner-Murray-Dingell Bill for the further expansion of social security. (1944, p. 94)

    6. See Legislation (Social Security), Sec. 2 (1945).

    7. We commend President Truman for vetoing the Case Bill and trust that the tensions of the moment will not lead to the passage of unjust labor legislation. (1946, p. 104)

    8. We urge the President to veto any legislation which might destroy labor's well-merited gains resulting from the Wagner Labor Relations Act. We call upon labor to clean house of dictatorial labor leaders, to avoid jurisdictional and inter-union strikes, and to admit to membership all qualified persons without reference to race or creed. We commend the President upon having vetoed the Taft-Hartley Bill and regret that Congress over-rode this veto. (1947, p. 70)

    9. We urge the amelioration of the injustices of the Taft-Hartley Act, which makes the closed shop illegal as well as forcing one class of citizens to swear that they are not members of an unpopular but legally recognized party. (1948, p. 128)

    10. We recommend that the Taft-Hartley Law be repealed, that the Wagner Act be amended to protect both labor and management, that new labor legislation be enacted for the best interest of the public at large. (1949, p. 130)

    11. See Individual Rights. Sec. 1a (1953).

    (c) Management (and Labor)

    1. We urge the application of principles of mediation, conciliation and arbitration to industrial disputes. (1918, p. 102)

    2. We call upon labor as well as capital to exhaust all resources of peaceable settlement before resorting to strike or lockout. (1920, p. 88)

    3. We commend evidence of cooperation of labor and management in producing the materials for war and victory. (1943, p. 125)

    4. We commend the miraculous production achieved by American labor and management. We also hail the great record of American industrial management, for its imagination, its versatility; its organizing skill in furnishing our soldiers with the tools of victory. (1944, p. 93)

    5. We are profoundly disturbed by the growing tensions between management and labor, as highlighted by the recent steel strike. We view with increasing alarm the bitterness and vehemence with which certain elements in industry seek to nullify the rights that the labor movement has gained. We are convinced that American democracy will as a whole suffer a major setback if we permit the rights of collective bargaining, mediation and arbitration, the Union Shop, and all other gains in the realm of management-labor relationships to be lost. We appeal to industry and labor alike to settle their differences on the basis of equity, justice, and fair play. (1952, p. 180)

    (d) Peace (Labor)

    1. We support the principle of arbitration rather than resort to open conflict. (1928, p. 83)

    2. We call upon the leaders of the CIO and the AFL to renew their efforts toward unity in the general interest of industrial recovery and the labor movement. (1938, p. 93)

    3. Reiterated 1939, p. 162.

    4. We ask the CIO and the AFL to join in the Conference of Unemployment. (1940, p. 100)

    5. See Collective Bargaining (a) under Labor, ( 1947) Sec. 5.

    (e) Unions (Labor)

    1. Under the present organization of society, labor's only safeguard against a retrogression to former inhuman standards is the union. (1921, p. 44)

    2. We call on our congregations to work with those business houses and employers who are fair to organized labor. (1931, p. 90)

    3. See Individual Rights, Sec. 1 (1953).

    4. The Central Conference of American Rabbis identifies with the cause of the migrant worker. We call upon our members to support our

efforts by refraining from eating non-union iceberg lettuce and by initiating support programs within their congregations and communities. (1972, p. 92)

    1. See Farm Workers, Right to Organize.