Union policy and the press

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Sun Jul 5 11:29:10 PDT 1998

Michael Eisenscher wrote:

>Mine, Mill is perhaps best remembered as the union featured in "Salt of the
>Rather than CIA, I suspect the FBI played a larger role, along with various
>other Congressional Subversive-hunting committees and sundry other
>government witch-hunters, who worked in league with the leadership of the
>USWA, CIO and later the AFL-CIO.

This finally inspired me to pick up the book I got in Sudbury, Mine Mill: The History of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers in Canada, Since 1865," by Mike Solski and John Smaller.

"Peterturbed by the failure of dissidents within Local 598 to achieve perceptible progress in capturing the union despite years of effort," say Solski & Smaller, "the decision was taken to import specialists." Prominent among them was a Jesuit-trained professor named Alexander J. Boudreau, who arrived in October 1958 as the director of extension courses at the University of Sudbury, a Catholic college in Laurentian University. He trained dissidents in disruptive techniques. Shortly after Boudreau's arrival, Emile Bouvier, SJ, became president of the University of Sudbury. Earlier, this Georgetown product ran a school of "industrial relations" in Mexico City; the book says "CIA" with innuendo, but it doesn't seem too far-fetched. Or some branch of the U.S. security establishment. The university became a hotbed of red-baiting propaganda directed at Mine Mill.

>Not only the USWA, but the UAW also had a hand in cannibalizing the Mine,
>Mill after the CIO expelled it for "communist domination." In 1967, what
>was left of the union finally succumbed. It merged with the Steelworkers.
>Mine, Mill no longer exists as an autonomous organization.

Local 598 is the only remaining shred of Mine Mill; it represents the miners who work for Falconbridge; the other big miner in town, Inco, is organized by the Steelworkers. 598 was recently re-admitted to the Canadian Labour Congress. It's pretty weakened now, but they still have a Joe Hill hall, and were able to bring Falconbridge to its knees last year with a 3-week strike. When I asked the local president how come the company didn't take the American route & hire scabs, he said they wouldn't dare, there'd have been bloodshed.


More information about the lbo-talk mailing list