Labor: Blistering Dissent

Suppose there was a national emergency. And suppose a key labor union was dominated by Communists who called a political strike, crippling the nation's effort to meet the crisis.

That thought haunted the authors of the Landrum-Griffin Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959. To guard against the possibility, they made it a crime for a Communist Party member to hold union office. Among the first to be tried under the provision was San Francisco Longshoreman Archie Brown, an open Communist for more than 25 years and a member of his local's executive board. In 1962 Brown was convicted and...

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