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To: "email@example.com" <haynes@MAIL.H-NET.MSU.EDU> The California Labor School, far from a "CP training facility," was one of a dozen fully accredited institutions of higher education that provided a free education (or in some cases charging a nominal fee per class) in a wide variety of disciplines (more than 70 different course offerings at the Cal Labor School alone) for anyone who cared to partake. Returning GIs flocked to the labor school on the GI Bill. Longshoremen, seamen on the beach, and ship scalers sat next to office clerks and women in furs in music, art, literature, and drama classes. The movement began in the mid-1930s with the CP playing a major role in the initial organization and funding, but money also came in from both AFL and CIO unions, private foundations, wealthy businessmen, and philanthropists. The majority of teachers worked without salary and volunteered from industry, labor, and neighboring universities. Frank Lloyd Wright, Muriel Rukeyser, Eric Severeid, and Orson Welles were among the many luminaries to lecture at Labor Schools. In fact, the Labor School in Los Angeles, the People's Educational Center, was the first school in the United States to offer a comprehensive course in film studies and technology. By 1946 the California Labor School of San Francisco was serving 2,600 students a semester, while the Jefferson School in NYC had an attendance of nearly 10,000 students in the same year. Nearly every union in San Francisco, the East Bay, Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties officially supported and donated to the California Labor School. Five university presidents acted as advisers, those of Stanford, UC Berkeley, and SF State among them. Before the Red-baiting began the SF News, Call-Bulletin, and Chronicle ran news articles and editorials supporting the school. During the war Crocker Bank, Bank of America, and Shell Oil were all financial supporters. Frank Sinatra donated $7,000 from the proceeds of his film The House I Live In. The red-baiting began in 1947. The California Labor School closed its doors in 1957 after ten years of government attacks ran off its broad base of support and forced it into isolation. The destruction of the dozen Labor Schools was one of the most grievous losses for working Americans of the mid-century Red Scare. The ILWU and the UE were among the most democratic and honest unions in the nation. I'll leave the defense of the UE to someone more knowledgeable on that subject, but no one person or entity controlled the ILWU, no one but the rank and file that is - certainly not the CP and not Harry Bridges. The membership returned Bridges to office term after term not because he was some sort of labor boss with an iron grip on power, but because they respected him, knew him to be incorruptible, and that he would always stand up for them. The constitution of the ILWU is readily available for all to read and it hasn't changed much, if at all, in the last 70 years. It was designed specifically to maintain rank-and-file control of the union. Every decision of the union is and was determined at the membership level, including what demands to bargain for (and who sits at the table), when to strike, and when to return from a strike. Any and all officers can be recalled with a petition signed by only 15% of the membership. All officers below the International level must return to the hiring hall for one year after, I believe, two terms in office before running again. International officers, while not required to return to the hall, must stand for re-election after every term. No officer has ever received a life-time term in office. No officer can be paid more than the highest paid union member, not including overtime. At a time when the corrupt Harry Lundeberg of the SUP, one of the darlings of the anti-Communist set, was pulling down some $450,000 a year as President for Life Harry Bridges was regularly standing for election with a salary that never topped $28,000. Of course, neither honesty nor rank-and-file democracy has ever been terribly popular with employers or the red-baiters, who often worked hand-in-hand. Grif Fariello