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You mean to maintain a continuation kind of thing?
Could you have done anything differently, do you think.
It's hard to say. We were always operating with a very small
staff, limited resources. So we never had too much of an opportunity
to sit down and evaluate in great detail what was going on and how to
change it. By the time Charleston started to unravel, we were heavily
engaged with whatever we had in major campaigns. What we had,
really, in terms of leadership -- the leadership came from [Leon] Davis
and Elliott Godoff on organizing things. That was the leadership on
those issues. Their attention span was diverted to other things.
Occasionally it would come back and they would say, “Okay, we're
going to send someone down there to do it.” We may have sent the
wrong people. Maybe we should have stayed longer. I don't know. I
guess if we were a wealthier international union we could have stayed
there, although I don't think that the money would have changed
things. I don't think that that would change it.
Let me turn to another aspect of that story. At different points in
your account the names of Doris Turner and Henry Nicholas come up.
Turner went down there, I guess, at the very beginning to dip her toe
in to the water and see if it was real -- you mentioned that -- and
Nicholas obviously played a big role. That's really the first that you
mentioned the names of the rising, new generation of 1199 leadership.
I wonder if you could just address that development and describe a
little bit about how this leadership was developing, and what it's
Let me start with Doris.
Doris had come in to the union during the 1959 strike. She was an
aide at Lenox Hill Hospital, and she joined the union. She joined the
union in 1959. Lenox Hill was a hospital that -- we were not very
strong in Lenox Hill hospital. So that when the time for a strike came,
Lenox Hill was not the hospital that we were planning to strike. As a
matter of fact, we struck Lenox Hill, I guess the word capriciously
might be appropriate. But what happened was that in the meetings
with Van Arsdale, who was representing the Central Labor Council --
the only meetings that took place with managements was through Van
Arsdale and the Central Labor Council. Not with us, because their
lawyers had told them, “No face to face meetings.”
Van Arsdale came back one day and started to bitterly denounce
Benjamin Buttenweiser, who was the chairman of the board of Lenox
Hill and who had a liberal reputation. He was in the Urban League, he
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