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name of the person, one of the leaders of a major church body, would
be the chairman of a Religious Leaders for Justice for Hospital Workers
to be used for organizing purposes -- to issue statements, and to
support an organizing drive.
Then we met with Ed Garvey. An agreement was reached that Ed
would help us at every stage, so that if we were to go and organize in
different places and be in trouble, they would arrange for members of
the NFL Players Association to join us, you know talk to workers -- in
an active way, not merely give a statement. Tony Schwartz was
agreeable, he was going to make a whole series of radio spots with
name people. Ossie, Belafonte, Jane Fonda -- we would have a West
Coast and an East Coast section of that kind of personality campaign
to be involved in organizing campaigns. Coretta would be lined up.
These subsidiary kind of things were in place to go, but they never did.
This could have been a very very -- not only do we have strong
feelings about it, but John Sweeney has strong feelings about what
happened. He devoted two years to this. We still have enjoyed very
good relations with John Sweeney.
Now, when the merger was knocked out --
How was it knocked out, exactly? Basically Heaps said, “No go.”
Heaps said, “No go!” His board voted that “The merger is no
longer an issue. It's not even going to come up at our board meetings
anymore”. You have to merge internationals.
And because of the AFL-CIO structure you were helpless.
Yes. At the AFL-CIO, some of them wanted it to happen, but
they couldn't make it happen.
Who wanted it to happen?
I think Tom Donahue. You see, that came already at a period
when unions were talking about merging and the need for merging
unions for other reasons -- because of the attacks, because this began
to move into a different period. So that fell apart.
It fell apart right around the 1981 convention.
Yes, it was no longer an issue. I remember going to the RW
convention where we were like a voice in the wind there, because we
had no power in that convention.
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