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Moe FonerMoe Foner
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For everybody who remained, it was very very difficult, very difficult. The executive council, Doris would run these endless meetings with no plan, no program, just constant monologues and beatings of people and attacks on people. They became very very violent kind of meetings, and some became violent.


Physically violent?


Physical violence, yes. Bringing in her rank and file goons to threaten people. I remember after I left Judy Berek said something critical of Doris, Doris rushed at her and gashed her face. Crazy times. As far as I was concerned, it became clear that I could not function. I had functioned all the time being very, very close to the president of the union, and working in close association. Doris made it right away clear that I was not trusted. When the negotiations came up in the 1982 contract, in the preparation I was told directly I am not to talk to the press. I was kept away from the press. They would come to me every once in awhile, “What are you doing with this? Telbert King didn't know his a-- from his elbow when he was handling that.” The only time that changed was at the very end when they got into a strike for about six hours. They suddenly said, “Okay Moe, get to the press.” But it was very, very difficult through that period.


Were you sitting around and doing nothing?


I was playing around with Bread and Roses. Towards the end, even during the period of -- once the divisions began to appear, and this even before, Doris regarded Bread and Roses as a threat to her, that I was a potential candidate for president, something I had stated over and over again I had no plans for that. She regarded me as a threat, because I was always in the media. The members see and hear me in the media, and see and hear me in Bread and Roses. So that she had her staff privately not participate in Bread and Roses. So Bread and Roses had to be carried out in the hospital division over -- it was done that way. It could have been much, much bigger, but it was done that way. They would mess up a lot of things that we did.

So I decided that I would leave and retire, and arranged it with Nick that I would move Bread and Roses to the national union. Bread and Roses is an independent corporation -- you could move it around wherever the trustees wanted it moved. That's what happened. I remained in touch with what was going on inside 1199 at all times.

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