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feeling that it was largely talk. They were committed to the program in
a verbal sense and they sort of were stuck with it. It was like the
water was coming out of the open-ended faucet, and it was never
being turned off and they didn't know what to do with it. At any rate,
Bob Master came on as safety department director.
We ended our relationship -- I'm not sure what it was. I knew that it
was going to come to an end sooner or later, but I think that the
Hormel-P9 strike speeded it up. I was involved with Jan Pierce
arranging a meeting of trade unionists on the P9 strike in New York
City, and I attended that meeting. I walked in and there were
representatives of the international union making a pitch. I did not
know when I walked in that they were from the international -- they
shook my hand, etcetera. But by that afternoon, by the time I was
back at my office in New York, I was already getting a call from Irving
Stern that the reports were from Washington that I had been present
at the meeting, and I had a meeting with him on it and expressed my
opinion. That's something I did. I didn't represent 342. But I suspected
that sooner or later that would speed the ending of my relationship
with 342. Fortunately enough, it took place as the election campaign in
1986 was really getting into high gear, and so it resulted in my being
able to devote a considerable amount of my time to that campaign.
Back up to the strike?
I wanted to ask you a couple of questions about 342.
Why did you go to work for 342?
The arrangement I had with Bread and Roses is that I would
devote three days a week to Bread and Roses. I was interested in
seeing what could be done in another union in this area. I was not too
familiar with 342 as an organization. They seemed outwardly a very,
very vigorous organization. They did a lot of things that were rather
different than most unions, particularly in extra-curricular activities
whether it was blood banks, or safety programs, or scholarships, and
things of that kind which I thought indicated that there were
possibilities for making a dent there in this area, and seeing whether
it's possible to translate Bread and Roses in another setting, on a
much more modest basis. It was also geographically very close to my
home, so that it was easier in that sense.
So you were fairly hopeful, or interested when you first went in?
When I first went in, I was interested. Now you've got to also
remember that I had been cut adrift when I retired. Bread and Roses
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