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Notable New     Yorkers
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Moe FonerMoe Foner
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stand up. We had no way of testing it, because it happened and then we saw that the workers did come out. See, the question who would come out in the morning, who would not go into work, was the big question.

And when we got reports immediately, so many people passed the line, so many people passed the line at different hospitals, we began to realize that the workers were with us, that now we had to continue the fight, recognizing at the same time that the hospital managements had determined that they were going to bust the unions because they believed that they were urged by the powerful forces, who were not involved in the strike, Presbyterian Hospital and the Catholic Hospitals, New York Hospital, who they'd formed the League of Voluntary Hospitals.


I think a lot of this is in your earlier interviews, but I'm hoping we can touch on some of the things that just jump out at you now as you look back.


Well, in that strike, one of the things that I am proudest of was that the settlement was not union recognition and Van Arsdale said it would be released on Monday, and that I was not to talk to the press.

I came in on Saturday, examined the settlement terms, compared what the hospitals had offered before the strike, and realized that we were signing an agreement that was similar to what we had before, with some word changes, and I was confronted with a situation. Do I tell the press about this or do I keep quiet? I don't know if this story you have.


I don't recall.


I decided that despite what Van Arsdale said, I had to alert the press, and I did it in an interesting way, I thought. By this time I knew most of the reporters and I knew them well enough so I would call them that Saturday. I remember Stanley Levy of the Times, and others the same thing happened, he said, “Moe, glad you called. Tell me what's in the settlement.”

I said, “I can't tell you the terms until the meeting on Monday.”

He said, “Give me a hint.”

And I said, “You remember the proposal made by the labor arbitrator William H. Davis,” who had been head of the War Labor Board and had come in to try to find a solution. He made a proposal that was not recognition, that we waited for the hospitals to reject it and then we

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