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Session:         Page of 592

Foner:

The war is over, yes. '46. I'm sure it's '46. I'm playing in the band, and a guest there is Nick Carnes, president of Local 1250, department store union. I think I'd told you I had given courses for department store unions. I still was doing one or two after the war, too, so he knew me. In the intermission, Nick comes to me, and he says, “How would you like to be education director for Local 1250?”

I said, “Are you sure you need a full-time?”

He said, “Yes. Local 5, Sterns, will cover part of it. I'd like you to think about it.” I think to myself, “I'm going to do it because he's a musician. He plays the guitar, but he's studying the sax.” He says, “If you take the job, we can play duets.”

And so I take the job, and I am the education director for Local 1250, which is outside the AFL-CIO, it's part of the unions that had been kicked out of the CIO.

Q:

They hadn't been kicked out at that point.

Foner:

Give me a year. When were they kicked out?

Q:

The purge of the CIO unions was not until 1949.

Foner:

That was before '49. They are independent, they are part of the Distributive Trades Council. Oh, they had left the Wolchock International. There was a fight there, a left-right fight, and they left. It's before the others are kicked out. So we are independent, and we're being raided by Amalgamated Clothing workers, which has tried to get in department stores at the request of the CIO. We withstand the raids.

Q:

You represent workers where?

Foner:

We represent workers in stores all of which have disappeared. In fact, I have the Midas touch. Hearn's, Namm's, Loeser's, Oppenheim-Collins, Norton's, every single one of those stores disappeared. I was there during the Taft-Hartley affidavit period. What year is that?

Q:

The Taft-Hartley Act was passed in 1948.

Foner:

I'm there before that. Maybe I don't get there until '47. It could be that I don't get there til '47. I'd have to find out. It's easy for me to figure that out. So I'm in the union doing education classes, putting out a bulletin, leaflets, that kind of thing, and then I get an idea, because we have a loose council of all the department store unions,



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