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was critical of the party, too, on this thing. But you didn't have in 1199
this same kind of open blood bath, because he convinced the 1199
party people that this was the right to do, and the party did not fight it
then. The store workers went back. Bill Michaelson was then head of
the store workers and played an important role in the union until he
split. He and Dave Livingston couldn't get along, so he took the store
workers out into a separate local of the RW.
As for me they stripped me of my positions, my activities, in the sense
that because I was not gung-ho for them, I should not be permitted to
remain in active roles, so other people began to take over things that I
was doing. They never said to me, “We're going to fire you.” There
was an agreement, “You'll have to leave at some time, and you can
work out with us when you want to leave.” I was sort of in limbo,
when suddenly along comes the thing from 1199. They knew exactly
what's happening, because I'd been in touch with them all the time.
So I come to them and say, “I'm going to 1199.” And they say, “Good.
Go. It's all right.”
What kind of terms did you leave Livingston and Osman on?
Not angry. We were not buddies. They knew that I was
opposed. Bernie Stephens stayed, remember, and yet we were very,
very close friends. So we could remain friends. But the strangest thing
about it all is that later on, after we get into the hospitals and
Livingston begins to play a role in the hospital thing, because he was
in the hospital during the '59 strike. I'll get to that later. But Davis and
Livingston and I would spend a lot of time together. Livingston one
day said, “Biggest mistake we ever made was to let him go.”
[telephone interruption] By this time, the 1959 strike and again in '62,
we're very, very much in the news. We're in the headlines. W're big,
big news. If there's anything that David Livingston wants, is to be in
the news. And to see this happening, there but for the grace of God.
But we have a very good relationship now, although I haven't spoken
with him in a number of months. Until recently, every six months,
“You promised me that when you were going to become a consultant,
that you were going to find some time to be a consultant for us.” And I
kept putting him off.
Following this split, there was, I gather, a big campaign to kick out
all the communists from 65?
Staff people. Stewards. You pushed them aside. Later on, the
breach was healed, but it left a lot of very, very, very bitter feelings. It
was a tough period, very tough period.
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