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step outside the hospital. Union organizers will not be permitted inside the hospital.” He said, “It's bad, but I don't think that we can go any further.” He wasn't saying, “You've got to take it.” He said, “I don't think you can go any further. We have a meeting at the City Hall tonight. Let me know.”

Davis called Elliot Godoff over, and Elliot and Davis and I in his hotel room at the Commodore, I think -- I don't even remember which hotel it was, I remember it was a darkened room -- described the thing to Elliott and said, “Elliott, can we live with it? What do we do?”

And Elliott said, “We can't go any further without the AFL-CIO.” Davis felt that. We all felt that. Elliot's feeling was that, “We will try our hardest to try to live with it. I think we might have a chance at living with it,” because it said there'd be no recriminations and reprisals. That was important, that workers would all be returned to work. We didn't know what they had in mind. He said, “The important thing is to go back together and we will try to keep the union alive that way. The spirit of the workers, if we can keep that spirit at the settlement meeting, it will help. It will help. We have to talk positively about it, that we've done this great thing, that kind of thing.”

So there was the agreement reached.


What was your feeling at that moment?


I'll tell you my feeling. That was on a Friday or a Thursday, I can't remember. I think it was a Saturday. I'm vague on the day. It was the forty-sixth day of the strike that it ended. I went into the office the following day and I dug out the hospital management's offer before the strike, and I looked at this document and I could find very little difference in it except for this permanent administrative committee -- nonsense. So, in essence, it was the same thing. We had not won. Then the problem came up, what are we going to do with it? Van Arsdale said to me, pointedly, “This story is not to be released to the press. No details until the workers meet. We can't afford to have this fouled up. The workers are going to meet on Monday. The workers have to ratify it, the strikers have to ratify it.

I remember that I was in on a Saturday looking at this thing, and I then decided to be bold. I called Davis, and I said, “Davis, you don't have to assume responsibility for this. I'll be responsible for this. You don't know anything about it, but I'm going to do it. I'm going to start calling around the reporters.”

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