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gotten their spurs in struggle and who looked to the union as this militant union. That was their union that they were very proud of. They would standup to the boss and sometimes they didn't know enough what to do, but we had to try to train them how to do it. See, you had a whole tradition that was developing all the time.

As the union gets very big and as you begin to organize a lot of professionals, and you're starting to go to nurses, then you had to be cautious about things that alienate, and you had to try to do things that unite everybody together without going off half-cocked every time. Not everything is deserving of that kind of thing; you have to know when you do that and when you don't. You have good relations in some cases, and you have relations based on respect. In some cases you're weak, where you have to give in often. But then you have Davis with his very cocky attitude. The best example was, see, in the '68 thing I convinced CBS that they could come inside the negotiation and film it, and for the first time a union negotiation was filmed. The agreement was that I could tell them which meetings that they couldn't come in on, what sessions they could come in on. They have a session -- it was an award-winning film, a half-hour documentary called “Countdown to a Contract.” There's a sequence in there where Davis is talking to the management and throws it, “You sons of a b---- --, get out of this room,” and he throws it at them. It's a CBS film. Later on the managements and the unions used this for organizing outside New York. The managements would use it to show us as these crazy people. “Look at the president of the union.” You know. We would show it to show the militant union. It was a good film, though, good for us.


So the overall early development coincides with the full-scale emergence of the civil rights movement. In a number of things you've said today, you alluded to the fact they don't want a race riot, here were the blacks being beaten over the head by the cops in Bronxville, or whatever. Can you comment a little bit about how this coincidence helped build the union and how you used it?


I've commented earlier from the early days how we used it. Now '63 is the March on Washington. We're very close to that movement. All of the leaders in '62, for example, in the '62 strike, you have Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young and you have Malcolm X, and Dr. King, and everybody else, you had Jim Farmer, Randolph, all embracing the hospital workers. So that we have already identified with the struggle. We constantly repeat, “The hospital workers' struggle is a struggle for union and human rights.” That's the King

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