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limited time at our disposal and in the limited time at your disposal, but if we were to go into details, it would take up a lot of your time. Before an investigating committee we could bring in facts to substantiate everything we say. While I can make statements here and can verify them, it would mean going into detail to verify them, and I might either tire the committee or miss the main purpose of my appearance, which is to see that Bridges is removed as a representative of our industry.
Gentlemen, we contend, and we can prove, that 126 Eleventh Avenue is now the headquarters for the Communists in New York. The active work of organizing beef squads is being done right there. I presume there have been others who have been down here to tell you about the beef squads, which are squads under the leadership of Joe Curran. They beat up men on the waterfront who do not agree with them. They are beef squads and goon squads. They and the rest of the strong-arm tactics of the Communist Party are conducted directly from 126 Eleventh Avenue.
Senator Copeland and some of the other Senators know that the heart of all activities is right in the center of New York. Every one of you is familiar with New York from Twenty-third Street to Thirtyfourth Street and from Fifth Avenue to at least Seventh Avenue, and you have walked through there at the noonday meal hour, when you can hardly walk in the street.
If you will permit me to go back to 1925, at the time of the fur strike, Ed McGrady, Matt Woll, John Sullivan, Hugh Freny, and myself were appointed a committee of five to investigate the fur strike and what caused it. You might say, what has that got to do with this? But I have to mention that at that time we found in the course of our investigation that this strike had been called against the wishes of the International Fur Workers' Union, an American Federation of Labor organization. It had been called by what they called the joint board from New York, just the same as our New York district council in the International Longshoremen's Association is the governing body. This joint board of furriers was the governing body there.
The seven men on that board were Communists under the leadership of Ben Gold. They forced the strike over on their membership. They simply forced the members into the Communist Party. You had your card as a member of the Fur Workers' Union, but it didn't mean anything. You were not ordered to your regular meeting hall or your committee rooms to stay there during the strike; you were ordered to new headquarters, and you had to take cut a red card.
In the investigation, the report of which is in the files of the American Federation of Labor, and is, of course, at the disposal of the committee, the details will be found which disclosed that those men were forced to take out red cards and to become members of the Communist Party, and then they would go in groups and appear in picket lines in front of fur shops.
If the men did not appear, delegates went out to their homes and asked the wives where the men were. They would say, “He is on the picket line."
They would say, "No, he is not at headquarters, where he was ordered, and if he is not there very shortly we are going to take action against him.”
Then they would knock down a lamp or something in the house and would intimidate the wife, so that when the man came to his home at night he was willing to go over and take out a card.
At that time we learned that their policy was to go into all of the organizations and run for office, not particularly for president, because they knew that they could not get elected; not particularly for business agent, because they knew that every body aspired to that job; but they said, “Nobody pays any attention to the job of delegate to the central body.”
The central body of the A. F. of L. is the governing body in the different cities.
They said, “Seek memberships as delegates to the central body. Introduce resolutions, whether or not they are defeated, because it will get you into prominence, and we can let the party in Russia know that we are doing something."
The main significance is that we found out that they wanted to control five of the important industries in our country.
I was especially interested because one of the industries was the shipping industry. Another one was steel, another was radio, although I cannot recall all of the five. Agriculture was one of them, I believe, but they are included in the records of the A. F. of L., and that is at your disposal. So, naturally, I was on the alert for what they would do in shipping. I will say here that if it were not for the International Longshoremen's Association, they would be in control of shipping right now.
They have got control of the seamen's end of it, except on the Pacific coast, where Harry Lundeberg has control of the situation. He is, in my opinion, a second Andrew Furuseth, although probably not with the brains of Andrew Furuseth. You know, Andrew Furuseth was a statesman, interested in the cause of the seamen. However, I know that Harry Lundeberg is of the same type, sincere and honest. He, with his independent union of seamen on the Pacific, which is an international organization, is the only reason why the Communists have not got absolute control of the seamen's industry.
This National Maritime Union, Senator Copeland, which you talked to me about, tried to get control of the local in which I have had the honor of holding membership since 1912, and of which I have been an officer since 1913, at a dollar a meeting and $5 a meeting as I went along. But the local I belong to is at 164 Eleventh Avenue, corner of Twenty-second Street, right in the heart of the Chelsea section, opposite the United States Lines pier. There was a vacant floor in that building when this Curran first came into the organization through Madam Perkins, who made him the man that he is, and they opened up the headquarters on our floor. Now they have an entire building. We were finally successful in getting the landlord to give us the two floors and get them out of that headquarters, because they used to throw picket lines around our union meetings. We had a meeting to elect a custodian, and they threw picket lines around our building. The police felt they could do nothing, because this new law in regard to such picketing was such that they could not stop the picketing
We then said, "We don't want any police protection; we are going to get bats and get through the picket lines," which we did.
They now have 126 Eleventh Avenue, and I wish the Senate would appropriate some money to investigate 126 Eleventh Avenue. I contend that if you subpena some of the stewards from the ships or some of the seamen, they will tell you that in spite of the fact that this started as a rank-and-file association movement in the International Seamen's Union, the organization Mr. Scharrenberg represents, the Communists immediately took advantage of them and put some of their keymen in there, and after two strikes, in which we cooperated with the International Seamen's Union, and broke those strikes, because it was largely a movement against the Seamen's Union--after possibly two or three—I know we went through two different onethey were licked, and properly licked, and they were about to go out of business as an association movement. Then Roy Hudson and Bridges, two representatives of Earl Browder, Bridges on the west coast and Roy Hudson on the east coast, got hold of Curran, who was not a Communist, and put Curran on the pay roll of the Communist party and told him they would back him up if he would allow them to take absolute control of the situation.
Curran told me in my office that the International Seamen's Union was ripe for communism. He felt that President Furuseth was so busy in Washington, and that Harry Lundeberg was so busy with the California Federation of Labor, and Olander was so busy with the Chicago Federation of Labor, that the men had lost faith in them and that the Communist Party was working very hard, and if the I. S. U. did not take him in and give him certain powers, which he asked them to do, he had no other place to go but with them. He was not a Communist, but he went over with them.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you mean that when he went, he went with the N. M. U.?
Mr. Ryan. No, with the Communist Party.
Mr. RYAN. Absolutely; he is now a member. They don't take you in right away; they try you first to see whether you are worthy of admission.
Senator VANDENBERG. You said that he was on the payroll. Did you mean that?
Mr. Ryan. Yes, sir. Hudson put him on the pay roll at $45 a week.
Senator VANDENBERG. Do you mean on the pay roll of the Communist Party?
Mr. Ryan. Yes, sir; to help remove the ones they feel they have no use for. "Senator VANDENBERG. Where did you get that information?
Mr. Ryan. We have men in our organization trying to disrupt it, and we hear it from them.
Senator VANDENBERG. You are sure of that fact?
Mr. Ryan. Yes, sir. That is why I say that if we had a hearing we could bring it out.
The seamen joined the National Maritime Union because they were tired of the International Seamen's Union, the same as Lundeberg left to start the Sailors' Union of the Pacific. They were tired of the International Seamen's Union, so they joined the National Maritime Union-seamen, oilers, and firemen-and took their own officers with them.
You notice today they are putting Jack Lawrenson, a known Communist, up against Jerry Smith. Jerry Smith is a bona fide fireman, who left the Seamen's Union because he was dissatisfied.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you mean Jerry King?
Mr. Ryan. He is not a Communist. He is a bona fide fireman, dissatisfied with the Seamen's Union. They used him. He knew he was being used. They said they are going to beat him and elect Jack Lawrenson. They are getting rid of all the seamen and oilers and firemen except Joe Curran.
On the first floor of 126 Eleventh Avenue is the regulation seamen's hall. Our office is at 164; theirs is at 126, so naturally I know what I am talking about. Around the street you see seamen, firemen, and oilers. On the first floor is their regular meeting room-assembly room-where they vote. Then, upstairs is where Curran and that group are—Tommy Ray, and the others. But if any seaman can get above the first floor in that building he is paying for, he is just knocked down.
A fellow named Lichenstein, who was never to sea in his life, is a Communist, and he has a bunch of girls, and those fellows marry those girls, and eventually they work into the party. When a ship arrives now, instead of regular seamen's delegates going down to collect dues and the $5 assessment fee—when a Grace Line ship comes in, or anything else—I have nothing against the Jewish race, but very few of those fellows go to sea for their living, but they come down with their brief cases and collect the assessment. The assessment is supposed to fight your legislation that you have before you in regard to shipping. It is supposed to fight the Copeland bill.
The stewardess makes very little money, and naturally $5 is a lot, and if she doesn't have it, she doesn't sail again in that ship.
If it went into the National Maritime Union, even though they differ in their policies, that is none of their business, but the men know it goes in to the first floor to the National Maritime Union, but they have nothing in their treasury. Still, this money goes out through Tommy Ray, Lawrenson, and Myers up to the third floor, into the Communist Party.
Now they are beginning to remove the bona-fide American seamen from the ships and put Communists aboard the ships, with the result that, if you want to get an American merchant marine, you won't have seamen to man your ships. There is no incentive for anyone to become a seaman any more. They are going back to the farms. They are getting away from the waterfront.
I know where they had a strike in the lower business section of New York, in a restaurant, and I know they took bona fide seamen from 126 Éleventh Avenue, and those firemen have no money, and I know where they were taken, in a squad, from 126 Eleventh Avenue. It is a common thing for a taxicab to come up and for four or five fellows to come out with bats under their arms. Possibly we are responsible for that, because we used them on them.
The CHAIRMAN. What do you mean by bats?
Mr. Ryan. Baseball bats. This was a strike in some other industry besides the seamen's. A reporter, a member of the Newspaper Guild, told me the reason he was not at the lifeboat races that they hold in New York every year, was that he was making arrangements for a strike against the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
He said, "I am going to use some of Joe Curran's men to picket the Daily Eagle.”
I know where they sent seamen in their working clothes, and firemen and oilers, in their working clothes, into a restaurant in the business section, where there was some cafeteria strike. They sent them in with 10 cents each, and they ordered a cup of coffee and a roll and sat there until 1 o'clock, so when the regular patrons came in every table was occupied.
The proprietor of the restaurant went to the policeman outside and said, "I want them arrested,” and the policeman said, "On what charge?”
The proprietor said, “Disorderly conduct."
They were bundled up into a patrol wagon and they were turned out by the judge. They do that under the direction of the Communist Party
That is one reason why there should be, as I say, an investigation, if that is to be allowed.
The day before yesterday seven of our longshoremen working on the Grace Line were caught in a foreman's shanty at 8 o'clock at night, when they were getting $1.60 an hour. The superintendent or one of the executive officers of the Grace Line was on the pier late, and he saw them himself. That was a violation of our agreement. Those men should have been working. The men contended they were in there looking for robbers. We held a little investigation and said that the seven men were wrong, and of course the company had a right to discharge them. We pleaded with the company to be lenient, and they said, “All right; let them take the week off”; and the men agreed to it. They thought they were getting off light.
When they got outside, to take the week off, there were agitators working among our men, saying, "We are not going to let them take the week off; they are not guilty.” We said, “Come up to the office and discuss it," but they said, "No."
We have a fine agreement with this company, where our men get from $1.05 to $1.65, as against the Pacific coast, under Bridges' leadership, where they get 95 cents to $1.45 an hour.
So, we are proud of our conditions, and we do not want to sacrifice this agreement. We disciplined those men, and we got the Grace Line to take the ship to Brooklyn, to work with our longshoremen over there.
Curran has to be injected into this, although I was supposed to discuss Bridges. He wired the men on that ship to shut off steam immediately. We said to his delegate--one of his delegates-"What are you fellows butting into this for? This is an outlaw strike that you are promoting, while we are disciplining some men who will not work and carry out the agreement."
This fellow says, “I am an outlaw myself. I can tie up a ship from one man quicker than I can from a hundred.”'
We said, “Well, you are not going to tie up this one."
Mr. Ryan. Over in Brooklyn, the Grace Line. We had a guarantee from the Grace Line that they would not only bring that ship around when the coffee was discharged, but they would bring a ship to the