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Vol. 75/No. 21      May 30, 2011

25, 50 and 75 years ago
May 30, 1986
On May 16 a Cleveland grand jury indicted International Brotherhood of Teamsters President Jackie Presser on two charges—embezzlement of union funds and racketeering.

The indictment of Presser on criminal charges is a transparent cover-up for a serious political attack on the Teamsters and other unions by U.S. government agencies. It follows nearly five years of secret investigations of the union by the U.S. Labor Department, the Justice Department, and the FBI.

An ominous feature of the long investigations was the use of secret police and informers to divide and intimidate Teamsters union members. It is not alleged crime in the unions that the government is after. What the investigations were pressing for is more government intervention in the unions on the side of supporting corporate attacks on wages and working conditions.  
May 29, 1961
The May 16 military coup in South Korea appears to have been aimed at stopping a growing popular movement for unification with North Korea. The military junta—calling itself the Supreme Council for National Reconstruction—has decreed martial law, dissolved all trade unions, political parties, student social clubs, farmers’ and fishermen’s organizations. It has imposed a seven-day work week and is completely censoring press and radio. It has announced the arrest of over 2,000 “political suspects” and hundreds of “hoodlums.”

After 15 years of U.S. military occupation and more than $4.5 billion in U.S. military and economic “aid,” South Korea’s economy is still in a blind alley and its per capita income a miserable $60 a year. Seoul’s major “industries” are prostitution and black-marketing of U.S. military supplies. Unemployment is heavy and chronic.  
May 30, 1936
AKRON, Ohio—With the mass arrest of 31 union workers at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. the never-ending struggle between the rubber workers and their despotic bosses is entering a new and higher plane. The arrests grew out of a 12-hour sit-down inside Goodyear’s Plant 2 during which the unionists are charged with rioting and imprisoning foremen, supervisors, and company union rats in a “bull pen” until management settled the workers’ grievances.

The mass arrests, coming when it was almost impossible to arrange bail, is everywhere recognized as a deliberate move by the company to crush the union. All Akron labor is infuriated, especially because the company deputy who recently wounded five Goodyear workers by firing into their midst, has just been acquitted in the same court in which the company will try to get convictions against union men.  
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