25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

October 18, 2021

October 21, 1996

TORONTO — The last of the 26,000 General Motors Corp. unionized workers in Canada walked off their jobs the evening of October 9. With Canadian Auto Workers members now walking the picket lines at plants in Woodstock, London, and Windsor, Ontario, all of the carmaker’s assembly and parts plants in Canada are at a standstill.

The key issue is outsourcing — cutting jobs by sending work to outside suppliers that pay lower wages and often are nonunion. GM also has plans to sell or shut down a number of plants, which would result in cutting an additional 5,500 jobs.

Most picketers agreed that the strike may be long. Many workers sense that the company is ready for a major confrontation. Charlie Gregorcic summed up the sentiment on the picket line. “This strike is not just for us,” he said, “it’s for our kids and the next generation.”

October 22, 1971

NEW YORK — Lawyers for the Attica inmates continue to try to wrest from the courts injunctions and decisions that would help end the reign of terror now prevailing at the Attica state prison. In Buffalo federal court Oct. 6, several leaders of the rebellion were able to speak out on the guard brutality and violence against the inmates. Notwithstanding these accounts, Judge John T. Curtin, a Kennedy liberal, said there was no evidence that this abuse was continuing and therefore denied a request to issue an injunction against it.

In other developments, there seems to be no end to the blue-ribbon committees and “impartial” bodies appointed by [Gov. Nelson] Rockefeller and his cohorts to “study” the rebellion.

The purpose of all of these committees is to get the state off the hook and put the onus for the rebellion and massacre on the prisoners.

October 19, 1946

Attacks upon “reds” and “communists” in the labor movement are becoming more insolent and unbridled. This drive is spearheaded by the highest government officials. J. Edgar Hoover, anti-labor chief of the F.B.I., gave clear warning that the Department of Justice is preparing to hound and prosecute “communists” regardless of civil liberties, and that even liberals are to be labeled “communist.”

Big Business felt the colossal power of organized labor in the recent strike struggles. Unable to defeat the unions by direct assault, the capitalists are seeking to split the ranks of the workers. Along with their red-baiting the capitalist interests are also spreading anti-Jewish poison.

Wherever red-baiters raise their ugly heads, they must be answered with uncompromising opposition. Nothing less than the future of the labor movement is at stake.