25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

August 15, 2022

August 25, 1997, Supplement

In the face of an all-out assault by United Parcel Service, 185,000 striking Teamster members are standing firm against the nation’s largest delivery company. Rallies in support of the striking Teamsters have been taking place across the country.

Each day the stakes in this battle rise. The central issues — the fight for better pay and conditions for part-time workers, the company’s attempt to gut the pension plans, the union’s demand that UPS hire more workers full-time, and health and safety issues — have touched a nerve in workplaces across the country.

“Most unions have allowed our wages and working conditions to slip,” said Eugene Phillips, a 43-year-old feeder driver in Northbrook, Illinois. “Now we are looking at the damage. Unions have to get a lot stronger because the next fight will be larger and more difficult.”

August 11, 1972

On the morning of July 31, 13,000 British troops mounted the largest military operation yet undertaken in Northern Ireland, smashing through the concrete and steel barricades that have ringed many Catholic areas for more than a year.

In preparation for the operation, 4,000 more troops were brought. This raises the total strength of the British garrison to 21,000. The main target was “Free Derry” — the Bogside and Creggan districts of Derry, which have a population of 35,000. Free Derry, the largest of the areas declared off limits to the British, was invaded by 4,000 British soldiers and 300 armored vehicles.

Although the army is attempting to avoid some of the excesses it has been guilty of in the past, its occupation of the Catholic ghettos will soon result in increasing conflict with the people living there.

August 18, 1947

A labor party could mobilize into its ranks a possible 37 million members. This is the frank admission of Daniel Tobin, president of the 900,000-member AFL Teamsters to the union’s convention. Tobin is one of the most conservative union officials, a loyal servant of the Democratic Party. He boasted to the convention that he has fought the labor party idea for 41 years.

A labor party, based on the unions, would rally to its fold the greatest and most powerful political mass movement this country has ever known.

Such an admission from Tobin reflects the enormous growth of rank-and-file labor sentiment for a party of their own to smash the political monopoly of Wall Street and wipe out the Taft-HartIey Slave Labor Law. Let labor’s ranks rise up in their wrath and repudiate such craven and treacherous leaders. The labor party must be built — NOW!