25, 50, and 75 Years Ago

January 30, 2023

February 2, 1998

LOS ANGELES — The crisis growing out of the merger of the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads sparked a picket line of 45 spouses and children of Union Pacific employees at the Colton Yard in southern California Dec. 20, protesting long hours and unsafe conditions. Picket signs read: “UP Management: License to Kill” and “Sleep Deprivation Kills.”

Diane Houchen, the wife of an engineer, said, “We want our husbands back. They leave and they’re on a train for 16 or 18 hours at a time. They come home and they’re exhausted — but have to go out again in 10 hours. My husband worked on a train for 12 hours and then had to wait for a crew to come out and relieve them. After waiting for five hours he got out and hitchhiked home with the conductor agreeing to stay and watch the train. No one should have to go through this.”

February 2, 1973

The agreement by the U.S. to halt the bombing and withdraw its remaining troops from South Vietnam is a long-sought-for victory for the Vietnamese people. It is also a victory for the antiwar movement here and throughout the world. But imperialist intervention in Vietnam is far from ended. The accords do nothing to resolve the social, economic and political problems at the root of the war.

The imperialists recognize the fact of two armies and two governmental forces in South Vietnam, each representing basically opposed class forces. On the one side is the Saigon regime of the landlords and capitalists, backed by U.S. imperialism. On the other are the revolutionary forces based on the workers and peasants. This is an inherently unstable situation. One side or the other will eventually have to predominate, and that can only be determined in struggle.

February 2, 1948

The government witch hunt to intimidate the labor movement has hit new heights in a deportation delirium.

One of the slimiest tricks was against Charles Doyle, vice president of the CIO United Gas, Coke and Chemical Workers. Born in Scotland, Doyle has lived in this country for 23 years. He was leading a strike in Niagara when he visited Canada to attend a union board meeting. At the border he was issued a re-entry permit. While he was in Canada his permit was secretly cancelled. When he attempted to re-enter he was sent back to Canada.

The current proceedings are aimed chiefly against the Stalinists and their fellow travelers. The labor movement must understand, however, that if these are successful, the campaign will be broadened to include every foreign-born union official with left-wing opinions and every opponent of the system.