Mary Bell Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

M. Bell

Six-Hour Day in Rubber War Casualty

(October 1942)

From Labor Action, Vol. 6 No. 42, 19 October 1942, p. 1.<<BR>Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

One week after the URWA convention hall rang with denunciation of the War Manpower Commission’s attempt to foist an eight-hour day on Akron rubber workers in the name of a fake “labor shortage,” the six-hour day has been wiped out by the unanimous vote of that commission, including its labor representatives, and an eight-hour day substituted.

The convention originally opposed the authority of the Manpower Commission to decide when and if a labor shortage exists. Then, when it passed the all-out war policy resolution of Dalrymple and the other officials, it nullified its previous stand because that policy called for the Manpower Commission to determine the shortage of labor which would usher in the eight-hour day.

The concurrence of labor representatives in this decision puzzles Labor Action. What, then, was the significance of the fight they put up at the URWA convention to maintain the six-hour day? The representative of the Negro Manpower Commission who appeared at their convention emphasized that there were many members of his race still walking the streets, or employed at menial jobs. This is still true in Akron.

Another question that has not yet been answered is: Will the eight-hour day bring with it a commensurate eight-hour pay, or will the old rates remain? And will the speed-up conditions which characterized the six-hour day still prevail under longer hours?

The union brothers of the URWA on the war fronts wrote that the six-hour day was long enough. They, as well as the men in the war rubber plants, have been let down.

Mary Bell Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers’ Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 18 September 2014