B.J. Widick Archive   |   ETOL Main Page

Walter Jason

A Viewpoint on –

The Dynamite Plot Against UAW

(9 January 1950)

From Labor Action, Vol. 14 No. 2, 9 January 1950, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

DETROIT – Now that the chips are down and the would-be killers of the Reuthers are still at large, the time has arrived when serious questions can be asked, and must be answered, if the United Auto Workers and its leaders are ever to defeat the campaign of terrorism launched against them.

The pre-Christmas dynamite plot at the UAW headquarters has every earmark of ä crackpot fascist. Ku Klux Klan or Black Legion stamp to it. Why has this part of Walter Reuther’s original theory on possible responsibility for the plots never been given a careful public or private investigation?

Everywhere in America, especially down South, the terroristic elements Of the Klan have been revived and are doing their dirty work. Does anyone in “Detroit think it has not had a similar revival in the city’s plants among the latecomers from the South who are plunged into the UAW’s “radical” and “pro-Negro” milieu?

Should not some of the UAW leaders be a little abashed at how quickly they plumped for the sole and exclusive theory that “the Commies did it” jo that they were sure to make factional capital out of it?

And what about the panicky people who even suggested to the police that ALL radicals be checked? (Did the cops get a list?)

The terror campaign against the UAW and Walter Reuther is far too important to be permitted to rest on the level of petty trade-union politics.

The FBI spokesmen in Detroit gave many good reasons why they thought the CP, for its own reasons, would not pull the job. And does anyone who knows anything about Stalin’s GPU think they would call a newspaperman and tip him off that dynamite was placed at the UAW headquarters?

We would like to see a UAW statement on another matter: the famous plot between racketeers and the Communists, which Isaac Don Levinne is peddling. It is entirely possible that racketeers are behind the killing attempts, although we doubt it. The quarter of a million bucks’ reward would have brought some results if that was the source of the terror.

No one knows better than this writer how violent the antagonism between the Stalinists and Reuther is. Nor that when the GPU decides to murder an opponent it usually succeeds. We were saying that before Leon Trotsky was assassinated – and when UAW leaders were opposing us as being too harsh and too factional about the CP.

But the present Stalinist phobia in the UAW is a perfect cover for fascist-minded, Ku Klux plan-educated scum who hate Reuther as part of their hatred of labor and “reds.” How about some investigation in that direction?

B.J. Widick Archive   |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 24 February 2023