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Walter Jason

UAW Workers Boo Ford Offer;
Michigan CIO Convention Meets

(28 June 1948)

From Labor Action, Vol. 12 No. 26, 28 June 1948, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

DETROITThe first reaction to the Ford Motor Company offer of 11 cents an hour for those workers making less than $1.50 now, and 14 cents for those whose hourly rate was higher than $1.50 was recorded at the state CIO convention by delegates attending from Local 600. They booed the announcement of the Ford offer.

Also in the Ford offer was a proposal that the union and company set up a joint committee to study the incentive wage system with the idea of putting it into practice everywhere in the Ford plants!

Of course, this entire proposal is quite a reversal of Ford’s recent announcement that he would demand a wage cut from the UAW-CIO negotiators.

At the present writing, full details of the Ford proposals are not available, and the UAW-CIO has refrained from any official statement, pending study of the Ford offer. But the boos of the 80 delegates from Ford Local 600 indicate the UAW-CIO isn’t going to accept this first proposal.


The Michigan state CIO convention is being held this week at Grand Rapids. It serves each year to reflect the strength of the various political tendencies, and big caucuses in the UAW-CIO. The incumbent administration, headed by Gus Scholle and Barney Hopkins, is strictly pro-Reuther, and has been that way since the big fight in the 1946 convention. There is little doubt that this leadership will be re-elected by a bigger margin this year than in 1947. In 1946, to refresh some memories, the vote between the two main forces,the Scholle-Reuther bloc and the Addes-Stalinist bloc, was very close.

This year the Stalinist bloc, united mainly on the Wallace for president issue, and general opposition to Scholle, will probably receive no more than one third of the votes.

The big question at this convention will be political action. Although Walter Reuther as yet has not taken public responsibility for the action, the fact is that his followers are supporting Mennen Williams, the ADA and AVC liberal, for governor on the Democratic Party ballot. Gus Scholle is openly taking the lead in this maneuver. His political policy, which is meeting with opposition from within the Reuther camp, as well as the opposition, is to capture the Democratic Party of Michigan. It remains to be seen how much Labor Party sentiment is expressed, and is evident at this convention. Labor Action will carry a full report on this convention next week.

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