Labor: Unions (Labor)

Resolution Adopted by the CCAR


Digests of resolutions adopted by the

Central Conference of American Rabbis

between 1889 and 1974

1. We advocate workmen’s compensation for industrial accidents and

occupational diseases,

a fair minimum wage and regulation of industrial conditions with particular


to the special needs of women. (1918, p. 102)

2. Reiterated above and advocated that labor shall have the right to share

more equitably

in determining conditions of labor as well as in the reward. (1920, p. 88)

3. We favor a study of the seven day week in industry with groups seeking to


the economic causes of war. The twelve hour day in the steel industry was


President Harding is requested to bring about a conference in the bituminous


industry to end the present strike. (1923, p. 67)

4. We recommend the investigation of the full-fashioned hosiery industry in


and their industrial relations. (1928, p. 23)

5. Society must guarantee each of its members the chance to labor and earn a


wage. (1928, p. 83)

6. We advocate a maximum of an eight hour day and a five day work week, in

order that

man may enjoy the finer interpretations of life. (1928, p. 84)

7. We petition Congress to appoint a Commission for the purpose of making a


investigation of the entire textile industry. (1929, p. 82)

8. In the present emergency, hours of work should be limited to not more than


hours a week. (1930, p. 135)

9. We rejoice in the passage of the Wagner-Connery Bill which protects labor


wrongs and dangers of economic oppression. We take our stand at the side of


agricultural and industrial workers of America. (1935, p. 79)

10. We urge our participation in the publication of the Centralia

investigation with

the Federal Council of Churches of Christ. (1939, p. 79)

11. We commend the President for refraining from the policy urged by

reactionary industrial

interests of "freezing" the status quo in industry. (1942, p.


12. We call upon our fellow citizens to refrain from premature condemnation of


in essential war industries who have absented themselves, as indicating a lack


patriotism. (1943, p. 125)

13. We deplore the tactics of a John L. Lewis which have given labor a black

eye with

servicemen abroad. We believe that the press of America would do better if it


the positive contribution of labor to the winning of the war. (1945, p.


14. We regret the tendency of some employers to give super-seniority to

returned servicemen.

(1945, p. 122)

15. In any period of military mobilization there is danger that the legitimate


and needs of the working man will be overlooked. This is a serious mistake on


counts:–first, because it weakens our defense by depriving labor of its

proper stake in American civilization, thus denying us our maximum Production

Potential; and

secondly, by belying our claim that we are genuinely concerned with the


of democracy everywhere. The progress made by American labor in the period of


New Deal and during the second World War must be continued. Toward that end we

urge that representatives

of their own choosing be appointed to speak for labor on a basis equal to that


management in all agencies concerned with the mobilization for defense, so

that our military effort may be the proper concern of the entire American

people, not

of any one section or segment. (1951, p. 104)

16. See Automation.

(a) Collective Bargaining

  • We urge recognition of the right of labor to organize and to bargain


    (1918, p. 102)

  • Reiterated 1920, p. 88; 1928, p. 82.

  • See Civil Liberties, Sec. 2 (1935).

  • We recommend that Jewish Federations urge upon affiliated social agencies

    a policy

    that will assure to Social Workers the right to organize in order to advance


    professional welfare. (1936, p. 78)

  • We believe that issues such as the closed shop and industry-wide

    bargaining should

    be decided not by legislation but through collective bargaining between


    and labor. (1947, p. 70)

    (b) Legislation (Labor)

  • We call upon Congress to defeat legislation whose purpose it is to

    emasculate the

    Wages and Hours Law. (1939, p. 162)

  • We reaffirm our sympathy with the National Labor Relations Act as a wise


    in achieving true economic democracy. We heartily endorse the affirmation of


    Roosevelt that recent gains in social and labor legislation must be


    (1940, p. 104, 105)

  • See Interfaith Cooperation, Sec. 2 (1941).

  • We condemn the Connolly-Smith Anti-Strike Law passed by Congress over the


    veto. We suggest that the law be restudied and a more helpful measure be


    (1943, p. 126)

  • We favor the principle of a dismissal wage and urge the passage of the


    Bill for the further expansion of social security. (1944, p. 94)

  • See Legislation (Social Security), Sec. 2 (1945).

  • We commend President Truman for vetoing the Case Bill and trust that the


    of the moment will not lead to the passage of unjust labor legislation. (1946,



  • We urge the President to veto any legislation which might destroy labor’s


    gains resulting from the Wagner Labor Relations Act. We call upon labor to


    house of dictatorial labor leaders, to avoid jurisdictional and inter-union

    strikes, and to admit to membership all qualified persons without reference to

    race or creed.

    We commend the President upon having vetoed the Taft-Hartley Bill and regret


    Congress over-rode this veto. (1947, p. 70)

  • We urge the amelioration of the injustices of the Taft-Hartley Act, which

    makes the

    closed shop illegal as well as forcing one class of citizens to swear that

    they are

    not members of an unpopular but legally recognized party. (1948, p. 128)

  • We recommend that the Taft-Hartley Law be repealed, that the Wagner Act

    be amended

    to protect both labor and management, that new labor legislation be enacted

    for the

    best interest of the public at large. (1949, p. 130)

  • See Individual Rights. Sec. 1a (1953).

    (c) Management (and Labor)

  • We urge the application of principles of mediation, conciliation and


    to industrial disputes. (1918, p. 102)

  • We call upon labor as well as capital to exhaust all resources of

    peaceable settlement

    before resorting to strike or lockout. (1920, p. 88)

  • We commend evidence of cooperation of labor and management in producing

    the materials

    for war and victory. (1943, p. 125)

  • We commend the miraculous production achieved by American labor and

    management. We

    also hail the great record of American industrial management, for its


    its versatility; its organizing skill in furnishing our soldiers with the

    tools of

    victory. (1944, p. 93)

  • We are profoundly disturbed by the growing tensions between management

    and labor,

    as highlighted by the recent steel strike. We view with increasing alarm the


    and vehemence with which certain elements in industry seek to nullify the


    that the labor movement has gained. We are convinced that American democracy


    as a whole suffer a major setback if we permit the rights of collective


    mediation and arbitration, the Union Shop, and all other gains in the realm of

    management-labor relationships to be lost. We appeal to industry and labor

    alike to settle their

    differences on the basis of equity, justice, and fair play. (1952, p. 180)

    (d) Peace (Labor)

  • We support the principle of arbitration rather than resort to open

    conflict. (1928,

    p. 83)

  • We call upon the leaders of the CIO and the AFL to renew their efforts

    toward unity

    in the general interest of industrial recovery and the labor movement. (1938,



  • Reiterated 1939, p. 162.

  • We ask the CIO and the AFL to join in the Conference of Unemployment.

    (1940, p. 100)

  • See Collective Bargaining (a) under Labor, ( 1947) Sec. 5.

    (e) Unions (Labor)

  • Under the present organization of society, labor’s only safeguard against

    a retrogression

    to former inhuman standards is the union. (1921, p. 44)

  • We call on our congregations to work with those business houses and

    employers who

    are fair to organized labor. (1931, p. 90)

  • See Individual Rights, Sec. 1 (1953).

  • The Central Conference of American Rabbis identifies with the cause of

    the migrant

    worker. We call upon our members to support our

efforts by refraining from eating non-union iceberg lettuce and by initiating


programs within their congregations and communities. (1972, p. 92)

  • See Farm Workers, Right to Organize.