tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN September 7, 2015 9:33am-9:49am EDT
companion. this is frank knight. may i introduce our co-editors for this edition. william bradford hue we, editor of the american mercury and harly butt, noted author and correspondent. our distinguished guest this evening, mr. george meany, secretary treasurer of the american federation of labor. the opinions expressed aren't necessarily those of the speakers. >> many of our viewers of course, members of the american federation of labor and they together with the rest of us, i'm sure would like to hear some of your opinions tonight on the political situation. first, sir, the american federation of labor has just broken the precedent of 28 or 30 years by endorsing a presidential candidate. now, sir, first of all, why did the afl see fit this year to endorse the candidacy of governor stevenson? >> of course the american
federation of labor has been interested in the political scene for many years because of the fact that to a large extent, the conditions under which we work can be determined by legislation. >> what's the difference between 1952 and 1948, for instance? why was this particular year? >> because of the passage of the taft hartley act followed by the establishment of a official political arm of the american federation of labor that year. and then entry into the political campaign of 1948. since then in addition to the law, we had 28 state legislators pass what we consider the repressive legislation and so far as trade unions are concerned. in order to carry out our objective and long range age-old objective if you want to put it that way of improving conditions
under which the great masses of workers of america work and live, we have to consider the political field more and more. in other words, the people who are opposed to us have chosen the political battleground. >> who you say this endorsement is part -- is a tactic in your battle to get repeal of the taft hartley act. >> it's part of that because the supporters of the republican candidate most of them favor the taft-hartley act. we feel he hasn't changed his mind a great deal and still wheels a great influence and then of course there is the party platform, the party platform in the republicans said the taft hartley act was a good thick and democrats said they think it should be repealed and new law written that's fair to both labor unions. >> i'm sure many members who believe that mr. samuel
donefehrs, your founder, sort of left a warning to you, never to choose a political party. now sir, do you think this is a violation of this warning by mr. -- >> no, you see, mr. gonefers, there's a great myth about what he believed in. mr. gonfers's theory was quite simple in the political field you should reward your friends and try to defeat your enemies and exercising your rights as an american citizen. he was quite specific that under no circumstances should the american federation of labor tie itself to a political party. and we today feel exactly the same way as he did about that. we are under no circumstances going to tie ourselves to a political party. we don't feel, however, that endorsing a presidential candidate commits us to his party or to all of the candidates of his party. >> but you are endorsing the platteform of the democratic party. >> yes, we endorse the plalt
form of the democratic party. >> one thing you said brings this question up. you did not endorse a candidate or platform in 1948. that's right. >> do you think you have the labor movement and the afl has politically lost ground since 1948 so it requires you to endorse this candidate? >> i think we have lost ground in the sense that our influence in the national capitol and legislators of the various states has been lessened since 1948. >> it's in the states itself rather than the federal government? >> in both, in the international capital, no influence it has been lessened since 1948. >> with the election of stevenson, do you expect to regain some ground that you think you've lost then? >> we feel if he'll take aim with them and political history proves we're right in this instance. he will take in with him
congress dominated and our chances are better to repeal the taft hartley law and get a law that's more fair to the general public if a democratic congress is in washington. >> i'm sure that our viewers would like you to explain, first of all, your first objective is to get this legislation that you regard as repressive to get it repealed, isn't it? you want it repealed outright? >> you want it repealed and the simultaneous enactment of a fair law. >> that's just the question -- that's just the question of legislative mechanics mr. huey, you could repeal the act, that means eliminating from the statute books the amendments that the taft hartley act made to the wagner act of 1935, to
the act which was enacted to 1932 regarding junctions. and to the corrupt practices act which has to do with the use of finances in campaigns. now, those are the three laws that taft hartley amended and that's what we call a taft hartley act. the legislative mechanics would be, would be to eliminate those amendments to those three laws and then at the same time, in the same bill enact a new law to cover labor management -- >> that's just the point sir. any new law must exercise some control over labor, shouldn't it? >> any new law this class would have to exercise some control over labor and of management. >> it's just that degree of control over labor that the public is interested in and our viewers tonight. >> that's what we're interested in, the degree of control over labor. >> i see, well, could you --
>> we feel we shouldn't be compelled after all of the services labor has given and labor made it possible for america for instance to become the democracy as we bragged about and after labor has fought the communists all over the world, not only in this country, we don't feel we should be compelled to sign an uncommunist affidavit in order to operate a trade union under the national labor relations act. that's one point. >> just getting right down to the roots of the matter, do you believe that there should be any federal legislative control over labor at all? >> i believe there should be a federal legislative lawsuit to control to whatever extent the federal government can control or should control let me put it that way, relations between labor and management -- in other words, this is a free society. and of course labor is free to work and free not to work and management is free to pursue their business, the investors are free to investor not to
invest. now of course, in a free society such as that, there must be some checks and balances to try to keep the economy moving for the benefit of the country as a whole. >> speaking of checks and balances now, there's been quite a lot of discussion because of a steel strike of the question of industrywide bargaining the question of a man like john l. lewis or phillip murray, this doesn't particularly pertain to the bill, having the power to shut down an entire industry and called industry wide bargaining and technically there's some difference. >> do you think there should be any control over industrywide bargaining? >> not unless there's control over the industries themselves and board of directors of general motor company can shut down if they so desired. the head of one union, you forget there's a democratic process that the head of the union can't do anything unless his member agree with them and unless they give him the power.
now, i don't know of anyone who can stay the head of a corporation or any human society who marches in one direction while his members desire to go in another. that don't last very long. >> i'm sure our viewers would like you to comment on just one thing. can you tell us just briefly, what you are interested in in europe today, the american federation of labor? >> well, the american federation of labor is interested in the workers of europe. we've had -- we've had our representatives in europe for some years. we have a representative in covering germany and austria and another representative, mr. brown, who covers -- >> are you fighting communism there? >> that is what we are there for. we are there to fight communism on the very simple theory that if we can prevent the communist from takes control of the trade unions of europe, of the great massive workers of europe, then we can prevent europe going communist. a case in point and good example
is check slo vak i can't. they didn't earn any industries or newspapers excepts the counterpart of the new york daily worker. they didn't have more than 28% of the legislature of that country. but within seven days, after they took control of that free trade union movement and just as free as our movement is today, within seven days after they took control of that movement, they moved mr. ben nis out and took control of the country. that's why we're in europe. >> now as a final question, sir, you have the afl, labor movement made great progress in the last 30 years. what do you foresee for labor during? you say you suffered losses in the last four. what do you foresee in the next four to eight years? >> i say we suffered losses ininfluence in the legislature, haven't suffered any great losses except the losses due to the rising price structure.
i foresee continued progress in america. because i feel that the trade union movement has made a great contribution. we're not perfect in everything we do isn't perfect. but we have made a great contribution to this country of building up the standards of life. we'll make some mistakes and i think in these modern times with modern methods, our way is a little more difficult than it was before. but i'm confident that we'll make our contribution that america has a great future. >> thank you very much for being with us, sir. >> the editorial board for this edition of the longine chroneosoap scope, our distinguished guest, mr. george meany. secretary treasurer of the american department of labor. tonight, on the communicators, this year c-span stopped by several technology
fairs and spoke with entrepreneurs and researchers on the future of consumer technology. >> what we have been building what we call at the moment the farm data dash board. what we wanted to do was create this one stop shop and portal for the important data sources about agriculture and production statistics in the united states. a lot of these data already exist from the government. but in a disparate world in the online ether, we wanted to make it easy from anyone from an interested public to a small farmer all the way to engineers and professional developers to access the data and start using them in ways that would be powerful for them. >> the idea is in future, fabrics will be intelligent enough to receive the data we send it, right? if i'm stressed out, my fabric can soothe me with heat or
vibration or other things i want it to do. hopefully it will turn on here and each one of these is a module. it provides vibration or heat. >> what are we looking at here? when we see these little modules? what's contained in that? >> these are little microprocessors that tell these act waiting to vibrate. >> we have a lot -- some of our suppliers to give folks here a taste of who we are and what we do and type of suppliers they can find in a platform. one of our suppliers here is a company called i patch. they have an interesting story. it was a person out of new york, he was a journalist and had an idea for a product, found alibaba and had the product created and selling onnali baba.com. you can find manufacturers and get your idea created then eventually become a supplier on the platform and sell your product back to others who might be looking for something like that.
>> i agree that there's still a long way to go. you hear debates about robots taking over the world and becoming more intelligent than humans and so on. from a scientist perspective, i would say that's very optimistic, i wish we were that smart to build robots that smart. we're far away from that. we're making head way in the recent years there's been a con influence of technologies that enabling us to have robots that are smarter, far away from the smarts of human beings but smart enough to perform tasks on their own. >> watch "the communicators" tonight on c-span2. >> all weekend long, american history tv is featuring grand junction, colorado. the city used irrigation to help develop one of its early industries, fruit farming. it's still a major part of the city's economy due to the growth of the agritourism industry. together with our charter communications cable partners c-span visited many sites
exploring the rich history. learn more about grand junction all weekend here on american history tv. we're in an area called cana creek, it's the only source of clear cold water from the mountains. for thousands of years people have camped here. we've had, you know, early paleo lidge i am indians -- our name now is cana creek but it means large pole. you're near a water source and also meadows here for horses. today we're out here to look at the site, a stone structure behind us. it's redout is a hastily built small military structure, what today we would call a rifle pit. we've been out here