Wednesday, November 21, 2007

JFK and Labor

The newspapers today will be filled with the question, "Where were you 44 years ago?" The day that the 35th president of the United States. As for myself, I was quite young, camped in front of the television, mystified as to the reason the usual fare of cartoons wasn't on the television. In fact, the assassination of Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, is much more vivid in my mind than the death that preceded it.

The observance of the Kennedy assassination is a good time to consider the Kennedy legacy on labor in the United States. Like his record on civil rights, Kennedy's record on labor is worse than is remembered. One must consider, for instance, the rather cool relationship between his attorney general--brother Bobby--and the labor movement; RFK is remembered for this confrontation with Teamster President James R. Hoffa, but he was also council for the McClelland Committee, which produced some of the legislation most harmful to the labor movement of any period in the twentieth century.

JFK also began the reapproachmente with business interests, which has led to the abandonment of the working-class by the Democratic Party

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