RT Unpublished Material DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 64755483 LA English T1 Series 1, Subseries 1, Sub-subseries 1. Leon Davis interviews, A1 National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees., YR 1975 AB Interviews with Leon Davis discuss his personal background and personality and the politics, history and leaders of 1199. Discussed are working conditions in hospitals and organizing campaigns; relations between 1199 and other unions; hospital management, boards of trustees and administrations; politicians and public figures; and the Charleston, S.C. hospital strike of 1969. Davis' biographical reminiscences include his experience as a boy in Russia; his high school education in Hartford, Ct.; part-time employment during the Depression; his attendance at the Columbia University College of Pharmacy; and jobs in pharmacies in Brooklyn and Harlem. He speaks of organizing a union of unemployed pharmacists (1929-1932); his political beliefs and his affiliations with radical politics; strategies in organizing retail drugstores in comparison to industrial organization; 1199 relations and affiliations with the Retail Clerks, AFL-CIO, New York City Central Labor Council, and Grocery Clerks Local 830; and the racial, ethnic and occupational composition of the drugstore union. The formation of the Pharmacists' Union of Greater New York is recounted, as is the conduct of strikes (1932-1934). Also discussed are racial discrimination, civil rights and the organizing of black drug workers (1938-1945); the effects of red-baiting and McCarthyism on 1199 leadership (1948-1951); the YMCA campaign; the Taft-Hartley affidavits; the relationship between union leadership and rank and file; the relationship of District 65 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) with the CIO; the conduct of membership meetings and officer elections; effects of the radical politics of the union's leadership on rank and file; worker participation in union administration; union democracy; grievance handling; the administration of collective agreements; the identification of blacks and minority workers with 1199; Davis' testimony before the Kirsten Committee; political pluralism in 1199; relations between Davis and Mayor La Guardia; police interference; scabs; and the conduct of strikes and pickets. Davis also discusses the strike against the Whelan drugstore chain; unifying and coordinating membership in widespread geographic areas; union administration during World War II; CIO organizing and craft identification; the political orientation of the Trade Union Unity League; income redistribution through changes in Social Security legislation; the effects of the Russian Revolution on social history; post-Stalin Soviet communism; 1199's commitment to organizing unskilled and minority workers; the centralization of authority and membership participation in union bureaucracy; working class solidarity and politics; the role of delegate meetings in setting union policies and decision making; and the effects of wage increases on workers' willingness to strike. Also examined in this interview is the history of the national organizing committee; the coordination of leadership of the union divisions; and roles and duties of organizers; Davis' contacts with Elliott Godoff and Godoff's contacts with the United Public Workers of America and the Teamsters; the assignment of Ted Mitchell and Godoff to the leadership of the hospital organizing campaign; organizing proprietary hospitals; the rationale and strategy of 1199's hospital organizing campaign; Godoff's organizing strategy and personality; Mitchell's background in the Drug Division and his ability to relate to workers; Godoff's position in Maimonides Hospital; Armando Ramirez' background in District 65; Moe Foner's public relations contacts; 1199's public image; coordination of 1199 leadership and District 65 support staff; participation of Bill Taylor, Harry Van Arsdale, Godoff and Davis in the hospital strike settlement (1962); and Davis' and Godoff's roles in hospital leadership. Also discussed are working conditions in hospitals, including a comparison of wages for hospital, clothing and automobile workers; a unified hospital system; national health insurance; the national health care system; strategies in organizing small and large hospitals; the establishment of contacts in hospital departments; hospital organizational structure; demonstrations and wildcat strikes; signing of membership cards; organizing meetings; workers' rights; election conduct; the settlement with Montefiore Hospital; workers' resistance to unionization; the organizing activities of Al Kosloski, Morris Hodara, Marshall Dubin, Hiram Berenger, and Leo Provasti; rank and file leadership; the racial composition of hospital departments and supervisory staffs; hiring practices; black and Puerto Rican leadership; the informal groups and solidarity among Puerto Rican leaders; Mayor Wagner's role in the settlement with Montefiore Hospital; and the strategy for organizing Jewish Hospitals. Davis also analyzes the 1959 settlement and establishment of the Permanent Administrative Committee (PAC); the non-arbitrable issue of patient care; work assignment and job design; the union's effect on worker stability, turnover, absenteeism, and morale; strike conduct; wages; working conditions; boycott of the cafeteria; recognition elections; support by the Drug Division and District 65 during hospital strikes; the administration of collective agreements; the PAC as an obstacle to collective negotiations; Beth-El Hospital's opposition to the PAC; jailings, arrests and court injunctions; effects of the Beth-El Hospital strike on passage of New York State's collective bargaining legislation; and the union's position on compulsory arbitration and the no-strike pledge. Also discussed is union administration under the PAC; mandatory mediation under the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service; Van Arsdale's role on the PAC; PAC investigation committees on hospital standards; grievance handling; dues collection; the role of third party payers in hospital collective negotiations and ability to pay; job security; promotions; worker satisfaction; pre-paid medical plans; the strategic role of nurses in the operation of the hospital; professional identification of nurses and pharmacists; coordination of collective agreements; joint collective negotiations; the compatibility of the values, goals and strategies of the civil rights movement with those of hospital organizing; financial and manpower contributions from District 65; and collective negotiation strategies. The discussion of relations between 1199 and other unions includes Victor Gottbaum's position on hospital shutdowns; Van Arsdale's opinion on 1199's opportunity to develop trade unionism in New York City and to organize unskilled black and Puerto Rican workers; Van Arsdale's and Mike Quill's influence on Mayor Wagner's labor relations policies; Van Arsdale's relationship with Governor Rockefeller; and the role of the New York City Central Labor Council and member unions in the organizing of New York City hospitals. Other interorganizational matters include jurisdictional disputes between 1199 and the Service Employees International Union, Local 144, concerning organizing New York City voluntary hospitals; the position of the A.F. of L. and the New York City Central Labor Council on these disputes; cooperation between 1199 and the Professional Nurses Association; Van Arsdale's background in the construction trades movement and his role in the development of welfare and education benefits and the determination of hours of work; George Meany and A.F. of L. opposition to collective bargaining legislation with compulsory arbitration and a no-strike pledge; and Bayard Rustin's political position and his relationship with 1199. Issues concerning politicians and public figures include Davis' relationship with Mayor John Lindsay; Lindsay's labor relations policies and his influence on the $100 per week minimum wage settlement; Moe Foner's connections with Jimmy Wechsler, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Doris Schiff; the impact of hospital strikes (1959-1962) on the passage of collective bargaining legislation for hospital workers; 1199's endorsement of Governor Rockefeller's re-election campaign; and the nature of political commitments between labor and politicians. Topics pertaining to hospital management, administration and boards of trustees include the fiscal policies of voluntary hospitals; the administration of municipal hospitals and the merit system; the political influence of hospital boards of trustees; relations between Montefiore and Mount Sinai Hospitals; Montefiore Hospital's relations with Jewish philanthropists; a comparison of Russian and Jewish philanthropists; historical background of the New York Hospital Board; the opposition of hospital boards and administrations to unionization; the authoritarian management policies of hospitals; hospital representation on the PAC; and personnel policies of PAC hospitals. Issues regarding the 1969 hospital strike in Charleston, S.C. include strike fines; support from the Catholic church; white community support and reaction to the strike; the role of Jewish merchants and business interests in the South; Bill Saunders' role in community leadership; 1199's attempts to build a strong organization; the relationship of militant blacks and striking hospital workers; violence and police interference; and the involvement of the FBI.