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Case Studies in
Union Leadership Training

Bulletin No. 1114

M a u r ic e J. T o b in , Secretary
E w a n C l a g u e , Commissioner


From the Monthly Labor Review of the
Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 1951,
February, April, May, and June 1952 issues.

Case Studies in
Union Leadership Training

Bulletin No. 1114
Maurice J. Tobin, Secretary
Ewan Clague, Commissioner
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. 8. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D. O,

Price 20 cents


Letter of Transmittal

n it e d



t a t e s


e p a r t m e n t

u r e a u

o f


o f


a b o r

a b o r



t a t is t ic s


Washington, D. C.y August 1,1952.


h e


e c r e t a r y

o f


a b o r


have the honor to transmit herewith five case studies in union leadership
training, 1951-52. These five articles appeared originally in the Monthly Labor
Review of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
To understand the directions toward which organized labor is moving, it is
of value to survey the educational programs which the unions are sponsoring.
In planning this series of articles, a few cases were selected which pointed to
significant advances in the methodology and emphasis of workers education.
The particular unions studied (and the list could be extended) were found to be
conscientiously attempting to train the members of their own organizations—
and in one case those nonmembers who wished to cast their lot with the organized
labor movement and who were accepted by the union concerned—in order to
prepare them for positions of leadership in the labor movement of the future.
These studies were contributed by George W. Brooks, Research Director,
International Brotherhood of Pulp, Sulphite, and Paper Mill Workers; Russell
Allen, Education Director, International Brotherhood of Paper Makers; Theresa
Wolfson, Chairman, Board of Directors, White Collar Workshops and Professor
of Economics, Brooklyn College; M. Mead Smith and George Kotrotsios of the
Bureau’s Office of Publications. The bulletin was prepared in the Bureau’s
Office of Publications under the supervision of Margaret H. Schoenfeld and
John Newton Thurber.




a u r ic e

J. T

o b in

w a n


l a g u e




Secretary of Labor.



ILGWU approach to leadership training_________________________________________
Role of the institute----------------------------1
Selection of students----------------------------------------------------------------------------------2
Class and field work-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------3
Placement of graduates_____________________________________________________
CIO training for active and effective local leadership______________________________
Program content___________________________________________________________
The student body__________________________________________________________
Type of training_______________________________________________________ _—
Gains from training___________________________________________________________
Union training program of the AFL paper making unions--------------------------------------12
Methods and materials________________________________________________________
Subject matter_______________________________________________________________
The West Coast program______________________________________________________
Extent and evaluation of theprogram--------------------------------------------------------------16
Education through white collar workshops__________________________________________
History of the program_______________________________________________________
The student body____________________________________________________________
The workshop program_______________________________________________________
Operating problems------ ------------------------------------------------IAM training for active participationin local lodges----------------------------------------------19
Development and scope_______________________________________________________
Planning the institute_________________________________________________________ 20
The Waukegan institute______________________________________________________
Effects of IAM institutes,





Case Studies in Union Leadership Training, 1951-52
ILGWU Approach to
Leadership Training

labor college, however; and at the 1947 convention
an ILGWU training institute was authorized.
The Institute represents the first union effort to
train young people, with or without union ex­
perience, for specific staff jobs.1 Most large
unions provide some training for members already
elected to union office, as well as for new member­
ship. For a number of years the ILGWU itself
has maintained an Officers’ Qualification Course,
and only a member who had a year’s experience as
a paid union officer before the course was set up
or had completed the course (if it was available)
was to be eligible for paid union office. In
practice, this requirement operated only in New
York and few officers had either taken the course
or received ILGWU scholarships to the special
labor courses at such institutions as Harvard
University. Neither the ILGWU nor any other
union had previously made such a heavy financial
commitment to leadership training,2 had required
prospective officers to forego employment for so
long, had set up such careful selection standards,
or had guaranteed jobs on graduation.
Although the first year’s operation convinced
Institute officials of the practicability of the train­
ing, the permanency of the Institute in its present
form is not assured. ILGWU needs for organizers,
though larger than those of trade-unions in indus­
tries with a lower worker and establishment turn­
over, are not unlimited. In supporting the project
at the 1947 convention, President Dubinsky called
upon the ILGWU to “sponsor an educational proj­
ect and attract to it other sections of the labor
movement * * * for the purpose of training lead­
ership for our union and for the trade-union move­
ment in general.” Queried in 1951 on whether
the Institute could train trade-unionists from
other industries, Institute officials thought it pos­
sible, through supplying such students with basic

Labor’s newest full-fledged “ college”—the Train­
ing Institute of the AFL International Ladies’
Garment Workers’ Union—graduated its initial
class in May 1951 and placed its graduates in jobs
with the union. In 12 months’ intensive training,
the Institute had successfully surmounted the
major difficulties predicted by those who felt that
union leadership could be developed only through
years of rank-and-file experience. With the
cooperation of Institute Director Arthur A. Elder
and Assistant Director E. T. Kehrer, the writer
made an intensive study of the school and its work
in June 1951 and observed the early phases of its
second year of operation.
The class and field work methods devised by the
ILGWU for the Institute could readily be applied
by other unions. However, the length of time for
which such a project would be useful to any
individual union would depend on the size of the
organization, age of its leadership, turn-over of the
labor force, labor relations in the industry, and
other such variables. Because of these limiting
factors, the conclusion is inevitable that a fullscale labor college could endure for an indefinite
period only if supported by several unions acting
jointly or by the labor movement as a whole.

Role of the Institute
ILGWU interest in a labor college dates back to
its 1937 convention, when such an institution was
urged for the labor movement as a whole. ILGWU
president David Dubinsky, then and subse­
quently, pointed out the aging leadership of
many of the major United States labor organiza­
tions, the failure to develop younger replacements,
the increasing need for leaders who were skilled
technicians capable of handling the increasingly
complicated functions of the modem trade-union.
Trade-union disunity ruled out any such general

1ILGWU locals have three types of full-time paid staff members—local
managers, business agents, and organizers—as well as the elective offices of
president, vice president, etc.
*The initial annual budget voted for the project was $100,000; the first
year's operation cost an average $4,000 per student, though the total was
expected to be smaller in subsequent years.


classroom courses and assigning them to unions in
their own industry for field work. But this could
better be handled by a separate Institute operated
by the AFL or, in the event of labor unity, by
the trade-union movement as a whole.
Meantime, Institute officials have undertaken
a number of supplementary projects to utilize the
facilities built up and the experience gained in the
ILGWU program. One such is the use of Insti­
tute faculty and equipment for brief refresher
courses for officers, held concurrently with the
regular Institute classes; the first of these, on an
experimental basis, was a 2-week course in July for
16 ILGWU staff members from 6 departments in
various parts of the United States and Canada.
Another is a new union song book, worked up by
one of the students and utilizing current tunes and
words of particular significance to the present-day
labor force as well as some of the better-known
traditional labor songs. On the basis of Institute
experience in both class and field work, a new
organizer’s handbook is also being prepared to in­
clude techniques found effective for the problems
of a well-established labor movement.

Selection of Students
As minimum standards, applicants for leader­
ship training at the Institute must have completed
high school or its equivalent, be between 21 and
35 years old,3 and provide doctors’ certificates of
health. Consideration is also given, both in the
application form and in personal interviews, to
the applicant’s union connections, his previous
activities and interests, and his reasons for wanting
to attend the Institute. No limitations are
placed on home locality, marital status, sex, reli­
gion, or race. In keeping with the ILGWU
leaders’ belief that potential leadership is to be
found in other industries and unions, and that
many persons have never had the opportunity to
serve the labor movement to the extent of their
desire and ability, candidates need not have
experience in the garment industry, although
preference is given to those who have.
Candidates are interviewed exhaustively by a
three-man Admissions Committee and the Com­
mittee on Education to determine two fundamen­
tal qualifications—leadership ability and 1‘sticking
* The maximum age was raised from 3Qto 35 years after the first year.

power” or dedication to the trade-union move­
ment. To this end, the negative aspects of union
work are emphasized, as well as any personal hand­
icaps the individual may have which would require
extra effort on his part. Negro applicants are
warned that, while they will be placed where their
race will hamper their effectiveness as little as
possible, they will inevitably have to resolve some
difficult situations. A young German-born appli­
cant for the second-year class was told he would
have to get rid of his accent; even with the Insti­
tute’s help, he would have to work hard.
The individual’s political and social beliefs are
also checked into in this connection and consider­
able weight is put on ambition. As stated by the
Institute’s Assistant Director:*4 “The applicant
had to have a mature, aggressive, out-going per­
sonality, with a rather well-developed desire to live
a life of service. Progressive political ideas, famil­
iarity with the objectives of the labor movement,
a receptiveness to learning, were considered . . . ”
Another factor carefully scrutinized is the appli­
cant’s family status. Union employment often
entails considerable travel, irregular hours, and
frequent evening and Sunday work. The stu­
dent’s wife (or parents) must be aware of this and
in sympathy with the objectives of his work.
Women applicants must recognize that permanent
staff employment practically precludes a normal
family life for them, according to staff officials.
The applicant must also be willing to work out­
side New York City. Due to the long-time con­
centration and high degree of organization of the
women’s garment industry in New York City, cur­
rent ILGWU staff needs are chiefly outside that
city (particularly in the organizing “frontiers” of
the South, Southwest, and West). Yet the major­
ity of applicants, and those most familiar with the
ILGWU and its objectives, have to date come from
New York. Students sign no contracts, but
agree that employment will be offered “in such
place and capacity” as the ILGWU determines.
Finally a prospective student must be able to
finance a year’s maintenance. The course was set at
1 year in consideration of the organization’s needs,
on the one hand, and the length of time a student
could be expected to be willing and able to inter­
rupt his employment, on the other. No tuition is
charged but neither is any remuneration provided
4 E. T. Kehrer, Training for Union Leadership, The Standard, The Ameri­
can Ethical Union, New York, May 1951.


students (except to meet field expenses), thus
eliminating all but those sufficiently serious about
the project to provide their own maintenance.
For New Yorkers, who frequently can live at home
without expense, this is less of a problem. Lim­
ited opportunity to earn small sums is given by the
Institute in various forms, such as paying students
to work up classroom notes for mimeographing.
Thus far some students have been eligible for vet­
erans’ education rights. Others have relied on
savings or, in some cases, support by their wives.
Part-time work outside the Institute is discour­
aged, although necessary in some instances. The
current emphasis on drawing students from out­
side New York would increase this consideration.
Advance publicity given the establishment of
the Institute resulted in roughly a thousand re­
quests for application blanks the first year, and
close to 300 persons were interviewed. Estimates
of the number of staff openings available in any 1
year, plus the importance of individual attention,
limited the size of the class, and in the first year
35 students were finally admitted.5 More em­
phasis was placed the second year on obtaining
applicants through ILGWU locals, which were
urged to encourage promising young persons to
apply. The second class started with 27 students.
In both classes the majority of students had
substantially more than the minimum educa­
tional requirement, each group including a few
who had done graduate work. Four-fifths of
the first class were from the State of New York
while nearly half of the second class came from
outside that State; in each class, however, only
two students came from States outside the New
England and Middle Atlantic areas.
The ethnic composition of the New York in­
dustry’s labor force was reflected in the large
number of Jewish students participating, as
well as several having Italian background. Only
four women were included in the first class and
three in the second, in spite of the preponderance
of women in garment employment; far fewer
women had applied, but those who did usually had
above-average qualifications. Over half the stu­
dents in each class were less than 25 years old.
In spite of the preference given applicants from
the industry, only about a third of the students in

s Final number graduated was 30. One student was dropped after 5
months on grounds he was unable to handle the work; another dropped out
for personal reasons; five were drafted before the year was out, though two
were so near completion of the course that they were formally graduated.
219735— 52------- 2

the first class had garment experience—all of
these being ILGWU members except one who
had previously belonged to the CIO Amalgamated
Clothing Workers of America. A number of addi­
tional students had other union affiliations but
roughly a third had had no previous connection
with the labor movement. A stronger emphasis
on obtaining persons from the garment industry,
agreed to at the General Executive Board meeting
in February 1951, plus the greater reliance on
recruitment through ILGWU locals were reflected
in the make-up of the second class. Of the 27
students, 14 had industry and ILGWU experience,
9 had some other union affiliation or former affilia­
tion (including several from the CIO), and only
4 had no union affiliation whatsoever.
Students accepted in both classes reflected the
emphasis placed on ambition, both in their evident
interest in advancing in the ILGWU and in their
definite ideas of what union programs should in­
clude. Students evinced much interest at the
beginning of each class in working eventually into
the Education Department. However, through
their field experience, the first-year students gradu­
ally became absorbed in the local operations which
were to be their work. Many realized that the
opportunities for carrying out union programs, in­
cluding education, were greatest in local staff work.

Class and Field Work
Flexibility and practicality are outstanding
characteristics of both the formulation of the leader­
ship training program and the methods which
the students are taught. All aspects of the train­
ing are directed toward preparing the individual
for the particular job he is to do—that of an organ­
izer initially, but with the possibility of working
into other union jobs. To this end the approach
of both faculty and staff is personalized, with
considerable individual counseling, even on seem­
ingly small points. Students from New York,
for example, are helped in the speech workshop to
get rid of any local accent they may have, and are
advised that the stylized clothing popular in some
parts of the city might prove a handicap in the field.
Alternating class and field work periods are pro­
vided—3 of the former, 2 of the latter. Field work
is the most profitable part of the training, both
students and staff agree. It serves a dual function:
(1) Early job experience matures the students;


gives them a more realistic approach and a more
directed interest in class material than they would
otherwise have; demonstrates any personality
problems they may have to overcome; and shows
in operation the techniques found effective by
union officers after years of trial and error; (2)
close relations with the field officers familiarize
the Institute staff members with the needs of the
locals, show them the “curriculum in action,” en­
able them to adjust the training accordingly, and
clarify for local personnel the Institute’s function.
Class Work . Classroom work at ILGWU head­
quarters in New York runs from 9 a. m to 4 p. m.,
Monday through Friday. It is divided between
lectures, attended by the whole student body, and
workshops for which the class is broken up into
three groups that meet concurrently and study the
various workshop subjects in rotation.
Lectures cover general subjects and specific
union and industry questions, including economics
for workers; labor legislation and history; dynam­
ics of the American community; international labor
problems; comparative economic systems; the
American corporation; management engineering;
history, structure, and operation of the ILGWU;
history, economics, and business practices of the
garment industry, and garment construction; and
problems of organization, union administration,
collective bargaining and agreements, and political
action techniques. Workshops provide instruc­
tion in speech; leaflet writing; public relations;
audio-visual techniques; radio script-writing and
broadcasting; mimeographing; and typing.
Instructors are drawn largely from academic
and other professional circles in and around New
York and from the ILGWU staff. To avoid some
difficulties encountered in the first year, every
effort is made to engage instructors who are prac­
ticing their profession as well as teaching its rudi­
ments. Guest lecturers, including Government
and local ILGWU officials, are worked in fre­
quently. Both classrooms and workshops are
informal. Students are vocal about experiences
and opinions, even if at variance with the instruc­
In working out its leadership training program,
the Institute staff stressed not only selection of
appropriate subjects but treatment of the infor­
mation in a manner calculated to prepare the
students for their work. The economics course,

for example, is not the standard academic begin­
ning course but is “economics for workers/’ and is
taught with a sociological approach. When the
Supreme Court decision, upholding the terms of
the Smith Act governing conspiracy against the
United States, was handed down early in the Insti­
tute’s second year, the labor law instructor inter­
rupted his course to discuss the various Court
opinions, as of particular interest to the students.
Lectures are integrated by the staff (one member
of which sits in briefly on each lecture period) and
through faculty meetings which were instituted in
the second year. Thus, when the instructor in
dynamics of the American community points out
which groups usually lead in the community,
the instructor in “how to organize” takes the
opportunity to explain methods for reaching those
The difficulties of giving the students an inti­
mate understanding of the various garment proc­
esses and trades—sufficient both to “speak the
same language” as garment workers and to repre­
sent them skillfully—were repeatedly advanced
against the labor-college type of leadership train­
ing. Proponents of the project were themselves
skeptical of success in this regard. The problem
is particularly important for unions in the garment
industry. Because of the seasonal nature of the
work as well as recurring fluctuation with style,
garment workers generally are employed on “piece
prices,” which must yield the average hourly
minimum rate set by collective agreement. A
major portion of the ILGWU business agent’s time
is spent adjusting and checking the piece prices
with changes in style or material used. He must
be able to determine, for example, whether a
worker complaint that she “can’t make out” (i. e.,
earn the minimum hourly rate) is caused by an
employer attempt to get more time-consuming
work done without a commensurate rateuncrease
or by a worker slow-down to obtain higher rates
and thus raise earnings, as sometimes happens.
Suggestions by ILGWU officers and students
alike that each student be placed temporarily in
a shop were rejected when it became apparent that
in a brief assignment he could not obtain rounded
experience. Even a student with industry ex­
perience generally knew little about operations
other than his own. The “ trade” training evolved
proved surprisingly successful, including:
(1) A detailed description, in the economics

of the garm ent industry course, of every p art of
a garm ent shop and its operations.
(2) An evening course in garm ent construction.
Here, an experienced operator dem onstrated and
explained the different operations of garm ent
construction in detail, showing the students the
effect on speed of different styles and m aterials,
a t w hat stage the operator m ust remove a piece,
often to the other end of the shop, for pressing
before continuing the operation, etc.
(3) A 1-week course in machines, which are
m ost efficient, w hat type is in use in a particular
shop and its effect on the worker. E ach graduate
received a list of these machines for use in dis­
cussions w ith m anagem ent on shop efficiency.
(4) A sewing class for students w ithout garm entshop experience. U nder the supervision of an
experienced student, they used sewing machines
2 hours on school nights for 2 weeks.
A nother problem encountered in planning the
classroom curriculum was the need to m eet the
requirem ents of both the students w ith industry
experience, who w anted more general education,
and those w ithout such experience, who w anted
industry and union inform ation. The tailoring
of the program to the specific job to be performed
has contributed to solving this problem : college
graduates discover th a t the economics course is
substantially different from any they have had;
and industry students receive inform ation on
unfam iliar aspects of the trade and see their own
jobs described in relation to the industry as a
whole. Interest is also m aintained through con­
tinually drawing on the students themselves for
their own ideas and experiences. The student
who spoke for the first class a t graduation con­
cluded th a t it was impossible to satisfy fully all
the varied needs, b u t th a t the Institute had gone
a long way in th a t direction. The evaluation of
the Institute staff was th a t no difference existed
in the caliber of the organizer, between those with
and w ithout industry experience.
Through the workshops, theory is converted
into practice in the classwork periods as well as in
the field. D uring the first year, students prac­
ticed their speech instruction from soap boxes in
Union Square. D uring the second year, the
student political com m ittee was assigned briefly
to get signatures for the election petition of an
ILG W U -supported candidate.
Hom ework assignm ents for the workshops

likewise consist of drafting leaflets, preparing
radio programs, etc. In the leaflet lay-out work­
shop, for example, each student is hypothetically
assigned to help organize a garm ent shop which
the ILG W U has previously attem pted to organize.
Given a series of descriptions of cam paign devel­
opments, the student drafts a leaflet appropriate
to each new developm ent. W orkshop discussions
of these leaflets point up the varied problems
likely to confront an organizer, ranging from
w hether A FL affiliates cooperate w ith CIO
unions in antiunion towns to w hether it is prac­
tical to cite the protective provisions of the 1947
T aft-H artley Act when the A FL favors repeal.
In the workshops stress is laid on learning
the mechanics of equipm ent in order to prevent
losses of equipm ent which frequently occur
through im proper use or neglect. Before instruc­
tion is given in the use of movies, for example,
the students m ust learn to operate the equipm ent
and service it. They m ay be called on, w ithout
warning, to run a movie for the class, having to
handle breaks purposely put into the film. The
students are cautioned th at they are working under
ideal conditions at the In stitu te where any equip­
m ent needed is prom ptly obtained; and th a t they
m ust be prepared frequently to improvise.
The efficacy of the curriculum is checked and
rechecked by the In stitu te staff. Occasional
w ritten tests are used prim arily to find out w hether
essential inform ation is being put across to the
students successfully. Regional and local officers
are urged to m ake suggestions. The lecture
series on time studies— a subject of considerable
concern to the ILG W U a t the present tim e—
was included in response to field requests. The
Institute staff feared th at this course m ight lead
the graduates to regard themselves as m anagem ent
engineers and to try to do work they were n o t
properly equipped to perform, b u t to date, this
fear has proved unjustified and the course has
been retained. Students are also encouraged to
m ake suggestions. A dditions to the In stitu te li­
brary have been m ade on the basis of student
suggestions. In another instance, a recommen­
dation (by a graduate who was trying to stop
trucks servicing a struck shop) to include infor­
m ation on State trucking laws was vetoed by the
ILG W U legal departm ent as requiring too m uch
tim e; inform ation on a particular law could quick­
ly be obtained locally, when needed.


Curriculum adjustm ents in response to students1
field experience include shifting the dynam ics
of the American com m unity course from the second
to the first semester. Difficulties encountered by
first-year students in their first field-work period,
attributed by the staff to lack of understanding of
com m unity forces (particularly in the small town),
diminished after the dynam ics course.
Field Work. An attem pt is m ade to expose the
students to the widest possible variety of situa­
tions in their two periods in the field. Insofar
as is feasible, students are assigned to large, wellorganized locals, usually in large cities, for one
period, and to small locals, usually in small
towns in “frontier” areas, for the other. Regional
directors, who are responsible for the students in
the field (under the general supervision of the
In stitu te staff), are requested to fit them into
the day-to-day operations of the locals as much
as possible, while a t the same tim e exposing them
to the m axim um num ber of different operating
functions. Ideally, each student would be as­
signed to a separate local, to avoid their clanning
together and to force them to work into the com­
m unity; to date, however, this has not always
been possible and as m any as six students were
assigned to one local during the first year.
B y and large, this system of field practice has
worked out well, according to the In stitu te staff,
who receive weekly reports from the students on
each day’s activities and who visit the various
regions throughout the field periods to discuss
problem s w ith the students and their progress
w ith the regional staff. Only in two or three
instances have students been transferred because
of personality conflicts or lack of opportunity
for adequate experience.
In the more highly organized centers, such as
Chicago or New York, where the union’s service
functions (e. g., resolving grievances) m ake up
the bulk of union operations, the student gets a
good sample of business agent work. H e observes
an agent in all his activities and is given oc­
casional opportunities to speak a t local m eet­
ings, do office work, and so on. The experience
obtained by the student in this situation is ex­
trem ely broad: he visits shops to receive com­
plaints; observes piece-price settlem ents; partic­
ipates in picket lines; sits in on contract com­
m ittee, executive, local, and mass m eetings;

checks on overdue vacation paym ents or unem ­
ploym ent insurance rights; observes N L R B hear­
ings; attends plant conferences on engineering
problem s; helps p u t on union shows.
In contrast, in the less organized areas the
student often acts as a full-tim e organizer, w ith
supervision frequently lim ited to occasional
“strategy” conferences. Such assignm ents fur­
nish a narrow er b u t m ore concentrated expe­
rience. W hile he sees little of service operations,
he participates in all phases of an organizing
campaign. H e drafts, mimeographs, and dis­
tributes leaflets; works out m eans of obtaining
inform ation on m anagerial activities in the shop
and nam es of workers to contact; drives for long
hours on bad roads to locate workers and sign
them up; and m ay even be the target of eggs and
bags of w ater tossed out plant windows by an ti­
union workers. One group of students was
arrested during the first year for obstructing an
entry w ay; they obtained a dismissal of the case
by m easuring the sidewalk a t the entrance and
dem onstrating th a t side by side the students were
not broad enough to achieve such a block.
Reluctance, in a num ber of instances, of both
students and staff to have the students return to
class dem onstrates the degree to which students
are integrated into local operations in this latter
type of field situation. In one case, two students,
who were the m ainstays of a picket line, were
perm itted to stay an extra week to enable two
full-tim e staff organizers to acquaint them selves
with the situation and take over the work.

Placement of Graduates

T he general allocation of graduates to various
regions is determ ined by the over-all needs of
the organization, as seen by top IL G W U officials,
and by the requests sent in by regional directors
based on personal observation and brief descrip­
tions sent out on each student tow ard the close of
the school year. Individual assignm ents are
then m ade by the Institute staff, giving as m uch
w eight as possible to student and regional di­
rector preferences, b u t also considering the organ­
ization’s needs in a particular region, the abilities
of the students, and the personalities involved.
A num ber of snags were encountered in placing
the first group of graduates:
(1) Regional officers m ade com m itm ents to
particular students th a t they would be hired in

their regions, and to local unions th a t they would
be allocated a certain num ber of students, and even
in some instances, specific students. All personnel
have now been notified th a t no job com m itm ents
of any kind are to be m ade in the field.
(2) Regional directors requested more students
than could be allocated and, in some instances,
particular students by name. I t was clear th a t
the In stitu te’s inability to m eet all the requests
would create considerable disappointm ent. Some
of the students w ith the broadest experience and
ability were requested for several regions.
(3) Students expressed predilections for or objec­
tions to particular areas. In spite of the students’
initial com m itm ent to accept any assignment,
considerable discussion was needed to persuade
some to take positions in the m ore rem ote or other­
wise less desirable spots, especially since first-year
students had been perm itted to indicate preferences
(both for field and final assignm ent). In future,
students are to be given a choice of two or three
locations previously determ ined as appropriate.
Success in attracting students from more varied
areas would minimize this problem, since the
students would, in general, be m ost effectively
placed in an area sim ilar to their home locale.
W ithin a m onth after completion of the first
course, all the graduates had been hired and were
a t work, largely as organizers and in some cases as
business agents. Scattered reports received by
the In stitu te during th a t period indicate th at the
new staff mem bers were engaging in a wide variety
of operations and were, with some exceptions,
already closely integrated in their new work.
W ithin the first m onth of em ploym ent, one re­
ported negotiation of a piece-price increase;
another, sufficient organization for a shop election.
O thers helped in organization campaigns which
failed. Still others worked on service operations.

Critics of the project doubted w hether regional
and local personnel would accept the students as
staff members, predicting local fears and resent­
m ent of persons given responsible jobs w ithout
coming up through the ranks. However, the re­
gional directors have dem onstrated their support
of the project by their enthusiastic requests for
graduates. Personnel a t the local level have
cooperated also, b u t problems still exist in this
Students of the first class reported some
instances of resentm ent by local staff m embers in
their field-work periods. B ut this came, they said,
largely from persons already insecure, who were
not doing the best possible jobs and who therefore
feared replacem ent. The opinion was expressed
by these students, however, th a t acceptance a t the
local level m ight have been a t least partially due
to the In stitu te’s support by top IL G W U officers.
The experience of the students has carried over
to the graduates. On the whole they have been
accepted, although individual experience varies.
One graduate was introduced to the owners’
association representative (with whom he was to
negotiate) as “a student from our In stitu te.”
A t the other extreme, another has already run
a shop meeting. One who regretted leaving New
York comments th a t he is glad he did; he has a
status and a sense of im portant responsibility he
feels he would not have in the larger city.
Difficulty at the local level has not been as great
as the In stitu te bad anticipated. B oth the staff and
the graduates recognize, however, th a t the ques­
tion of local acceptance, as well as the final demon­
stration of the value of training, can only be settled
by tim e and the effectiveness of the individual’s
work. Tim e alone can also determ ine w hether the
graduates stay w ith the union long enough to m ake
the cost of the training a worthwhile ILG W U
investm ent.

CIO Training for Active and
Effective Local Leadership

issues affecting labor regardless of industry or
locale is emphasized. The effect of the training,
though not susceptible to m easurem ent, inevitably
varies w ith the different personalities and previous
experience of the students. N ot the least of the
results are the personal contacts, the increased
understanding between groups, and the greater
feeling of unity in the organization, which are
produced by a week of living and talking together.
Over and aboye the gains to the students them ­

Stim ulation of thought and interest is the
m ajor m eans utilized by the CIO in its training
program of nationally sponsored schools to in­
crease the activity and effectiveness of local union
officers. To this end, classes are small, the ap­
proach is informal, and group discussion of current


selves, the schools provide a m eans for facilitating
the work of the organization in other ways.
N ational personnel working m ainly in the field
m eet local officers w ith whom they m ay later
work. Inform ation on the effectiveness of national
headquarters’ activities is provided by class dis­
cussions and by student reading reports which
include questions calculated to reflect the degree
of clarity and adequacy of the pam phlet read.
To date, full utilization of such inform ation has
been prevented by the broad scope of the program
and staff lim itations. B ut, for those national
and regional officers directly participating, the
program affords an opportunity to get a feeling
for the problem s and im m ediate needs of the local
m embership.
In order to observe the program at first hand,
the w riter attended one of the sessions in Sep­
tem ber 1951. This was the E astern Leadership
T raining School a t Bynden Wood Cam p, YM CA
installation near Reading, Pa. George Guernsey,
CIO Associate D irector in Charge of Education,
and Ben Segal, CIO Associate D irector of E du­
cation, in discussions on the over-all program ,
described the Pennsylvania school as fairly repre­

Program Content
Basically the national leadership training pro­
gram supplem ents the training given by individual
CIO international unions and regional industrial
union councils (IU C)— both area-wise and in sub­
ject coverage. Several m em ber organizations have
operated sum m er leadership training institutes for
a num ber of years, some of them as early as the
mid-1930’s. Since W orld W ar II, such schools
have grown substantially, both in size and in
num ber. In the sum m er of 1951, some 40 such
schools were held, attended by an estim ated 4,500
CIO members. The national D epartm ent of R e­
search and E ducation assists and coordinates the
developm ent of these training program s by sup­
plying literature and visual aids and holding
regional and national m eetings of educational
The departm ent in 1947 7 initiated a series of
8 Based on the manuals used in the schools and revised annually, a general
manual of facts, policies, and educational techniques has been developed for
the use of the public as well as educational and other CIO officers.
7 The preceding year, the department started regional week-end confer*
ences for CIO members. As the program of 1-week leadership training
schools has expanded, less reliance has been placed on these more limited

sum m er schools for areas where m em ber organi­
zations had not run institutes of their own.
These are sponsored and adm inistered by the
national staff in cooperation w ith CIO regional
directors and State councils in the area con­
cerned. Of the 56 such schools held to date, 9
were conducted in 1951. The program was also
being placed on a year-round basis. A few areas
have had schools annually, but, in general, the
location and State coverage have varied.8
As currently operated, the schools start w ith a
prelim inary session on Sunday evening, daily
classes run M onday through Friday, and certifi­
cates are presented on Friday evening. Three
successive classes are held in the m orning for all
of the students, who are divided into two groups
and rotated to facilitate individual participation.
H alf of the afternoon is devoted to three con­
current workshops, each student selecting one
which he attends throughout the week. An
evening lecture, a panel discussion, or a showing
of movies is attended by the entire group. M em ­
bers of the national D epartm ent of Research and
Education do m ost of the class-work teaching and
conduct some of the workshops. Instruction is
given in particular fields by personnel from other
national CIO departm ents, officials of CIO
organizations in the region concerned, and spe­
cialists from outside the labor m ovem ent. “ H om e­
w ork” is lim ited to three “ reading reports” on
pam phlets and leaflets distributed. As a follow­
up, all student-delegates are p u t on the D epart­
m ent’s mailing list to receive periodically infor­
m ation on current issues, pam phlets, and some
program suggestions.
In recognition of the wide variation in individual
developm ent, the division for class sessions a t some
of the schools is roughly according to the students’
previous experience— the curriculum rem aining the
same for all, but the teaching being adjusted to
the particular group. A t the 1951 Pennsylvania
school this was done only in the political action
workshop; beginners learned the details of tech­
niques and an advanced group studied the broader
problems and im plications of political action.
This procedure was evolved after an experim ental
advanced school, held in conjunction w ith the 1950
M issouri school, proved unsatisfactory. A t th a t
8.8 The 1951 schools wereheld in the following nine regions: Southern States;
Maryland and Virginia; Iowa and Nebraska; Missouri; Indiana; California;
the Rocky Mountain area; Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and
West Virginia; and Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas.

school, any officer who had previously attended a
CIO school—w hether sponsored nationally or by
a m em ber organization—was eligible for the ad­
vanced course; because of the m ethod of selection,
however, the “ advanced” group still varied widely
in individual development, for some students had
had no training since the early 1930's, while others
had attended the 1949 sum m er school.
Schools are held a t centers which have facilities
for housing, meals, and recreation. Baseball or
other organized sports are available during the
afternoon free periods. The student council,
elected early in the course, arranges entertain­
m ent to follow the evening sessions. M any of
the sessions are opened by union songs, played on
records or sung by the group. Posters and
bulletins provide atm osphere, supplem entary m a­
terial, and a dem onstration of educational
The schools cover leadership techniques and
national issues of relevance to all CIO members,
regardless of locality or industry. They do not,
for instance, take up collective-bargaining ques­
tions, such as w hether an escalator clause is
desirable in a contract. Accordingly, the general
topics m ay be the same each year, but the m aterial
presented and the emphasis vary, reflecting the
changing national and international scene.
M ajor topics a t the 1951 Pennsylvania school
were labor history, economics, international affairs,
civil rights, and certain political problems (with
workshops in public speaking and parliam entary
procedure, educational techniques and com m unity
relations, and political action techniques). B ut
the economics course, for example, covering
“Problem s of a M obilization Econom y,” was com­
pletely different from th a t in the sum m er of 1950.
International affairs and political action emerged
as m ain points of emphasis, owing to repeated
treatm ent in the curriculum itself and through
the “extra-curricular” activities which in m any
ways augm ented the form al training: treatm ent
of international problem s in a regular morning
class was supplem ented by an evening panel dis­
cussion, a U nited N ations movie, and arrange­
m ents for sum m er school students to buy books
for Germ an and A ustrian trade-unionists. In
addition, the students gained appreciation and
understanding from close and personal associa­
tion, in inform al social gatherings, with a Danish
workers' education specialist who stayed the

entire week, an Indonesian speaker who spent the
evening a t the camp, and an ECA-sponsored
French labor-m anagem ent team attending the
opening sessions.

The Student Body
All locals and councils in the region concerned
are invited to send representatives,89 provided th a t
no individual attends twice. The national office's
only guide to selection consists of urging organi­
zations to choose individuals who are m ost likely
to benefit from and to utilize effectively the
training given.
A ttendance averages about 30, although indi­
vidual schools vary considerably. The proportion
of women delegates is usually low. Participation
by m inority groups—Negroes, or, in some locales,
workers of M exican descent—is also sm all; some
schools have had no Negro participants although
in one instance half the student group was colored.
E very effort is directed tow ard m aking the schools
interracial, b u t m any of the unions sending
delegates are in industries which employ few
V ariation in num ber and type of representatives
sent to the schools is dem onstrated by the 1951
Pennsylvania school. Of the 36 students,10 the
10-man steel-worker delegation was the largest
single industry group, and w ith the chemical,
textile, and paper-worker delegates constituted
over tw o-thirds of the student body. Packing­
house, automobile, printing, electrical, com m uni­
cations, and brewery workers’ unions sent the
rem aining students. Tw enty-four came from
Pennsylvania, m any from either Reading or
Philadelphia. (Six of the steel workers were from
Reading for example, and all five textile workers
came from Philadelphia.) E ight were from New
Jersey and two each from Delaware and W est
Over tw o-thirds of the students were sent by
their local unions; the others represented city,
county, or district IU C . Fifteen had been elected
a t local meetings, and the others were chosen by
the unions' executive boards or other adm inistra­
8The $45 fee for tuition, board, and room is paid by the organization sending
the delegate, who also receives pay (at his regular hourly rate) for time lost
from the job, traveling expenses, and, in some instances, spending money.
18 In addition, one full-time education staff worker was sent, by his inter­
national union office in Washington, to observe the educational techniques


tive bodies. Several students were sent because
they had shown some special interest in union
activities b u t needed development. Others were
selected so th a t someone in a position of authority
would be equipped to answer comprehensively the
local m em bers’ questions on some of the national
issues. Still others were sent prim arily as a re­
w ard for past union activity, and some apparently
were selected because of their willingness or eager­
ness to represent their organizations at the school.
Age, office, and union experience of the students
reflected the varied bases of selection. Some were
very young, others were well on in their working
years. One student had been a union m em ber
less than a year, while another’s first experience
w ith the labor m ovem ent dated back 29 years.
Roughly half, however, had joined a trade-union
for the first tim e in the postw ar years. All b u t
three held some union office, and these three had
previously done so. Those in shop stew ard or
grievance com m ittee work were the m ost num er­
ous, followed by local presidents or vice presi­
dents. O ther offices represented ranged from IU O
delegate to sergeant a t arms, including two on
education com m ittees; several held more than one
office. Some had previously attended week-end
conferences, or schools run by their own interna­

Type of Training
M ajor emphasis is on provoking thought and
awareness, as a m eans of stim ulating the indi­
vidual to be more active in his union and more
effective in his office. The student is not expected
to absorb a mass of facts in 1 week b u t is given
a great deal of printed inform ation for future
study and use on the union job. N either is he
expected to become skilled in teaching others.
E ach student receives a “kit for union education”
and a m anual which contains a section on educa­
tional work; simple types of educational program s,
such as lectures, panel discussions, and movies,
are dem onstrated by their use in the program .
B u t this aspect of the training is secondary to
the developm ent of the delegate himself.
Again the Pennsylvania school is illustrative.
To obtain the active student participation neces­
sary for m axim um success in such a short period,
group discussion was utilized extensively, and it
was m ade clear from the outset tliat individual

comments and questions were welcome in any
session. This was facilitated by the inform al
atm osphere created by the camp and by the
staff’s approach.
Two fundam ental approaches stood out a t the
Pennsylvania sessions: (1) raising key issues,
presenting factual background m aterial and vari­
ous approaches, and leaving it to the students to
think through their own opinions and solutions;
(2) relating these broad issues to individual ex­
perience, frequently in bread-and-butter term s
(such as the effect on prices of consumer failure
to press Congress on economic controls legisla­
tion) .
These techniques were used particularly in some
of the regular m orning classes. The m aterial was
presented in such a w ay as to m ake one central
concept stand out: in labor history—struggle,
both past and present; in international relations—
the fact th a t preconceived ideas and attitudes,
rather than facts, frequently shape individual
opinions on foreign policy; in economics— the
changing character of the American economy. In
the opening labor history session, each student was
asked to tell his own experience in the trade-union
m ovem ent. These accounts showed up m any of
the broad trends and problems which have
characterized and shaped labor history. One
student, for example, described how his local had
been an A FL affiliate before the CIO was or­
ganized, subsequently joined a CIO international,
w ithdrew when th a t international was ousted from
the CIO on charges of Com m unist dom ination,
and finally joined the international of which it
was currently a part. T he international relations
class started w ith the students recounting local
com m ent on the U N , Korea, and G eneral
M acA rthur’s recall; conflicting statem ents quoted
pointed up im m ediately the need for facts on the
issues involved, facts which in turn led to related
problems. In contrast, the economics class built
up more gradually to individual experience.
Only in the third session, on current controls, did
the students become vocal, citing more than
enough wage stabilization problems to dem on­
strate forcefully the connection between national
and local economic problems.
E very effort was m ade, throughout the course,
to avoid getting involved in local issues. Students
from the same locality as a particular speaker re­
ceived some answers to specific questions; e. g., a


speaker from the Philadelphia Fair Employment
Practices Commission explained to a Philadelphia
delegate how to get legal action on help wanted
ads which specify white applicants only. Time
was set aside in one of the workshops for a discus­
sion of how to increase attendance at union
meetings, after repeated comments indicated the
problem was common to most organizations.
The brief time available forced the workshops
to rely largely on discussion rather than practice
of techniques. In the beginning political action
workshop, for example, a detailed description of
each step in an election campaign was given, from
the working up of mailing lists for registration
drives, to ways of assisting members to get to the
polls on election day. On the other hand, the
parliamentary procedure workshop held two mock
meetings, followed by discussion of the correct
procedure for handling situations which arose.
One such “situation” was deliberately created:
several students arranged in advance to “heckle”
that day’s officers and “railroad” the meeting
through to a quick end, through a strategic use
of the rules. Though introduced facetiously, this
informal “cell” illustrated vividly the skill required
to deal with a serious attempt to control a group.
Flexible treatment of a given subject made it
possible for the various sessions to be closely inter­
related and to reinforce each other. An evening
panel discussion of the problem of protecting civil
rights in the current period of tension was con­
tinued in the next morning’s labor history class.
Similarly, the evening international affairs panel,
consisting of an Indonesian Embassy official, a
former CARE representative, and a national CIO
staff member, strengthened points brought out
in the international affairs class.
The curriculum was also fluid, and readily
adjusted to meet the needs of the group and to
take maximum advantage of teaching personnel
who could not spend the full week at the camp.
For example, the final day’s workshops were
dropped to permit a general discussion on how
the students could most effectively report on the
school to their organizations.
A variety of “byproducts” of a week’s living
and talking together supported the more formal
training at the school. One was the informal
exchange of information on methods. A dinner
conversation turned to the use of job descriptions.
One student told how management in his plant

had accepted job descriptions during the war, but
was now trying to get rid of them as too binding;
another explained that the contract provision for
job descriptions in his plant was greatly weakened
by a clause which stated that the descriptions need
not include all kinds of work done in a particular
job; others at the table, previously unfamiliar
with this subject, came to the conclusion that it
would be highly desirable to obtain such provi­
sions. Another incidental gain was increased
understanding of the different types of problems
facing unions in different industries. Finally, an
opportunity was afforded for threshing out mis­
understandings between local groups or for explain­
ing the net gains, for the membership generally,
of policies which some members maintained bene­
fited one group at the expense of another.
Gains from Training

The difficulties of gauging the schools’ effect
stem from the fact that the goals are largely in­
tangible as well as from the differences in student
personality and experience. Inconclusive, seem­
ingly confusing discussions at the school, for
example, may provoke the student to further
thought or investigation on his own initiative.
Some guide to the effect of the training is pro­
vided by student reaction during the 1951 Penn­
sylvania course and their ideas for using the
material in their organizations. Two students—
one a union member for 9 years, the other quite
new to the movement—were eager to start immedi­
ately on the time-consuming work of preparing for
a campaign to get people to register to vote. One
officer, a long-time union member, was determined
that other members should hear some of the inter­
national affairs material-—all new to him. Another
hoped that he and the other delegate from his
organization could gather some of the members
informally in his home for brief evening sessions.
The editor of a union newspaper felt that he had
received good equipment with which to answer the
few, but vocal, remaining leftist members of his
Still others had apparently given little thought
to the subject, outside the required report to their
organizations, and only a few were definite on the
kind of reports they would submit. The discus­
sion of reporting produced a variety of possibilities:
a short report to the executive or the membership


might be supplemented by substantive reports to
education and other committees, or the students
might work with the education committees, plan
occasional local meetings on particular subjects
discussed, etc.
The directors of the program have from time to
time attempted, through written questionnaires or
follow-up meetings for particular groups, to deter­
mine how effective the training is. A few very
specific results are indicated. One officer started a
PAC in his local after attending a school Another
bought a movie projector and was showing a good
many films in his community. Another has de­
scribed the school at meetings of several different
groups, illustrating her talk with her colored slides.
One of the Pennsylvania students started a mimeo­
graphed sheet. For other delegates, the school
experience facilitated projects already under way.

One officer used the material at a meeting sched­
uled for shortly after the school and attended by
representatives of her union from all over the
Such specific results are, however, scattered and
indeed are not expected or even desired by school
officials, who point out that many students are not
in a position to go back to their unions and insti­
tute major projects or changes. The results may
be no more specific than those described by one
former student who said the training had been use­
ful to her in “all sorts of ways, mostly in my own
work—for instance, knowing how to get speakers
or set up bulletin boards, or just having more
assurance.” Most important of all, in the staff's
opinion, is the creation of a sense of belonging and
of being part of a broad and important movement.

Union Training Program of
the AFL Paper Making Unions

cessful program were missing; that is, the integral
tion of the union leadership directly into the pro­
gram and extensive participation by active mem­
bers of the union. The program here described
has these two features and has made a difference
to the two unions to a significant degree and over
a period of time.
Teacher-training classes are conducted jointly
by the education departments at the request and
with the cooperation of the regional officers. Just
as these officers have responsibility for negotiations
and the top steps in grievances, so also do they
assume joint responsibility for the conduct and
follow-through on training classes.
The role of the union hierarchy in the program
is clarified in the example cited later, and it should
be noted that this role is of crucial importance. It
is basic to the success of the program and carries
with it that all-important quality—acceptability.
The line officers, from international vice president
down, participate in the program at every step.
It is their program as well as that of the education
Use of rank-and-file instructors was originally
undertaken for the obvious and universal reason,
insufficient budget and staff to do otherwise. But
it has important advantages, which were not fully
appreciated at first: It is the only method by which
these two unions can reach large numbers of mem­

Two unions in the pulp and paper industry, the
Pulp, Sulphite and Paper Mill Workers and the
Paper Makers (both AFL), have conducted an
officers, stewards,
and grievance committeemen since 1948. This
program is distinguished from other union educa­
tion projects because (1) the training classes are
built into the union structure and are made a func­
tion of the regional officers of the international
unions, and (2) actual teaching in local unions is
done by instructors chosen by the locals them­
selves. These instructors are trained to use meth­
ods and materials prepared and issued by the
education departments of the two internationals.
Before starting the training program described
below, a careful examination was made of what had
been done in the field of union education. The
authors experimented with other methods and
media—including pamphlets, films, film strips, and
the other traditional devices of worker education.
No evidence was found, in the work of other unions
or in our own effort, that these other “media”
accomplished anything of value to the union to any
significant degree and over any period of time.
The two things that seemed essential for a suc­

i n t e n s i v e

t r a i n i n g

p r o g r a m

f o r


bers not otherwise reachable by educational pro­
grams. Rank-and-file instructors in these two
unions have reached several thousand officers,
stewards, committeemen, and members who would
not attend a seminar, or institute, or even a con­
ference. Meeting in union halls, courthouses, pub­
lic libraries, schools, at whatever hours the class
members find convenient, these volunteer teachers
are doing what the professionals could not do.
Most important, because they have an easy famili­
arity with local conditions and personalities, they
make better instructors than outside teachers.
Because many possess great natural teaching skill,
they have done on the whole a high-grade instruc­
tional job.
Since the same instructors repeat their classes,
as well as teach additional subjects year by year,
the education program has a continuity in the
participating locals that could be achieved in no
other way. The unions thus have a body of
trained men and women to carry forward this ac­
tivity at the local level.
The last advantage is inestimable. Building
the program directly into the local union structure
distinguishes it sharply from union education pro­
grams under which a course is taught, and the
teachers move on leaving nothing behind. Not
only are there people in the local trained to teach,
but there is a well-defined course of study which
has sufficient vitality and currency, so that new
classes can be set up from year to year. Local
instructors thus have more active and vital roles
than the local union education committees which
exist in many places.
Initiative rests with the local instructor, but
there is a definite link with the international
education departments. They always know
where classes are being conducted. The instructor
sends a written request to headquarters for ma­
terial for his class. He orders the material class
by class, so that the departments know fairly
well the progress of the individual groups. After
the eight units of the first course have been taught,
the instructor submits his final attendance records.
On the basis of these, certificates are prepared
for the members of the class who completed six
out of eight units.
The selection of local instructors is entirely in
the hands of the local union. Sometimes they are
appointed by the president, sometimes elected at
a local meeting. They include men who already

hold office in the union and men who have no
other union activities. The education depart­
ments have set up criteria for the choice of in­
structors, but the departments have neither the
power to recommend nor to veto the choices
actually made.
The international unions and the locals jointly
finance the program. The internationals pay the
salaries and expenses of the staff members who
prepare the work material and train the instruc­
tors. They also pay for the conference rooms and
provide most of the training material, both for
instructor classes and for the classes in the local
unions. The local unions pay for the time lost by
instructors during their 4 days of training (plus
any travel and other expenses), and they pay for
setting up local classes.
Methods and Materials

Two principal teaching methods are used:
Leading the discussion from questionnaires, and
“acting” followed by discussion. Both are
designed to capitalize on the most effective
learning technique, that of “learning by doing.”
Stewards do not tell how they handle new em­
ployees; they show the class by a skit with a
newcomer whose background (perhaps antiunion)
is known by the class but not by the steward.
The same technique is used on actual grievance
cases. After the acts, the members of the class
discuss how the steward did his job, how they
could improve on it, what he left out, and so forth.
Classes are not exhorted to “know the contract”
but are given questionnaires which test their skill
in applying their contracts to the solution of
specific problems of overtime, vacation, and holi­
day pay, etc.
The least effective method of learning, that is,
by hearing alone as in a lecture, is used only as
much as is necessary in order to make transitions
in subject matter and to let the class know what
will be done next.
The methods to be used in teaching a given
unit of the course are well defined. Skits are
sometimes worked into discussions based on a
questionnaire but the units which are given over
to “acting” have their case and situations fixed in
advance. Subject matter is also well defined, but
discussions can and do vary widely in content.
The instructor, however, must know an irrelevancy


when he hears one; his job is to raise problems,
guide the discussion, and to summarize. So while
teaching procedure and the general topic under
discussion are fairly well fixed, the manner in
which the roles are handled and the content of the
discussions may vary within wide limits.
Teaching materials are devised to preclude any
serious deviation from these methods. These
materials are carefully worked out, unit by unit,
and give the instructor cues and discussion aids
without placing him in a strait-jacket. Instructors
are encouraged to devise their own cases and dis­
cussion aids. (A few instructors, not many, have
responded.) The cases themselves are written
out in detail so as to define carefully the grievance
under consideration. The actors cannot alter the
acts in a case but may play it any way they see fit.
The variety that is attained with the same set of
facts is infinite.
Subject Matter

The initial subject matter in the training pro­
gram is covered in eight units for each course.
(1) What is the steward’s job? (Questionnaire.)
(2) Greeting the new employee. (“Acting.”)
Union Accomplishments. (Questionnaire.)
(3) How the Union is Run (questionnaires):
Union finances.
Majority rule— Minority rights.
(4) Grievances. (Questionnaire—“acting.”)
(5) The Contract. (Questionnaire.)
(6) Grievances. (Questionnaire— “acting”—grievance
(7) Information for the steward (questionnaires):
Taft-Hartley Act.
Wagner Act.
Pension plans and social security.
Reading list.
(8) Grievances. (“Acting.”)

The subject matter dealt with here is easily
within the range of the average local instructor,
as exemplified in the two illustrations outlined.
One entire unit or class is devoted to a series
of questions concerning the way in which the
unions are run. For example, the following sen­
tence appears on one questionnaire, with the
query, “ True or false?”
“A member can criticize the local presi­
dent at a local meeting for going in alone to
see the personnel manager on a grievance.”

Class members answer this question in the light
of their individual opinions, and they try to base
their choice on one section of their international
union constitution.
Another questionnaire in the same unit contains
the following statement, to be answered “ true or
false,” with constitutional references:
“The minority has rights which include:
(1) Unlimited opportunity to present its
point of view at the local meeting;
(2) Preventing a vote on an issue on which
there is agreement among the majority.”
Again, the class members consider whether or not
these statements are true within their interna­
tional union constitution and discuss the relative
merits of the issues involved.
The major part of the subject matter of the
course relates to everyday complaints and griev­
ances. These are set up in the form of question­
naires and also in the form of actual cases to be
handled through “acting.” In one unit, for ex­
ample, the class considers the plight of a steward
who is called into the superintendents office and
asked to name the member of his crew who was
responsible for breaking a plant clock during
horseplay—a battle with paper stock in the ma­
chine room. They watch one of their members
respond to the superintendent and later discuss
how they would handle the same issue if in the
steward’s place.
The first eight units listed constitute the “basic
training” course for officers, stewards, and com­
mitteemen. It covers the ground most familiar
to the local instructors at the time when much
of their attention must be devoted to the methods
and techniques of teaching.
The next four units of subject matter, 9 through
12, deal with the topic of seniority. Units 9 and
10 treat all types of seniority in the paper indus­
try; units 11 and 12 differentiate the types, so
that each class deals with the type of system op­
erating in its particular plant.
In the seniority units, a shift of emphasis is
required in training. The subject matter can no
longer be taken so much for granted as in units 1
through 8. Teaching methods, on the other hand,
require less time and emphasis, since the instruc­
tors have already taught in their own local classes.
The training of instructors for the seniority units
emphasizes the acquisition of information and


understanding about the operations and signifi­
cance of different systems of seniority. Thus far
the seniority units have been taught in three
regions of the country, with varying success.
However, they are still too difficult to be taught
in their present form by all of the union instructors.
Their application, in units 11 and 12, to individ­
ual plants also needs clarification. Further work
is being done on the materials.
Seniority was chosen for the second course of
four units because of the insistent calls for help
when lay-offs hit the industry in 1949. Although
this problem has disappeared for the present, the
subject is of sufficient current interest and value
to be continued as the second course in the
The next course will deal with certain economic
questions affecting the pulp and paper industry.
It will include the relationship of wages, prices,
and profits, and other economic issues. It is clear
that the preparation of successful material for this
part of the program will not be easy.
The West Coast Program

An all-out training effort made by the two
unions in the important Pacific Coast region in the
winter and early spring of 1951 best exemplifies
the workings of this program.
The instructor-training classes were set up by
the vice presidents of the two unions on the
Pacific Coast. In consultation with the educa­
tion directors, these officers determined where and
when the training classes would be held. They
invited all the local unions on the Coast to send
representatives to the training classes, and speci­
fied a strict limit on the number from each local
Before classes were started, the education de­
partments had complete lists of the members who
would attend the classes. On the basis of location
of the members, the departments set up exact
lists for each training center and informed the
local members when and where to appear.
Fourteen separate training classes were held
in 10 different cities. Three members of the
unions, education staffs did the teaching. There
were two sessions of two full days of training,
beginning at 9 in the morning and ending at 5:30
in the afternoon. There was neither night work
nor planned recreation.

After the first 2 days (covering approximately
the first four units of the course) the instructors
were sent home with assignments to complete
during the 1-month interval between training
classes. Each instructor was required to report
to his local union and organize his local classes.
This included the registration of the members who
would attend the classes, fixing the time and place,
and preparing a written order form for the material
needed for the first class. Each instructor also
had to write up two cases (grievances or com­
plaints) from his experience or his plant. (These
are the source material from which cases are
written into the program.) Finally, the in­
structors were asked to read one book on the
relationship between foreman and steward.
The second 2 days of training were held about
5 weeks after the first in the same locations,
except that the 10 centers had been cut down to 8.
Units 5 to 8 were covered, in addition to more
practice teaching. A great surge of learning had
taken place in the interval (as it usually does) and
the instructors had much more assurance and
were getting the “feel” of their job.
As they turned in their class registration forms
and order forms for material, class arrangements
were discussed with them. Any special problems
that had arisen were taken up then. If the aid
of an international representative was needed (for
example, to speak at a local meeting and urge
fuller participation in the class), such a repre­
sentative was assigned the job at the time. Before
the instructor class was released to teach, the
education departments had a good idea where
the problems would arise and what they would be.
Also at the second 2-day session, a schedule
was arranged for observation of each local class
by a member of the education staff. In order to
be certified for further teaching, an instructor
must attend all 4 days of training, complete the
assignments, teach the full course, and give satis­
factory evidence that he has grasped the teaching
methods. The education staffs do the observing,
since the strengths and weaknesses of the teaching
material can be noted at the same time as the
instructor’s ability is gauged. A confidential re­
port on the teaching then goes to the instructor,
giving suggestions on teaching procedure. Occa­
sionally international representatives in the area
are relied on for observation reports, and in some
cases a written report from the instructor himself


is used as a basis for judgment. Less than 10
percent of the total are not encouraged to do
further teaching.
The statistics for this region bear out the
virility of the program. A total of 143 men and
women started the instructor-training classes, in­
cluding 10 international representatives and
officers. Ten men did not complete the 4 days
of training, and five dropped out later for various
Of 110 local teachers, 81 have actually taught
the first eight units of the course in local classes;
more than 20 instructors have taught two classes,
and one instructor has been sent on a special
assignment to teach in a new local. The classes
have been attended by over 800 local officers,
stewards, and members.
To anyone familiar with the field of worker
education, these results are impressive. The
return, in terms of actual classroom hours, far
exceeds even what is accomplished by some of the
university extension services, which have larger
resources and staffs at their disposal. One wellknown university which does labor extension work,
for example, was able to report the completion of
24 classes by September 1951. The university
has 10 full-time professional people on its staff to
arrange labor extension classes.
Extent and Evaluation of the Program

By early 1952 the program had a very broad
base. Instructors had been trained on the Pacific
Coast and in British Columbia; in Ontario and
Quebec, Canada; in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and
Michigan; in the Southern States; in the New
England States; in upper New York State; and
in the Middle Atlantic States. The extent of
local union participation has varied, but a very
large proportion of the locals invited into the
program have taken part.
Whenever training classes are set up for instruc­
tors in an area, the international representatives
are automatically included in the classes. They
attend all the instructor-training classes, so that
they are qualified to teach, if necessary. However,
their role in the program is one of the consultant
and adviser, just as in all other local union affairs.

A total of 375 instructors have been trained
thus far. The great majority of the local union
instructors have actually set up classes in their
local unions and have taught. About a fourth of
the local instructors have taught more than one
set of classes. Approximately 3,000 members
(principally officers, committeemen, and stewards)
have attended the classes.
The training program in these unions can now
be called experimental only in terms of the subject
matter being added. The core of the course is
firmly established. Enough evidence is at hand to
make certain predictions with assurance. For ex­
ample: (1) Two out of every three instructors
trained will actually teach classes in their locals;
(2) two-thirds of our locals have the desire and the
resources to participate in this program; aiid (3)
of the locals that start, 80 percent will sustain
the program by sending their instructor for ad­
vanced training and by supporting additional
classes in the first units.
The program described is not one of education
but of training. Union officials do not take re­
sponsibility for making up the deficiencies in the
general education of the membership. Tradeunions are instruments with very well-defined
purposes and methods, and “ education” like “or­
ganization” and “ agitation” must be related to
these purposes and methods. The word “ train­
ing,” as we use it, is not accidental. However,
many of the daily problems of the local union
representative have objective meaning, and the
trade-union tradition itself is lively and provoca­
tive. The content and direction of the class dis­
cussion are likely, therefore, to be limited only
by the attitudes, values, and knowledge of the
members in the class.
The most important result of this program is
that the local union commits itself to the slow
and difficult but rewarding process of self-help.
Both of the unions concerned have attained a
record of local autonomy and imaginative leader­
ship in American trade-unionism. It is these
characteristics’ which make possible a training
program of vitality and significance. In turn, the
training program helps articulate the aspirations
which gave birth to the unions.


Education Through White
Collar Workshops
The chief purpose of the W hite Collar W orkshops
sponsored by the Am erican Labor E ducation
Service is to help m ake the white-collar worker
aware of his position in the labor force and of the
economic and social problems which he faces and
their possible solutions. U nder the direction of
Eleanor G. Coit, D irector of the American Labor
E ducation Service, W hite Collar W orkshops con­
ducts each year (in addition to several local whitecollar conferences) a 2-week resident sum m er ses­
sion attended by from 30 to 40 m en and women
white-collar workers from various sections of the
M any of the students who a t some tim e partici­
pated in the resident session of the W orkshops
have become local leaders in their own tradeunions or active in local organizations which stress
the im portance of com m unity action and plan the
dissem ination of economic and political inform a­
tion. Form er students have participated in es­
tablishing the educational work of a num ber of
white-collar unions.
Changing economic problems during two world
wars and the ensuing periods, as well as the in­
creasing m echanization of industry, resulted in an
ever-rising percentage of white-collar workers in
the labor force. W hite-collar workers, although
they are frequently characterized as semiskilled,
include an increasingly large num ber of highschool and college graduates. This group con­
sciously separates itself from the organized labor
m ovem ent because of psychological and educa­
tional factors. Its members are generally in the
lower-income brackets, and, by and large, are
relatively inarticulate economically and politically.
An occasional evaluation of the strong and weak
features of the sum m er school is obtained by
sending out questionnaires to form er students.
Answers to the 1950 questionnaire indicated
alm ost unanim ous agreem ent th a t the best thing
about the school was the inform al and easy m anner
in which the classes were conducted, the team
work of the instructors, and the “ bull sessions”
th a t lasted long after classes. M en and women,
who later became active in union educational
program s for white-collar workers, were quick to
subscribe to the value of “ bull sessions.” T he

exchange of attitudes and points of view between
students coming from all over the United States
and even from foreign countries was a most
stimulating experience to many students. It is
astonishing how much can be accomplished within
the short period of 2 weeks.
From its beginning, of course, the school has
included students of all creeds and colors. Work­
ers from different sections of the country learned
to study, play, and live together for a period of 2
weeks in the summer. A continuing attempt has
been made to discuss as frankly as possible the
origin of prejudices. Undoubtedly a more positive
change of attitude on this subject has arisen from
the fact that the students lived together, studied
together, and discussed their problems together
long after classroom hours.
History of the Program
T he first school, held on the cam pus of Oberlin
College in Ohio, was attended by 33 women from
15 cities. Of these women, only three belonged
to a trade-union. In spite of the depression,
suspicion existed on the p art of m any of the
students th at unem ploym ent could be attributed
to the individual, and th a t it was a m ark of his
personal inadequacy. Therefore, the school pro­
vided an experience in working w ith students who
were prejudiced against collective economic action
and who felt a rather strong opposition to union

Each summer the membership of the Summer
School for Office Workers (the original title of the
White Collar Workshops) changed as the student
body reflected the growth of the union movement.
When the National Labor Relations (Wagner)
Act gave encouragement to unionism, more whitecollar workers joined unions and the conflict be­
tween the middle-class aspirations of white-collar
workers and the school’s purpose of awakening
a trade-union consciousness was lessened. The
scope of the Workshop program gradually wid­
ened to cover white-collar groups other than office
workers, such as teachers, social workers, tele­
phone workers, and others. As the Congress of
Industrial Organizations unions emerged, the
school strove to maintain a balance of workers
from the American Federation of Labor and CIO
unions in its student body. It was also opened
to men, and is interested in having an equal num­
ber of men and women students.


In addition to students from A FL and CIO
white-collar unions, the school has included in
recent years white-collar workers organized in
separate locals w ithin industrial unions. Indus­
trial unions believe th a t white-collar workers of
the automobile, steel, and rubber industries are
workers, like their own production workers, and
should be a p art of the industrial unions. The
white-collar workers, partly because of their edu­
cational training and partly because of the general
social climate, have not always accepted the
thesis th a t their interests are similar to those of
the worker on the belt line or in the production
plant. Frequently, these white-collar workers are
inactive, dues-paying members, who take little
p art in union activities. Such students con­
stitute a real challenge to the school’s educational

The Student Body
Effective workers’ education implies a continu­
ous interest and curiosity on the p art of students
in com m unity problems. One of the standards
which the recruiting com m ittee of W hite Collar
W orkshops applies is th a t the student be con­
sciously interested in his own economic and social
problems, and th a t he be willing to assume some
leadership responsibility in his own local com­
m unity, w hether in a club, union, or political
organization. In effect, therefore, the staff has
had the problem of recruiting students who would
be willing to use the inform ation which they
acquired a t the summer session.
Students are recommended by the organization
to which they belong or by a local recruiting com­
m ittee; all applications are passed upon by a
N ational Admissions Com m ittee, which attem pts
to see th a t the student body each year has a good
balance in regard to geographic regions, organi­
zations, and types of jobs represented.
The budget is meager, and the support of the
program depends upon a num ber of groups. The
students are financed through scholarships raised
partly by the volunteer committees, partly by
the organizations from which the students come,
and partly by the national office of the school.
W hite-collar unions send students either on partial
or full scholarships. Recently, W hite Collar
W orkshops has had among its students a num ber
from various foreign countries who have come to

study the Am erican labor m ovem ent
ticularly its educational work. Some
visitors were non-Caucasians. T heir
tion to the richness of the curriculum

and p ar­
of these
has been

The Workshop Program
W hite Collar W orkshops has adopted a funda­
m ental curriculum which stresses the interrela­
tionship of economics, psychology, and sociology.
The fact th a t so m any white-collar students are
politically apathetic and live in a world of
“ dream s” is evident in the discussions. Lack
of realism seems to be m uch more characteristic
of the white-collar workers than of industrial
workers. The latter have accepted themselves
as a p art of the labor force and have long since
abandoned the hope of becoming entrepreneurs.
Probably one of the m ost interesting discus­
sions in the W orkshops sessions is th at which has
to do w ith probing the peculiar psychology of the
white-collar workers— the snobbishness and the
tendency to look down upon the dirty overalls of
the production worker. I t seems to be a m ark of
progress for factory workers to be able to say th a t
their children have received an “education” and
are perform ing white-collar jobs. One of the
characteristics of this class distinction, brought
out in these sessions, is th a t it is not reflected in
wages and salaries. I t is fundam entally “psychic”
in its reward.
In addition to the m orning discussions attended
by the whole student body, an im portant p art of
the school program has come to be the afternoon
“how -to-do” workshops. A t these sessions, small
groups of white-collar union mem bers work to­
gether, under experienced leaders, in developing
skills for carrying on union activities more effec­
tively. W orkshops are held, for example, in
grievance procedure, public relations, legislation,
and union education.
Teaching techniques found effective in workers’
education among industrial workers were adapted
to the white-collar group. Essentially the philos­
ophy behind these techniques is based upon the
need for intelligent and dem ocratic participation
in the economic, political, and social life; the
m ethod used has emphasized inform al group dis­
cussions, based on the actual experience of the
adult w orker-student and oriented tow ard the


problems they face in their unions and in their
The faculty has experim ented w ith m aterial and
w ith m ethods of teaching which would induce the
participants of the W orkshops to talk freely about
themselves, their gripes, their work situations,
and their aspirations. To obtain a faculty which
is fam iliar w ith this sort of approach is by no
m eans easy. The m ost effective instructors are
those m en and women who are oriented to the
labor m ovem ent, who have had training in hum an
relations or social psychology, who recognize the
value of the discussion m ethod, and who are es­
sentially dem ocratic. They m ust be able to
forego “prim a donna” m ethods and accept the
group discussion process.

Operating Problems
The problem of securing a school site, which is
located where people are sym pathetic to the labor
m ovem ent, which is sufficiently inexpensive to
perm it workers to spend their 2-week vacation,
and which, a t the same tim e, provides facilities
for study and recreation, has been very difficult.
There m ust be access to a library and to a com­
m unity which m akes possible close contact w ith
the labor m ovem ent. Sometimes, in spite of
careful planning, local custom is a challenge to the
school’s principles. F or example, the W orkshop

IAM Training for Active Parti­
cipation in Local Lodges
Aims of the A FL International Association of
M achinists’ training program are to inspire local
lodge officials to become more effective in the
perform ance of their duties and the rank and
file to be more active in the lodge, and to stim u­
late perm anent educational program s on the
local level. To achieve these objectives, the
E ducation D epartm ent of the IA M conducts
brief institutes for union m em bers anywhere in
the U nited States and C anada on request of
local lodges. Training sessions are usually held
in the evenings, attendance of both elected
officials and members is stressed, and the subject

was once held in a suburban com m unity having a
large beach frontage on a lake, b u t the existing
color prejudice m ade it difficult for the school to
function according to its dem ocratic philosophy.
In this instance, the students voluntarily refused
to use the beach until it was established th a t they
could do so w ithout discrim ination.
The problem, too, of securing the cooperation
of national and local unions to provide scholar­
ships or special help for special students is real.
W orkers’ education in the U nited States has had
a long history in unions of industrial workers, b u t
it is a more difficult m atter w ith white-collar
unions. W hite-collar workers are white-collar
workers because they have had “an education.”
Consequently it is difficult for some white-collar
union leaders and leaders of other white-collar
organizations to sense the need of workers’ ed­
ucation and to understand th a t the classroom
education of the ordinary secondary school, or
even college, is not always pertinent to the special
problems which the white-collar workers m ust
face on the job. On the other hand, various w hitecollar unions cooperate w ith the W orkshops and
in some cases have called upon the American
Labor E ducation Service to cooperate in develop­
ing their own educational program s.
W hite Collar W orkshops is looking forw ard to
its tw entieth session, to be held a t Pendle Hill, out­
side Philadelphia, from July 27 to A ugust 11,1952.

m atter is selected and presented so as to em pha­
size the functions and responsibilities of the local
lodges and to find answers to their problems.
Lectures and group discussions coupled w ith
visual instruction are the teaching m ethods.
The IA M provides training for the general
membership—the “backbone” of the organi­
zation—which is relatively novel in the field of
worker education. This type of training pre­
sented problems in basic procedure which to some
degree were successfully surm ounted, after con­
ducting experim ental institutes. Practical con­
sideration of the problem s affecting the individual
lodges as well as the flexible treatm ent in planning
each program and in instruction m ethods help
to m ake the program effective. C urrently,
efforts are being centered on satisfying local lodge


requests for training program s; the ultim ate
goal is to give all mem bers regardless of location,
the opportunity to attend an institute. Although
as yet no emphasis has been placed on formally
testing results of the training, some local officials
have inform ed the departm ent of changes in
lodge adm inistration following the institute.
M ethods used by IA M E ducational D irector
Tom T ippet and A ssistant E ducational D irector
D orothy Dowell a t an institute held in W aukegan,
111., in January 1952, were observed by the w riter
and, a t m any points in this article, illustrate
both the procedures and content of the program
as a whole.

Development and Scope
The Education D epartm ent was authorized at
the New York C ity Convention in 1945. Form al
steps tow ard inaugurating the educational train­
ing activities by the IA M Education D epartm ent
were outlined a t the organization’s G rand Rapids
Convention in 1948. H ere both the need for
training and the establishm ent of necessary
m achinery to speed up the process of learning
through experience were cited. As stated by the
director, in the M achinist M onthly Journal of
August 1948, the objectives of such training are
“ to prom ote a system atic educational and training
activity for officers and m embers of the IA M
which would have for its purpose strengthening
the union as a labor organization and m aking it
a more effective instrum ent for protecting and
advancing the collective interests of its members
and the cause of organized labor in general.”
Prior to conducting training institutes for
members at the local lodge level, the E ducation
D epartm ent in early 1949 initiated a series of 20
institutes 11 for staff mem bers of the organization.
E ach such institute lasted 4 days and consisted of
8 hours of formal discussion each day. Instruc­
tion emphasized, in addition to the history of the
labor m ovem ent, the adm inistrative techniques
employed by the IA M in organizing, in negotiat­
ing a contract, and in enforcing an agreement.
Staff mem bers were required to attend these in­
stitutes. They represented a nucleus of respon­
sible trade-unionists having long experience in
« These institutes were conducted over a 6-month period in 17 principal
cities in the United States and in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver,

the labor m ovem ent, and during discussions a t the
training sessions their varying viewpoints became
clear. Prim arily, these officer institutes served to
furnish an opportunity for an exchange of ideas
and to dem onstrate m ethods of com m unicating
such inform ation to others in the organization.
They also acquainted certain staff personnel w ith
the advantages of training programs, particularly
D istrict Lodge officials who were destined to ini­
tiate, program , and prom ote similar sessions for
the members of the several lodges w ithin their
In line w ith the convention resolutions, the
E ducation D epartm ent in N ovem ber 1950 m ade
plans to conduct training institutes for officers and
members a t the local lodge level in which the
m ajor emphasis would be m embership understand­
ing of, and participation in, local lodge functions
and activities. Thus, it em barked on an endeavor
relatively new in the field of workers’ education.
Unlike m any other trade-union training pro­
grams, such as sum m er schools or full-time train­
ing courses, the IA M mem bers attend training
sessions after the regular 8-hour workday. Such
a program entailed obvious difficulties regarding
methodology and consequently the departm ent
conducted two series of institutes 12 in different
sections of the country on a “ trial-run” basis.
They consisted of five evening weekday sessions
from 7:30 to 10:00 and one all-day session on
Saturday from 9:30 a. m. to 4:30 p. m. Subject
m atter was selected in order to facilitate definition
and discussion of the various elected positions in
carrying out local lodge functions and understand­
ing of labor history w ith special emphasis on the
IA M .
In 1951, exclusive of the trial runs, the depart­
ment conducted 13 institutes in which more than

2,000 different IAM members participated. They
were held principally in the Midwest and on the
West Coast.
Planning the Institute

In setting up an institute, every effort is made
to encourage a large membership attendance and
to plan the program in accordance with the pre­
vailing problems in the area. Under current pro-13
13 The first series was held in the Northwest: Denver, Colo., Salt Lake City,
Utah, and Portland, Oreg.; the second in the Northeast: Hartford, Conn.,
Elmira, N. Y., and York, Pa.


cedure, the E ducation D epartm ent acts as a
“servicing agency” of the IA M and supplies train­
ing to the district or local lodge upon request.
The departm ent discovered as a result of the trialruns th a t institutes cannot be arbitrarily assigned
to a particular area, planned as to subject m atter
w ithout knowledge of local needs, or scheduled
properly w ithout taking into account other local
lodge activities. F or these reasons, after receiving
a request for a training program in a particular
area, the departm ent sends one of its directors to
the com m unity to consult and plan w ith a special
institute planning com m ittee of local officials and
interested members.
A t the pre-institute conference a wide variety of
subjects, calculated to create effective adm inis­
tration in the local lodge’s everyday activities, is
m ade available for analysis. Local officials ac­
quainted w ith the obstacles to sound adm inistra­
tion of their lodge have the opportunity of choosing
subject m atter th a t is designed to disclose local
problems and can be used to im prove the situation.
All prom otional work for the recruitm ent of
institute students is undertaken by local officials.
They are guided only by the advice given at the
planning conference. Prom otional techniques
utilized a t well-attended institutes in 1951 are
emphasized by the director and suggested as pos­
sible m ethods for obtaining large attendance. The
Education D epartm ent has also lim ited the area
to be covered by any institute; the experimental
institutes proved th a t covering lodges w ithin a 30
to 40 mile area placed a burden on individual
Planning officials are given the opportunity of
program m ing a single institute to include day as
well as evening sessions for the benefit of nightshift workers. This type of local activity has been
undertaken a few times, b u t in m ost cases the
members employed a t night are insufficient in
num ber to w arrant daytim e sessions. M oreover,
both the rank-and-file and the officers expressed a
dislike for daytim e training, and, in practice, the
daytim e sessions did not fare well w ith respect to
attendance. The trial-run all-day Saturday ses­
sions were elim inated for the same reasons.
Local officials have a considerable am ount of
freedom in planning their institutes in order to
m ake them m eet the needs peculiar to their specific
area. This freedom does not extend to deciding
the length of the program because, for the m ost

part, officials tend to request a long program w ith
a wide variety of topics. The Education D epart­
m ent makes every effort to keep the num ber of
sessions between 4 and 7, depending upon the
enthusiasm displayed a t the conference, the size
of the membership, and the problems prevalent in
the area.
Generally, institutes are held a t the local union
hall where the m en feel at home and the atm os­
phere has proven conducive to discussion. In
W aukegan, where the program was planned w ith­
out an advance conference,13 the union hall was not
used. There, local officials in prom oting the
program approached every m em ber in the district
lodge through the shop stew ard in his plant.
Since approxim ately 250 members returned appli­
cation cards signifying th a t they would attend,
the location was changed from the union hall to a
local high-school auditorium which could seat m ore
than 350 people. W hen the average nightly
attendance totaled only some 55, the members
were somewhat lost in the auditorium . D uring
intermission, the mem bers left the building to
smoke and this caused m any to straggle in late
for the second hour. N otw ithstanding these draw ­
backs, it is the directors’ opinion th a t by allowing
local officials to have complete sponsorship of the
training activity they will become fully acquainted
w ith the fundam ental procedures in organizing an
education program . Such realistic local sponsor­
ship will in the long run increase the possibility of
continuing similar program s on the local lodge

The Waukegan Institute
Basically, both the institute subject m atter and
the m ethod of presentation are geared to m eet two
objectives: (1) to stim ulate the elected local offi­
cials to become better adm inistrators and the rank
and file to display more interest and activity in
the lodge; and (2) to encourage them to set up
a continuing educational program in order to m eet
new adm inistrative problems and to serve as an
im portant m eans by which m any IA M mem bers
can become active trade-unionists. The E du­
cation D epartm ent does not expect to m ake skilled
union functionaries out of local lodge officials
h Because there was sufficient time, this institute was planned by mail.
It was the first, following the trial-runs, to be planned in that manner.


during the few hours of educational training sup­
plied by a single institute. I t m erely strives to
provide by this m eans the incentive or stim ulus
to learn, and it offers literature and other aids to
facilitate the process.
The institute conducted in W aukegan was
typical and exemplifies the basic aspects and re­
sults of training. Subject m atter chosen for the
five evening sessions of 2 hours each included
labor history w ith special emphasis on the IA M ;
functions of the local lodge and responsibility of
the local lodge to its m em bers; shop stewards and
com m itteem en; negotiating and organizing; and
planning an education program on the local lodge
The two directors of the E ducation D epartm ent
shared the instruction at three of the five sessions.
A direct lecture m ethod explaining functions was
used by the director who reserved a portion of the
allotted tim e for questions and discussion. The
assistant director14 used the same approach b u t
stim ulated discussion through questions and an­
swers from the lodge participants during the course
of lectures. Both techniques brought to the sur­
face m any of the problems affecting the locals.
Various officials were concerned because of their
inability to obtain larger attendances a t local
lodge meetings and accepted the problem as one
th a t could not be solved. “ W e’ve tried every­
thing in the book and still can’t get them to com e/’
one official insisted. T he discussion th a t followed
however, revealed th a t “ everything” did not in­
clude sharpening-up the m eeting itself, wider use
of committees, and other techniques of dem ocratic
participation. O ther issues th a t arose were han­
dled in the same m anner.
Presentation by the E ducation D epartm ent
officials was necessarily flexible to perm it suffi­
cient discussion and explanation on questions of
local im portance. In some cases, it was necessary
to summarize b u t in every instance the topic on
the agenda was at least touched upon. The over­
all program itself was also flexible and readily
adjustable. As originally scheduled, the organiz­
ing and negotiating sessions were to be held sep­
arately, bu t they were combined so th a t the closing
night could be devoted to the subject of planning
an education program on the local lodge level.
14 Since the program’s inception, the director has had two assistants, the
present one having joined the staff in the spring of 1951.

A sound film and narrated film strip, each of
which was presented in relation to a specific sub­
ject, supplem ented the lectures and discussions.
D uring the second hour of the opening labor his­
tory session, the film, “W ith These H ands,” por­
trayed the history of the International Ladies’
G arm ent W orkers’ Union. I t realistically showed
the members the struggles of organization and the
benefits th a t grew out of united action. Also,
during the session pertaining to the function of
the local lodge, the IA M filmstrip, “Cradle of
A ction,” depicted the right and wrong w ay of
conducting a local lodge meeting.
The closing session on planning a local lodge
education program was strictly a lecture inform ­
ative period. This was necessary in order to
cover a broad field in a short time. M ajor em­
phasis was placed on using the facilities available
w ithin the lodge and the com m unity in planning
training programs, w ithout expending large sums
of money. T he local lodge m eeting was particu­
larly stressed as a perm anent source of education,
together w ith the publication of a m im eographed
local newspaper, the organization of classes on
specific subjects, and presentations on specialized
subjects by experts. Also a t this session, a pro­
fessor from the In stitu te of L abor and Industrial
Relations a t the S tate university inform ed the
members of the services available for education
for organized labor.
A ttendance a t the last session totaled 39 m em ­
bers, 24 of whom were elected officers of the
district lodge and local lodges. This large repre­
sentation of officers was anticipated in view of
the subject m atter; this, in fact, was preferred
because it brought together the officials who were
interested in furthering education and who, m ore
than likely, would be active in instituting training
programs. T he im portance of this session is clear
owing to the fact th a t an estim ated 5 to 7 percent
of all IA M mem bers will eventually become ex­
posed to institute training, leaving w ith them the
great responsibility of unifying thousands of m em ­
bers in the purpose and functions of active tradeunionism.
Since the institutes were conducted during the
evening and the m aterial presented did not appeal
to all members, the attendance varied throughout
the course. I t ranged from 67 a t the third session
to 39 a t the close of the institute. In all, 123
persons from a combined district lodge m em ber-

ship of 2,100, participated in one or more of the
sessions and 15 attended the complete institute.
The majority of members attending were young
men with 5 to 10 years’ experience in the labor
movement. Women, who make up an estimated
third of the combined district membership, par­
ticipated but averaged only 7 at each session.
As in many previous institutes, the program
in Waukegan was attended by people outside the
IAM organization who became aware of the
sessions through local commercial press publicity.
Specifically, five local high-school teachers, all
members of the American Federation of Teachers
(AFL), were present and three members of two
other labor organizations. The Education Depart­
ment takes no part in granting permission for
outsiders to observe but follows its initial policy
of leaving such matters up to the local officials
who program the institute.

Effects of IAM Institutes
The conduct of training institutes in many
parts of the country, under different local condi­
tions, and for IAM members of varying individual
development and experience in the labor move­
ment, has affected the over-all program, and to
some extent, although it is difficult to measure,
the officials and members of the local lodges.
The Education Department does not attempt
through questionnaires or other means to discover
any improvement in membership performance or
whether or not education programs have been
started as a result of the institutes. It relies on
the institutes and is confident that they will
provide the stimulus for such action.
However, the reaction of members who attended
the Waukegan institute gives some indication of

the possible future local application of the train­
ing. For example, a group of shop stewards at
the session devoted to their functions in the local
lodge discovered many advantages in holding
shop-steward meetings within the district lodge
and formulated plans to conduct such meetings
in the future. Two of the local high-school
teachers expressed a willingness to assist in in­
structing, if formal classroom programs were
initiated. And in closing the institute, the official
in charge formally announced that education
committees would be established to carry out the
intent of the institute.
With each institute held, the directors become
more convinced that the program must be
broadened to meet demands for training on tech­
nical subjects such as wage stabilization and job
evaluation. This may be accomplished by addi­
tions to the Education Department or by expand­
ing the existing IA M staff training on these
As a result of knowledge obtained by conducting
institutes in many representative sections of the
country, the Education Department plans to put
to practical use the experience gained. Manuals
are currently being prepared for distribution
within the IAM to describe the proper methods of
performing various local lodge operations. A
Handbook for Organizers was written following
the officer institutes.
In general, the department expects to continue
with the same type of training activity until the
needs of all the area requests within the IAM
jurisdiction have been fulfilled. They will, of
course, be guided by practicality and flexibility—
the two essentials of the program which contribute
toward creating the ultimate in effectiveness.