Trade Union Invasion of Southern States
Benefits Sought in C. I. O.-A. F. L. Campaigns
Successes of established labor unions since the war in gaining increased wage rates through use of their economic power have advertised the advantages of trade unionism to unorganized workers everywhere. The C. I. O. and A. F. L. will attempt to capitalize on the present favorable situation in the organizing campaigns both are now preparing for the southern states. The campaigns will be carried out under the guarantees of the right to organize contained in the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, and they promise to add greatly to the strength with which organized labor emerged from the war.
The under-developed resources of the South are believed by Secretary of Commerce Wallace to offer the country's greatest single opportunity for postwar industrial expansion. Leaders of organized labor, with their unions now firmly established in the mass-production and other industries of the North and West, similarly look to the South as the most promising field for future expansion of the trade union movement.
Burden of North-South Wage Differentials
The immediate objective of the C. I. O. and A. F. L. organizing campaigns is higher wages for the workers to be brought into the unions. The presence in the South of a large bloc of well-paid unionists, say the labor leaders, will inevitably tend to raise the pay of all wage-earners in the area. The resultant increases in purchasing power will raise living standards generally and will create better markets for the products of southern industry. If regional wage differentials can be narrowed or removed by raising the pay of southern workers, leaders of the unions believe their organizations in the North and West will be in a stronger position than at present to resist wage-cutting and open-shop movements in any future depression.