Document 33: Dave Beck on Communists in the Labor Movement

Washington Teamster, 28 January 1949.

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Beck lashes at Commies;
"No place in our unions or schools in America!"
They follow Russia line; expel them

U.S. Communists have no interest in us but our destruction.

There is no place for even one communist in the ranks of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

That was the declaration of Executive Vice President Dave Beck at the closing session of the Trade Division Conference in Chicago last week. The emphatic statement was greeted with a prolonged round of applause.

"Or in America"

"There is no place in our schools or universities for communists," Vice President Beck continued. "Or in America! Though they do not want to go to Russia to live, they prefer the Russian way of life. They should be forced to get out and go where they belong."

Vice President Beck is a member of the University of Washington Board of Regents in Seattle. Last week the Regents expelled three members of the UW faculty for being members of the Communist Party and placed three other professors on a two year probationary period for participation in Commie dominated associations.

"We in America must meet our problems through democratic methods. We must organize our people in Labor to protect their interests and their welfare. We believe in the orderly processes of evolution, and not in revolution. We will never surrender our right to strike, but we . . . will solve our problems through organization and education," Beck declared.

Get Their Orders

"The communists get their orders from a foreign government. They follow a line laid down for them from abroad. They have no interest in our liberties except to use them to destroy us. The way to treat them is to throw them out of our Unions whenever they are found. We did not fight in two wars for the privilege of seeing our rights and liberties wrecked by agents of a foreign power. Nor will we put up with Unions dominated by communists.

Destroys Religion

"We shall never again, I hope, pay the price for unpreparedness. We must build a military . . . equal to any test to which it may be put to defend our rights. I say: drive out the atheists and those who would destroy religion. . . ."

New Principles

Vice President Beck lauded the growth of new principles [of labor relations], such as retirement funds. These, he said, pointed the way [for the labor movement].

Beck announced that the next Chicago meeting will be held on March 1, 2, and 3, at which national conferences will be established for organizing . . . dairy and creamery [workers], laundry [workers], retail delivery [workers], and miscellaneous sales drivers. Notices are being sent out to Unions interested in [organizing these types of workers], asking them to send delegates to the conference sessions.

Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest