THE dramatic ouster of the Teamsters, Bakery Workers, and other corrupt unions from the AFL-CIO, for all its historic significance, created no substantial legal problem. The tie that binds an international union to the federation is but a flimsy thread easily severed, even by such an unceremonious act as John L. Lewis' curt telegram to William Green, "We disaffiliate." International unions such as the United Mine Workers and the International Association of Machinists have moved fitfully in and out of federations, but their legal right to sever the affiliation ties has never been challenged. Ousting of internationals by the federation, although done less casually and with more ritual, has produced little litigation. In 1907 the AFL expelled the Brewery Workers, and in 1926 expelled the Railway Clerks, both for alleged failure to comply with jurisdictional awards. In 1937 the AFL ousted nine internationals for alleged dual unionism and refusal to follow federation policies. These unions became the core of the CIO, which in 1949 and 1950 ousted eleven internationals for claimed adherence to communist purposes rather than the objectives and principles of the CIO. All of these ousters generated but one reported case, and it upheld the federation's right to expel.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Summers, Clyde W., "Union Schism in Perspective: Flexible Doctrines, Double Standards, and Projected Answers" (1959). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 3898.