During his first run for the White House in 1932, New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt needed strong support from the labor movement. In order for the economic recovery efforts to succeed, he would have prove himself a loyal believer in the cause.
In the April 1931 issue of the International Teamster, Dan Tobin takes to the page to address members with one of his most forward-thinking editorials yet. The depression, still in full force at this time, has left Tobin impatient. He wants change – both economic and social – and he wants it quick.
The Great Depression hit the unions hard — organizing efforts decreased, memberships declined, and treasuries struggled to stay afloat. Violence increased as many union men and women went on strike to protest the return of slavish working conditions a generation earlier.
On 24 October 1929, panic selling began on Wall Street and prices fell catastrophically, as the stock market crashed. Business confidence disappeared, banks failed and industry slumped -- but Dan Tobin knew immediately it was the American worker who would suffer most.
When Tobin attempted to obtain AFL endorsement of the candidacy of Democrat Alfred E. Smith in the 1928 presidential election, AFL President William Green forced a resolution through the AFL Executive Council which reaffirmed the federation's nonpartisan policy. Tobin resigned as treasurer of the AFL in anger. Although Green and others feared the Teamsters might withdraw from the federation, Tobin assured the Executive Council he had no intention of doing so.
Another day, another $5 billion fine for five large financial institutions. When are they going to be held responsible for their actions and not be given the benefit of the doubt above regular working people?