Washington (Oct. 13)
The American Federation of Labor, composed of almost five million members of trades unions throughout the country, today adopted a resolution throwing the strength of the American labor movement solidly behind the boycott of German products until such time as the Nazi rulers of the Reich end their suppression of the German labor movement and their persecution of the Jews in Germany.
The federation’s convention voted to take this step after William Green, president of the organization, had made a spirited appeal for adoption of the report of the committee on resolutions, presented this morning by Matthew Woll, third vice-president of the federation. It was carried practically unanimously.
The resolution was couched in strong language which scathingly assailed the Reich government “or any other country” which forbids free trade unions. The boycott is also directed against products made in Italy, Russia and China.
The leaders of the federation and the American Legion, Mr. Green and Edward S. Hayes, new commander of the Legion, who addressed the convention, exchanged a pledge that both bodies will uphold common ideals and continue to fight for their common purposes, which include condemnation of free immigration into the United States and recognition of the Soviet government.
The action of the federation on the boycott was anticipated when the recommendation of the Executive Council was submitted two weeks ago. The recommendation voiced unequivocally the feeling that Hitler’s repressive measures have incited violent antipathy among federation members.
“The revolution in Germany,” it read, “resulting from the designation of Adolf Hitler as chancellor, has meant the overthrow of the Weimar constitution (the Republic) and the inauguration of the Third Reich…. The Nazi government struck directly at trade union officials and machinery in order to establish its power. First, methods of communication within the unions are suppressed or interrupted, and this was followed by the arrest and imprisonment of executives and leaders. Terror and brutality followed, together with the