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Union Pickets UJA of Greater New York Protesting Its Award to Stevens

The Textile Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO, tonight picketed a dinner at the Americana Hotel given by the Merchants Council of the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York in honor of Robert T. Stevens, executive committee chairman of J.P. Stevens & Co. The Union protested the presentation of an award for “humanitarian endeavor” to Mr. Stevens whom it called the nation’s “biggest union buster.” Paul Swaity, the union’s organizing director, said the protest was aimed at calling public attention to the fact that Steven’s “notorious anti-labor record makes him utterly unworthy of such an honor at the hands of any organization that has a concern for working people.” Mr. Swaity said Mr. Stevens had been cited by the National Labor Relations Board 11 times in the past 7 years for illegal anti-union activity. A spokesman for the UJA said his organization had not been approached by the TWU, “Our knowledge of Mr. Stevens has been in terms of his philanthropic efforts in our behalf,” he said. He noted that Mr. Stevens had been a supporter of UJA as “far back as anyone can remember” and has increased his support since the Six-Day War. In 1968 he was the guest of honor at a textile industry dinner for UJA and in 1969 and 1970, he had served as chairman of UJA’s Non-Sectarian Community Committee which is composed mainly of non-Jewish businessmen. “In terms of what Mr. Stevens has accomplished in our behalf,” the spokesman said, “our leaders feel that he is eminently entitled to the honors bestowed upon him.” William Pollock, TWU general president, wired Israel’s Premier Golda Meir and the American Trade Union Council for Histadrut protesting the tribute to Mr. Stevens.

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