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Judaism Parley Deplores Anti-labor Legislation; Rabbis Defend Labor Rights

April 23, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Institute on Judaism, Management and Labor, sponsored by the Central Conference of American Rabbis, at its concluding session yesterday adopted a resolution deploring all legislation “which would liquidate the improved status which labor has enjoyed since the passage of the Wagner Act.”

“It is our belief,” the resolution said, “that management and labor unions should peaceably resolve their differences without the necessity of Congress attempting to club the unions into submission.” The resolution condemned “the excesses of the Hartley Bill, which among other things have the vindictive purpose of crippling the labor movement of this country, by eliminating the closed shop and industry-wide bargaining.” The Hartley Bill was passed by the House of Representatives last week.

The relation of Judaism to labor-management problems was summarized by Dr. Abraham J. Feldman of Hartford, Conn., vice-president of the Conference, who said “Judaism teaches us the dignity of labor; the sinfulness of oppressing the laborer, that labor has rights, that high standards of ethical conduct must prevail, that men are entitled to the blessings of plenty for the necessities of life, that the employer has rights and by the same token employee has duties to his employer, that the laborer has the obligation to make an honest return for the compensation he receives.”

Rabbi Ferdinand M. Isserman of St. Louis saw in current labor-management difficulties the occasion again for Judaism to defend social gains, to strengthen them, as it has in the past. “Reaction is in the air,” he said. “Many good people who have opposed all reforms are out to destroy recent social gains. Rabbis and Jewish laymen must speak out as champions of justice and righteousness.”

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