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The Boss

By David Dayton McKean
This Web version, edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2003

It was not absolutely necessary for the organization to compromise with the C.I.O.; the police could still have made life difficult for the organizers and for strikers. Hall-owners could still have been persuaded that they were not working within the proper scope to rent meeting-places to unions, and the right to control traffic might have been used against outdoor meetings. The funds of C.I.O. unions might have been tied up in receiverships. The truce, moreover, cost the organization its new and dearly bought support from business and industry, which would probably have preferred an armed truce to peace; and the Catholic Church, which had based its support of Hague upon the ideological ground that the C.I.O. was communistic, must have felt let down when an agreement was reached without any changes in the C.I.O. leadership or objectives. The State Federation of Labor lost its revived enthusiasm for the Hague organization; although no statements were issued, the state federation could not have approved very heartily when it saw its rival labor organization being received with favor at City Hall.

But the peace that was made should not have surprised any of the groups concerned, for the Hague machine has worked first with labor and then with capital, but always for itself. It fought the C.I.O. just as it fought Brandle, but the C.I.O. had defeated it, and with a large and growing membership had become an increasingly dangerous foe, not only in Jersey City but in the rest of the state as well; rather than expose itself to more warfare with a state election coming on, the organization made the best terms it could get. It has always welcomed any available support, and yet it has never permitted any alliance to jeopardize its own interest or security; allies may regard its actions under this principle as treachery, but to City Hall they are only practical politics.


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