By Dick Francis
A wanna-be jockey accepts a task in his father's crusade for Parliament--and realizes that politics could be the main perilous horse race of all.
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36 O’Brien was out-organized, and his slate was roundly defeated. Nevertheless, some of his followers, encouraged by Cronin, formed a ‘‘Pleasure Club,’’ began disrupting union meetings, and attempted to oust the elected oﬃcers. When the local, backed by the International, expelled the anticommunist ‘‘troublemakers,’’ the opposition called a work stoppage. 38 It did not help that the caliber of the Pleasure Club leaders was questionable at best. 39 Most important, the anticommunists at Fairﬁeld could not draw on the same reserve of skilled, veteran workers that had helped build Locals 31 and 33.
161 When it came to race, the pbea represented the prevailing attitudes of many white Western Electric workers. 165 It is telling that the strike at Western Electric was touched oﬀ by women. 167 Most of this increase came as women replaced draftees or transients, and although some were Baltimore natives, plenty of wartime working women were migrants themselves. Many of these women, like their male counterparts, agreed with the assessment of ‘‘Beloved Baltimore’’ and left town at the war’s end. 168 What Was Left Undone By 1945 Baltimore, like its counterparts in the industrial North, was home to a strong industrial union movement, a growing civil rights community, and a political system increasingly sensitive to the power of ethnic and black working-class voters.
Mobilizing Workers and Votes Before World War II about 35,000 union members lived in Baltimore, most of them aﬃliated with the afl. 84 The city and state cio fought hard for these gains, but ultimately the war made the diﬀerence. The most diﬃcult of the cio’s unionizing drives was at Sparrows Point. Bethlehem was the cornerstone of ‘‘Little Steel’’ and notoriously anti-union. 88 By 1940 the cio was trying mightily to get into Bethlehem Steel and Glenn Martin because they were huge plants dependent on defense contracts—and federal law mandated that government contractors must bargain in good faith with unions.