CHILE ANNIVERSARY: 'The American Federation of Teachers and the CIA' by George Schmidt (1978)... Substance AFT - CIA pamphlet available in PDF

The Substance pamphlet "The American Federation of Teachers and the CIA" is now available in PDF format. The 1978 pamphlet, which traced the early involvement of the AFT beginning in the 1970s with the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) and other CIA labor groups also includes the speech from the AFT convention delivered by Irving Brown.

The URL is:

Cover of the new edition of the classic 1978 study of teachers and international relations.A group of Chicago teachers and activists will be discussing whether it is possible to update the information published back then (when research was much more difficult because of the lack of the Internet and Google and other searches) to include more information now. Given the situation in Honduras, Mexico, and elsewhere in Latin America and the anniversary this week of the murder of the elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende, in a CIA sponsored coup d'etat, there may be a need for an updating of the information and for some researchers in both continents to utilize more of the available documents in a coordinated "Truth Squad." (As to "Reconciliation," that is not on the Substance agenda).


September 15, 2013 at 6:24 PM

By: Rich Gibson


I am so pleased that George's work on the empire's unions is now online, for all. For more, see oldies like Jack Scott, Yankee Unions Go Home. Newer--work by Kim Scipes. And I have tracked the NEA and AFT via the National Endowment for Democracy and Education International at Substance and elsewhere. The role of imperialism propelling almost every move the fake "Labor Movement, makes is key to understanding why, for example, the is no large anti-war movement in the AFL-CIA, and why NEA delegates assembled in what is likely the most democratic union convention in the US, 10,000 plus school workers, repeatedly voted down motions to just "discuss" the wars. The bribe from the empire, exemplified in the $686,949 paid to NEA's past president, Reg Weaver, for one year in office (he retired like all past NEA bosses--and AFT--to EI where is pay is secret) is powerful. Industrial workers thought the bribe was working, a la those fairly well paid jobs back in the day. But the empire is fickle, and those jobs are mostly gone. Teachers--take a lesson from George Schmidt's early and courageous work. It is still possible, vital, to teach against imperialism-every day. Schools do not have to be human munition factories.

September 16, 2013 at 10:15 AM

By: John Kugler

Lawyerization of Labor Movement

in a true union democracy the rank-and-file run the union: meaning all functions of the Union from the executive to staff, are from the rank-and-file because they know best what they want for their union. the biggest obstacle to this transformation is lawyers and the lawyerization of the labor movement who have a vested interested to get paid since they serve special interests not the rank-and-file. That being said, the Union will from time to time need to employ specialists to take care of discrete issues but this should never go beyond a flat fee for services that the rank-and-file approve. Never ever should any Union allow an attorney to influence labor policy unless the lawyer came up through the ranks of the said union. Labor gets its power from the worker not from a Judge or law book.

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