Meyer Bernstein, “Memorandum re Eldridge Haynes Letters” (1951)

US labor unions supported the Marshall Plan’s effort to convince Europeans, and in particular European labor unions of the benefits of US productivity to lure European workers away from Communist promises; to this end, US union officers served in the Marshall Plan’s labor division. Among these officers was the CIO union organizer Meyer Bernstein, who was stationed in Düsseldorf, Germany, during the German debate on co-determination. Bernstein closely followed the German debate, and he was one of the few foreign observers left to witness the final, late-night parliamentary vote passing co-determination. Bernstein also met with Eldridge Haynes, the business delegate sent to Germany by the National Association of Manufacturers to halt co-determination legislation. Bernstein feared that Haynes’s intervention would backfire and undermine the trust of West German unionists in their American counterparts. As Bernstein’s memo indicates, his interference had the opposite effect. Observers criticized NAM’s intervention as unnecessary foreign interference, and Haynes plan backfired, with co-determination was passing, Bernstein’s memorandum describes the German co-determination vot and legislation, and addresses the controversy surrounding Eldridge Haynes’s intervention. The full memorandum is provided in this scan.

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Related Subjects: Marshall PlanLabor Relations: US UnionsLabor Relations: Co-Determination

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