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UAW President Walter Reuther's Assassination and the 1968 RFK Campaign

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In 1970 UAW President Walter Reuther died in his second plane crash. Nobody's perfect. 

This was after Reuther had pulled the UAW out of the AFL-CIO in January, 1968 following a years long dispute with AFL-CIO's George Meany, who had cooperated with CIA to use his umbrella labor organization in support of greater CIA policy objectives and in support of domestic objectives more in line with Conservative Gompers AFL craft unionism than with the objectives of the 1968 RFK Campaign which was vastly expanding the electorate.  We know that DNC leaders such as Chicago Mayor Daley's were resisting the expansion of the electorate, even if it meant more voters for the Democrats.

The new voters might want stuff.


The Reuther move to Join the 1968 RFK Campaign must be considered in these lights:


* The UAW was the largest national union to fully support racial integration.  In this way Reuther was much more similar to the Knights of Labor than to the AFL, to compare         the 1968 labor division to another, at the 1886 Haymarket events in Chop Shop Chicago. 
* The RFK campaign was gaining the support of MLK, who had been supporting low skilled workers in their efforts to demand more of national labor leaders and the DNC.
* MLK's 1968 Poor People's Campaign was suggested to him by RFK. This fact seems occluded, quite professionally, everywhere. It took me until my 57th year to ever learn     of it, such is the tendency of US journalists to read today's MSNBC lens into the past. 
* Reuther had been in a prolonged dispute with Meany, which had actually been well documented in the New York Times, as hard as that may be to believe for today's
   NYT readers/scoffers. This dispute basically mirrored the dispute between Knights of Labor and AFL over skilled vs non skilled, white vs multi racial, men vs men and             women, and native vs immigrant divisions.  Reuther and the Knights of Labor also favored a more robust union role in wider societal questions like poverty and war, as           compared with the more "bread and butter" craft unionist organizing favored by Meany/Gompers, both of whom seemed to live longer than their otherwise robust                   counterparts. 

In short, Reuther's labor based approach to ending US racial division seems to have had willing accomplices at the national political level, before three assassinations ended the healing.  Both plane cashes showed sings of altimeter tampering, and a third flight, in 1969 was cancelled just before takeoff because of altimeter problems. 

These mechanical difficulties involving the altimeter may have a factor in intimidating future organizing efforts both among US unionists and politicians. New York Senator Kristin Gillibrand's has enjoyed extremely safe flights since her speech patterns have adjusted mellifluously to upper income Democrats favorite radio station, NPR/WNYC as well as the somewhat more exciting striation of the National Prayer Breakfast which she co hosted just prior to her militant support for the Gehlen organization in Ukraine. 


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