LABOR PAINS

YESTERDAY In 1937, unionism was sweeping the country, but W. A. ABBOTT, superintendent at the Dallas Ford assembly plant on East Grand Avenue, and RUDY RUTLAND, the plant body foreman, decided that they weren’t in the market. Abbott and Rutland formed two teams of goons, an “inside squad” to intimidate plant workers and an “outside squad” to roam the city and physically punish those suspected of union sympathy.

Anyone considered a threat was thrown into a car, taken to White Rock Lake, and severely beaten. One man was beaten merely because he had worked in a Kansas City plant that had a union presence. Another was attacked at Fair Park because he had a C. I. O. sticker on his windshield. A member of the milliners’ union was tarred an< feathered and dumped behind The Dallas Morning News building, where arrangements had been made with a News photographer to take his picture and run it on the front page. The reign of terror lasted for three months before it was finally halted by the Texas Rangers.

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