The European Productivity Agency and Transatlantic Relations, 1953-1961

By Bent Boel | Go to book overview

VI. EPA: A TRIPARTITE
ORGANIZATION?1

The EPA’s existence was largely due to the American policy of encouraging “free” trade unionism in Western Europe during the Cold War. The Moody Amendment was one of the more spectacular elements of this policy, which had consequences both for the institutional framework of the EPA and for its activities. Several attempts were made to transform the EPA into a tripartite organization, and some indeed considered it a “joint ‘management­ labor-government’ organisation.”2 Moreover, an important part of its program was devoted to strengthening non-communist trade unions.


A. America’s Labor Policy in the 1950s and the EPA

After World War II, the US devoted a great deal of energy on influencing Western European trade unions. The aim was short-term political, to fight communist and other radical influences in the labor movement through the strengthening of the “free” trade unions. The long-term goal was to promote attitudes among labor deemed more favorable to political and social stabilization in Western Europe. The anticommunist purpose of the American policy involved a wide range of activities such as covert CIA financed attempts at splitting existing trade unions, excluding communists from certain factories and assistance to non-communist trade unions.3 The main targets of this policy were France and Italy, which both had strong communist parties. American trade unions were closely associated with their country’s policy towards European labor and came to play an important role in backing non-communist factions in the European trade union movement. They were integrated into the organizational framework of the ECA, through the nomination of trade unionists as ECA officials, mostly labor attachés.4 Paul Hoffman paid tribute to their role when he declared that it had “been due largely to the support of American labor that most European workers

1 A short version of this chapter has been published in: Arbejderhistorie, vol. 4, 1999.

2 UMA, j.nr. 106.O.21, box 1, memo, 26.9. 1958, “Productivity Promoting Activities Within the OEEC after 30.6. 1960.”

3 See Ronald Radosh, American Labor and United States Foreign Policy, New York, 1969, pp. 304-47.

4 Carew, Labour under the Marshall Plan, pp. 80-91.

-149-

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The European Productivity Agency and Transatlantic Relations, 1953-1961
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Studies in 20th & 21St Century European History 2
  • Title Page 3
  • Table of Contents 5
  • Acknowledgments 7
  • Introduction 9
  • I- American Technical Assistance to Western Europe, 1948-53 21
  • II- A Short History of the Epa, 1953-61 61
  • III- An Operational Branch of the Oeec 93
  • IV- An American Aid Agency 115
  • V- A European Federator 135
  • Vi- Epa- A Tripartite Organization?1 149
  • VII- The EPA and Management Education1 185
  • VIII- The EPA and Development Aid- The Pilot Area in Sardinia 199
  • IX- Impact of the Epa's Activities 221
  • Conclusion 249
  • List of Abbreviations and Acronyms 253
  • Bibliography 261
  • Appendices 284
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