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Who’s Who » Biographical Sketches (1939) »

Roy Rouse

SWOC, URWEA, UCPAO.
Those letters stand for some of the CIO organizations of which Roy Rouse is the Rochester representative. A former AFLer, Mr. Rouse joined the industrial union movement when he became the Steel Workers Organizing Committee’s local representative. His labor commitments, however, began ’way back when he received his journeyman’s certificate working as a toolmakers’ apprentice in Elmira for the American La France Company, manufacturers of fire engine apparatus.

Born in Canandaigua less than forty-three years ago, Mr. Rouse is a young man to have come as far as he has in the labor movement. He attended the Canandaigua Free School and Academy before taking up his trade. After the Elmira job, he did technical work in the Washington Navy Yards for eight months. Later, as an employee of the Kellogg Manufacturing Company in Washington for seven years, he served as president of his local. Following that, he worked in a Camden shipyard, a Detroit auto factory, and in Columbus, Cleveland and Denver.

While he was doing experimental work for a Rochester firm, fellow employees elected him president of the first steelworkers local here in 1937. Later he became the SWOC representative. Next came the post of representative of the local United Canning and Packing Allied Organization. And when the CIO organized the Retail and Wholesale Employees, the title of representative for the UCPAO was added to his list of offices.

His zeal in the labor movement is well founded, his father having been a member of the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers in famous Homestead, Pennsylvania.

As all old-time labor men note, organizing today is a far easier job than it was years ago. Mr. [missing text] tection and need not fear to any great extent the wrath of his employer, nor will he lose his job if he joins a union.” “The growth of labor unions,” he remarks, “has carried with it masses of people who individually would have been hard to disturb.”

Regretting the present CIO-AFL split, Mr, Rouse declares that he has always advocated a united labor front. But he is optimistic because, he says, “recent acts of Congress have made it so apparent to the rank and file of both organizations that united action is obviously necessary...that it is only a question of time before the rank and file will force unity.”

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