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convention bookings increased and with negotiations between the union and hospital authorities still going on, a general public impression was left that the strike was just a few hours away from full settlement. People even began to shop downtown again thinking that it would "not be long now." But the central issues of union recognition and the rehiring of the workers who had been fired were still unresolved. The concessions that had been publicly announced resulted in a serious let-down in the fighting spirit which had kept the strikers and their supporters on the offensive. 

enlarging the strike strategy 
Fortunately, the SCLC seized the initiative and prevented this slippage from going too far. On June 11, at a Harlem mass meeting called by Local 1199 in New York, Reverend Ralph Abernathy in his keynote address called attention to the fact that the textile industry in South Carolina, as the largest industry in the state, was the major influence in shaping the hard line policy toward the hospital workers. "Therefore," declared Reverend Abernathy, "we want Local 1199 here in New York to take the responsibility to maintain picket lines in front of each of the following textile company national headquarters." Reverend Abernathy then named The J.P. Stevens company, which owns twenty-three textile manufacturing plants in South Carolina; the Deering-Milliken Company, sixteen manufacturing plants, and M. Lowenstein & Sons, who have ten plants in South Carolina. 
Reverend Abernathy also announced that he had instructed SCLC affiliates in Danville, Virginia, and Greensboro, North Carolina, to begin the picketing of the respective national headquarters of Dan River Mills, Burlington Industries and Cone Mills in those cities. He also stated that the Director of Organization of the AFL-CIO was on his way to the Longshoremen's Convention in Miami with a recommendation that "the port of Charleston be closed" in support of the hospital workers. The port of Charleston is the fourth largest on the East Coast. It handles a half-billion dollars in cargo annually and therefore affects the entire economy of the state. It is also the major port outlet for South Carolina textiles. 
The textile industry, on the other hand, is not only the largest industry in the South, it is notorious for its opposition to unions. The J.P. Stevens Company, the biggest of the textile giants operating in South Carolina, is the largest supplier of textiles to the Federal


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