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Government.* Its President, Robert Stevens, was Secretary of the Army in the Eisenhower-Nixon Administration. 
This effort to win the full support of the longshoremen, together with the picketing of the national headquarters of the various absentee-owned textile firms operating in South Carolina, marks the beginning of a very significant enlargement of the strike strategy followed by the hospital workers and SCLC. And the nation's news media, including the South Carolina press, quickly picked up on this development. "CHARLESTON PORT MAY FACE WALKOUT BY LONGSHOREMEN" reported the Greenville News,** while a staff reporter of the Charleston News and Courier listed in an article the textile companies whose headquarters were to be picketed.*** With these two key industries now becoming a target of agitational focus by the strikers, and with the threat of HEW withholding federal funds from the hospital still possible, Dr. William McCord told the union negotiators that the administration at the Medical College Hospital was in agreement about rehiring the twelve workers who had been dismissed. This was the last major obstacle to a strike settlement. The union had earlier agreed to accept a grievance machinery and a dues check-off system as a reasonable beginning towards union recognition. There was also reason to believe that this decision by the hospital administration had the approval of Governor McNair. It was at this crucial point, the weekend of Friday, June 13, that U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond and Congressman Mendel Rivers, in whose eight-county congressional district Charleston is located, intervened in the strike situation. They announced they had met with the top HEW officials in Washington and had received “assurances” that no immediate action would be taken on the withholding of federal funds from the Medical College Hospital. This had the effect, of course, of sabotaging the negotiations because it removed a major pressure point. Dr. McCord immediately withdrew his offer to rehire the twelve workers, then suddenly became “ill” and unavailable for further talks; so the breakdown in negotiations was complete. The hardline, no-union policy of The State was still in effect.
This intervention by Strom Thurmond and Mendel Rivers at the federal level further clarified the power relationships at work in the Charleston situation. Rivers, the Democrat, as Chairman of the House
*In 1966 they were subsidized to the amount of $76,000,000 in “defense” contracts.
**Greenville, South Carolina, Friday, June 13, 1969.
***Saturday, June 14, 1969.


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