Labor Secretary Ray Marshall accused foes of the administration's labor law revision bill yesterday of defying the will of Congress by resorting to the same tactics used to block civil rights legislation in the past.
In his sharpest attack yet on the impending Senate filibuster against the bill, Marshall told 2,500 supporters of the measure at a Lafayette Square rally that the battle is between "the powerful and the powerless" and "the victims are the men and women at the bottom of the economic ladder."
Opponents have charged that the bill, which would stiffen penalties for illegally thwarting union bargaining "powergrab" by union leaders.
Marshall, describing the opposition's tactics as "shrill" said the bill is aimed at a minority of businessmen who, aided by "high-priced attorneys." have reduced existing labor law to "little more than paper promises" by "thumb(ing) their noses at the law."
Meanwhile, AFL-CIO President George Meany and textile union officials criticized a recent out-of-court settlement between the National Labor Relations Board and J.P. Stevens & Co., charging that the board traded an injunction for "empty promises."
Last January the board, in an unprecedented action, sought an injuction against alleged labor law violations by the big textile firm. Last month it agreed to drop the suit after Stevens promised not to violate the law.
"They came out with a sweeping injuction and they compromised it with ...empty promises," said Meany, adding that he considered the pledge meaningless in light of the long history of labor troubles at Stevens.
Jacob Sheinkman, secretary-treasurer of the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, which is trying to organize Stevens, said there are still 36 unresolved cases againsthe company involving 299 separate allegations.