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Nixon, Shultz, & J. Edgar Hoover on Unions & Implementing Phase II Wage Controls

White House tapes: President Nixon and Office of Management and Budget Director George Shultz discuss implementation Phase II wage controls. Then Nixon and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover discuss the frosty reception Nixon received at the AFL-CIO convention in the wake of Phase II. Wage and price controls were imposed in mid-August 1971 in the form of a Phase I 90-day wage-price freeze. These two conversations - Nixon-Shultz on Nov. 20, 1971 and Nixon-Hoover on Nov. 22, 1971 (excerpt) -- occurred after Phase II was formally in effect but the degree to which organized labor would cooperate with the program was in doubt. Phase II on the wage side involved creation of a Pay Board with five members from management, labor, and the public. Nixon is concerned that the program could collapse if labor doesn't cooperate but wants to put Meany on the defensive. Shultz has a plan in case Phase II collapses. Meany is characterized as unstable, even in the eyes of other union leaders. He has made fun of the Pay Board's chair and one of its public members and discussed in public a private conversation he had with James Hodgson. (This may have been a conversation in which Hodgson indicated that they had dropped George Boldt from consideration as chair of the Pay Board but came back to him when they couldn't find anyone else.) Toward the end of the conversation, they bring up the possible pardon of imprisoned Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa. Meany is said to have indicated he would not comment publicly on such a pardon but Shultz and Nixon are unsure about what he might do. The second conversation between Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover occurs just after Nixon has spoken at the AFL-CIO convention in Miami and received a poor reception. Hoover thinks Nixon has come off well from that event and that labor leaders other than Meany are embarrassed over what has happened.
Length: 10:43

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