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Violent struggle with the Painters Union begins

Photo caption: This background artist is shown creating the background for the Disney feature The Three Caballeros. This film combined live action and animation.

 The dispute over set decorators involved only 77 individuals.  This minor jurisdictional argument mushroomed into a long, violent struggle involving thousands of workers.  Los Angeles civic and business leaders almost seemed to welcome internal labor unrest, as it helped discredit the American trade union movement.

When the Painters Union demanded recognition as a bargaining agent for the set decorators, the IA called for an election under the auspices of the NLRB.  In response, on October 5, the CSU unions began a strike against the major studios to force recognition of the set decorators.  The War Labor Board ordered the strikers back to work until a decision was made.

The Painters Union, Local 1421, filed a strike notice, in keeping with existing law, and then after a 30-day “cooling off” period, voted overwhelmingly to strike -- not a legitimate economic strike.