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Janosco, John | Special Collections & Archives

Name: Janosco, John

Historical Note:

John Janosco was a West Coast Representative for the United Packinghouse Workers of America from 1949-1960. His area of coverage included California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona. Janosco through most of his life was an active participant in the labor movement. He began his labor involvement as a rank and file member of the Furniture Workers Union (FWU), Local 1859 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He also served as the local's financial secretary and business representative from 1936 to 1944. After a dispute over Janosco's strong disapproval of the Minneapolis local of the Teamsters' International, which was responsible for raiding the Furniture Workers Union, Local 1859, Janosco was suspended. Eventually he left the Local for private work.

His next involvement with union activities was with the United Packinghouse Workers of America when he became their West Coast Representative in 1949, a post he served in for ten years. During his time with UPWA, Janosco served as the field representative for District 4 and worked closely with local unions and their members. He taught classes on collective bargaining and enforcement of labor contracts for officers and stewards. He also was involved with arranging grievance cases for presentation before the National Labor Relations Board's Unemployment Division, and other governmental departments. His most prominent labor activities involved negotiating with employers for local union contracts, working out wage scales and working conditions for various packinghouse plants and industries.

In 1957, Janosco made frontpage news when he was charged for subversive activities under the McCarran-Walter Act. He was the first person to be charged under the Act for suspicion that he belonged to the Socialist Workers Party. As part of the indictment Janosco was charged with attempting to overthrow the government of the United States by the use of force and violence. Deportation proceedings by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to his native Hungary began in 1957. After several months, Janosco was acquitted of all charges based on the lack of evidence.

Janosco remained with the UPWA as a field representative until 1960 when he ran for the post of District Director during the UPWA International Convention against Joe Ollman, Administrator of Local 667. Ollman had warned Janosco prior to the election not to run against him. After the election, winner Ollman terminated Janosco's employment with UPWA.

After leaving the UPWA, Janosco worked as a custodian for the Los Angeles Unified School District until his retirement. Janosco passed away in 1973.

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