Ray Rogers: “Economic power breeds political power”

Excerpts: “Rogers’ Tough, Unorthodox Tactics Prevail in Stevens Organizing.”

  • Most recently. Mr. Rogers threatened to contest the election of directors at Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., one of Stevens’ major lenders. That prospect inspired Richard Shinn, chairman of the big mutual insurer, to do some behind-the-scenes maneuvering shortly before the final settlement between Stevens and the union.
  • Mr. Rogers’ strategy against Metropolitan imitated his attack on New York Life two years ago. At that point, the union forced James D. Finley, then Stevens’ chairman, and R. Manning Brown, Jr., chairman of New York Life, to resign from each other’s boards by threatening to seat a dissident slate of directors at the insurance company.
  • Mr. Rogers later managed to force Mr. Finley off the board of Manufacturers Hanover Trust (which was threatened with withdrawals of union money) in 1978. David Mitchell, chairman of Avon Products Inc., resigned from Stevens’ board at about the same time. (Mr. Mitchell denies any connection with the Stevens furor.) Another Stevens director, E. Virgil Conway, chairman of New York’s Seamen’s Bank for Savings, has refused to give in to massive picketing in Manhattan and an unrelenting letterwriting campaign.

Source: The Wall Street Journal