Manning Brown Jr.: “I consider it my duty to protect our policyholders”

Excerpts: Show ‘Em The Clenched Fist!

  • All that it took was a Sept. 11 press conference announcing that the union­ists and their allies in churches and other do-gooder groups intended to nominate two outsiders to run against the adminis­tration slate in the April board election unless New York Life severed its inter­locking directorates with J.P. Stevens & Co., the largely nonunion textile empire labor is trying to crack as the key to organizing the South.
  • Bowing to the union ukase meant that Manning Brown Jr., chairman of New York Life, had to get off the Stevens board and also that the insurance com­pany had to dump from its own board the Mister Big of the textile empire itself. He is James D. Finley, the Stevens chairman, who was denied renomination to the Manufacturers Hanover board after labor turned the heat on the nation’s fourth largest bank last winter. Two weeks later David W. Mitchell, chairman of Avon Products, who had been forced off the Manny Hanny board by the same union bombardment, quit as a Stevens director to deflect a boycott of Avon Products’ cosmetics and jewelry initiated by union sympathizers at the National Women’s Conference in Hous­ton last November.
  • A group of key directors, headed by Brown, passed the word to Finley that he was now persona non grata on the New York Life board. The next day Brown put out a sheepish statement say­ing he still felt it was wrong to muscle his company on an issue that Stevens work­ers ought to decide, but his first loyalty had to be to New York Life so he was resigning from the Stevens board. Simultaneously Finley announced he was quitting the insurance company board because he didn’t want to embarrass it by staying where he wasn’t wanted.
  • Thus, if Conway and the Seamen’s Bank follow Manny Hanny, Avon and New York Life into submission, he can be expected to turn his heavy artillery on Borden’s and Sperry Rand, both of which have Finley of Stevens on their board, and on Gold­man, Sachs & Co. and a long list of major banks and insurance companies that are tied to the textile chain by interlocking directorates or heavy loans.

Source: Corporate Campaign, Inc.