Saturday, October 20, 2007

Who's Who Of Knickerbocker Village: Joseph Selly

Joseph Selly was the Board President during the Knickerbocker Village Strike in 1935.
The picture is of a Joe Selly, who plays guitar for the Klezmer Mountain Boys. Perhaps a relative? About Joseph Selly, from his 1991 NY Times obituary:
"Joseph Selly, 85, Dies; Former Labor Leader Joseph P. Selly, a former labor leader in New York, died on Wednesday at Northridge Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 85 years old and lived in Plantation, Fla. He died of cancer, a family spokesman said. Mr. Selly, who was a native New Yorker, was an architect for the city. He later helped organize one of the first tenants associations in a major housing development, Knickerbocker Village, and became its president. In the early 1930's he became a union organizer and was elected president of the American Communications Association. He was issued a charter by John L. Lewis, head of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, to organize communications workers in the United States. Under Mr. Selly, membership grew to 40,000. After World War II, the association became a target of the Senate Internal Security subcommittee that was investigating "subversives" in the labor movement. It was also investigated in the 1950's, and the association's membership steadily declined until it fell below 4,000. It merged in 1966 with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Mr. Selly remained a part of the union leadership until he retired in 1976.He is survived by his wife, the former Anne Claiborne; a brother, Abner, of Plantation, and a grandson.

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