Very much in the tradition of Peter Friedlander and Ronald Schatz, whose work he cites as influencing his approach, Palmer employed extensive oral interviewing, then welded those narratives to masses of IUMSWA, government, and published documentation, creating thereby a meticulous reconstruction of organizing campaigns at New York Ship in Camden, New Jersey, Federal Ship in Kearney, New Jersey, adjacent to the Port of New York, and the Fore River Yards in Quincy, Massachusetts.
New York Ship, an independent firm located amid the Delaware River's renowned shipbuilding complex, had a weak company union, unimaginative managers, and little political savvy in 1933-34, when a group of Scottish and socialist skilled workers (remember the Red Clyde?) commenced organizing what would become IUMSWA. After "careful preparations," which included extensive face-to-face recruiting and informal labor education, John Green and Tom Gallagher called a recognition strike, which usefully tied up Navy ship contracts.
177), not the least of which was redbaiting IUMSWA. Other yard operators had used similar tactics, which played poorly in more cosmopolitan mid-Atlantic cities.