Progressive Labor Party's LP’s original concept of participation in the trade-union movement was exactly borrowed from the Communist Party USA. This meant slow clandestine work in union committees and in alliance with supposedly progressive union leaders like Harry Bridges of the ILWU, Leon Davis of the 1199 and David Livingston of District 65 in New York. All of the PLM’s trade-union cadre were ex-CP’ers, white and mostly middle aged, in their forties and older. They were not inclined to any bold moves, were not in basic industry and were generally not together in a concentration. The one exception was a small group of New York City railroad workers, led by Wally Linder. However, when he was laid off in 1963 the base and membership of PL in railroads dried up and Linder became a full-time PL functionary, “the trade-union organizer.” Generally this not impressive trade union base (Considering he was N.Y. State trade union organizer for the CP, Rosen did not take much with him into PLM.) was either dying out (literally) or quitting by 1965. When Clayton Van Lydegraf and Coe quit in late 1966 they took better than one-third of the trade-union cadre with them.
In 1968 newly elected Congressmen Abner Mikva employed five staff:
- [https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/1960-1970/5retreats/chapter5.htm%7CJim Dann and Hari Dillon The Five Retreats: A History of the Failure of the Progressive Labor Party CHAPTER 5: RETREAT FROM THE TRADE-UNION MOVEMENT 1969-1971]