Waiting for Lefty

Waiting for Lefty Summary and Analysis of IV. Labor Spy Episode

Fatt tells the taxi drivers that they haven't investigated the issue as he has; he cites what happened when men went on strike in Philadelphia, and brings up Tom Clayton, who was in the unsuccessful strike. Clayton tells the men that if he thought the strike would help, he'd be with them, but his experience has taught him that Fatt is right this time. A man in the audience tells him to sit down, and Fatt tells his henchmen to "take care of him." The man runs up on stage and says that Clayton's real name is Clancy, and that he is a "rat," a "company spy." He claims that Clayton has been breaking up unions in various fields for years. Clayton keeps denying it, but the man says he knows it is true because Clayton is his "OWN LOUSY BROTHER!!" He tells Clayton to leave, and he does. The man says "Too bad you didn't know about this, Fatt!"


This brief episode brings up a situation touched on before--labor spies. They were a real problem for unions, employed by businesses to sabotage unions from the inside. What this episode does is play the idea of the union as a family against the biological family. The man in the audience understands that his true brothers are his fellow taxi drivers, not his strike-breaking brother. He joyously shames his family name--"The Clancy family tree is bearing nuts!"--since he now has a new family of workers.

The one other intriguing part of this episode is Fatt's purported ignorance of Clayton's deception. Fatt really does seem unaware at first, and he even asks Clayton if the man's accusations are true. But the man implies that Fatt did know about the trick, and it seems inconceivable that he would not. That Fatt nearly maintains his innocence, however, indicates how good an actor he is, and how so many more of the company's tricks are going unchecked.