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George Meany

From Academic Kids

George Meany (August_16, 1894January_10, 1980) was an American labor leader, who served as President of the American Federation of Labor from 1952 to 1955, and then, following its merger with the Congress of Industrial Organizations in the latter year, as president of the united AFL-CIO from 1955 to 1979.

Contents

Tenure

Meany was a great believer in the cooperation of labor and capital. Under his leadership, the AFL and then the AFL-CIO supported anti-communist and even McCarthyist policies. Unions deemed leftist, including the United Electrical Workers and the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Employees of America, were expelled from the CIO by the early 1950's. AFL-CIO unions then cooperated with employers to raid and decertify leftist unions. He was a steadfast supporter of the Vietnam War.

Meany was close to Jay Lovestone, the former Communist Party USA leader turned anti-communist. Lovestone established the Free Trade Union Committee as the overseas organizing tool of the AFL. Throughout Meany's tenure, Lovestone worked to establish non-communist and pro-American unions around the world. In the course of this work, the AFL collaborated with Latin American dictatorships against communist, radical or opposition trade unions.

He is famous for having said toward the end of his tenure that he had "never walked a picket line in his life." He was succeded by Lane Kirkland.

External links

Archives

Articles

Books

  • George Meany Modern Leader of the American Federation of Labor by B. Finke. Publisher: Samhar Pr (June 1, 1972) ISBN 0871575485.
  • Taking Care of Business: Samuel Gompers, George Meany, Lane Kirkland, and the Tragedy of American Labor by Paul Buhle. 224 pages Publisher: Monthly Review Press (August 1, 1999). ISBN 1583670033.


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