Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition
August 16—George Meany, plumber, founding AFL-CIO president, born in City Island, Bronx. In his official biography, George Meany and His Times, he said he had “never walked a picket line in his life.” He also said he took part in only one strike (against the United States Government to get higher pay for plumbers on welfare jobs). Yet he also firmly said that “You only make progress by fighting for progress.” Meany served as secretary-treasurer of the AFL from 1940 to 1952, succeeded as president of the AFL, and then continued as president of the AFL-CIO following the historic merger in 1955 until retiring in 1979 – 1894
August 17—Year-long Hormel meatpackers’ strike begins in Austin, Minn. – 1985
August 18—Radio station WEVD, named for Eugene V. Debs, goes on the air in New York City, operated by The Forward Association as a memorial to the labor and socialist leader – 1927
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Cool Labor Site: Wage Theft
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