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Related to George Meany: Walter Reuther
|William George Meany|
|Birthplace||Harlem, New York City|
Born Aug. 16, 1894, in New York. Leader of the right-wing American union movement.
Meany worked as a plumber from 1910 to 1922. From 1922 to 1934 he was one of the leaders of a local section of the plumbers’ union in New York. From 1934 to 1939, Meany was president of the New York State Federation of Labor. From 1940 to 1952 he was secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Labor (AFL). From 1952 to 1955 he was head of the AFL. In 1955, after the merger of the AFL and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), Meany became president of the AFL-CIO.
In 1945, Meany spoke out against the AFL’s membership in the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU). After the crearion of the reformist International Confederation of Free Trade Unions in 1949, he became the leader of the group’s extreme right wing, which opposed contacts with the WFTU. An advocate of class collaboration, Meany repeatedly declared that workers and entrepreneurs share the same interests in the strengthening of the capitalist system. During the cold war period, Meany was involved in the persecution of progressively minded union members. Meany opposed the relaxation of international tensions.