George Meany

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Related to George Meany: Walter Reuther
William George Meany
BirthplaceHarlem, New York City
Labor leader
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Meany, George


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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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It was a devastating loss of opportunity, even as George Meany celebrated the rampage of Manhattan hardhats against antiwar marchers and as Richard Nixon rewarded the thugs' leader with the cabinet post for the Department of Labor.
That the AFL-CIO needed to adapt to today's challenges is illustrated by this 1972 quotation from George Meany, cited by author Amy Foerster: "Why should we worry about organizing groups of people who do not want to be organized?
wide by the George Meany Center for Labor Studies in Silver Spring, Maryland Called the Collective Bargaining Education Project, its showcase component is a day-long simulation in which students assume the roles of workers and employers.
But even as the George Meany Memorial Archives was being established by the AFL-CIO in 1980 and new regional efforts were taking shape at California State University at Northridge, San Francisco State University, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of Connecticut, the activism of the American labor archives effort seemed to peak.
The leader of the labor contingent was George Meany, president of the AFL-CIO, the nation's largest union organization (about one-fifth of the nation's workforce).
He was a George Meany Center vicepresident, assistant to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, AFL-CIO Education Director, and a principal designer of the Common Sense Economics program.
Brown mines a multidimensional database: the extant literature on various dimensions of the American welfare state; archival material from the files of presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon; records of the Bureau of the Budget, the Social Security Board, and the Works Progress Administration; the papers of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Urban League; the George Meany Memorial Archives (which provide a range of perspectives from organized labor); doctoral dissertations on various facets of this complex topic; congressional hearings; and interviews with officials who served in both the Johnson and Nixon administrations.
Taking Care of Business: Samuel Gompers, George Meany, Lane Kirkland, and the Tragedy of American Labor.
Based on papers presented at a 1994 conference on labor and American politics held at the George Meany Center, this engaging collection of nine essays analyzes the formation and development of the political alliance between organized labor and the Democratic party during the twentieth century.
However, as they gathered at the George Meany Center in suburban Maryland for a pre-inauguration planning session in late January 1992, Carey's team was nervous.
Under the leadership of George Meany and Lane Kirkland.
The delegates at this special two-day conference on organizing were offered many different presentations including an exciting performance on union busters and how to combat them by Richard Sanders from the George Meany Centre for Labour Studies.