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Green, William,1872–1952, American labor leader, president of the American Federation of Labor (1924–1952), b. Coshocton, Ohio. He rose through the ranks of the United Mine Workers of America, of which organization he was (1912–24) secretary-treasurer. With backing from John L. Lewis, Green was elected president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) to succeed Samuel Gompers. He led the organization of skilled labor into craft unions and gradually built up AFL membership. After eight of the largest unions split away (1935) under the leadership of John L. Lewis and formed the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) to organize workers in industrial unions, Green led the AFL in the subsequent struggle with the CIO. He set forth his philosophy in Labor and Democracy (1939). Green was succeeded as president of the AFL by George Meany. See American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial OrganizationsAmerican Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations
(AFL-CIO), a federation of autonomous labor unions in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, and U.S.
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Born Mar. 3. 1873, in Coshocton. Ohio; died there Nov. 21, 1952. US trade union figure.
Green was a representative of the right wing of the American trade union movement. When he was 16 he began to work in the coal mines. Beginning in 1900 he was continually engaged in trade union work. In December 1924 he became president of the American Federation of Labor (AF of L). He opposed the creation of industrial labor unions and wanted to exclude them from the AF of L. After the formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in 1935 he hindered the merger of the AF of L and the CIO. He supported the foreign policy of the ruling groups in the United States. He was one of the initiators of the International Confederation of Free Labor Unions, which was organized as a counterweight to the World Federation of Trade Unions.