Murray, Philip

Murray, Philip,

1886–1952, American labor leader, b. Blantyre, Scotland. He emigrated to the United States in 1902 and worked in the Pennsylvania coal mines. After he was discharged for fighting with a foreman, 600 miners struck, formed a local of the United Mine Workers of America (UMW), and elected (1904) Murray local president. A skillful negotiator, he rose to the vice presidency of the union by 1920. When the CIO was formed (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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), he became a CIO vice president and headed (1936) its successful steel workers' organizing campaign. He broke with John L. LewisLewis, John Llewellyn,
1880–1969, American labor leader, b. Lucas co., Iowa; son of a Welsh immigrant coal miner. He became a miner and after 1906 rose through the union ranks to become president (1920) of the United Mine Workers of America (UMW).
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, whom he succeeded as CIO president (1940). For supporting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's reelection in 1940, Lewis forced Murray out of the UMW. (Lewis supported the Republican Wendell Willkie). However, Murray was elected president of the United Steel Workers of America in 1942 when that union was formed. Retaining the presidency of both the CIO and the United Steel Workers of America until his death, Murray was active in expelling (1949–50) Communist-dominated unions from the CIO.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Murray, Philip

 

Born May 25, 1886, in Blantyre; died Nov. 9, 1952, in San Francisco. Trade union leader in the USA.

Of Scottish descent, Murray lived in the USA from 1902. He was a member of the executive committee of the miners’ union from 1912 and vice-president of the union from 1920 to 1942; he was also head of the organizing committee of the steelworkers’ union from 1936 to 1942 and president of that union from 1942. As vice-president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) from 1936 and as its president from 1940 to 1952, Murray was the leader of the organization’s right wing. An advocate of the idea that workers and employers have common interests, Murray fought against progressive trade unions and Communist participation in their activities.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Murray, Philip

(1886–1952) labor leader; born in New Glasgow, Scotland. A coal miner from age 10, he emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1902. He held numerous offices within the United Mine Workers Union, climaxing with that of vice-president (1920–42). He and John L. Lewis founded the Committee of Industrial Organizations (1935). He was president of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (1936) and succeeded Lewis as president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) (1940–52). Although he was a strong proponent of labor's cooperation with the government during World War II and the Korean War, he never abandoned the struggle to improve the situation of laborers. His tact and personal skills kept the CIO together during the difficult war years.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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