Walter Reuther

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Walter Reuther
BirthplaceWheeling, West Virginia
Labor union leader

Reuther, Walter


Born Sept. 1, 1907, in Wheeling, W. Va.; died May 9, 1970, near Pellston, Mich. American trade union leader.

From 1942 to 1946, Reuther was vice-president of the automobile workers’ union. He became the union’s president in 1946. From 1952 to 1955 he was president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations and headed its right wing. He was a leader of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) from 1955 to 1968. An advocate of class cooperation, Reuther repeatedly opposed progressive trade unions and the participation of the Communist Party of the USA in trade union activities. Late in life, he tried to dissociate himself from the overtly reactionary course of the AFL-CIO leadership.

References in periodicals archive ?
As put simply by Walter Reuther who founded the United Auto Workers, the powerful labor union in the US, the task of labor is to carve out the pie as fairly as possible.
Nationally he was one of the founders, along with Eleanor Roosevelt and United Automobile Workers president Walter Reuther, of the anti-Communist Americans for Democratic Action.
Republican" among conservatives of his day, and Walter Reuther, the legendary leader of the United Auto Workers Union.
When a Ford plant installed robots, Walter Reuther, a long-ago president of the United Auto Workers union, is said to have asked a manager: "How are you going to get them to buy Fords?" But Reuther's argument is fallacious.
He goes on to illustrate this by pointing to an exchange between MIT professor and cybernetics pioneer, Norbert Wiener, to then-United Auto Workers president, Walter Reuther. In that 1949 letter, Wiener informed Reuther that the world of the (middle class) mass worker was to be threatened by "cybernetic automata." (41)
Union boss Walter Reuther had the perfect answer: "Henry, how are you going to get them to buy your cars?"
Members of the United Automobile Workers (UAW), influenced by the social activism of their leader, Walter Reuther, made personal visits to farm worker union halls and picket lines and provided financial assistance.
Special guests spoke, including Walter Reuther, head of the United Automobile Workers, and then as Reverend King took the pulpit, the crowd roared, the photographers set off explosions of light that half blinded us, and we heard his familiar, mellow, confident voice.
Walter Reuther was a founder of the leftist Americans for Democratic Action and headed the United Auto Workers labor union, later rising to head the Congress of Industrial Organizations (of which the UAW was a member).
In 1948, Norbert Wiener, former child prodigy and the father of cybernetics, wrote a letter to Walter Reuther, president of the United Auto Workers Union, in which he ominously warned that the future combination of machines and computers would yield an "apparatus that would lead to the factory without employees, as, for example, the automatic automobile assembly line ...
"You can't stop technological progress, and it would be silly to try it if you could," said Walter Reuther, president of the United Automobile Workers.