American Federation of Labor
(AFL)
   A federation of autonomous, craft-based trade unions formed in 1886 by Samuel Gompers and Adolph Strasser, the AFL was conservative and nonpolitical in outlook and largely excluded unskilled immigrant and black workers. Nonetheless, by 1910 it was established as the leading union organization and had a membership of more than 2 million. Although membership doubled during World War I, the organization was unable to consolidate upon wartime advances in the face of employer resistance in the more conservative 1920s. Following a series of defeats, union membership declined once more and by 1933 was only 2.3 million.
   The AFL maintained its conservative outlook with regard to unskilled and immigrant workers, and this approach continued when William Green succeeded Gompers in 1924. The continued reluctance to organize industrial workers led the industrial-based unions headed by John L. Lewis, Sidney Hillman, and David Dubinsky to form the Committee of Industrial Organizations in 1934. In 1938, they broke away to form the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). As a consequence of both organizing drives and the recognition afforded by the National Labor Relations Act, AFL membership increased. With full employment achieved during World War II and the “maintenance of membership” agreement, the AFL increased in membership and by 1945 had more than 6 million members. Although stronger and more closely associated with the Democratic administrations during and after the war, it was not able to prevent the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947. During the Cold War, it was staunchly anticommunist and assisted in establishing noncommunist organizations in postwar Europe. Green was succeeded after his death in 1952 by George Meany, and three years later the AFL merged with the CIO to form the AFL-CIO.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • American Federation of Labor — n. a federation of labor unions of the U.S. and Canada, founded in 1886: merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1955 …   English World dictionary

  • American Federation of Labor —   [ə merɪkən fedə reɪʃən əv leɪbə], AFL …   Universal-Lexikon

  • American Federation of Labor — Infobox Union name= A.F. of L., AFL full name= American Federation of Labor founded= December 8, 1886 country= United States office= New York City; later, Washington, D.C. people= website= affiliation= members= native name= current= head=… …   Wikipedia

  • American Federation of Labor — Die American Federation of Labor (in den Vereinigten Staaten umgangsspr. AF of L, kurz AFL, heute American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL CIO)) war einer der ersten Facharbeitergewerkschaftsbünde in den USA. Er… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • American Federation of Labor — Fédération américaine du travail L American Federation of Labour (AFL Fédération américaine du travail) était un syndicat nord américain fondé en 1886. Elle s est réunifiée en 1955 avec le Congrès des organisations industrielles pour former l AFL …   Wikipédia en Français

  • American Federation of Labor — noun a federation of North American labor unions that merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1955 • Syn: ↑AFL • Hypernyms: ↑federation …   Useful english dictionary

  • American Federation of Labor — An affiliation of labor unions, now combined with the former Congress of Industrial Organizations under the abbreviated heading AF of L CIO …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • American Federation of Labor — a federation of trade unions organized in 1886: united with the Congress of Industrial Organizations 1955. Abbr.: A.F.L., AFL, A.F. of L. * * * …   Universalium

  • American Federation of Labor — An affiliation of labor unions …   Black's law dictionary

  • American Federation of Labor — An affiliation of labor unions …   Black's law dictionary

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