The Samuel Gompers Papers, Volume 9
The American Federation of Labor at the Height of Progressivism, 1913-17
Between 1913 and 1917, the American Federation of Labor launched a wide-ranging campaign to organize women workers, expanded the Labor Forward Movement to organize the unorganized, tested new methods of reaching unskilled workers, and welcomed new unions into the fold. In this ninth volume of documentary history of the nationís premier labor leader, we learn of Gompersí successful efforts to secure passage of the Clayton Antitrust Act and the La Follette Seamenís Act, which underscored his effectiveness as a labor lobbyist. His growing stature in Washington led to meetings with President Wilson, who delivered the main address at the dedication ceremonies for the AFLís new headquarters in 1916.
During these same years, labor suffered dramatic reverses in bitter strikes -- in northern Michigan, in Colorado, and on the Mesabi Range -- and unfavorable judicial decisions compounded the impact of these losses. These strikes led Gompers to develop a theory of trade union self-help and solidarity that, he contended, was central to achieving working-class liberty on working-class terms.
ďA distinguished and invaluable collection.Ē--Bruce Laurie, Industrial and Labor Relations Review
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