Samuel Gompers: Editorial on the Pullman Strike

(1894)

After flirting with Marxism in his youth, Samuel Gompers played a leading role in developing craft trade unionism, serving as president of the American Federation of Labor for all but one year from its founding in 1886 until his death in 1924. An opponent of Socialism, Gompers advocated in his speeches and writings for the AFL a faith in voluntarism—a philosophy by which craft unions enjoyed considerable local autonomy. He also believed that better conditions for workers could be obtained through collective bargaining rather than legislative action. The nonpartisanship of Gompers...

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Samuel Gompers (Library of Congress)

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