The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

Who is George Meany?

Union, Ronald Reagan

This is important to have some history so when I give you the Ronald Reagan videos and transcripts of him talking about unions you have a reference and perspective. 


"It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government."  - George Meany


George Meany (August 16, 1894 – January 10, 1980) was an American labor leader, who served as President of the American Federation of Labor from 1952 to 1955, managed its merger with the Congress of Industrial Organizations during 1955, and then served as president of the united AFL-CIO from 1955 to 1979.  He was born and raised on City Island, Bronx and later owned a house there.



George Meany was the builder of the modern AFL-CIO.  He was born into an Irish Catholic family in New York City and spent most of his boyhood in the Bronx.  His father, Michael Meany, was president of the Bronx local of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipe FittersCand in 1910, Meany joined the union as an apprentice at the age of 16, working as a plumber in New York for the next decade.


When a hostile Congress passed the repressive Taft-Hartley Act in 1947, Meany established and led Labor's League for Political Education, the first full-scale federation effort to register, educate and mobilize union members.  Labor's strength helped elect Harry Truman as president in 1948.Meany was elected to the presidency of the AFL in 1952 on the death of William Green.  He assumed the leadership of a divided labor movement.  Many of the nation's industrial unions were part of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), which had been created in the 1930s.  He immediately sought to unify the movement, an effort that culminated in the founding convention of the AFL-CIO in 1955.  Meany was elected unanimously as the first president of the merged labor federation.


Meany modernized and expanded the national AFL-CIO, making the organization a powerful voice in the nation's political and legislative arena.  Under his leadership, the American labor movement won unprecedented gains for ordinary working Americans, especially during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.  Meany, a staunch supporter of civil and equal rights his entire career, put the federation's muscle behind the civil rights movement, insisting that the historic 1964 Civil Rights Act call for an end to both workplace and community discrimination.  The AFL-CIO was also the center of support for important social programs such as Medicare.  His presidency also saw the creation of important new programs such as the Labor Studies Center, constituency organizations for women, minorities and retirees and training programs for minorities.  Meany fully supported the organizing of the fledgling United Farm Workers union.



AFL-CIO President George Meany Didn't Believe in Public Sector Unions


When it comes to the question of public sector (government employee) unions, the granddaddy of labor leaders, George Meany, didn't believe in them.


On December 4, 1955, literally the eve of the AFL-CIO merger, the New York Times magazine published an article by Meany in which he set forth this view:


“Certain business leaders may consider "big government" or socialism more of an immediate threat to their interests than communism.  Are they allowing themselves to be deluded by their own propaganda to the effect that organized labor in this country is in favor of big government or the nationalization of industry?


Nothing could be further from the truth.  The main function of American trade unions is collective bargaining.  It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.  Unions, as well as employers, would vastly prefer to have even Government regulation of labor-management relations reduced to a minimum consistent with the protection of the public welfare...”



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