The American Federation of Labor

The American Federation of Labor was founded by 26 craft unions on this date in 1886. Samuel Gompers, a Dutch-born Jew and head of the Cigar Makers’ International Union, was elected its president. The AFL was a breakaway movement, established by union activists who had grown disgruntled with the Knights of Labor (K of L), a […]

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The Tomato Queen

Tillie Ehrlich-Weisberg Lewis, who introduced the pomodoro tomato to California’s agricultural fields and built the fifth largest canning business in America, using workers of all races and ethnicities in her enterprise and marrying a labor organizer who sought to organize them into the American Federation of Labor, was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1896. […]

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December 8: AFL Is Launched

On this day in 1886, the American Federation of Labor was created by 26 craft unions with Samuel Gompers (a Dutch-born Jew) as president. During his 37-year tenure, procedures for collective bargaining and labor-management contracts were established and trade unionism became an established feature of the American capitalist system. Gompers was a labor conservative who […]

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