Abstract

In October 1973, delegates from the 113 affiliated unions of the AFL-CIO made their way to Miami Beach for the federation's quadrennial convention. Like a strange flock of migratory birds, the glaziers, the engravers, the boilermakers, and all the subspecies of American labor returned to the Florida shores they'd grown to know so well in the Age of Meany. But that fall, as the delegates headed south, their travels were disturbed by a blistering op-ed in the Washington Post entitled, "Labor's Battle with Itself." The piece had been written by Jerry Wurf, the much-aggrieved president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. During the 1950s and 1960s, AFSCME had helped shore up the house of labor by organizing hundreds of thousands of public employees, a group other unions had long neglected. But after seeing Wurf's union grow from a small band of Wisconsin state workers into one of the AFL-CIO's largest affiliates, the rest of labor honored the achievement by shamelessly invading AFSCME's public-sector turf and stealing thousands of government workers.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1946-0910
Print ISSN
0012-3846
Pages
pp. 27-34
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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