History and Functions of Central Labor Unions

By William Maxwell Burke | Go to book overview

THE HISTORY AND FUNCTIONS OF CENTRAL LABOR UNIONS

CHAPTER I.
PART I. LABOR FEDERATIONS IN ENGLAND.

THE Central Labor Union, while it is not the very latest form of federation, is a type of that form of labor organization which for the last thirty years has grown into great favor with trades unionists in England and America. It is well, then, before we begin the study of the Central Labor Union, to see what has been done in the way of federations, amalgamations, and affiliations of labor unions which have grown with such rapidity and consolidated into such immense organizations.

It has been pointed out by some writers that these terms, federation, amalgamation, and affiliation, have unfortunately been used interchangeably. The different societies which bear the names seem to have no very clear idea as to the differences, if any, between them; and we have societies of practically the same formation, constituents, and administration called amalgamations as well as federations. John Jarrett, president of The Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers, writing in 1887, said: "These different unions were federated in 1876, forming the present great organization known as the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers of the United States."1 All constituent unions of the American Federation of Labor are said to be

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1
The Labor Movement, the Problem of To-day, page 268.

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