Contemporary Unionism in the United States

By Clyde E. Dankert | Go to book overview

6
Principles and Activities of the American Federation of Labor

IN HIS REPORT to the 1900 convention of the A.F. of L. President Gompers declared that " The American Federation of Labor has not indulged in any exhaustive or elaborate platform of abstract principles."1 This statement was true in 1900, and it is true today. The A.F. of L. does not have an exhaustive or an elaborate platform of abstract principles, but it does have principles. Its day-to-day activities are carried on in accordance with certain well established and well recognized guides or points of reference, and these may legitimately be called principles. Any organization which attempts to do things, must have principles in the light of which it may carry on its work. Otherwise its actions will be disconnected, discordant, and productive of very poor results. The A.F. of L. is no exception to this rule.

Taken together the principles which govern the A.F. of L. may be thought of as the organization's philosophy. Ordinary, rank-and-file members may not think of the matter in this way, and critical outsiders may object to this manner of regarding the principles; but the fact remains that the A.F. of L. has a philosophy. In the first part of the present chapter the contents of this philosophy will be examined. In the second part the activities of the organization, which reflect its philosophy, will be discussed.


Voluntarism

Probably no principle has been more closely associated with the A.F. of L. than that of "voluntarism;" and probably, at least until recent years, none has been more highly extolled by A.F. of L. leaders. "The glory of the American Federation of Labor," a convention committee reported to the A.F. of L. in 1929, "is its voluntary character, so well named by our late lamented Samuel Gompers as "'The Principle of Voluntarism.'"" As the term is used it relates both to the internal operation of the A.F. of L. and to the attitude of the Federation toward governmental interference. In both appli-

____________________
1
Quoted in David J. Saposs, Readings in Trade Unionism, p. 39. New York: George H. Doran Co., 1926.

-89-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Contemporary Unionism in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 528

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.