Nation: Clear It with George

When Willard Wirtz was named to replace Arthur Goldberg as Labor Secretary two years ago, A.F.L.-C.I.O. President George Meany was happy—but not for long. As the months passed, Wirtz irked Meany more and more—largely because the Secretary was not a flat-out champion of labor. When Wirtz failed to come out in a full-throated protest against compulsory arbitration in transportation industries during his testimony at congressional hearings, Meany scornfully described him to a friend: "This guy is not a standup guy. He bends."

That festered in Meany's mind for a long time. Three weeks ago at a White House meeting with Lyndon Johnson,...

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