Labor: Marriage on the Rocks

When George Meany's A.F.L. merged with Walter Reuther's C.I.O. back in 1955, the event was hailed as a happy-ever-after alliance. From the A.F.L.-C.l.O.'s earliest days, the partners proved less than compatible. President Meany, now 72, a crusty, authoritarian craft unionist, was dogmatically anti-Communist in foreign affairs and staunchly standpat about civil rights at home. As top vice president, the idealistic, garrulous Reuther, 59, onetime boy wonder of the industrial unionists, tried to nudge the labor movement into the vanguard of social reform and international bridge building. Not only has Reuther failed to get his way, it is now...

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