Nation: A Giant Retires

With Meany gone, fractions unions may face trouble

The event had been long expected, yet it still came as a shock that reverberated through the U.S. labor movement. After 24 embattled years as president of the AFL-CIO, George Meany, 85 and ailing, announced last week that he would retire in November. When AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Lane Kirkland broke the news to the members of the federation's executive council, they sat in stunned silence.

Pressures on Meany to bow out had been building the past several months. The crusty autocrat was grief-stricken last March by the death...

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