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Samuel Gompers was born in London, England, on 27th January, 1850. He later wrote: "The first home that I remember was in a three-story brick house in London. Like all the other houses in the neighborhood, ours had worn grey with the passing years. My mother and father lived on the ground floor. My paternal grandparents lived in the second story with their four girls and one boy just ten months older than I."
Gompers emigrated to the United States in 1863 and the family settled in New York City. "New York in those days had no skyscrapers. Horse tram cars ran across town. The buildings were generally small and unpretentious. Then, as now, the East Side was the home of the latest immigrants who settled in colonies making the Irish, the German, the English, and the Dutch, and the Ghetto districts. Father began making cigars at home and I helped him. Our house was just opposite a slaughter house. All day long we could see the animals being driven into the slaughter-pens and could hear the turmoil and the cries of the animals. The neighborhood was filled with the penetrating, sickening odor." Gompers, like his father worked as a cigar maker, after leaving school.
Gompers attended a lecture in 1879 given by Thomas Hughes the British M.P. and Christian Socialist, and A. J. Mundella. In his autobiography he recalled the meeting: "It was late in the fall of 1879 my attention was called to a Cooper Union meeting at which two Englishmen, A. Mundella and Thomas Hughes, M.P., were to speak on the scope and influence of trade unions. Mundella was a manufacturer of Nottingham who established the first voluntary board of conciliation and arbitration for the hosiery and glove trades of that locality. My sense of injustice was stirring and I began going to more labour meetings, seeking the way out." Gompers became an active trade unionist and helped to reorganize the Cigarmaker's Union.
In 1881 the Federation of Trades and Labour Unions (ATLU) was founded. This organisation was based on the structure of the Trade Union Congress in Britain. Gompers was the chairman of this new organisation and when it changed its name to the American Federation of Labour in 1886, he was elected its first president.
Gompers was very hostile to socialism. "The Socialists in our organization formed an inner clique for the purpose of controlling elections and voters upon legislation. Socialist publications, Socialist organizers and propagandists spread the poison of hatred and discontent, thus weakening confidence in the integrity of the officers of the union. According to my experience professional Socialism accompanies instability of judgment or intellectual undependability caused by an inability to recognize facts. The conspicuous Socialists have uniformly been men whose minds have been warped by a great failure or who found it absolutely impossible to understand fundamentals necessary to developing practical plans for industrial betterment."
Gompers held conservative political views and believed that trade unionists should accept the economic system. As a result, a rival, more radical organisation, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) was formed. However, numbers of members remained small compared to American Federation of Labour.
In 1903 Gompers helped William English Walling, Mary Kenny O'Sullivan, Jane Addams, Mary McDowell, Alice Hamilton, Florence Kelley and Sophonisba Breckinridge to establish the Women's Trade Union League. The main objective of the organization was to educate women about the advantages of trade union membership. It also supported women's demands for better working conditions and helped to raise awareness about the exploitation of women workers.
Gompers supported United States involvement in the First World War and became a member of the Council of National Defense. In 1919 Woodrow Wilson appointed Gompers as a member of the Commission on International Labour Legislation at the Versailles Peace Conference.
Samuel Gompers, who was president of the American Federation of Labour from 1886-1894 and 1896-1924, died in San Antonio, Texas on 13th December, 1924. His autobiography, Seventy Years of Life and Labor (1925), was published after his death.
The first home that I remember was in a three-story brick house in London. My paternal grandparents lived in the second story with their four girls and one boy just ten months older than I. On the top floor lived Mr. Lellyveld, who had two sons, Ascher and Barnett.
Just across the street from our house was a silk factory. That section of London is known as Spitalfields, then about a mile from the London Ghetto. Our apartment consisted of one large front room and a little back room which we used in the winter for storage and for things which had to be kept cool. In the summertime father constructed bunks in the little room and we children slept there. In the wintertime we all slept in the big room - father and mother in the big bed that had a curtain around it, and we children on the floor in a trundle bed that was rolled under the big bed in the daytime. I was the oldest. Beside me there were Henry, Alexander, Lewis and Jack. The front room was sitting-room, bedroom, dining-room, and kitchen the centre of our busy little lives as we learned the ways of childhood in East Side, London.
My parents were both Hollanders born in Amsterdam. On the paternal side the family name Gompers, came originally and many years before, from Austrian origin where it was spelled Gompertz and, in some instances, Gomperz. On the maternal side the family name was Rood. During the Napoleonic rule in Holland, a French soldier fell in love with a Dutch girl. They were married, lived and died in Holland, surrounded by a large family. That was the beginning of our Dutch branch of Roods.
When six years of age I was sent to the Jewish Free School in Bell Lane and learned rapidly all that was taught there - reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, and history. Mr. Moses Angel was head teacher. My immediate teacher was Mr. Speyer. When I was ten years and three months I had to go to work. When I left school I stood third to the highest in my classes. As I made rapid progress in my studies, the teacher told father that it was wrong to rob me of an education, particularly as I showed ability. But father could not do otherwise. My father found it extremely difficult to support a family of six children on the scanty wages earned at the cigarmaking trade.
It became harder and harder to get along as our family increased and expenses grew. London seemed to offer no response to our efforts towards betterment. About this time we began to hear more and more about the United States. The great struggle against human slavery which was convulsing America was of vital interest to wage-earners who were everywhere struggling for industrial opportunity and freedom. My work in the cigar factory gave me a chance to hear the men discuss this issue. Youngster that I was, I was absorbed in listening to this talk and made my little contribution by singing with all the feeling in my little heart the popular songs, "The Slave Ship" and "To the West, To the West, To the Land of the Free".
The sympathy of English wage-earners was with the cause of the Union which was bound up with the anti-slavery struggle. We heard the story from the Abolitionists. This was true of all the workers of Great Britain even though their own industrial welfare was menaced as was that of the textile workers who were dependent upon cotton shipped from our southern ports. Even against their own economic interests the British textile workers were opposed to the Palmerston diplomatic policy of recognition for the Confederacy and the plan of the British and French governments to raise the blockage of the cotton ports.
The Cigarmakers' Society Union of England, whose members were frequently unemployed and suffering, established an emigration fund - that is, instead of paying the members unemployment benefits, a sum of money was granted to help passage from England to the United States. The sum was not large, between five and ten pounds. This was a very practical method which benefited both the emigrants and those who remained by decreasing the number seeking work in their trade. After much discussion and consultation father decided to go to the New World. He had friends in New York City and a brother-in-law who proceeded us by six months to whom father wrote we were coming.
There came busy days in which my mother gathered together and packed our household belongings. Father secured passage on the City of London, a sailing vessel which left Chadwick Basin, June 10, 1863, and reached Castle Garden, July 29, 1863, after seven weeks and one day.
Our ship was the old type of sailing vessel. We had none of the modern comforts of travel. The sleeping quarters were cramped and we had to had to do our own cooking in the gallery of the boat. Mother had provided salt beef and other preserved meats and fish, dried vegetables, and red pickled cabbage which I remember most vividly. We were all seasick except father, mother the longest of all. Father had to do all the cooking in the meanwhile and take care of the sick. There was a Negro man employed on the boat who was very kind in many ways to help father. Father did not know much about cooking.
When we reached New York we landed at the old Castle Garden of lower Manhattan, now the Aquarium, where we were met by relatives and friends. As we were standing in a little group, the Negro who had befriended father on the trip, came off the boat. Father was grateful and as a matter of courtesy, shook hands with him and gave him his blessing. Now it happened that the draft and negro rights were convulsing New York City. Only that very day Negroes had been chased and hanged by mobs. The onlookers, not understanding, grew very much excited over father's shaking hands with this Negro. A crowd gathered round and threatened to hang both father and the Negro to the lamp-post.
New York in those days had no skyscrapers. The neighborhood was filled with the penetrating, sickening odor.
I remember very vividly the morning that brought the news of President Lincoln's death. It was Saturday. Like some cataclysm came the report that an assassin had struck down the great Emancipator. It seemed to me that some great power for good had gone out of the world. A master mind had been taken at a time when most needed. I cried and cried all that day and for days I was so depressed that I could scarcely force myself to work. I had heard Lincoln talked about in London. In the minds of the working people of the world Lincoln symbolized the spirit of humanity - the great leader of the struggle for human freedom.
There was a vast difference between those early unions, and the unions of today. Then there was no law or order. A union was a more or less definite group of people employed in the same trade who might help each other out in special difficulties with the employer. There was no sustained effort to secure fair wages through collective bargaining. The employer fixed wages until he shoved them down to the point where human endurance revolted. It was late in the fall of 1879 my attention was called to a Cooper Union meeting at which two Englishmen, A. My sense of injustice was stirring and I began going to more labour meetings, seeking the way out.
The Socialists in our organization formed an inner clique for the purpose of controlling elections and voters upon legislation. The conspicuous Socialists have uniformly been men whose minds have been warped by a great failure or who found it absolutely impossible to understand fundamentals necessary to developing practical plans for industrial betterment.
You know, or ought to know, that the introduction of machinery is turning into idleness thousands faster than the new industries are founded, and yet, machinery certainly should not be either destroyed or hampered in its full development. The labourer is a man, he is made warm by the same sun and made cold - yes, colder - by the same winter as you are. He has a heart and brain, and feels and knows the human and paternal instinct for those depending upon him as keenly as do you.
What shall the workers do? Sit idly by and see the vast resources of nature and the human mind be utilized and monopolized for the benefit of the comparative few? No. The labourers must learn to think and act, and soon, too, that only by the power of organization and common concert of action can either their manhood be maintained, their rights to life be recognized, and liberty and rights secured.
William English Walling - a longtime friend - came to the Boston convention full of enthusiasm for a league of women workers. Mary Kenny O'Sullivan's quick mind caught the possibilities of the suggestion. When they submitted to me a proposal, I gave it most hearty approval and participated in the necessary conferences. Under the leadership of Jane Addams and Mary McDowell, the movement became of national importance. In more recent years, Mrs. Raymond Robins, as president of the league, exercised good influence in promoting the organization of women workers into trade unions.
More than 2,00,000 Italians have come to the United States in the last ten years: 1901-1905, 974,236; 1906-1910, 1,129,975. Here from a single nationality has been the revenue of $70,000,000 to the steamships. If a million Italians have gone back, they have paid for transportation thirty to forty million dollars more. The advertisements in the New York daily Italian newspapers, of which there are no less than six, are a revelation of the financial interests which are maintained by the Italians in the metropolis who are not yet sufficiently Americanized to depend on American newspapers for their daily reading. The revenues of any one of these newspapers would be reduced by a good percentage, perhaps below the sustaining point, if the steamship advertisements were withdrawn. The bankers, the doctors, the transportation agents, the dealers in Italian food supplies are all enterprising advertisers.
With the power of wealth and concentration of industry, the tremendous development in machinery, and power to drive machinery; with the improvement of the tools of labor, so that they are wonderfully tremendous machines, and with these all on the one hand; with labor, the workers, performing a given part of the whole product, probably an infinitesimal part, doing the thing a thousand or thousands of times over and over again in a day - labor divided and subdivided and specialized, so that a working man is but a mere cog in the great industrial modern plant; his individuality lost, alienated from the tools of labor; with concentration of wealth, concentration of industry, I wonder whether any of us can imagine what would be the actual condition of the working people of our country today without their organizations to protect them.
What would be the condition of the working men in our country in our day by acting as individuals with as great a concentrated wealth and industry on every hand? It is horrifying even to permit the imagination full swing to think what would be possible. Slavery!Slavery! Demoralized, degraded slavery. Nothing better.
To say that the men and women of labor may not do jointly what they may do in the exercise of their individual lawful right is an anomaly.
Gentlemen, the individual working men accept conditions as they are, until driven to desperation. Then they throw down their tools and strike, without experience, without the knowledge of how best to conduct themselves, and to secure the relief which they need and demand. But the working men know where to go. It may be true that there are some workers who are opposed to organizations of labor, but they are very, very few. Those that do not come to us are either too helpless or too ignorant. But let no man fool himself. When in sheer desperation, driven to the last, where they can no longer submit to the lording of the master, they strike, they quit, and all the pent up anger gives vent in fury - they then come to us and ask us for our advice and our assistance, and we give it to them, whether they were indifferent to us or whether they were antagonistic to us. They are never questioned. We come to their assistance as best we can.
I do not pretend to say that with organizations of labor that strikes are entirely eliminated. I do not fool myself with any such beliefs, and I would not insult the intelligence of any other man by pretending to believe, much less to make, such a statement. But this one fact is sure: That in all the world there is now an unrest among the people, and primarily among the working people, with the present position they occupy in society - their unrequited toil; the attitude of irresponsibility of the employer toward the workers; the bitter antagonism to any effective attempt on the part of workers to protect themselves against aggression and greed, and the failure of employers to realize their responsibilities.
The demand of the workers is to be larger sharers in the product of their labor. In different countries they have unrest and this dissatisfaction takes on different forms. In our own country it takes on the form of the trade-union movement, as exemplified by the American Federation of Labor - a movement and a federation founded as a replica of the American governments, both the Federal Government and the State and city governments. It is formed to conform as nearly as it is possible to the American idea, and to have the crystallized unrest and discontent manifested under the Anglo-Saxon or American fashion; to press it home to the employers; to press it home to the lawmakers; to press it home to the law administrators, and possibly to impregnate and influence the minds of judges who may accord to us the rights which are essential to our well-being rather than guaranteeing to us the academic rights which are fruitless and which we do not want.
The next big issue between the Socialists and the trade unionists grew out of the World War. Socialists were doctrinaire internationalists who declared that the ties which bound together the working class of the world were stronger than the ties of country. They were everywhere on record against war. They were always against their own government. Germany was the home of Socialism, and Socialists were adverse to making war on Germany. They refused to believe the stories of German atrocities and started pro-German propaganda.
Samuel Gompers - History
The labor movement gained strength in the 1850s in such crafts as typographers, molders, and carpenters. Fixed standards of apprenticeship and of wages, hours, and working conditions were drafted. Although such agreements often broke down in periods of depression, a strong nucleus of craft unions had developed by the 1880s so that a central federation emerged. This was the American Federation of Labor.
Samuel Gompers (1850-1924) was the first president of the American Federation of Labor, the first enduring national labor union. He served as president from 1886 until his death in 1924, except for a single year, 1895. Born in London, he immigrated to the United States at the age of 13, and worked as a cigar-maker. He became the leader of the cigar-makers' union, and transformed it into one of the country's strongest unions.
Gompers believed that labor had the most to gain by organizing skilled craft workers, rather than attempting to organize all workers in an industry. He refused to form an alliance with the Knights of Labor. "Talk of harmony with the Knights of Labor," he said, "is bosh. They are just as great enemies of trade unions as any employer can be."
Gompers repudiated socialism and advocated a pragmatic "pure and simple" unionism that emphasized agreements with employees--which would spell out for a stipulated period the wages, hours of work, and the procedures for handling grievances. Gompers proposed that agreements contain clauses stipulating that employers hire only union members (the closed shop) and that any employee should be required to pay union dues. Employers advocated the open shop, which could employ non-union members.
During the 1880s and 1890s, unions sought to secure and retain a foothold in such major industries as railways, steel, mining, and construction. It was in the building trades where the craft principle was most dominant that the American Federation of Labor developed its largest membership. Miners merged their crafts into the United Mine Workers of America, an industrial union that admitted to membership of those working in and about a mine, whether skilled or unskilled.
In 1892, the AFL's affiliate in the steel industry, struck in protest against wage cuts. Following the bitter Homestead strike, the steel industry adopted an open shop policy. Craft unions were able to secure collective bargains on railroads, but when some workers a union of all rail workers, their effort collapsed in the Pullman boycott of 1894.
But some efforts at unionization proved more successful, including efforts in organizing workers in immigrant sweatshops. The International Ladies' Garment Workers and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers demonstrated that the new immigrants could be effectively organized.
As trade unionism gained ground before World War I, employers in mines and factories established "company unions," to handle grievances and provide certain welfare benefits. The most notable company union was in the Rockefeller-owned Colorado Fuel and Iron Company.
In 1886, the American Federation of Labor was organized. Samuel Gompers, a former cigar maker, was elected to be its president. With the exception of one year, he remained in this position until he died in 1924.
Gompers was the son of Solomon and Sarah, nee Rood, Gompers. He was born in a London tenement on January 27, 1850. Both of his parents were originally from Holland. When Gompers was six years old, he attended a tuition-free Jewish school. At the age of 10, he was taken out of school to become an apprentice shoemaker since his family was struggling to make a living.
The family immigrated to New York during the Civil War. Gompers' cigar maker father taught him the trade. At the age of 17, after he became a cigar maker in his own right, he met and married Sophia Julian. He joined the Cigar makers' Union and became very active in 1877, his union's strike collapsed because of no money or member discipline. Following the strike, Gompers reorganized the cigarmakers and remained as president of their union. Lessons were to be learned from the strike. The international officers became supreme over the local unions. The dues were raised to build up a strike fund. Benefits were established for sickness, accident or unemployment.
In 1881, after other unions had emulated the Cigarmakers' Union program, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions of the United States and Canada was formed. Gompers was chairman of the Constitutional Committee. The federation was reorganized in 1886. It was renamed the American Federation of Labor. Gompers was its first elected president. What made this federation unique was that there could only be one affiliated craft union.
Gompers felt that labor could not displace capitalists in the management of business. He was criticized for being Vice-President of the National Civic Federation, which sought to promote stable labor relations through collective bargaining and personal contact between labor leaders, industrialists and bankers.
In World War 1, he supported President Woodrow Wilson's policies and organized the War Committee on Labor. The committee included representatives of labor and business. After the war, Wilson appointed him as a member of the International Labor Legislation. He fought those who would erode the gains that labor had made during World War I.
In 1894, Gompers became the editor of the official journal of the federation. He maintained the journal until he died. He wrote many articles on labor for the publication. During all of his years as president of the federation, Gompers had time for his family. He was family-oriented and believed in family loyalty. He had five children: three sons and two daughters. His wife died in 1920. A year later, he married Grace Gleaves Neuscheler.
Gompers was elected president for the last time at the 1924 convention. He had come to the convention knowing that he didn't have much time to live. He died on December 13, 1924. For almost four decades, Gompers had been the dominant figure in the American labor movement. He had broadened the horizons of the working man and his trade union. He was a pioneer in making the American labor movement free and strong.
Sources: This is one of the 150 illustrated true stories of American heroism included in Jewish Heroes & Heroines of America : 150 True Stories of American Jewish Heroism, © 1996, written by Seymour "Sy" Brody of Delray Beach, Florida, illustrated by Art Seiden of Woodmere, New York, and published by Lifetime Books, Inc., Hollywood, FL.
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Samuel Gompers, for whom Gompers Park on Chicago's Northwest Side was named, was one of the founders of the American Federation of Labor in 1886. He was elected president, a position he held, except for one year, until his death 38 years later.
Under his leadership, the organization grew from a handful of struggling labor unions to become the dominant organization within the Labor Movement in the United States and Canada.
Gompers was born in London, England, on January 26, 1850. His parents were poor immigrant Jews from Holland. In London the young Sam was apprenticed to a shoemaker at age 10. He soon changed trades and became a cigar maker, a trade he brought with him to New York when his family emigrated to America in 1863.
Life was difficult in the crowded slums of New York. There were a few relatively large cigar making shops, perhaps, with as many as 75 employees but much of the work was done in a thousand or more sweatshops, often the same crowded apartments where the workers lived. Thousands of little children worked in New York sweatshops and factories, as they helped their parents eke out a living.
By 1885, Sam Gompers had become highly skilled at his trade and was employed in one of the larger shops. He was respected by his fellow workers, mostly Germans, who elected him as president of Cigar Makers Union Local 144. He and the other officers were unpaid as they struggled to keep the union together in the face of mechanization and the flooding of the labor market by scores of new immigrants, largely Bohemian.
In 1881 Gompers was sent as the delegate of the Cigar Makers to a conference of various unions which created a loose confederation to be called the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Councils. Although without the title of President, as head of the legislative committee, Gompers became its leader, practically speaking but the organization was structurally weak and ineffective.
Nevertheless, the need for close cooperation among like-minded labor organizations was abundantly evident so the organization was reconstituted in 1886 as the American Federation of Labor. This time Gompers was the President. His office was not much more than an 8x10 room in a shed. His son was the office boy. There was $160 in the treasury. As Gompers said, it was "much work, little pay, and very little honor."
Four years later, the AFL represented 250,000 workers. In two more years the number had grown to over one million. Under Gompers, the guiding principle was to concentrate on collective bargaining with employers, and on legislative issues directly affecting the job. Broad social goals and political entanglements were left to others.
Gompers did have an interest in international labor issues. At the conclusion of World War I, he attended the Versailles Treaty negotiations, where he was instrumental in the creation of the International Labor Organization (ILO) under the League of Nations.
He was a supporter of trade unionism in Mexico and, though elderly and in failing health, he went to Mexico City to attend the inauguration of Mexico's reform President Calles and, also, the Congress of the Pan-American Federation of Labor. It was at the Congress that his final collapse occurred. He was rushed to a hospital in San Antonio, Texas where he died on December 13, 1924.
Some questions to explore:
If the AFL was the "dominant" organization, what were the names of others, and what was their role?
What did/does the International Labor Organization do?
The Cigar Makers were an interesting early union. What can you find out about the trade and their organization? (The Cigar Makers in Chicago owned a large number of gravesites in Forest Home Cemetery (Waldheim) in Forest Park, ILL. There is a large memorial stone and many graves of union members.)
Samuel Gompers (1850-1924), was the first and longest serving president of the American Federation of Labor. Because of him, the AFL grew from a regular union with only a membership of 50,000 in 1886, to the largest and most influential labor union of its time, with a membership of 3,000,000 in 1924.
What caused Gompers to go from a regular cigar roller to the 40 year president of the most powerful union in America? He was born in 1850 in London, into a cigar making family. He started working at 10 and joined Local 15 of the United Cigar Makers when he was 14. At his job an union, he would converse with older workers, most emigre socialists and labor reformers who he would always credit for his commitment to using unionism as his platform to social reform. Gompers also favored unionism because he thought the only viable alternative- legislative action- had failed, especially after the New York Supreme Court overturned two laws regulating tenement production of cigars that he helped pass.
A national figure
Although the leader of a movement that lacked social respect, Gompers had good relations with several presidents and became something of an adviser to President Woodrow Wilson. In 1901 he was one of the founders of the National Civic Federation (an alliance of businessmen willing to put up with unions and moderate union leaders), and Wilson found it politically useful and worthwhile to have the support of the AFL during World War I (1914 a war that involved many nations in Europe and that the United States entered in 1917). Gompers supported the war energetically, attempting to stop AFL strikes while the war was being fought and speaking out against socialists and pacifists (people opposed to war as a way of solving disagreements). He served as president of the International Commission on Labor Legislation at the Versailles Peace Conference and on various other committees.
During the 1920s, though in failing health, Gompers served as a spokesman in Washington for the new Mexican government that had overthrown the old one, considering himself key in gaining American recognition of the new government. Mexican President Plutarco Elias Calles (1877) received Gompers with high honors in 1924. Realizing that the end was near for him, however, Gompers returned early from the trip to Mexico and died in San Antonio, Texas, on December 13. True to his character, his last words were: "Nurse, this is the end. God bless our American institutions. May they grow better day by day."
What had begun as useful for Gompersptance of the capitalist system (in which goods and services are owned and controlled by private individuals) and working within it—had become his guiding principle. Indeed, he was one of the creators of the modern institutions that he referred to in his last words𠅏or capitalism he won the loyalty of labor, and for labor he won a part in business decision making.
Samuel Gompers - History
(AD-37: dp. 20,260 1. 643', b. 85', dr. 22'6", s. 20+ k. cpl. 1,056 a. 1 5" cl. Samuel Gompers)
Samuel Gompers (AD-37) was laid down on 9 July 1964 by the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton Wash. launched on 14 May 1966 sponsored by Mrs. Joseph Holmes, and commissioned on 1 July 1967, Capt. Harry Risch, Jr., in command.
After her commissioning, Samuel Gompers spent the next several months in initial outfitting, with acceptance trials taking place from 28 August to 1 September. On 3 October, she got underway for her designated home port, San Diego.
The next month, the destroyer tender underwent various inspections as she was to be deployed to the western Pacific without the benefit of a prior shakedown cruise. This necessitated that a high degree of readiness be attained in a short period of time. All inspections showed that the ship was ready for sea, and she departed San Diego on 10 November for Pearl Harbor.
Following a weapons transfer there, from Prairie (AD-15), Samuel Gompers stood out of Pearl Harbor on 20 November bound for Yokosuka. Upon arriving there on 30 November 1967, she began providing fleet repair support to the operating forces of the Pacific Fleet. In the first month of availability, her repair department accomplished job orders for 54 different ships and other activities.
Samuel Gompers departed Yokosuka for Sasebo on 13 January 1968. Her "in port" period there was originally scheduled on the 25th. However, the capture of Pueblo (AGER-2) by North Korea brought increased activity by the Pacific Fleet in the Sea of Japan. The destroyer tender's services were required to maintain the destroyer screen for the five aircraft carriers then alternating port visits to Sasebo. Seventy-one ships were serviced there before the AD departed.
On 18 March, Samuel Gompers sailed to Kaohsiung Taiwan, for three weeks. She anchored in mid-stream and serviced 17 ships before departing for Hong Kong B.C.C. Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, and San Diego. Her first deployment ended on 8 May when she arrived at her home port. One month later, she moved to Bremerton for a period of yard availability. She embarked over 200 dependents to make the voyage up the west coast.
On 27 July, Samuel Gompers stood out of Bremerton, with the dependents aboard, and returned to San Diego. From 30 July to 15 November, she serviced ships there. On the 15th, the tender departed San Diego, with Task Unit (TU) 15.8.2, bound for Subic Bay, via Pearl Harbor, and her second WestPac deployment. From 8 December 1968 to 13 May 1969, she
performed fleet repair services in Subic Bay. The period was broken by one five-day visit to Hong Kong. On 13 May, the AD sailed to Yokosuka for a short period of rest and recreation, from whence she sailed to the west coast, arriving on 4 June.
Samuel Gompers operated in the San Diego area until 13 March 1970 when she again deployed to the western Pacific. Subic Bay was her base of operations for servicing fleet units until returning to San Diego on 13 September 1970. She remained there until 2 November 1971 when she steamed west on another deployment. After making port calls at Pearl Harbor and Yokosuka, she moored at Subic Bay on 24 November. The tender operated out of that port until 12 July 1972 when she sailed for Pearl Harbor and San Diego. During the seven month deployment period, Samuel Gompers made two trips to Danang, South Vietnam from 9 to 16 April, and from 22 to 30 April. When she reached her home port on 31 July, she remained there to provide repair services to fleet units until mid-July 1973. At this time, she moved up the coast to Portland Oreg., and operated there until returning to San Diego in early December.
In January 1974, Samuel Gompers departed her home port for another tour in the western Pacific and into June 1974, still serves with the Pacific Fleet.
Samuel Gompers - History
(In 1883, Gompers testified before a Congressional committee about his organization.)
. . . There is nothing in the labor movement that employers who have had unorganized workers dread so much as organization but organization alone will not do much unless the organization provides itself with a good fund, so that the operatives may be in a good position, in the event of a struggle with their employers, to hold out. . . .
Modern industry evolves these organizations out of the existing conditions where there are two classes in society, one incessantly striving to obtain the labor of the other class for as little as possible, and to obtain the largest amount or number of hours of labor and the members of the other class, being as individuals utterly helpless in a contest with their employers, naturally resort to combinations to improve their condition, and, in fact, they are forced by the conditions which surround them to organize for self-protection. Hence trades unions. Trade unions are not barbarous, nor are they the outgrowth of barbarism. On the contrary they are only possible where civilization exists. Trade unions cannot exist in China they cannot exist in Russia and in all those semi-barbarous countries they can hardly exist, if they can exist at all. But they have been formed successfully in this country, in Germany, in England, and they are gradually gaining strength in France. . . .
Wherever trades unions have organized and are most firmly organized, there are the rights of the people most respected. A people may be educated, but to me it appears that the greatest amount of intelligence exists in that country or that state where the people are best able to defend their rights, and their liberties as against those who are desirous of undermining them. Trades unions are organizations that instill into men a higher motive-power and give them a higher goal to look to. . . .
The trades unions are by no means an outgrowth of socialistic or communistic ideas or principles, but the socialistic and communistic notions are evolved from the trades unions' movements. As to the question of the principles of communism or socialism prevailing in trades unions, there are a number of men who connect themselves as workingmen with the trades unions who may have socialistic convictions, yet who never gave them currency. . . . On the other hand, there are men—not so numerous now as they have been in the past—who are endeavoring to conquer the trades-union movement and subordinate it to those doctrines, and in a measure, in a few such organizations that condition of things exists, but by no means does it exist in the largest, most powerful, and best organized trades unions. There the view of which I spoke just now, the desire to improve the condition of the workingmen by and through the efforts of the trades union, is fully lived up to. . . . I believe that the existence of the trades-union movement, more especially where the unionists are better organized, has evoked a spirit and a demand for reform, but has held in check the more radical elements in society.
Samuel Gompers - History
Samuel Gompers wanted to help working men and women. So he founded a union, the American Federation of Labor. His office was a tiny eight-by-ten room in a shed, his son was his office boy, and the treasury had less than two hundred dollars. Does that sound like a good start? Gompers made it work. Four years later, the A.F.L. represented 250,000 workers, and by 1892, over one million.
Gompers was born in England in 1850 to poor Dutch Jewish parents. His first jobat age tenwas as an apprentice to a shoemaker. He didn't like it. He decided to become a cigar maker instead. When his family came to America during the Civil War, Gompers rolled cigars with his father in their apartment in New York City. He joined the cigar makers' union. In a few years the other cigar makers elected him president of the local union. Then he was elected vice-president of the international union.
After founding the A.F.L., Gompers served as its president for over thirty-five years. He wanted to help child laborers, who worked long hours in dangerous jobs. He wanted the government to pass compulsory education laws that would give all childrennot just rich childrenthe chance to attend school. With the help of the A.F.L., many workers received better working conditions.
Gompers traveled to other nations to help workers achieve better conditions. While attending a conference of labor organizers in Mexico, he collapsed. He died in 1924.
Why did Samuel Gompers create the AFL?
The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions also merged into what would become the American Federation of Labor. The American Federation of Labor was thus originally formed as an alliance of craft unions outside the Knights of Labor as a means of defending themselves against this and similar incursions.
Furthermore, when did American Federation of Labor start? December 8, 1886, Columbus, Ohio, United States
Considering this, what was formed by Samuel Gompers?
Samuel Gompers (January 27, 1850 &ndash December 13, 1924) was a Jewish immigrant labor union leader and a key figure in American labor history. Gompers founded the American Federation of Labor (AFL), and served as the organization's president from 1886 to 1894, and from 1895 until his death in 1924.
Why is Samuel Gompers important?
The American labor leader Samuel Gompers was the most significant person in the history of the American labor movement (the effort of working people to improve their lives by forming organizations called unions). He founded and served as the first president of the American Federation of Labor.