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Samuel Gompers

Gompers, Samuel (1850–1924), English born U.S. labor leader. A member of the cigar makers' union, he helped found and became first president (1886–1924, except 1895) of the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Gompers fought for higher wages, shorter working hours, and more freedom. He opposed militant political unionism, and advocated organizing skilled workers on the basis of their trades, as opposed to industrial unionism, in which workers, skilled and unskilled, are organized by industry.

See also: American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.

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