Teamster History: 1919, The Delegate

Posted: May 4, 2015
Source: Teamster Nation
Delegates to trade union convention in Amsterdam, Holland, 1919. Tobin is seated in the 3rd row, 3rd from right. Samuel Gompers is 3rd row center

Delegates to trade union convention in Amsterdam, Holland, 1919. Tobin is seated in the 3rd row, 3rd from right. Samuel Gompers is 3rd row center

Throughout the war, AFL President Samuel Gompers served by President Woodrow Wilson as representative to the Advisory Committee of the Council of National Defense (1917 to 1919), on which he helped to establish an unprecedented wartime labor policy that clearly laid out government support for independent trade unions and collective bargaining. At the war’s end, Wilson appointed AFL President Samuel Gompers to the Commission on International Labor Legislation at the Versailles Peace Conference, where Gompers helped create what would become the International Labor Organization (ILO).

In 1919, Gompers chose Tobin as the AFL’s second delegate to the founding convention of the International Federation of Trade Unions. Restarting the conference after the war was not a simple matter. Although peace agreements had been signed, in the minds of attendees, the war was not completely over.

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