Samuel Gompers (1850–1924) labor leader
Gompers was an energetic and pragmatic leader who followed the British model of trade union organization. His organization’s high dues, benefits, and tight organization favored skilled workers, whom he viewed as the foundation of the labor movement. Gompers opposed both extreme labor actions and labor involvement in legislation, believing that workers must provide for themselves in organizations under their own control. As a result, he was generally held in esteem by members of the political establishment. Although a Jew by birth, he did not identify with the Jewish community. He worked to limit immigration, fearing that a mass influx of unskilled workers would drive down wages and the standard of living for workers already in the United States.
See also American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.