By Federico Romero
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Additional info for The United States and the European Trade Union Movement, 1944-1951
For some, like Meany, an Irish Catholic, the struggle with the Communists had fortified their view of communism as almost demoniacally alien from the cluster of strongly American values prevailing in the craft unions. For others, who had immigrated more recently from Europe, the antagonism was supplemented by an aversion to the USSR, giving rise to an overall hostility to Communists. This was the case for David Dubinsky, who grew up in Jewish and Socialist circles in Poland under Russian rule, was exiled to Siberia following a strike, and emigrated to the United States in 1911.
From the beginning of the twentieth century, the craft unions assembled in the AFL under the leadership of Samuel Gompers had seen a way toward civilization and progress in the diffusion of American industry based on free trade, especially in Latin America. S. market. Strengthening the AFL's influence abroad would be in the economic interest of American wage earners and American industry in general. It would also spread liberal democratic values and propagate a way of life that was given the name of Page 12 consumerism in the postwar period and was regarded as intrinsically progressive.
19 The views of these two federations on international economic policy, though they derived from partially different assumptions, tended to converge in the face of postwar prospects in a shared vision of an expansive economic cycle that guaranteed full employment and high income levels for workers both in the United States and abroad, especially in Europe, thus giving rise to hopes for peace, prosperity, and stability. The AFL and Its Anti-Soviet Policy Differences in the political orientations of these two groups resulted in radically clashing programs, however.