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William Green

William Green (1873-1952) was president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) from 1924 until his death in 1952. Under his mandate the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) split from the AFL. He helped pass the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the first federal law establishing minimum wages and a 40-hour week.

Green's proposals in the 1920s, including reduction of labor hours, productivity-wage bargains, and a generally more cooperative approach to daily labor-management operations, were eventually adopted by the post-World War II generation of labor and business leaders. He was instrumental in the passage of the 1932 Norris-La Guardia Act and also helped pass the 1935 National Labor Relations Act.

William Green appears in the following:

American Federation of Labor [Day 1]

Wednesday, September 17, 1952

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Opening session of the 71st annual convention of the American Federation of Labor.


Cardinal Spellman delivers the invocation.

Martin Lacey, teamster leader, welcomes ...

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William L. Green

Monday, January 02, 1950

The President of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) speaks about the practical attainment of international peace and freedom.