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Gompers and Business Unionism, 1873-90
The Business History Review
Vol. 28, No. 3 (Sep., 1954), pp. 264-275
Published by: The President and Fellows of Harvard College
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3111574
Page Count: 12
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The development of the administration of business firms has been studied by many scholars in the last 25 years. By comparison, the history of the administration of trade unions is an untouched field; most historians of the American labor movement have dealt only summarily with administrative changes. But efficient internal organization was crucial, in the years after 1873, to trade union survival and growth. Under the prodding of Samuel Gompers, the Cigarmakers' International Union pioneered several improvements. Its major innovations were: centralized control, especially of strikes; benefit payments for sickness, unemployment, and death; high dues and high initiation fees.
The Business History Review © 1954 The President and Fellows of Harvard College