A. F. of L. Delegates.
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A. F. of L. Delegates.

Faced with stiff business opposition, a conservative political climate, hostile courts, and declining membership, leaders of the American Federeration of Labor (AFL) grew increasingly cautious during the 1920s. Labor radicals viewed AFL leaders as overpaid, self-interested functionaries uninterested in organizing unorganized workers into unions. A cartoon by William Gropper published in the Communist Yiddish newspaper Freiheit (and reprinted in English in the New Masses) caricatures delegates to a 1926 AFL convention in Atlantic City. “Well, boys,” the caption reads, “We had a swell convention. Now for the gravy.”

Source: William Gropper, New Masses, November 1926—Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.