It is not often that a person who gloried in the title of “The Bronx Plumber” can rise to a position of national influence. However, that is exactly what happened to George Meany. Born in Harlem in 1894, the future plumber was originally named William George Meany, but he later dropped the William. When he was five years old, the family moved to The Bronx living at 135th Street near Cypress Avenue. The boy’s father worked as a plumber, and the youngster naturally became interested in the field. His father was also the head of the local Bronx plumber’s union. Young George left school at the age of 14, which was not an unusual occurrence then. Two years later, he was hired as a plumber’s helper and attended trade school at night. In 1917, George Meany joined his father’s local, then one of the largest in the nation, as a journeyman plumber. Meany soon displayed his natural intelligence. He was also smart enough to show deference to those who had been around for some time. As a result, he was able to rise rapidly in the ranks of the union. In 1920, Meany was elected as a member of his local’s executive board. Two years later, he was named its business agent. He fully believed that member-
ship in the union should be restricted in numbers to keep wages high. He also mastered the details of the language of building trade contracts to hammer out the best deal for the union’s members. In 1923, he became the secretary of the New York City Building Trades Council. His rise also made it possible for him to move to the Pelham Bay neighborhood of The Bronx. Meany’s reputation in union circles grew. In 1932, he was elected vice president of the state Federation of Labor, becoming its president two years later. Working with Governor Herbert H. Lehman and Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, he obtained laws guaranteeing unemployment insurance and workman’s compensation. In 1940, Meany attained national stature by becoming the secretary treasurer of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and its president in 1952. Three years later, he helped merge the AFL with the rival Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), becoming the first president of the AFL-CIO. There he vigorously opposed both communism and job discrimination. He retired in 1979. Admired for his advances for labor, the Bronx Plumber died the following year.
Lincoln Park Jewish Center HaMakom, ‘The Place’
311 Central Park Avenue • Yonkers, NY A modern Orthodox Jewish Congregation promoting spiritual growth, joy, acceptance of diversity, community and fellowship. Find your place with us. We wish you a L’Shana Tovah for a Sweet, Healthy and Happy New Year to our Members and Community and invite all to attend our High Holiday Services. For tickets please call our offices at 914-965-7119 and visit our website WWW.LPJC.ORG for our Holiday schedule. Credit cards accepted. Services conducted by Rabbi Rigoberto Viñas and Cantor Eric S. Freeman.
SCHEDULE OF HOLIDAY SERVICES, 2013-5774 SHABBAT, SATURDAY, AUGUST 31, 8:30 pm Community Night (Movie, Broadway Musicals, A Jewish Legacy) and SELICHOT SERVICES, 10:30 pm.
EREV ROSH HASHANA, WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 4, EVENING SERVICES, 7:00 pm
ROSH HASHANA, 1ST DAY, THURSDAY, SEPT. 5, MORNING SERVICES, 8:30 am
ROSH HASHANA, 2ND DAY, FRIDAY, SEPT. 6, MORNING SERVICES, 8:30 am
KOL NIDRE, YOM KIPPUR, EREV SHABBAT
FRIDAY, SEPT. 13 - EVENING SERVICES, 6:30 pm YOM KIPPUR, SHABBAT, SEPT. 14, MORNING SERVICES, 8:30 am YISKOR SERVICES at 12 NOON - Fast Ends 7:52 pm
The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 29, 2013
The Bronx Plumber
Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471