The New International Encyclopædia/Labor Union, The American
LABOR UNION, The American. A socialistic labor organization, whose membership is largely confined to the States of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Wyoming. It was organized in May, 1898, as the Western Labor Union, but widened its scope at the Denver Convention of 1902, when the present name was adopted. In composition it is a federation of trade unions, but it has pronounced the familiar methods of the old trade unions unsatisfactory, and formally declared itself in favor of political action and international socialism. The officers consist of a president, vice-president, secretary-treasurer, and an executive board of nine members, including the president and vice-president. The officers are elected biennially by a referendum vote of the general membership. The government is more centralized than the ordinary federation of trade unions; the executive board, for instance, may depose any general officer, and affiliated organizations are not permitted to strike without the approval of the executive board. In 1902 there were affiliated with the American Labor Union 173 local unions, five district unions, one State federation, and two international organizations, with an estimated membership of 150,000. Probably the most important organization affiliated with the American Labor Union is the Western Federation of Miners. The official organ is the American Labor Union Journal, published weekly at the headquarters in Butte, Mont. See Labor Organizations.