Trade Union Unity League

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TRADE UNION UNITY LEAGUE (TUUL) was founded in Cleveland (1929) as the Communist Party's vehicle for union activity during the Great Depression. Its establishment resulted from the party's decision to create a revolutionary alternative to the American Federation of Labor. Although independent radical unions had appeared before 1929, dual unionism accelerated the development of separate progressive labor organizations. Led by William Z. Foster and Jack Johnstone, TUUL gained strength in the needle trades, textiles, and coal mining. It led strikes in textiles and coal, including dramatic but unsuccessful stoppages in Gastonia, North Carolina, and Harlan County, Kentucky. With the shift to the Popular Front in 1934, TUUL was dissolved.


Cochran, Bert. Labor and Communism: The Conflict That Shaped American Unions. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1977.

James J.Lorence

See alsoCommunist Party, United States of America .