Term "Union Boss"

Don’t think I’m not a fan of capitalism, my 401k is doing great! So far anyway.

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My original post was about a young Norwegian seafarer with minimal education drifting ashore on the US West Coast and becoming a pioneer and leader (by whatever name) of not one but two Seafarer’s Unions there. He was largely responsible for the passage of four reforms that changed the lives of American mariners and involved in the establishment of the Jones Act.

The second part was about the Liberty ship named after him and what happened to it, after 33 years of service.

None of which has received any attention here. In stead this thread has been turned into a discussion of whether to use the term “Union Boss” is appropriate, , or a slur used by US Capitalist media to insinuate that workers are incapable of governing themselves.

All that is interesting, but has nothing to do with Furuseth, or with Liberty ships. It looks to me like you are fully capable of going OT without me. :laughing:


“A hit! A palpable hit.” – Willy S, Romeo and Juliet

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Yes it did go off topic a bit but the catalyst could have been the thread title. Andrew Furuseth Labor Leader instead of Andrew Furuseth union boss may have kept the focus on him better.

Edit: In response to @ombugge post below maybe the term “Union Leader” or Labor Union Pioneer" would have kept this on track better. Unfortunately the term Union Boss has an unfavorable connotation in the US.

Yes I could have used a different title, but “Union Boss” is maybe more associated with US Unions than Labour Leader, which is more associated with the leader of the British Labour Party to non-US centred people.

The word “Boss” is not so loaded in the outside world either. I’m used to be called “Boss” even if not in a position of authority to that person. Most commonly used by Indians maybe.

A bit like tomato (to-MAY-to) and tomato (to-MAH-to) I suppose??

It’s union boss specifically that’s loaded, not boss in general.

boss n.
2. chiefly US a professional politician who controls a party machine or political organization, often using devious or illegal methods.
– Collins Dictionary

Machine politics – see http://socialstudieshelp.com/USRA_Pol_Machines.htm

Crime Boss

A crime boss , crime lord , don , kingpin , or mob boss is a person in charge of a criminal organization. A boss typically has absolute or nearly absolute control over the other members of the organization, is greatly feared for his ruthlessness and willingness to take lives to exert their influence, and profits from the criminal endeavors in which the organization engages

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Oh how far from this ideal the unions have fallen…


From the single source of information that I read about Furuseth he seemed like a decent guy. Of course, being the skeptical person tha I am, I never have too strong of an opinion on something with only one source of information, especially when that source is Wikipedia.

Furuseth was the leader of a powerful union from 1891 until Death finally removed him from office 44 years later in 1935. From my two negative experiences of working with “organized labor” he would have been called a Union Boss or worse when he wasn’t around. When he was around I’m sure he was called, sir, Mr. President or whatever he told people to call him. After 44 years as president it’s okay to call a person Boss, or worse.