In an obituary of George Meany in yesterday's editions of The Washington Post, it was incorrectly reported that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees was outside of AFL-CIO. The AFSCME is the second-largest affiliate of the AFL-CIO, which Mr. Meany headed for a quarter-century.
George Meany was mourned by President Carter yesterday as "an American institution" who "changed the shape of our nation for the better in hundreds of ways, great and small, through the force of his character and the integrity of his beliefs."
Labor and business leaders alike joined in praising Meany, a major figure in the history of the American labor movement and the president of the AFL-CIO from its founding in 1955 unitl his retirement last November. Meany, who was 85, died of cardiac arrest Thursday night at George Washington University Hospital.
Lane Kirkland, who succeeded him as president of the 14-million-member labor organization, said Meany's true legacy was the AFL-CIO itself.
"He forged the strongest, most independent, most democratic labor movement in the world," Kirkland said.
Alexander B. Trowbridge, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, said Meany's death had deprived the nation of "a man who fought diligently for his beliefs and for improvements throughout American society."
Tass, the official Soviet news agency, called him "an apologist of the capitalist system, a rabid anti-Communist." Meany's record as an anti-Communist was long and unflinching.
The labor leader's body will lie in state in the lobby of AFL-CIO headquarters at 815 16th St. NW Sunday and Monday for public viewing. A private requiem Mass is to be offered at St. Matthew's Roman Catholic Cathedral Tuesday morning with interment to follow at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring.
Among others who mourned Meany were Vice President Walter F. Mondale, who said he was "one of the greatest forces of our time for social justice and freedom," and Labor Secretary Ray Marshall, who said, "A giant has fallen."
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said, "George Meany was my friend and a giant for American labor. He was a great American and all of us will miss him."
Benjamin Hooks, executive director of the NAACP, called Meany "a quiet effective champion for the cause of civil rights. (He) actively supported every major piece of civil rights legislation. The world will note and long remember the good things he has done for the cause of justice."
Richard Maass, preident of the American Jewish Committee, hailed Meany for "his stalwart support in such overriding issues as the security of Israel, the plight of Soviet Jewry and the fight for the preservation of human rights everywhere."
Hyman Bookbinder, former legislative representative of the AFL-CIO and the AJC's Washington representative, said, "World Jewry has lost one of its best friends."
Former Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg, who was secretary of labor before he went on to the bench and who was a special councel for the AFL-CIO before that, called Meany "a towering figure on the American scene." John T. Dunlop, another former labor secretary praised Meany in the same words and added that there are only two great figures in the history of the AFL-CIO.
"One was Samuel Gompers, who set it up, and the other was Meany, who reunited the movement," Dunlop said.
Some of the warmest tributes came from Meany's fellow labor leaders. Douglas Fraser, president of the United Auto Workers, which is not part of the AFL-CIO, said Meany "spent his life seeking economic dignity for working people."
Jerry Wurf, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which also is outside the AFL-CIO, called Meany "a man of strong and powerful opinions, but patient and willing to tolerate dissent."
In New York, Meany's home state, Gov. Hugh Carey ordered that flags on state buildings be flown at half staff.
"He was a New Yorker who never forgot his home state, a man of deep religious faith, and he was a great American," Carey said.