North America's Strongest Union

1924: Mexico

In the 1920s, the Mexican labor movement was gaining steam and, wanting to show their support and international solidarity, the AFL decided to hold their convention in El Paso. Tobin served as a delegate and joined Gompers on a march of more than 900 workers across the International Bridge separating the two nations. U.S. and Mexican workers joined in solidarity, walking in lockstep from El Paso to the Mexican Federation of Labor headquarters in Juarez, right across the bridge. Gompers spoke, pledging loyalty and fraternity.

At the AFL Convention in November 1924, Tobin realized that Gompers was in failing health despite his determination to preside over the event.  Shortly after the Convention, Gompers traveled to Mexico City to participate in the Pan American Federation of Labor meeting.

While in Mexico City for the Pan American Federation of Labor meeting Gompers became ill , seriously jeopardizing his already precarious health.  He was rushed back to San Antonio, but died several days later. His casket was boarded on a train back to Pennsylvania. Workers mourned the leader of the American labor movement along the route of his final journey.

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