Gerald Foley, union organizer and president of the Tennessee Federation of Labor, was a native of Pennsylvania. Foley's family moved to Nashville when he was a boy. A plumber by trade, he joined organized labor while still in his teens and served in various official capacities. In 1930 he became the business representative for the Plumbers' Local Union No. 352 in Nashville, a position he held until his death. In 1937 he was elected by acclamation to the presidency of the Tennessee Federation of Labor. Known primarily for his organizing work, Foley was a forceful unionist who instilled confidence in new recruits. He was reelected annually until 1942. During World War II Foley served as the labor coordinator for the Building Trades Council, where he oversaw smooth relationships between business and labor in the defense industry. When he died in 1945, Foley was serving his third term in the Tennessee House of Representatives as a Democratic member from Davidson County.
Foley, GeraldRandal Rust2018-03-01T20:13:47+00:00