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walking delegate

(formerly) an official appointed by a trade union to go from place to place to investigate working conditions, to ascertain whether union contracts were being fulfilled, and, sometimes, to negotiate contracts between employers and the union.
Origin of walking delegate
An Americanism dating back to 1890-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for walking delegate
Historical Examples
  • "Comes a walking delegate by the opposite side of the street and makes with his hands motions," he explained.

    Potash & Perlmutter Montague Glass
  • But to continue the history of the first walking delegate, if you are interested.

    What Is Man? And Other Stories Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • There, as a rule, the 'walking delegate' and a few agitators rule with despotic power.

    The Harris-Ingram Experiment Charles E. Bolton
  • But, by thunder, I don't let any walking delegate insult me and tell me what I've got to do!

    The Walking Delegate Leroy Scott
  • You try to beat Foley out as walking delegate, and get beat.

    The Walking Delegate Leroy Scott
  • "Why, I'm there already," the walking delegate returned sweetly.

    The Walking Delegate Leroy Scott
  • We'll go at the company in the way that that walking delegate says.

    Six One-Act Plays Margaret Scott Oliver
  • Mr. Baxter asked, as soon as the walking delegate was seated.

    The Walking Delegate Leroy Scott
  • Before the walking delegate had "passed the time of day," the young sailor was close beside Jennie, within touch of her hand.

    Tom Grogan F. Hopkinson Smith
  • He gained Foley's side and laid the letter in the walking delegate's hand.

    The Walking Delegate Leroy Scott
British Dictionary definitions for walking delegate

walking delegate

(in the US) an agent appointed by a trade union to visit branches, check whether agreements are observed, and negotiate with employers
(in New Zealand) a trade union official who visits dispersed working areas on a wharf
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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