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Labor Unions in the U.S., 1862-1974: Knights of Labor, AFL, CIO, and AFL-CIO
Labor Unions in the U.S., 1862-1974: Knights of Labor, AFL, CIO, and AFL-CIO (Module 39)
Unique, important documentation on the growth and transformation of four major labor organizations takes history, business and other research topics in exciting new directions.
In the 19th century, the Knights of Labor was the first national labor force to recruit women and African Americans as a matter of policy, to organize throughout the country, and to attempt to unify industrial and agrarian workers. This module presents the papers of executives Terence V. Powderly and John W. Hayes, which span the life of this powerful organization.
In 1886, the founding convention of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) elected five men to lead an organization of fewer than 200,000 members. By 1955, a committee headed by George Meany unified the American Federation of Labor–Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), which today numbers 5+ million and is a powerful political lobby. AFL records illuminate years of strikes and boycotts, competition with rival organizations, political developments, antitrust laws, pensions, and the direct election of U.S. senators; plus internal AFL matters such as membership, relations with international and local unions, and state labor federations.
The CIO was at the center of labor activism from 1935 to 1955 – years characterized by mass organizing, nationwide strikes, and bitter ideological and political conflict. The records in this module consist of Minutes of the Executive Board of the CIO and the papers of Adolph Germer, a longtime member of the United Mine Workers and a leader in the formation of the CIO. Closely related are the papers of John Mitchell, president of the United Mine Workers and a vice-president of the AFL. Records that document the AFL-CIO in this module consist of State Labor Proceedings for 1885-1974 with the 1955-1974 portion of the records pertaining to the AFL-CIO.
Speeches include: Refusal by the AFL convention of 1914 to support eight-hour day legislation. [1914.] National Lock Company strike In Rockford, Illinois. 1933.Class conflict and U.S. labor history. 1934. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company anti-union practices in Akron, Ohio. 1936. Fisher Auto Body strike and violence in Flint, Michigan. 1937. U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning a New York minimum wage provision. [1936?] Federal Screw Products strike and police brutality in Detroit, Michigan. [1937?] Fisher Auto Body strike and violence in Flint, Michigan. 1937. Greetings to the International Fur Workers Union Convention. 1938. 2 frames; Labor and the Ford Motor Company. 1937. The CIO issue and UAW. 1939. 10 frames; CIO and Labor's Non-Partisan League in Ironwood, Michigan. 1939. Why the Wagner Act should not be amended. 1939. Labor Day remarks and minutes of meetings of the International Labor Day celebration in El Paso, Texas. 1942.
Includes: The Eight Hour Primer: The Fact, Theory, and the Argument by George E. McNeill; The Eight-Hour Workday: Its Inauguration, Enforcement, and Influences by Samuel Gompers; History and Philosophy of the Eight-Hour Movement by Lemuel Danryid; Address of Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor, before the Arbitration Conference, held at Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1900 under the auspices of the National Civic Federation; A Sketch of American Labor Federation: It’s Origin and Progress
Includes: Manual of Common Procedure for the use of Local and Federal Labor Unions Affiliated with American Federation of Labor; Trade Unions: Their Origin and Objects, Influences and Efficacy by William Trant, with an appendix showing the History and Aims of the American Federation of Labor
Includes: The McNamara Case by Samuel Gompers, also an Appeal for Funds to Secure a Fair and Impartial Trial; Report of American Federal of Labor Representative at Budapest, Hungary, International Trades Convention, August 10-12, 1911
Includes pamphlets: "The American Labor Movement: Its Makeup, Achievements, and Aspirations" by Samuel Gompers; "The Attitude of the American Federation of Labor Toward Industrial Education" by Samuel Gompers; Clayton Anti-Trust Law, October 15, 1914, Report of the Executive Council of the American Federation of Labor to the 34th Annual Convention of the A.F. of L., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 1914; "Labor and Antitrust Legislation, The Facts, Theory and Argument" by Samuel Gompers; Panama-Pacific International Exposition, 1915, Exhibit of American Federation of Labor
Includes pamphlets, "The Challenge Accepted: Labor Will Not Be Outlawed or Enslaved"; "Disarmament: The American Federation of Labor, Its Declarations and Actions in Support of Disarmament and International Peace"; and "President Gompers on Labor, The Courts, and The Law."
Includes “A Tribute to Timothy Quinlan, Switchman who heroically gave up his life, Feb. 27, 1904, in saving the imperiled Lake Shore Limited and its cargo of human freight;” comments on women’s rights, and other speeches.
Includes speech by Powderly subtitled “General Master Workman Powderly's Scathing Arraignment of the Enemies of the Order, Complete Refutation of the False Accusations, The Real Foes and False Friends of the Industrial Movement”
Covers San Francisco 1934 Convention, San Francisco 1934 Executive Council Meeting, Resolutions, Industrial Unionism, Wagner Act, Union Organization (Auto Workers, Aluminum Workers), Questionnaires, Statistics, Atlantic City 1935 Convention, Atlantic City 1935 Executive Council Meeting, Minutes of Meetings, CIO
Covers Atlantic City 1935 Annual Convention, Tampa 1936 Annual Convention, 1935 Executive Council Sessions, 1936 Executive Council Sessions, Committee for Industrial Organization, Industrial Unionism, Dual Unionism, Suspensions, Efforts at Rapprochement
Covers Boycotts; Brewery Workers' dispute with Steam Engineers and Stationary Firemen and Teamsters; Bridge and Structural Iron Workers; building trades unions; private detective agencies; Farmers; Hebrew trade unions; League of Navy Yard, Arsenals, and Naval Station Employees; Paper Makers' dispute with Pulp and Sulphite Workers; Western Federation of Miners.
Covers Bakers and Confectionery Workers International Union protest regarding foreign bakers; Colorado involuntary servitude law; railway employees, Arkansas State labor organization, Trainmen's Protective Association, and Trainmen's Union; opposition of Progressive Farmers, railroad brotherhoods, and AFL to Cummins bill; cooperative movement; Farmer-Labor national conference; Immigrants Information Bureau; prohibition of railroad employees in political action; Textile Workers amalgamation; AFL financial statement.
Covers Automobile Workers organization; AFL resolution regarding Communists; Thomas E. Dewey racketeering investigation; AFL resolution on injunctions; labor and depression relief legislation; antilynching bill; Communist activity in Minneapolis labor movement; Mooney case expenses; Special Committee Report on Negro Workers; organizing drive among African Americans; Scottsboro case; organizing drive in southern states; Steel Workers organizing drive; AFL legislative activities; Seattle, Washington, Labor Council suspension of Brewery Workers; American Federation of Teachers investigation; National Youth Administration
Covers Depression conditions; CIO opposition to efforts to weaken National Labor Relations Act; AFL "raiding" of CIO unions; CIO finances; opposition to Wicks bill denying collective bargaining to New York City transit workers; reduction in CIO field staff; organizing southern states pulp and paper industry; aviation industry growth; shipbuilding industry; need for CIO in building trades; La Follette Civil Liberties Committee; federal bills against unions and aliens; exemption of unions from antitrust legislation; lawsuits and boycotts against CIO; unemployment relief; Works Progress Administration; CIO publicity work; CIO housing committee; CIO Social Security committee; International Labor Office; AFL-CIO unity conferences; CIO organizing strategy; Industrial Union Councils; United Auto Workers Union report