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Philip Murray
Philip Murray, 1945.
Courtesy that the joined Steelworkers the America

Merger of the AFL and the CIO

The i of the Taft-Hartley plot in 1947 and also the growing conservatism in U.S. National labour policies latent in the statute aroused unions to renewed political activity. The CIO join the AFL in opposition come the new law, however political unity to be only slowly translated right into union solidarity. ~ Murray’s fatality late in 1952, Walter P. Reuther, head that the CIO’s United car Workers, came to be president of the CIO. Three years later, in 1955, the AFL and also the CIO merged, through George Meany, former head of the AFL, becoming president that the new federation (a article he hosted until November 1979, a few months before his death). Member in the brand-new labour reality included about one-third of all nonagricultural employees in 1955. Membership decreased steadily thereafter.


George Meany
George Meany, c. 1950s.
Library the Congress, Washington, D.C. (Digital record Number: cph 3b39490)

In 1957 the union federation express ethical pertains to when that expelled the Teamsters Union after ~ disclosures the corruption and also labour racketeering in what was then the nation’s largest union. (Not until 1987 was the Teamsters Union readmitted to the AFL-CIO.)

The conservative Meany and also the liberal Reuther never achieved an ext than an icy cordiality, and also in 1968 Meany thrived in obtaining Reuther and also several other CIO leaders expelled from the federation’s executive, management board. Thereupon, Reuther’s United vehicle Workers (UAW) promptly i was withdrawn from the AFL-CIO, allying with the Teamsters native 1968 to 1972. Reuther died in 1970, and, 2 years ~ Meany’s retirement and Lane Kirkland’s accession to the presidency that the AFL-CIO in 1979, the UAW reaffiliated v the AFL-CIO. During Kirkland’s presidency (1979–95) the percentage of workers stood for by arranged labour declined from 19 to 15 percent.

When Kirkland retired on respectable 1, 1995, he named his secretary-treasurer, thomas R. Donahue, to to fill the remainder the his term. At the organization’s 1995 convention, Donahue was beat for the presidency by man J. Sweeney in what significant the an initial competitive choice in AFL-CIO history. Sweeney, former president that the organization Employees global Union (SEIU), led a dissident slate committed to reversing the federation’s declining membership and waning political power. Also in 1995, the very first person of colour was elected to one AFL-CIO executive, management office as soon as Linda Chavez-Thompson ended up being executive evil president. Sweeney pledged to boost union membership through aggressive arranging campaigns and also political lobbying.

However, since of an increasing decline in union membership, 5 international labour unions—the Laborers’ global Union of phibìc America (LIUNA), the SEIU, and the joined Brotherhood that Carpenters, as well as the Union that Needletrades, Industrial and also Textile employee (UNITE) and the Hotel Employees and Restaurant employee Union (HERE), i m sorry later linked to form UNITE HERE—joined with each other in 2003 to type the brand-new Unity partnership (NUP), casual coalition that promoted reform that the AFL-CIO, emphasizing organizing initiatives to encourage union growth. Adhering to the resolution of the NUP in 2005, its previous member unions—which by then additionally included the united Food and also Commercial employees (UFCW) and also the Teamsters—disaffiliated native the AFL-CIO and also launched adjust to Win, a officially coalition the afforded an alternative to the AFL-CIO.

In 2009 Sweeney stepped under as AFL-CIO president. He was flourished by Richard Trumka, who had actually previously served as the president of the UMWA and as the AFL-CIO’s secretary-treasurer. Trumka held the article until his death in 2021.

The basic organization

Local union delegates, allocated in proportion to your membership, elect the chairman to a four-year term. The executive council, which meets at the very least twice a year, is composed of the president, executive, management vice president, secretary-treasurer, and around 50 evil presidents—most of them presidents of nationwide unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO. An executive committee of 6 vice presidents selected through the the supervisory board meets more often with the president and also secretary-treasurer to comment on policy matters. Moreover, a general board, which has the executive council and also a primary officer of every affiliated union, meets at least once a year to resolve policy matters.

The federation is supported by a every capita taxes levied ~ above affiliated unions and organizing committees. The federation engages in arranging efforts, educational projects on behalf of the work movement, and political support of legislation deemed useful to labour.

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