Date Range: 1949 – 2007
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2011-04-08
History: The AFL-CIO was created from the merger of two major labor organizations. The American Federation of Labor (AFL), a craft-oriented union, had been formed in 1886, while the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) had broken away from the AFL in the late 1930s after internal disputes. The two unions merged in 1955 and George Meany was elected as the first president of the new AFL-CIO. Meany was succeeded in 1979 by Lane Kirkland. Because it is a voluntary federation of labor unions, the AFL-CIO represents nearly all unionized employees in the U.S. and Canada. Member unions are permitted proportional representation by delegates with voting power. The AFL-CIO lobbies on behalf of unionized labor and steps in as a mediator when member unions are in conflict.
Sources: “Guide to the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives Printed Ephemera Collection on the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)” Last updated August 21, 2018. http://dlib.nyu.edu/findingaids/html/tamwag/pe_021/.