--- Agency History ---
The Union Label and Service Trades Department (ULSTD) was founded on April 12, 1909, as a constitutionally mandated department of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) to promote the products and services produced in the United States by trade union members - especially those products and services identified by a union label, shop card, store card, and/or service button. Until 2007, the ULSTD was headed by a president, run by a secretary-treasurer, and staffed by national representatives and secretaries. ---
The ULSTD's primary function is to promote the union label. It also coordinates national boycotts that have been endorsed by the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Executive Council. One of the more widely known activities of the department is the annual Union Industries Show, which began in 1938 in Cincinnati. The shows are cooperative efforts of unions and the companies with which they have contracts.
--- Presidents: ---
John B. Lennon, 1909;
J.W. Hays, 1917;
Matthew Woll, 1935-1956;
John J. Mara, 1956-1960;
Richard F. Walsh, 1961-1975;
Joseph D. Keenan, 1976-1979;
John E. Mara 1980-1982;
James E. Hatfield, 1982-1997;
Charles E. Mercer, 1997-2007;
Richard Kline, 2008-present.
Thomas F. Tracy, 1909-1916; John J. Manning, 1918-1931; 1933-1934, George W. Perkins, 1932; I.M. Ornbum, 1934-1949; Raymond F. Leheney, 1950-1956; Joseph Lewis, 1957-1970; Edward P. Murphy, 1971-1975; Earl D. McDavid, 1976-1982; John E. Mara, 1982-1987; Sidney Heller, 1988-1989; Richard J. Perry, 1989-1994; Charles E. Mercer, 1994-1997; Dennis L. Kivikko, 1997-2001; Matthew C. Bates, 2003-(at least through 2005); James H. Dunn at least 2007-present. ---
I.M. "Dick" Ornburn was secretary-treasurer of the Union Label and Service Trades Department of the AFL from 1934-1949. Born on November 28, 1889, in Moberly, Missouri, Ornburn began working as a cigar maker when he was just a boy and joined the International Union of Cigar Makers in 1908 and eventually serving as vice-president and president. When he became the secretary-treasurer of the ULSTD, Ornbum initiated the Union Industries Show, the only labor management show of its kind in the world. I.M. Ornbum died on December 17, 1949. ---
Paul Omburn (b. December 23, 1914-d. June 10, 1989) began working as a mail clerk for the ULSTD in 1934 and retired from his position as a national representative in 1984. He was involved in the Union Industries Shows and traveled extensively to conventions of international unions, where he spoke about the union label cause and staffed union label booths. As a result of this activity he earned the nickname, "Mr. Union Label."
The Union Label and Service Trades Department promoted the products and services produced in the United States by trade union members, especially those that advertise their use of a union labor with a union label. This collection is comprised of administrative files, photographs, and scrapbooks from I.M. Ornburn's tenure as secretary-treasurer and Paul Ornburn's career in the Union Label and Service Trades Department.