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American Federation of Labor (AFL), Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), and AFL-CIO Executive Council minutes

 Collection 0009-LBR-RG4-008
The Executive Council is the executive body of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the AFL-CIO, and was responsible for the conduct of the federations' affairs between the annual conventions. The Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) also had an established executive board for the same purpose. This collection consists of AFL executive council minutes from 1893 to 1955, AFL-CIO executive council minutes from 1955-1996, and the CIO executive board proceedings from 1942-1955.

Dates

  • 1893-1996

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Extent

51.25 Linear Feet (31 Paige boxes, 9 Document boxes, and 4 half size document boxes)

Scope and Content of the Collection

The Executive Council was the executive body of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and continued this roll after the merger of the AFL and the CIO in 1955, and to present day. The Coucil is the governing body of the AFL-CIO in between the biennial conventions. The Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) also had an established executive board for the same purpose. This collection consists of AFL executive council minutes from 1893 to 1955, AFL-CIO executive council minutes from 1955-1996, and the CIO executive board proceedings from 1942-1955.

The AFL-CIO Constitution empowers the Executive Council to carry out the decisions of the conventions and enforce the constitution. Article VIII states that the Executive Council "shall meet upon the call of the President at least three times within each year at a time and place designated by the President." The first meeting of the AFL-CIO Executive Council was held on the first day of the first consitutional convention, December 5, 1955.

These minutes record the date and place of each meeting, as well as attendance. They are not verbatim. There is little information on discussions or the stance of each council member. Dicisions and actions are summarized. Topics include: Implementation of the AFL-CIO merger (1955-1958); jurisdictional and internal disputes; ethical practices of affiliated internationals (1956-1959); applications for affiliation; legislation; finances; name changes of affiliated internationals; international labor organizations and activities; "Right-to-work" laws (1958-1959); strikes; organizing activities; financial contributions; and U.S. Foreign relations.

The minutes are mostly bound in chronological order, however some minutes are unbound and organized in folders. Appendixes, which appear at the end of the minutes, contain Executive Council statements, Executive Council resolutions, reports of committees and some departments, and other documents presented to or discussed by the council. Indexes for minutes, and frequently for appendices, appear in the front of the minutes. Blue sheets separate minutes of different meetings; some have tabs that indicate the dates. A card index of unions and people discussed in the minutes is available in the archives.

Biographical / Historical

The AFL-CIO Constitution states that "the Executive Council shall consist of the President, the Vice Presidents and the Secretary-Treasurer." From the merger until 1969, there were twenty-seven vice presidents. During most of 1962 and 1963, one VP position was unfilled. Below is an alphabetical list of Executive Council members (with offices and dates of terms) who served between the merger and 1969.
  1. I.W. Abel, Vice President: 1965-1977
  2. Harry C. Bates, Vice President: 1955-1967
  3. Dave Beck, Vice President: 1955-1957
  4. Joseph A. Beirne, Vice President: 1955-1974
  5. William C. Birthright, Vice President: 1955-1965
  6. L.S. Buckmaster, Vice President: 1955-1962
  7. George Burdon, Vice President: 1965-1967
  8. W. A. Calvin, Vice President: 1961-1962
  9. James B. Carey, Vice President: 1955-1965
  10. Joseph Curran, Vice President: 1955-1973
  11. Anthony J. DeAndrade, Vice President: 1965-1970
  12. William J. Doherty, Vice President: 1955-1963
  13. David Dubinsky, Vice President: 1955-1969
  14. John English, Vice President: 1957
  15. Karl F. Feller, Vice President: 1957-1973
  16. Max Greenberg, 1967-1977
  17. John J. Grogan, Vice President: 1963-1968
  18. Paul Hall, Vice President: 1962-1980
  19. George M. Harrison, Vice President: 1955-1968
  20. A.J. Hayes, Vice President: 1955-1965
  21. Ralph Helstein, Vice President: 1965-1969
  22. Maurice A. Hutcheson, Vice President: 1955-1972
  23. Paul Jennings, Vice President: 1965-1977
  24. Joseph D. Keenan, Vice President: 1955-1976
  25. Herman D. Kenin, Vice President: 1963-1970
  26. O.A. Knight, Vice President: 1955-1965
  27. John H. Lyons, 1967-1979
  28. David J. McDonald, Vice President: 1955-1965
  29. William L. McFetridge, Vice President: 1955-1965
  30. Charles J. MacGowen, Vice President: 1955-1960
  31. George Meany, President: 1955-1979
  32. Lee W. Minton, Vice President: 1956-1975
  33. James C. Petrillo, Vice President: 1955-1958
  34. Paul L. Phillips, Vice President: 1957-1969
  35. William Pollock, 1967-1970
  36. Jacob Potofsky, Vice President: 1955-1973
  37. L.M. Raftery, Vice President: 1958-1974
  38. A. Philip Randolph, Vice President: 1955-1974
  39. Walter P. Reuther, Vice President: 1955-1965
  40. Emil Rieve, Vice President: 1955-1965
  41. William F. Schnitzler, Secretary-Treasurer: 1955-1969
  42. Peter T. Schoemann, Vice President: 1957-1972
  43. P.L. Siemiller, Vice President: 1965-1969
  44. A.L. Spradling, Vice President: 1955-1957
  45. James A. Suffridge, Vice President: 1957-1972
  46. David Sullivan, Vice President: 1965-1972
  47. Willard S. Townsend, Vice President: 1955-1957
  48. Richard F. Walsh, Vice President: 1955-1975
  49. Hunter P. Wharton, Vice President: 1965-1977
  50. Herman Winter, Vice President: 1955-1957
  51. Matthew Woll, Vice President: 1955-1965

Biographical / Historical

AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting locations, 1955-1996

1955-1959

  1. 1955 December 5-9: New York, NY
  2. 1956 February 6-14: Miami Beach, FL
  3. 1956 May 1: Washington, DC
  4. 1956 June 5-7: Washington, DC
  5. 1956 August 27-30: Forest Park, PA
  6. 1957 January 28-Feb 6: Miami Beach, FL
  7. 1957 March 29: Washington, DC
  8. 1957 May 20-23: Washington, DC
  9. 1957 August 12-15: Chicago, IL
  10. 1957 September 24-25: New York, NY
  11. 1957 October 24-25: Washington, DC
  12. 1957 December 4, 10, and 12: Atlantic City, NJ
  13. 1958 February 3-11: Miami Beach, FL
  14. 1958 April 29-May 1: Washington, DC
  15. 1958 August 18-21: Forest Park, PA
  16. 1958 November 6-7: Washington, DC
  17. 1959 February 16-24: San Juan, PR
  18. 1959 May 18-21: Washington, DC
  19. 1959 August 17-20: Forest Park, PA
  20. 1959 September 16, 22, and 24: San Francisco, CA

1960-1969

  1. 1960 February 8-16: Bal Harbour, FL
  2. 1960 May 3-6: Washington, DC
  3. 1960 August 15-17: Chicago, IL
  4. 1960 August 26: Washington, DC
  5. 1961 January 5: Washington, DC
  6. 1961 February 20-28: Bal Harbour, FL
  7. 1961 June 26-29: Forest Park, PA
  8. 1961 October 10-12: New York, NY
  9. 1961 December 6, 12, 14: Bal Harbour, FL
  10. 1962 February 19-26: Bal Harbour, FL
  11. 1962 April 26-27: Washington, DC
  12. 1962 August 13-16: Chicago, IL
  13. 1962 November 12-13: Washington, DC
  14. 1963 February 18-26: Bal Harbour, FL
  15. 1963 May 14-16: St. Louis, MO
  16. 1963 August 12-15: Forest Park, PA
  17. 1963 October 8: Washington, DC
  18. 1963 November 13, 21, 26: New York, NY
  19. 1964 February 17-25: Bal Harbour, FL
  20. 1964 May 18-20: Washington, DC
  21. 1964 August 3-5: Chicago, IL
  22. 1964 September 1: Washington, DC
  23. 1964 November 24: Washington, DC
  24. 1965 February 22-March 2: Bal Harbour, FL
  25. 1965 April 8: Washington, DC
  26. 1965 May 19-20: Washington, DC
  27. 1965 September 20-23: New York, NY
  28. 1965 October 28: Washington, DC
  29. 1965 December 8 and 15: San Francisco, CA
  30. 1966 February 21-28: Bal Harbour, FL
  31. 1966 May 6: Washington, DC
  32. 1966 June 16: Washington, DC
  33. 1966 August 22-24: Chicago, IL
  34. 1966 November 14-16: Washington, DC
  35. 1967 February 20-27: Bal Harbour, FL
  36. 1967 May 8-9: Washington, DC
  37. 1967 September 11-12: New York, NY
  38. 1967 December 6: Bal Harbour, FL
  39. 1968 February 17-24: Bal Harbour, FL
  40. 1968 March 12: Washington, DC
  41. 1968 May 13-14: Washington, DC
  42. 1968 September 16-17: New York, NY
  43. 1968 December 16: Washington, DC
  44. 1969 February 17-24: Bal Harbour, FL
  45. 1969 May 14-15: Washington, DC
  46. 1969 August 7-8: New York, NY
  47. 1969 October 1, 7, and 29: Atlantic City, NJ

1970-1979

  1. 1970 February 16-23: Bal Harbour, NJ
  2. 1970 May 12-13: Washington, DC
  3. 1970 August 3-5: Chicago, IL
  4. 1970 November 9-10: Washington, DC
  5. 1971 February 15-23: Bal Harbour, FL
  6. 1971 May 11-12: Atlanta, GA
  7. 1971 August 9-10: San Francisco, CA
  8. 1971 August 19: Washington, DC
  9. 1971 October 12: Washington, DC
  10. 1971 November 17, 18, 22: Bal Harbour, FL
  11. 1972 February 14-21: Bal Harbour, FL
  12. 1972 March 22: Washington, DC
  13. 1972 May 2: Washington, DC
  14. 1972 July 19: Washington, DC
  15. 1972 August 28-29: Chicago, IL
  16. 1973 February 19-26: Bal Harbour, FL
  17. 1973 May 8-9: Washington, DC
  18. 1973 August 1-2: Oak Brook, IL
  19. 1973 October 19, 22, 23: Bal Harbour, FL
  20. 1974 February 18-25: Bal Harbour, FL
  21. 1974 May 9: Washington, DC
  22. 1974 August 5-6: Chicago, IL
  23. 1974 November 7: Washington, DC
  24. 1975 January 23: Washington, DC
  25. 1975 February 17-24: Bal Harbour, FL
  26. 1975 May 6: Washington, DC
  27. 1975 July 30-31: Chicago, IL
  28. 1975 October 1, 2, 7: San Francisco, CA
  29. 1976 February 16-23: Bal Harbour, FL
  30. 1976 May 19: Washington, DC
  31. 1976 July 19: Washington, DC
  32. 1976 November 10: Washington, DC
  33. 1977 February 21-28: Bal Harbour, FL
  34. 1977 May 4: Silver Spring, MD
  35. 1977 August 29-30: Washington, DC
  36. 1977 December 7, 12, 13: Los Angeles, CA
  37. 1978 February 20-27: Bal Harbour, FL
  38. 1978 May 9-10: Washington, DC
  39. 1978 August 7-8: Chicago, IL
  40. 1978 October 31: Washington, DC
  41. 1979 February 19-26: Bal Harbour, FL
  42. 1979 May 8: Washington, DC
  43. 1979 August 6-8: Chicago, IL
  44. 1979 September 28: Washington, DC
  45. 1979 November 14, 19, 20: Washington, DC

1980-1989

  1. 1980 February 18-25: Bal Harbour, FL
  2. 1980 May 6-7: Washington, DC
  3. 1980 August 20-21: Chicago, IL
  4. 1981 February 16-23: Bal Harbour, FL
  5. 1981 May 7-8: Baltimore, MD
  6. 1981 August 3-5: Chicago, IL
  7. 1981 September 18: Washington, DC
  8. 1981 November 14, 18, 19: New York, NY
  9. 1982 February 15-22: Bal Harbour, FL
  10. 1982 May 26-27: Washington, DC
  11. 1982 August 3-5: New York, NY
  12. 1983 February 21-28: Bal Harbour, FL
  13. 1983 May 24-25: Linthicum Heights, MD
  14. 1983 August 8-10: Boston, MA
  15. 1983 October 1: Hollywood, FL
  16. 1984 February 20-24: Bal Harbour, FL
  17. 1984 May 7-9: Piney Point, MD
  18. 1984 August 20-21: Denver, CO
  19. 1985 February 18-22: Bal Harbour, FL
  20. 1985 May 7-8: Washington, DC
  21. 1985 August 13-15: Pittsburgh, PA
  22. 1985 October 26: Anaheim, CA
  23. 1986 February 17-21: Bal Harbour, FL
  24. 1986 May 21-22: Washington, DC
  25. 1986 August 5-7: Chicago, IL
  26. 1987 February 16-20: Bal Harbour, FL
  27. 1987 May 5-6: Washington, DC
  28. 1987 August 17-19: Silver Spring, MD
  29. 1987 October 24: Miami Beach, FL
  30. 1988 February 15-19: Bal Harbour, FL
  31. 1988 May 16-17: Washington, DC
  32. 1988 August 22-23: Washington, DC
  33. 1989 August 8-9: Chicago, IL
  34. 1989 November 11, 15, 16: Washington, DC

1990-1996

  1. 1990 February 19-22: Bal Harbour, FL
  2. 1990 July 31-August 1: Chicago, IL
  3. 1990 May 23-24: Washington, DC
  4. 1991 February 19-22: Bal Harbour, FL
  5. 1991 May 8: Washington, DC
  6. 1991 July 30-31: Chicago, IL
  7. 1991 November 9, 13, 14: Detroit, MI
  8. 1992 February 17-20: Bal Harbour, FL
  9. 1992 May 5-6: Washington, DC
  10. 1992 August 3-4: Chicago, IL
  11. 1992 November 5: Washington, DC
  12. 1993 February 15-18: Bal Harbour, FL
  13. 1993 May 4-5: Washington, DC
  14. 1993 August 3-4: Chicago, IL
  15. 1993 October 2: San Francisco, CA
  16. 1994 February 21-24: Bal Barbour, FL
  17. 1994 May 10-11: Washington, DC
  18. 1994 August 9-10: Washington, DC
  19. 1995 February 20-23: Bal Harbour, FL
  20. 1995 May 9-10: Washington, DC
  21. 1995 August 1-2: Chicago, IL
  22. 1995 September 21: Washington, DC
  23. 1995 October 20: New York, NY
  24. 1996 January 24: Washington, DC

Arrangement

This collection is organized into three series:
Series 1
AFL Executive Council Minutes
Series 2
CIO Executive Board Minutes
Series 3
AFL-CIO Executive Council Minutes

Custodial History

Article VII of the AFL-CIO Constitution directs the Secretary-Treasurer to oversee the recording of Executive Council meetings, and as such, the Executive Council Minutes for 1955-1965 were stored in the Office of the Secretary-Treasurer until their transfer to the George Meany Memorial Archives in May 1991. Additional records representing other dates would have been received by the George Meany Memorial Archives sometime before 2013. The George Meany Memorial Archives transferred these records as part of a major transfer of their archive and library holdings to the University of Maryland Libraries in 2013.

Related Materials

This collection provides information on important activities and events in the merged federation's early years.

Related materials include the Merger Oral History Project and various collections from the AFL-CIO Office of the President, and the Office of the Secretary-Treasurer.

Processing Information

Archives staff at the George Meany Memorial Archives initially processed these records sometime before 2013. The University of Maryland Libraries received the records and the finding aid in 2013. In the summer of 2013, when the collection materials were being prepared to move by the UMD Preservation Department, evidence of mold was discovered on the bound volumes of council minutes. As a result, all volumes were cleaned and reboxed. Also at this time, boxes were assigned sequential box numbers across the then three collections: AFL Executive Council Minutes (RG4-008), CIO Executive Board Minutes (RG4-009), and the AFL-CIO Executive Council Minutes (RG4-006). The majority of the minutes were bound chronologically, however some remain unbound and housed in folders. There are several years of minutes that are unbound, with laminated pages.

In 2017, Bria Parker exported and cleaned the finding aid contents from the Eloquent Systems database using OpenRefine, and finally transformed the finding aids into Encoded Archival Description (EAD) using a series of programmatic scripts. The finding aids for RG4-008 and RG4-009 were ingested into ArchivesSpace in 2017, at which point Jennifer Eidson updated the descriptive content for accuracy. Revisions include changes to scope and content notes, and the creation of new collection numbers. Jennifer Eidson also enhanced custodial histories and re-wrote collection titles to better conform to archival standards.

In 2020, Jennifer Eidson combined the three original separate collections into one (RG4-008) collection with three series, to coordinate with the sequential box numbering assigned in 2013. RG4-009 was removed from ArchivesSpace. Updates were made to the series descriptions, box record instances, collection extents, and barcodes were assigned.
Title
Guide to the American Federation of Labor (AFL), Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), and AFL-CIO Executive Council minutes
Status
Completed
Author
Archives staff at the George Meany Memorial AFL-CIO Archives processed this collection. AFL-CIO minutes were processed by Todd Kosmerick in 1991 and Lee Sayrs in 1994.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2017-12-20: Revisions and updates made post-ArchivesSpace migration by Jennifer Eidson. Please see the processing note for more detailed information.
  • 2015-02: Megan O'Hern updated the finding aid for RG4-006 (AFL-CIO minutes) to include volumes up to 1996.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

Contact:
University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742
301-405-9212