This collection comprises the records of the AFL-CIO Joint Minimum Wage Committee from 1954 to 1960. The records document the work of the committee in supporting improvements of the minimum wage clause of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It is especially rich in printed materials produced by the committee and acquired from other sources. In addition, a small number of records of the Joint Minimum Wage Committee (AFL, CIO, 1955) also appear.
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2.625 Linear Feet
This collection comprises the records of the AFL-CIO Joint Minimum Wage Committee. The collection documents the work of the committee in supporting improvements of the minimum wage clause of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It is especially rich in printed and near print materials produced by the committee and acquired from other sources. In addition, a small number of records of the Joint Minimum Wage Committee (AFL, CIO, 1955) also appear.
Dating from 1954 to 1960, but primarily from 1959, the records in this collection include agendas, clippings, conference materials, correspondence, ephemera, financial records, graphics (poster separated to the graphics collection], legislative materials, lists, memoranda, minutes, near print, pamphlets, petitions, press releases, printed material, reports, resolutions, and statistics.
The AFL-CIO Joint Minimum Wage Committee was created on January 8, 1959, as a special committee of the AFL-CIO, operating under the general supervision of AFL-CIO president George Meany and charged with improving the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Twenty unions formed the committee; Andrew J. Biemiller, director of the AFL-CIO Legislative Department, and Arthur J. Goldberg, special counsel of the AFL-CIO, served as co-chairs. The committee was financed by its member unions, the AFL-CIO, and the Industrial Union Department. The staffs of the Public Relations, Research, Education, Legislative, and Publications Departments of the AFL-CIO provided support and the committee employed a small staff to coordinate support for the FLSA measure (the Kennedy-Morse-Roosevelt bill, S. 1046 and H.R. 4488, which proposed extending coverage of the federal minimum wage to 7.5 million new workers and raising it to $1.25 per hour).
The committee supported the production and distribution of educational and public relations materials among international unions and state and local central bodies. The committee also assisted member unions and central bodies with petitions and letter-writing campaigns and with arranging visits with U.S. Senators and Representatives.
Like the AFL-CIO Joint Minimum Wage Committee, the earlier Joint Minimum Wage Committee (AFL, CIO, 1955) also worked to extend coverage of and increase the minimum wage. This committee was under the directorship of Goldberg, who at the time was general counsel of the CIO. Also in leadership roles in the committee were Jacob S. Potofsky (president, Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, CIO); David Dubinsky (president, International Ladies Garment Workers Union, AFL}; Emil Rieve (president, Textile Workers Union of America, CIO); and Alex Rose (president, United Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers International Union, AFL). Working closely with the committee were the CIO's Fair Labor Standards Committee, chaired by the CIO's director of research, Solomon Barkin, and the Citizens Committee on the Fair Labor Standards Act, chaired by Mary Anderson and under the directorship of Wilbur H. Baldinger.
The collection is arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.
Archives staff at the George Meany Memorial Archives determined that these records came from the publicity division (Kenneth Fiester, director, and Jacqueline Kienzle, secretary) of the AFL-CIO Joint Minimum Wage Committee. Records of the Joint Minimum Wage Committee (AFL, CIO, 1955) seem to be present in this collection due to Arthur J. Golberg's involvement with both committees, first as director of the Joint Minimum Wage Committee (AFL, CIO, 1955) and later as the co-chair of the AFL-CIO Joint Minimum Wage Committee.
The AFL-CIO Office of the President transferred these records to the George Meany Memorial Archives in 1983. 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.
Sarah Springer at the George Meany Memorial Archives initially processed these records in 2000. The University of Maryland Libraries received the records and the finding aid in 2013. In 2017, Bria Parker migrated the information contained in this finding aid from the George Meany Memorial Archives' Eloquent system. All migrated finding aids have been cleaned using OpenRefine software and ingested into ArchivesSpace using programmatic scripts created in Python. Upon ingest, Rebecca Thayer reviewed and minor revisions to this finding aid. Revisions include changes to biographical/historical notes, scope and content notes, and the creation of new collection numbers. Rebecca Thayer also enhanced custodial histories and re-wrote collection titles to better conform to archival standards.