Scope and Content of the Collection
This collection contains copies of AFL, CIO, and AFL-CIO state charters and related correspondence gathered or generated by the AFL-CIO Organization and Field Services Department. AFL charter materials date 1890-1955, CIO materials from 1937-1956, and AFL-CIO materials from 1956-1985. The bulk of all materials date from the 1930s to the 1950s, with an especially large amount of material and charter copies for the years 1956 to 1958 after the national AFL and CIO merged.
The charters empower state central bodies, "composed of and supported by the different local unions in the particular state, to function to advance the state-wide interest of labor and represent labor on state legislative matters." Included with the copied state charters are forms, memoranda and correspondence relating to routine applications for, changes in, and approvals of the various charters and state central constitutions. Correspondence proceeding to the 1980s after the original issue of charters, deals with the reissuing of charters and proposed changes in state constitutions.
In some cases, no charter copies or materials relating to charters are present for AFL or CIO state bodies either because none was granted or for some other unknown reason. For instance, while a state AFL charter was granted for Massachusetts, no corresponding charter copy or related material is present in the collection.