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AFSCME Central Files Department Records

 Collection
Identifier: LR002070
The material in this collection reflects the broad range of operational activities undertaken by the AFSCME International Headquarters in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The records reveal information on most aspects of the union’s procedures including organizing campaigns, legal issues such as jurisdictional disputes with other unions and members’ grievance claims, and financial matters like per capita taxes. Material on councils and locals throughout North America appears, as well as information on AFSCME’s dealings with organizations, government entities, and other unions.

The records are primarily comprised of correspondence, but other types of records also appear including legal and policy memoranda, financial statements, legal decisions, transcripts from hearings and proceedings, meeting minutes, procedures, by-laws, grievance claims, membership lists, staff activity reports, press releases, and news clippings.

Important Subjects: Grievance procedures Labor disputes Labor unions—Finance Labor unions—Jurisdictional disputes Labor unions—Law and legislation—United States Labor unions—Organizing United States. Labor Management Relations Act, 1947 United States. Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959

Important Names: Ames, Joseph Lynn, 1925- Chapman, Gordon Warner, 1907- Gotbaum, Victor Grosvenor, Robert C. Hastings, Robert H. Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978 King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 Kramer, Leo Lewis, John Llewellyn, 1880-1969 Lucy, William McEntee, Gerald W. Newman, Winn, 1924-1994 Rosenberg, Ronald Russell, William Wurf, Jerry, 1919- Zander, Arnold S. (Arnold Scheuer), 1901-1975 Zwerdling, Abe L.
Part 1 Series Description: Series I: Article XXI Cases, 1962-1965 Article XXI of the AFL-CIO Constitution adjudicates complaints of raiding by one AFL-CIO union against another. Because filed under the AFL-CIO Constitution, these complaints are processed at the AFSCME International Union level, though they address problems at the local union level. The files in this series describe various cases brought under Article XXI.

Series II: General Correspondence, 1948-1966, bulk 1962-1965 This series contains general correspondence between AFSCME and various associations, unions, and individuals. Topics include labor law, union jurisdictional disputes, and AFSCME organizing, among others.

Series III: Council and Local Files, 1950-1969, bulk 1962-1965 This series primarily contains correspondence between the AFSCME International Union and its numerous councils and locals around North America. Topics include strikes and collective bargaining campaigns, international dues and financial issues, and organizing and chartering of new locals.

Series IV: Article XX Cases, 1959-1971, bulk 1964-1970 Like Article XXI, Article XX provides procedures for settling jurisdictional disputes between different AFL-CIO affiliated unions. The files in this series describe various cases involving AFSCME locals brought under Article XX.

Series V: Reading Files, Legal Department, 1970-1971 This series consists of correspondence, memoranda, and case summaries from AFSCME’s legal department. These cases deal with personnel grievances, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claims, interpretation and application of AFSCME’s constitution and by-laws, and the legal issues surrounding collective bargaining negotiations and strikes.
Part 2 Series Description: Series VI: AFL-CIO Files, 1966-1970 This series contains correspondence between AFSCME and various entities affiliated with the AFL-CIO, including departments, affiliate unions, and state and local central bodies.

Series VII: Associations Files, 1957-1970, bulk 1966-1970 This series contains correspondence between AFSCME and various national associations.

Series VIII: Executive Files, 1965-1970 This series contains correspondence, policy memoranda, economic data, and material related to internal AFSCME policies and procedures and related to various departments in the United States government.

Series IX: Legislation Files, 1966-1970 This series contains correspondence and memoranda relating to labor law in individual states, federal labor law, the internal AFSCME by-laws and constitution, court cases in which AFSCME was a party, and other issues encountered by the AFSCME legal department.

Series X: Councils Files, 1944-1970, bulk 1965-1970 This series contains primarily correspondence between AFSCME international union and its numerous councils around North America. Topics include strikes and collective bargaining campaigns, international dues and financial issues, grievances, and trusteeships.

Series XI: Local Files, 1959-1974, bulk 1969-1973 This series contains primarily correspondence between the AFSCME International Union and its numerous locals around North America. Topics include strikes and collective bargaining campaigns, international dues and financial issues, grievances, trusteeships, and organizing and chartering of new locals.

Dates

  • 1944 - 1974
  • Majority of material found within 1962 - 1973

Creator

Language of Materials

Material almost entirely in English. A few items in Spanish.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.

Extent

22 Linear Feet (22 SB)

Abstract

The AFSCME Central Files Department was established in 1966 to which all departments within the international headquarters contributed correspondence and reports so all material related to a particular incident would be filed together. In 1974, Dr. Philip Mason of the Reuther Library at Wayne State completed a thorough records management survey of AFSCME and recommended that the Central Files Department be dissolved and that individual departments maintain their own records. His recommendation was enacted that same year.

The material in this collection reflects the broad range of operational activities undertaken by the AFSCME International Headquarters in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The records reveal information on most aspects of the union’s procedures, on councils and locals throughout North America, and on AFSCME’s dealings with organizations, government entities, and other unions. The records are primarily comprised of correspondence, but other types of records also appear including legal and policy memoranda, financial statements, legal decisions, transcripts from hearings and proceedings, meeting minutes, procedures, by-laws, grievance claims, membership lists, staff activity reports, press releases, and news clippings.

History

At the recommendation of a private management consultant firm, National Records Management Council (NAREMCO), AFSCME established the Central Files Department in 1966. All departments within AFSCME International Headquarters sent copies of correspondence, reports, and other records to Central Files so that all material related to a particular transaction, incident, or individual would be filed together.

In conjunction with the Reuther Library at Wayne State becoming the official repository for the AFSCME International Headquarters, the Reuther’s director Dr. Philip Mason conducted an extensive records management survey of AFSCME in late 1973 and early 1974. After completing the survey, Dr. Mason recommended that Central Files be abolished, and separate, individual departments maintain their own records. James O’Malley, director of AFSCME’s Business Office at the time agreed with Dr. Mason’s recommendation. By the end of 1974, the Central Files Department was dissolved.

It seems that in the eight years the Central Files Department existed, AFSCME grew too large, and maintaining Central Files became unwieldy. Further, Dr. Mason’s survey of individual department needs led him to believe they would be better served and could function more efficiently by maintaining their own files. Parts 1 and 2 of this collection arrived at the Reuther as separate lots with slightly different organization schemes. Generally, Part 2 includes material from a slightly later time period.

Arrangement

Arranged in 11 series – Series 1 (Box 1), Series 2 (Boxes 1-3), Series 3 (Boxes 4-13), Series 4 (Boxes 13-15), Series 5 (Boxes 15-16), Series 6 (Box 16), Series 7 (Box 16), Series 8 (Box 16), Series 9 (Boxes 16-17), Series 10 (Boxes 17-18), Series 11 (Boxes 18-22).

The eleven series are arranged in original order. Series I is arranged by case number. Each case number is assigned somewhat chronologically. The first number of the case number refers to the year in which the case occurred. For example, Case #62-65 happened in 1962 while Case #64-102 happened in 1964. Following the cases are general files about Article XXI cases. Papers are arranged chronologically within files.

The files in Series II are arranged alphabetically, and the papers are chronological within the folders. Series III is arranged alphabetically by state. Within each state, files are numerical by council, then by local. Papers are chronological within the folders. Series IV, like Series I, is arranged by case number. Papers are arranged chronologically within folders. Series V is arranged chronologically. Series VI-IX are in original order, arranged according to internal AFSCME division. Papers are chronological within folders.

Series X is ordered numerically by Council number. Regional council files come alphabetically after individual state council files. Further organizational divisions within this series represent internal AFSCME organization. Papers are arranged chronologically within folders. Series XI is ordered numerically by local number. Again, further organizational divisions within this series represent internal AFSCME organization. Papers are arranged chronologically within folders.

Acquisition

The lots of the AFSCME Central Files Department were placed with the Walter P. Reuther Library in the early 1970s and were opened for research in June 2009.

Related Materials

Because the Central Files Department was dissolved and each separate department began keeping its own records, most of the department collections for AFSCME will have similar material to that found in the Central Files Records, though likely from different time periods.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Johanna Russ in June 2009.

Creator

Title
Guide to the AFSCME Central Files Department Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Johanna Russ.
Date
2009-06
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA