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Muriel Tuteur Papers

Identifier: LP001740

Scope and Content

The Muriel Tuteur Papers at the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs is a collection of her speeches and personal subject files, documenting her interests and involvement in union-sponsored childcare, women's issues, politics, the labor movement, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, union organizing, and early childhood education.

Important Subjects in the Collection: Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union Amalgamated Day Care and Health Center Child care—United States Civil Rights Coalition of Labor Union Women Consumer Protection Democratic Party Discrimination in Employment Equal Pay for Equal Work Equal Rights Amendment Feminism Free Trade Illinois Women’s Agenda NAFTA Political activism—Illinois—Chicago Political parties—Illinois Politics—Illinois Senior Citizens Sex Discrimination against Women Sweatshops Trade-unions and child care Trade-unions and education Trade-unions—Textile Workers Trade-unions—Organizing Women in politics—Illinois Women in politics—United States Women in the labor movement—Illinois Women in the labor movement—United States Women in trade-unions—United States Women labor leaders—Illinois Women—Employment—United States Women’s Rights—Illinois Women’s Rights—Societies, etc. Women’s Rights—United States Working Class—Education—United States Working Class Women—United States Youth— Employment


  • 1962 - 1999
  • Majority of material found within 1970 - 1999


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials


Muriel Friedman "Manny" Tuteur (b. 1922) spent a lifetime fighting for the rights of women and children, minorities and workers. Her work for a wide range of social improvements, from child care to a higher minimum wage, won her an equally wide range of honors and recognition over the years, including the Coalition of Labor Union Women's Florence Criley Award in 1982, the National Council of Jewish Women's Hannah G. Solomon Award in 1988, and induction into the Chicago Women's Hall of Fame in 1989. Muriel Tuteur has built a career around dedication to child welfare, social justice, and the labor movement.

Muriel Tuteur's involvement in the labor movement dates back to the 1940s when, as a University of Chicago student, she decided to work in the steel mills as part of the war effort (she received her B.A. in Sociology in 1943). From 1943-44, she worked as a milling machine operator at the U.S. Steel, South Works plant in Chicago. At that time, she met and married Charles Tuteur-a German Jew who had escaped to the U.S. a day before Hitler's Kristallnacht-and the couple moved to Vancouver, Washington in 1944. While in Vancouver, she worked as a shiplifter in the Kaiser Shipyards, from 1944-45. Both Muriel and Charles Tuteur enlisted in the Armed Forces in 1944-Muriel was accepted into the Women's Army Corps and received training at the Parachute Training School at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Returning to Chicago after the war, Tuteur worked as a caseworker for the Cook County Bureau of Public Welfare, and as a teacher for several Jewish Community Center preschools. Her interest in developing quality day care programs for working families led her to apply for a job with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU). In 1969, the ACTWU hired her to start the first union-sponsored day care center in the country: the Amalgamated Day Care and Health Center operated from 1969-1983, with Muriel Tuteur serving as Director throughout that entire period.

In addition to leadership in the field of child care and early childhood development, Muriel Tuteur's life reveals a commitment to women in the labor movement. An active member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), both the national organization and the CLUW Chicago Chapter, Tuteur has served as co-chair of CLUW's National Child Care Task Force, and as a member of CLUW's National Executive Board. In 1983, she was appointed Assistant Director of Education and Political Action for the Chicago and Central States Joint Board of the ACTWU, serving in that capacity for over a decade. As the assistant director, she has worked to protect the rights of textile workers. Muriel Tuteur has also served as an advisor to a variety of committees, national and local, related to women's, children's, and family issues, including the National Implementation Task Force of the White House Conference on Families, the Illinois Women's Agenda, and Women for Economic Justice.


12 Linear Feet (12 SB)


An active advocate for child welfare, social justice, and the labor movement, Muriel Tuteur held a variety of posts, including Director of the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) Day Care and Health Center, and Assistant Director of Education and Political Action for the Chicago and Central States Joint Board of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW). Ms. Tuteur's papers include personal subject files and speeches, documenting her interests and involvement in a broad range of social and political issues.


Folders are listed by their location within each box. They are not necessarily arranged, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout the entire collection.


A few photographs and memorabilia have been removed from the papers and placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collection.

Processing History

Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the Muriel Tuteur Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA