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SEIU Secretary-Treasurer's Office: Richard Cordtz Records

 Collection
Identifier: LR001887

Scope and Content

The majority of the records in this collection are from Cordtz’s time as International Secretary-Treasurer. The collection is divided into four series. Series I: Meetings, Speeches, and Conferences, contains meeting minutes and agenda, speeches, conference ephemera, and correspondence related to Cordtz’ positions as International Secretary-Treasurer and President of Local 79. Series II: Revoked Locals, contains charters, correspondence, and bonding documents from revoked, amalgamated, and disbanded locals over the course of 1940-1992. Series III: Topical Files, contains subject files mostly created during Cordtz’s tenure, relating to both his SEIU positions and his external interests. Series IV Historical Files, contains historical materials that Cordtz appears to have inherited from his predecessors. These historical SEIU records include booklets and pamphlets, but most significantly, include correspondence from the 1920s to SEIU’s first president, William Quesse, as well as correspondence related to George Hardy’s 1974 White House testimony at the Conference on Inflation, such as signed letters from President Gerald Ford.

Series Description: Series I: Meetings, Speeches, and Conferences, 1980-1995 Series II: Revoked Locals, 1940-1992 Series III: Topical Files, 1970-1990 Series IV: Historical Files, 1920-1974

Dates

  • 1920 - 1995
  • Majority of material found within 1980 - 1992

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

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.

History

Richard Cordtz’s affiliation with SEIU spanned nearly 50 years, beginning in the late 1940s as a member of Local 102 while he worked at the Del Mar Racetrack, and ending in 1996 as President of the International. During his journey from member to president, Cordtz held a variety of positions within SEIU including union organizer, Local 79 President, Joint Council 35 President, Central States Conference President, and Secretary-Treasurer of the International. Cordtz was also active in the AFL-CIO serving as Vice-President of Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Michigan AFL-CIO. Cordtz was elected to Secretary-Treasurer in 1980 and remained in this position until President John J. Sweeney resigned to assume presidency of the AFL-CIO in October 1995. Cordtz was immediately elected president to finish Sweeney’s term (through April 1996). Cordtz initially planned to run for reelection, but ceased his bid when it became clear that opponent Andy Stern held more support.

Extent

13 Linear Feet (13 SB)

Abstract

Richard Cordtz’s affiliation with SEIU spanned nearly 50 years, beginning in the late 1940s as a member of Local 102 while he worked at the Del Mar Racetrack, and ending in 1996 as President of the International. During his journey from member to president, Cordtz held a variety of positions within SEIU including union organizer, Local 79 President, Joint Council 35 President, Central States Conference President, and Secretary-Treasurer of the International. Cordtz was also active in the AFL-CIO serving as Vice-President of Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Michigan AFL-CIO. Cordtz was elected to Secretary-Treasurer in 1980 and remained in this position until President John J. Sweeney resigned to assume presidency of the AFL-CIO in October 1995. Cordtz was immediately elected president to finish Sweeney’s term (through April 1996). Cordtz initially planned to run for reelection, but ceased his bid when it became clear that opponent Andy Stern held more support.

The majority of the records in this collection are from Cordtz’s time as International Secretary-Treasurer. The collection is divided into four series. Series I: Meetings, Speeches, and Conferences, contains meeting minutes and agenda, speeches, conference ephemera, and correspondence related to Cordtz’ positions as International Secretary-Treasurer and President of Local 79. Series II: Revoked Locals, contains charters, correspondence, and bonding documents from revoked, amalgamated, and disbanded locals over the course of 1940-1992. Series III: Topical Files, contains subject files mostly created during Cordtz’s tenure, relating to both his SEIU positions and his external interests. Series IV Historical Files, contains historical materials that Cordtz appears to have inherited from his predecessors. These historical SEIU records include booklets and pamphlets, but most significantly, include correspondence from the 1920s to SEIU’s first president, William Quesse, as well as correspondence related to George Hardy’s 1974 White House testimony at the Conference on Inflation, such as signed letters from President Gerald Ford.

Arrangement

Arranged in 4 series - Series 1 (Boxes 1-8), Series 2 (Boxes 8-12), Series 3 (Boxes 12-13), and Series 4 (Box 13). Folders in each series are simply listed by their location within each box. Each series is arranged based on its original order, with Series I arranged chronologically, Series II arranged numerically based on Local or Joint Council number, Series III arranged alphabetically, and Series IV arranged chronologically. However, any given subject may be dispersed throughout several boxes within each series based on specific folder titles (original titles were retained).

Acquisition

The SEIU Secretary-Treasurer’s Office: Richard Cordtz Records were deposited by SEIU (Anna Burger), at the Reuther Library in September 1997. The Reuther Library serves as the official repository for SEIU.

Related Materials

SEIU Local 79 Records, SEIU Executive Office: John Sweeney Records, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer’s Office: Constitutions and By-Laws Records, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer’s Office: International Executive Board Records, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer’s Office: Subject File Records, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer’s Office: Affiliate Officers Records

Transfers

Photographs (see Audiovisual Department) have been moved to the Reuther’s Audiovisual Department.

Signed original letters from President Gerald Ford in Box 13, folder 83 have been moved to the vault.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Alexandra A. A. Orchard on January 30, 2013
Title
Guide to the SEIU Secretary-Treasurer's Office: Richard Cordtz Records
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Alexandra A. A. Orchard.
Date
2013-01-30
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA