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AFSCME Office of the Secretary-Treasurer: William Lucy Records

 Collection
Identifier: LR001989
The AFSCME Office of the Secretary-Treasurer: William Lucy Records document the activities and operations of AFSCME International, the Office of the Secretary-Treasurer, and AFSCME’s state and local councils. The Records also convey the actions of William Lucy in a number of labor and civil rights organizations. The Records include correspondence, reports, speeches, financial information, legal documents, convention transcripts and proceedings, publications, and meeting minutes. Several boxes of audio recordings of International Executive Board meetings are included, and a very small number of photographs appear in the collection.

Records in Series II: Associations were retained only if they related directly to AFSCME or Lucy’s interactions with the association. Records that document the everyday activities of these associations, such as publications and generic form letters that either reported on an organization’s activities or solicited monetary donations, were not kept unless they related directly to AFSCME or Lucy’s actions. Lucy served as a board member for many of these organizations, but his name listed among other board members on letterhead was not enough to ensure that records were kept. The records in this series document the substantive interaction of AFSCME and/or Lucy with these groups.

Important Subjects: Apartheid—Africa, Southern Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (U.S.) Council of Institutional Investors Equal rights amendments Jim Hunt Committee National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Pay equity Public Services International Sex discrimination against women—Law and legislation Transafrica Forum (Organization) Important Names: Ames, Joseph Lynn, 1925- Ball, Leonard C. Balow, Marcia Barry, Marion, 1936- Ciampa, P.J. Clinton, Bill, 1946- Fauntroy, Walter E. Gotbaum, Victor Harrington, Michael, 1928-1989 Hooks, Benjamin L. (Benjamin Lawson), 1925-2010 Jackson, Jesse, 1941- Jordan, Vernon E. (Vernon Eulion), 1935- Kennedy, Edward Moore, 1932-2009 King, Coretta Scott, 1927-2006 Lucy, William Mandela, Nelson, 1918- McEntee, Gerald W. Newman, Winn Regenstreif, Steven Roberts, Lillian Robinson, Randall, 1941- Sheffield, Horace Trask, David Watkins, Vernon Wurf, Jerry, 1919-

Series Description: Series I: State and Country Files, 1972-2000 Files in this series relate to AFSCME activities in the American states and in foreign countries. Correspondence, reports, publications, and financial and legal documents from the states relate to the activities, administratorships, dues payments, and legal disputes of AFSCME Councils and Locals. District of Columbia files and foreign country files more frequently represent activities of William Lucy personally as a representative of AFSCME. Filed at the end are publications from AFSCME Councils and Locals.

Series II: Associations, 1972-2000 This series includes correspondence, reports, and memos from a variety of organizations with which AFSCME and Lucy were involved and to which AFSCME and Lucy provided financial support. Lucy served as a board member or in another leadership position for a variety of organizations throughout his career, including most of those represented in this series. Some organizations in which Lucy held a leadership position include:

African American Institute America’s Black Forum Americans for Democratic Action American Institute for Public Service A merican Life Insurance (AIL) Center for Policy Alternatives Citizens Against Nuclear War (CAN) Council on Foreign Relations D.C. Manpower Services Planning Council D.C. Sports Commission Democratic National Committee District Cablevision, Inc. Duke Ellington School for the Arts Gas Research Institute Human Rights Campaign Fund Institute for Civil Justice International Labor Rights Education & Research Fund Labor Institute for Human Enrichment Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Social Change National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) National Bank of Washington National Black Leadership Roundtable National Black United Fund National Caucus on the Black Aged National Coalition on Black Voter Participation National Commission on Working Women National Committee for Urban Recreation National Conference of Christians & Jews National Council on Aging National Summit on Africa National Urban Coalition Operation PUSH Pacifica Foundation Progressive Alliance Southern Labor Institute Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund TransAfrica Forum United Negro College Fund Urban Environment Conference Voter Education Project Workers’ Institute for Safety & Health (WISH)

Series III: AFSCME, 1971-2000 Subseries A: Departments Correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, and other documents from various AFSCME International departments and committees as well as AFSCME’s political action committee, Public Employees Organized to Promote Legislative Equality (PEOPLE).

Subseries B: Finances Financial documents of AFSCME International including budgets, quarterly reports, and audits, as well as information about the AFSCME pension fund and the contributions of PEOPLE.

Subseries C: Publications AFSCME-produced publications.

Subseries D: Committees Minutes, documents, and correspondence from various internal AFSCME committees.

Subseries E: Conventions Reports, correspondence, transcripts, and supporting documents regarding the biennial AFSCME International conventions and various AFL-CIO conventions. The dates, locations, and themes for the AFSCME conventions during Lucy’s tenure are as follows:

19th: Houston, TX; 1972 May 29-June 2; ESP Economic Action, Social Action, Political Action 20th: Honolulu, HI; 1974 June 10-14; The Quality Union 21st: Washington, DC; 1975 February 8; (special) 22nd: Miami Beach, FL; 1976 June 14-18; People & Jobs 23rd: Las Vegas, NV; 1978 June 26-30; In the Public Service 24th: Anaheim, CA; 1980 June 9-13; Decade for Decisions 25th: Atlantic City, NJ; 1982 June 21-25; AFSCME Fights Back 26th: San Francisco, CA; 1984 June 18-22; Winning the Fight 27th: Chicago, IL; 1986 June 23-27; 50 Years Caring for America 28th: Los Angeles, CA; 1988 June 20-24; The Union for America’s Future 29th: Miami, FL; 1990 June 25-29; Our Union – Working for the American Family 30th: Las Vegas, NV; 1992 June 15-19; AFSCME’s Vision for a Better America 31st: San Diego, CA; 1994 June 25 - July 1; Proud of Our Past – Building Our Future 32nd: Chicago, IL; 1996 June 17-21; Leading the Fight 33rd: Honolulu, HI; 1998 August 24-28; Fighting for the Future 34th: Philadelphia, PA; 2000 June 26-30; The Future is Now 35th: Las Vegas, NV; 2002 June 24-28; AFSCME In the Public Service 36th: Anaheim, CA; 2004 June 21-25; AFSCME in the 21st Century 37th: Chicago, IL; 2006 August 7-11; We Fight We Win! 38th: San Francisco, CA; 2008 July 28-August 1 40th: Boston, MA; 2010 June 28-July 2; Ready to Fight, Ready to Lead

A handful of files on various AFL-CIO conferences appear at the end of this subseries.

Subseries F: International Executive Board (IEB) Reports, correspondence, transcripts, supporting documents, and minutes regarding IEB meetings. See also Series VI.

Subseries G: Judicial Panel Reports, correspondence, transcripts, decisions, and case files regarding cases and issues brought before the AFSCME International Judicial Panel. Judicial Panel case numbers are assigned first by year, and then by sequence. For instance, 82-45 means the 45th case from 1982.

Subseries H: International Vice Presidents Correspondence and other documents related to the activities, accomplishments, and elections of AFSCME’s international vice presidents.

Series IV: William Lucy, 1970-2000, Undated Subseries A: Speeches This series includes transcripts of speeches and interviews given by William Lucy. Transcripts from three speeches given by former AFSCME President Jerry Wurf in the early 1970s are included at the end of this series.

Subseries B: Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) Correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, and supporting documents regarding CBTU’s operations, conventions, and Lucy’s role in its founding.

Subseries C: Correspondence Files This series includes a small portion of Lucy’s personal correspondence as well as official AFSCME “Read Files”—copies of letters sent out by the Office of the Secretary- Treasurer, filed chronologically by year. Some correspondence from former President Wurf also appears.

Series V: Public Services International (PSI), 1979-2000 Founded in 1907, Public Services International is a global union federation for public sector trade unions. As of 2011, PSI represented 650 affiliated unions in 148 countries and territories. PSI represents public sector workers and unions in the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations body for labor issues. Bill Lucy was active in PSI throughout his tenure as AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer, rising to leadership positions in the 1990s, including President in 1994. This series includes correspondence, reports, minutes, and supporting documents regarding the activities, meetings, and conferences of PSI. Some publications from and documents related to meetings and conferences of ILO and ICFTU (International Confederation of Free Trade Unions) also appear in this series.

Series VI: Audio Visual Materials, 1978-2001 The vast majority of this series is comprised of audio recordings of the proceedings of AFSCME International Executive Board (IEB) meetings. The IEB meets quarterly, with a fifth meeting after convention every two years and occasional special meetings. A handful of other recordings appear in this series, including council and local conventions, Lucy’s speech at one council convention, and recordings of hearings before the IEB. Most are recorded on audiotape, but a few reel-to-reel recordings also appear. A handful of photographs from Box 43 Folder 27 of the commemoration in Memphis of the first anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination are also included in this series. This series is stored in the Reuther Library Audio Visual Department.

Dates

  • 1970 - 2001
  • Majority of material found within 1972 - 2000

Creator

Language of Materials

Material mostly in English with some foreign languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Japanese, represented.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

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

Extent

88 Linear Feet (88 SB)

Abstract

The AFSCME Office of the Secretary-Treasurer oversees the general financial health of the international union, keeping records for its locals, councils, and the headquarters staff. The Office keeps files on council and local trusteeships, maintains per capita dues payments by locals and councils, issues charters to new locals, and suspends and disbands locals or councils when problems arise. William Lucy held this position for 38 years, 1972-2010.

Lucy joined AFSCME as a civil engineer in Contra Costa, CA in 1956. A decade later, he was working for the International in Washington, D.C. Proving his leadership abilities during the 1968 sanitation workers strike in Memphis, during which Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated, Lucy became AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer in 1972. Alongside his work with AFSCME, Lucy also served with countless labor, civil rights, and civic organizations to advance causes for blacks, women, and workers locally in Washington, D.C., nationally, and internationally. Lucy helped found the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) in 1972 to represent African Americans in the labor movement. He was instrumental in the Free South Africa Movement's efforts to end apartheid in South Africa. He served as president of Public Services International (PSI) and as a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council. These activities are reflected in the Records. Lucy retired from the position of Secretary-Treasurer in July 2010 at the AFSCME biennial convention.

The AFSCME Office of the Secretary-Treasurer: William Lucy Records document the activities and operations of AFSCME International, the Office of the Secretary-Treasurer, and AFSCME’s state and local councils. The Records also convey the actions of William Lucy in a number of labor and civil rights organizations, including TransAfrica, the NAACP, CBTU, PSI, and the AFL-CIO. The Records include correspondence, reports, speeches, financial information, legal documents, convention transcripts and proceedings, publications, and meeting minutes. Several boxes of audio recordings of International Executive Board meetings are included, and a very small number of photographs appear in the collection.

History

According to the Office of the Secretary-Treasurer’s Convention Report, “The International Constitution establishes the International Secretary-Treasurer as the chief financial and recording officer of AFSCME. Among the responsibilities: maintaining AFSCME’s accounts, preserving the official documents of the International union and providing regular reports to the membership on the financial status of the union. Such reporting includes quarterly financial reports, annual audits and the report to the biennial Convention.” The Secretary-Treasurer's Office oversees the general financial health of the international union, keeping records for its locals, councils, and the headquarters staff. The Office keeps files on council and local trusteeships and administratorships, maintains per capita dues payments by AFSCME locals and councils, issues charters to new locals, and suspends and disbands locals or councils when problems arise. The position of Secretary-Treasurer is the second most powerful in the organization after the President.

Unlike AFSCME’s Office of the President, the Office of the Secretary-Treasurer has seen several occupants. Tenures and office holders are as follows:

1935-1936: Roy Kubista 1936-July 15, 1937: David Kanes July 15, 1937-October 4, 1944: Gordon Chapman October 5, 1944-1948: H.Z. Collier 1948-May 1962: Gordon Chapman June 1961-1962: James McCormack 1962-1966: Gordon Chapman 1966-1972: Joseph Ames 1972-2010: William Lucy 2010-present: Lee Saunders

The records in this collection come from William Lucy’s 38-year tenure.

William Lucy was born November 26, 1933 in Memphis, Tennessee. He attended the University of California at Berkeley and became a civil engineer in Contra Costa, CA in 1956 where he joined AFSCME Local 1675. By 1965, he was president of his local. He caught the eye of AFSCME International president Jerry Wurf, and in 1966 Wurf invited the rising star to move to Washington, D.C. to work for the International. Lucy was Associate Director of the Legislation and Community Affairs Departments, and eventually, he became Wurf’s executive assistant.

In 1968, Lucy was overseeing the administratorship of AFSCME Council 77 in Detroit when he was called to Memphis to assist with the strike of sanitation workers seeking recognition of AFSCME Local 1733. Lucy provided strong leadership throughout the campaign, working with AFSCME leaders Jerry Wurf, P.J. Ciampa, and T.O. Jones, and national civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr., Roy Wilkins, and Bayard Rustin. While lending support to the strikers, King was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Not long after, on April 16, 1968, the City of Memphis recognized Local 1733 and agreed to a contract with the sanitation workers. Lucy went on to work with other campaigns such as the 1970 sanitation workers strike in Atlanta.

At the 1972 AFSCME biennial convention in Houston, Secretary-Treasurer Joseph Ames was elected to the newly full-time, salaried post of Judicial Panel Chairman. William Lucy was elected to fill Ames’s position as AFSCME International Secretary-Treasurer, a role he would play for the next thirty-eight years.

Also in 1972, William Lucy helped to found the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), an organization devoted to representing African American workers within the labor movement. Lucy was elected president of CBTU, a position he continues to hold in 2011. This organization has worked toward improving working environments and opportunities for African Americans, and, more recently, toward including more diverse leadership in the labor movement. In 1974, it became the first American labor organization to voice strong condemnation of South African apartheid.

Now on the national stage, Lucy became involved in a large number of national associations. Through AFSCME, he worked with the AFL-CIO’s Industrial Union Department (IUD), Department of Professional Employees (DPE), and Maritime Trades Department (MTD). He also rose to leadership positions in various civil rights organizations such as the NAACP, the National Urban Coalition, and the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Lucy also worked locally with a variety of civic organizations in Washington, D.C. He was involved with the development of the D.C. Convention Center, campaigned for D.C. home rule, and worked on the D.C. Sports Commission. During the 1970s, Lucy and AFSCME also participated in the movement to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

In the 1980s, Lucy worked extremely hard on one particular cause. Lucy was on the executive board of TransAfrica Forum, an African American human rights group that advocates for freedom and justice in Africa. In November 1984, Lucy, along with Dr. Mary Frances Berry, D.C. Congressman Walter Fauntroy, TransAfrica Director Randall Robinson, Dr. Sylvia Hill, and Roger Wilkins formed the Free South Africa Movement (FSAM) to coordinate protests and demonstrations against South Africa’s apartheid regime. This grass roots movement organized daily protests at the South African embassy in Washington, D.C., that saw arrests of many leaders and celebrities over the years. FSAM also put pressure on government officials to divest from South Africa and on consumers to boycott corporations that invested and traded with the apartheid regime. In 1989, long time apartheid leader P.W. Botha stepped down, and F.W. de Klerk became president. On February 11, 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years. FSAM members helped organize an 11-day, 7-city tour of America for Mandela. Stops included the 1990 AFSCME Convention in Miami, as well as the UAW Convention in Detroit. FSAM had counted the labor movement as a strong ally in its fight to rid South Africa of the apartheid government. In 1994, Lucy led an AFL-CIO delegation to monitor South Africa’s elections, which resulted in Mandela winning the presidency.

During the 1980s, Lucy was also involved in creating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a national holiday. A bill declaring King’s birthday as a holiday was passed in 1983, and the first King Day was observed in 1986. Additionally, throughout his career, Lucy and AFSCME helped to increase registration and turnout among African American voters. The 1980s also saw Lucy and AFSCME’s work toward pay equity for women workers, especially related to a case waged in Washington state by AFSCME Council 28 and their involvement with the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW).

Jerry Wurf, AFSCME’s president since 1964, died in 1981. An AFSCME International Executive Board (IEB) meeting was held to elect someone to finish out Wurf’s term until the full union could vote at the 1982 biennial convention in Atlantic City. Because Lucy had been in the number-two position in AFSCME for nine years at that point, many people believed he was a leading contender for president. A successful, young organizer from Pennsylvania, Gerald McEntee, was also in the running, however, and garnered enough votes to win the presidency. McEntee retained the position at the full convention vote in 1982, and continues to hold the presidency in 2011.

Lucy continued as Secretary-Treasurer, expanding his leadership roles in the national and international labor movements. AFSCME and Lucy had been involved with Public Services International (PSI), an global group of public service unions, for decades, and in 1994, Lucy was elected president of the organization. In 1995, he was also elected to the executive council of the AFL-CIO, a position he retains in 2011.

At the 2010 AFSCME Convention in Boston, William Lucy retired as Secretary-Treasurer. He had held this position for 38 years, but he had begun his relationship with AFSCME as a rank and file member 54 years earlier. Lee Saunders was elected to succeed Lucy as AFSCME International Secretary-Treasurer. Lucy remains president of CBTU and an active member of the AFL-CIO executive council in 2011.

Arrangement

Arranged in six series – Series I (Boxes 1-42), Series II (Boxes 42-62), Series III (Boxes 62-73), Series IV (Boxes 73-78), Series V (Boxes 78-84), and Series VI (Boxes 85-88).

Series I is arranged chronologically by year, and alphabetically by state within each year. Foreign countries come alphabetically after the states for each applicable year. Publications are arranged alphabetically by state and chronologically within states, and they come after all of the state folders.

Series II is arranged chronologically by year, and alphabetically by organization name within each year.

Series III is divided into eight subseries. Subseries A (Boxes 62-65) is arranged chronologically by year and alphabetically by department name within each year. Subseries B (Boxes 65-66) is arranged alphabetically by report title and chronologically within each title. Subseries C (Box 66) is arranged alphabetically by publication title. Subseries D (Box 66) is arranged alphabetically by committee name. Subseries E (Boxes 67-71) is arranged chronologically by convention date. AFL-CIO Conventions come after AFSCME conventions, also chronologically. Subseries F (Boxes 71-72) is arranged chronologically by IEB meeting. Subseries G (Boxes 72-73) is arranged chronologically by judicial panel case. Subseries H (Box 73) is arranged chronologically.

Series IV is divided into three subseries. Subseries A (Boxes 73-76) is arranged chronologically, with the three early 70s Wurf speeches coming after all of the Lucy speeches. Subseries B (Boxes 76-77) is arranged first chronologically by year, then alphabetically within each year. Subseries C (Boxes 77-78) is arranged chronologically.

Series V and VI are arranged chronologically.

Acquisition

The AFSCME Office of the Secretary-Treasurer: William Lucy Records were first deposited at the Walter P. Reuther Library at the beginning of William Lucy’s tenure as secretary-treasurer in 1972. Subsequent deposits have occurred throughout Mr. Lucy’s tenure until shortly after his retirement in 2010. Secretary-Treasurer Office Records for Lee Saunders, Mr. Lucy’s successor, will be deposited at the Walter P. Reuther Library as well.

Other Copies

Materials in Series V: Public Services International (PSI) likely also exist in the PSI Archives in Bonn, Germany. Materials related to the AFL-CIO are possibly duplicated at the George Meany Archives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Related Materials

Many other records from the AFSCME collections relate to the material found here, including AFSCME Office of the President: Jerry Wurf Records, AFSCME Office of the President: Gerald McEntee Records, AFSCME Office of the Secretary-Treasurer: Gordon Chapman Records, AFSCME Office of the Secretary-Treasurer: Gordon Chapman/Joseph Ames Records, AFSCME Judicial Panel Records, and AFSCME International Executive Board Records. Also related are the published AFSCME Convention Proceedings that are in the Library collection. The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) Records also have related material. Two letters were removed from the collection and are stored in the Reuther Library vault. Photocopies of these letters appear in the original folders. The first, in 47-24, has the signature of Ted Kennedy, and the second, in 67-20, has the signature of Jimmy Carter.

Transfers

Four boxes of audiotapes, Series VI, are stored in the Reuther Library Audio Visual Department stacks. One folder of photographs is stored in the Reuther Library Audio Visual Department Room 354 Small Collections Cabinet.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Johanna Russ on August 23, 2011.

Creator

Title
Guide to the AFSCME Office of the Secretary-Treasurer: William Lucy Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Johanna Russ.
Date
2011-08-23
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
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Detroit MI 48202 USA