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Michigan AFL-CIO Records

Identifier: LR000102
The majority of the collection consists of the files of the Michigan CIO Council prior to its merger with the Michigan Federation of Labor.

Important subjects: AFL-CIO merger anti-labor legislation Christian Labor Association civil rights discrimination election campaigns - local, state, and national equal rights and equal pay for women expulsion of the United Electrical Workers farm labor, farmers unions Federal wage and hours legislation FEPC Ford Strike, 1949 importation of Mexican agricultural workers international labor standards Labor's League for Political Education legislative apportionment and redistricting McCarran-Walter Act Michigan Committee on Civil Rights Michigan Labor Committee Against Peacetime Conscription organization of telephone workers peacetime draft controversy, 1945-1947 Progressive Party/Henry Wallace campaign, 1948 public housing rent control St. Lawrence Seaway Student League for Industrial Democracy Unemployment and workmen's compensation legislation - State Federal use of POW's in Michigan lumber industry (Mead Committee) worker's education

Series Description: Series 1, Michigan CIO President, 1943-1954: Correspondence, memoranda, reports, clippings, resolutions, minutes, and miscellaneous materials comprising the general office files of Michigan CIO PResidents (John Gibson (1943-1946), and August Scholle (1940-1943, 1946- ). Among the materials is information on anti-labor legislation, the use of POW's in Michigan lumber industry (Mead Committee), civil rights, political activities, and various international unions and state, country, and local CIO Councils.

Series 2, Michigan CIO Secretary-Treasurer, 1939-1954: General office files consisting of correspondence, notes, reports, memoranda, arrangements for and proceedings of Michigan CIO conventions, clippings, and miscellaneous materials. Included is information on peacetime conscription (1945-1947); civil rights, discrimination, and FEPC; rent control and public housing; Federal wage and hours legislation; equal rights and equal pay for women; international labor standards; St. Lawrence Seaway; expulsion of the United Electrical Workers; farm labor, farmers unions; and importation of Mexican agricultural workers; local, state, and national election campaigns; the organization of telephone workers; McCarran-Walter Act; AFL-CIO merger; and workers' educaiton.

Series 3, Tom Downs, 1947-1954: Correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports, notes, court decisions, pamphlets, clippings, hearings, and miscellaneous materials which comprised the files of Tom Downs, who served as Michigan CIO Council Representatitve, state legislative representatitve of teh CIO, and member of the Michigan Employment Security Commission. Subjects include state and federal unemployment workmen's compensation legislation, history of the Christian Labor Association, farm labor, Ford Strike (1949), and legislative apportionment and redistricting.

Series 4, Michigan CIO News, 1939-1952: Files of Ted Ogar, editor of the Michigan CIO News, consisting of clippings, correspondence, press releases received adn issuesd, notes, memoranda, and information on candidates for election issues; and financial records.

Series 5, Education Department, 1946-1955: Subjects inlude workers' education, Michigan Labor Committee Against Peacetime Conscription, equal rights for women, Michigan COmmittee on Civil Rights, Student League for Industrial Democracy, and the Hentry Wallace campaign (1948).

Series 6, Michigan Federation of Labor, 1940-1958: Financial records, Executive Baord minutes, correspondence, and miscellaneous materials of the Michigan Federation of Labor prior to the merger with the Mcihgian CIO Council (1958). Among the materials are items pertaining ot the activities of Labor's League of Political Education, equal pay for women, and the merger of the MFL and Michigal CIO Council. Also fo note is a listing of the officers of the Michigan Federation of Labor from 1908 to 1954.

Series 7, Miscellaneous adn Financial, 1939=1950: Financial records (1939-1943) and miscellaneous subject files (1946-1950).

Oversize: Eleven folders of posters on various ssubjects, including discrimnation, war and peace, union labels, and political activities.
Part II: The documents in this collection include correspondence, reports, minutes, proceedings and other convention material, clippings, press releases, publications, financial records, and biographical sketches related primarily to the work of the secretary-treasurer’s office during the administrations of Barney Hopkins, William Marshall, Walter Campbell and George Watts.

Important subjects in the collection: AFL-CIO PAC AFSCME Republican Party Contributions Community Service Romney Governorship COPE Romney-Scholle Debate Election Campaigns - Local, State & National UAW United Foundation FEPC Unemployment & Workmen’s Compensation Histadrut HRDI Voting Records - Local, State & National Legislative Apportionment & Redistricting Michigan Constitutional Convention Wayne County AFL-CIO Petroleum Industry Workers’ Education 1941 Diggs-Logie Horse Race Bill Conspiracy Important Correspondents in the collection: Cobo, Albert E. Randolph, A. Philip Chapple, Simon Reuther, Walter Ferency, Zolton Romney, George Ford, Gerald R. Rusk, Dean Griffin, Robert Rustin, Bayard Humphrey, Hubert H. Scholle, August Johnson, Lyndon B. Seldenright, Paul Kelley, Frank Stevenson, Adlai Kennedy, John F. Swainson, John Marshall, William Tennis, Darrell Milkethun, Gordon W. Totte, Ray Mowry, James A. Williams, G. Mennen Nixon, Richard M. Woodcock, Leonard Oliver, Ed Young, Coleman A.

Series Description: Series VIII, Secretary Treasurer, 1930-1981 Series IX, Meetings, 1968-1976 Series X, General, 1941-1976 Series XI, Clippings, 1940-1973 Series XII, Publications, 1930-1969


  • 1930 - 1981


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


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.


220.5 Linear Feet (205 MB, 116 SB, 2 OS)


Material consists of the files of the Michigan CIO Council prior to its merger with the Michigan Federation of Labor in 1958, as well as the work of the secretary-treasurer's office during the later administrations of William Marshall, Walter Campbell, and George Watts. Includes general office files of Michigan CIO Council presidents John Gibson and August Scholle (1943-54); Michigan CIO secretary-treasurers John Gibson, Ben Probe, and Barney Hopkins (1939-54); the files of Tom Downs relating to his work as Michigan CIO Council representative, state legislative representative of the CIO, and member of the Michigan Employment Security Commission (1947-54); the editor's files and financial records of the Michigan C/O News (1939-52); the Michigan CIO Education Department's general files (1946-55): Fair Employment Practices Committee files (1946-49): Radio Council files (1948-51), and files of summer schools and training institutes (1946-54); miscellaneous financial records, Executive Board minutes, and correspondence.

Subjects include AFSCME, AFL-CIO merger, anti-labor legislation, civil rights, COPE, election campaigns, equal rights for women, farm labor and farmers' unions, federal wage and hours legislation, FEPC, Ford Strike (1949), importation of Mexican farm workers, Labor's League for Political Education, legislative apportionment and redistricting, McCarran-Walter Act, peace- time draft controversy (1945-47), Michigan Constitutional Convention, Progressive Party/Henry Wallace campaign (1948), public housing and rent control, UAW, unemployment and workmen's compensation legislation, United Way, use of prisoners of war in the Michigan lumber industry, and workers education. Correspondents include prominent people active in politics, civil rights, labor, business, education, and civic affairs.


Part I: Arranged in 8 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-56), Series 2 (Boxes 57-124), Series 3 (Boxes 125-149), Series 4 (Boxes 150-153), Series 5 (Boxes 154-195), Series 6 (Boxes 196-204), Series 7 (Box 205 and ledger), and oversize. Folders are arranged alphabetically, chronologically or a combination thereof depending upon the series.
Part II: Arranged in 5 series - Series 8 (Boxes 206-269), Series 9 (Boxes 269-274), Series 10 (Boxes 275-301), Series 11 (Boxes 301-318), and Series 12 (Boxes 318-322).


The papers of the Michigan AFL-CIO were deposited with the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in 1963.


A large quantity of books, constitutions, convention material, and serials was transferred to the Archives Library and an audio recording, photographs, buttons, and bumper stickers were transferred to the Archives Audiovisual Department.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the Michigan AFL-CIO Records
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA