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Jay B. Krane Papers

Identifier: LP000614

Scope and Content

Series 1: CIO Paris Office, October 1948-May 1950 Materials include office log and CIO involvement with the European Recovery Plan, Organization for European Economic Cooperation, the Marshall Plan, and the Preparatory International Trade Union Committee which gave rise to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.

Series 2: International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, 1950-1961 Sub-series A: Proceedings of ICFTU committees Includes the Executive Board, Emergency Committee/Sub-Committee, Finance Sub-Committee, General Council/Consultative Council, International Trade Secretariats and ITS Liaison Committee. At the end of the series are general published materials relating to ICFTU's structure as well as the 1961 reorganization. Subseries B: ICFTU Organization Department, 1951-1961 Files of the Brussels office the bulk of which relates to the activities of the African, Asian (ARO), European (ERO) and Inter-American (ORIT) regional organizations.


  • 1948 - 1961


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.


Jay Krane was born in New York City on April 10, 1923. After a public school education, Mr. Krane attended Columbia College where he edited the daily student paper, receiving his B.A. in 1943. During World War II he worked for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) at various assignments in Washington, London, at SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force) headquarters in Versailles, and Germany. The final position he held was Chief of the Reports and Statistics Division of the UNRRA Displaced Persons Programme in Europe. In 1946 Mr. Krane returned to Columbia University to the School of International Affairs and the Russian Institute where he matriculated until 1948. From August of that year through May 1950 he worked in Paris as the assistant to Elmer Cope, CIO Representative in Europe. During the six months prior to the January 1949 split in the World Federation of Trade Unions, he served on assignment in the WFTU Secretariat. In June 1950 Krane accepted the position as Chief of Service of the Regional Activities Section of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU). When the Section was restructured as the Organization Department in 1956, Krane was made Assistant Director of Organization, in which capacity he served until March 1961.

The papers of Jay Krane reflect his work with the CIO and ICFTU. But to a greater degree, they reflect the activities and structure of the organizations for which he worked.

The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions was established in London in November 1949 following the withdrawal from the World Federation of Trade Unions of Britain, the Netherlands and the CIO. The WFTU, whose membership included the Soviet Union and Nations of Eastern Europe, was critized as a communist tool to undercut European economic recovery when the body acted in opposition to the Marshall Plan.

As a result of the split fifty-one countries including 67 affiliates and 48 million members joined the new organization whose stated goal was to promote free and democratic trade unionism world-wide.

The following outlines the administrative structure of ICFTU and such changes as were made during Jay Krane's tenure. The organization's constitution provides that ICFTU be governed by biennial Congresses, delegates elected from affiliate organizations. In years between Congresses a General Council was to meet, but after disappointing participation at the first General Council in 1952, it was replaced with the Consultative Council consisting of the executive board and representatives of the regional organizations and International Trade Secretariats.

The Congress elects an Executive Board of twenty-five members nominated by area which meets not less than twice a year. Eight members of the Executive Board, the President and General Secretary compose the Sub-Committee, known as the Emergency Committee through 1955, which meets inquestions of urgency arising between Executive Board meetings. The Finance Sub-Committee is also part of the Executive Committee.

The International Solidarity Fund Committee, one of ICFTU's standing committees, was formed in June 1956 to carry out relief and organizing work. Its' seven members include the General Secretary and Director of Organization, The Regional Activities Fund was set up in 1951 to undertake large scale organization activities, subsidized in part by a voluntary fund. The committee was to be composed of representatives of the donors. At the Vienna Congress in 1955 the RAFC was disbanded and the voluntary fund abolished in favor of levying financially strong affiliates at the rate of one U.S. cent per member.

In 1959 there were nineteen International Trade Secretariats associated with ICFTU, autonomous but following general ICFTU policy. The ITS Liaison Committee was formed in 1952 to coordinate efforts and facilitate communication.

The Milan Congress of 1951 decided to embark on large scale organizational activities. As the result of increased work volume the Organization Department was created in 1955 and in June 1956 Charles H. Millard accepted the post of Director of Organization. Within the Organization Department are four regional organizations. The Asian Regional Organization (ARO), established in 1951, has its headquarters in New Delhi with sub-offices in Singapore, Djakarta, Tokyo, Bankok and Bombay. The Inter-American Regional Organization of Workers (ORIT), 1951, maintains its headquarters in Mexico City with sub-offices in Santiago and Rio de Janeiro. The Caribbean Area Division of ORIT (CADORIT) operates out of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. The European Regional Organization (ERO), 1951, has its headquarters in Brussels with a branch office in Paris. The first African Regional Conference was held in Accra in 1957, working toward consolidation of area committees into an African regional organization.

In March 1961 the Executive Board, under political and financial pressure from AFL-CIO President George Meany, accepted a plan of reorganization "to make the structure of the ICFTU more adequate and responsive... to the need for building effective trade union Asia, Africa, Latin America and other parts of the world where the struggle is the hardest and the need is the greatest..." The positions of Director and Assistant Director of Organization were allowed to lapse.


8.5 Linear Feet (17 MB)


Jay Krane served in various capacities overseas for the Congress of Industrial Organizations and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. His papers reflect both his work in these organizations as well as the structure and activities of the organizations themselves.


Arranged in 2 series – Series 1 (Box 1), and Series 2 (Boxes 2-17). Folders are arranged in original order. Series 2 is further divided into 2 subseries.


The papers of Jay B. Krane were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in 1973 by Mrs. Jay Krane.


Three photographs have been placed in the Archives' Audiovisual Collections. Several pamphlets have been placed in the Archives Library.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the Jay B. Krane 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

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