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Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO Records

 Collection
Identifier: LR000053_MD

Part 1: Series 1: AFL-CIO office files, 1916-1950; Series 2: CIO office files, 1937-1948

Part 2: Series 3: President's Files, 1926-1964; Series 4: Political Action and Political Educaiton files, 1949-1963; Series 5: Miscellaneous subjects, 1922-1962

Part 3: Series 6: Office files, 1955-1967; Series 7: City of Detroit, 1955-1965; Series 8: County Boards and Commission, 1950-1967; Series 9: State of Michigan, 1959-1965; Series 10: Federal Government, 1951-1965; Series 11: Non-government organizations and miscellaneous topics, 1951-1967; Series 12: Published material and photographs

Part 1:

The papers of Wayne County AFL-CIO were deposited with the Labor History Archives in February 1963 by Wayne County Council.

The Wayne County AFL-CIO is the central organization for all AFL-CIO unions that have locals in Wayne County. This organization has grown along with the rise in unionization in the Detroit area. The leadership of Frank Martel was particularly significant in gaining acceptance of unions by the larger community. When the local unions supported it, the County organization was very important in offering financial assistance to organizing drives, in ending factional and jurisdictional disputes, and in supporting political candidates.

The Wayne County AFL-CIO Collection covers the period from 1918 to 1948.

Important subjects are:
  • Sit-Down Strikes 1930's
  • Formation of the CIO
  • World War II Government Policies
  • Attitudes toward Soviet Union, Communism
  • Depression

Among the correspondents are: Frank Martel, Sidney Hillman, Upton Sinclair, Huey Long, Henry Ford II, William Green, Harry Truman.

Governors: Fred Green, Willi am Comstock, Murray D. VanWagoner, Harry Kelly, Frank Fitzgerald, Alex Groesbeck, Kim Sigler, G. Mennen Williams, Laren D. Dickinson, Frank Murphy

Senators: Arthur Vandenburg, Homer Ferguson, Prentis Brown, James Couzens.

Part 2:

Important subjects are: AFL-CIO Merger 1955-58; 1951 DSR Strike; Square D. Strike 1954; Political Elections 1948-60; Great Lakes Strike 1948; Harper Hospital Strike 1949; Great Lakes Seaway; CIO-PAC Activity; Labor Day Parades; Loyalty Board; Blair Moody 1951; Teamsters Union; Murray D. VanWagoner.

Among the correspondents are: Michigan Congressmen and Senators, state and federal 1848-62; H.S. Truman; G. Mennen Williams; Al Barbour; F. X. Martel; Homer Ferguson; Lyndon B. Johnson.



Description of Series:

Series I contains 22 boxes. The first nineteen boxes contain the files of Frank X. Martel, President of the Detroit and Wayne County Federation of Labor (AFL), prior to 1956. This group covers the years between 1948-1956. Boxes 20-22 contain files created by President AJ Barbour after the 1958 AFL-CIO merger in Detroit, plus a file of articles, speeches, and editorials 1959-1964.

Series II contains 15 boxes. Political Action and Political Education are primary subjects. Boxes 1 to 12 contain CIO-PAC material. Box 13 contains material related to Congressional Districts Steering committees 1950-1958. Boxes 14-15 contain CIO-PAC minutes 1948-1958 and miscellaneous CIO-PAC literature.

Series III contains 14 boxes. Miscellaneous subjects as follows: Labor Day Parades 1949-1960; Public Education 1959-1962; AFL-CIO Scholarship Exams 1959-1961; Governor's Commission on Ind. Production 1956-1959; AFL-CIO Merger (Detroit); Detroit Labor News; Union Printing Company; Clippings: Local Union data collected by Professor Gradstein WSU 1951-1960; Miscellaneous Wayne County CIO files 1951-1960; Miscellaneous Strikes 1948-1956; Wayne County CIO conventions 1949-1957; Miscellaneous local union wall plaques

Part 3:

The papers of this section of the Wayne County AFL-CIO Collection were deposited in the Labor History Archives by the Wayne County AFL-CIO in April, 1967.

The records in this collection pertain to the activities of Al Barbour and Alex Fuller. Al Barbour was elected president of the Wayne County AFL-CIO in 1958 and served in that position until his death in February of 1967. While President, he served on a number of public and private committees pertaining to Michigan, Wayne County, and Detroit. Alex Fuller was elected vice-president of the Wayne County AFL-CIO in 1959 and retained this position until June, 1967. He is currently with the United Steelworkers Union. While vice-president of the Wayne County AFL-CIO, he served on a number of public and private committees pertaining to Michigan, Wayne County and Detroit. It should be pointed out that there are records of Alex Fuller interspersed throughout this entire collection.

The collection covers the period from 1951 to 1967.



Important Subjects:
  • Civil Rights - Jobs, Housing, Education
  • Detroit Area Manpower Development
  • Detroit Poverty Program
  • Detroit Public Education
  • Election Campaigns and Politics in Wayne County
  • Health and Hospital Services in Detroit, Wayne County, and Michigan
  • Industrial Development of Detroit and Southeastern


Important Correspondents:
  • Carey, Ed
  • Cavanagh, Jerome P.
  • Connor, Edward
  • Conyers, John
  • Diggs, Charles C.
  • Ferency, Zolton A.
  • Goldberg, Arthur
  • Griffiths, Martha
  • Hart, Philip
  • Humphrey, Hubert
  • Johnson, Lyndon
  • Kennedy, John F.
  • Machrowic,z, Thaddeus
  • Mazey, Emil
  • McCarthy, Eugene
  • McNamara, Partick V.
  • Miriani, Louis C.
  • O'Hara, James G.
  • Rabaut, Louis
  • Reuther, Roy L.
  • Romney, George
  • Scholle, August
  • Staebler, Neil
  • Swainson, John B.
  • Williams, G..Mennen
  • Woodcock, Leonard

Dates

  • 1918 - 1967

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research with the exception of box 73, which is closed.

Use

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

Extent

78 Linear Feet (156 MB)

Abstract

The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Metropolitan Detroit is the central organization for all Michigan AFL-CIO unions that have locals in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties. Their records pertain to activities specifically in Wayne County, prior to the merger of the three county councils in 1986, including those of its former presidents Frank Martel (1948-1956), Al Barbour (1958-1967) and its former vice-president Alex Fuller (1959-1967). The records reflect the important role played in offering financial assistance to organizing drives, ending factional and jurisdictional disputes, and supporting political candidates

History

The Wayne County AFL-CIO is the central organization for all AFL-CIO unions that have locals in Wayne County. This organization has grown along with the rise in unionization in the Detroit area. The leadership of Frank Martel was particularly significant in gaining acceptance of unions by the larger community. When the local unions supported it, the County organization was very important in offering financial assistance to organizing drives, in ending factional and jurisdictional disputes, and in supporting political candidates.

The records in this collection pertain to many areas of the Wayne County AFL-CIO history from 1918-1967, including the activities of Al Barbour and Alex Fuller. Al Barbour was elected president of the Wayne County AFL-CIO in 1958 and served in that position until his death in February of 1967. While President, he served on a number of public and private committees pertaining to Michigan, Wayne County, and Detroit. Alex Fuller was elected vice-president of the Wayne County AFL-CIO in 1959 and retained this position until June, 1967. He is currently with the United Steelworkers Union. While vice-president of the Wayne County AFL-CIO, he served on a number of public and private committees pertaining to Michigan, Wayne County and Detroit. It should be pointed out that there are records of Alex Fuller interspersed throughout this entire collection.

For additional information on important topics included in this collection please see the Part 1 Index of Subjects, and series scope and content notes.

Arrangement

This collection was processed in 3 Parts and is arranged into 12 total series. Part 1 contains 2 Series – Series 1, AFL-CIO office files, 1916-1950 (Boxes 1-24), Series 2, CIO office files, 1937-1948 (Boxes 25-30). Folders in Part 1 are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Part 2 contains 3 series - Series 3 (Boxes 31-52), Series 4 (Boxes 53-67), and Series 5 (Boxes 68-83).

Series 3, President's Files, 1926-1964 boxes 31-49 are arranged alphatbetically by subject. Boxes 50-52 are arranged chronologically. Series 4, Political Action and Political Educaiton files, 1949-1963 is arranged by subject in chronological sequence.

Series 5, Miscellaneous subjects, 1922-1962 is arranged by subject in the following order:
  • Labor Day Parades 1949-1960 (Boxes 68-69)
  • Public Education 1959-1962 (Boxes 70-71)
  • AFL-CIO Scholarship Exams 1959-61 (Box 72)
  • Governor's Commission on Ind. Production 1956-59 (Box 73)
  • AFL-CIO Merger (Detroit) (Box 73-74)
  • Detroit Labor News (Boxes 75-77)
  • Union Printing Company (Box 78)
  • Clippings: Local Union data collected by Professor Gradstein WSU 1951-1960 (Box 79)
  • Miscellaneous Wayne County CIO files 1951-60 (Box 80-81)
  • Miscellaneous Strikes 1948-56 (Box 82)
  • Wayne County CIO conventions 1949-57 (Box 82)
  • Miscellaneous local union wall plaques (Box 83)

Part 3 contains 7 series - Series 6 (Boxes 84-108), Series 7 (Boxes 109-117), Series 8 (118-129), Series 9 (Boxes 129-135), Series 10 (136-139), Series 11 (Boxes 140-152), and Series 12 (153-157).

Series 6, Office files, 1955-1967 is arranged by subject. Series 7, City of Detroit, 1955-1965 is arranged alphabetically. Series 8, County Boards and Commission, 1950-1967 is arranged into two sections; Wayne County Boards and Commissions and Wayne County Road Commission. The records of each section are arranged alphabetically, and the published material pertaining to each section is placed at the end of the respective section. Series 9, State of Michigan, 1959-1965 is arranged alphabetically. Series 10, Federal Government, 1951-1965 is arranged alphabetically, and the published is placed at the end of the series. Series 11, Non-government organizations and miscellaneous topics, 1951-1967 is arranged alphabetically. Series 12, Published material and photographs is arranged alphabetically with miscellaneous and photographs placed at the end of the series.

Acquisition

The papers of Wayne County AFL-CIO were deposited at the Walter P. Reuther Library in February 1963 by Wayne County Council. Additional deposits occured in March 1964 and April 1967.

Related Materials

Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO Council: Tom Turner Records (LR000053); Michigan AFL-CIO Records (LR000102); William Cook Papers (LP001138)

Part 1 Subject Index

  • Alien workers, 16
  • Alien workers: Canadian, 1, 2, 5, 14, 20; Chinese, 5; registration, 1, 4, 20
  • Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, 1
  • Amalgamated Lithographers of America, 7
  • Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America, 8
  • American Civil Liberties Union, 1
  • American Federation of Government Employees, 5
  • American League Against War and Fascism, 8
  • American Legion, 1
  • American Youth Congress, 1
  • Anti-strike legislation, 6, 17
  • Anti-war sentiment. See World War II: antiwar sentiment
  • Apprentice training, 1
  • Association of Theatrical Agents and Managers, 18
  • Auto Workers Union, 1
  • Automobile and Air Craft Workers Union, 2
  • Automobile industry: AFL federal unions, 2
  • Bakery and Confectionary Workers International Union of America, 1
  • Blacks: AFL discrimination, 8; discrimination, 12; housing discrimination, 17; housing integration, 3; World War II employment, 3. See also Detroit: Sojourner Truth Housing Project
  • Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, 4
  • Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks, 5
  • Building Service Employees International Union, 1
  • Canadian alien workers. See Alien workers: Canadian Child labor legislation, 2
  • Civil Rights Congress of Michigan, 8
  • Commercial Telegrapher's Union, 18
  • Communism: AFL policy, 1, 8 Communist party. See Mundt-Nixon Bill; (1948) Communist Party of Michigan, 25 Congress, 25 Coopers International Union of North America, 1
  • Coughlin, Rev. Charles E., 2, 3, 8; use of non-union labor, 3, 8
  • Crusader White Shirts, 3
  • Detroit: Greater Detroit District Council, 30; Public Lighting Commission, 14; Public Works Dept., 14;" Receiving Hospital, 15; Recorder's Court, 15; riverfront development, 16.; Sojourner Truth Housing Project, 17, 27; street railways, 14, 17; subway proposal, 15; unemployment, 5; urban improvement, 13
  • Detroit Labor News, 6, 19
  • Detroit libraries, 7
  • Detroit Police Dept.: labor harrassment charges, 14
  • Dearborn, Michigan: city government, 3
  • Domestic employment; standards, 5
  • Elections. See National elections
  • Fair Employment Practices, 4
  • Fascism, 8
  • Ford hunger march, 1, 4
  • Ford Motor Company: labor policy (1928). 9; Liberty Legion of America, 6
  • Frankensteen, Richard: mayoral candidacy, 4
  • Government employees: right to organize, 12
  • The Granite Cutters' International Association, 5
  • Great Depression, 1, 2, 11
  • Hotel and Restaurant Employees' International Alliance, 5
  • Immigration. See Alien workers
  • International Brotherhood of Bookbinders, 1
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 4
  • International Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers, 16
  • International Brotherhood of Paper Makers, 13
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters: Martel arbitration dispute, 18 International Council of Office Employee Unions, 12
  • International Fur Workers' Union, 4
  • International Ladies Handbag, Luggage, Belt and Novelty Workers Union, 7
  • International Metal Engravers Union, 8
  • International Molders and Foundry Workers Union of North America, 9
  • International Typeographical Union, 19
  • International Union of United Brewery, Flour, Cereal, Soft Drink and Distillery Workers of America, 1, 25
  • The Journeymen Barbers' International Union, 1
  • Labor education, 4, 23
  • Labor League for Political Education (Mich.), 7
  • Labor legislation, 2, 3, 6, 17; Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act), 21; Michigan Labor Relations Act, 6; Smith-Connally Act, 6; Taft-Hartley Act, 6, 18
  • Labor party formation, 26
  • Labor publications, 6
  • Labor's Non-Partisan League, 7, 28
  • Laundry Workers International Union, 7
  • League of Nations, 7
  • Lewis-Murray controversy, 27
  • Long, Huey P. 7
  • Martel, Frank X., 1-24 (especially 8)
  • Mechanics Education Society of America (MESA), 8
  • Metal Polishers-Buffers, Platers and Helpers' International Union, 8
  • Michigan: unemployment and disability legislation, 17
  • Michigan Labor Mediation Board, 6
  • Michigan Telephone Employees Federation, Inc., 18
  • Military conscription: peacetime, 3
  • Minimum wage: legislation, 2
  • Mundt-Nixon Bill (1948), 3, 11, 12
  • Municipal utilities: public ownership, 14
  • Murphy, Frank, 11
  • National Association of Letter Carriers, 7
  • National Brotherhood of Operative Potters, 14
  • National elections: 1944, 1; 1948, 19
  • National Labor Relations Board, 12
  • National Lawyers' Guild, 12
  • National Recovery Administration, 12
  • National Youth Administration, 12
  • Occupational disease, 12
  • Office of Price Administration, 13
  • Physically handicapped workers, 5
  • Political Action Committee (CIO), 1, 25, 26, 27 Political appointments, 3, 5 Poll tax, 11
  • Postwar reconversion (World War II), 3, 14, 27
  • Prison labor, 14
  • Prohibition, 1, 7
  • Religious tolerance, 16
  • Rickenbacker, Eddie: criticism of labor, 16, 28 Riots. See Detroit: Sojourner Truth Housing project
  • St. Lawrence Seaway project, 16, 20
  • Sheet Metal Workers' International Association, 16
  • Social Security, 17, 21
  • Socialist Party, 17, 28
  • Soviet Union: US recognition, 17
  • Soviet-American friendship, 8, 16
  • Strikebreakers, 17
  • Strikes, 17; A. B. Stone Co. (1935), 4; defense industries, 8; General Motors (1945), 5; Montgomery Ward (1944), 11; Toledo Peace Plan, 19 United Brass and Aluminum, Port Huron (1945), 20. See also Antistrike legislation
  • Sugar, Maurice, 1, 18
  • Taxes, 28
  • The Newspaper Guild, 12
  • Townsend Plan, 28
  • Trade Union Unity League, 1
  • Unemployed Councils, 1 Unemployment, 1
  • Unemployment compensation, 3
  • Unemployment compensation (Mich.), 9
  • Unemployment insurance,1, 5 Union for Democratic Action, 28 Union label, 5, 6
  • United Automobile Workers, 20, 28
  • United Brick and Clay Workers, 1
  • United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, 1
  • United Garment Workers of America, 7
  • United Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers International, 5
  • United Mine Workers of America, 20, 28
  • United Service Organizations, Inc. (USO), 29
  • Violence in labor disputes, 11
  • Vocational education, 21
  • Wages: Detroit city employees minimum wage, 5; guaranteed annual wage, 4
  • Wages and hours, 4, 21
  • War Labor Board, 21
  • War Manpower Commission, 22
  • War Production Board, 22
  • Wayne County: Board of Supervisors, 18, 23, Civil service pension plan, 14; courts, 30; home rule, 26; Road Commission, 23; welfare, 14
  • Wayne County CIO Council, 30
  • Wayne County Council, 30
  • Wayne County Training School, 14
  • Wayne University, Institute of Labor, 23
  • Women: mothers' pension relief (Detroit), 2, 11
  • Women workers; defense work (World War II), 3; postwar unemployment, 8; protective legislation, 1; unemployment, 2
  • Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, 23
  • Workers Education Bureau of America, 23
  • Works Progress Administration, 24
  • World War II: AFL Office of War Information reports, 3; aircraft production, 1; antiwar sentiment, 8, 21, 24; executive orders on wages and hours, 4; housing conditions, 26; labor conscription, 3, 12, 16; labor supply, 22; price stabilization, 18; selective service, 16; veterans' reemployment, 20, 21; war production, 8, 20. See also, Labor legislation: Smith-Connally Act; Strikes: defense industries; Postwar reconversion; Women workers: defense work


*Numbers given are box numbers.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library on July 1966.
Title
Guide to the Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO Records
Status
in_progress
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Date
1966-07-01
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 1967?: Part 2 processed
  • April 1968: Part 3 processed

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA