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Rockford United Labor AFL-CIO Records


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Administrative Records

Committee Records

Subject Files

Publications and Printed Materials

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Rockford United Labor AFL-CIO Records, 1940-1978 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Rockford United Labor AFL-CIO Records, 1940-1978

ID: RHC/RC/145

Extent: 4.25 Linear Feet

Arrangement: The Rockford United Labor AFL-CIO records are arranged in four series: administrative records, committee records, subject files, and publications and printed materials.

Date Acquired: 03/11/1982

Subjects: Labor, Labor unions, Newspapers, Rockford (Ill.), Rockford United Labor, AFL-CIO, United States--Politics and government, Winnebago County (Ill)

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Rockford United Labor AFL-CIO records are arranged in four series: administrative records, committee records, subject files, and publications and printed materials.  The collection traces the history of the organization from its founding in 1957.  Records dating from 1977 to the present remain with the organization, but will be transferred to the Center when they become inactive.

The first series contains by-laws, minutes, correspondence, membership information, and financial records.  Although minutes from the first two meetings (July-August 1957) are missing, there are no other gaps.  The minutes contain committee reports, financial reports, and membership and election records.  Additional financial information is available in the auditor’s reports (1963-1969), the treasurer’s cash book (1957-1958), and the dues book (1957-1958).   Materials from Central Labor Union Conferences complete the series with information on topics such as labor and politics, inflation, and union strikes.

Series two contains records of five committees: community services, credentials, education and farm labor, union label, and the Committee on Political Education (COPE).  The COPE records comprise the largest subseries consisting of correspondence, legislation reports, voter registration information, and pamphlets and newsletters.  The third series of subject files covers topics ranging from energy to labor laws to workmen’s compensation and occupational safety.  Series four comprises additional pamphlets, handbooks and manuals, news releases and photographs.  Also included in this series are incomplete runs of several Rockford labor newspapers, such as the Rockford Labor News, Rockford Trade Unions, and the Advocator, some national union publications are also in this series.  Photocopies have been made of these documents and are available for reproduction. The original newspapers are restricted and not open to the public.

This collection primarily documents legislation affecting labor unions and the organization’s contributions to the community of Rockford.

Collection Historical Note

Winnebago County’s first central labor party, the Rockford Central Labor Union, formed in July 1895.  The union remained very active until the Rockford Federation of Labor organized on September 1, 1943, as its successor.  By 1953 the Federation served 52 separate local unions with a total membership of over 8,000 men and women.  Rapid growth of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO, formed in 1937) also prompted the formation of a local Rockford Industrial Council in 1940. 

Forward progress of the labor movement throughout the country impelled the national unions to complete a long-discussed merger--in the fall, 1955 the A.F. of L. and the C.I.O. consolidated into one organization.  Similarly, the two Rockford organizations merged in 1957 to form Rockford United Labor AFL-CIO (R.U.L.).  The newly formed organization elected Emmett Poyer president, Joe Vittore vice-president, and Anthony Mazzola recording secretary.   By 1967 R.U.L. included 63 affiliated local unions with a membership of more than 25,000.  

The union “. . existed for the purpose of coordinating the various activities of the community that labor unions are interested in doing for the comfort and prosperity of the community.”  To fulfill this purpose the members worked for education, the elimination of slum areas, improved recreation facilities, better police and fire protection, better lighted and improved streets, and a city government that works for all people.  The members also became active in the Committee for Political Education (COPE) and provided financial support for political programs sponsored at local, state, and national levels.

Subject/Index Terms

Labor unions
Rockford (Ill.)
Rockford United Labor, AFL-CIO
United States--Politics and government
Winnebago County (Ill)

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Access Restrictions: There are some restrictions on access to the collection due to preservation purposes. Photocopies of these documents have been made and are open to the public.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Rockford United Labor AFL-CIO; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Amedeo Giorgi

Acquisition Method: Amedeo Giorgi, President of the Rockford United Labor AFL-CIO, deposited the organization’s records in the Northern Illinois Regional History Center on March 11, 1982.

Related Materials: Researchers may wish to consult the Rockford Building and Construction Trades Council Records (RC 138) for more information on labor in Winnebago County.  Other related holdings can be found in the Center’s Guide.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I.: Administrative Records],
[Series II.: Committee Records],
[Series III.: Subject Files],
[Series IV.: Publications and Printed Materials],

Series III.: Subject Files
Box 2
Folder 17: Economic Stabilization Program, 1972
Folder 18: The Energy Emergency, 1974
Folder 19: Foreign Delegations-India, 1964
Folder 20: Illinois Dept. of Personnel, Bulletins, 1970-1976
Folder 21: Illinois State Employment Service-Youths, 1960's
Folder 22: On the Job, Illinois Labor History Society, 1977
Folder 23: Labor Laws, 1959-1964
Folder 24: Labor Law Reform, 1977
Folder 25: Right to Work Labor Laws, 1965-1971
Folder 26: Social Security Guide, no date
Folder 27: Structure of a Strike, National Boycott Team, 1969
Folder 28: Workmen's Compensation and Occupational Safety, 1970-1975

Browse by Series:

[Series I.: Administrative Records],
[Series II.: Committee Records],
[Series III.: Subject Files],
[Series IV.: Publications and Printed Materials],

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