The International Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Maids was the first African American labor union chartered by the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Pullman porters, dissatisfied with their treatment by the Chicago-based Pullman Company, sought the assistance of A. Philip Randolph and oth...The International Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Maids was the first African American labor union chartered by the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Pullman porters, dissatisfied…

The International Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Maids was the first African American labor union chartered by the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Pullman porters, dissatisfied with their treatment by the Chicago-based Pullman Company, sought the assistance of A. Philip Randolph and oth...The International Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Maids was the first African American labor union chartered by the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Pullman porters, dissatisfied…

Cover of American Federation of Labor organizing leaflet which explained to workers their right to organize into unions of their choice, guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) of 1935.

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Cover of American Federation of Labor organizing leaflet which explained to workers their right to organize into unions of their choice, guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) of 1935.

Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters : The First Black Labor Union Chartered By The American Federation Of Labor

Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters : The First Black Labor Union Chartered By The American Federation Of Labor

Today in History: December 8 <=> 1886: AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR   <=> The American Federation of Labor is found at a convention of union leaders in Columbus, Ohio. Samuel Gompers With AFL Council - © Bettmann/AP Photo

Today in History: December 8

Today in History: December 8 <=> 1886: AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR <=> The American Federation of Labor is found at a convention of union leaders in Columbus, Ohio. Samuel Gompers With AFL Council - © Bettmann/AP Photo

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) remains in history as the first federation of labor unions in the US.

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) remains in history as the first federation of labor unions in the US.

Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor, 1908 (Library of Congress)

Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor, 1908 (Library of Congress)

Samuel Gompers was the most prominent figure in the American Labor Movement. He was also the founder and first president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL). (Biography)

Samuel Gompers was the most prominent figure in the American Labor Movement. He was also the founder and first president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL). (Biography)

Some Reasons for Chinese Exclusion, a pamphlet produced by the American Federation of Labor, 1901; courtesy of the Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley

Some Reasons for Chinese Exclusion, a pamphlet produced by the American Federation of Labor, 1901; courtesy of the Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley

The merger of AFL and CIO. The Taft-Hartley Act and similar anti-union legislation of the late-1940s were designed to slow labor’s growth, but by 1955, the proportion of the workplace organized into unions nevertheless hit its historic high of over 30 percent. To build on labor’s forward momentum, the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged with the American Federation of Labor to create the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of organized labor in the US.

The merger of AFL and CIO. The Taft-Hartley Act and similar anti-union legislation of the late-1940s were designed to slow labor’s growth, but by 1955, the proportion of the workplace organized into unions nevertheless hit its historic high of over 30 percent. To build on labor’s forward momentum, the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged with the American Federation of Labor to create the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of organized labor in the US.

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