American League of Colored Laborers (1850-?)

The American League of Colored Laborers (ALCL) was the first black American labor union. It was formed in New York City in 1850 as a collective for skilled free craftsmen, and sought to develop agricultural and industrial arts skills among its members, and to encourage … Read MoreAmerican League of Colored Laborers (1850-?)

United Construction Workers Association

The United Construction Workers Association (UCWA) was founded in 1970 by Tyree Scott, an electrician who had become a Seattle civil rights activist.  At the request of the American Friends Service Committee, Tyree Scott left the Central Contractors Association which he had created in 1968, … Read MoreUnited Construction Workers Association

Organized Labor in the 21st Century: The Las Vegas Hotel and Culinary Workers Union Local 226

In February 2008, the Las Vegas Hotel and Culinary Workers Union Local 226 emerged on the national political scene with their high profile endorsement of presidential candidate Barack Obama. The union itself has a much older history that goes back to the late 1940s and … Read MoreOrganized Labor in the 21st Century: The Las Vegas Hotel and Culinary Workers Union Local 226

Southern Tenant Farmers Union

The Southern Tenant Farmers Union (STFU) was founded in Tyronza, Arkansas in July 1934 by black and white tenant farmers and Socialist Party members.  The STFU is part of a rich tradition of labor organizing in the Depression-era South amongst mostly Black agricultural laborers. Since … Read MoreSouthern Tenant Farmers Union

Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Local 8 (1913-ca. 1928)

Local 8 was an interracial, multiethnic local that was part of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a militant, left-wing labor union. From its inception, the IWW has been committed to racial equality, though African Americans played a relatively small role in the organization. … Read MoreIndustrial Workers of the World (IWW) Local 8 (1913-ca. 1928)

Colored Marine Employment Benevolent Association (1921-1934)

The Colored Marines Employment Benevolent Association (CMEBA) was organization that united black maritime cooks and stewards who were seeking employment in Seattle.  In the process it challenged the racism of the all-white, Maritime Cooks and Stewards Association of the Pacific (MCSAP). The CMEBA was founded … Read MoreColored Marine Employment Benevolent Association (1921-1934)

Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (1925-1978)

The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) was a labor union organized by African American employees of the Pullman Company in August 1925 and led by A. Philip Randolph and Milton P. Webster. Over the next twelve years, the BSCP fought a three-front battle against … Read MoreBrotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (1925-1978)

National Negro Congress (1935-1940s)

Embodying the Communist Party‘s turn from Third Period sectarianism to Popular Front coalition building, the National Negro Congress (NNC) was the culmination of the Party’s Depression-era effort to unite black and white workers and intellectuals in the fight for racial justice, and marked the apex … Read MoreNational Negro Congress (1935-1940s)