Throwback Thursday: Watch the AFL and the CIO Join Forces

By Kelly Ross

The AFL- CIO was once two separate entities, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations, both working to further the Labor Movement and promote workers’ rights. The rivaling groups maintained very different ideologies and competed for supremacy over the Labor Movement until the 1950s when the split began to hinder the very foundations of the movement. It became clear that the rivalry was crippling the industry that called for solidarity and would only flourish under such terms.

In 1955 the two groups came together to create the AFL-CIO, a cohesive and more effective organization that President Eisenhower felt would work to help “correct the faulty, fortify the good, build stoutly for the future, and reinforce the most cherished freedoms of each individual citizen.” Listen to Eisenhower speak to the significance of the merger and watch it unfold in the following news footage.

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