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Labor United

Labor members supporting their union and their broader community

Since 1942, the AFL-CIO and United Way have worked together to create a society where we all have the chance to reach our potential. We both advocate for social and economic justice; for the health, education and financial stability for all people. Our collaborative efforts transform communities and benefit everyone.

More than 150 AFL-CIO-appointed Labor Liaisons are on staff at local United Ways throughout the country, and 20 Labor Agencies receive United Way funding. 

Letter of Support

The AFL-CIO renews its partnership with United Way every year, releasing a letter of support and endorsing participation in the giving campaign. Read Liz Shuler’s letter.

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United Way Worldwide has been a proud official partner of organized labor since 1942.

United Way Worldwide (then known as the Community Chests and Councils, Inc.) signed a cooperation agreement with the National Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), Committee for American and Allied War Relief and the United Nations Relief Committee of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in 1942. This agreement encouraged labor representation on Community Chests boards and councils, in recognition of union members’ contributions.

Later, in 1946, these partners established the Department of Labor Participation to connect United Way, labor, and health and welfare agencies by employing AFL-CIO Community Services liaisons at United Way organizations throughout the country. These representatives are selected by the local AFL-CIO Central Labor Council and serve at the pleasure of United Way and the Council. More about our partnership.

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