Organized Labor

AFL-CIO & United Way

Working Together to Build Stronger Communities

Over 70 years ago, on August 17, 1942, an agreement on cooperation was signed by the National Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) Committee for American and Allied War Relief, the United Nations Relief Committee of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), and the Community Chests and Councils, Inc. (now United Way Worldwide). This agreement encouraged labor representation on Community Chests boards and councils, and for recognition of union members’ contributions. The agreement sought cooperation between employee solicitation organized by employers and union representatives who jointly stressed voluntary contributions without coercion.

Organized labor is a full partner in United Way, as witnessed by the 156 AFL-CIO Community Services liaisons currently serving on the staff of state and local United Ways throughout the country and the 20 Labor Agencies that receive United Way funding. Representatives of unions volunteer in all phases of United Way activities, serve on year-round committees, participate in annual United Way campaigns as part of the campaign leadership structure, and communicate to union members the importance of the campaign and the agencies involved. Union members are involved as volunteers in their communities by working with the many health and human care agencies providing services to the community.

Community Services volunteers and staff improve the lives of working families by working with broad and diverse coalitions to promote dignity and economic justice for workers. They also empower workers and their unions to make their communities better, more responsive places to live, work, raise a family, and retire.

A few of the programs the community services committee supports include:

  • Emergency Member Assistance Program
  • National Letter Carriers Food Drive
  • Workers Memorial Day
  • Union Community Activist Network
  • Holiday Assistance Programs
  • Construct Tomorrow – Duluth  

To learn more, contact:
Renee Van Nett
Community Services Director
(218) 726-4775


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