• American Federation of Labor

    American Federation of Labor

    The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was a national federation of labor unions in the United States founded in Columbus, Ohio, in December 1886 by an alliance of craft unions disaffected from the Knights of Labor, a national labor union. Samuel Gompers of the Cigar Makers' International Union was elected president at its founding convention and reelected every year, except one, until his death in 1924. The A.F. of L was the largest union grouping in the United States for the first half of the 20th century, even after the creation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) by unions which were expelled by the AFL in 1935 over its opposition to industrial unionism. The Federation was founded and dominated by craft unions throughout its first fifty years, after which many craft union affiliates turned to organizing on an industrial union basis to meet the challenge from the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the 1940s. In 1955, the AFL merged with the CIO to create the AFL-CIO, which has comprised the longest lasting and most influential labor federation in the United States to this day.

  • American Federation of Labor Building

    American Federation of Labor Building

    The American Federation of Labor Building is a seven-story brick and limestone building located at 901 Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C. Completed in 1916, it served as the headquarters of the American Federation of Labor until 1955, when it merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations to form the AFL-CIO. It remained a trade union headquarters until 2005, when it was sold to the developers of the Washington Marriott Marquis hotel. The building exterior, the only historical element remaining of the building, is now part of that structure. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974. It housed the American Federation of Labor for 40 years.

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