The Albany Central Federation of Labor was organized on June 8, 1888 by workers in the Capital District who obtained a charter and formed the organization. The Albany Central Federation of Labor is a local labor council through which the AFL-CIO organizes to build and strengthen the national union movement. On the state level these grassroots organizations function to give working families a voice in their cities, towns, and counties. A primary goal of the labor council is to have workers treated with dignity and paid livable wages.
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) charters almost 570 central labor councils. Their mission is to bring social and economic justice to working people by enabling them to have a voice on the job, in government, in a changing global economy, and in their communities. The AFL-CIO is a voluntary federation of U.S unions and represents more than 13 million working women and men nationwide.
Other goals of the AFL-CIO and its central labor councils are to change the American labor movement by increasing support for local union organizing, expanding the political and legislative action network, building an outreach program to clergy and community, increasing affiliation and participation, and increasing communications with union leaders and members. The Albany Central Federation of Labor has financially supported union strikes and supported and endorsed political candidates.
The officers of the Albany Central Federation of Labor during Sano's tenure were: President Josephine Sano, 1st Vice President Walter Wheeler and Anthony Giagini, 2nd Vice President Elias Amash, Executive Secretary Steve Zahurak and Joseph B. Sano, Sergeant-At-Arms John Kearney, and Treasurer Doug Bullock. Key affiliated unions with the Albany Central Federation of Labor between 1983 and 2000 were the Civil Service Employees Association (C.S.E.A), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the American Federation Of State, County And Municipal Employees, (A.F.S.C.M.E), the Communication Workers of America (C.W.A), and the Teamsters.
Josephine Sano grew up in Gloversville, New York, and attended the New York State College for Teachers. She was an educator for forty-seven years. Prior to becoming president of the Albany Central Federation of Labor in 1981, Sano was elected President of the Albany Public Schools Teachers' Association in 1971. Sano was instrumental in the founding of the Capital District Teacher's Unions. Sano received the Taft Institute of Government Scholarship at Russell Sage College in 1972. In 1974 and 1975 Sano was part of the statewide Task Force on Affirmative Action, sponsored by NYSUT. From 1978 to 1979 Sano was a trustee of the Central Federation of Labor. Ms. Sano has been a delegate to AFT conventions many times. In 1987, Sano received the Award of Merit of the Capital District Union Label and Services Trades Council AFL-CIO. Sano, who belongs to the SUNYA Alumni Association, also received an honorary degree from the Cornell School of Industrial Relations. Ms. Sano's tenure as president ended in 2000.
Recently 25 central labor councils in New York were reorganized into five area labor federations and the Albany Central Federation of Labor is a member. This was done with the hope that restructuring the central labor councils would increase the success of the labor movement by combining their strength and resources. Previous presidents have included Ralph Cate, Dominic Spano, Greg Riley, Sam Fresina, Josephine Sano, and Jeffrey Stark.
The collection documents the activities of the Albany Central Federation of Labor (AFL CIO) from 1983 to 2000. Jospehine Sano became president in 1981. Included in the collection are administrative files such as minutes, constitution, correspondence, annual reports, and financial statements. Records of a previous president were destroyed by their creator.
The numerous publications as well as the correspondence between Josephine Sano and other labor councils is a strong point of the collection. Among the publications are a transcript of the 1992 New York State AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention and a videotape, Deadly Corn, documenting the experiences of workers at a manufacturing company.
Josephine Sano's correspondence gives much insight into how the organization operated and assisted other labor organizations. The United Food & Commercial Workers International Union of the AFL-CIO called for a boycott of national meat packing company John Morrell & Company, which had meat packing plants in more than 10 states. The main reason for the boycott was due to a second wage and benefit cut on workers at the Sioux City plant, but wages had been previously cut at other Morrell locations. In addition to wage cuts, employees were protesting brutal work conditions, short lunches, and "corporate greed." Information about the boycott of John Morrell, which employed more than 4,000 workers, is located in Series 4.
This collection also contains information on Worker's Memorial Day, an annual recognition memorial service for workers killed or injured at work and interim voting records of the state assembly that were used by Albany Central Federation of Labor members to determine which politicians helped the organization and who they would endorse.
Although members on the local and national levels had the same goals they did not necessarily agree on the methods to reach those goals. Included in the collection is the report of former A. Phillip Randolph Institute local president Rufus Collier, which gives insight into conflicts that existed within the organization. The A. Phillip Randolp Institute is a constituency group of the AFL-CIO, which unites unions and diverse communities to strengthen partnerships and improve the standard of living for all workers. The collection does not provide significant information on the family lives of the Albany Central Federation of Labor members or the effect that involvement in a union had on their personal lives.
The collection is organized into the following series: 1. Administrative Files, 1984-2000; 2. Subject Files, 1982-2000; 3. Publications, 1965-2000; 4. Activities, 1983-2000; 5. Correspondence, 1983-2000.
Jospehine Sano donated all materials to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives.2002 September
Processed by: Gyuok Kim
Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on
Published: 2017-04-14 10:39:05 -0400
Kenyetta Russell further arranged and described the collection., 2004 January 28
Encoded in EAD by Jodi Boyle, 2016
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Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Albany Federation of Labor Records, 1965-2000. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Albany Federation of Labor Records).
|1||1||Annual Reports, AFL CIO Local Labor Councils||1990, 1998-1999|
|1||2||Constitution and By-laws||1990|
|1||3||Constitution and By-laws||1996, Undated|
|1||4||Endorsements, New York State, AFL CIO, 1996 and 1998||1996, 1998|
|1||6||Memoranda||1984, 1987-1988, 1991-1998, 2000|
|1||7||Minutes, Agenda, and Communications||1985-1986|
|1||8||Minutes, Agenda, and Communications||1987|
|1||9||Minutes, Agenda, and Communications||1988|
|1||10||Minutes, Agenda, and Communications||1989|
|1||11||Minutes and Communications||1990|
|1||12||Minutes and Communications||1991|
|1||13||Minutes and Communications||1992|
|1||14||Minutes and Communications||1993|
|1||15||Minutes and Communications||1994|
|1||16||Minutes and Communications||1995|
|1||17||Minutes and Communications||1996|
|1||18||Minutes and Communications||1997|
|1||19||Minutes and Communications||1998|
|1||20||Minutes and Communications||1999|
|1||21||Minutes and Communications||2000|
|1||1||A. Philip Randolph Institute Report and Polices||1989|
|1||2||Award of Merit Dinner, Capital District Union Label and Service Trades Council, AFL CIO||1990-1993|
|1||3||Award of Merit Dinner, Capital District Union Label and Service Trades Council, AFL CIO||1994-1998|
|1||4||Boy Scouts of America, AFL CIO, Community Services, Working, Serving, and Giving||1991|
|1||5||Capital District Labor History Project||1989|
|1||6||Capital District Labor Unions Charity Awards Dinner||1993, 1996, 1998-1999|
|1||7||Capital Region Career and Education Expo||1991|
|1||8||Catholic Social Teaching Letters to the Bishop||1985|
|1||9||Cornell Graduation Speech and Programs, Josephine Sano||1982, 1985|
|1||10||Deadly Corn, AIW Local 837's Campaign for Justice, VHS Tape||ca. 1994|
|1||11||Delegates to National Convention, Designating Petitions||1984|
|1||12||Eastern New York Occupational Health Programs||1993-1994|
|1||13||NYSUT Task Force on Central Labor Councils||1996|
|1||14||Labor Day Parade Meeting Notes||1984|
|1||15||Managing Literacy Program Guidelines, New York State Education Department||1987|
|1||16||New York State Assembly Labor Committee||1996|
|1||18||News Clippings||1993-2000, Undated|
|1||19||News Releases||1987-1989, 1991-1992, 1995-1997|
|1||20||New York State Workplace Literacy Grant||1990-1991|
|1||21||Occupational Retraining and Reemployment Act, Disclose Workers Program, Albany Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce||1988|
|1||22||Remarks of Josephine Sano at the Dedication of Kate Mullaney House||1998|
|1||23||Remarks of Lane Kirkland at the Convention of Public Employee Department||1987|
|1||24||Remarks of Tom McGraw and Thomas Shea||2000|
|1||25||Speech and Workshop Notes, Union Label and Service Trades Department of the State of New York, AFL CIO, 56th Convention||2000|
|1||26||Struggle in the Heartland, VHS Tape||Undated|
|1||27||Teaching Labor Studies in Secondary School, Curriculum Guide for Teachers||Undated|
|1||28||Testimony of the Union Producers and Programmers Network||1991|
|1||29||University Employees Bulletin||1996|
|1||30||Veterans Employment and Training Program||1987|
|1||31||Worker Assistance Centers, New York State AFL CIO||1987|
|1||32||Workplace Literacy Programs, Alcoholism & Hotel, Restaurant Employees Union||1982, 1988|
|1||1||AFL-CIO Third Annual Labor Recognition Dinner||1987|
|1||2||Annual Labor Recognition Dinner, AFL-CIO||1985, 1987-1988|
|1||3||Annual Labor Recognition Dinner, AFL-CIO||1990, 1993|
|1||4||Brochures and Pamphlets, AFL-CIO||1965, 1976, 1982-1993, Undated|
|1||5||Brochures, New York State AFL-CIO||1972-2000|
|1||6||Brochures and Pamphlets||1970-1985, Undated|
|1||7||Circa O.P.E. Convention Handbook, New York State AFL-CIO||1998|
|1||8||Constitutional Convention, New York State AFL-CIO||1986, 1992|
|1||9||Constitutional Convention, New York State AFL-CIO||1996|
|1||10||Handbook, Reports, and Research Papers, New York State AFL-CIO||1986, 1988, 1990, Undated|
|1||12||Leadership Training Manual, AFL-CIO||1987, 1989|
|1||13||Leadership Training Manual, Current Issues, AFL-CIO Department of Education||1991|
|1||14||Legislative and Unemployment Insurance Programs, New York Labor Helping Work||1989|
|1||15||Magazines andReports, 1976 1995||1976-1995|
|1||16||New York State AFL-CIO Unity, Newsletters||1986-1994, 1996-1997, 1999|
|1||17||New York State Association of Letter Carriers AFL-CIO, 2000||2000|
|1||18||New York State Capital Labor Parade||1999|
|1||19||New York State Department of Labor, Enforcements||1994|
|2||3||Reports and Guidelines, AFL-CIO||1985, 1987, 1997, Undated|
|2||4||Reports on Labor, State of New York||1989, 1991, 1998|
|2||5||Taxes we can live with designing a system to meet future needs, New York State AFL CIO||1991|
|2||6||Worker Centered Learning: A Guide To Workplace Literacy, AFL-CIO Human Resources Department||1990|
|1||1||Boycott Campaign against John Morrell Products||1987|
|1||2||Conference and Convention Programs and Notes||1983, 1986-1988, 1991-1999|
|1||3||Fliers and Publicity||1986-2000, Undated|
|1||4||New York State AFL-CIO/Central Labor Councils Training Conference||1989|
|1||6||President's Campaign Facts, Walter Mondale||1984|
|1||7||PEF Contract, Rally Programs and Speech Notes||1988|
|1||8||Voter Participation Worksheets||1998|
|Oversized 1||Workers Memorial Day Activities||1990, 2000|
|1||1||Albany Central Federation of Labor||1984-1991|
|1||2||Albany Central Federation of Labor||1992-2000, Undated|
|1||3||American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations||1987, 1989-1991, 1993-1999|
|1||4||Bishop's Office, Teachers, and Postal Workers||1985-2000|
|1||5||Labor Councils, New York State||1984-1985, 1988-1999|
|1||6||New York State, AFL CIO||1983-1992|
|1||7||New York State, AFL CIO||1993-1999|
|1||8||State of New York Executive Chamber, United States Congress||1983-1999|
|1||9||State of New York Assembly||1988-1994|