1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY
1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

Albany Central Federation of Labor Records


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The collection documents the activities of the Albany Central Federation of Labor (AFL CIO) from 1983 to 2000.


American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations--Albany Central Federation of Labor
Date Coverage:
3.8 cubic ft. (about 3.8 boxes)

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: 2018-03-06 02:06:50 -0500

Kenyetta Russell further arranged and described the collection., 2004 January 28

Encoded in EAD by Jodi Boyle, 2016

Archival materials can be view in-person during business hours in our reading room, located on the top floor of the Science Library on the Uptown Campus.

We can also deliver digital scans for remote research for a fee.

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

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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).

Contents of Collection

Quantity: 1.0 cubic ft. (about 1.0 boxes)

Arranged alphabetically.

This series contains minutes and correspondence of the Albany Central Federation of Labor as well as annual reports, constitutions, and by-laws from the Albany, New York State, and national AFL-CIO. Memorandum and financial statements are also included.



1 1Annual Reports, AFL CIO Local Labor Councils1990, 1998-1999


1 2Constitution and By-laws1990


1 3Constitution and By-laws1996, Undated


1 4Endorsements, New York State, AFL CIO, 1996 and 19981996, 1998


1 5Financial Statements1986-1991


1 6Memoranda1984, 1987-1988, 1991-1998, 2000


1 7Minutes, Agenda, and Communications1985-1986


1 8Minutes, Agenda, and Communications1987


1 9Minutes, Agenda, and Communications1988


1 10Minutes, Agenda, and Communications1989


1 11Minutes and Communications1990


1 12Minutes and Communications1991


1 13Minutes and Communications1992


1 14Minutes and Communications1993


1 15Minutes and Communications1994


1 16Minutes and Communications1995


1 17Minutes and Communications1996


1 18Minutes and Communications1997


1 19Minutes and Communications1998


1 20Minutes and Communications1999


1 21Minutes and Communications2000
Quantity: 1.0 cubic ft. (about 1.0 boxes)

Arranged alphabetically.

In addition to news clippings on events important to labor unions, this series contains files on other events such as the remarks of speakers at awards dinners and dedications. Among the subjects documented are Award of Merit dinners for Josephine Sano.

The video cassette recordings are productions of the experiences of workers at manufacturing plants. Deadly Corn is a 1990s production documenting the dangers of working at a manufacturing company. The series also includes designating petitions of the delegates to the 1984 Democratic National Convention.



1 1A. Philip Randolph Institute Report and Polices1989


1 2Award of Merit Dinner, Capital District Union Label and Service Trades Council, AFL CIO1990-1993


1 3Award of Merit Dinner, Capital District Union Label and Service Trades Council, AFL CIO1994-1998


1 4Boy Scouts of America, AFL CIO, Community Services, Working, Serving, and Giving1991


1 5Capital District Labor History Project1989


1 6Capital District Labor Unions Charity Awards Dinner1993, 1996, 1998-1999


1 7Capital Region Career and Education Expo1991


1 8Catholic Social Teaching Letters to the Bishop1985


1 9Cornell Graduation Speech and Programs, Josephine Sano1982, 1985


1 10Deadly Corn, AIW Local 837's Campaign for Justice, VHS Tapeca. 1994


1 11Delegates to National Convention, Designating Petitions1984


1 12Eastern New York Occupational Health Programs1993-1994


1 13NYSUT Task Force on Central Labor Councils1996


1 14Labor Day Parade Meeting Notes1984


1 15Managing Literacy Program Guidelines, New York State Education Department1987


1 16New York State Assembly Labor Committee1996


1 17News Clippings1984-1992


1 18News Clippings1993-2000, Undated


1 19News Releases1987-1989, 1991-1992, 1995-1997


1 20New York State Workplace Literacy Grant1990-1991


1 21Occupational Retraining and Reemployment Act, Disclose Workers Program, Albany Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce1988


1 22Remarks of Josephine Sano at the Dedication of Kate Mullaney House1998


1 23Remarks of Lane Kirkland at the Convention of Public Employee Department1987


1 24Remarks of Tom McGraw and Thomas Shea2000


1 25Speech and Workshop Notes, Union Label and Service Trades Department of the State of New York, AFL CIO, 56th Convention2000


1 26Struggle in the Heartland, VHS TapeUndated


1 27Teaching Labor Studies in Secondary School, Curriculum Guide for TeachersUndated


1 28Testimony of the Union Producers and Programmers Network1991


1 29University Employees Bulletin1996


1 30Veterans Employment and Training Program1987


1 31Worker Assistance Centers, New York State AFL CIO1987


1 32Workplace Literacy Programs, Alcoholism & Hotel, Restaurant Employees Union1982, 1988
Quantity: 1.2 cubic ft. (about 1.2 boxes)

Arranged alphabetically.

Among the publications in this series are the Federation, which communicated information on legislative bills that would affect union workers, the Capital Examiner, which relays information on business and labor communities, and the Legislative Gazette which also provided workers with information on union issues. Also included are reports of several New York State agencies.



1 1AFL-CIO Third Annual Labor Recognition Dinner1987


1 2Annual Labor Recognition Dinner, AFL-CIO1985, 1987-1988


1 3Annual Labor Recognition Dinner, AFL-CIO1990, 1993


1 4Brochures and Pamphlets, AFL-CIO1965, 1976, 1982-1993, Undated


1 5Brochures, New York State AFL-CIO1972-2000


1 6Brochures and Pamphlets1970-1985, Undated


1 7Circa O.P.E. Convention Handbook, New York State AFL-CIO1998


1 8Constitutional Convention, New York State AFL-CIO1986, 1992


1 9Constitutional Convention, New York State AFL-CIO1996


1 10Handbook, Reports, and Research Papers, New York State AFL-CIO1986, 1988, 1990, Undated


1 11Labor Journals1985-1998


1 12Leadership Training Manual, AFL-CIO1987, 1989


1 13Leadership Training Manual, Current Issues, AFL-CIO Department of Education1991


1 14Legislative and Unemployment Insurance Programs, New York Labor Helping Work1989


1 15Magazines andReports, 1976 19951976-1995


1 16New York State AFL-CIO Unity, Newsletters1986-1994, 1996-1997, 1999


1 17New York State Association of Letter Carriers AFL-CIO, 20002000


1 18New York State Capital Labor Parade1999


1 19New York State Department of Labor, Enforcements1994


2 1Newsletters1981-1991


2 2Privatization1987, 1992


2 3Reports and Guidelines, AFL-CIO1985, 1987, 1997, Undated


2 4Reports on Labor, State of New York1989, 1991, 1998


2 5Taxes we can live with designing a system to meet future needs, New York State AFL CIO1991


2 6Worker Centered Learning: A Guide To Workplace Literacy, AFL-CIO Human Resources Department1990
Quantity: 0.20 cubic ft. (about 0.20 boxes)

Arranged chronologically.

This series contains information on the individual activities of the Albany Central Federation of Labor as well as the joint activities of the Albany Central Federation of Labor and other organizations. The series documents the first Workers Memorial Day, held in 1989, with fliers, posters, and other memorabilia.



1 1Boycott Campaign against John Morrell Products1987


1 2Conference and Convention Programs and Notes1983, 1986-1988, 1991-1999


1 3Fliers and Publicity1986-2000, Undated


1 4New York State AFL-CIO/Central Labor Councils Training Conference1989


1 5PostersUndated


1 6President's Campaign Facts, Walter Mondale1984


1 7PEF Contract, Rally Programs and Speech Notes1988


1 8Voter Participation Worksheets1998


Oversized 1Workers Memorial Day Activities1990, 2000
Quantity: 0.40 cubic ft. (about 0.40 boxes)

Arranged alphabetically.

This series, composed almost entirely of Josephine Sano's correspondence, includes communications from Sano offering support and enlisting the support of several organizations. Correspondence in this series also illustrates differing points of view on particular issues between Sano and the state AFL-CIO. Much of the correspondence is between Sano and the New York state AFL-CIO.



1 1Albany Central Federation of Labor1984-1991


1 2Albany Central Federation of Labor1992-2000, Undated


1 3American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations1987, 1989-1991, 1993-1999


1 4Bishop's Office, Teachers, and Postal Workers1985-2000


1 5Labor Councils, New York State1984-1985, 1988-1999


1 6New York State, AFL CIO1983-1992


1 7New York State, AFL CIO1993-1999


1 8State of New York Executive Chamber, United States Congress1983-1999


1 9State of New York Assembly1988-1994