Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

State, County, and Municipal Workers of America

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Covid-19
Founded  1937
Members  100,000
Date dissolved  April 25, 1946
Head union  Abram Flaxer
Merged into  United Public Workers of America
Affiliation  Congress of Industrial Organizations

The State, County, and Municipal Workers of America (SCMWA) was an American labor union representing federal, state, county, and local government employees which existed from 1946 to 1952. It was the first union with this jurisdiction established by the Congress of Industrial Organizations (a national labor federation), and one of the unions which merged in 1946 to form the influential United Public Workers of America.

The union is sometimes confused with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). AFSCME, however, was a competing union. SCMWA purposefully had a similar name, as the two unions often competed for the same members.

History

In 1937, a number of AFSCME local unions, composed primarily of caseworkers, disaffiliated from that union and joined the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The CIO allowed these local unions to form the State, County, and Municipal Workers of America, and charged the new organization with competing with AFSCME at the state and local levels for membership. Most of the leaders and many of the members of these local unions were strongly sympathetic to the beliefs and goals of the Communist Party USA. Former AFSCME executive board member Abram Flaxer was appointed the new union's president, and former AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer David Kanes held the same post in SCMWA. SCMWA membership grew quickly: It more than doubled the number of local unions (from 12 to 28) in a year, and its members rose from 25,000 in 1937 to more than 48,000 in 1946. In comparison, AFSCME's membership grew from 13,259 in 1947 to more than 73,000 in 1946.

On April 25, 1946, SCMWA merged with the United Federal Workers of America (UFWA) to form the United Public Workers of America. The impetus for the merger was the relative failure of the UFWA to attract new members, and SCMWA essentially absorbed the smaller federal union.

References

State, County, and Municipal Workers of America Wikipedia


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