A basic principle of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Community Services Program is that the union member is first and foremost, a citizen of the community who strives to make the community a good place in which to live, to work, to raise children, and to retire. From this basic principle, a partnership between organized labor and United Way was formed in 1942. Nationally, six AFL-CIO representatives serve on United Way of America's Board of Governors. Locally, there are two Union members who serve on the Board of Directors at the United Way of the Ozarks. There are several Union members who serve as board members at United Way of the Ozarks' member agencies.
Here in Springfield, this partnership is working to build a better community and provide services for those in need. Through this partnership, local unions and their members are helping United Way of the Ozarks by giving at their workplace and by volunteering. Union representatives are active at all levels of United Way including the Board of Directors, Agency Relations and Allocations, Day of Caring and the Annual Campaign.
The Liaison's Role
There are more than 220 AFL-CIO Community Service Liaisons at local United Ways (and American Red Cross) offices across the United States. A Liaison is the link between local Labor Councils, State Federations and United Way. The AFL-CIO Community Service Liaison's key areas of responsibility are:
- Implement the AFL-CIO Community Service Core Program.
- Union Community Activist Network (UCAN) training.
- Assistance to working families experiencing lay-off or strike, help for the unemployed.
- Information and referral and case management.
- Increase labor participation in the United Way campaign.
- Cultivate AFL-CIO/United Way relationships.
- Carry out special AFL-CIO community service projects (i.e., the annual National Association of Letter Carrier's Food Drive, Labor Bell Ringing for the The Salvation Army and Day of Caring).
- Attend appropriate AFL-CIO and United Way functions.
- Expand labor's knowledge of and use of community resources.
- Fulfill administrative responsibilities.
- Recruit, train and place diverse members of organized labor on the decision- making boards of health and human-care service organizations at national, state and local levels.
For more information on Organized Labor, please contact Rennie Diekemper, AFL-CIO Community Service Liaison, at 417.863.7700, firstname.lastname@example.org