The American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) were two major players within the labor market. The major objective of these two groups was to promote the recognition of workers’ rights in various domains. However, they had numerous differences concerning the appropriate approach to achieve their objectives. AFL, established in 1886, was a labor organization with a distinct method of addressing workers’ plight. Its adoption of capital engaging concepts within the labor industry transformed it into a highly influential organization in the labor industry. AFL suffered a major blow during the Great Depression as its ideologies failed to survive the economic turbulence of the time. The formation of CIO in 1935 introduced another influential party in the labor market. The need to retain control over the labor market fueled a twenty-year rivalry between AFL and CIO (Wheeler, 2002). While AFL promoted its agenda of establishing AFSCME, CIO focused on creating SCMWA. The battle for supremacy between AFL and CIO had adverse effects on activities of the labor movement. To address this issue, AFL and CIO agreed to merge and work as one body known as AFL-CIO. This undertaking was crucial in streamlining the undertakings of the labor movement in the struggle for workers’ rights. The new organization would oversee adjustments relating to various aspects of jurisdiction warfare and address cases of corruption within unions affiliated to the labor market.
Labor movements had significant influence on various matters of electoral politics. Before the AFL-CIO merger, CIO was a key force behind the Roosevelt’s win in 1936. After the merger, AFL-CIO continued to influence major democratic exercise in America. The organization actively participated in political matters and demonstrated its stance on policies of the Democratic Party. It was highly concern about issues relating to fiscal policies and social regulation. AFL-CIO was critical of government policies that seemed to curtail social spending on jobs and the channeling of funds towards the development of infrastructure and expansion of the education sector. In addition, AFL-CIO was supportive of economic measure that would cushion citizens against impacts of cyclical recession. Activities of AFL-CIO largely influenced the way the government planned and implemented its development goals due to the wide scope of the organization’s objectives. To protect worker’s rights, AFL-CIO pushed for the increment of the minimum wage, insurance policies that address unemployment and retirement plans and packages that were considerate of people’s welfare (Krieger, 2001). Furthermore, the organization lobbied for reforms in the health sector to promote safety in the place of work and the overall system of national health. Industrial unions helped to support AFL-CIO in its pursuance of healthcare reforms and benefits.
Similar to Roosevelt’s role in transforming America, AFL-CIO facilitated large-scale creation of jobs and the transformation of a significant portion of the American population into the middle class. In addition, this organization was a factor in Roosevelt’s government concerning the adoption of reformist politics and policies. AFL-CIO established a system of voter mobilization that would instigate changes in the undertaking of democratic exercises. This system considerably influenced various democratic victories in America by directing decisions of union members regarding liberal and undemocratic politics and ideologies (Skurzynski, 2008)
AFL-CIO adopted policies that would discourage racial bias at work and within civil rights movements. This was an important undertaking in improving workers’ relationship and the organization’s bargaining power. It helped to mitigate the prevalence of segregation in various parts of America and create a unified and democratic country. AFL-CIO was also engaged in various matters of America’s foreign affairs. It supported government policies that addressed issues related to the improvement of the labor movement. One can conclude that AFL-CIO was key force behind the realization of reforms in America.