Organized Labor and United Way

Working side by side

In 1942, the National Congress of Industrial Organizations Committee for American and Allied War Relief, the United Nations Relief Committee of the American Federation of Labor, and the Community Chests and Councils (now United Way of America) signed an agreement to unite in collaborative fundraising and community development. This agreement helped encourage labor representation on boards and councils and recognized union members’ contributions.

Four years later in 1946, United Way of America established the Department of Labor Participation. This joined United Way with labor, health, and welfare agencies in a cooperative, community effort to bring services and people together.

Today, United Way employs AFL–CIO Community Services Liaisons throughout the country. Local AFL–CIO Central Labor Councils select these representatives to serve both United Way and the Council. Union representatives participate in United Way activities, serve on committees, contribute to annual campaigns as part of the campaign leadership structure, and communicate to union members the importance of the campaign and the agencies involved. Union members also volunteer by working with health and human care agencies that serve their communities.

Labor Leadership recognizes union members who commit to caring for one another and those most in need.  Locally, the UWECI Donor Engagement Specialist-Labor Relations collaborates with the Hawkeye Labor Council and AFL-CIO to promote a shared goal of community wellness.  The Hawkeye Area Labor Council has 40+ affiliated unions with members who support United Way.  We are proud to impact the quality of the labor force and working families in our community.

Donor Engagement Specialist – Labor Relations:
Mégan Valenta
United Way of East Central Iowa

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