District Council 1707, AFL-CIO

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Who is AFSCME DC 1707?

DC 1707 traces its origin to 1932 when employees in the independent Federation of Jewish Philanthropies formed the Association of Federation Workers. In the ensuing period, the association underwent various name changes and affiliations.

These included the Social Service Employees Union (American Federation of Labor Local 20334), United Office and Professional Workers of America (Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO) Local 19 and finally the Community and Social Agency Employees Union (Local 1707).

After the 1955 merger between the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) forming the AFL-CIO, Local 1707 joined the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). This affiliation continues today.

In 1966, Local 1707 ventured into previously un-chartered territory for labor organizations when it took on the task of organizing the workers in New York City’s (subsidized) day care centers. After long and heated battles, Local 1707 scored a smashing victory in organizing the workers and bringing in 6,000-day care employees into the union. This success firmly established Local 1707 as an innovative union that could succeed under seemingly prohibitive conditions.

In 1972, Local 1707 outgrew its single local structure and embarked on the process of reorganizing the union into an AFSCME District Council. In 1973, the members overwhelmingly approved the creation of District Council 1707. The Council initially comprised four locals: National Membership and Fundraising (Local 107), Day Care (Local 205), Social Services (Local 215), Teaching, and Related Organizations (Local 253).

While building the Council structure and consolidating its membership, District Council 1707 never lost sight of its mandate to organize the unorganized. In 1976, DC 1707 further established itself as the childcare workers’ union by organizing and chartering Local 95 of Head Start agencies. Just two years later, DC 1707 undertook another formidable organizing campaign and organized the city’s private, nonprofit home care agencies. These agencies provided homemaking, housekeeping, home health care and other services to the elderly, incapacitated and infirmed. Thus, Local 389 was chartered in 1980.
 

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