The papers described (two cartons) are part of a larger James L. Daugherty Collection at the Library. The priority was to
process his labor papers that relate most to Los Angeles. They are primarily files he maintained while he was a leader in
the L.A. CIO. In Box 1, researchers will find documentation on the California CIO Council and the Los Angeles CIO primarily
in the period 1946-1950, when the Cold War backlash against Left-led unions was at its height. In Box 2, the Utility Workers
of America, CIO files, 1940-1948, complement the CIO files in Box 1. Together these files provide a glimpse into the politics
of the local and national labor movement at a time when the mass industrial organizing of the original CIO had come to a near
standstill in the face of national and international Cold War politics.
James L. Daugherty (b. 1910) began his labor activism in his twenties when he was fired from an F.W. Woolworth store in Los
Angeles for supporting the store employees in their campaign for better working conditions. He took a job with the Southern
California Gas Company and soon became involved with the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America (UE), becoming
president of UE Local 1414. A grassroots activist in the growing industrial union movement, he joined the Utility Workers
Organizing Committee, one of the organizing committees affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) which
took off in L.A. in the late 1930s. In the Los Angeles and California CIO organizations, Daugherty worked alongside L.A. CIO
leader Phillip (Slim) Connelly, in an aggressive campaign to bring large numbers of L.A. workers into CIO unions. The Utility
Workers Organizing Committee became the Utility Workers of America, CIO.
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