Scope and Content
Title: James Daugherty Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1937-1980
Collection number: MSS 017
Extent: 2 cartons
Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research.
The collection is available for research only at the Library's facility in Los Angeles.
The Library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Researchers are encouraged
to call or email the Library indicating the nature of their research query prior to making a visit.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Southern California Library for
Social Studies and Research. Researchers may make single copies of any
portion of the collection, but publication from the collection will be
allowed only with the express written permission of the Library's
director. It is not necessary to obtain written permission to quote from
a collection. When the Southern California Library for Social Studies
and Research gives permission for publication, it is as the owner of the
physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the
copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
[Identification of item], James Daugherty Collection, Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, Los Angeles.
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.
In 1946, Daugherty became president of the California CIO, a leadership position that was cut short when the U.S. labor movement
was caught up in the anti-communism that followed World War II. The 1947 Taft-Hartley Law required union members to sign non-communist
affidavits. Along with Harry Bridges, president of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union and western regional
CIO leader, Daugherty resisted the assault on the left CIO unions, several of which were expelled from the CIO. The charter
of the California CIO was revoked by the national CIO in 1949.
After the debacle of the CIO, Daugherty worked as an organizer for the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers
in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, leading several Mine Mill shops into the UE. Laid off from UE, Daugherty eventually returned to Los
Angeles. Retired from the labor movement, he continued to make himself available to young labor activists and assisted Southern
California Library for Social Studies and Research founder Emil Freed in expanding the library's labor holdings.
In 1991, the UCLA Oral History Program made an oral history interview with Daugherty conducted by Myrna Donahoe in 1987 and
1988, available for research. The transcript of it,
James L. Daugherty: Utilities Workers, the UE, and the CIO, is deposited in the Special Collections Department of the UCLA University Research Library. Researchers will want to consult
that for a more detailed biography of Daugherty's life of labor activism, his involvement with the Communist Party (CP), and
his view of the relationship between the CP and the organized labor movement.
Scope and Content
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.
Eventually Daugherty's files on the UE and Mine, Mill Smelter unions will be processed and added to the CIO and Utility Workers
papers described to date. In addition to his own papers, Daugherty rescued many labor pamphlets, periodicals, and files from
the old Los Angeles CIO building at Avalon and Slauson when it was closed down. These were given to the Southern California
Library where they became the core of the labor collection at SCL.
See related SCL Collection: California CIO Council Union Research and Information Services.
Title: California CIO Council Union Research and Information Services Records, 1935-1956.
Title: Shevy Wallace Healey Papers (CIO Los Angeles Organizing), 1938-1962.
Title: Standard Coil Organizing Campaign Collection (UE vs. IUE-CIO), 1949-1954, n.d..
Title: Julius Mel Reich Labor Archives Collection.