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450 S Michigan Ave, AUD 1851
Chicago IL 60605
United States


Illinois Labor History Society

Hall of Honor

1986 Union Hall of Honor

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Peter J. McGuire

"No. 1 carpenter unionist in 1881, and the First Secretary-Treasurer of the American Federation of Labor in 1886.”

Throughout his career, McGuire sought to promote the interests of carpenters. In 1881, he formed the national carpenters’ federation, The Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. As a union activist and editor of The Carpenter, he demanded higher wages for all in his trade. In 1886, McGuire became the first Secretary of the AFL.

George Bynum

“A barbers’ union leader, civil rights activist, and first African-American elected to the Executive Board of the Chicago Federation of Labor.”

George Bynum served as an activist for African-American civil rights as well as for organized labor. In 1947, he founded the Chicago Barbers, Local Union 939. As a labor leader, he represented barbers, cosmologists, and hair dressers in Springfield, Illinois, to strengthen the political standing of their profession. Bynum was the first African-American elected to the Executive Board of Illinois State AFL-CIO.

William Lee

"From teamster steward to head of the Chicago Federation of Labor; superb manager of conflict and super-steward of Labor's Cause."

Although Lee was initially involved in promoting the interests of teamsters, he went on to promote the interests of labor throughout Chicago. In 1926, Lee became president of Teamsters Local 734 which was a position he held for thirty-five years. During 1950-1957 Lee served as the Vice-President of the Brotherhood of Teamsters. However, Lee assumed the responsibility of representing all organized labor throughout Chicago as president of the Chicago Federation of Labor from 1946 until 1984.

Lillian Herstein

“Brillant advocate of teacher unionism, master teacher of labor leaders and a commanding voice in Labor's councils for 25 years.”

Throughout her career, Herstein fought for women's rights in labor and politics. In 1916, she became a member of the Federation of Women High School Teachers which was the predecessor of the Chicago Teachers' Union. For 25 years, Herstein was the only woman to serve on the Executive Board of the Chicago Federation of Labor.