Convention Resolution

Resolution 61: Recognition of the Life and Legacy of A. Philip Randolph, America's Great Labor and Civil Rights Leader

Submitted by the Executive Council
Referred to the legislation and Policy Committee


A. Philip Randolph was one of the greatest 20th-century labor and civil rights leaders in the united States. He dedicated his life and work to the cause of ending discrimination and injustice in workplaces and communities across the country.

a. Philip Randolph was a champion for the rights of all workers, especially african american workers. in 1925, he organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters to gain recognition for sleeping car porters at the Pullman Co. these porters were african americans who previously had no union representation.

the struggle for dignity, respect and economic security at the Pullman Co. for african american sleeping car porters led to years of struggle for the 7,000-member union. in 1937, after a long and bitter struggle, years of negotiations and amendments to the Railway labor act, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters won a contract with the Pullman Co. that achieved pay increases, a shorter workweek and overtime pay. this was the first contact between a company and an african american union.

the victory for the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters was a victory for the u.S. labor movement. it was an advance for the labor movement toward full participation and inclusion of all members regardless of race. the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters affiliated with the federation through the 1955 merger of the AFL-CIO.

a. Philip Randolph believed that social and economic justice was the right of every person in america in workplace and in society. He fought against discrimination, segregation and for civil and human rights.

Randolph became a spokesperson for civil rights in the early 1940s and led the struggle to end segregation in the armed forces, government agencies and in civil society. He was one of the chief architects and organizers of the historic 1963 March on Washington and other significant movements that challenged discrimination and racism.

a. Philip Randolph was instrumental to achieving significant change and progress in workplaces, institutions and communities across the country. His legacy and work must be remembered and honored for the great contributions made to advance social justice and economic equality.        

The AFL-CIO 26th Constitutional Convention therefore recognizes the life and legacy of one of the country’s greatest labor and civil rights leaders for his contributions to the advancement of workers’ and civil rights. 

The AFL-CIO Convention supports and endorses H. Res. 150, which recognizes a. Philip Randolph for his lifelong leadership and work to end discrimination and secure equal employment and labor opportunities for all americans.