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1950s

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In any event, the CIO began a remarkably successful series of organizing campaigns, and over the next few years, brought industrial unionism to large sectors of basic American industry. At the same time the unions remaining in the AFL registered even more substantial gains in membership. During World War 11, the AFL and CIO, while preserving areas of disagreement, began to find more substantial bases for working together on problems affecting all workers. In time many of the old antagonisms had died out and the old issues had been resolved. The stage was set for merger of the two labor groups. They were reunited into the AFL-CIO at a convention in New York opening on Dec. 5, 1955.

The AFL-CIO merger and its accompanying agreements brought about the virtual elimination of jurisdictional disputes between unions that had plagued the labor movement and alienated public sympathy in earlier years. The unions placed a new priority on organizing workers in areas, industries and plants where no effective system of labor representation yet existed. In many cases, it meant crossing the barriers of old thinking and tired methods to reach the employees of companies which for years had resisted unions.

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