Labor Union

Chicago Federation of Labor

ChicagoFedLabor-logo (link)



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2017):

Revenue: $4,171,639
Expenses: $4,415,258
Assets: $7,105,163




Robert G. Reiter, Jr.

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The Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) is the umbrella organization for labor unions in Cook County, Illinois. The organization, which was founded in 1896, claims to have 300 affiliated unions1 and is the third largest central labor council of the national AFL-CIO. 2


The Chicago Federation of Labor was chartered by the American Federation of Labor, predecessor of the contemporary AFL-CIO, in 1896. Originally, it was founded as the General Trades Assembly in 1864. Later, it became the Trades Council and Trades and Labor Assembly. 3

Just under twenty individuals have led the organization over the last century. Notably, John Fitzpatrick served as president of the organization for more than 40 years. He was active in many union organizing-drives and was one of the leaders in the steel strike of 1919. He was a vocal advocate of reducing the influence of organized crime and racketeering in Chicago labor unions. 4

The Chicago Federation of Labor also employed radical organizer William Foster. 5 Foster gained national attention from his work organizing a steel-industry drive that ultimately led to the Great Steel Strike of 1919. Foster eventually joined the American Communist Party and was its presidential candidate in three elections. 6

Present Activities

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Chicago Federation of Labor created a fund to support union members who lost income as a result of the pandemic. Union members that may not qualify for unemployment insurance or other assistance can receive a one-time $500 payment from the fund to help with expenses such as food and basic supplies, as well as rent, mortgage, and utility assistance. 7

During the 2020 elections, CFL endorsed local and statewide candidates within Illinois. Supported candidates included Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) as well as Democratic U.S. Representatives Bobby Rush, Sean Casten, and Jan Schakowsky. 8

After the 2020 elections, CFL president Robert Reiter Jr. congratulated Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their presidential election victory and stated that “while Donald Trump continues to sow confusion and rage in his defeat, we must protect the vote and prevent Donald Trump from any further assault on democracy in the final days of his presidency.” 9

CFL president Robert Reiter was criticized in November 2020 for standing behind long-time Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) as four individuals close to Madigan were charged with participating in a bribery scheme designed to gain favor with him. 10


The organization’s tax returns for 2018 reported more than $3.8 million in total revenue and over $3.6 million in total expenses. In 2017, the organization reported more than $4.1 million in total revenue and just under $4.4 million in total expenses. 11


The organization has been led by Robert Reiter Jr. since 2018. Previously, Reiter served two terms as the Secretary-Treasurer of CFL and has previously worked as a union-side labor attorney, a union organizer, a negotiator, and a lobbyist. 12

Rose Daylie works as CFL’s first vice president and has occupied that role since 2018. Daylie has a long history of working with labor unions in the Chicago area. Elected president of AFSCME Council 31 in 1979, Daylie served in that role until she was appointed associate director of Council 31 in 1985. 13


  1. “About the CFL.” Chicago Federation of Labor. Accessed December 21, 2020.
  2. “Bios.” Chicago Federation of Labor. Accessed December 25, 2020.
  3. “History.” Chicago Federation of Labor. Accessed December 21, 2020.
  4. “John Fitzpatrick, Labor Leader, Dies.” New York Times, September 29, 1946.
  5. Graff, Daniel A. “Chicago Federation of Labor.” The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Accessed December 25, 2020.
  6. Devinatz, Victor. “The Labor Philosophy of William Z. Foster: From the IWW to the TUEL.” International Social Science Review 71, no. 1/2 (1996) (1996): 3–13.
  7. “Chicago Labor Relief Fund.” GoFundMe. Accessed December 25, 2020.
  8. Chicago Federation of Labor. “CHICAGO FEDERATION OF LABOR 2020 GENERAL ELECTION ENDORSED CANDIDATES.” Chicago Federation of Labor. Accessed December 24, 2020.
  9. “Chicago Federation of Labor Statement on the Historic Victory of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.” Chicago Federation of Labor, November 20, 2020.
  10. Spielman, Fran. “Standing by Their Man: Chicago Federation of Labor President Still Has Madigan’s Back.” Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago Sun-Times, November 19, 2020.
  11. Chicago Federation of Labor, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018
  12. “Bios.” Chicago Federation of Labor. Accessed December 25, 2020.
  13. “About Rose.” Rose Daylie. Accessed December 21, 2020.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 1969

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $4,171,639 $4,415,258 $7,105,163 $5,432,589 N $0 $3,932,573 $60,153 $781,199
    2016 Dec Form 990 $4,327,441 $3,435,012 $6,743,016 $4,879,388 N $0 $4,241,030 $67,108 $676,517
    2015 Dec Form 990 $3,346,853 $3,850,616 $6,616,065 $5,747,112 N $0 $3,241,969 $66,786 $665,330 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $3,188,080 $4,370,316 $6,733,807 $5,515,128 N $0 $2,850,952 $50,404 $653,380 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $5,555,908 $3,093,964 $6,857,514 $4,374,574 N $0 $5,439,473 $53,807 $614,973 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $2,757,001 $3,092,375 $6,399,812 $6,721,446 N $0 $2,646,706 $54,531 $604,671 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $2,616,244 $6,152,343 $6,361,925 $6,522,310 N $0 $2,484,932 $60,702 $580,427 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Chicago Federation of Labor

    130 E RANDOLPH ST STE 2600
    CHICAGO, IL 60601-6306