Mission & History

Our Mission 

The CSA is an independent, nonprofit organization established to improve the lives of workers and their families by helping to meet their human and social service needs. We build broad and diverse coalitions to promote dignity and justice for all workers, and to empower unions to make their communities better places to live, work, raise a family, and retire. 

Our History 

​Even before the advent of collective bargaining, workers and their families bonded together to support each other. In the early days, workers had to go without pay when they went on strike for fair wages, safer working conditions, respect and dignity on the job or when they got laid off or injured. 

To help each other, workers created “community chests” to help those in need and since then, the AFL-CIO has developed a network of labor community services liaisons and labor agencies through an 80-year partnership with United Way Worldwide. 

The Community Services Agency of the Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO (CSA) was founded in 1991 to provide services to workers who experience personal hardship due to no fault of their own and to support local labor during strikes, lay-offs or government shutdowns.