The breakaway was as a result of the great depression strains that required AF of L to organize for workers of mass production as a strategy of reducing unemployment among its workers. However, due to the risky economic times AF of L was unwilling to devote its scarce resources. John Lewis thus led a group of rivals to form Congress of industrial organization (CIO) (Zeger, 32). The break way resulted to rivalry among these labor unions and increased competition. The breakaway made AF of L to be hostile to communists who were affiliated to its rival union CIO. Due to this rivalry in the 1940’s it formed a rival federation the international confederation of free trade unions.
Corruption of labor unions is another challenge that AF of L was faced with. In 1950’s most of the labor unions were involved in corruption and political issues. Some of these labor unions were affiliated to AF of L. As a result AF of L was forced to expel some of the labor unions such as International longshoremen’s association and other teamster unions. Its failure to organize non union workers who wanted to be represented in the union was another challenge that caused AF of L to record low member registration until the post war period when it developed strategies to ensure that non union member’s rights were also represented. AF of L was mainly forced to organize for these non workers rights representations as a counter mission against its rival group CIO (Galenson, 01).