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|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Illinois's 1st district
August 23, 1983 - January 3, 1993
Charles Arthur Hayes
February 17, 1918
Cairo, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||April 8, 1997 (aged 79)|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Charles Arthur Hayes (February 17, 1918 – April 8, 1997) was an American politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Illinois's 1st congressional district, from 1983 to 1993.
Hayes was born in Cairo, Illinois, and graduated from Cairo's Sumner High School in 1935. He was a trade unionist from 1938 to 1983 and served as vice president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.
Hayes was a resident of Chicago for most of his adult life. Hayes was also prolific union man for 45 years. In the 1950s, he raised funds for Martin Luther King Jr.'s voter registration drive in the South. He was a civil rights leader who worked closely with King in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during the 1960s. Later, he was one of major labor leaders arrested during the 1980s anti-apartheid protests that eventually won the freedom of Nelson Mandela. Congressman Hayes was the CBTU's first executive vice president, serving until 1986.
Hayes was elected as a Democrat to the 98th United States Congress by a special election held on August 23, 1983, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Harold Washington, who had been elected mayor of Chicago. While a representative, Hayes was on the Committee on Education and Labor and Small Business Committee. He was most noted for pieces of legislation to encourage school dropouts to re-enter and complete their education.