MS 83 - Ohio State Joint Textile Board
“MS 83 - Ohio State Joint Textile Board.” Finding Aids. BGSU University Libraries, 15 July 2015, lib.bgsu.edu/finding_aids/items/show/1392. Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.
|Title||MS 83 - Ohio State Joint Textile Board|
|Introduction||The records of the Ohio State Joint Textile Board (formerly the Toledo Joint Board) and locals of the Textile Workers United of America were donated to the Center for Archival Collections in June 1978. The collection consists of seventeen and one-half linear feet of minutes, correspondence, arbitration briefs, grievance reports, committee reports, resolutions and convention proceedings. The records extend from the late 1940s into the mid 1970s with the greatest concentration of material falling during the 1960s.|
Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and scholarly research. Jill Morse, a graduate assistant employed by the Ohio Labor History Project, processed the collection and compiled the register in the spring of 1980.
|Agency History||The current Textile Workers United of America (TWUA) grew out of two early weaker organizations. In 1901, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) established a textile union whose deeply craft-conscious concerns were soon overshadowed by the approaching war. On August 27, 1934, this same union called for a national strike. Eight governors had to call out the National Guard. Fourteen people were killed and thousands arrested. President Roosevelt appointed a special investigation board, but the union was too weak to ensure that the recommendations of the President's committee were met. In 1937, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) established the Textile Workers Organizing Committee (TWOC) whose chairman was Sidney Hillman, president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers. Emiel Rieve (later to be the first president of TWUA) was Administrative Director. The TWOC had a treasury and somewhat more clout than the AFL organization. In 1939 the TWOC and the AFL's textile organization combined to form the TWUA. The Toledo Joint Board of the TWUA was chartered in 1940 to provide jurisdiction over the various local unions in northwest Ohio and adjacent territory. The governing organ of the Toledo Joint Board is the Executive Board while that of the TWUA is the Executive Council.|
In 1978 the Cleveland and Toledo Joint Boards merged to become the Ohio State Joint Textile Board with twelve locals under its jurisdiction; the oldest, Local 226-A, dating from 1938. The Ohio State Joint Textile Board then merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers with a total of twenty-four locals under its jurisdiction.
The reader may wish to consult Richard Kelly's Nine Lives for Labor (New York: Praeger, 1956) which recounts the lives of nine early leaders of the textile unions. The Library of Congress has a full run of the TWUA's official journal, The Textile Labor. At this writing, the offices of the Joint Board are located at: 318 West Woodruff, Toledo, Ohio 43624, Willis Opperman, Joint Board Manager.
|Scope and Content||The records of the Toledo Joint Board of the Textile Workers United of America and the various locals contain a fairly comprehensive collection for the researcher. The minutes and correspondence are quite extensive for the Toledo Joint Board and for Local 224 in Toledo (records of other locals being very incomplete), though gaps occur before 1951 and, unfortunately, the Executive Board minutes of the Toledo Joint Board are missing for 1964 and 1965. Also included are the minutes of the Executive Council of the Textile Workers United of America. Thus the labor researcher has a broad spectrum of approach, being able to investigate the union on a local, regional, and national basis. The researcher can investigate the executive power struggle that split the national union in the 1960s through the Executive Council minutes and see the repercussions filter down through the regional Toledo Joint Board to the local and individual level. International concerns of the union also surface in the proceedings of the First World Textile Conference in Amsterdam. The records of the regional board document problems occurring especially with the Cleveland Joint Board in which constant financial and personnel problems necessitated its merger in 1978 with the Toledo Joint Board. The Cleveland Joint Board also was one of the few boards to have a black manager during the early 1960s.|
The rather lengthy time span of the collection, 1940s-1970s, gives the researcher a real feel for the growth of a major labor union from weak beginnings through strike-filled growing pains, into a sophisticated and powerful modern organization, complete with independently contracted private bargaining specialists (Federation of Textile Representatives) and a public relations firm. Results of this growth were the Senate investigations of labor unions that became prevalent in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A copy of Senator Towers, "Labor Law Reform," can be found in Box 37. Convention proceedings (Box 36) also reflect labor's growing concern with its own public image.
Besides the gap in the Toledo Joint Board's regular minutes and the rather incomplete nature of the locals' records, other than for Local 224, some of the records within the collection were water-damaged. Most of this material was cleaned and included in the collection.
Certainly the benefits of this collection to the labor historian are obvious. Yet other researchers may find this collection useful. The legal historian or labor lawyer may be interested in the briefs and testimony generated during the executive split of the Textile Workers United of America in the 1960s (Box 14). Also the student of Black Studies could investigate the black man's role in labor unions as the collection documents the emerging of at least three black leaders within this union.
MINUTES--(REGULAR)--TOLEDO JOINT BOARD
Contains name of president and signature of recording secretary. Contains summary of discussions and motions as well as election results and financial data.
MINUTES--(EXECUTIVE BOARD)--TOLEDO JOINT BOARD
1953-1963, 1966-1970, 1973.
Contains name of chairman and signature of recording secretary. Contains summary of motions and discussions.
MINUTES--AREA CONFERENCES OF TWUA
Contains names of all major speakers and topics discussed.
MINUTES--TOLEDO MANAGEMENT CITIZENS COMMITTEE
Contains name of chairman and list of members present. Contains summary of motions, reports, and resolutions.
MINUTES--EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OF TWUA
Contains name of president and secretary-treasurer. Contains communications discussed, motions made, recommendations, resolutions, and general discussion.
Arranged numerically by local numbers and within chronologically.
Information contained within may vary slightly from local to local but basically same as contained in Toledo Joint Board minutes. Listed below are locals which have more comprehensive minutes:
Local 224: 1951-1973
Local 226: 1956, 1971-1973
Local 981: 1948-1975
Local 1668: 1965-1974
CORRESPONDENCE--TOLEDO JOINT BOARD
Contains outgoing and incoming correspondence dealing with the Joint Board's daily business. Much of the correspondence was generated through the Board's General Manager, Kenneth Delong.
CORRESPONDENCE--CLEVELAND JOINT BOARD
Arranged chronologically. Contains letters to and from Willis Opperman, the administrator appointed to oversee this board, and letters of major participants involved in Board business.
Includes both incoming and outgoing correspondence regarding local business, membership, and dealings with the Joint Board.
Agreements between the locals and employers.
Legal proceedings regarding pay or vacation disputes within the various locals. Also briefs of Executive split testimony in 1964.
Standard forms with employee's name and individual complaint filed. Occasionally includes action taken.
Monthly financial reports of the various locals, financial statements relating to the Cleveland Joint Board, and a few yearly pension fund audits.
Contains reports given by the various committees of the union (legal, research, etc.) At the various conventions.
Contains various proposals made at union's various conventions.
Eight Northwest Ohio chapter charters are included and one for the Toledo Labor Management Citizen’s Committee. These are located in Oversize Manuscript Drawer #56.
Contains the reports, resolutions, and proceedings of the various biennial conventions of the TWUA. Lists yearly officers and communications received during the convention.
Oversized images of Textile Workers Union of America Conventions and other union gatherings are included. These are located in Oversize Manuscript Drawer #56.
|Inventory||Inventory: Toledo Joint Board and TWUA Minutes|
Inventory: TWUA Resolutions, Reports, etc. and Cleveland Joint Board Materials
Inventory: Local 224
Inventory: Local 226
Inventory: Locals 377, 502, 981, 1385
Inventory: Other Locals Material
Inventory: Convention Proceedings and Miscellaneous Materials
Located in Oversize Manuscript Drawer # 56