Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Boston Joint Board

ACWA Boston Joint Board Records, 1926-1979.
(8 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 002

The Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America originated from a split in the United Garment Workers in 1914 and quickly became the dominant force for union in the men’s clothing industry, controlling shops in Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, and New York. The Boston Joint Board formed at the beginning of the ACWA and included locals from a range of ethnic groups and trades that comprised the industry. It coordinated the activities and negotiations for ACWA Locals 1, 12, 102, 149, 171, 172, 173, 174, 181,183, 267, and 335 in the Boston area. In the 1970s the Boston Joint Board merged with others to form the New England Regional Joint Board.

Records, including minutes, contracts, price lists, and scrapbooks, document the growth and maturity of the ACWA in Boston and the eventual decline of the industry in New England. Abundant contracts and price lists show the steady improvement of conditions for workers in the men’s clothing industry. Detailed minutes reflect the political and social influence of the ACWA; the Joint Board played an important role in local and state Democratic politics and it routinely contributed to a wide range of social causes including the Home for Italian Children and the United Negro College Fund. Minutes also document the post World War II development of industrial relations in the industry and include information relating to Joint Board decisions to strike. Minutes also contain information relating to shop grievances, arbitration, shop committees, and organizing. The records largely coincide with the years of leadership of Joseph Salerno, ACWA Vice President and New England Director from 1941 to 1972.

Historical Note

The Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America originated from a split in the United Garment Workers in 1914. The ACWA quickly became the dominant force for unionism in the men’s clothing industry, controlling shops in Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, and New York. The Boston Joint Board, formed at the beginning of the ACWA, included-locals that covered the range of ethnic groups and trades that comprised the industry. It coordinated the activities and negotiations for ACWA Locals # 1, 12, 102, 149, 171, 172, 173, 174, 181, 183, 267, and 335 in the Boston area.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Boston Joint Board records document the growth and maturity of the ACWA in the city, and the eventual decline of the industry in New England. Abundant contracts and price lists show the steady improvement of conditions for workers in the men’s clothing industry. Detailed minutes reflect the political and social influence of the ACWA. The Joint Board played an important role in local and state Democratic politics, and it routinely contributed to and supported a wide range of social causes including, among others, the Home for Italian Children and the United Negro College Fund.

The minutes of the Boston Joint Board are much more revealing for the detail they provide about the post-World War II development of industrial relations in the industry. These minutes document Joint Board decisions to strike, but they also contain much information about more mundane shop problems like grievances, arbitrations, shop committees, and organizing. Additionally, they provide insight into the impact of the industry’s decline in New England. Many of the meetings discuss the closing of shops in the Boston area, while the merger of the ACWA with the textile workers’ union to form the ACTWU evinces the declining membership of the clothing workers in the region.

The extant records of the Boston Joint Board largely coincide with the years of leadership of Joseph Salerno in the New England region. An Italian immigrant, Salerno came to Boston at age 10 in 1907. He participated in his first strike as a garment worker in 1911, and became a full-time organizer for the ACWA in 1920. After spending some years as regional director of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee and as Vice-President of the Textile Workers, Salerno was elected Vice President and New England director of the ACWA in 1941 and remained in that position until 1972. He wielded substantial political power in the state, in part due to the influence of his nephew, Rep. Mario Umano. The scrapbooks and photos emphasize his importance in the Boston area and in New England more generally, and document his close relationship with Democratic politics.

The records are divided into four series, including Minutes, 1942-1979; Finances, 1954-1972; Collective Bargaining Files, 1926-1976; and Scrapbooks, 1958-1976.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, Boston Joint Board Records (MS 2). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Deposited by the New England Regional Joint Board, through Edward Clark, November 1984.

Custodial history:

The records of the Boston Joint Board were maintained primarily by long-time manager Joseph Fiascone, who was succeeded in 1970 by Samuel Tancreto. They were sent to the New England Regional Joint Board headquarters in North Dartmouth, MA, in the late 1970s when the Boston Board activities were assumed by the New England Regional Joint Board. There they were maintained by New England Joint Board leaders Diana Nunes and Edward Clark.

Processing Information

Processed by Kenneth Fones-Wolf, December 1984.


Additional Information

Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Language
English.


Series Descriptions
1942-1979

Consists primarily of handwritten minutes of the Boston Joint Board executive committee meetings, 1948-1977. The minutes are detailed and they document the major activities of the ACWA in the Boston area. There are also minutebooks from two locals that participated in the Boston Joint Board, #174 (1942-1979), and #335 (1953-1976), which cover the minutes of local meetings.

1954-1972

Contains only a small amount of information about the finances of two locals in the Boston Joint Board, #173 and #174.

1926-1977

Comprises the bulk of the collection and includes three subseries. The first is arbitrations, which contains information, briefs, and decisions of some of the Joint Board’s arbitration cases, 1926-1977. Subseries two, Contracts and Agreements, includes copies of contracts with all of the major men’s clothing companies in the Boston area, dating from 1916, but with the bulk of the material covering 1930-1975. The third subseries contains price lists for many of the shops covered by the contracts, detailing wage rates for particular types of work, 1944-1977.

1958-1976

Primarily document the career of Joseph Salerno, the New England regional director of ACWA. In particular, the scrapbooks reveal his political activities throughout New England and contain information about some of the other prominent ACWA New England officials, including Alvaro Ferreira, Diana Nunes, and Harvey Friedman.

Contents List
Series 1. Minutes
1942-1979
Joint Board, Board of Directors
1948-1952
Box 1:1-8
Joint Board, Board of Directors
1953-1969
Box 2:9-20
Joint Board, Board of Directors
1970-1977
Box 3:21-23
Local 174 meetings
1942-1979
Box 3:v. 1-2
Local 335 meetings
1953-1976
Box 4:v. 1

Series 2. Finances
1954-1972
Cash Book, Local 174
1954-1957
Box 4:1
Financial Statements, Local 174
1970-1972
Box 4:2
Pension Resolution, Local 173
undated
Box 4:3

Series 3. Collective Bargaining
1926-1977
Arbitrations
1926-1977
Box 5:1-5
Contracts and Agreements
John Alden Cleansers
1965-1971
Box 5:6
Scott Allen Clothes
1953-1969
Box 5:7
Anania Ltd., Inc.
1968-1972
Box 5:8
Anthony’s Custom Clothing
1971
Box 5:9
Atlantic Sportswear Co.
1971
Box 5:10
Bancroft Cleansers and Dyers
1938-1971
Box 5:11
Barron-Anderson Co.
1944-1974
Box 5:12
Beale Bros., Inc.
1965-1974
Box 5:13
Belco Clothing Co.
1955-1970
Box 5:14
John Berke, Inc.
1968-1972
Box 6:15
Bond Stores, Inc.
1916-1975
Box 6:16
Boston Retail Clothiers Group
1962
Box 6:17
Brenton Clothing Co.
1944-1968
Box 6:18
Paul Carr Ltd., Inc.
1963-1972
Box 6:19
Central Sportswear Co.
1937-1970
Box 6:20
Commonwealth Clothing Co.
1929-1969
Box 6:21
Commonwealth Mfg. Co.
1953-1971
Box 6:22
Continental Garment Co.
1950-1965
Box 6:23
Coolidge Dye House, Inc.
1937-1968
Box 6:24
Croston & Carr G.
1962-1971
Box 6:25
Duke Mfg. Co.
1961-1963
Box 6:26
F.L. Dunne Co.
1962-1968
Box 6:27
Eastern Cleansers & Dyers
1937-1974
Box 6:28
Friend Mfg. Co.
1966
Box 6:29
G.C.C. Uniform Co.
1965-1972
Box 6:30
Gilchrist Co.
1941-1974
Box 7:31
Dave Goodman, Inc.
1937-1968
Box 7:32
Robert Hall Clothes
1962-1976
Box 7:33
Haymarket Clothing Co.
1927-1975
Box 7:34
House of Doherty
1960-1975
Box 7:35
Howard Clothes, Inc.
1962-1972
Box 7:36
Joslyn Dyers and Cleaners
1941-1945
Box 7:37
Kennedy’s, Inc.
1962-1972
Box 7:38
Roger Kent
1968-1972
Box 7:39
L&S Tailoring
1961-1972
Box 7:40
Robert Lawrence Co.
1955-1972
Box 7:41
Guy Lewis, Inc.
1945-1971
Box 7:42
Lewiston, Ltd.
1965-1972
Box 7:43
Linehan, Inc.
1971-1976
Box 8:44
McKay Clothing Co.
1971-1974
Box 8:45
Chester Morris Clothing Co.
1970
Box 8:46
New England Men’s and Boy’s Clothing Mfrs. Assoc.
1968
Box 8:47
Newport Clothing Co.
1953-1971
Box 8:48
Oppenheim & Segal, Inc.
1942-1956
Box 8:49
Bert Paley, Ltd.
1953-1972
Box 8:50
Parseghian Clothing Co.
1967-1972
Box 8:51
Picarillo & Singer, Inc.
1944-1972
Box 8:52
R&N Mfg. Co.
1960-1973
Box 8:53
Raymond’s, Inc.
1962-1972
Box 8:54
Ripley Clothes
1962-1968
Box 8:55
Rogers Peet Co.
1961-1969
Box 8:56
Royal Coat Mfg. Co.
1935-1957
Box 8:57
Joseph Ryack Coat Front Co.
1950-1969
Box 8:58
Screnci’s, Inc.
1957-1972
Box 8:59
Simpson Clothes, Inc.
1967-1972
Box 8:60
Stuart Pants Co.
1945-1968
Box 9:61
Robert Todd, Ltd.
1973
Box 9:62
Trimount Clothing Co.
1929-1972
Box 9:63
Tru-Fit Clothing Co.
1967-1975
Box 9:64
United Clothing Corp.
1949-1955
Box 9:64a
Wales Mfg. Co.
1949-1966
Box 9:65
Ware & Pratt Co.
1947-1977
Box 9:66
Wearwell Trouser Co.
1954-1976
Box 9:67
Winston’s Ltd. of Boston
1969
Box 9:68
Zolloto & Cohen Co.
1944-1947
Box 9:69
Price Lists
Barron-Anderson G.
1946-1960
Box 10:70
Beacon Clothing Co.
1959
Box 10:71
Brenton Clothing Co.
1959-1961
Box 10:72
Byron Clothing Co.
1960-1963
Box 10:73
Central Sportswear Mfg. Co.
1959
Box 10:74
Commonwealth Clothing Co.
1963
Box 10:75
Continental Garment Mfg. Co.
1956-1960
Box 10:76
Davis Clothing Co.
1960
Box 10:77
R.A. De Conto Co.
1959
Box 10:78
Forester Mfg. Co.
1959
Box 10:79
G.T. Inc.
1954-1972
Box 10:80
General
1960-1961
Box 10:81
Harvard Clothing Co.
1954-1960
Box 10:82
M. Hoffman & Co.
1940-1948
Box 10:83
Julius & Sons, Inc.
1959
Box 10:84
Robert Lawrence Co.
1955-1960
Box 10:85
Leon Clothing Co.
1954-1968
Box 10:86-87
Malcolm-Kenneth Co.
1946-1963
Box 10:88
McKay Clothing Co.
1971-1974
Box 10:89
New England Sportswear
1959
Box 10:90
Oppenheim-Segal Co.
1960
Box 10:91
Picarillo & Singer, Inc.
1946-1968
Box 10:92
R&N Mfg. Co.
1960
Box 10:93
Sharpiro Bros. & Gordon
1952-1960
Box 10:94
Star Sportswear Mfg. Co.
1959-1963
Box 10:95
Stuart Pants Co.
1960-1969
Box 10:96
Wales Mfg. Co.
1954-1960
Box 10:97

Series 4. Scrapbooks
1958-1976
Scrapbooks: Joseph Salerno
1958-1965
Box 11
Scrapbooks: Joseph Salerno
1965-1971
Box 12
Scrapbooks: Joseph Salerno
1971-1976
Box 13

Subjects
  • Boston (Mass.)--Economic conditions--20th century
  • Clothing trade--Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Textile industry--Massachusetts
  • Textile workers--Labor unions--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Textile workers--Massachusetts--Economic conditions--20th century
Contributors
  • Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Boston Joint Board
  • Salerno, Joseph, fl. 1907-1972
Types of material
  • Contracts
  • Financial records
  • Minutes
  • Scrapbooks
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