Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Local 125

ACWA Records, 1928-1984.
(8 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 001

Based in New Haven, Connecticut, Local 125 was a chapter of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA) that worked to improve wages and hours of work, to increase job security, to provide facilities for advancing cultural, educational, and recreational interests of its members, and to strengthen the labor movement. Key figures in Local 125 included Aldo Cursi who, with Mamie Santora, organized the Connecticut shirtworkers and served as Manager from 1933 to 1954; John Laurie who served as Business Manager from 1933 to 1963; and Nick Aiello, Business agent in 1963 and Manager from 1964 to 1984.

The collection includes constitution, by-laws, minutes, contracts, piece rate schedules, accounts, subject files, scrapbooks, newsclippings, printed materials, photographs and a phonograph record. These records document the history of Local 125 from its founding in 1933 to 1984, when the Local office in New Haven was closed. Included also are correspondence and case materials pertaining to grievance and arbitration proceedings (access restrictions apply).

Historical Note

In 1933 the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA) began an organizing drive among New England garment workers. On April 29, 1933, Local 125 (New Haven, Connecticut and vicinity) was chartered by ACWA. Local governing bodies were established almost immediately; Shop Delegates Councils and the Executive Board each held their first meetings in May, 1933.

Local 125 worked to improve wages and hours of work, to increase job security, to provide facilities for advancing cultural, educational and recreational interests of its members and to strengthen the labor movement. A 5-day work week and “living wage” were prime objectives. Local ACWA social-athletic clubs were opened for members in 1934. Delegates received funding to attend labor conferences and speakers routinely addressed the Shop Delegates Council meetings on topics of labor interest.

Local 125 followed the industry’s growth and decline. In 1933 the union represented 14 shops (over 2,000 workers); 1942: 19 shops; 1950: 24 shops; 1963: 18 shops; 1978: 8 shops. The local eventually represented shops both in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. At various times Bridgeport, Brandford, Danbury, Derby, Manchester, New Britain, New Haven, Shelton and Wallingford shirt factories have had ACWA representation.

Key figures in Local 125 include Aldo Cursi who, with Mamie Santora, organized the Connecticut shirtworkers. Cursi served as Manager of Local 125 from 1933 until 1954. John Laurie was the local’s Business Agent from 1933 until 1963. He served as Manager of Local 125 from 1954 until his death in 1964. Nick Aiello was elected Local 125′s Business Agent in 1963. In 1964 he was elected Manager of Local 125.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Constitution, by-laws, minutes, contracts, piece rate schedules, accounts, subject files, scrapbooks, newsclippings, printed materials, photographs and a phonograph record that document the history of Local 125 from its founding in 1933 to 1984, when the Local office in New Haven was closed. Included also are correspondence and case materials pertaining to grievance and arbitration proceedings (access restrictions apply). Early records were collected by Manager Cursi; Business Agent (and later, Manager) Laurie maintained Local 125′s files through numerous office moves, and Business Agent and Manager Aiello maintained the records from 1964 until 1984.

The records are organized in five series, including Minutes, 1933-1978, Contracts and Piece Rates, 1928-1982, Subject Files, 1934-1984, Grievances and Arbitrations, 1958-1984, and Publications, Photographs and Scrapbooks, 1930-1983.


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

Access restrictions apply to correspondence and case materials pertaining to grievance and arbitration proceedings.

The collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use:

The collection is userestricted.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, Local 125 Records (MS 1). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Acquired from Nick Aiello in 1984 and 1985

Processing Information

Processed by Anneliese Ostendarp, June 1985.


Additional Information

Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Language
English.


Series Descriptions
1933-1978

Includes very complete minutes of the Executive Board and the Shop Delegates Councils, 1933-1977. This series also includes delegate election results, names of conference representatives, grievance and dispute resolutions in addition to more routine union business. Minutes of the regional governing committee, the New England Regional Joint Board, are complete from its founding in 1973 through 1978. Local 125′s political interests are documented in the minutes of the Labor Non-Partisan League (1936) and the Political Action Committee (1948-1974). Social-Athletic Club minutes (1934-1944) reveal the local’s recreational interests; Amalgamated Cultural Activities in Series IV supplement these minutes. Also in this series are two typescripts of the Constitution; dated print copies are found in Series IV.

1928-1982
Arrangement:

Divided into two subseries.

Scope and content:

Subseries One contains contracts between Local 125 and employers, arranged chronologically and dating from 1935 to 1955. Negotiations with the Gant Company of New Haven are well documented and extend from 1943 to 1980. Subseries Two contains piece rate schedules which are arranged chronologically and span 1928-1977. Piece rate surveys, 1939-1945, supplement the schedules.

Related material:

Percentage Table for the Adjustment of Piece Rates file in Series III is also of interest.

1934-1984
Arrangement:

Files are in a topical arrangement; some headings are assigned. Shop closings are listed under name of shop (Bay Products, Interstar Mfg., New Britain, Panettieri, and Rivoli Shirtmakers).

Scope and content:

Maintained by Aldo Cursi and, later, by Nick Aiello. Bulk dates 1964-1984. Shop dues reports (1934-1983), Financial Statements (1975-1984) and Vacation Funds Balance Sheets (1950-1971) indicate the financial workings of the local. The Subject Files also reveal Aiello’s work with the New England Regional Joint Board and the Greater Hartford Labor Council.

Related material:

Photographs which accompanied Import Demonstration and March (1970-1971) files were moved to Series IV.

1958-1984
Arrangement:

Most cases are filed by name of the grievant; some are filed by name of the company.

Restrictions on access:

[Access with special permission]. Restricted. Access to the material may be gained with the written permission of Local 125 (North Dartmouth, Massachusetts).

Scope and content:

Grievance and arbitration case material includes: evidence, correspondence and decisions. Bulk dates, 1976-1979.

1930-1983
Arrangement:

Contains three subseries.

Scope and content:

The first subseries, publications, consists of printed material found in Local 125′s records. Of special interest are: the second issue of ACWA’s newspaper Advance; Bread and Roses, the early history of ACWA and printed copies of the Constitution and By-laws. Three scrapbooks, 1930-1955, consist of newspaper clippings and ACWA and Local 125 printed materials.

Related material:

A record of the sound track (with additional narration) for the 50th Anniversary film of the ACWA-AFL-CIO, CLC “The Inheritance” (stored in the phonograph records box for manuscripts collections).

Contents List
Series I. Minutes
1933-1978
Constitution and By-laws
n.d.
Box 1:1
Constitution
1984
Box 1:2
Affiliation Certificates
1938, 1945, 195-
Box 1:3
Executive Board minutes
1933-1955
Box 1:4-12
Executive Board minutes
1956-1977
Box 2:13-18
Shop Delegate Council minutes
1933-1942
Box 2:19-21
Shop Delegate Council minutes
1943-1974
Box 3:22-30
Shop Delegate Council minutes
1975-1977
Box 4:31
New England Regional Joint Board minutes
1973-1978
Box 4:32
Labor Non-Partisan League minutes
1936
Box 4:33
Political Action Committee minutes
1948-1974
Box 4:34
Social-Athletic Club minutes
1934-1944
Box 4:35-36
Series 2. Contracts and Piece Rates
1928-1982
Contracts (general)
1935-1955
Box 5:1-7
Contracts (general)
1958-1982
Box 6:8-16
Gant Company negotiations
1947-1980
Box 6:17-18
Gant Company correspondence
1964-1979
Box 6:19
Gant Company terminations
1979-1980
Box 6:20
Gant Company termination clippings
1979
Box 6:21
Piece-Rate Schedules
1928-1960
Box 6:22-28
Piece-Rate Schedules
1961-1977
Box 8:29-36
Piece-Rate Surveys
1939-1945
Box 8:37
Series 3. Subject Files
1934-1984
Amalgamated Conventions
1964-1984
Box 9:1-2
Anti-Import Demonstration
1974
Box 9:3
Bank Letters
1962-1978
Box 9:4
Banquets
1941-1984
Box 9:5-6
Banquets Finances Reports
1963-1976
Box 9:7
Bay Products Closing
1968
Box 9:8
Community Health Center
1968-1969
Box 9:9
COPE
1960-1970
Box 9:10
Cutters’ Wages
1960-1968
Box 9:11
Dues Arrears
1964-1965
Box 9:12
Dues Increase Material
1964-1977
Box 9:13-14
Education Conferences
1970-1978
Box 10:15
Equal Employment Opportunity Reports
1967-1980
Box 10:16
Executive Board Correspondence
1963-1984
Box 10:17-22
Executive Board Notices
1966-1969
Box 10:23
Farah Strike Boycott
1972-1974
Box 11:24
Farah Strike Boycott Clippings
1972-1974
Box 11:25
Financial Statements
1975-1984
Box 11:26-27
Folklife Festival Exhibit
1976
Box 11:28
General Officers Elections
1966-1972
Box 11:29
Import Protest March
1970-1971
Box 11:30
Import Protest Picketing
1977
Box 11:31
Insurance Complaints
1967-1969
Box 11:32
Insurance Correspondence
1962-1971
Box 11:33-34
Interstar Mfg. Co. Closing
1983-1984
Box 11:35
J.P. Stevens Boycott
1976-1979
Box 12:36
Leaflets
1933
Box 12:37-39
Legislative Committee
1973-1974
Box 12:40
Membership List
1966, 1970
Box 12:41
Minimum Wage Petition
1972
Box 12:42
Neckwear Organizing Campaign
1966-1967
Box 12:43
New Britain Shirt Company Closing
1967-1968
Box 12:44
New England Regional Joint Board Material
1974-1984
Box 12:45
Officers Christmas Gifts
1964-1984
Box 12:46
Panettieri Shirt Co. Closing
1982
Box 12:47
Percentage Table for the Adjustment of Piece Rate
1942
Box 12:48
Political Action Committee Finances
1949-1979
Box 12:49
Political Action Report
1940
Box 13:50
Political Education Conference
1964
Box 13:51
Presidential Campaign
1972
Box 13:52
Resolutions
1971
Box 13:53
Rivoli Shirtmakers Closings
1968-1969
Box 13:54
Shop Delegates
1963-1977
Box 13:55
Shop Delegates
1967-1981
Box 13:56
Shop Dues Reports
1934-1983
Box 13:57-58
Shop Elections
1962-1984
Box 13:59
Social Security Manual
1939-1942
Box 13:60
Survey of Industry
1977
Box 13:61
Unemployment Compensation Manual
1937-1942
Box 13:62
Vacation Fund Balance Sheets
1950-1971
Box 14:63-65
Series 4. Grievances and Arbitration
1958-1984
Mary Andreozzi
1977
Box 15:1
Salvatore Benevenlo
1977
Box 15:2
Gladys Blake
1976
Box 15:3
Sam Carter
1978
Box 15:4
Mrs. Giuseppi Casella
1979
Box 15:5
Sarah Ceccarell
1981
Box 15:6
Robert James
1978
Box 15:7
Lee Lamirande
1963-1967
Box 15:8
Larry Langello
1978
Box 15:9
Penny Langello
1968, 1976
Box 15:10
Arcardo Sanchez
1984
Box 15:11
Lindward Taylor
1976
Box 15:12
Jennie Sacarino
1983
Box 15:13
King Rene NamnWensi
1978
Box 15:14
Tessie Wierzbicki
1976-1982
Box 15:15
Amalgamated Insurance Fund
1975
Box 15:16
Grant Shirtmakers
1958-1978
Box 15:17-18
Panettieri
1970-1976
Box 15:19
Series 5. Publications and Scrapbooks
1930-1983
ABC’s of Workman’s Compensation
1972-1983
Box 16:1
Advance
1933
Box 16:2
Amalgamated Cultural Activities
1940
Box 16:3
American Labor Rises to Power, 1935-1937
Box 16:4
Bread and Roses
1933-1934
Box 16:5
The Company Behind the Contract
Box 16:6
Conducting Your Union Meeting
Box 16:7
Constitution (ACWA)
1944-1980
Box 16:8
Constitution (Connecticut State Labor Council)
Box 16:9
Constitution (New England Regional Joint Board)
1974, 1978
Box 16:10
Directory of Manufacturers of Men’s and Boy’s Apparel
Box 16:11
Leadership Training Manual
1982
Box 16:12
Letters for Roosevelt
Box 16:13
Song Book (AFL-CIO)
Box 16:14
The Story of the Constitution of the United States–Ervin
Box 16:15
Union Rules of Order
Box 16:16
Workers’ Compensation
Box 16:17
Farah Strike Photos
1974
Box 16:18
Anti-Import Demonstration
1974
Box 16:19
Import Protest-Picketing-New Haven
1977
Box 16:20
50th Anniversary Convention (ACWA)
1964
Box 17:21
Scrapbooks
1930-1955
Box 17:22-24
Phonograph record “The Inheritance” soundtrack with additional narration from the 50th anniversary film of ACWA, AFL-CIO, CLC
1964
Box 17
Note:

(see phono records storage box)

Subjects
  • Clothing trade--Labor unions--Connecticut
  • Labor unions--Connecticut
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • Textile industry--Connecticut
  • Textile workers--Labor unions--Connecticut
Contributors
  • Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Local 125
Types of material
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Sound recordings
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