Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Labor (65 collections)
SCUA

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Labor (misc.)

Labor Collection, 1908-1988.
1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 328

Chance and geography conspired early in the history of New England to lay a foundation for both industrialization and the rise of organized labor.

The Labor Collection includes miscellaneous manuscripts relating to organized labor, such as by-laws, reports, and agreements of Massachusetts locals of IUE, IBEW, Cigarmakers International, Bricklayers, and Retail Clerks among others.

Subjects
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts

Lipshires, Sidney

Sidney Lipshires Papers, 1932-2012.
7 boxes (3.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 730

Sidney Lipshires
Sidney Lipshires

Born on April 15, 1919 in Baltimore, Maryland to David and Minnie Lipshires, Sidney was raised in Northampton, Massachusetts where his father owned two shoe stores, David Boot Shop and The Bootery. He attended the Massachusetts State College for one year before transferring to the University of Chicago and was awarded a BA in economics in 1940. His years at the University of Chicago were transformative, Lipshires became politically active there and joined the Communist Party in 1939. Following graduation in 1941, he married Shirley Dvorin, a student in early childhood education; together they had two sons, Ellis and Bernard. Lipshires returned to western Massachusetts with his young family in the early 1940s, working as a labor organizer. He served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1946 working as a clerk and interpreter with a medical battalion in France for over a year. Returning home, he ran for city alderman in Springfield on the Communist Party ticket in 1947. Lipshires married his second wife, Joann Breen Klein, in 1951 and on May 29, 1956, the same day his daughter Lisa was born, he was arrested under the Smith Act for his Communist Party activities. Before his case was brought to trial, the Smith Act was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Disillusioned with the Communist Party, he severed his ties with it in 1957, but continued to remain active in organized labor for the rest of his life. Earning his masters in 1965 and Ph.D. in 1971, Lipshires taught history at Manchester Community College in Connecticut for thirty years. During that time he worked with other campus leaders to establish a statewide union for teachers and other community college professionals, an experience he wrote about in his book, Giving Them Hell: How a College Professor Organized and Led a Successful Statewide Union. Sidney Lipshires died on January 6, 2011 at the age of 91.

Ranging from an autobiographical account that outlines his development as an activist (prepared in anticipation of a trial for conspiracy charges under the Smith Act) to drafts and notes relating to his book Giving Them Hell, the Sidney Lipshires Papers offers an overview of his role in the Communist Party and as a labor organizer. The collection also contains his testimony in a 1955 public hearing before the Special Commission to Study and Investigate Communism and Subversive Activities, photographs, and biographical materials.

Subjects
  • Communism--United States--History
  • Communists--Massachusetts
  • Jews--Massachusetts--Northampton--History
  • Jews--Political activity--United States--History--20th century
  • Labor movement--United States--History--20th century
  • Labor unions--United States--Officials and employees--Biography
Contributors
  • Lipshires, David M
  • Lipshires, Joann B
  • Lipshires, Sidney
Types of material
  • Autobiographies
  • Photographs
  • Testimonies

Loom Fixers’ Association

Fall River Loom-Fixers' Association Records, 1895-1917.
Call no.: MS 003

Members of the Fall River Loom Fixers Association included some of the most skilled workers in the New England textile industry. The association, on behalf of its members, sought to improve poor working conditions, to provide assistance for members affected by pay reductions or layoffs, and to intervene in conflicts between members and management. The union also served a social function, organizing parades, social gatherings, and excursions. In the 1910s it became affiliated with the United Textile Workers for America.

Records of the Loom Fixers Association include executive committee minutes (1900-1901 and 1911-1917), a treasurer’s book (1901-1905), and six dues books (1895-1907).

Subjects
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • Textile workers--Labor unions--Massachusetts

Massachusetts AFL-CIO

Massachusetts AFL-CIO Records, 1902-1995.
72 boxes (64 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 369

Formed in 1887 as the Massachusetts branch of the American Federation of Labor, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO currently represents the interests of over 400,000 working people in the Commonwealth. Like its parent organization, the national AFL-CIO, the Mass. AFL-CIO is an umbrella organization, a union of unions, and engages in political education, legislative action, organizing, and education and training.

The official records of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO provide insight into the aims and administrative workings of the organization. These includes a nearly complete run of proceedings and reports from its conventions since 1902, except for a five year gap 1919-1923, minutes and agendas for the meetings of the Executive Council, and the President’s files (1982- ). The collection is particularly strong in the period since about 1980.

Subjects
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • AFL-CIO
  • Massachusetts AFL-CIO

Massachusetts AFL-CIO. Directly Affiliated Local Unions

Massachusetts AFL-CIO Directly Affiliated Local Unions Records, 1930-1980.
1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 044

This small collection provides background on labor unions in Massachusetts that, lacking a national scope, join the AFL-CIO as Directly Affiliated Local Unions (DALUs). Taken together, these records provide some basic information on the names and descriptions of companies that have agreements with DALUs, the numbers of union members involved, the occupations represented, and jurisdiction.

Subjects
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Massachusetts AFL-CIO

Massachusetts Commission on Collective Bargaining

Massachusetts Commission on Collective Bargaining Records, 1969-1973.
1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 023

In 1969, Governor Francis W. Sargeant established a bi-partisan council to review municipal and state collective bargaining practices more than decade after all public employees were extended the right to join unions. Over the next three years, the council heard from both sides, interviewing representatives from management and labor, and holding regional hearings throughout the state. The work of the group culminated in the enactment of the Massachusetts Public Employee Collective Bargaining Law (M.G.L. c.150E) in 1973, which granted full bargaining rights to most state and municipal employees.

The collection includes detailed minutes of meetings, transcripts of testimony, drafts of legislature, reports, and recommendations of the council.

Subjects
  • Collective bargaining
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-
Contributors
  • Massachusetts Commission on Collective Bargaining

Massachusetts State Building & Construction Trades Council

Massachusetts State Building and Construction Trades Council Collection, 1959-1972.
1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 327

An advocate for unionized construction workers in the state, the Massachusetts State Building and Construction Trades Council collection consists chiefly of conference proceedings.

Subjects
  • Construction workers--Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Massachusetts State Building and Construction Trades Council

Massachusetts State Employees Association. University of Massachusetts Chapter

MSEA University of Massachusetts Chapter Records, 1955-1978.
10 boxes (4.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 049

Group founded at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1943 to protest proposed changes in the Massachusetts state employees’ retirement system. By 1969, the group became the exclusive bargaining agent for the University’s administrative, clerical, and technical employees. Includes constitution and by-laws, Executive Board and general body minutes, correspondence, contracts, legislative materials, grievance records, hearing transcripts and decisions pertaining to job reallocations, subject files, newsletters, and press releases, that document the activities and administration of the University of Massachusetts chapter of the Massachusetts State Employees Association from 1955 to 1978.

Subjects
  • Collective labor agreements--Education, Higher--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst

Nashua (N.H.) Labor Council

New England Labor New and Commentary Collection, 1989-1990.
1 box (1.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 286

Established as the newspaper of organized labor in New England in 1989, the New England Labor News and Commentary was the official newspaper of the Nashua, N.H. Labor Council.

Subjects
  • Labor unions--New England
  • Labor--New England--Periodicals
Contributors
  • Nashua (N.H.) Labor Council

New England Labor and Community Network

New England Labor and Community Newsletters, 1979-1984.
1 envelope (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 202

Includes eleven of the thirteen newsletters published by the Labor and Community Network, a group of academics and trade unionists interested in labor issues in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Subjects
  • Labor--New England--Periodicals
  • New England--Social conditions--Periodicals
  • Working class--New England--Periodicals
Types of material
  • Newsletters

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