Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Massachusetts State Council

UBCJA Massachusetts State Council Records, 1892-1980.
2 boxes (1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 015

One of the largest building trade unions in the U.S., the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America was established in 1881 by a convention of carpenters’ unions. An early member of the American Federation of Labor, the Brotherhood began as a radical organization, but beginning in the 1930s, were typically aligned with the conservative wing of the labor movement.

The records of the Massachusetts State Council of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America contain reports and other information generated during the union’s annual conventions as well as copies of the constitution and by-laws, handbooks, and histories of the union.

Background on United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Massachusetts State Council

One of the largest building trade unions in the United States, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America was established by Peter J. McGuire and Gustav Luebkert in 1881 to work for collective bargaining, fairer wages, and better hours, benefits, and working conditions. Five years later, the UBCJA became one of the first unions to join the American Federation of Labor, and throughout its early years it was regarded as a militant force in American labor. The Brotherhood organized large-scale strikes in 1886 and 1890, eliciting a violent response from employers and the authorities, and the union also accepted African American members into its ranks from early on, though often only into segregated locals.

The UBCJA evolved in a more conservative direction during the early decades of the twentieth century, at times opposing industrial organizing and aligning in opposition to President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal policies. Since the late 1980s, the Brotherhood has pursued a strategy of consolidating locals into district councils, generally maintaining its membership levels even as other unions have declined. Internal dissension and national political considerations led the Brotherhood to disaffiliate from the AFL-CIO in 2001, and although they subsequently united with other unions in the Change to Win Coalition, hoping to pressure the AFL-CIO to change to facilitate organizing, disputes with other Coalition members led them again to disaffiliate from that organization in 2009.

Contents of Collection

The records of the Massachusetts State Council of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America contain reports and other information generated during the union’s annual conventions as well as copies of the constitution and by-laws, handbooks, and histories of the union.

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Inventory of Collection
Apprenticeship 1946-1963 Box 1: 1
By-laws 1892-1950 Box 1: 2
Carpenter’s handbook (photocopy) 1895 Box 1: 3
Constitution 1938-1958 Box 1: 4
Constitution and by-laws 1959-1979 Box 1: 5
Directory 1956 Box 1: 6
Executive Board Reports 1955-1966 Box 1: 7
History 1980 Box 1: 8
Jurisdiction agreement: “Pipe fitter-millwright agreement interpretation” 1957 Box 1: 9
Locals’ history 1983 Box 1: 10
National Convention materials 1946 Box 1: 11

Includes program, published proceedings, convention report, newspaper

National Officer Reports 1955-1958 Box 1: 12
Pension fund 1978 Box 2: 1
President’s Reports (incomplete) 1951 Box 2: 2
Proceedings of Annual Conventions 1956 Box 2: 3
Proceedings of Annual Conventions 1958 Box 2: 4
Proceedings of Annual Conventions 1964 Box 2: 5
Proceedings of Annual Conventions 1965-1966 Box 2: 6
Proceedings of Annual Conventions 1967-1968 Box 2: 7
Resolutions 1975 Box 2: 8
Secretary’s Reports 1955-1975 Box 2: 9
Treasurer’s Reports 1955-1966 Box 2: 10
Wage scales and jurisdictions 1942-1953 Box 2: 11
Wage scales and jurisdictions 1955-1970 Box 2: 12
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Provenance

Provenance not recorded.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Aug. 2013.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Massachusetts State Council (MS 015). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Subjects
  • Carpenters--Labor unions
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
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