Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Yarn Finishers Union (Fall River, Mass.)

Yarn Finishers Union (Fall River, Mass.) Records, 1919-1922.
1 flat box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 006

The Yarn Finishers Union was one of several autonomous craft bodies affiliated with the Fall River-based American Federation of Textile Operatives (originally known as the National Amalgamation of Textile Workers). Active in several shops — including Durfee Mills, Tecumseh Mills, Union Belt Co., O.B. Wetherell and Son, and Troy Cotton and Woolen Manufactory — the Yarn Finishers included membership from different segments of the work force, including rollers, quillers, and harness markers.

This slender collection documents two years of labor activism by the Yarn Finishers Union in Fall River, Mass. The minutebook begins in May 1919 as the Yarn Finishers voted to strike over low and unequal wages, particularly those to “girls,” and includes references to elections, financial issues such as the proposition to institute a minimum wage scale, and to settling disputes. The minutes continue through the end of a much quieter year, 1922. The second volume consists of a record of union dues collected, arranged loosely by craft.

Background on Yarn Finishers Union

Built on manufacturing and textile mills, Fall River, Mass., witnessed intense labor agitation during the first decades of the twentieth century, reaching a crescendo during the national wave of labor unrest in 1919 and 1920. With 48 unions representing nearly 10,500 workers in 1920, Fall River saw strikes by hat and cap makers, molders and core makers, city employees, and loom fixers and doffers, leaving nearly a third of the workforce unemployed.

The Yarn Finishers Union was one of several autonomous craft bodies affiliated with the Fall River-based American Federation of Textile Operatives (originally known as the National Amalgamation of Textile Workers). Active in several shops — including Durfee Mills, Tecumseh Mills, Union Belt Co., O.B. Wetherell and Son, and Troy Cotton and Woolen Manufactory — the Yarn Finishers included membership from different segments of the work force, including rollers, quillers, and harness markers. Their Secretary, Thomas Poirier, was listed as a doffer and ring spinner under the AFTO umbrella.

Contents of Collection

This slender collection documents two years of labor activism by the Yarn Finishers Union in Fall River, Mass. The minutebook begins in May 1919 as the Yarn Finishers voted to strike over low and unequal wages, particularly those to “girls,” and includes references to elections, financial issues such as the proposition to institute a minimum wage scale, and to settling disputes. The minutes continue through the end of a much quieter year, 1922. The second volume consists of a record of union dues collected, arranged loosely by craft.

dingbat for decoration
Inventory of Collection
Yarn Finishers Union Minutebook 1919-1922 1 vol. (26p.)
Yarn Finishers Union contribution book 1920-1922 1 vol.
dingbat for decoration
Provenance

Provenance unrecorded.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Aug. 2013.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Yarn Finishers Union (Fall River, Mass.) Records (MS 006). Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries.

Subjects
  • Fall River (Mass.)--History
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • Textile workers--Labor unions--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • American Federation of Textile Operatives
Types of material
  • Minutebooks
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