Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Boston Joint Board Records
1926-1979
13 boxes (7 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box, 4 flat oversize boxes) (8 linear ft.)
Call no.: MS 2

Abstract

Joint Board in Boston, Massachusetts, that formed at the beginning of the ACWA and included local unions that covered the range of ethnic groups and trades that comprised the men's clothing industry. Records include detailed minutes, abundant contracts and price lists, scrapbooks, and photographs that reveal the Joint Board's important role in local and state Democratic politics, its support of a wide range of social causes, its decisions to strike, and its reaction to the decline of the men's clothing industry in New England. Leader Joseph Salerno is well represented in the records.

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English
Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Boston Joint Board Records
1926-1979
13 boxes (7 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box, 4 flat oversize boxes) (8 linear ft.)
Call no.: MS 2

Background on Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, Boston Joint Board

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.

Contents of 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.

Organization of the Collection
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.

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.

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.

Collection inventory
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
Administrative information
Provenance

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

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.

Acknowledgments

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, Boston Joint Board Records (MS 2). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms
Subjects
  • Boston (Mass.)--Economic conditions--20th century--Sources.
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts--Boston--History--Sources.
  • Textile industry--Massachusetts--History--20th century--Sources.
  • Textile workers--Labor unions--Massachusetts--Boston--History--Sources.
  • Textile workers--Massachusetts--Economic conditions--20th century--Sources.
Names
  • Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Boston Joint Board.
  • Salerno, Joseph, fl. 1907-1972.
Genre terms
  • Contracts.
  • Fiancial records.
  • Minutes.
  • Scrapbooks.