© 2003 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Utica Trades Assembly records, 1882-1927.
Utica Trades Assembly.
6.3 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Minutes, correspondence, financial records.
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
The records include Utica Trades Assembly minutes and other administrative records, financial records and correspondence.
Collection material in English
The minutes (1886-1911 (4 vol.)) reflect the Assembly's activities in both its routine administration and on public issues.
These minutes document, for example, the UTA's activities on behalf of a shorter working day (1883-1884, 1906-1907, 1911),
its support of state ownership of the railroads and a New York mills strike (1894), and its work on a committee with both
the Socialist Labor Party and the Utica Common Council to investigate the possibility of municipal ownership of the city's
electric lighting (1895-1896), among other issues.
The minutes volumes also include the minutes (1892-1895) of the UTA's Label Committee which record its concern over the issue
of how to deal with local merchants selling "scab"-produced goods.
UTA correspondence (1882-1927) indicates extensive involvement of that organization in local, state and national labor activities.
Most numerous are form letters from labor organizations urging national boycotts in support of striking or locked-out workers,
usually those involved in disputes over non-recognition of a union. Of interest is an undated appeal from the International
Association of Machinists that labor denounce Thomas A. Edison for having fired all union workers at an Edison plant.
UTA response to these national boycotts is indicated by correspondence from businesses in Pennsylvania, Cincinnati and San
Francisco involved in the LOS ANGELES TIMES boycott of 1903. The letters are in reply to UTA requests that the companies cancel
advertising in the TIMES.
Notable direct correspondence with other labor organizations includes letters from A.F. of L. President Samuel Gompers and
Secretary Frank Morrison, ordering the UTA to recognize the local Musicians' Union (July and August, 1902), with the UTA maintaining
an independent stance, defending its refusal in a lengthy reply.
The UTA was independent-minded in its dealings with local businesses as well. In 1892, a report from a special UTA committee,
appointed to investigate charges against a hardware merchant, found that merchant fair to labor. At the same time, the UTA
cooperated with local and regional labor groups by participating in organizing efforts and special events as well as boycotts.
The most significant local boycott call came from the Bakery and Confectionery Workers Utica local, which, in a series of
letters from ca.1895 to 1903, described working conditions of non-union bakers, reported on a survey of union-made baked goods
in local stores, and asked for a boycott of several large non-union bakeries which were trying to drive out competitors.
In addition to minutes and correspondence, the UTA papers contain the Assembly's financial records for the period 1882-1902
which include bills, financial statements, and dues payment records.
Of particular interest are the records of defunct locals which belonged to the UTA. These include minutes books (2 vol.) (1898-1902),
cash books (2 vol.) (1913-1932), and a membership book (1924-1928) of the Journeymen Barbers' International Union, Local 103;
minutes books (2 vol.) (1903-1920) of the International Union of United Brewery Workers, Utica local; a minutes book (1914-1918)
of the Utica Building Trades Council; minutes books of the Executive Board (4 vol.) (1885-1891), and a minutes book of the
Label Committee (1897-1900) of the Cigar Makers' International Union, No. 7.
Other items of interest include a minutes book (1890-1897) of the International Molders and Allied Workers' Union, Local No.
112; minutes books (4 vols.) (1887-1920) of the Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators, and Paperhangers, Local 69; and a minutes
book (1920-1925) of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association, Local No. 23. Among the events documented in these
volumes is a daily record of the month-long strike of Utica painters in 1911.
Utica Trades Assembly.
Bates, E. A.
Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931.
Gompers, Samuel, 1850-1924.
Horton, E. B.
Morrison, Frank, 1859-1949.
Bakery and Confectionery Workers' International Union of America.
Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators, and Paperhangers of America. Local 69 (Utica, N.Y.)
Cigar Makers' International Union of America. Local 7 (Utica, N.Y.)
International Molders and Allied Workers' Union. Local 112 (Utica, N.Y.)
International Union of United Brewery, Flour, Cereal, Soft Drink, and Distillery Workers of America. Utica Local.
Journeymen Barbers' International Union of America.Local 103 (Utica, N.Y.)
Los Angeles Times.
New York State Federation of Labor.
Sheet Metal Workers' International Association. Local 23 (Utica, N.Y.)
Socialist Labor Party.
Utica Building Trades Council.
Boycott--Bakers and bakeries--New York (State)--Utica.
Painters' Strike, Utica, N.Y., 1911.
Public utilities--New York (State)--Utica.
Trade-unions--New York (State)--Utica--Political activity.
Trade-union label--United States.
Form and Genre Terms: