Utility Workers Union of America, Local 1-2 Records
1927, 1935-2006, 2009-ongoing, inclusive
; 1960-2000, bulk
Utility Workers Union of America. Local 1-2
Utility Workers Union of America. Local 1-2 (Role: Donor)
11.5 Linear Feet in 7 record cartons, 6 manuscript boxes, 3 half manuscript boxes, 2 flat boxes, and 5 folders in 1 shared oversize box
3 websites in 3 archived websites.
Materials primarily in English, with one item in Spanish and one item in Polish.
The Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2 represents members working in the electric, gas, water, and nuclear industries in the New York area, with the bulk of their members employed by ConEd. Local 1-2 evolved out of the Utility Workers Organizing Committee (UWOC) established by the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in 1938. The collection documents the origins of the Local and its expansion to include employees at companies other than ConEd; elections of officers and of changes to bylaws; various political parties within the Local, including the Justice Party, Members 1st Party, New Directions Caucus, Administration, and the Unity Party; and the planning of strikes and positions taken by different political parties within the Local on the strike or possibility of the strike, as well as picket duty lists, schedules, and photographs of demonstrations and rallies. These materials date from 1927 to 2004, with the bulk of the materials dating from the 1960s to late 1990s.
The Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2 represents members working in the electric, gas, water, and nuclear industries in the New York area, with the bulk of their members employed by ConEd. Local 1-2 evolved out of the Utility Workers Organizing Committee (UWOC) established by the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in 1938.
From the mid-1930s, the employees in the New York utility industry had company unions, which were easily controlled by management. In 1937, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), an American Federation of Labor (AFL) affiliate, obtained the right to represent the Consolidated Edison (ConEd) employees through a consent recognition, rather than through an election of the employees. The IBEW issued charters to the seven company unions: two charters were issued to ConEd employees; the third went to the New York Steam employees; the fourth to Consolidated Telegraph & Electrical Subway employees; the fifth to New York and Queens Electric Light and Power employees; the sixth to Brooklyn Edison Company employees; and the seventh to the employees of two Westchester affiliates. The members of Locals 1 and 2 were not happy with their new union as the IBEW chartered them as "B" locals, meaning the members could not perform work that the IBEW reserved for its "A" members, who were not ConEd employees.
In 1940, the ConEd employees withdrew from the IBEW and the seven chartered locals formed the Brotherhood of Consolidated Edison Employees (BCEE), which was independent from the AFL and the CIO. After winning an election ordered and conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, the BCEE took the name Local 1-2, representing the separate identities of two major categories within ConEd, plant and clerical workers, and eventually came to represent all unionized workers at ConEd.
In 1945, Local 1-2 accepted an invitation to become part of the UWOC. A year later the UWOC became the Utility Workers Union of America, CIO with more than 225 locals organized nationwide. Throughout its history, the Local has had a contentious relationship with ConEd, particularly over contract negotiations. Negotiations would often result in strikes. One nine-week strike in 1983 resulted in losses for the Local and widespread dissatisfaction with the Local leadership among members.
There have been a number of power struggles within the Local, between a number of officers and political parties. One of the major points of contention was the trusteeship instituted by the National in 1998 due to alleged mismanagement of funds by the president of the Local, Joseph Flaherty. The Members 1st party backed the trustee, James Keller, while the Justice Party wanted to gain control of the Local back from the National.
This collection is arranged into eight series, one of which is divided into subseries: Series I: Bylaws and Constitutions; Series II: Minutes; Series III: Correspondence; Series IV: Election Records; Series V: Bargaining and Negotiation Records: Subseries V.A: 1997 accession; Subseries V.B: Contracts; Subseries V.C: Grievance Files; Subseries V.D: Mergers; Subseries V.E: Strikes; Series VI: General Files; Series VII: Archived Websites; and Series VIII: Conferences and Conventions Files. Material from the original processing in 1997 is listed first in each series with material from an accession received in 2003 listed after, with the exception of Series V which has been divided into subseries, with subseries V.A. containing bargaining records from the 1997 accession and subseries V.B. through V.E. containing bargaining records from the 2003 accession. Series I is arranged chronologically through the 1997 accession and then alphabetically by organization and chronologically within each organization; II-IV are arranged chronologically; within Series V, subseries V.A., V.B., V.E. are arranged chronologically and subseries V.C. and V.D. are arranged alphabetically; and series VI and VIII are arranged alphabetically.
The Utility Workers Union of America, Local 1-2 Records document the history of the Local from its beginnings as an employee representation plan for Consolidated Edison employees to a modern Local representing workers at ConEd and other companies in the electric, gas, water, and nuclear industries across the New York area. The collection contains correspondence, memoranda, and minutes documenting the origins of the Local and its expansion to include employees at companies other than ConEd. These materials date from 1927 to 2004, with the bulk of the materials dating from the 1960s to late 1990s.
Elections of officers and of changes to the Local's bylaws are documented through correspondence, notices, posters, polling lists, and election results. These include materials documenting the 1940 election which resulted in the creation of Local 1-2 as a separate local representing ConEd workers.
Contract negotiations from the origins of Local 1-2 through the 2000s are well documented. Negotiations surrounding the creation of Local 1-2 in 1940 include correspondence and memoranda between the Brotherhood of Consolidated Edison Employees, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, and the National Labor Relations Board. Contract negotiations from the late 1950s through the early 2000s are documented through minutes of the negotiations; issues of Bargaining Bulletin, The Record, and Utility Workers' Light; handbooks on mobilizing members; and surveys of union members regarding where they work and what issues in the contract are important to them.
Materials related to strikes include correspondence, newsletters, notices, and posters regarding planning of strikes and positions taken by different political parties within the Local on the strike or possibility of the strike, as well as picket duty lists, schedules, and photographs of demonstrations and rallies. The strikes that took place in the early 1990s are well documented through picket duty lists, schedules, and newsletters.
Struggles between various political parties within the Local are documented through notices, posters, and newsletters, with a large portion documenting the clash between the Members 1st Party and the Justice Party over the trusteeship of the Local. Other political parties represented include the New Directions Caucus, Administration, and the Unity Party.
Materials are open without restrictions.
Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection, created by the Utility Workers Union of America, Local 1-2 was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.
Identification of item, date; Utility Workers Union of America, Local 1-2; WAG 131; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.
To cite the archived website in this collection: Identification of item, date; Utility Workers Union of America, Local 1-2; WAG 131; Wayback URL; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.
Materials stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org at least two business days prior to your research visit to coordinate access.
The Utility Workers Union of America, Local 1-2 sent a gift of four linear feet of materials in 1997-1998. The accession numbers associated with this gift are 1997.063 and 1997.064.
Additional materials were donated by the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), Local 1-2 in 2003. The accession number associated with this accretion is 2016.001.
UWUA, Local 1-2 President James Slevin sent an additional donation of UWUA videos in 2014. The union also sent a donation of a scrapbook, and a small amount of organizing records around this time. The accession number associated with these gifts is 2017.042.
The accession number NPA 2001.026 is also associated with this collection.
https://uwua1-2.org/ was initially selected by curators and captured through the use of The California Digital Library's Web Archiving Service in 2009 as part of the Labor Unions and Organizations (U.S.) Web Archive. In 2015, this website was migrated to Archive-It. Archive-It uses web crawling technology to capture websites at a scheduled time and displays only an archived copy, from the resulting WARC file, of the website. In September 2021, https://www.youtube.com/user/uwualocal12/videos/ was added. The accession number associated with this website is 2022.015. In September 2023, https://www.youtube.com/@uwualocal12/videos/ was added. The accession number associated with this website is 2023.080.
Audiovisual materials have not been preserved and may not be available to researchers. Materials not yet digitized will need to have access copies made before they can be used. To request an access copy, or if you are unsure if an item has been digitized, please contact email@example.com, (212) 998-2630 with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.
The 2003 accretion included a large number of duplicates of notices of elections, strikes, and positions taken by different political parties within Local 1-2; newspaper clippings; and publications by the Local, the national union, and conventions, which were weeded. These materials constituted five linear feet of material.
Archived websites are made accessible for purposes of education and research. NYU Libraries have given attribution to rights holders when possible; however, due to the nature of archival collections, we are not always able to identify this information.
If you hold the rights to materials in our archived websites that are unattributed, please let us know so that we may maintain accurate information about these materials.
If you are a rights holder and are concerned that you have found material on this website for which you have not granted permission (or is not covered by a copyright exception under US copyright laws), you may request the removal of the material from our site by submitting a notice, with the elements described below, to the firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include the following in your notice: Identification of the material that you believe to be infringing and information sufficient to permit us to locate the material; your contact information, such as an address, telephone number, and email address; a statement that you are the owner, or authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed and that you have a good-faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; a statement that the information in the notification is accurate and made under penalty of perjury; and your physical or electronic signature. Upon receiving a notice that includes the details listed above, we will remove the allegedly infringing material from public view while we assess the issues identified in your notice.
Six linear feet of photographs were separated from this collection and are now in the Utility Workers Union of America, Local 1-2 Photographs collection, collection number PHOTOS.118.
This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-10-12 10:24:35 -0400.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Finding aid written in English
Boxes 1-3 of this collection are from a 1997 accession and were processed separately from boxes 4-10, which contain material from a 2003 accretion. The material in the 2003 accretion was similar to the 1997 accession and was organized into the existing series, with the exception of Series V and VIII. Material in the 2003 accretion that fell under Series V: Bargaining and Negotiation Records was further subdivided into different activities undertaken by Local 1-2: negotiating contracts, settling grievance issues, negotiating mergers with other locals, and strikes. Series VIII was created to incorporate materials documenting the attendance of Local 1-2 officers at national and regional conferences and conventions. Materials in boxes 11-14 were added to the collection in 2017. These materials have been incorporated into the intellectual arrangement of the collection.
Material that was intellectually arranged into the existing series was physically arranged after the 1997 accession and listed after it in the box list.
In 2014 the archived website was added as Series VII. Addtional websites and descriptive information were added to the finding aid in 2022-2023.
Updated by Megan O'Shea to incorporate items treated by Barbara Goldsmith Preservation and Conservation Department staff
Updated by Nicole Greenhouse to reflect additional administrative information and added archived websites
This version was derived from UTILITY.SGM
Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives