Building Trades Employers Association Records
circa 1897-2011, inclusive
Building Trades Employers' Association
Building Trades Employers' Association (Role: Donor)
Coletti, Louis J. (Role: Donor)
56.25 Linear Feet in 56 record cartons and 1 oversize folder
The Building Trades Employers Association (BTEA) was founded in 1903 to coordinate the response of employers in the building trades to union demands and labor unrest, and to establish a joint arbitration plan for the industry. The collection is primarily comprised of BTEA contracts, mediation, and arbitration files. It also contains minutes of meetings of the BTEA Board of Governors, convention files, correspondence, and a small number of photographs, newsletters and clippings.
The Building Trades Employers Association (NYC) traces its origins to the Building Trades Club, which began meeting in 1888. The organization gradually changed in nature from a social club to a more business-oriented model, and adopted its current name in 1903. The aims of the organization were to coordinate the response of employers in the building trades to union demands and labor unrest, and to establish a joint arbitration plan for the industry. Initially more than 2,000 contractors and 33 craft associations responded to the call to form the BTEA. Strong union opposition to centralized arbitration of disputes was eventually overcome, and the unions agreed to curtailment of their business agents' powers and the prohibition of sympathy strikes and unofficial local strikes. After a number of conflicts, and the temporary expulsion of several unions, the situation stabilized; by 1922 agreements were commonly bargained under the auspices of the BTEA and, on the unions' behalf, the newly formed Building Trades Council. A unique feature of New York City's arbitration arrangements in the industry is the fact that final determinations in juridictional disputes are made by the BTEA.
After the building booms of the 1950s and 1960s, the construction industry in New York has experienced frequent periods of contraction and structural change. The prevalence of specialized work (such as renovation) typically handled by small contracts, and the inroads of non-union contractors have posed a challenge to the establishied structure of labor-management arrangements established by the BTEA and BTC.
The collection has been divided into three series; most files are in original order. Series 1 contains nine boxes of contracts, which are arranged by union name. Series 2 is comprised of mediations, arbitrations, and other documents created between 1903-1995. Arbitrations in Series 2 are coded according to the listing of decisions in the Handbook of the Building Trades Employers Association of the City of New York (commonly known as the "Green Book"; copy at Tamiment Library, call no. HD6515 B9 N73 1990).
Series 3 contians 11 boxes of mediation and arbitration files between 1989 and 2011, which are numbered and grouped in a roughly chronological order. The majority of the files were created after 2000 and have been numbered in a way that reflects the date in which proceedings begun. Files created prior to 2000, however, are dated but lack numeration.
The collection is primarily comprised of BTEA contracts, mediation, and arbitration files. It also contains minutes of meetings of the BTEA Board of Governors, convention files, correspondence, and a small number of photographs, newsletters and clippings. The extensive arbitration files contain a wide range of materials used by The Arbitration Board in the process of reaching a decision, including court papers, correspondence, notes, blueprints, photographs, construction job lists and manufacturers' circulars.
Materials are open without restrictions.
Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection, created by the Building Trades Employers Association was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.
Identification of item, date; Building Trades Employers Association Records; WAG 196; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.
Donated by the Building Trades Employers Association, under an agreement with its Chairman, Louis J. Coletti, in 1999. The accession numbers associated with this gift are 1978.002 and 1978.003. An additional gift of 11 boxes was made in 2013. The accession number associated with this donation is 2013.024.
The accession numbers 1950.094 and 1978.015 are also associated with this collection.
The archived website was migrated from the California Digital Library's Web Archiving Service to the Internet Archive's Archive-It Service in November 2015. The link to California Digital Library was removed in October 2017.
This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 16:34:54 -0400.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Photographs were separated from this collection during initial processing and were established as a separate collection, the Building Trade Employers Association Photographs (PHOTOS 107). In 2013, the photograph collection was reincorporated into the Building Trade Employers Association Records.
In 2014, the archived website was added as series V.
Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives