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United Textile Workers of America, Local 257 (Erwin, N.C.) records

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United Textile Workers of America, Local 257 (Erwin, N.C.) records

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United Textile Workers of America, Local 257 (Erwin, North Carolina):

A Guide to Its Records at Georgia State University Library

Georgia State University
Georgia State University
Special Collections and Archives
100 Decatur St., SE
Atlanta, GA 30303-3202
404-413-2880
Fax: 404-413-2881
archives@gsu.edu

2004



Profile Description

Creation: EAD file created by Mary McMahon Dawson, 2004
Language: English

Collection Summary

Repository: Georgia State University Library, Special Collections and Archives, Atlanta
Creator: United Textile Workers of America. Local 257 (Erwin, N.C.)
Title: United Textile Workers of America, Local 257 (Erwin, N.C.) records
Dates: 1900-1986 (bulk 1940-1960)
Quantity: 36 linear ft.in 46 manuscript boxes, 17 artifact boxes and 8 oversized folders
Abstract: United Textile Workers of America, Local 257 represented textile workers at various Erwin Cotton Mills plants in North Carolina and Mississippi. The local's records, 1900-1986 (bulk 1940-1960), consist primarily of grievances and arbitration cases. Other records include constitutions and by-laws, correspondence, union membership rosters, office files, photographic materials, financial ledgers, printed materials, and artifacts.
Identification: L1986-36
LanguageEnglish.

Organization of the Records

The records of United Textile Workers of America Local 257 are organized into four series. Series I: Administrative files, contain constitutions and bylaws, handbooks, correspondence, minutes, ledgers, payroll books and union membership rosters. Series II : Company relations includes agreements and negotiations, grievances, arbitration proceedings and other legal cases. Series III: Organizational files, reflects the daily business of Local 257, and also includes oversized materials such as print photographs, and rolled landscape photographs of annual and biennial union conventions. Series IV, Printed materials, contains newspaper clippings, newspapers, magazines, newsletters and two maps. Publications, oversize materials, and newsletters can be found throughout Series I-IV.

Scope and Content of the Records

The records of United Textile Workers of America (UTWA) Local 257 (Erwin, North Carolina) date from 1900 to the mid-1980's, though the bulk of the collection dates from 1945 to 1965. Grievances and arbitration cases form the majority of the collection. Of note are materials pertaining to the October 8, 1945 - March 1, 1946 textile labor strike in Erwin, North Carolina; National Labor Relation Board forms disavowing membership in the Communist party; and wage negotiation information from 1951. Also included are: constitutions and by-laws, correspondence, union membership rosters, office files, photographic materials, financial ledgers, labor publications, newspaper clippings, artifacts such as photo mechanical prints, charters and spun yarn, as well as items from other local labor unions.


History of United Textile Workers of America, Local 257

The United Textile Workers of America was chartered in 1901 as an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor. It was a charter member of the Committee for Industrial Organizations (CIO) in 1935, and in 1937 was also one of the founding unions of the Congress of Industrial Organizations. Once in the CIO in 1937, the UTWA was renamed the Textile Workers Organizing Committee (TWOC) and then the Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA). In 1939, a small dissident faction of TWUA sought and was allowed to re-affiliate with the AFL under the original name of UTWA. By the late 1940's and early 1950's, the UTWA was again a member of the CIO. In October 1952 the union re-aligned for the last time with the AFL, remaining with that labor organization until the AFL and CIO merged in 1955. In 1995-1996, the UTWA merged with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCWIU). (http://www.ufcw.org/about_ufcw/where_we_come_from/index.cfm).

UTWA-Local 257 represented textile workers at various Erwin Cotton Mills plants in North Carolina and Mississippi. During the late 1940's-early1950's, when UTWA re-affiliated with the CIO, UTWA Local 257 became TWUA Local 246. By 1954, when the Local re-aligned themselves with the AFL, they reverted to the name of UTWA Local 257, remaining Local 257 until dissolving in 1986, following the closing of the last Erwin Mills plant by J.P. Stevens. Now defunct, UTWA-Local 257 was also a member of the Durham Building and Construction Trades Council.

Erwin Cotton Mills was founded in 1892 by Benjamin R. Duke and William Allen Erwin in West Durham, North Carolina. A second mill was built in Duke (now Erwin), in Harnett County in 1903. In the late 1940's and early 1950's, at the height of its success, Erwin Mills (the company's name was shortened in 1950) comprised eight separate mill sites. Seven of the mills were in North Carolina and the eighth was in Stonewall, Mississippi. Mills 1, 4, and 6 were located in Durham, North Carolina; mills 2 and 5 were in Erwin; mill 3 operated as a finishing plant in Cooleemee, North Carolina and mill 7 was in Neuse, North Carolina. Over the years, Erwin Mills came under the control of different textile companies. In the 1950's the mills were acquired by Abney Mills of South Carolina. Later, the North Carolina based Burlington Industries acquired control of the company. By 1986 Burlington sold the mills to the J.P. Stevens Company and shortly thereafter, the last operational plant in West Durham was closed.

References:

Anderson, Jean Bradley. Durham County: a history of Durham County, North Carolina, 1990

Bonner, Paul. Erwin Mills' Pulse Gave Life to Village: Textile factory shaped West Durham's workers' lives, (Reprinted with permission from the Durham Herald-Sun (November 14, 2000). http://www.owdna.org/ermillbonner.htm, January 9, 2004).


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the Georgia State University Library online catalog (GIL). Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Textile Workers Union of America
United Textile Workers of America. Local 257 (Erwin, N.C.)
Collective labor agreements
Industrial relations
Labor disputes--North Carolina
Labor unions--Textile workers--North Carolina
Strikes and lockouts--Textile industry--North Carolina
Textile industry--North Carolina
Textile workers--North Carolina
Erwin (N.C.)
Artifacts.
Clippings.
Photographs, black and white.

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access, except for boxes O7 and O8. Please consult the labor archivist regarding use of these materials.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Administrative Information

Citation

[item], [folder title], [series title], United Textile Workers of America, Local 257 (Erwin, N.C.) records, L1986-36, Southern Labor Archives. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Acquisition Information

Donated in 1986 by Rose Pennington, UTWA Local 257.

Processing Information

Processed by Mary McMahon Dawson, 2004.


Related Material

Related materials in other repositories: See guide to the Records of Erwin Mills, 1832-1976. Rare Books, Manuscripts and Special Collections Library, Duke University. Durham, North Carolina. (http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/dynaweb/findaids/erwin/)

Related materials in this repository: Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union of America, Local 250 (Erwin, N.C.) Records, [ca. 1953-1985], L1989-15, Southern Labor Archives

United Textile Workers of America, Southern Division Records, Southern Labor Archives [multiple accessions]


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