United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

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Founded in 1881, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC) represents and offers training to carpenters, cabinetmakers, millwrights, piledrivers, lathers, framers, floor layers, roofers, drywallers, and workers in forest-products and related industries.

From the guide to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Records Unprocessed mss. 2011-116., 1953-2002, (Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library)

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBCJA), often known as the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, was founded in April 1881 by Peter J. McGuire and Gustav Luebkert in Chicago as the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. Local unions of carpenters had existed since the 1700s and continued to flourish into the early nineteenth century, such as the Journeyman House Carpenters' Association of Philadelphia, but the UBCJA was the first national American movement to consolidate the power of the carpenters' locals. The UBCJA's first convention, held in August 1881, was attended by thirty-six delegates. The union gained its current name in 1888 after affiliating with the United Order of American Carpenters and Joiners. Members of the UBCJA helped found the Federation of Organized Trades in 1881, which eventually became known as the American Federation of Labor. The UBCJA is one of the United States' most important labor unions and was involved in many of organized labors' activities in the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century. Peter J. McGuire published the first edition of The Carpenter newspaper in St. Louis in 1881 before the founding of the UBCJA. The first issues were only four pages long, with a circulation of one thousand. About half of each issue was written in German, because of the existence of many German-American trade unionists during this time period. A portion of The Carpenter was published in German until World War I. The Carpenter became the official publication of the union, keeping its members updated on relevant legislation and the activities of local unions. For over a hundred years, from its beginning up until 1990, The Carpenter was a monthly publication. From 1990 until the present day, production has gradually decreased from seven issues a year to one annual issue. The Brotherhood fought for the adoption of the 8-hour workday starting in 1890 and has campaigned against anti-union legislation throughout its existence. The union was a strong opponent of communism. In the late 1920s, the UBCJA expelled suspected communists from its ranks and at the 1936 Convention altered the member initiation procedures to include the caveat that any member who joined the Communist Party must relinquish their affiliation with the UBCJA. The UBCJA was dedicated to the war efforts during World War I and World War II, while still protecting its earlier gains, including the right to bargain collectively and the 8-hour workday. The president of the UBCJA, William Hutcheson, was a member of the National War Labor Board during WWI. The UBCJA had many jurisdictional disputes with other woodworking and building trades unions, including the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners, the Teamsters, and the Knights of Labor. The UBCJA disaffiliated itself from the AFL in 1953 in protest over other AFL unions raiding the UBCJA's jurisdiction. After the AFL created a committee to resolve jurisdictional disputes, the UBCJA rejoined. Throughout most of its early existence, the UBCJA refrained from official involvement in national politics. However, as labor's power decreased in the second half of the twentieth century, the union became more politically active. The UBCJA first endorsed a presidential candidate when it publically supported Lyndon Johnson in 1964. The Carpenters' Legislative Improvement Committee (CLIC) was formed in 1966 to focus the union's political agendas. The headquarters of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners moved from Philadelphia to Indianapolis in 1909, in order to be more centrally located. In 1960 the headquarters moved again, to Washington, D.C., reflecting the growing importance of the union's influence in national politics. In the 1980s the UBCJA began consolidating local unions into district and regional councils to adapt to the expanding area in which contractors worked. In 2001 the Carpenters disaffiliated from the AFL-CIO and joined with several other unions to form the group Change to Win, of which the UBCJA was a member until 2009. The UBCJA now comprises not only house carpenters, but also shipwrights, lumber and sawmill workers, piledrivers, cabinetmakers, and millwrights. In recent decades the UBCJA has focused heavily on apprenticeship training and keeping its members' skills current. For that purpose, in 2000 the UBCJA opened the International Training Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Center contains 300 dorm rooms, classrooms and training facilities. The UBCJA trains its members through over 200 training centers in the United States and Canada.

From the guide to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners America (UBC) archives, 1840-2000, 1910-1980 (University of Maryland Libraries)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Geneva Federation of Labor (N.Y.). Selected records, 1918-1971, bulk 1918-1926, 1951-1959. Cornell University Library
referencedIn United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBCJA), Local 132 archives, 1900-2007, 1925-2004 University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn AFL-CIO. Internal Disputes Plan. Decisions of the Impartial Umpire, 1964-1976. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Martin P. Catherwood Library, Cornell University.
referencedIn James McNamara Papers, Bulk, 1980-2010, 1945-2010 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
creatorOf United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local 672 (Clinton, Iowa). United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 672 records, 1940-1978. Iowa State Historical Society
creatorOf McGuire, P. J. (Peter James), 1852-1906. Letters, to Joseph A. Labadie, 1892-1896. University of Michigan
creatorOf Utah State Federation of Labor. Utah Labor Archive. Landmarks of Science Microform Service
referencedIn Gibson, Charles. Papers, ca. 1973. Texas Tech University Libraries, Academic Library
referencedIn Janiewski, Dolores E., 1948-,. The American Federation of Labor and the unions : national and international union records from the Samuel Gompers era, 1890-1927. [microform] Cornell University Library
creatorOf United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local 767 (Ottumwa, Iowa). United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 597 and Local 767 records, 1901-1975. Iowa State Historical Society
referencedIn Copelof, Maxwell, 1879-. Papers, 1940-1954 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Guide to the Robert Fitch Papers, 1905-2016 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn United States. Dept. of Labor. United States. Dept. of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Collective Bargaining Agreements, 1958-1975. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Reynolds, Howland. Ledger, 1901 Jan. 2-1925 Dec. 25. Monmouth County Historical Association
creatorOf Kritz, James. Kritz, James papers, 1936-1977. Iowa State Historical Society
referencedIn Maxwell Copelof arbitration files, ca. 1940-ca. 1970. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
referencedIn Archives Union File, 1892-2004. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local 141 (Chicago, Ill.). Records, 1902-1958. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
creatorOf Bark, Jim, 1934-. Oral history interview with Jim Bark in Clinton, Iowa, 1991 June 12 [microform] / conducted by Dan Holub. Iowa State Historical Society
referencedIn Hudson Valley District Council of Carpenters. Hudson Valley District Council of Carpenters records, 1887-1989. University at Albany, University Libraries
referencedIn Hotchkiss, Willard Eugene, 1874-1956. Willard Eugene Hotchkiss arbitration papers, 1917-1945. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Western Pennsylvania Regional District Council of Carpenters. Records of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Western Pennsylvania Regional District Council of Carpenters, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1887-1975 [microform]. University of Pittsburgh
referencedIn Wisconsin State Council of Carpenters. Records, 1905-1975. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Selected union contracts, 1891-1942. Cornell University Library
creatorOf United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Records Unprocessed mss. 2011-116., 1953-2002 Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library
referencedIn United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local No. 1778 (Columbia, S.C.). Records, 1943-1947. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Seward, Ralph T. (Ralph Theodore), 1907-. Ralph T. Seward series 1. General arbitration files, 1944-1960, bulk 1949-1960. Cornell University Library
creatorOf United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners (UBCJ) archives, 1826-2015 (majority1940-1985) University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn Hemeke, Verle F. Verle Hemeke fonds. University of British Columbia Library
referencedIn United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local 977 Records, Unprocessed mss. 2011-114., 1908-2000, 1968-2000 Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library
creatorOf Rickerl, John, 1890-. Oral history interview with John Rickerl in Clinton, Iowa, 1978 May [microform] / conducted by Paul Kelso. Iowa State Historical Society
creatorOf Broten, Edward, b. 1885. Papers, 1883-1928. Evanston Historical Society
referencedIn Bach family. Papers, 1843-1957. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Gregory A. Butler Papers, 1979-2011 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
creatorOf Kennedy, Calvin, 1924-. Oral history interview with Calvin Kennedy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1982 Aug. 05 [microform] / conducted by Merle O. Davis. Iowa State Historical Society
referencedIn Summers, Clyde W. Summers, Clyde. Office files, 1940-2004. Cornell University Library
creatorOf United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local 364 (Council Bluffs, Iowa). United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 364 records, 1936-1939. Iowa State Historical Society
referencedIn Immigration Restriction League (U.S.) records, 1893-1921 Houghton Library
referencedIn Barrett, James F. Papers, 1942-1943. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn United States. Dept. of Labor. United States. Dept. of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Collective Bargaining Agreements, 1942-1980. Cornell University Library
creatorOf White, Samuel, 1905-. Oral history interview with Samuel White and Joseph Jackson in Clinton, Iowa, 1982 June 30 [microform] / conducted by Merle O. Davis. Iowa State Historical Society
referencedIn Johnson, Clyde, b. 1908. Clyde Johnson papers, 1930-1990. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Willard Eugene Hotchkiss arbitration papers, 1917-1945. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
referencedIn Baltimore Federation of Labor. Archives of the Baltimore Federation of Labor, 1918-1969. University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
creatorOf AFL-CIO. Records, 1932-1980. Northern Arizona University, Cline Library
referencedIn Baltimore Federation of Labor archives, 1918-1969, 1918-1965 University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn AFL-CIO Internal Disputes Plan Decisions of the Impartial Umpire, 1964-1976. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Morris Rosen Papers, undated Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
creatorOf United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Records Unprocessed mss. 2011-113., 1968-1985 Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library
referencedIn Utah labor archives, 1878-1979 J. Willard Marriott Library, University of UtahManuscripts Division
referencedIn John Harte Papers, 1973-1995 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
creatorOf United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Records Unprocessed mss. 2011-112., 1946-2002 Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library
creatorOf Bunn, Carl, 1912-. Oral history interview with Carl Bunn in Clinton, Iowa, 1982 June 28 [microform] / conducted by Merle O. Davis. Iowa State Historical Society
referencedIn United States. Dept. of Labor. United States. Dept. of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Collective Bargaining Agreements, 1952-1975. Cornell University Library
creatorOf United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Records Unprocessed mss. 2011-111., 1906-1986 Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library
referencedIn Charters and Certificates of Affiliation Collection, 1888-1986 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
creatorOf United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Records Unprocessed mss. 2011-117., 1924-1948, 1937-1946 Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library
creatorOf United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local 633 (Granite City, Ill.). Records, 1900-1947. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
referencedIn National Institute of Labor Education. Series 7. Youth Employment Program files, 1959-1967. Cornell University Library
creatorOf United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Carpenters unions (Boulder, Colo.) printed materials 1900-1922. Boulder Public Library
referencedIn Jacobs and Langford (Atlanta, Ga.). Jacobs and Langford law firm records, 1972-1984. Georgia State University
referencedIn Copelof, Maxwell, 1897-. Arbitration files, ca. 1940-ca. 1970. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Seidenberg, Jacob, 1914-. Jacob Seidenberg. Series 1. Arbitration case files, 1962-1977. Cornell University Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith AFL-CIO. corporateBody
associatedWith AFL-CIO. person
associatedWith Bach family. family
associatedWith Baltimore Federation of Labor. corporateBody
associatedWith Bark, Jim, 1934- person
associatedWith Barrett, James F. person
associatedWith Broten, Edward, b. 1885. person
associatedWith Bunn, Carl, 1912- person
associatedWith Butler, Gregory A. person
associatedWith Central Labor Union of Boulder, Colorado. corporateBody
associatedWith Copelof, Maxwell. person
associatedWith Copelof, Maxwell, 1897- person
associatedWith Fitch, Robert, 1938- person
associatedWith Geneva Federation of Labor (N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Gibson, Charles. person
associatedWith Harte, John. person
associatedWith Hemeke, Verle F. person
associatedWith Hotchkiss, Willard Eugene. person
associatedWith Hotchkiss, Willard Eugene, 1874-1956. person
associatedWith Hudson Valley District Council of Carpenters. corporateBody
correspondedWith Immigration Restriction League (U.S.). corporateBody
associatedWith Jacobs and Langford (Atlanta, Ga.) corporateBody
associatedWith Johnson, Clyde, b. 1908. person
associatedWith Kennedy, Calvin, 1924- person
associatedWith Kritz, James. person
associatedWith McGuire, P. J. (Peter James), 1852-1906. person
associatedWith McNamara, James person
associatedWith National Building Trades Council of America. corporateBody
associatedWith National Institute of Labor Education. corporateBody
associatedWith Reynolds, Howland. person
associatedWith Rickerl, John, 1890- person
associatedWith Rosen, Morris, 1896-1962 person
associatedWith Seidenberg, Jacob, 1914- person
associatedWith Seward, Ralph T. (Ralph Theodore), 1907- person
associatedWith Summers, Clyde W. person
associatedWith United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local 141 (Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local 364 (Council Bluffs, Iowa) corporateBody
associatedWith United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local 633 (Granite City, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local 672 (Clinton, Iowa) corporateBody
associatedWith United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local 767 (Ottumwa, Iowa) corporateBody
correspondedWith United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local 977 (Wichita Falls, Tex.). corporateBody
associatedWith United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local No. 1480 (Boulder, Colo.) corporateBody
associatedWith United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local No. 1778 (Columbia, S.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Local No. 264 (Boulder, Colo.) corporateBody
associatedWith United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBCJA), Local 132 corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of Labor. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of Labor. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of Labor. corporateBody
associatedWith Utah State Federation of Labor corporateBody
associatedWith Western Pennsylvania Regional District Council of Carpenters. corporateBody
associatedWith White, Samuel, 1905- person
associatedWith Wisconsin State Council of Carpenters. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Indianapolis IN US
Washington, D. C. DC US
Chicago IL US
Philadelphia PA US
Subject
Carpenters--Labor unions
Carpenters
Carpenters--Labor unions--Archives
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Establishment 1881-04

Information

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