United Office and Professional Workers of America

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The United Office and Professional Workers of America (UOPWA), a union of clerical workers largely in the private sector, was formed in 1937 by the merger of fourteen American Federation of Labor (AFL) white collar unions (most prominently the New York City-based Bookkeepers, Stenographers, and Accountants Union Local 124646) and nine independent unions, totaling 8,600 members. It quickly secured a charter from the newly-organized Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). UOPWA, whose membership was largely female, had some organizing successes in the 1930s and 1940s, in sectors of the workplace few of which had any history of unionization, including the office forces of a variety of small manufacturers, the insurance industry, banks and finance, and the direct-mail industry. By 1948, the union claimed 75,000 members in more than 100 locals in cities all over the United States (although it was strongest in the New York City area). But postwar internal disputes and political pressures brought about its destruction. The union included a substantial group of leftwing activists and sympathizers, and its leadership refused to sign affidavits--required by the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act-swearing that they were not members of the Communist Party. In 1950, it was expelled the CIO, which accused it of Communist domination. Shortly after its departure from the CIO, UOPWA merged with two other unions to create the Distributive, Processing, and Office Workers of America, but that organization did not endure more than 4 years. It was not until the 1970s that office worker organizing in the U.S. revived in the private sector.

From the guide to the United Office and Professional Workers of America Records, 1934-1946, (Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Osman, Arthur,. Oral history interview with Arthur Osman, 1968. Wayne State University. Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs
referencedIn Rockwell Kent papers Archives of American Art
creatorOf United Office and Professional Workers of America. [Constitutions, agreements, etc.] Wisconsin historical society
referencedIn The Nation, records, 1879-1974 (inclusive), 1920-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf United Office and Professional Workers of America. United Office and Professional Workers of America. Printed material, 1940-1948. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Norma Aronson Papers, Bulk, 1942-1959, 1942-1984 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
creatorOf AFSCME. Song-sheets and song-books used by labor organizations. Churchill County Museum
referencedIn Consumers' League of Massachusetts. Records, 1891-1955 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf United Office and Professional Workers of America. Records, ca. 1929-1957. University of California, Los Angeles
referencedIn Luscomb, Florence, 1887-. Oral history interview with Florence Luscomb, 1976. Wayne State University. Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs
referencedIn J. B. Matthews Papers, 1862-1986 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Luscomb, Florence, 1887-. Additional papers of Florence Luscomb, 1888-1988 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf United Office and Professional Workers of America Records, 1934-1946 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Guide to the New Yorkers at Work Oral History Collection, 1979-2000 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn F. Wynn Graham papers Archives of American Art
referencedIn Records, 1891-1955 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Luscomb, Florence, 1887-1985. Papers, 1856-1987 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Rockwell Kent papers Archives of American Art
referencedIn Guide to the New Yorkers at Work Oral History Collection, 1979-2000 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Luscomb, Florence, 1887-1985. Papers, 1856-2001 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Ward, Angela Gizzi, 1910-. Oral history interview with Angela Gizzi Ward, 1977. Wayne State University. Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs
creatorOf United Office and Professional Workers of America Records, ca. 1929-1957 University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
referencedIn Copelof, Maxwell, 1879-. Papers, 1940-1954 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Papers, 1905-2001 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Jewish Community Centers of Chicago. Jewish Community Centers of Chicago records, 1904-1977. Chicago History Museum
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Federation of Labor. Bookkeepers, Stenographers and Accountants Union. corporateBody
associatedWith Bernhardt, Debra E. person
associatedWith Consumers' League of Massachusetts. corporateBody
associatedWith Copelof, Maxwell. person
associatedWith Florence Hope Luscomb, 1887-1985 person
associatedWith Graham, F. Wynn. person
associatedWith Jewish Community Centers of Chicago. corporateBody
associatedWith Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971. person
associatedWith Luscomb, Florence, 1887- person
associatedWith Matthews, J. B. (Joseph Brown), 1894-1966 person
associatedWith Merrill, Lewis. person
associatedWith Morgan, Anne Murray, 1925- person
associatedWith Nation (New York, N.Y. : 1865). corporateBody
associatedWith Office Workers' Union. corporateBody
associatedWith Osman, Arthur, person
associatedWith Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. corporateBody
associatedWith Ward, Angela Gizzi, 1910- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Beauty contests
Labor unions
Labor unions
Stenographers
White collar workers
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

Active 1929

Active 1957

Information

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