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SEIU Local 32B-32J Records

 Collection
Identifier: LR001893
Part I: This collection is comprised entirely of correspondence from the members of the Local to the Union officers, and the Union reply. The subjects include benefits, grievance and arbitration matters, requests for employment, and a large number of letters from retired members on a variety of issues. There are also a few files pertaining to individual members.

Important subjects in the collection include: Grievance arbitration Insurance benefits Retirees Trade Unions—Officers and Employees Trade Unions—Records and Correspondence Trade Unions—Service Industry Workers Union dues

Important correspondents in the collection include: Joseph J. Baumann; Vernon Sampson; Luke Foye; Thomas Shortman; Arthur L. Harckham; John J. Sweeney; Donald F. Mumm; Cecil E. Ward
Part II: See Part I for the history of SEIU prior to 1981. Former Local 32B-32J President John J. Sweeney was elected SEIU International President in 1980, and was thus succeeded as President of Local 32B-32J in 1981 by Gus Bevona. It was the Bevona administration that generated the majority of the records in Part II. Part II primarily consists of video recordings (both U-matic and VHS) of union meetings, interviews, and events. Additionally included are materials on 32B-32J’s history and administrative publications, as well as a bound volume of materials related to the 1976 Apartment Building Agreement and proceedings between the union and Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, Inc.

Important Subjects: Collective bargaining – Service industries Collect labor agreements – Service industries Labor disputes Labor unions Labor unions – Records and correspondence Service Employees International Union

Important Names: Bevona, Gus Sweeney, John J., 1934-

Dates

  • 1961 - 1994
  • Majority of material found within 1986 - 1994

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.

Extent

9 Linear Feet (6 SB, 6 MB)

Abstract

Local 32B, located in New York, NY, was founded on April 19, 1934 and within months the young union was on strike in the garment district; within days the union won rights to a closed shop and gained a substantial number of new members. Local 32J had been charted in 1936 and was composed largely of women building service workers. The two unions merged in 1977, and the new 32B-32J had over 46,000 members. Part I of this collection is comprised entirely of correspondence from the members of the Local to Union officers, and the Union reply. The subjects include benefits, grievance and arbitration matters, requests for employment, and a large number of letters from retired members on a variety of issues.

Former Local 32B-32J President John J. Sweeney was elected SEIU International President in 1980, and was thus succeeded as President of Local 32B-32J in 1981 by Gus Bevona. It was the Bevona administration that generated the majority of the records in Part II. Part II primarily consists of video recordings (both U-matic and VHS) of union meetings, interviews, and events. Additionally included are materials on 32B-32J’s history and administrative publications, as well as a bound volume of materials related to the 1976 Apartment Building Agreement and proceedings between the union and Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, Inc.

History

Local 32B is located in New York, NY, and was founded on April 19, 1934 largely through the efforts of James Bambrick, who would become the first president of the Local. Within months the young Union was on strike in the garment district; within days the Union won rights to a closed shop and gained a substantial number of new members. A number of membership benefits were established and the Local began to lobby legislators in Albany. Membership had expanded to 40,000 by 1960 when David Sullivan left as president of 32B to assume the Presidency of the International Union. Thomas Shortman succeeded him as President of the Local and led 32B from 1960-1972. In the mid seventies Arthur L. Harckham was President. During the years 1976-1981 John J. Sweeney led the Local and oversaw the largest merger in SEIU history as Local 32 B merged with Local 32J. 32J had been charted in 1936 and was composed largely of women building service workers. The new 32B-32J had over 46,000 members. For more information on the Local please refer to Local 32B-32J: Sixty Years of Progress.

Arrangement

Part I: Folders are arranged alphabetically.
Part II: Folders are listed by their location within each box. They are not necessarily arranged, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout the entire collection. Tapes are arranged in numeric order based on the numbering system used by Local 32B-32J.

Acquisition

Part I: SEIU (Service Employees International Union) placed the Local 32B-32J collection in the Library of Labor and Urban Affairs in June, 1995.
Part II: The SEIU Local 32B-32J Records, Part II were deposited by SEIU Local 32B-32J’s Communications Director, Ernesto Mora, at the Reuther Library on April 25, 2006. The Reuther Library serves as the official repository for SEIU.

Related Materials

Part II: SEIU Executive Office: John Sweeney Records, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer’s Office: Constitutions and By-Laws Records

Transfers

Part II: Videotapes (see Audio Visual Department, Boxes 7-12) have been moved to the Reuther’s Audio Visual Department.

Processing History

Part I: Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in December 1995.
Part II: Part 2 processed and finding aid updated by Alexandra A. A. Orchard on February 25, 2013.
Title
Guide to the SEIU Local 32B-32J Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Date
1995-12
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 2013-02-25: Part 2 processed and finding aid updated by Alexandra A. A. Orchard

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA