Records of the Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee (1937-1943) and the United Packinghouse, Food and Allied Workers (1943-1968), organized first as a CIO affiliate, the United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA). Included is correspondence, by-laws, convention proceedings, executive board minutes, organizers' reports, contracts and negotiation records, grievance files, speeches, arbitration records, research files, and publications.
The records document internal union affairs; issues relating to national politics, civil rights, women's rights, and workplace discrimination; labor legislation; relations of the international with local unions; relations with employers and government bodies such as the National Labor Relations Board; national strikes; master contracts; and merger in 1968 with the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America. Specific files within the collection concern the Sugar Division, representing workers in the sugar industry in the U.S. and Puerto Rico; organizing activities in canning companies; farm-labor relations; the Armour Automation Fund Committee which addressed the problem of displaced workers; and 1959 investigations of the union by the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Prominent correspondents include George Aguilera, Theodore G. Bilbo, Herbert Biberman, Anne and Carl Braden, James B. Carey, UPWA president Ralph Helstein, Secretary-Treasurer Lewis J. Clark, W. E. B. Du Bois, Adolph Germer, Arthur J. Goldberg, Myles Horton, Hubert H. Humphrey, Lyndon B. Johnson, Estes Kefauver, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., John L. Lewis, Henry Cabot Lodge, Eugene J. McCarthy, Richard M. Nixon, William Proxmire, Walter P. Reuther, Eleanor Roosevelt, Upton Sinclair, Adlai E. Stevenson, Harry S. Truman, Orson Welles, Edwin E. Witte, and Arnold S. Zander.
The processed portion of this collection is summarized above, dates 1937-1968, and is described in the register. Additional accessions date 1938-1982 and are described below. Some additional UPWA records are mixed in with unprocessed Amalgamated Meat Cutters records and United Food and Commercial Workers records. They need to be added to this collection when processed.
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