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Finding Aid to the Riggers' and Stevedores' Union Records, 1906-1919
larc.ms.0097  
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Container List

Carton 1, Folder 1

Minute Book, 1906 January 22-1907 December 26

Contents

Items of interest include: evidence that the Riggers' were members of the Japanese and Korean Exclusion League [pp 2,13, 33]; a February 5th, 1906 vote to rejoin the City Front Federation [p 8]; evidence that there were 1200 members of the union as of February 26, 1906 [p 17]; a quarterly financial report, including information on the total wealth of the union, the number of new members who had joined during the quarter, expenses, and income [pp 35-38]; mention of an effort to give financial aid to affiliated unions following the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake [p 50]; election results [pp 66, 172, 269]; 1907 quarterly financial statement [p 177];evidence that the initiation fee in 1907 was more than $25.00 [p 177]; mention a treasurer who disappeared with union funds [pp 257-262]; mention of an internal, secret "Black Hand" organization within the Riggers' that was accused of discriminating against other members of the union [pp 317-318, 321].
Carton 1, Folder 2

Minute Book, 1908 January 9-1909 July 27

Contents

Items of interest include: election results [pp 3, 93, 195-196, 274]; evidence of a continuing pattern of the union aiding other unions strike [p 28]; report of the auditing committee [p 50]; mention of a "wildcat" strike- a strike unsanctioned by union leaders [p 72]; treasurer's report [pp 152-153, 159-160]; transcript of a letter from Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) [p 191]; transcript of a letter from John Mitchell, described as the second vice president of the AFL relating to a Supreme Court Case: Supreme Court of Columbia v. AFL [p 192]; a transcript of a letter from Frank Morrison, Secretary of the AFL, in which he mentions the Sherman Anti-Trust Law, and the Pearri Anti-Injunction Bill that pertained to freedom of speech and freedom of the press [pp 192-193].
Carton 1, Folder 3

Minute Book, 1909 August 2-1910 December 19

Contents

Items of interest include: evidence that as of December 22, 1909, the Riggers' were not a part of the ILA [pp 82-83]; On January 10, 1910, the Riggers' voted to affiliate with the ILA [p 147]; this affiliation was defeated in a special meeting of the union, and there is some evidence about the conflict within the union about affiliating with the ILA [pp 82-83, 139, 147, 177]; evidence that by 1910, the initiation fee was $13.00 [p 292]; as of December 29, 1908, the membership of the union was 2,044 [p 292]; election results [pp 186-187].
Carton 1, Folder 4

Minute Book, 1911 January 9-1912 June 24

Contents

Of interest: election results [pp 4-5, 112, 271, 302]; information about wealth and membership of union as of January 9, 1911 [pp 8-13]; amalgamation with Longshore Lumbermen's Union discussed [pp 183, 202]; more discussion of amalgamation [p 206]; evidence that the Riggers' voted against amalgamation with the Alameda Lumber Clerks [p 157]; evidence that the union voted against a proposal that called for the exchange of minutes between longshore unions and system of initiative and referendum between unions, 356 to 388 [p 157]; defeat of a proposal to affiliate with the ILA, 333 to 231 [p 157]; the acceptance of a proposal to amalgamate the maritime unions of the West Coast, and to form "one big powerful union", 451 to 340 [p 158]; a vote for an eight hour day with overtime [p 158]; a vote to organize a maritime federation [p 158]; the passage of a motion to make the first and third meeting of every month "propaganda meetings" to promote the labor movement, including discussion sessions and speakers [p 190]; evidence that the Riggers' were still considered joining the ILA as of March 3, 1913 [pp 205, 208]; vote against joining the ILA [p 271]; mention of a jurisdictional conflict over organizing the lumberyards [p 275].
Carton 1, Folder 5

Minute Book, 1912 July 1-1913 June 2

Contents

Items of interest include: the results of an election held on July 8, 1912 [p 8]; a vote for amalgamation with the Longshore Lumberman's and Clerk's Association, 215 to 214 [p 9]; an example of the union's working rules in this period [pp 32-33]; evidence that the Riggers' passed a proposal to "try to amalgamate all our crafts on the Pacific Coast" and to attempt to amalgamate "all maritime transport workers" [p 77]; evidence of when the Riggers' withdrew fro the Asiatic Exclusion League [p 78]; a passage that states "there is a decided aversion in this Union to Affiliate with the International Association of Longshoremen [p 109].
Carton 1, Folder 6

Minute Book, 1913 June 9-1914 July 13

Contents

Items of interest include: the results of a quarterly elections [pp 30-31, 165, 167]; a vote to join the ILA on August 18, 1913 "with the understanding that dues shall not be raised for this purpose", 286 to 116 [p 63]; a mention on September 22, 1913 that the "Clerks" had amalgamated [p 84]; the wage scale that was to go into effect as of November 1, 1913 [p 96]; mention of a communication from the President of the Pacific Convention, presumably of the ILA, that forbade IWW delegates in the convention [p 228].
Carton 1, Folder 7

Minute Book, 1914 July 27-1915 September 27

Contents

Points of interest in Book VII include: a mention of the "Ludlow Massacre" [p 23]; election results [p 131]; evidence that the "Crockett local" was amalgamated on July 9, 1915 [p 213]; an amendment to the union constitutions that limited membership to "white citizens of the United States"[p 297]; a record that the Riggers' Protective Union amalgamated on November 1, 1915 [p 297].
Carton 1, Folder 8

Minute Book, 1915 October 4-1916 December 18

Contents

Points of interest include: quarterly election results [pp 76, 79]; evidence that as of January 16, 1916, the Riggers' had a $30.00 initiation fee [p 79]; proposal that the Riggers' withdraw from the ILA and spend their money to amalgamate the Pacific Coast into "one big union" and that they present this resolution at the Pacific Coast District Convention of the ILA [ p 79]; the Riggers' voted along with the San Francisco Labor Council against "militarism" [p 110]; a letter from T.V. O'Connor condemning the union's actions in trying to amalgamate other unions [p 124]; evidence of a special election that "rescinded" the proposal to amalgamate the Pacific coast, by a vote of 436 to 212 [ p 79]; mention of a meeting on May 31, 1916 relating to a strike [p 178]; the unions voted to rescind their "resolution regarding prohibition" [p 236]; record of the vote on November 21, 1916 in which the Riggers' voted to end the strike and return to work [p 255].
Carton 1, Folder 9

Minute Book, 1917 January 8-1919 January 20

Contents

Points of interest in Book IX include: election results [pp 3, 279]; the mention of the establishment of a maximum load amount [p 12]; a mention a letter from the San Francisco Labor Council requesting financial assistance, to which the Riggers' replied that they were "in no position to financially assist them"[p 25]; a reversal of the constitutional policy that only white citizens could join the union. Instead, all "men of good moral character...capable of performing the work of loading and unloading vessels" would be eligible for membership [p 34]; record that the meetings of the union were made bimonthly as opposed to weekly [p 35]; minutes from a special meeting of the union to address the issue of members refusing to work unless given an increase in wages [p 55]; a resolution calling for an 8 hour day, $6.00 per day, 75 cents an hour straight time, $1.25 overtime [p 55]; evidence of member of the Riggers independently quitting work and refusing to return to work [p 59]; a mention of a motion to refuse to handle non-union handled cargo that was rescinded "at the request of the Employer's Union and the Waterfront Workers Federation" [pp 59-60]; a vote not to amalgamate with the Riggers of Alameda [p 61]; a new wage scale proposed by the employer on June 1, 1917 [p 62]; an attempt by the Riggers' to institute a new wage scale of 65 cents per hour straight time and $1.00 overtime [p 84]; evidence of very large amount of applicants for membership [pp 86-87, 92-95, 100-101,107-108]; mention of a meeting to organize the unorganized and to increase the wage scale [p 96].
Carton 1, Folder 10

Items from Minute Books, 1906-1911

Contents

Contents of this folder include: Printed materials relating to internal union business, typed minutes of a session of the City Front Federation, handwritten memos and notes, notes written on printed notices. Essentially, the contents are ephemera that reflect the day to day business of the union.
Carton 1, Folder 11

Items from Minute Books, 1912 July 1-1912 December 31

Contents

This folder consists of printed materials and handwritten notes relating to the business of the union. Of particular interest is a typewritten notice dated November 18, 1912 stating an aversion on the part of the Riggers' to affiliation with the ILA and the intent of the Riggers' to establish a "coastwide system of referendum and initiative" for longshoremen regarding wages, hours and working conditions. This folder also contains a note on the Riggers' letterhead that verifies that it was founded on July 25, 1853 (see note above in HISTORY section). The folder contains: a list of members of the Amalgamation Committee (June 10,1912 July 8, 1912); proposed working rules for August 5, 1912. Many of the documents in this folder mention the Riggers' attempts to amalgamate the maritime unions of the Pacific Coast.
Carton 1, Folder 12

Items from Minute Books, 1913-1915

Contents

This folder contains handwritten notes and printed materials including: a printed card advertising the Third Grand Ball given by the "Moose Drum Corps"; handwritten notes relating to the resolutions and motions of the union as recorded in the minutes; a tally of the results of a special election on April 28, 1913 deciding the Riggers' affiliation with the ILA (192 against, 141 for affiliation); and an agreement between the Riggers' and the Sailor's Union of the Pacific settling jurisdictional disputes dated January 18, 1915.
Carton 1, Folder 13

Items from Minute Books, 1916-1918

Contents

Contents of this folder include: a copy ballot and the results of a referendum on July 15, 1916 deciding if the Riggers' would go back to work or on July 17 or continue to strike (the vote was 1186 for to 549 against returning); a resolution stating the Riggers' opposition to the Chamber of Commerce's drive to change the office of police judge from an elected to an appointed office; a timeline on the negotiations of wages between unions and employers dated May 26, 1917; a letter form the International Workers' Defense Fund about the Mooney Billings case; a resolution from July 31, 1916 which endorsed the prohibition of consumption and manufacturing of alcohol. The Riggers' reasoned that since some of the members of the Chamber of Commerce made money from producing and selling alcoholic beverages, they would be hurt if prohibition was enacted. The Chamber of Commerce, which had announced its intentions to crush unions and institute the open shop in San Francisco, would theoretically suffer financially because of prohibition. Finally, the contents of this folder include a list of unions affiliated with the Waterfront Workers' Federation as of May 3, 1917.