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Finding Aid to the Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union Records, 1937-1980 MS 458A
MS 458A  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Information for Researchers
  • Indexing Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • History
  • Bibliography
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Title: Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union records
    Collection Number: MS 458A
    Date (inclusive): 1929-1982
    Creator: Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union. Local 2 (San Francisco, Calif.).
    Extent: 3 boxes and 14 audiocassettes (1.6 Linear feet)
    Contributing Institution: California Historical Society
    678 Mission Street
    San Francisco, CA, 94105
    415-357-1848
    reference@calhist.org
    URL: http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/
    Physical Location: Collection is stored onsite.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.
    Abstract: Records and papers documenting the history, internal affairs, external relations, organizing efforts, and labor actions of the Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union in San Francisco between the years 1937 and 1982, especially during the 1937, 1941-1942, 1978-1980, and 1980 culinary strikes. Collection contents include union histories; contracts; arbitration records; correspondence; minutes; by-laws; flyers; bulletins; official and rank-and-file newspapers; newspaper clippings; oral history transcripts and original sound recordings; audiocassettes; and ephemera.

    Information for Researchers

    Restrictions on Access

    Collection is open for research, with the following exception: Picket line interviews restricted unless release indicated. Inquiries concerning these materials should be directed, in writing, to the Director of Research Collections, North Baker Research Library.

    Technical Requirements

    Use of the audiotapes may require the creation of listening copies for some recordings.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the California Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Research Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union Records, MS 458A, California Historical Society.

    Related Collections

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union. Local 110 (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union. Local 283 (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union. Local 30 (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union. Local 41 (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union. Local 44 (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union. Local 48 (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union. Local 9 (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Bars (Drinking establishments)--Employees--Labor unions--California--San Francisco.
    Hotels--Employees--Labor unions--California--San Francisco.
    Restaurants--Employees--Labor unions--California--San Francisco.
    Strikes and lockouts--California--San Francisco.
    Audiocassettes.
    Bylaws.
    Minutes.
    Oral histories.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    Oral histories were collected for the California Historical Society by Lucille Kendall, a member and officer of the Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union, in the early 1980s. Excerpts from union minutes were compiled by Kendall for the California Historical Society in 1980. No other donor information is available.

    Accruals

    No additions are expected.

    Processing Information

    Processed by California Historical Society staff.

    History

    Chartered in 1891 by the American Federation of Labor, the Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union has represented culinary workers in San Francisco since the turn of the twentieth century. The union conducted sporadic labor actions throughout the early part of the century, culminating in the city-wide 1937 hotel strike, which was called after the Hotel Employers' Association refused to recognize the collective bargaining rights of 150 clerical employees. Settled by arbitration after 87 days, the 1937 hotel strike established the Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union as a major player in the San Francisco labor movement and represented the beginning of many culinary officials' labor careers. After the five-year contract between the union and the Hotel Employers' Association expired in 1941, another major culinary strike was called over disputed contract terms. This strike was settled by the War Labor Board in 1942.
    In the 1970s, a series of mergers consolidated the organization of the Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union in San Francisco. In the early 1970s, Locals 30 and 48, representing San Francisco waiters and waitresses, were merged, forming Local 9. Then, in 1975, all of the affiliated San Francisco locals were merged into the newly chartered Local 2. These locals were: Local 110, representing miscellaneous workers; Local 9, representing waiters and waitresses; Local 41, representing bartenders; Local 44, representing cooks; and Local 283, representing hotel workers.
    In 1978, a successful strike was called against San Francisco restaurant chain Zim's, resulting in increased wages and other benefits for restaurant workers. This was followed by a major hotel strike in 1980, waged against 36 San Francisco hotels represented by the Hotel Employers' Association, upon the expiration of the hotel workers' five-year contract. After 29 days, the 1980 strike was settled and a new contract ratified. While Local 2 president Charles Lamb claimed victory for the union, the strike and its controversial settlement revealed divisions between union leadership and some rank-and-file members.

    Bibliography

    This bibliography of works documenting the history of the Hotel & Restaurant and Bartenders International Union in San Francisco is taken from the legacy finding aid for the collection.
    Robert Edward Lee Knight, Industrial Relations in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1900-1918
    Van Dusen Kennedy, Arbitration in the San Francisco Hotel and Restaurant Industries
    Lucile Eaves, California Labor Legislation
    Edward Eaves, A History of the Cooks and Waiters Unions of San Francisco. Unpublished master's thesis, Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley, 1980.
    Ira Cross, A History of the Labor Movement in California
    Matthew Josephson, Union House, Union Bar

    Scope and Contents

    This collection comprises Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union records and papers documenting the history, internal affairs, external relations, organizing efforts, and labor actions of the San Francisco union between the years 1929 and 1982. Collection contents include union histories; contracts; arbitration records; correspondence; minutes; by-laws; flyers; bulletins; official and rank-and-file newspapers; newspaper clippings; oral history transcripts and original sound recordings; audiocassettes; and ephemera.
    Contracts and arbitration records consist of agreements between the union and San Francisco employers' associations for the years 1937-1938, 1942, 1947, 1954, 1967-1968, 1971-1972, 1975, 1977, and 1980. Compiled by union official Lucille Kendall in 1980, excerpts of union minutes summarize the proceedings of the Local Joint Executive Board between the years 1929 to 1978. Correspondence (1973-1980) comprises official communications and memoranda from the union to its members. Election materials document union elections between the years 1976 and 1979. Also included are union constitutions and by-laws for the years 1961, 1971, 1976, and 1977-1978, as well as copies of the Local 2 Voice, Local 2 Action Reporter, ARF News, and Local 2 Action Retorter, spanning the years 1975 to 1980.
    Mainly consisting of official and rank-and-file communications and publications, strike-related records document the origins, conduct, resolution, and aftermath of the culinary strikes of 1937, 1941-1942, 1978-1980, and 1980 in San Francisco. The strike of 1980 is particularly well-documented. Recorded and compiled by union official Lucille Kendall, oral history recordings and transcripts represent interviews with rank-and-file union members who participated in the strikes of 1937, 1941-1942, and 1980. Some interviews of 1980 strikers are restricted. Also included are sound recordings of 1980 picket lines and the August 12, 1980 contract ratification meeting.

    Arrangement

    This collection is not organized into series. In general, materials are arranged by format (e.g., "Contracts and Arbitration Records"). Strike-related materials are grouped together in rough chronological order.