Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards Records
BANC MSS 75/3 c  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (107.68 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Accruals
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Alternate Forms Available
  • Organizational History
  • Preferred Citation
  • System of Arrangement
  • Processing Information
  • Related Collections
  • Publication Rights

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: The Bancroft Library
    Title: National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards records.
    Creator: National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 75/3 c
    Physical Description: 22.5 Linear Feet (18 cartons)
    Date (inclusive): 1916-1955, bulk 1935-1955
    Abstract: The National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards (NUMCS) records documents union-related activity from the 1930s to the 1950s. The collection includes correspondence; files related to arbitration; War Labor and National Labor Relations Board cases; agreements with various companies; NUMCS constitional and biennial convention proceedings; committee minutes from various ports; NUMCS General Council minutes and reports; files related to the Pacific Coast Section Presidential Board of Inquiry and United States Maritime Commission hearings; and publications.
    Language of Material: Collection materials are in English.
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Accruals

    No future additions are expected.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards (NUMCS) records document union-related activity from the 1930s to the 1950s. Please note that the union was variously referred to as the National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards and Marine Cooks and Stewards. Original folder titles were retained.
    The collection is divided into 12 series: Correspondence; Arbitration; War Labor Board Cases; National Labor Relations Board Cases; Agreements (with various companies); NUMCS Constitional and Biennial Conventions; Port Committee Minutes (predominantly West Coast); NUMCS General Council Minutes and Reports; Pacific Coast Section Presidential Board of Inquiry; United States Maritime Commission Hearings (related to wages, manning, and working conditions); Miscellany; and Publications.

    Alternate Forms Available

    Microfilm of some issues of Waterfront Worker are available at The Bancroft Library (BANC FILM 398)
    Microfilm of 1943 issues of Voice of the Marine Cooks & Steward’s Association of the Pacific Coast, CIO are available at the New York Public Library
    Microfilm of post-1945 issues of Voice – National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards are available at the UC Berkeley Library (NEWS; MICROFILM 1559 HD)

    Organizational History

    The Marine Cooks and Stewards Association of the Pacific Coast, later the National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards (NUMCS), was founded in 1901. It represented the service workers in the steward departments of United States vessels that sailed in the Pacific. The union was originally dedicated to preserving these jobs for white men and excluding Asian and African American workers. But during and after the Depression-era maritime strikes in 1934 and 1936, communists and young radicals, as well as Black, Asian American, and gay workers, bridged their differences through collective struggle and transformed it into one of the most democratic, racially integrated unions in the United States. By the 1950s, the majority of the members and leaders of the union were people of color. However, anti-communism, homophobia, a federal maritime security program designed to screen out subversives, and the Taft-Hartley Act took its toll on the union. It was expelled by the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1950 for being communist-dominated and soon thereafter was the focus of a power struggle between the Seafarers International Union (part of American Federation of Labor) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
    The history of the NUMCS is complicated. Please see these links for more details on how race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect in the union’s story:
    Marine Cooks and Stewards, Waterfront Workers History Project, Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, University of Washington: https://depts.washington.edu/dock/maritime_intro.shtml
    George Robertson, "Desegregating a Maritime Union," Waterfront Workers History Project, Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, University of Washington: https://depts.washington.edu/dock/mcs_desegregation.shtml
    Allan Bérubé, "No Red-Baiting, No Race-Baiting, No Queen-Baiting!": The Marine Cooks and Stewards Union from the Depression to the Cold War: http://outhistory.org/exhibits/show/no-baiting/red-race-queen

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards records, BANC MSS 75/3c,The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    System of Arrangement

    Arranged to the folder level.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Marjorie Bryer in 2019.

    Related Collections

    Marine Cooks and Stewards Association of the Pacific Coast minutes, 1910-1931 (BANC MSS 2004/178 c)
    Proceedings of the second biennial convention of the National Marine Cooks and Stewards : San Francisco : typescript, 1947 May 5-9 (BANC MSS 2004/179 c, v.1-3)
    International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union papers (BANC MSS 77/168 c)
    Life of a leftist labor lawyer : oral history transcript / introduction by James R. Herman ; interview conducted by Estolv Ethan Ward ; The Bancroft Library, Oral History Center, 1985 (BANC MSS 88/8 c, https://archive.org/details/lifeleftistlabor00leonrich/page/n1)
    Allan Bérubé papers, 1946-2007 (GLBT Historical Society, 1995-17)
    Don Watson oral history (Labor Archives and Research Center. J. Paul Leonard Library. San Francisco State University, https://archive.org/details/csfst_000030)
    Paul Pinsky oral history (Labor Archives and Research Center. J. Paul Leonard Library. San Francisco State University, https://archive.org/details/csfst_000020)
    Alan Brotsky oral history (Labor Archives and Research Center. J. Paul Leonard Library. San Francisco State University, https://archive.org/details/csfst_00008)
    Labor Archives and Research Center Ephemera Collection (Labor Archives and Research Center. J. Paul Leonard Library. San Francisco State University, LARC EPH)
    Norman Leonard papers (Labor Archives and Research Center. J. Paul Leonard Library. San Francisco State University, larc.ms.0027)
    Marine Cooks and Stewards Union records, 1954 (University of Washington, 1128)
    Stephen R. Blair papers, 1919-1996 (University of Washington)
    Josephine Fowler papers, 1883-2005 (UCLA, 1801)

    Publication Rights

    Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. For additional information about the University of California, Berkeley Library's permissions policy please see: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/about/permissions-policies

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards -- Archives.
    Marine Cooks and Stewards Association of the Pacific Coast -- Archives.
    Cooks -- Labor unions.
    Collective bargaining -- Stewards.
    Collective labor agreements -- Merchant marine -- Pacific Coast.
    Sailors -- United States.
    Merchant mariners -- Labor unions -- United States.