The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

The United Food And Commercial Workers Local 954 Collection, 1930-1993

MSS-093

Size:  3 linear feet

Provenance: received from Dave Sadowski, senior staff organizer of The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 954, in 1993.

        

Access: open

Collection Summary: This collection consists primarily of correspondence, but also includes union publications; newspaper clippings; legal documents; films; and audio tapes documenting the UFCW and one of its predecessors, the Retail Clerks International Association, District Council no. 6.

 

Subjects: Business and Commerce, Labor

 

 

Related Collections:  International Chemical Workers Local 901 Records, MSS-085; Central Labor Union of Toledo and Vicinity, MSS-090.

 

Copyright: The literary rights to this collection are assumed to rest with the person(s) responsible for the production of the particular items within the collection, or with their heirs or assigns.  Researchers bear full legal responsibility for the acquisition to publish from any part of said collection per Title 17, United States Code.  The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections may reserve the right to intervene as intermediary at its own discretion.

 

Completed by:  Thomas J. Brady, June 1993; last updated: June, 2014

 


 

Historical Sketch

           

United Food arid Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 954 began as District Council No. 6 of the Retail Clerks International Association and was comprised of the Department Stores Local 128, Big Ticket Local 633, Shoes Local 116. and Grocery Stores Local 954.

        

At a December 29, 1959 meeting, District Council No. 6 was officially dissolved and became Local 954. The Local 954 charter listed seven members from Department Stores, seven member: from the grocery stores and six members from the big ticket sales unit. The Local's name was changed to Retail Store Employees Union Local No. 954, a chartered body of the Retail Clerks International Association.

        

The Local built and moved into its own building at 730 Summit Street. Toledo, Ohio in 1972.  In June. 1979 the Retail Clerks International Union and the Amalgamated Meatcutters and Butcher Workmen Union merged forming the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.  The merger united nearly 1 .3 million members and became the AFL-CIO’s largest affiliate. The RCIU contributed over 700,000 members to the new union and the Amalgamated Meat Cutters added over 500,000 members. William H. Wynn, former President of the RCIU, became the acting President of the UFCW. 

 

The Local was moved to 7441 International Drive. Holland, Ohio in 1981 and that same year, Local No. S of the Barbers and Cosmetologist Division joined U.F.C.W. Local No. 954.

 

 

 

Scope and Content Note

 

This collection consists mainly of correspondence of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (U.F.C.W.) correspondence from other related organizations; several union publications; and newspaper clippings. The collection includes three films and several audio tapes regarding the Retail Clerks International Union (R.C.I.U.) and numerous R.C.I.U. legal agreements from the 1930s to the 1970s. The collection is divided into four series.

 

Series I: U.F.C.W. Correspondence and General Information.

 

Series I contains U.F.C.W. general information and U.F.C.W. correspondence from 1979 to 1989. Information from the U.F.C.W June 1979 founding convention, such as the new U.F.C.W. logo, convention photographs and transcripts of convention speeches by President Jimmy Carter and U.F.C.W. International President William Wynn, are included. The series also contains the proposed constitution of the U.F.C.W.

        

The majority of series I is composed of U.F.C.W. Local 954 correspondence from 1982 to 1989. The correspondence is mainly between Local 954 President Eugene H. Kolkman and other local, state, and international U.F.C.W. representatives. U.F.C.W. -  employee conflicts, financial statements, meeting announcements, reports, policy clarifications, and other U.F.C.W. concerns are addressed. U.F.C.W. District Council No. 22 correspondence and meeting minutes are also included. The series also includes Local 954 correspondence and grievances regarding conflicts and negotiations with Stein’s (Village Stores of Ohio) from 1978 to 1985. The series contains information regarding U.F.C.W. support of charitable organizations; the Local 954 retirees club; a U.F.C.W. job hazards fact sheet; and U.F.C.W. newspaper clippings concerning contracts and union - employer disputes from 1982 to 1985.

        

Series II: Union Publications.

        

Series II is comprised of eleven union publications. Issues of The Label Letter (1986-1988). Meijer News (1985-1987) The Rub Sheer (1981-1989), and Straight Talk (1980) are available. The Northwestern Ohio Labor Union (1978-1988), the Local 954 Rapporter (1980-1990), and The Toledo Union Journal (1981) are included. The series also contains issues of the U.F.C.W Imprint (1985-1986), the U.F.C.W. Link (1986-1991), and (U.F.C.W) Women’s Highlights (1983). Four issues of The Toledo Record (Nov. 9. 1966; Nov. 16, 1966: Jan. 1, 1967; and March 26, 1967) are also included. The Toledo Record was published by a union coalition in response to a union strike at The Toledo Blade. Patrons should consult the box-folder listing to determine which issues from the above dates are included.

               

Series III: General Correspondence and Miscellaneous.

        

Series III consists of general correspondence from several organizations such as the Toledo Active Ballot Club, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. the Hotel and Restaurant Employees, and the Bay Area Labor Council. A voluminous correspondence of the Toledo Port Council from 1977 to 1989, containing meeting announcements, updates of union policies and regulations. and related materials, is  included. Patrons should refer to the box-folder listing to determine other organizations in the series, correspondence quantity and inclusive dates. The collection is also comprised of press releases from Senator Howard Metzenbaum (1981-1982). The miscellaneous file contains campaign material for Chief Justice Frank Celebrezze. a letter from State Senator Donald Lukens to Eugene II. Kolkman. and other materials.

        

Series IV: Retail Clerks International Union General Information and Legal Agreements.

        

Series IV consists of information regarding the Retail Clerks International Union (R.C.I.U.) with a history of the R.C.I.U. from 1865 to 1972 provided, anniversary pamphlets from the 1950s, photographs of R.C.I.U. officers, and other miscellaneous items are included (refer to the box-folder listing for a complete inventory).

        

Numerous legal agreements from the 1930s to the 1970s between the R.C.I.U. and a variety of employers are included. The agreements outline in detail such concerns as working hours. benefits, wages. and promotional policies. Agreements with such companies as Western Auto Supply Co., Kobacker Stores Inc., Tiedtke Division, Topps Family Fair Inc., Lane Drugs and several shoe stores are included. The legal agreements are arranged alphabetically according to the employee name. The series is also comprised of several court cases between the R.C.I.U. and Lion Dry Goods and LaSalle’s.

      

Three films The Battle of Wall Street, A Watch for Joe, and a silent un-named production, are included in the series.

        

The Battle of Wall Street. approx. 15-20 minutes.

        

The Battle of Wall Street is a presentation of the Seafarer’s International Union (S.I.U.) Atlantic and Gulf District, A.F.L. The production is a promotional film narrating the late 1940’s strike of the United Financial Employees (U.F.E.) against the New York Stock Exchange and Curb Exchange. The film describes the strike as the first challenge to the anti-labor Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. The narrator explains that the S .I.U. was called in by the U.F.E. to provide moral support and advice to the strikers.  The S.I.U. gladly volunteered manpower to support the picketers. The film describes "gallant” strikers and refers to police suppression of the strikers as "vicious terrorism”. The film describes the efforts of the strikers and claims wide spread support of the U.F.E. from other unions. After more than a month, the Stock and Curb exchanges give in to most of the strikers’ demands. The narrator describes the settlement as a great victory for organized labor.

        

A Watch for Joe. approx. 50 minutes.

        

A Watch for Joe is a Hal R. Makelim production, staring Robert Jordan and Beverly Campbell. and directed by Jack Hively. A Watch for Joe is a fictional movie promoting the R.C.I.U. The two main characters, Tom Johnson and Joe Adams, are friends in high school, have similar backgrounds, and both become retail clerks. However, Tom’ s company is organized by the R.C.IU. while Joe’s remains non-unionized. Due to the efforts of the R.C.I.U., Tom receives excellent salary, overtime pay, and good benefits. Tom can afford to own a car, get married, and go on a long honeymoon. Tom’s life goes well because of the R .C .I. U.

 

Joe’s life spirals downward because he is not in the R.C.I.U. he cannot afford to get married or own a car. He also has no benefits and low job security. Finally, Joes friends convince him to unionize his company.  Despite company resistance, Joe and the R.C.I.U. successfully unionize Joe’s company and his life makes a dramatic turn for the better. His salary increases and he receives benefits. Joe can finally afford to get married. In addition, despite initially resisting unionization, Joe’s company comes to welcome unionization because of greater worker productivity. According to the movie, the R.C.I.U. benefits all parties involved.

       

Silent Unnamed Footage

        

The silent footage shows picketers at Tiedtke’ s being watched by police and bystanders. Footage also shows picketers at LaSalle’ s and union members eating during the strike. Short clips are also of local union signs, union meetings and union officials working at desks. The footage appears to be unedited for promotional use.

        

Series IV also contains six audio tapes from the R.C.I.A.

        

Tape #1 is a series of short promotional narrations urging Lamson’s employees to vote for unionization in the Retail Clerks Union. The narrator lists benefits of        unionization and states that United States Secretary of Labor James P. Mitchell and Senator John McClellan both support the union.

        

Tape #2 is union meeting discussing R.C.I.A. conflicts with Kroger and A. & P. The main component of the tape is a speech given by union member Ben Slegman. Slegman discusses the progress of the R.C.I.A. and his philosophy concerning unions. He urges education of union members and expansion of union membership.

        

Tape #3 is a union meeting of the late 1950s discussing a R.C.I.A. Locals 128 and 633 with Lasalle and Coke Company. Union officials are presenting the agreement to union members for ratification. Union representatives assure all strikers that they will be put back to work. Officials also describe a new arbitration committee for disputes. Union officials urge members to accept the agreement and attorney Walter Lippman describes legal aspects of the agreement. Union members proceed to ask representatives numerous questions regarding the agreement.

        

Tape #4 is a seminar meeting of the Retail Clerks Union.  Chuch Lipson answers questions concerning the Active Ballot Club. Richard Lewis then speaks about contract interpretation and application. The main speaker, union Vice President Housewright discusses the boycott of Kroger’s and the role of union stewards. Housewright stresses the education of union members and the expansion of the union.

        

Tape #5 is a union meeting outlining an agreement with R.H. Macy and Lasalle’s. The tape is damaged and begins on item #38 of the agreement. Hours, wages, and insurance benefits for different employee categories are discussed. Employees then ask union officials numerous questions regarding the agreement. Union attorney Walter Lippman and other union officials urge member acceptance of the agreement.

        

Tape #6 records a 1966 union Christmas party. Members jovially sing, joke, and laugh throughout the tape.

        

Tape #7 records a 1967 union Christmas party.  Similar to tape #6, members laugh, joke, and sing throughout the tape.

 


Folder List

 

Box

Folder

Contents

 

 

 

 

 

S1. U.F.C.W Correspondence and General Information

 

 

 

1

1

U.F.C.W. founding Convention. June 1979

 

2

Proposed Constitution f the U.F. C.W.

 

3

U.F.C W. Correspondence, Jan.-Feb. 1982

 

4

U.F.C.W. Corr., March 1982

 

5

U.F.C.W. Corr., April 1982

 

6

U.F.C.W. Corr., May- June 1981

 

7

U.F.C.W. Corr., July-Aug. 1982

 

8

U.F.C.W. Corr., Sept.-Oct. 1982

 

9

U.F.C.W. Corr., Nov.-Dec. 1982

 

10

U.F.C.W. Corr., Jan.-Feb. 1983

 

11

U.F.C.W. Corr., March-April 1983

 

12

U.F.C.W. Corr., May-June 198?

 

13

U.F.C.W. Corr., July-Aug. 1983

 

14

U.F.C.W. Corr., Sept.-Oct. 1983

 

15

U.F.C.W. Corr., Nov.-Dec. 1983

 

16

U.F.C.W. Corr., Jan.-Feb. 1984

 

17

U.F.C.W. Corr., March-April 1984

 

18

U.F.C.W. Corr., May-June 1984

 

19

U.F.C.W. Corr., July-Aug. 1984

 

20

U.F.C.W. Corr., Sept.-Oct. 1984

 

21

U.F.C.W. Corr., Nov.-Dec. 1984

 

22

U.F.C.W. Corr., Jan,-Feb. 1985

 

23

U.F.C.W. Corr.. March-April, 1985

 

24

U.F.C.W. Corr., May-June 198

 

25

U.F.C.W. Corr., July-Aug. 1985

 

26

U.F.C.W. Corr.. Sep.-Oct. 1985

 

27

U.F.C.W. Corr., Nov.-Dec. 1985

 

28

U.F.C.W. Corr., Jan.-Feb 1986

 

29

U.F.C.W. Corr.. March-April 1986

 

30

U.F.C.W. Corr.. May-June 1986

 

31

U.F.C.W. Corr., July-Aug. 1986

 

32

U.F.C.W. Corr., Sept.-Oct. 1986

 

33

U.F.C.W. Corr., Nov.-Dec. 1986

 

34

U.F.C.W. Corr., Jan.-Feb. 1987

 

35

U.F.C.W. Corr.. March-April 1987

 

36

U.F.C.W. Corr.. May-June 1987

 

37

U.F.C.W. Corr., July-Aug. 1987

 

38

U.F.C.W. Corr.. Sept.-Oct. 1987

 

39

U.F.C.W. Corr, Nov.-Dec. 1987

 

40

U.F.C.W. Corr., Jan.-Feb. 1988

 

41

U.F.C.W. Corr.. March-April 1988

 

42

U.F.C.W. Corr., May-June 1988

 

43

U.F.C.W. Corr., July-Aug. 1988

 

44

U.F.C.W. Corr., Sept.-Oct. 1988

 

45

U.F.C.W. Corr., Nov.-Dec. 1988

 

46

U.F.C.W. Corr.. ian.-Feb. 1989

 

47

U.F.C.W. Corr.. March-April 1989

 

48

U.F.C.W. Corr., May-June 1989

 

49

U.F.C.W. Corr,, July-Aug. 1989

 

50

U.F.C.W. Corr., Sept. - Oct. 1989

 

51

U.F.C.W. Corr., Nov.-Dec. 1989

 

52

U.F.C.W. District Council No. 22  Corr., Meeting Minutes, Financial Statements. Related Materials, 1978-82, 1988

 

53

Retail Store Employees Union (Local 954), Grievances and Corr. regarding Stein's (Village Stores of Ohio. Inc., 1978-85), Part 1.

 

54

Retail Store Employees Union (Local 954) Grievances and Corr. regarding Stein's Village Stores of Ohio, Inc., 1978-85), Part II.

 

55

U.F.C.W. Executive Board U.F.C.W. support of Charitable Organizations, 1979-82

 

56

U.F.C.W. State Council Corr. and Meeting Minutes, 1982-84.

 

57

U.F.C.W. State Council Corr. and Meeting Minutes, 1985-88.

 

58

U.F.C.W. Local 954 Retiree's Club, Bylaws and Formation Corr. 1977

 

59

U.F.C.W. Job Hazards Fact Sheet

 

60

U.F.C.W. News Clippings concerning Contracts and Related Materials, I 1982-1985

 

61

U.F.C.W. News Clippings concerning Contracts and Related Materials, 1985

 

 

 

 

 

Series II: Union Publications.

2

1

Label Letter, 1986 (except March/April and Nov./Dec.)

 

2

Label Letter, 1987 (except Nov./Dec.)

 

3

Label Letter, July/Aug and Sept./Oct. 1988

 

4

Meijer News, Aug.-Oct. 1985 (partially complete)

 

5

Meijer News, Jan-Dec. 1986 (partially complete)

 

6

Meijer News, Feb.-July 1987 (partially complete)

 

7

The Northwestern Ohio Labor Union, March-Dec. 1978 (partially complete)

 

8

The Northwestern Ohio Labor Union, 1979 (partially complete)

 

9

The Northwestern Ohio Labor Union, April-Sept. 1980(partially complete)

 

10

The Northwestern Ohio Labor Union, Oct.-Dec. 1980(partially complete)

 

11

The Northwestern Ohio Labor Union, Jan.-July 1981(partially complete)

 

12

The Northwestern Ohio Labor Union, Aug-Dec. 1981(partially complete)

 

13

The Northwestern Ohio Labor Union, 1982 (partially complete)

 

14

The Northwestern Ohio Labor Union, Jan.-June. 1986 (partially complete)

 

15

The Northwestern Ohio Labor Union, July-Sept. 1986 (partially complete)

 

16

The Northwestern Ohio Labor Union, Sept.-Dec. 1986 (partially complete)

 

17

The Northwestern Ohio Labor Union, Jan.-April 1987 (partially complete)

 

18

The Northwestern Ohio Labor Union, May-July 1987(partially complete)

 

19

The Northwestern Ohio Labor Union, Aug. 1987-July 1988(partially complete)

 

20

The Local 954, Rapporter, 1980

 

21

The Rapporter, 1981

 

22

The Rapporter, 1982

 

23

The Rapporter, 1983

 

24

The Rapporter, 1984

 

25

The Rapporter, 1985

 

26

The Rapporter, 1986 (except Sept./Oct.)

 

27

The Rapporter, 1987

 

28

The Rapporter, 1988 (except May/June)

 

29

The Rapporter, 1989 (except Nov./Dec.)

 

30

The Rapporter, Nov./Dec. 1990

 

31

The Rub Sheet, April 1981, Dec./Jan. 1981-82, April 1983, March 1984

 

32

The Rub Sheet, May 1985, Feb./March 1986, May 1986, June 1987, Feb. 1988

 

33

The Rub Sheet, Aug., Sept./Oct.. and Nov./Dec. 1989

 

34

Straight Talk, (U.F.C.W. vs. Churchill's Supermarkets) April, 1980.

 

35

The Toledo Record, Nov. 9, 196

 

36

The Toledo Record, Nov. 16, 1966

 

37

The Toledo Record, Jan. 1, 1967

 

38

The Toledo Record, March 26, 1967

 

39

Toledo Union Journal, Dec. 1980-Jan. 1981 (partially complete)

 

40

Toledo Union Journal, Feb.-April 1981 (partially complete)

 

41

Toledo Union Journal, May-June 1981 (partially complete)

 

42

Toledo Union Journal, July-Aug. 1981 (partially complete)

 

43

U.F.C.W. Imprint. Oct. 1985, Feb. 1986, April 1986,Oct. 1986

 

44

The U.F.C.W. Link, Aug. 1986-Dec. 1988 (partially complete)

 

45

The U.F.C.W. Link, Jan. 1989-June 1991 (partially complete)

 

46

U.F.C.W. Women's Highlights, Nov. 1983 and two undated issues

 

 

 

 

 

Series III: General Correspondence and Miscellaneous.

 

47

Active Ballot Club (Toledo) Corr., April 1975-July 1978

 

48

Active Ballot Club Corr. And Meeting Minutes, Feb 1980-Oct. 1982, Oct. 1986

 

49

American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, State and Local Corr., June 1979 and undated

 

50

Bay Area Labor Council, Corr. of Feb. 6, 1984 and Newsletters, Feb.-May 1986

 

51

Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Corr., Aug. 17. 1988. Dec. 5, 1988

 

52

Manpower Programs (Hancock Hardin, Wyandot, and Putnam Counties) Corr., April 14, 1982

 

53

Northwest Ohio Labor Day Parade Committee Corr.,July 30, 1986

 

54

Toledo Area AFL-CIO Corr., 1968-Nov. 1976

 

55

Toledo Area AFL-CIO Corr., Jan. 1977-Feb. 1990

 

56

Toledo Labor-Management-Citizens Committee Corr., Sept. 29, 1982, and member role calls and guidelines

 

57

Toledo Labor Party Corr., 1983

 

58

Toledo Port Council Corr., Jan.1977-Aug. 197

 

59

Toledo Port Council Corr., March 1979-Nov. 1980

 

60

Toledo Port Council Corr., Jan. 1981-April 1984

 

61

Toledo Port Council Corr., Jan. 1985-Dec. 1987

 

62

Toledo Port Council Corr., Jan. 1988-May 1989

 

63

Union Label and Service Council, AFL-CIO Corr., Jan. 1978-Dec. 1988

 

64

Community Education Classes Pamphlet (Springfield OH), Fall 1981

 

65

Construction Trades Department and the Publication The Builders, 1977-1988

 

66

Metzenbamn. Senator Howard, Press Releases, June 1981-Dec. 1982

 

67

Miscellaneous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Series IV: Retail Clerks International Union General Information and Legal Agreements

 

 

 

3

1

History of The Retail Clerks International Association (R.C.I.A.). 1865-1972

 

2

Dues Receipts received from R.C.I.A. Local 128,633, and 954, 1951-1952

 

3

Retail Clerks District Council No. 6 Anniversary Pamphlet, 6 pages, 1955

 

4

Retail Clerks District Council No. 6 Twenty-second Anniversary Pamphlet, 8 pages, 1959

 

5

Photographs of R.C.I.A. District Council No. 6 President, Hugh A. Nichols and other officers

 

6

R.C.I.A. Sales Talk (newsletter of March 1954)

 

7

Retail Clerks Union District Council No. 6, Retail Reporter, Nov. 1956-Sept. 1957 (partially complete)

 

8

R.C.I.A. and Amalgamated Meat Cutters (Local 626) - Joint Letter requesting Union Membership from Prospective Workers (undated)

 

9

Sturm, William F. - Certificate from President James Suffridge appointing Sturm Sec.-Treasurer of District No. 6

 

10

Legal Aid - U.F.C.W. Locals 427-880 and Employer Legal Services Plan. April 15, 1981

 

11

Court Cases, R.C.I.A. vs. Lion Dry Goods~ Inc.. and LaSalle's

 

12

A-B - Legal Agreements. (alphabetized)

 

13

F-J - Legal Agreements

 

14

K - Legal Agreements

 

15

L - Legal Agreements

 

16

M-P - Legal Agreements

 

17

R - Legal Agreements

 

18

Sa - Legal Agreements

 

19

Sb-Sz - Legal Agreements

 

20

T-U - Legal Agreements

 

21

W - Legal Agreements

 

22

Audio Tapes-Numbers 1 and 2

 

23

Audio Tapes-Numbers 3 and 4

 

24

Audio Tapes-Numbers 5 and 6

 

25

Audio Tapes-Number 7

 

26

Film Number 3, Silent un-named footage

4

^

Film Number 1. The Battle of Wail Street

 

^

Film Number 2  A Watch for Joe

 

Key:  ^ = Oversize Area