Amalgamated Association of Beamers, Twisters and Drawers (Hand and Machine)

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AABTD
Full name Amalgamated Association of Beamers, Twisters and Drawers (Hand and Machine)
Founded 1866
Date dissolved 2002
Members transferred Manufacturing, Science and Finance
Members 5,237 (1907)[1]
1,065 (1980)[2]
Affiliation GFTU, NCTTF, TUC
Key people William Cornforth Robinson (Secretary)
Office location 27 Every Street, Nelson, Lancashire
Country United Kingdom

The Amalgamated Association of Beamers, Twisters and Drawers (Hand and Machine) (AABTD) was a British trade union which existed between 1866 and 2002. It represented skilled workers in the cotton industry who were responsible for preparing warp yarns prior to weaving.

History

The union was founded in 1866 as the Amalgamated Association of Beamers, Twisters and Drawers by the loose amalgamation of several district unions. It was reconstituted in 1889,[3] and officially registered the following year. In 1915, it added "Hand and Machine" to its name.[4] By this time, it had also affiliated to the United Textile Factory Workers' Association.[5]

The union's large number of affiliates included:

Union[6] Founded Membership (1907)[7] Notes
Accrington 1885 101 Merged into Accrington, Church and Oswaldtwistle 1971
Ashton-under-Lyne 1860 171 Merged into Hyde and District in 1967
Bacup and District 1901 85 Merged into Rossendale Valley 1963
Bamber Bridge 1882 66 Merged into Preston 1930s
Barnoldswick 1925 N/A Dissolved 1970. Earlier union active 1906–1970
Blackburn 1866 706 Merged into Blackburn and Bolton 1971
Bolton 1892 266 Merged into Blackburn and Bolton 1971
Burnley and District 1878 498 Dissolved 1983
Bury 1890 105 Merged into Rochdale and District 1973
Chorley and District 1892 174 Merged into Blackburn and Bolton 1971
Church and Oswaldtwistle 1867 102 Merged into Accrington, Church and Oswaldtwistle 1971
Clayton-le-Moors 1900 41 Dissolved 1920s
Clitheroe and District 1892 70 Dissolved 1940s
Colne and District 1895 214 Dissolved 1983
Darwen 1892 252 Merged into Blackburn and Bolton 1971
Earby and District 1905 33 Dissolved 1960
Farington 1903 N/A Merged into Preston 1906
Great Harwood 1860 109 Dissolved 1950s
Hadfield and Glossop 1895 56 Merged into Hyde and District 1920s
Haslingden 1886 75 Merged into Rossendale Valley 1963
Heywood 1890 102 Merged into Rochdale and District 1973
Hyde and District 1902 72 Merged into Colne and District 1976
Leigh and Bedford 1890 67 Merged into Bolton 1940s
Littleborough 1893 60 Merged into Rochdale and District 1967
Longridge 1870 31 Merged into Preston 1950s
Macclesfield 1894 30 Dissolved 1920s
Manchester 1865 136 Dissolved 1969
Nelson and District 1893 340 Dissolved 1983
Oldham 1868 109 Dissolved 1963
Padiham 1895 101 Dissolved 1983
Preston 1866 412 Dissolved 1983
Radcliffe 1891 60 Merged into Bury 1972
Ramsbottom 1894 43 Dissolved 1940s
Rawtenstall and District 1891 60 Merged into Rossendale Valley 1963
Rishton 1893 40 Dissolved 1940s
Rochdale and District 1892 157 Merged into Colne and District 1974
Skipton and District 1905 44 Dissolved 1980
Stockport 1906 61 Merged into Hyde and District 1967
Todmorden 1892 201 Dissolved 1983
Wigan and District 1891 60 Merged into Bolton and District 1963

From 1890 until 1932, the union was led by William Cornforth Robinson, a member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party, who served two terms as a Member of Parliament.[8] In the 1940s and 1950s, it was led by Harry Earnshaw, also a member of the National Executive Committee.[9]

Although union membership was never large, it remained fairly steady into the 1950s, being 3,924 in 1955. However, it dropped rapidly from the 1960s onwards, as employment in the cotton industry in England declined. Many affiliates merged with each other, with the Blackburn and Bolton Districts of the Amalgamation becoming the largest single affiliate. However, that union was suspended from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in 1972, as it had registered with the government, in defiance of TUC policy. In response, in 1974, the amalgamation expelled the union, which subsequently collapsed. The following year, the Colne, Nelson and Preston unions began working together with a common general secretary, as the North East Lancashire and Cumbrian District, representing three-fifths of the remaining membership. In 1983, they were dissolved, along with the remaining minor affiliates, and the former North East Lancashire and Cumbrian District took over the leadership of the amalgamation.[6]

By 1980, the union had only 1,065 members,[3] and by 1989 this had declined to just 470, although its members were determined not to merge into a larger union.[10] Given the precipitous decline in membership, it disaffiliated from the Trades Union Congress in 1992,[11] and eventually its remaining members transferred to Manufacturing, Science and Finance in 1998, with the union being formally dissolved in 2002.[12]

General Secretaries

J. Ashton
1890: William Cornforth Robinson
1932: James Stott
1940: Harry Earnshaw
1961: A. Green
1963: James Bleackley
1968: G. Borrah
1974: F. Sumner
1982: A. Little
1985: Albert H. Edmundson
1991: Tony Brindle

References

  1. ^ Report on Trade Unions in 1905-1907. London: Board of Trade. 1909. p. 121-124.
  2. ^ Eaton, Jack; Gill, Colin (1981). The Trade Union Directory. London: Pluto Press. p. 177. ISBN 0861043502.
  3. ^ a b Exton, Jack; Gill, Colin (1981). The Trade Union Directory. London: Pluto Press. p. 177.
  4. ^ University of Warwick, "A Catalogue of the Papers of the Amalgamated Association of Beamers, Twisters and Drawers"
  5. ^ P. F. Clarke, Lancashire and the New Liberalism, p.93
  6. ^ a b Marsh, Arthur; Ryan, Victoria; Smethurst, John B. (1994). Historical Directory of Trade Unions. 4. Farnham: Ashgate. pp. 126–143. ISBN 9780859679008.
  7. ^ Report on Trade Unions in 1905-1907. London: Board of Trade. 1909. p. 28–31.
  8. ^ The Labour Who's Who (1927), p.185
  9. ^ Denis Healey, Healey's eye: a photographic memoir, p.22
  10. ^ Roger Undy, Trade Union Merger Strategies, p.62
  11. ^ Roger Undy, Managing the Unions, pp.298-300
  12. ^ Tom Wilson, The Future for Unions
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