Amalgamated Weavers' Association

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Amalgamated Weavers' Association
Founded 1884
Date dissolved 1974
Merged into Amalgamated Textile Workers' Union
Members 224,000 (1921)
Affiliation TUC, GFTU, NCTTF, UTFWA
Country United Kingdom

The Amalgamated Weavers' Association, often known as the Weavers' Amalgamation, was a trade union in the United Kingdom. Initially, it operated in competition with the North East Lancashire Amalgamated Weavers' Association in part of its area, and it was therefore nicknamed the Second Amalgamation.[1]

History

The union was founded in 1884 as the Northern Counties Amalgamated Association of Weavers,[2] with the participation of thirty-four local trade unions:[3]

Union Founded Affiliated[4] Members (1907)[5] Notes[6]
Accrington 1858 1884 4,409 Merged into Accrington, Church & Oswaldtwistle in 1949
Ashton-under-Lyne and District 1877 1884 5,319 Merged into South-East Lancashire and Cheshire in 1972
Bacup 1888 ? 1,889 Merged into Todmorden, Bacup and District in 1952
Bamber Bridge 1884 1884 796 Merged into Preston and District in 1940
Barnoldswick 1880s ? 990
Blackburn and District 1854 1884 14,800
Blackburn Protection 1885 1900 Merged into Blackburn in 1949
Bolton and District 1865 1884 5,059 Left 1885, rejoined 1892
Burnley and District 1870 1884 18,500 Merged into Burnley & Nelson in 1966
Bury 1884 ? 4,087 Merged into North-West Lancashire and Yorkshire in 1973
Chorley and District 1855 1884 4,620 Dissolved 1956
Church 1858 1884 3,232 Merged into Accrington, Church and Oswaldtwistle in 1949
Clayton 1858 1884 1,750 Dissolved 1962
Clitheroe 1870 1884 2,700
Colne and District 1879 1884 6,258
Darwen 1857 1884 8,298 Merged into Blackburn in 1960
Glossop 1871 1892 1,118 Merged into Hyde in 1922
Harwood 1858 1884 4,750 Dissolved 1950s
Haslingden 1858 1884 2,400 Merged into Rossendale in 1961
Heywood 1877 1884 2,500 Merged into North-West Lancashire and Yorkshire in 1973
Hyde and District 1880 1884 7,150 Merged into South-East Lancashire and Cheshire in 1972
Longridge 1878 1884 625 Dissolved 1964
Macclesfield 1886 1886 589 Dissolved in 1920s
Manchester 1908 1909 1,085 Merged into Ashton 1951
Nelson and District 1870 1884 11,000 Merged into Burnley & Nelson in 1966
Oldham and District 1859 1884 4,900
Padiham 1856 1884 6,010
Preston and District 1858 1884 7,000
Radcliffe 1852 ? 1,326 Merged into Bury in 1911
Ramsbottom 1857 1884 2,116
Rishton 1878 1884 1,762 Merged into Harwood in 1964
Rochdale 1878 1884 3,300 Left in 1896, rejoined 1906, merged into North-West Lancashire and Yorkshire in 1973
Rossendale 1873 1892 2,800
Sabden 1884 1884 133 Merged into Harwood in 1932
Saddleworth 1894 1890s N/A Dissolved about 1900
Skipton 1902 ? 1,421
Stockport 1867 1884 1,590 Dissolved 1900, refounded 1906
Todmorden 1880 1884 4,166 Merged into Todmorden & Bacup in 1952
Whitworth 1882 1892 1,150 Merged into Rochdale in 1935
Wigan 1890 1893 454 Left 1897, rejoined 1909

The majority of the union's members were female: in 1894, 45,000 of its 80,000 total membership were women. This was unusual; outside the cotton industry, very few women were members of trade unions.[7] By 1937, membership had risen to 94,000, and the proportion of women had grown further, to a total of 75,000 of its members.[3]

For many years, the union campaigned against the practice of steaming in cotton mills.[8][4]

The union took its final name in 1923. In 1974, it merged with the National Union of Textile and Allied Workers to form the Amalgamated Textile Workers' Union.[2]

Notable leaders of the union include secretary Thomas Birtwistle and president David Shackleton.

General Secretaries

1884: Thomas Birtwistle
1885: William Henry Wilkinson
1906: Joseph Cross
1925: John C. Parker
1927: Andrew Naesmith
1953: Lewis Wright
1968: Harry Kershaw
1971: Fred Hague

Presidents

1884: David Holmes
1906: David Shackleton
1911: John William Ogden
1930: James Hindle
1937: James Bell
1947: Carey Hargreaves
1949: Lewis Wright
1954: Harold Bradley
1960: Ernest Thornton
1964: Fred Hague
1970: Hilda Unsworth

References

  1. ^ Ross M. Martin, The Lancashire Giant: David Shackleton, Labour Leader and Civil Servant, p.22
  2. ^ a b "Amalgamated Weavers' Association", Archives Hub
  3. ^ a b Mary Agnes Hamilton, Women at Work: A Brief Introduction to Trade Unionism for Women, p.117
  4. ^ a b Hopwood, Edwin (1969). A History of the Lancashire Cotton Industry and the Amalgamated Weavers' Association. Manchester: The Amalgamated Weavers' Association. 
  5. ^ Report on Trade Unions in 1905-1907. London: Board of Trade. 1909. p. 30-35. 
  6. ^ Arthur Marsh, Victoria Ryan and John B. Smethurst, Historical Directory of Trade Unions, vol.5, pp.91-124
  7. ^ Ross M. Martin, The Lancashire Giant: David Shackleton, Labour Leader and Civil Servant, p.20
  8. ^ Fowler, Alan (2003). Lancashire Cotton Operatives and Work,1900-1950: A social history of Lancashire cotton operatives in the twentieth century. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0 7546 01161. 
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