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Finding Aid to the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 192 (Oakland, Calif.) Records larc.ms.0327
larc.ms.0327  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • History of Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 192
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Bibliography

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 192 records
    Date (inclusive): 1930-2004
    Date (bulk): 1948-1986
    Creator: Amalgamated Transit Union. Local 192 (Oakland, Calif.)
    Collection number: larc.ms.0327
    Accession number: 2005/032
    Repository: Labor Archives and Research Center
    J. Paul Leonard Library, Room 460
    San Francisco State University
    1630 Holloway Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94132-1722
    (415) 405-5571
    larc@sfsu.edu
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English.
    Extent: 30.0 cubic feet (24 record cartons, 2 oversized volumes)
    Abstract: This collection documents the activities of Local 192 of the Amalgamated Transit Union from 1930 to 2004, with the bulk of the collection covering the years 1948-1986. The records provide insight into the activities of the union and its members, as well as offering some documentation of working conditions and labor relations for transit employees. Highlights include detailed grievance cases (Series IV) and arbitrations (Series V) that reveal the relationship between the union and employers as well as the evolving relationship between Local 192 and other transit unions in light of Section 13 (C). Strike files document particularly revealing moments in the history of the union (Series VII), while subject files document what issues and information the union was interested in (Series VII). Meeting minutes (Series I), correspondence (Series II), and union publications (Series VIII) reveal the official policies of the union as well as its internal dynamics. Similarly, election files illustrate the internal politics of the local (Series X). The collection reveals some of the unique problems of transit unions working for publicly owned employers like AC Transit and BART. Interestingly, during the span of this collection, Local 192 had only three main bargaining relationships: with Key System and then AC Transit and BART. Another unique aspect of the collection is the effect of the federal law on the bargaining relationship between union and employers, which is documented in many of the arbitration, grievance, and legal cases in the collection.
    Location: Materials are stored offsite; advance notice required.

    Administrative Information

    Availability

    Collection is open for research.

    Separated Materials

    Photographs, artifacts, ephemera, audiotapes, and oversized material have been removed to the appropriate Labor Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    Identification of item], Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 192 Records, larc.ms.0327, Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco State University.

    Restrictions

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives and Research Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Labor Archives and Research Center 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.

    Acquisition Information

    The Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 192 Records were donated to the Labor Archives and Research Center by the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 192 in November of 2005, accession number 2005/032.

    Processing Information

    Initial box listing and sorting of the collection performed in spring of 2006 by Jeff Rosen and Mitchell Yangson; processed, arranged, and rehoused by Conor Casey in 2007-2008. Collection reboxed and folders renumbered in 2011 by Tanya Hollis.

    History of Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 192

    Local 192 of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), the first ATU local in California, was founded in Oakland in 1901. The Local 192's parent union, the international ATU, is today the largest transit workers' union in North America, including 273 locals in the US and Canada.
    The history of Local 192 is intertwined with its bargaining counterparts: Key System Transit, AC Transit, and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). Key System Transit, which existed between 1903 and 1960, was a privately owned mass transit company that operated streetcar and bus lines in the East Bay. In addition, Key System operated commuter rail and bus lines to San Francisco via bay ferries and the Bay Bridge. Facing bankruptcy by declining ridership in the wake of the ascendance of the automobile and the targeted campaign of General Motors to destroy public transit systems , local streetcar service in the East Bay ended in 1948 and service to San Francisco ceased in 1958.
    After this, AC Transit, a public transit system, took over much of the old Key System. AC Transit has its origins in a 1956 vote by East Bay citizens to form the publicly owned and operated Alameda Contra Costa Transit District, approving a bond of $16.5 million that allowed AC Transit to acquire the bankrupt Key System from the California Public Utilities Commission in 1960. Thus, ATU 192 became the bargaining representative for the employees of the AC Transit District; a bargaining relationship that still exists today.
    For a time, ATU 192 also represented workers at Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART). Public employers had not been covered by the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, which affirmed the legal right of most American workers to form labor unions and set up the National Labor Relations Board to oversee union elections and arbitrate disputes and grievances. By the time of BART's formation, Section 13 (C ) of the 1964 Urban Mass Transportation Act required local transit union approval on federally funded transit projects, guaranteeing collective bargaining for workers in systems like BART. ATU 192 argued that their members should be allowed to "follow their work" onto the new system with all their union representation, seniority, contract wages and pension benefits intact, negotiating such an agreement with BART and other unions in the Bay Area in 1968.The unions improved their position by negotiating an interim preferential hiring agreement in early 1968.
    Under this agreement, transit employees of existing systems would be given notice and have the first chance at jobs. However, BART had already hired non-transit office and technical employees. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), claimed a right to organize this group of unorganized workers.
    A conflict ensued about which union should be the representative of BART employees between 1968 and 1972, when an arbitrator's award under the Section 13 (C) agreement finally articulated the priority for filling BART jobs. Over a thousand employees of existing systems made applications under the terms of the arbitrator's award, but by late 1973, only 73 of almost 600 eligible ATU employees worked at BART. At this point, the SEIU threatened a strike if the priority hiring and recognition of seniority under the arbitrator's award impacted the members it was organizing. ATU 192 and 15 other unions were forced into representation elections for the BART system.
    The ATU gained a partial victory through effective organizing, winning the operating sub-unit of five separate units and establishing ATU Local 1555 to represent its members at BART. As a result, the SEIU won the right to represent maintenance and clerical employees. Thus, ATU 192's relationship with BART ended except for multi-party arbitrations regarding the right to represent workers on BART-affiliated bus lines. As of 2008, Local 192 represents 1,400 members, including workers in AC Transit.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection documents the activities of Local 192 of the Amalgamated Transit Union from 1930 to 2004, with the bulk of the collection covering the years 1948-1986. The records provide insight into the activities of the union and its members, as well as offering some documentation of working conditions and labor relations for transit employees. Highlights include detailed grievance cases (Series IV) and arbitrations (Series V) that reveal the relationship between the union and employers as well as the evolving relationship between Locla 192 and other transit unions in light of Section 13 (C). Strike files document particularly revealing moments in the history of the union (Series VII), while subject files document what issues and information the union was interested in (Series VII). Meeting minutes (Series I), correspondence (Series II), and union publications (Series VIII) reveal the official policies of the union as well as its internal dynamics. Similarly, election files illustrate the internal politics of the local (Series X).
    The collection reveals some of the unique problems of transit unions working for publicly owned employers like AC Transit and BART. Interestingly, during the span of this collection, Local 192 had only three main bargaining relationships: with Key System and then AC Transit and BART. Another unique aspect of the collection is the effect of the federal law on the bargaining relationship between union and employers, which is documented in many of the arbitration, grievance, and legal cases in the collection.

    Arrangement

    The materials are arranged into 18 series:
    SERIES I: Board and Committee Minutes, Agendas, By-Laws, and Resolutions, 1948-1997
    SERIES II: Correspondence, 1948-1996
    SERIES III: Contract Negotiations, Agreements, and Memoranda of Understanding, 1930, 1948-1986
    SERIES IV: Grievances, 1960-1992
    SERIES V: Arbitrations, 1947-1989
    SERIES VI: Legal Files, 1944-1996
    SERIES VII: Office Files, 1953-2004
    SERIES VIII: ATU Local 192 Publications, 1949-1994
    SERIES IX: Conventions, Conferences, and Meetings, 1969-1985
    SERIES X: Elections, 1966-1993
    SERIES XI: Pension, Insurance, Health, and Benefit Plans, 1945-1993
    SERIES XII: Financial Records, 1946-1998
    SERIES XIII: Legislative Reports, 1977-1991
    SERIES XIV: International Amalgamated Transit Union Publications, 1966-2001
    SERIES XV: Publications of Other ATU Locals, 1944-1952, 1980
    SERIES XVI: AC Transit Materials, 1961-1990
    SERIES XVII: BART Publications, 1968-1972
    SERIES XVIII: Key System Transit Materials, 1953, 1960
    The series are arranged depending on their creator, format, or function. Subseries are subdivided similarly. Within a series or subseries, files are arranged chronologically with the exception of subject files, which are arranged alphabetically. Due to the lack of organization and mis-identification of some of the original records, there is some overlap between series. For example, "General Correspondence" may include some materials that might be better suited for "Officer's Correspondence" had the collection been in a more discernible original order.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog:
    Bus drivers--California--San Francisco Bay Area.
    Labor unions--California--Oakland.
    Local transit--California--Oakland Region.
    Transport workers--Labor unions--California--Alameda County.
    Transport workers--Labor unions--California--Contra Costa County.
    Transportation--California--San Francisco Bay Area--History.
    Amalgamated Transit Union. Local 192 (Oakland, Calif.)
    San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (Calif.)
    Key System Transit Lines (Calif.)
    Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (Calif.)
    Golden Gate Transit.

    Bibliography

    Additional information about mass transit in the San Francisco Bay Area Region and the Oakland local of the Amalgamated Transit Union, and the International Amalgamated Transit Union may be found in the following resources. This bibliography also contains sources charting the development of mass transit systems in urban America and the effects of federal government policy on the development of mass transit systems:
    Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District. AC Transit District History. Oakland, CA: http://www.actransit.org/aboutac/history.wu; Alameda Contra-Costa Transit District, Accessed November 20, 2008.
    Amalgamated Transit Union. ATU 100 Years, 1892-1992: A History of the Amalgamated Transit Union. Washington, D.C.: A.T.U., 1992.
    Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1555. ATU's History at BART. Oakland, CA: http://www.atu1555.org; Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1555, 2008.
    Cudahy, Brian J. Cash, Tokens, and Transfers: A History of Urban Mass Transit in North America. New York: Fordham University Press, 1990.
    Foster, Mark S. From Streetcar to Superhighway: American City Planners and Urban Transportation, 1900-1940. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1981.
    Miller, John A. Fares, Please!: A Popular History of Trolleys, Horse-Cars, Street- Cars, Buses, Elevateds, and Subways. New York: Dover Pub., 1960.
    Owen, Wilfred. The Metropolitan Transportation Problem. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1966.
    Schrag, Zachary. Urban Mass Transit In The United States. http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/schrag.mass.transit.us; EH Net Encyclopedia, May 8, 2002.
    Smerk, George M. The Federal Role In Urban Mass Transportation. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1991.
    United States. The Industrial Reorganization Act: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-Third Congress, Second Session on S. 1167. Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O., 1974.