Charles Stirner Papers (Southern California Waiters Alliance), 1936-1988

Processed by Julia Bazar
Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
6120 South Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90044
Phone: (323) 759-6063
Fax: (323) 759-2252
Email: archives@socallib.org
URL: http://www.socallib.org/
© 2001
Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. All rights reserved.

Register of the Charles Stirner Papers (Southern California Waiters Alliance), 1936-1988

Collection number: MSS 059

Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research



Los Angeles, California

Contact Information:

  • Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
  • 6120 South Vermont Avenue
  • Los Angeles, CA, 90044
  • Phone: (323) 759-6063
  • Fax: (323) 759-2252
  • Email: archives@socallib.org
  • URL: http://www.socallib.org/
Processed by:
Julia Bazar
Date Completed:
June 2001
Encoded by:
Julia Bazar
© 2001 Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Charles Stirner Papers (Southern California Waiters Alliance),
Date (inclusive): 1936-1988
Collection number: MSS 059
Creator: Stirner, Charles
Extent: 4 legal boxes, 2 letter boxes, 1 letter half-box, and 5 oversized folders

2 1/3 linear feet
Repository: Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
Los Angeles, CA 90044
Abstract: The collection documents the Southern California Waiters Alliance of which Charles Stirner served as Secretary-Treasurer in the 1950s and early 1960s. It also includes materials from the Joint Executive Board of the Culinary Workers and Bartenders International of which the Waiters Alliance was a part, and a few personal papers. Includes extensive materials relating to the termination of the Trusteeship imposed by the International on the Waiters Alliance in 1961.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Provenance

Donated to the Library by Brigitte Stone on behalf of the Estate of Charles Stirner.

Access

The collection is available for research only at the Library's facility in Los Angeles. The Library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Researchers are encouraged to call or email the Library indicating the nature of their research query prior to making a visit.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. Researchers may make single copies of any portion of the collection, but publication from the collection will be allowed only with the express written permission of the Library's director. It is not necessary to obtain written permission to quote from a collection. When the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research gives permission for publication, it is 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.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Charles Stirner Papers (Southern California Waiters Alliance), Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, Los Angeles, California.

Biography

Southern California Waiters Alliance

The Southern California Waiters Alliance, Local 17, along with the Waitress and Cafeteria Union, Local 639, the Bartenders Union, Local 284, Cooks Union, Local 463, the Miscellaneous Restaurant Employees Union, Local 440, and the Hotel Services and Club Employees Union, Local 765 make up the Los Angeles Joint Executive Board of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees and Bartenders Unions - AFL-CIO. Also associated with the Waiters Alliance was the Los Angeles Cooks and Waiters Club, Inc. which was chartered in September 1937. The Club, which owned and ran the building used by the Alliance and other locals had had, as of July 1950, only one election in 12 years. The club remained in the hands of officers (Van Hook, Shackleford, Finnegan, and Adair) who had been ousted from leadership of the local, and charges were made of misappropriation of union funds, and lack of reporting of income to the club from gambling (cards) activities at the club.
The General Executive Board of the Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union placed the Waiters Alliance under trusteeship for a year, on October 16, 1950. There was an attempt to extend the trusteeship but it ended in October 1951. The new union leadership under Stirner instituted a shop steward system that had formerly been missing from the local. Stirner's group also claimed an increase in benefits and services during the ten years they were in office, much of which was lost in 1962 under the second trusteeship.
The International instituted the second trusteeship in 1961, after charges of un-democratic running of meetings and the failure of the union to pay back monies to the International demanded ahead of the original contract date. Hearings were held in July and August of 1961 challenging the trusteeship, but it continued into 1953 when Commissioner John Holcombe of the U.S. Department of Labor declared that "this trusteeship is being maintained for reasons which are inconsistent with Section 302 of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959."

Charles Stirner

Charles Stirner was a committed and controversial member of the Southern California Waiters Alliance (Local 17). Stirner joined Local 17 in April 1939 after moving to Los Angeles from Chicago and Palm Beach where he had also worked as a waiter. Stirner came into prominence in the Union when he led the Rank and File Committee's 1951 challenge to the legacy of J.W. Van Hook's leadership of the union (Van Hook lost the 1950 election to Vincent J. Lawler, and retired from the union). The challenge centered on the local union's being put into receivership by the International and questions about the running of the Cooks and Waiters Club. Stirner and Edward Simpson, who won the Presidency of the Union in 1953, led the union until a second Receivership was declared and a trustee appointed by the Union took over in 1961. Stirner again led the move to have the trusteeship discontinued. This fight took until 1963. During his tenure Stirner wrote a column in the Los Angeles Citizen on the activities and philosophy of Local 17. Stirner and Simpson seem to have generated a lot of controversy and strong language from their challengers but they remained in charge of the union for at least a decade.
In later years Stirner was concerned about nuclear disarmament and the Soviet Union (clippings), he also corresponded with and sent gifts to family members in Romania.

Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence, legal/court documents, hearing transcripts, minutes, bylaws, constitutions, contracts, election materials, photographs, newspapers clippings, and ribbons.
The collection primarily documents Stirner's union involvements including both his service as Secretary-Treasurer of the Southern California Waiters Alliance and his service on the Los Angeles Joint Executive Board of Culinary Workers and Bartenders Unions, AFofL. A small number of personal materials, from the 1970s and 1980s, include a series of letters in German from Stirner's relatives in Romania and clippings on the Soviet Union and nuclear disarmament. The bulk of the material concerns Stirner's 1961-1963 challenge of the trusteeship of the Waiters' Alliance instituted by the International. These are the complete transcript (1705 pages) of the hearing and various legal documents, including correspondence and notes prepared by Stirner's lawyers. Other materials refer to other lawsuits to which Stirner was party as well as materials related to the filing and resolution of various grievances filed by members of the union. The lawyers who worked on these cases include Robert Kenny and Stanley Mosk. Election materials include sample ballots, ballots with vote totals written in and campaign materials from Stirner's group and other factions. A small amount of materials relating to campaigns and controversies in the allied Waitress, Cooks, and Bartenders Locals also appear in the collection, including a series of political cartoons. Minutes include both Waiters Alliance minutes and minutes from meetings of the Joint Executive Board.

Arrangement

The collection is divided into 3 series: PERSONAL PAPERS, UNION MATERIALS , and PHOTOGRAPHS AND CLIPPINGS

Related Material at the Southern Califronia Library for Social Studies and Resarch

Title: Robert W. Kenny Papers,
Date: 1823-1975,
Physical Description: 17 boxes

Collection Contents

 

Series 1. Personal Papers, 1940-1980, n.d.

Physical Description: 3 folders

Scope and Content Note

This series is composed of correspondence, clippings and union dues books. The correspondence includes letters in German from Stirner's relatives in Romania (1978) and newspapers clippings on the Soviet Union and nuclear disarmament issues (1972-1980, n.d.). Also included in this series are Stirner's union dues books from the 1940s. See also Stirner's personal copy of the 1938 Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union Constitution in the Minutes/Bylaws/Constitution subseries (which contains information on his joining the union), and also the Correspondence subseries of the Union Materials Series.
Box-folder 5/1

Membership Dues Books, 1940-1948

Box-folder 5/2

Family Correspondence - Romania (in German), 1978

Box-folder 1/1

Clippings - Soviet Union, Politics, 1972-1980, n.d.

 

Series 2. Union Materials, 1936-1988

Physical Description: 6 boxes

Scope and Content Note

This series includes minutes, correspondence, legal documents, flyers, and other materials. The bulk of the materials are from Stirner's tenure as Secretary/Treasurer for the Waiters Alliance (1951-1961), and includes minutes, materials relating to several lawsuits filed by or against Stirner and the local, grievances filed by union members against employers and the union, and a wide variety of other material including correspondence, and copies of the columns Stirner wrote for the Los Angeles Citizen.

Arrangement

This series is divided into 4 subseries: Minutes/Bylaws/Constitution, Lawsuits and Grievances, Correspondence, and Other Union Materials.
 

Subseries A. Minutes/Bylaws/Constitutions, 1936-1961

Physical Description: 10 folders

Scope and Content Note

This contains minutes from Southern California Waiters Alliance and from the Los Angeles Joint Executive Board from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s. Also included are three versions of bylaws for the Waiters Union Local 17 from 1936, 1957, and 1964, as well as bylaws for the Los Angeles Joint Executive Board (1949, 1957), the Bartenders Local 284 (1956), and the Waitresses and Cafeteria Workers Local 639 (1955), and four versions of the constitution of the Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union (1938-1966). The 1938 version includes union dues stamp and the date of Stirner's enrollment in the union.
Box-folder 1/2-1/8

Minutes

Box-folder 1/2-1/6

Southern California Waiters Alliance, Local 17

Box-folder 1/2

1953-1955

Box-folder 1/3

1956-1957

Box-folder 1/4

1958

Box-folder 1/5

1959

Box-folder 1/6

1960-1961

Box-folder 1/7-1/8

Los Angeles Joint Executive Board of Culinary Workers and Bartenders Unions AFL

Box-folder 1/7

1954-1956

Box-folder 1/8

1957-1960

Box-folder 5/3-5/4

Bylaws

Box-folder 5/3

Waiters Local 17, 1936-1964

Box-folder 5/4

Bartenders Local 284, Waitresses Local 639, and Joint Executive Board, 1949-1957

Box-folder 5/5

Constitution - Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union, 1938-1966

 

Subseries B. Lawsuits and Grievances, 1946-1963

Physical Description: 38 folders

Scope and Content Note

This subseries include court documents, transcripts, correspondence and other materials relating to both lawsuits filed by or against Stirner and/or the union and grievances filed by union members against employers or the union (Stirner).
The lawsuits deal primarily with issues related to the two trusteeships (1950-1951 and 1961-1963). They include Charles Stirner v. Hugo Ernst et al. challenging the continuation of the 1950-1951 Trusteeship; J. W. Van Hook v. Southern California Waiters Alliance which deals with the Los Angeles Cooks and Waiters Club and charges that Van Hook misused his authority and misappropriated funds while in charge of the club and the Waiters Alliance; John L. Cooper et al. v. Ed S. Miller et al. which dealt with contract and collective bargaining issues; and C.T. McDonough, Trustee et al. v. Edward Simpson et al. concerning challenges to the second trusteeship. The complete transcripts of the July-August 1961 hearing on the continuance of the trusteeship are included in the collection. A number of petitions/pledge sheets signed by union members in support of the 1951 call for election and lawsuit regarding the Cooks and Waiters Club, and a petition concerning the 1961 challenge to the trusteeship, as well as miscellaneous materials relating to these and other legal actions are included in this subseries.
Materials on grievances include correspondence and other documents dealing with complaints concerning wages and working conditions, taxation and distribution of tips, and racial discrimination, as well as challenges to Stirner and Simpson's running of business meetings, including "Tiny" Small's report on a vote challenging the legitimacy of a vote to increase dues. Some of the issues also involve the Waitresses and Bartenders unions. See Correspondence subseries for further information.
Box-folder 2/1-2/7, 5/6-6/4

Lawsuits

Box-folder 2/1

Charles Stirner v. Hugo Ernst et al., 1951

Box-folder 2/2

J. W. Van Hook v. Southern California Waiters Alliance, 1950-1958

Box-folder 2/3

John L. Cooper et al. v. Ed S. Miller et al., 1961

Box-folder 2/4-2/5

C.T. McDonough, Trustee et al. v. Edward Simpson et al. [2 folders], 1961-1962

Box-folder 5/6-6/4, 2/6-2/7

Trusteeship Challenge

Box-folder 5/6-6/4

Reporters Transcript of Proceedings - In the Matter of the Hearing to Determine Continuance or Dissolution of Trusteeship over Southern California Waiters Alliance, Local 17, Hotel and Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union

Box-folder 5/6

Volume I, pages 1-215, July 25, 1961

Box-folder 5/7

Volume II, pages 216-496, July 26, 1961

Box-folder 5/8

Volume III, pages 497-762, July 27, 1961

Box-folder 5/9

Volume IV, pages 763-948, July 28, 1961

Box-folder 6/1

Volume V, pages 949-1153, August 8, 1961

Box-folder 6/2

Volume VI, pages 1154-1346, August 9, 1961

Box-folder 6/3

Volume VII, pages 1347-1458, August 10, 1961

Box-folder 6/4

Volume [VIII], pages 1459-1705, August 10, 1961

Box-folder 2/6

Correspondence, 1960-1963, n.d.

Box-folder 2/7

Legal Documents/Attorneys notes, 1958-1963, n.d.

Box-folder 2/8-2/13

Petitions/Pledge Sheets

Box-folder 2/8-2/12

Rank and File Committee (Los Angeles Waiters Club Case)

Box-folder 2/8

Campaign Contributions, 1951

Box-folder 2/9

Support bringing of facts, c.1951

Box-folder 2/10

Don't drop lawsuit, c.1952

Box-folder 2/11

Call for election in August, c.1953

Box-folder 2/12

Campaign contributions, 1953

Box-folder 2/13

Protesting Suit by Local 17 Against International, c.1961

Box-folder 3/1-3/9, 6/5-6/8

Grievances

Box-folder 3/1

Trial Committee, 1951-1961

Box-folder 3/2

Biltmore Grill et al. (Tip Distribution), 1946-1961

Box-folder 3/3

Moulin Rouge and Coconut Grove, 1957-1959

Box-folder 6/5

Sheraton West Hotel Dispute, 1958

Box-folder 6/6

IRS/Tips Dispute, 1958-1959

Box-folder 3/4

Civil Rights/FEPC - Thomas C. Woodard, 1959-1960

Box-folder 6/7

Paul Meister Case, 1959-1960

Box-folder 6/8

Ann Crofford/Landis Largo Case, 1960-1961

Box-folder 3/5-3/7

Correspondence Forwarded to Walter Cowan

Box-folder 3/5

Grievances/Contract Issues, 1958-1961

Box-folder 3/6

Grievance, 1960

Box-folder 3/7

Tips and Wages, 1960-1961

Box-folder 6/9

Tiny Small Report, 1960

Box-folder 3/8

"Charges by Antonio Serafin - Exhibit #4," 1951-1962

Box-folder 3/9

"Charges Against Stirner by Andrew (Scotty) Allan," 1961-1962

Box-folder 3/10-3/13

Miscellaneous

Box-folder 3/10

Declarations and Summations, 1961

Box-folder 3/11

Other Legal Documents, 1959-1962, n.d.

Box-folder 3/12

Miscellaneous Resolutions, Notes, 1956-1961, n.d.

Box-folder 3/13

Lawyers Correspondence, etc., 1950-1963, n.d.

 

Subseries C. Correspondence, 1950-1963

Physical Description: 14 folders

Scope and Content Note

This subseries contains correspondence on a variety of issues, including information pertaining to grievances, lawsuits and other issues covered in other series and subseries. It includes both official letters sent to the membership and more personal correspondence. Of special interest are letters to and from Stirner and a variety of politicians and a series of letters from Rosilla Dana Anthony challenging her husband's dismissal as a union business agent. The official correspondence comes first; the rest of the material is in alphabetical order.
Box-folder 3/14-3/16

Southern California Waiters Alliance, Local 17

Box-folder 3/14

1951-1956

Box-folder 3/15

1957-1959

Box-folder 3/16

1960-1961

Box-folder 6/10

Rosilla Dana Anthony, 1958-1959

Box-folder 4/1

John L. Cooper, 1960, n.d.

Box-folder 6/11

C.P.A., 1950-1953

Box-folder 6/12

Edward Miller (General President, International), 1955-1961

Box-folder 6/13

NLRB & U.S. Department of Labor, 1960

Box-folder 6/14

Politicians, 1955-1959

Box-folder 4/2

Rank and File Committee - L.A. Cooks and Waiters Club, 1950-1954, n.d.

Box-folder 6/15

Restaurant Hotel Employees Council, 1960-1961

Box-folder 6/16

Simpson-Stirner Committee, 1961-1963

Box-folder 4/3

Charles Stirner - "Personal," 1951-1959, n.d.

Box-folder 4/4

Conrad Yensh, 1959-1963

 

Subseries D. Other Union Materials, 1939-1988

Physical Description: 22 folders

Scope and Content Note

This subseries contains a variety of other union related materials including financial statements, benefit information, election campaign materials, lists, files of Edward Simpson (Local President), and the texts of Stirner's regular column, titled "Waiters Union Local 17," which ran in the Los Angeles Citizen, the Official Publication of the Los Angeles American Federation of Labor Unions, and a speech by Stirner. The two folders labeled " Edward Simpson's File" were kept intact even though some of the items are duplicates of materials elsewhere in the collection. The final folder contains materials relating to the union, which Stirner collected after his retirement.

Arrangement

This series is arranged alphabetically.
Box-folder 7/1-7/2

Benefits

Box-folder 7/1

Benefits and Welfare Fund, 1952-1963

Box-folder 7/2

Health and Welfare (Retirement), 1959, n.d.

Box-folder 7/3

Bills/Financial Information, 1945-1958, n.d.

Box-folder 4/5-4/10

Los Angeles Citizen Column- Waiters Union Local 17

Box-folder 4/5

1953-1954

Box-folder 4/6

1956-1957

Box-folder 4/7

1957-1958

Box-folder 4/8

1958

Box-folder 4/9

1958-1959, n.d.

Box-folder 4/10

Clippings, 1955-1957, n.d.

Box-folder 4/11-4/12, 7/4, 8/1

Election Campaigns

Box-folder 4/11

"Election 1961," 1960-1961

Box-folder 4/12

Various Waiters Campaign Materials, 1951-1963, n.d.

Box-folder 8/1

Sample Ballots (some with totals recorded), 1950-1963, n.d.

Box-folder 7/4

Cooks, Waitresses, and Bartenders Campaign Materials, 1950-1962, n.d.

Box-folder 4/13-4/14

Lists

Box-folder 4/13

Officers/Mailing Lists, n.d.

Box-folder 4/14

Lists & Notes (Miscellaneous), n.d.

Box-folder 7/5

Los Angeles Joint Executive Board of Hotel and Restaurant Employees - Credit Union, 1960

Box-folder 7/6

Political Cartoons (Internal), n.d.

Box-folder 4/15-4/16

Edward Simpson's File [2 folders], 1939-1960

Box-folder 4/17

Speech, 1959, n.d.

Box-folder 7/7

Stirner-Simpson Committee Ribbons, n.d.

Box-folder 7/8

Uniform Contracts, 1955-1976

Box-folder 7/9

Miscellaneous Union Material, 1981-1988

 

Series 3. Photographs and Clippings, 1950-1957, n.d.

Physical Description: 2 folders and several oversize items/folders

Scope and Content Note

This series includes photographs, miscellaneous clippings and pages from a scrapbook containing both photographs and clippings. All of the photographs are union related, though most are unidentified. The panoramic print is rolled and needs conservation.
Box-folder 7/10

Miscellaneous Clippings, 1950s-1960s

Box-folder 7/11, 8/2-8/5

Photographs

Box-folder 7/11

c. 1950s-1960s

Box-folder 8/2

"First Senior Members Receiving Their Continued Health and Welfare Benefits and Retirement Income," 1956

Box-folder 8/3

Studio Portrait - Stirner? n.d.

Box-folder 8/4

Rolled Panorama Print, n.d.

Box-folder 8/5

Scrapbook pages (13 sheets), 1950-1957, n.d.