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]

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]

Location Founded Affiliated Notes[4]
Accrington 1858 1884 Merged into Accrington, Church & Oswaldtwistle in 1949
Ashton 1877 1884 Merged into South-East Lancashire and Cheshire in 1972
Bacup 1888  ? Merged into Todmorden, Bacup and District in 1952
Bamber Bridge 1884 1884 Merged into Preston and District in 1940
Barnoldswick 1880s  ?
Blackburn 1854 1884
Bolton 1865 1884 Left 1885, rejoined 1892
Burnley 1870 1884 Merged into Burnley & Nelson in 1966
Bury 1884  ?
Chorley 1855 1884 Dissolved 1956
Church 1858 1884 Merged into Accrington, Church and Oswaldtwistle in 1949
Clayton 1858 1884 Dissolved 1962
Clitheroe by 1860 1884
Colne 1879 1884
Darwen 1857 1884 Merged into Blackburn in 1960
Glossop 1871 1892 Merged into Hyde in 1922
Harwood 1858 1884
Haslingden 1858 1884 Merged into Rossendale in 1961
Heywood 1877 1884
Hyde 1880 1884 Merged into South-East Lancashire and Cheshire in 1972
Longridge 1878 1884 Dissolved 1964
Macclesfield 1886 1886 Dissolved in 1920s
Manchester 1908 1909 Merged into Ashton 1951
Nelson 1870 1884 Merged into Burnley & Nelson in 1966
Oldham 1859 1884
Padiham 1856 1884
Preston 1858 1884
Radcliffe 1852  ? Merged into Bury in 1911
Ramsbottom 1857 1884
Rishton 1878 1884 Merged into Harwood in 1964
Rochdale 1878 1884 Left in 1896, rejoined 1906
Rossendale 1873 1892
Sabden 1884 1884 Merged into Harwood in 1932
Saddleworth 1894 1890s Dissolved about 1900
Skipton 1902  ?
Stockport 1867 1884 Dissolved 1900, refounded 1906
Todmorden 1880 1884 Merged into Todmorden & Bacup in 1952
Whitworth 1882 Merged into Rochdale in 1935
Wigan 1890 1893 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.[5] 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.[6][7]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

  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. ^ Arthur Marsh, Victoria Ryan and John B. Smethurst, Historical Directory of Trade Unions, vol.5, pp.91-124
  5. ^ Ross M. Martin, The Lancashire Giant: David Shackleton, Labour Leader and Civil Servant, p.20
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Hopwood, Edwin (1969). A History of the Lancashire Cotton Industry and the Amalgamated Weavers' Association. Manchester: The Amalgamated Weavers' Association.