General Union of Lancashire and Yorkshire Warp Dressers' Association
|Founded||26 May 1894|
|Predecessor||Federated Society of Warpdressers|
The origins of the union lay in the Federated Society of Warpdressers, founded in 1891. Three years later, it was reformed as the "General Union", with local unions in Bradford, Chorley, Halifax, Manchester, Nelson, Preston, Rochdale and Skipton affiliating. Unusually for a textile union, it covered workers in a variety of materials, including cotton, wool and worsted. It was also unusual in that it did not provide any support for industrial action, but instead saw its principal purpose as an employment exchange, helping unemployed members find work in other mills. Within Yorkshire, it also recruited twisters and drawers, but those workers in Lancashire instead joined the Amalgamated Association of Beamers, Twisters and Drawers (Hand and Machine).
Affiliates of the union included:
|Bradford and District||1887||1891||700||Merged into Yorkshire Society of Textile Craftsmen 1952|
|Chorley and District||1890||1891||46||Merged into Nelson and District 1930s|
|Halifax and District||1887||1891||c.100||Merged into Yorkshire Society of Textile Craftsmen 1952|
|Huddersfield and District||1907||109||Merged into Yorkshire Society of Textile Craftsmen 1952|
|Leeds and District||1898||120||Merged into Yorkshire Society of Textile Craftsmen 1975|
|Manchester and District||1882||1891||417|
|Nelson and District||1886||1891||1,171|
|Rochdale and District||1890||1891||164||Dissolved 1930s|
|Skipton and District||1891||1891||c.200||Dissolved 1920s|
On formation, the union had only 1,179 members, but this steadily increased until 1914, when it peaked at 3,362. It affiliated to the Northern Counties Textile Trades Federation. It lost members when the Chorley and Preston societies disaffiliated, but these later rejoined; however, membership did not recover, and by 1949 was down to only 1,040. Faced with this decline, the Bradford and Halifax societies merged with two unaffiliated bodies: the Leeds Warpdressers and the Textile Daymen and Cloth Pattern Makers, forming the Yorkshire Society of Textile Craftsmen, the new organisation maintaining its affiliation.
In 1970, the union dissolved, its remaining constituents gradually merging into the Association of Preparatory Workers.
- 1891: W. Clayton
- 1899: James White
- 1928: Cameron W. Doodson
- 1962: Walter Rothwell