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Guide to the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Oral History Collection OH.021

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2596

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Tamiment staff

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 10, 2021
Finding aid written in English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Edited by Megan O’Shea for compliance with DACS and ACM Required Elements for Archival Description, and to reflect addition of box numbers to individual interviews  , May 2021

Historical Note

Manhattan, New York in 1925 by A. Philip Randolph, Ashley L. Totten, W. H. Des Verney, and Roy Lancaster. Those attending the meeting called for recognition of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) and the end of Pullman's Employee Representation Plan, a company union. It was not until 1936 that the BSCP received an international charter from the American Federation of Labor (AFL). A year later, the union took advantage of the apparatus of the new National Labor Relations Board and signed its first contract with the Pullman Company. This contract called for a 240-hour work month, a wage hike amounting to $1.25 million overall, job security, and union representation.

BSCP membership declined in the 1950s and 1960s as the railroad industry declined. With the rise of Amtrak in the early 1970s, the union experienced a brief resurgence until 1974 when Amtrak made a contract with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union. The BSCP merged with the Brotherhood of Railway and Airline Clerks in 1978.