About one in every three wage earners belonged to a union in Erie, PA in 1918. It appears that most of the skilled tradesmen, including some whose jobs no longer exist in this region, were able to join a union if they so desired. Others would have signed up if there was a local in Erie that represented their profession or occupation. There were about 15,000 card-carrying members during World War I in Erie.
Labor unions included: Erie Central Labor Union, Erie Allied Printing Trades Council, Erie Building Trades Council, Bakery Workers, Journeymen Barbers, Bookbinders, Brewery Workers, Bricklayers, Bridges & Structural Iron, Bartenders, Carpenters,
Electrical Workers No. 30, Electrical Workers No. 56, Electrical Workers No. 600, National Marine Engineers, Portable Engineers, Stationary Firemen, Locomotive Engineers, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, Switchmen, Railway Machinists
United Garment Workers, Lathers, Letter Carriers, Machinists, Moving Picture Operators, Molders, Musicians, Painters, Plasterers, Plumbers, Postal Clerks, Printing Pressmen, Stage Employees, Stone Cutters, Tailors, Teamsters & Chauffeurs and Locomotive Engineers
Asbestos Workers, Cigarmakers, Carriage & Wagon Makers, Horseshoers, Iron, Steel & Tin Workers, Lithographers, I.L.A. Grain Handlers, Licensed Tagmen, Gill Net Fishermen, Fish Dressers, Pound Net Fishermen, Twine Stringers, Poster Artists, Street Railway Employees, Typographical and Milk Drivers.
Which union did your grandfather or great-grandfather belong to?
(Note: U.E. Local 506, the bargaining agent for workers at General Electric in Erie, is not on this list because it formed in 1937.)
Enjoy more historic facts and photos of Erie, PA at: oldtimeerie.blogspot.com