CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
NEW YORK SHIPBUILDING CORPORATION
Local Number 1
Industrial Union of Marine and Shipworkers of America
Fourth Annual Ball
Friday Evening January 27, 1939
Convention Hall * Camden, N.J.
The Industrial Union of Marine and Shipworkers of America was founded in Camden by employees of the New York Shipbuilding Corporation at the shipyard on Broadway in 1933. Despite the fact that shipyard employees had voted by a ratio of 20 to 1 to unionize, management refused to recognize the new organization. After negotiations broke down, the 3200 shipyard workers went on strike on March 27, 1934. After seven weeks management capitulated. The men returned to work on May 14, 1934. under the first Union contract signed by any large shipyard since 1919.
The new Union rapidly grew, and locals were established at large shipyards throughout the United States. However, in 1935, New York Shipbuilding Corporation refused to renew the contract or negotiate a new agreement. This resulted in a sixteen week strike that ended when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt intervened, issuing an Executive Order sending the dispute to arbitration.
The Union grew through the war years, but as the shipbuilding industry declined within the United States, membership sharnk as well. The remnants of the Union merged with a machinists union in 1988.
With the thousands of employees at New York Ship as members, the Local 1 Ball was quite a large event, and was staged in Camden's largest venue, the original Convention Hall, which stood on Line Street at Memorial Avenue. This building burned down in the early 1950s, and the site is now a parking lot for employees of Campbell's Soup corporate headquarters.
The Evening's Program
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