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Charles Stirner Papers (Southern California Waiters Alliance), 1936-1988
MSS 059  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The collection documents the Southern California Waiters Alliance of which Charles Stirner served as Secretary-Treasurer in the 1950s and early 1960s. It also includes materials from the Joint Executive Board of the Culinary Workers and Bartenders International of which the Waiters Alliance was a part, and a few personal papers. Includes extensive materials relating to the termination of the Trusteeship imposed by the International on the Waiters Alliance in 1961.
Background
The Southern California Waiters Alliance, Local 17, along with the Waitress and Cafeteria Union, Local 639, the Bartenders Union, Local 284, Cooks Union, Local 463, the Miscellaneous Restaurant Employees Union, Local 440, and the Hotel Services and Club Employees Union, Local 765 make up the Los Angeles Joint Executive Board of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees and Bartenders Unions - AFL-CIO. Also associated with the Waiters Alliance was the Los Angeles Cooks and Waiters Club, Inc. which was chartered in September 1937. The Club, which owned and ran the building used by the Alliance and other locals had had, as of July 1950, only one election in 12 years. The club remained in the hands of officers (Van Hook, Shackleford, Finnegan, and Adair) who had been ousted from leadership of the local, and charges were made of misappropriation of union funds, and lack of reporting of income to the club from gambling (cards) activities at the club.Charles Stirner was a committed and controversial member of the Southern California Waiters Alliance (Local 17). Stirner joined Local 17 in April 1939 after moving to Los Angeles from Chicago and Palm Beach where he had also worked as a waiter. Stirner came into prominence in the Union when he led the Rank and File Committee's 1951 challenge to the legacy of J.W. Van Hook's leadership of the union (Van Hook lost the 1950 election to Vincent J. Lawler, and retired from the union). The challenge centered on the local union's being put into receivership by the International and questions about the running of the Cooks and Waiters Club. Stirner and Edward Simpson, who won the Presidency of the Union in 1953, led the union until a second Receivership was declared and a trustee appointed by the Union took over in 1961. Stirner again led the move to have the trusteeship discontinued. This fight took until 1963. During his tenure Stirner wrote a column in the Los Angeles Citizen on the activities and philosophy of Local 17. Stirner and Simpson seem to have generated a lot of controversy and strong language from their challengers but they remained in charge of the union for at least a decade.
Extent
4 legal boxes, 2 letter boxes, 1 letter half-box, and 5 oversized folders

2 1/3 linear feet
Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. Researchers may make single copies of any portion of the collection, but publication from the collection will be allowed only with the express written permission of the Library's director. It is not necessary to obtain written permission to quote from a collection. When the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research gives permission for publication, it is as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Availability
The collection is available for research only at the Library's facility in Los Angeles. The Library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Researchers are encouraged to call or email the Library indicating the nature of their research query prior to making a visit.