The Schenectady Building and Construction Trades Council was a delegate organization of labor union locals representing building and construction trades in the Schenectady area. Little is known of its early history, but the council appears to be a successor to the Schenectady Metal Trades Council (chartered in 1909) and possibly of other such councils. According to the minutes of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) District Council 4, the Metal Trades Council included at least the machinists and the IBEW.  The Schenectady Building and Construction Trades Council was composed of representatives from appropriate trade unions in the area, including the carpenters, the sheet metal workers, the bricklayers, the masons, the painters, the laborers, the plumbers and pipefitters, the iron workers, the boilermakers and the electrical workers. For the most part, these trades migrated from work site to work site in search of work, and lay-offs and unemployment were endemic to the trades. A major goal of the council was to keep unemployment to a minimum through coordinated action. The council existed at least since 1949 when it was mentioned in the records of Local 166 of the IBEW.  In 1978, the Schenectady Council joined with its counterparts in Albany and Troy to form the Tri-Cities Building and Construction Trades Council. The three individual councils dissolved upon the formalization of this merger.
 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 166, Records, 1909-11, 1942-62, 1964-85: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, District Council 4, Records, 1909-11, Minutes, May 18, 1909.  International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 166, Regular and Special Meeting Minutes, June 10, 1949.
Despite its being in existence at least since 1949 (and its predecessor organization since 1909), the Schenectady Building and Construction Trades Council left only two decades worth of minutes when it merged to form the Tri-Cities Building and Construction Trades Council. Even so, one minute book for the 1960's appears to have been lost.
The minutes contain much information on the availability of jobs appropriate for the council's members and on the employment status of members in each local. The minutes also illuminate the interaction among unions and councils in the area.
At the end of each minute book is an accounting of dues payments by each member local. The minutes in the 1970's sometimes consist of notes of the meetings which were written on loose sheets and inserted into the minute book. For these years, a number of the pages of the minute book have been left blank, and these pages have not been microfilmed. See the records of IBEW Local 166 and the Schenectady Area Central Labor Union Council, AFL-CIO, for related records
The collection has no series, arranged chronologically.
All items in this manuscript group were lent to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by the Local 166 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, who had possession of the records, and subsequently microfilmed as a part of the Harry Van Arsdale, Jr., Labor History Project. The originals have been returned to Local 166.
Processed by: Geoffrey A. Huth
Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on
Published: 2017-04-14 13:52:03 -0400
Converted to EAD, 2015 December
Encoded in EAD by Gregory Wiedeman, 2015
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Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Schenectady Building and Construction Trades Council Records, 1960-1978. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Schenectady Building Council Records).