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Building Trades Council

Water St
Rochester, NY, US

Category: Organizations - historic

Used in the following map:

Rochester Labor History eMap

The Rochester Building Trades Council was established in 1888. Recognizing that the interests of those in the construction trades were distinct from those of workers in other industries, union leaders agreed that while the trades would continue their affiliation with the larger body, a separate council was also needed. In order to preserve the relationship between the
two structures, delegates to the Building Trades Council served as delegates to the Trades Assembly/Central Trades and Labor Council. In the early 1900s, the Building Trades Council met at the corner of Water and Andrews Streets.
Overlooking the Genesee River just south of where it was controlled by sluice gates, the Water Street area was a hub of labor activity near the centers of Rochester’s clothing, boot and shoe, brewing and optical industries. In the early 1900s, Boot and Shoe Workers were employed at six different factories on North Water Street, which then started at Main Street. Holding meetings at the corner of Water and Andrews Streets were the Building Trades Council, the Brewers & Coopers Association #1796, the Brewery Peddlers, Helpers, Teamsters & Barnmen Local 156, the Carpenters & Joiners Association German Local, Carpenters & Joiners Local 179, and Metal Polishers, Buffers & Platers #113.
The Rochester Building Trades Council continues to provide construction unions with collaborative power to more effectively represent members’ interests in securing commercial and public works contracts and responsible legislation.