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Bartenders Union

"Bartender International League Local 188 was organized in July 1901 in an unique way. A number of bartenders had met by accident or appointment on the sidewalk opposite Newell's hotel, when Thomas H. Flynn and Cal Wyatt, organizers of the American Federation of Labor sauntered up the avenue and greeted them. A few of them knew Tom and Cal and it happened that each of the organizers had received communications few days previous from Jere L. Sullivan, International Secretary Treasurer for the Bartenders, soliciting aid in placing in Pittsburgh a bartenders union. There was at that time in Pittsburgh several clubrooms and associations mostly composed of bartenders, and an organization known as the Knights of Fidelity, composed of hotel and saloon-keepers, as well as bartenders. None of these had any affiliation with the A.F. of L., and organizers Flynn and Wyatt mentioned this to their bartender friends; a discussion followed, with the result that all bartenders at this little accidental or informal meeting gave their names and there, in fact was laid the foundation of the present Bartenders Local 188 that has had as many ups and downs as any union of any craft in Pittsburgh. But "Freedom's battle once begun. Though baffled oft is ever won," and today Local 188, in point of numbers, leads all locals of bartenders in Pennsylvania and its spirit of unionism is as loyal and true as any organized body in the state. The bartenders who met on that evening agreed to attend a meeting the following Sunday afternoon in a hall in Smithfield Street, located on the site of the present Oliver building. Every one of them was in attendance and a........"

(Source:  Michael Doyle, "Brief History of the Bartenders Union."  Iron City Trades Journal, September 2, 1910, UE/Labor Periodicals Microfilm)