As part of National Hair Day (October 1st), UFCW celebrates our barbers and cosmetology workers. The barber’s trade has a long history that can’t be overlooked as its impact on labor.
Barbers have been critical for the labor movement and it can be tracked with the formation of the Barbers and Beauticians Association in the late 1800s. The Association, then known as the Journeymen Barbers’ Protective Union, played an important role in the foundation of the AFL and was present at its founding meeting in 1886 in Columbus, Ohio.
A year later, barbers from New York, Michigan and Ohio met and formed the Journeymen Barbers’ International Union of America, which was later renamed the Barbers’, Beauticians and Allied Industries International Association.
By the beginning of the 20th century, the Association’s membership had grown to over 3,000, and established its headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. By 1930, the Association had over 50,000 members. In 1980, the union merged with the United Food and Commercial Workers.
In 1987, after strong pressure from the UFCW, the U.S. Department of Occupational Safety and Health expanded hazard communication standards to provide information and training for hair care workers, further bettering the working environment for barbers and beauticians.
Currently, UFCW is proud to represent barbers and beauticians who are part of local 7, 152, 1189, 1996, 1625, 770, 496 and others. Most UFCW barber shops aren’t open to the general public due to being located in military bases, nevertheless they are union and proud!