|Full name||Amalgamated Association of Card and Blowing and Ring Room Operatives|
|Merged into||Amalgamated Textile Workers' Union|
The union was founded in 1886 as the Amalgamated Association of Card and Blowing Room Operatives, by the amalgamation of a few small, local unions. This followed the Oldham weavers' strike of 1885, which had led to non-unionised cardroom workers being locked out and losing their wages.
Affiliates of the union were:
|Accrington||1886||1886||1,415||Merged into North East Lancashire|
|Ashton||1865||1886||N/A||Merged into South East Lancashire 1887|
|Bacup and District||1889||1890||82||Disaffiliated 1893|
|Bamber Bridge and District||1922||1922||N/A||Dissolved 1960s|
|Blackburn and District||1883||1886||1,755||Merged into Wigan, Blackburn and District about 1970|
|Bolton and District||1858||1886||8,500|
|Bury and District||1879||1886||1,340|
|Glossop||1886||1886||133||Merged into Hyde and District 1909|
|Hadfield||1860||1886||164||Merged into Hyde and District 1908|
|Heywood||1864||1888||1,356||Merged into Rochdale 1967|
|Huddersfield and District||1891||1892||Disaffiliated 1892|
|Hull||c.1890||1892||N/A||Dissolved about 1894|
|Hyde and District||1860||1886||2,128||Merged into South East Lancashire and Cheshire 1967|
|Macclesfield and District||1885||1886||153||Dissolved 1921|
|Manchester||c.1880||1886||N/A||Disaffiliated 1889–1891 and from 1893|
|North East Lancashire||1886||1886|
|Oldham Cop-Packers||1908||1914||N/A||Dissolved 1967|
|Preston||1897||1897||1,000||Predecessor held membership 1886–1891; merged into North East Lancashire 1961|
|Radcliffe||Unknown||1886||N/A||Merged into Bury 1890|
|Roller Coverers||1920||1920||N/A||Dissolved 1960s|
|Salford and District||1895||1895||N/A||Dissolved 1898|
|South East Lancashire||1887||1887||5,333||Merged into South East Lancashire and Cheshire 1967|
|Stalybridge||1885||1886||N/A||Merged into South East Lancashire 1887|
|Sowerby Bridge and District||1892||1892||N/A||Disaffiliated later in 1892|
|Stockport||1859||1886||1,700||Merged into South East Lancashire and Cheshire 1967|
|Warrington||1892||1893||N/A||Disaffiliated 1894, predecessor affiliated in 1889|
|Wigan and District||1888||1888||1,647||Merged into Wigan and Blackburn 1967|
The union represented a wide range of workers in the textile industry, and did not discriminate on the basis of occupation or skill. The core of the union's membership were the strippers and grinders, skilled adult male mechanics, who maintained the carding engines. Almost all strippers and grinders were union members. The CWA also organised less skilled female ring spinners and other mill operatives. From 1904 onwards the only members required to have completed an apprenticeship were the strippers-and-grinders.
The CWA grew rapidly and by 1910 it had 52,000 members. In 1924, it changed its name to the Amalgamated Association of Card and Blowing and Ring Room Operatives, and in 1952 it became the National Association of Card, Blowing and Ring Room Operatives, before adopting its final name, the National Union of Textile and Allied Workers (NUTAW), in 1968.
The CWA was more aggressive in its attitude towards negotiating with employers than the other major cotton unions and by the mid-1960s the wages of strippers and grinders equalled those of mule spinners, traditionally the highest-paid textile workers.
- 1886: George Silk
- c.1890: Enoch Jones
- 1896: James Crinion
- 1926: Joseph Frayne
- 1936: Archie Robertson
- 1953: Harold Chorlton
- 1964: Jim Browning
- 1972: Roy Bennett
- Joseph L. White, The Limits of Trade Union Militancy, p.240, note 9
- Penn, Roger (1984). Skilled Workers in the Class Structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 65–67. ISBN 978 0 521 25455 7. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- Marsh, Arthur; Ryan, Victoria; Smethurst, John B. (1994). Historical Directory of Trade Unions. 4. Farnham: Ashgate. pp. 62–89, 205. ISBN 9780859679008.
- Report on Trade Unions in 1905-1907. London: Board of Trade. 1909. p. 26–27.
- White, Joseph L. (1978). The Limits of Trade Union Militancy: The Lancashire Textile Workers, 1910-1914. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 76. ISBN 0-313-20029-7.
- White, Joseph L. (1978). The Limits of Trade Union Militancy: The Lancashire Textile Workers, 1910-1914. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 240. ISBN 0-313-20029-7.