Summary Information
Title: Federal Bureau of Investigation on the UE Records
Collection Number: UE.9.5
Creator: United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Collection Dates: 1940-2002
Extent: 60.0 linear feet (48 boxes)

Language: English

This collection contains Federal Bureau of Investigation records obtained by the late Marshall Perlin on behalf of the Samuel Gruber Education Project through the Freedom of Information Act. These files contain information gathered by the federal government from 1940-1985 as part of an investigation into purported communist infiltration of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). The collection is divided into three series, which shed light both on the government’s investigation of the UE and its leaders and active members and on the efforts of the Samuel Gruber Education Project to obtain these documents. The collection consists of reports, correspondence, notes, court exhibits and reference materials such as meeting minutes, convention/conference materials, transcripts, newspaper clippings, and publications.

ULS Archives Service Center
University of Pittsburgh Library System
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
Date Published:

October 2007

Finding aid prepared by Jaimie George and Zachary L. Brodt.

During the 1980s, Samuel Gruber, a former attorney for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), provided the union with the financial support to file a Freedom of Information Act request. In this request, the union sought the release of all declassified files pertaining to the UE and its leadership. Another former UE legal counsel, Marshall Perlin, managed this request. After several appeals, the UE finally won its request and acquired copies of the federal government’s files on the union and its members. The union soon discovered that much of the released information was redacted so heavily that the files were often unintelligible. This caused Perlin to once again appeal to the courts. In 1998, the Samuel Gruber Education Project donated approximately 35 cubic feet of released information contained in 90,000 pages of FBI files on the union to the University of Pittsburgh archives. In 1999 the group donated additional information to the archives. Other materials were sent directly to the archives by the government agencies as the copying was completed.

Collection Scope and Content Notes

This collection contains information gathered by United States government agencies as part of the federal investigation into the purported Communist infiltration of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). This collection contains reports, correspondence, reference materials and court exhibits. Researchers should be aware that the collection is still significantly redacted to nominally protect the identity of informants and third party individuals.


Files in the first two series were maintained in their original numerical sections.

Series 9.5.1. Investigative Files on the UE

Series 9.5.2. Individual Files

Series 9.5.3. Court Case Files

Subject Terms

  • Communism -- United States
  • Electric industry workers -- Labor unions -- United States -- History
  • Labor unions -- Organizing -- United States
  • Labor unions and communism -- United States

Corporate Names
  • United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. -- History
  • United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities.
  • United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Personal Names
  • Barry, Walter
  • Carey, James B.
  • Davis, David
  • DeMaio, Ernest
  • Dunham, Roger
  • Emspak, Julius, 1904-1962
  • Fitzgerald, Albert J.
  • Gruber, Samuel
  • Hupman, Ernest
  • Hupman, Pearl
  • Jandreau, Leonard
  • Markland, Lemuel
  • Matles, James J.
  • Nelson, John
  • Nixon, Russ
  • Quinn, Thomas J.
  • Riskin, Benjamin
  • Rivers, Charles
  • Scribner, David
  • Scribner, Sylvia
  • Sentner, William
  • Struck, Arthur
  • Young, Ruth, 1916-1986

  • United States

  • Government
  • Labor

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Acquisition Information:

Gift of the Samuel Gruber Education Project in 1998 and 1999.

Preferred Citation:

Federal Bureau of Investigation on the UE Records, 1940-2002, UE.9.5, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Previous Citation:

This collection has been previously cited as: Records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), 1940-1985, UE/Lab 1998:46, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Jaimie George in 2005. The collection was rearranged and the finding aid was written by Zachary L. Brodt in October 2007.


The University of Pittsburgh holds the property rights to the material in this collection, but the copyright may still be held by the original creator/author. Researchers are therefore advised to follow the regulations set forth in the U.S. Copyright Code when publishing, quoting, or reproducing material from this collection without the consent of the creator/author or that go beyond what is allowed by fair use.

Related Material:

Workers Alliance of America Records, 1935-1998, AIS.2007.03, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Collection Inventory

Series 9.5.1. Investigative Files on the UE 1940-1972

Scope and Content Notes:

This series contains photocopies of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) files on the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) requested by the Samuel Gruber Education Project through the Freedom of Information Act. These files detail the history of the union and its actions in the 1940s-1970s as viewed by secret informants and agents planted within the UE to identify alleged communist activity. These records contain reports, correspondence, news clippings, and union publications acquired by the Washington D.C. and New York offices of the FBI.

Files originating in Washington, D.C. contain correspondence between the director of the FBI in Washington and the special agents in charge (SAC) located across the country. Within this correspondence are reports, letters, telegrams, memorandums and notes on “undeveloped leads,” which are lists of proposed areas of future investigation by the SAC. The director of the FBI also sent correspondence to assistant attorneys general, military intelligence, and other government officials. The initial reports from the SAC to the FBI director are especially informative, since they contain background information on the union, such as its origin, areas of organization, labor activity, and membership. In addition to providing information on the UE, the reports contain information on the plants organized by the union and the usefulness of using union members as informants. The later reports tend to provide less history on the union and focus more on wiretaps, meeting minutes, convention proceedings, union publications and financial matters. The later files also contain letters written by UE members and workers in plants being organized by the UE, who were trying to determine whether the union was influenced by the Communist party. Also present are interviews of James C. Carey, Frank Fiorillo, Joe Mangino, and Helen Quirini conducted by Gerald Zahavi, a history professor at the State University of New York, Albany.

In addition to the typical FBI reports and correspondence concerning the UE from the New York FBI office, the records include files entitled “Subfiles” and “Bulky Enclosures,” which are basically research files that contain copies of printed materials such as newspaper clippings, pamphlets, newsletters, leaflets, convention proceedings, letters, meeting minutes, as well as transcripts of radio broadcasts and speeches.

Box 1-13 FBI Washington D.C. Office Files, Sections 1-245
Box 14 FBI Washington D.C. Office Files, Sections 246-251
Box 14 Cross Reference File between UE and other FBI Subjects
Box 14 Sub A 1-15
Box 15 Sub A 16-17
Box 15 Clipping File on UE, 1941-1962
Box 15 Emspak, Stella
Box 15 Kriss, Frank
Box 15 Scribner, Sylvia
Box 15 UE Local 107
Box 15 UE Local 155
Box 15 UE Local 401
Box 15 UE Local 475
Box 15 UE Local 506
Box 15 UE Local 201
Box 15 UE Local 601
Box 15 UE Local 610
Box 15 UE Local 801
Box 15 UE Local 1111
Box 15 UE District 4
Box 15 UE District 6
Box 15 UE District 8
Box 15 Wire Taps on UE International Headquarters in New York, Washington Office, and District 3, 1960s
Box 16 Transcript of Interviews by Gerald Zahavi
Box 16 Investigation Files from other Federal Agencies
Box 17 Investigation Files from other Federal Agencies
Box 17 FBI New York Office Files, Sections 1-5
Box 18-27 FBI New York Office Files, Sections 6-172
Box 28 Pearl Hupman
Box 28 Subfile A-A4
Box 29 Subfile A5-B4
Box 30 Subfile B4-D6
Box 31 Subfile D7-G1
Box 32 Subfile G2-J
Box 32-35 Bulky Enclosures 1A
Box 35-36 Bulky Enclosures 1B

Series 9.5.2. FBI Files on Individuals 1940-1985

Scope and Content Notes:

The individual files in this series contain information collected by the FBI and other government agencies, such as the Army, Navy, Department of Labor, Department of Immigration, Post Office, and Department of Justice-Civil Division. Data provided by agents and confidential informants, as well as excerpts from speeches, articles and press releases, served as the principal sources of information for determining whether union leaders were members of the communist party or sympathetic to its cause.

Box 36-38 Barry, Walter
Box 38 Carey, James
Box 38-39 Davis, David
Box 39 DeMaio, Ernest
Box 40 Dunham, Roger
Box 40 Emspak, Julius
Box 40 Fitzgerald, Albert
Box 40 Fitzpatrick, Thomas James
Box 40-41 Gruber, Samuel
Box 41 Hupman, Ernest Melvin
Box 41 Hupman, "Red"
Box 42 Hupman, Pearl
Box 42 Jandreau, Leo
Box 42 Jandreau, Ruth Young
Box 42 Kirkwood, Robert
Box 42 Lerner, James
Box 42 Markland, Lemuel
Box 42-43 Matles, James
Box 43 Nelson, John
Box 43 Newell, Charles
Box 43-44 Nixon, Russ
Box 44 Quinn, Thomas
Box 44 Riskin, Benjamin
Box 44 Rivers, Charles
Box 45 Scribner, Sylvia
Box 45 Sentner, William
Box 45 Seymour, Paul Edward
Box 45-46 Strunk, Arthur
Box 46 Tomassetti, Nicholas
Box 46 Vottis, Salvatore
Box 46 Miscellaneous FBI Files on UE Members

Series 9.5.3. Samuel Gruber Education Project v. Department of Justice Court Documents 1990

Scope and Content Notes:

Rather than providing in-depth information on the UE, this series focuses on Samuel Gruber Education Project v. Department of Justice, the civil case in which the union lobbied against the heavy redaction of information requested under the Freedom of Information Act. This series contains the union’s exhibits, as well as the government’s justifications for deleting portions of the released information (i.e. protecting third party individuals and protecting confidential information provided by sources) and general descriptions of the redacted information. Also included are court documents regarding the case.

Box 46-47 Sample FBI Files on the UE
Box 47-48 Exhibits
Box 48 Court Documents
Box 48 Miscellaneous Papers Related to the Case