The UE News online collection contains 209 images representing the activities, officers, and members of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) in Pittsburgh and vicinity from about 1936 to 1959. Major local unions, such as UE Local 601 (Westinghouse, East Pittsburgh) and UE Local 610 (Westinghouse Airbrake in Wilmerding and Union Switch and Signal in Swissvale), are represented. These locals were part of UE District Six, which, in its aggregate, included all of the UE locals in Western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia.
Images were selected that illustrate huge wartime rallies during World War II, the 1946 Strike wave, the political culture of CIO unions like UE, and the contests for power that weakened the union and fragmented the labor movement during the Cold War.
What's in the entire collection
The collection, held by the Archives Service Center (ASC) at the University of Pittsburgh since 1975, contains approximately seven thousand photographs from the UE News. Since 1939, the UE News has been the national union's newspaper of record. Many of the photographs were used in the newspaper and contain captions assigned by the editors. The UE News staff organized the photographs by districts and locals or alphabetically by names of individuals and topics (e.g., Auxiliaries, Conventions, Conferences, Political Action, Strikes, Veterans). There are also photographs of Congressmen and women and other political figures, both famous and less well-known.
About the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America Union (UE) Records
The UE Archives contains more than three thousand cubic feet of historical records, photographs, film, sound recordings, drawings, and other materials documenting the history of the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America from its founding in 1936 to the present. During World War II, the UE claimed 700,000 members from plants across the country and into Canada, drawn both from major national manufacturers like Westinghouse, General Electric, and General Motors Electric Division and from small single shop companies.
The UE Archives contains extensive records from all levels of the union's organization, including the national office, districts, and locals. For the Western Pennsylvania locals, there are significant collections at all of these levels, plus papers donated by individuals instrumental in building up the union in and around Pittsburgh, like Margaret Darin Stasik, Charles Newell, and Thomas Quinn.