Guide to the UE Civil Rights Collection, 1941-1982 UE.10.2.8

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
UE Civil Rights Collection
Creator
United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America.
Collection Number
UE.10.2.8
Date
1941-1982
Extent
14.17 linear feet (12 boxes)
Abstract
For much of its history the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America (UE) has championed civil rights efforts, both in and out of the work place. Since the early 1940s, the UE has released publications decrying discriminatory acts and has fought against such industry super powers as GE and Westinghouse. This series contains newspaper clippings, union and government publications, and correspondence regarding women’s and African-American’s rights in the workplace.

Preferred Citation

UE Civil Rights Collection, 1941-1982, UE.10.2.8, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

For much of its history the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America (UE) has championed civil rights efforts, both in and out of the work place. Since the early 1940s, the UE has released publications decrying discriminatory acts and has fought against such industry super powers as GE and Westinghouse. In 1947, the UE National Convention established a resolution against discrimination. During this convention the UE also created the National Fair Practices Commission (FPC), whose longstanding mission has been to provide guidance and direction for locals while also educating its members about civil rights violations through publications. Women’s rights played an instrumental role in the UE’s agenda, as they fought for equal pay for equal work. Women working in the electrical, radio, and machine industries constantly faced discrimination based on their gender, marital status, age, and pregnancy status.

The UE fought equally against discriminatory practices regarding African-American workers. The UE conducted research and published material concerning discrimination in the workplace, the armed services, and in education. In 1951, the UE, along with the United Auto Workers and other labor unions with significant African-American representation, had created the National Negro Labor Council. Ernest Thompson, head of the UE’s Fair Employment Practices Committee, gave the speech introducing William R. Hood as president. When the Civil Rights Act came to the table in 1964, the UE mobilized its membership to ensure its passage for the sake of all women and minorities, describing it as one of the most crucial pieces of legislation at the time. In addition, because UE members were the subject of injustices during the McCarthy-era, the union consistently took a strong stance against any violation of civil liberties. Recently, the UE continued its efforts by fighting for immigrant rights and standing up against the wire-tapping policies of President George W. Bush’s administration.

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Scope and Content Notes

This series contains newspaper clippings, union and government publications, and correspondence regarding women’s and African-American’s rights in the workplace. The information ranges from the 1940s into the 1980s, and covers a variety of issues, such as equal pay, maternity benefits, and civil rights legislation. The UE conducted a great deal of research regarding civil rights issues and published its findings in the form of pamphlets, information packets, or newspaper articles. Research conducted by the UE revealed discriminatory practices for women and minorities in the workplace, education, healthcare, and armed services. In addition, this series contains printed proceedings, reports, and calls related to the First Convention (Cincinnati, 1951) and the Third Convention (Chicago, 1953) of the National Negro Labor Council, as well as offprints of speeches from these conventions. The series also contains publications regarding wage rates and government price controls.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, June 2009

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

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.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America in 1986 and 1997.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Emily Hatcher and Zachary Brodt in November 2008.

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Related Materials

Related Material

UE General Executive Board Special Committee Records, 1944-1966, UE.2.2, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System. Particularly Series 2.2.2, National Fair Practices Committee.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • National Negro Labor Council (U.S.).
  • United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. Research Department.
  • United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America.

Subject(s)

  • Civil rights -- United States
  • Discrimination in employment -- United States
  • Employee rights -- United States
  • Labor
  • Race discrimination -- United States
  • Sex discrimination against women -- United States
  • Sex discrimination in employment -- United States
  • Social action
  • Women

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Previous Citation

UE Civil Rights Collection, 1941-1982, UE.10.2.8, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Records of the National Negro Labor Council in the files of the Research Department, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, 1951-1955, UE/Labor UE:NO-RD-NNLC, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

  Box
Civil Rights Legislation and Discrimination, undated 1

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  Box
Civil Rights and Nixon’s Price Commission, undated 2

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  Box
Women, Civil Rights, undated 3

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  Box
Civil Rights Congress, undated 4

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  Box
Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, House of Representatives Records, 1948 5

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  Box
Women and the Equal Rights Amendment, undated 6

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  Box
Women and Benefits, undated 7

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  Box
  United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America.  Women at GE, undated 8

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  Box
Women’s Rights, 1940s-1980s 9

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  Box
Discrimination and Union Steward, undated 10

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  Box
Research on Economy, Health and Education , undated 11

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  Box
National Negro Labor Council, undated 12

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