Guide to the UE Publicity Department Files, 1938-1995 UE.8.3

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
UE Publicity Department Files
Creator
United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America. Publicity Department.
Collection Number
UE.8.3
Date
1938-1995
Extent
8.75 linear feet (7 boxes)
Abstract
The publicity department of the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America (UE) was responsible for creating press releases and a variety of pamphlets, often working closely with the research department, as well as fulfilling requests for these materials made by union members and other interested parties. This subgroup contains a wide range of records from the UE publicity department, including press releases, strike bulletins, educational materials to be used by union members, and requests for materials.

Preferred Citation

UE Publicity Department Files, 1938-1995, UE.8.3, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

The publicity department of the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America (UE) was charged with a variety of functions within the international union. This department was responsible for creating press releases and a variety of pamphlets, often working closely with the research department, as well as fulfilling requests for these materials made by union members and other interested parties. Many important topics, such as McCarthyism, strikes, and automation, were addressed publicly by the UE through the work of the publicity department. Along with the UE News, these publications were the UE’s main facet of communication throughout the union and the country.

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Scope and Content Notes

This subgroup contains a wide range of records from the UE publicity department. Press releases and strike bulletins were created for dispersal to wire services, newspapers, radio stations, magazines, and UE local publications. These releases were written to communicate the UE’s perspective on strikes and current events, as well as to promote various publications and films. Other files encompass an array of educational materials collected for the purpose of running effective shop stewards workshops and leadership training sessions. Subject priorities include the history of the UE as well as the role of labor in a capitalist society. Pedagogical materials are further enhanced by the inclusion of a sizeable amount of UE historical documentation, of both internal and external nature. Finally, this collection includes requests for materials submitted by external agencies and individuals. More complete scope notes for each series are listed below.

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Arrangement

Series 8.3.1. Press Releases, 1946-1987

Series 8.3.2. Educational Materials, 1940-1995

Series 8.3.3. Requests for Materials, 1938-1956

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, March 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

The records of the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America are closed for a period of twenty-five years after their creation.

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 1976 and 1986.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Sean Kilcoyne in December 2008.

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Related Materials

Related Material

UE Publications, UE.8.1, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

UE News Records, 1936-1997, UE.12, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America.
  • United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America. Publicity Department.

Genre(s)

  • Correspondence
  • Press releases
  • Publications

Personal Name(s)

  • Boyer, Richard Owen, 1903-1973
  • Higgins, James
  • Matles, James J.
  • Morais, Herbert M. (Herbert Montfort) , 1905-1970

Subject(s)

  • Education
  • Electric industry workers -- Labor unions -- United States -- History
  • Industrial relations -- United States -- History -- 20th century
  • Labor
  • Labor laws and legislation -- United States -- History -- 20th century
  • Labor unions -- Organizing -- United States
  • Labor unions -- United States -- Officials and employees

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Previous Citation

UE Publicity Department Files, 1938-1995, UE.8.3, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Series  8.3.1. Press Releases 1946-1987 

Scope and Contents note

This series encompasses a variety of press releases designed by the publicity department for dispersal to wire services, newspapers, radio stations, magazines, and UE local publications. The earliest examples include 1946 Strike Bulletins which provide both breaking news and contextual information about the UE-CIO strike against General Electric, Westinghouse, and the electrical division of General Motors. This strike involved a total of 200,000 blue collar and white collar workers stopping work on January 15, 1946 in demand of a $2 per day wage increase.

Later press releases promote a variety of events such as the 3rd and 4th Annual Women's Conferences in 1955 and 1956 and publications, such as the 1956 book Labors Untold Story, and the film  Sister UE goes to Washington. A number of timely political statements issued in solidarity with the broader cause of labor can be found in this series, as well as evidence of the UE's continuing activism on behalf of racial equality in the workplace. Included in this series are press releases from the UE bulletin  Shop Paper-Radio-News Service and  Labor News, as well as statements of income and expense for the UE publicity department between the years 1952 and 1978.

  Box
Strike Bulletins and Press Releases, 1946-1973 1
  Box
Press Releases and Shop Paper-Radio-News Service Press Releases, 1963-1987 2
  Box
Press Release, 1963-1969 3

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Series  8.3.2. Educational Materials 1940-1995 

Scope and Contents note

This series contains a selection of materials employed by the UE for the purpose of educating shop stewards. As stewards were charged with being the official UE spokesperson and representative of a given local, their education was rather comprehensive. A diverse range of subjects were taught, including class consciousness, economics, labor, and the structure and history of the UE itself. Included are class outlines, lesson plans, shop steward guides detailing the responsibilities of the position, and samples of reading materials.

In addition, this series contains a wealth of primary and secondary source information chronicling the history of the UE. Convention bulletins, chronologies, newspaper clippings, and unpublished materials provide insight into the various stages of the organization's history. Further insight into the history of the UE is supplied by the manuscripts for two books: The Untold Story: Labor's Fight for a Better America by Richard O. Boyer, Herbert Morais, and Len De Caux (later published under the title  Labor's Untold Story) and  Them and Us: Struggles of a Rank and File Union by James J. Matles and James Higgins. In the case of  Them and Ue, there is also documentation surrounding the details of publication, such as correspondence with the publisher and ISBN information.

  Box
Class Outlines and Sample Leaflets, 1946-1983 3
  Box
History of the UE, 1940-1967 4
  Box
Book Manuscripts, 1954-1995 5

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Series  8.3.3. Requests for Publications 1938-1956 

Scope and Contents note

This series consists of requests for materials sent to the UE publicity department. Requesting parties represent a variety of interests, including corporations, governmental agencies, and educators. Requests are in both letter and postcard format. Sample publications from UE locals are also included.

  Box
Requests for Publications, 1943-1953 6
  Box
Requests for Publications, Correspondence, and UE Local Publications, 1939-1956 7

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