Guide to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the UE Records, 1940-2002 UE.9.5

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Federal Bureau of Investigation on the UE Records
Creator
United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Collection Number
UE.9.5
Date
1940-2002
Extent
60.0 linear feet (48 boxes)
Abstract
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.

Preferred Citation

Federal Bureau of Investigation on the UE Records, 1940-2002, UE.9.5, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

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.

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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.

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Arrangement

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

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, October 2007

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 Samuel Gruber Education Project in 1998 and 1999.

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.

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Related Materials

Related Material

Workers Alliance of America Records, 1935-1998, AIS.2007.03, 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. -- History
  • United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities.
  • United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Geographic Name(s)

  • United States

Personal Name(s)

  • 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

Subject(s)

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

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Previous Citation

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

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

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Collection Inventory

Series  9.5.1. Investigative Files on the UE 1940-1972 

Scope and Contents note

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

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Series  9.5.2. FBI Files on Individuals 1940-1985 

Scope and Contents note

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

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

Scope and Contents note

Rather than providing in-depth information on the UE, this series focuses on Samuel Gruber Education Project v. Department of Justice et.al., 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
Sample FBI Files on the UE 46-47
  Box
Exhibits 47-48
  Box
Court Documents 48
  Box
Miscellaneous Papers Related to the Case 48

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