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Jursidictional files of President James B Carey, 1951-1964

Author: James B Carey; David L Cole; International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers. President's Office.
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
Publication:International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers Records
Summary:
Documents the resolution of jurisdictional conflicts involving the IUE and other unions for the period 1951-1964. The bulk of the files chronicle complaints and charges filed by the IUE and other disputants in jurisdictional hearings before the AFL-CIO Executive Council. Impartial umpires and arbitrators were retained by the Federation to adjudicate disputes. The majority of cases involved investigations of union
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Details

Genre/Form: Archives
Telegrams
Named Person: James B Carey; George Meany; George Meany; James B Carey
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: James B Carey; David L Cole; International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers. President's Office.
OCLC Number: 122477744
Description: 3.00fcubic ft.

Abstract:

Documents the resolution of jurisdictional conflicts involving the IUE and other unions for the period 1951-1964. The bulk of the files chronicle complaints and charges filed by the IUE and other disputants in jurisdictional hearings before the AFL-CIO Executive Council. Impartial umpires and arbitrators were retained by the Federation to adjudicate disputes. The majority of cases involved investigations of union raiding, boycotts, and organizational activities in violation of the AFL-CIO non-raiding agreement of 1953. A smaller quantity of supplementary files cover union mergers and organization matters involving other unions. This series highlights the fractious relationship between the CIO affiliates of the Industrial Union Department and craft-dominated unions aligned with the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL. The jurisdictional struggles the 1950s illustrated the tenuous position of many unions struggling to maintain their membership in the immediate post-merger (1955) era. Moreover, they exacerbated the growing rift between IUE President James Carey and AFL-CIO President George Meany. Carey's dissatisfaction with the Executive Council's handling of jurisdictional matters pushed the combative IUE leader to the brink of considering disaffiliation with the AFL-CIO.

Items include: correspondence, memoranda, telegrams, circular letters, photocopied evidence (i.e. leaflets, handbills), petitions, and arbitration decisions, affidavits, statements, and disaffiliation authorization cards signed by employees. Pursuant to jurisdictional hearings, Carey's assistants and the IUE legal staff compiled extensive evidential material in support of the union's case against jurisdictional interlopers. Many of the IUE jurisdictional case files include summaries of complaints and chronologies of the disputes. Much of the correspondence (largely between Carey and Meany) involves arrangements for meetings and hearings, investigation of charges, interpretation of the provisions of the AFL-CIO constitution, and subsequent decisions rendered by arbitrators. Many of the jurisdictional cases were ultimately handled by a nationally recognized Labor Arbitrator, David L. Cole, whose decisions were appended to cover letters sent from Meany to the disputants. In some instances the IUE and rivals eschewed mediation and negotiated non-raiding pacts which governed the conduct of their respective organizational activities.

This series also contains Carey's correspondence with other union leaders and IUE field representatives who reported on raiding violations. Among the IUE's chief jurisdictional rivals were: the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); the International Association of Machinists (IAM); Sheet Metal Workers (SMW). Other representative unions include: the United Auto Workers (UAW); United Steel Workers of America (USWA); United Rubber Workers (URW); Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Workers (RWDSW); and the Playthings, Jewelry and Novelty Workers Union (PJNWU). By and large, the IUE encountered intense jurisdictional competition as it expanded its organizational terrain within such industrial sectors as machinery, optical and precision instruments, engineering, and salaried, technical, and professional workers. The IUE battled the IBEW in several Westinghouse plants (Baltimore, MD and Dover, NJ) and other jurisdictional fights involved such corporations as Carrier, Styl-Rite, Wagner Electric, Sperry-Rand, and the General Cable Company.

The IUE's most contentious and documented jurisdictional struggle involved a running dispute (1955-1959) with the Sheet Metal Workers Union over representation rights to the employees of the Bellock Instruments Corporation, College Point, NY. There, the IUE attempted to have the NLRB set aside an earlier election it had lost after it had succeeded in signing a majority of Bellock workers to IUE cards. The SMWU subsequently complained to the AFL-CIO that the IUE had disrupted an "established bargaining relationship" with Bellock and that the IUE organizational campaign constituted a raid. Siding with the SMWU, the AFL-CIO Executive later dismissed IUE charges of collusive bargaining between the SMWU and the company. The Bellock Case intensified the enmity between the craft and industrial union affiliates. There is also much material tracing the conclusion of the IUE-IAM non-raiding pact of 1957 and the provisions of a reciprocal transfer agreement (1959) between the unions.

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