SCUA

International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers. Local 206

IUERMW Local 206 Records, 1936-1986.

30 boxes (14.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 132

Union that represented workers at the American Bosch plant in Springfield, Massachusetts, affiliated with the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers after 1949.

Records include by-laws, minutes of the Executive Board, General Council, and Membership meetings, correspondence, membership reports, grievance and arbitration records, contract negotiation proposals and counter-proposals, strike materials, and publications documenting the administration, activities, and membership of Local 206. Effects of changing national economy and international trade on workers and union affairs, through time, are evident.

Background on International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers, Local 206 (Springfield, Mass.)

Until 1949, Local 206, which represented workers at the American Bosch plant in Springfield, Massachusetts, was affiliated with the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UER & MWA). On October 19, 1949, following the expulsion of UER & MWA from the CIO, a majority of Local 206 members voted in favor of disaffiliation from the UER & MWA, due to CIO charges “that the UER & MWA, or some of its officers and members were closely identified or associated with the Communist Party and its ‘fellow travelers’, so-called, whose aims and purpose we consider harmful for this country in general, and for organized labor in particular.” Members then voted to affiliate their local with the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (IUE.)

Local 206 was also affiliated with a number of regional labor organizations, including the New England District #2 IUE-CIO, the Massachusetts State CIO (1951-1958), the Massachusetts State Labor Council CIO-AFL, and the Pioneer Valley AFL-CIO. These affiliations clearly provided the Local with a source of support, both financial and psychological. Delegates from the Local frequently attended conferences arranged by these organizations.

The history of Local 206 is closely tied to changes in the national and international economy. The national copper shortage in 1950, for example, resulted in lay-offs by Bosch. In the early 1970s the company laid off over eight hundred workers, and initiated several proposals aimed at greater efficiency. Denying the Local’s claims that Bosch’s own investments in Europe were taking jobs from its American employees, the company did concede that foreign competition was becoming a serious problem. Management cited European advantages in engineering, transportation costs, and low import duties. In 1971 workers struck in protest of the company’s plans for increasing production. In the same year the Local sent a letter to U. S. Representative Silvio Conte, protesting Westover Air Base’s use of Mack trucks which used German pumps and parts, while the Local’s “own people are on the streets.”

In the late 1970s, United Technologies Corporation (UTC) took control of American Bosch. In 1980 UTC announced its intention to build new plants in Georgia and South Carolina. Although the corporation stated that these plants would not affect its Springfield employees, the Local was clearly concerned, especially since the company was increasing its subcontracting, and the Springfield plant was losing its own engineers. The Local was also well aware that several other companies had recently moved their companies from western Massachusetts to the South.

In 1986, UTC announced that the Springfield plant would be closed. The corporation cited its responsibilities to its stock-holders, over-capacity, and increasing production costs at the Springfield plant as the major reasons behind its decision. The Local argued that the corporation’s reasons were fictitious. The Local charged that UTC dividends were increasing; that the management failed to listen to the union’s statements concerning the condition of the plant; and that UTC’s recent investment with Fiat to bail out an ailing British helicopter firm, clearly contradicted their statement that it was too expensive to bring work to Springfield. The Local organized a rally to protest the closing, stating its determination that its workers should not join the 25,000 workers in Massachusetts who had lost their jobs as a result of industrial plant closures since 1984. The rally’s slogan, “Make Them Stay, Or Make Them Pay,” was implicitly critical of the federal government which awarded these companies large contracts, and allowed them to move to wherever operating costs were cheapest. Despite the protests, the plant ceased production permanently in the summer of 1986. The Local survived for a short time thereafter with state funds to retrain laid-off workers.

Contents of Collection

By laws, minutes of the Executive Board, General Council, and Membership meetings, correspondence, membership reports, grievance and arbitration records, contract negotiation proposals and counter-proposals, strike materials, and publications documenting the administration, activities and membership of Local 206, International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers, from 1936 to 1986. Although affiliated with regional labor organizations, Local 206 primarily represented workers at the American Bosch plant in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The papers occupy 14.5 feet, and are divided into five series, including Administration, 1942-1983, Correspondence, Company-Union Relations, Publications, and Membership.

Organization of the Collection
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Series Descriptions
1942-1983

Includes detailed typed minutes of the executive board meetings, 1947-1965. These minutes document, among other things, the reports of union committees, the creation of conference delegations, the election of office holders, and votes on all types of union business, including: donations to other union strike funds; acceptance/rejection of the Local negotiating committee’s assessment of the company’s contract proposals; and the Local’s stand on issues such as Taft-Hartley. The monthly general council meeting minutes include treasurer’s reports and details of donations. The membership meeting minutes include votes on union concerns ranging from contracts to by-laws. The series also contains: minutes of the seniority committee meetings; the union association’s reports and correspondence; information on the by-laws dispute of 1967-1969; and union notices and by-laws.

Includes correspondence with all labor organizations with which Local 206 was affiliated. The series also includes correspondence with the local’s lawyers. All of this correspondence contains much information about industrial relations during the 1950s-1970s. The general correspondence files, organized chronologically, cover a wide variety of union affairs, ranging from letters to politicians, to room reservations for the local’s social events. The series also contains several pension plans, and lists of retired members.

Arrangement:

Divided into two subseries.

Scope and content:

The first subseries, General, contains information about the contract negotiations between the management and the union, and includes time-study charts, and proposals and counter-proposals from both sides on issues ranging from wages to health benefits. This subseries also contains detailed reports on the organization and operation of the strikes held in 1968, 1971, 1977, and 1980, information about the plant closing rally held in 1986, and several contracts. The second subseries, Grievances and Arbitrations, contains evidence, correspondence, and decisions detailing specific cases.

Includes issues of the American Bosch company newspaper, Arma Progress, and issues of the local’s publication Local 206 Bulletin, 1951-1971, and Local 206 News, 1979-1986.

Includes lists of members and their dues refunds. It also contains per capita and membership reports, 1936-1967, and a list of those who resigned in 1947.

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Inventory of Collection
1942-1983
I.U.E. Constitution and By-Laws

1949-1983 Box 1: 1
Local 206 By-Laws

1950, 1955 Box 1: 2
Executive Board Minutes

1947-1965 Box 1: 3-10
General Council Minutes

1950-1965 Box 2: 11-13
Membership Minutes

1949-1965 Box 2: 14-16
Seniority Committee Minutes

1951-1959 Box 2: 17-18
Social Committee

1962-1970 Box 2: 19-20
Union notices

1965-1980 Box 2: 21-23
Union Association Correspondence

1967-1974 Box 3: 24
Union Association By-Laws

1942-1960 Box 3: 25
Union Association Minutes

1950-1976 Box 3: 26-29
Union Association Property reports

1952-1965 Box 3: 30-31
Election By-Laws dispute

1967-1969 Box 3: 32
Election Correspondence

1948-1959 Box 3: 33
Union Elections

1946-1972 Box 3: 34-38
General Correspondence

1947-1974 Box 4: 39-48
Grant & Angoff

1949-1950 Box 5: 49
Greater Springfield Central Labor Council

1961-1965 Box 5: 50
I.U.E. District 2

1949-1963 Box 5: 51-52
I.U.E. National Office

1950-1963 Box 5: 53-57
I.U.E. News

1964-1974 Box 5: 58
Legal Matters

1959-1979 Box 5: 59-60
Legislative Report

1974 Box 5: 61
Massachusetts State CIO

1951-1958 Box 6: 62
Massachusetts State Labor Council

1959-1963 Box 6: 63
Pension Plan

1950-1971 Box 6: 64
Retired Members

1962-1966 Box 6: 65
United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers

1946-1949 Box 6: 66-67
Western Massachusetts Industrial Union Council

1946-1961 Box 6: 68-72
Arrangement:

Divided into two subseries.

Subseries A. GENERAL
Contracts

1942-1977 Box 7: 73
Contract Negotiations

1957-1962, 1983 Box 7: 74-76
Local 206 Petitions

1965-1985 Box 8: 77-78
Plant Closing Rally

1986 Box 8: 79
Strike materials

1968 Box 8: 80-84
Strike materials

1971 Box 8: 85-91
Strike materials

1977 Box 8: 92-93
Strike materials

1980 Box 8: 94
Time Study

1964 Box 8: 95
Subseries B. GRIEVANCES AND ARBITRATIONS
Grievance Correspondence

1958-1963, 1977-1981 Box 9: 96-102
Grievances (Alphabetical)

1952-1975 Box 10: 103-111
Grievances (Departmental)

1957-1975 Box 11: 112-124
Grievances (Departmental)

1948-1976 Box 12: 125-135
Member Grievance files (Bland to De Lacruz)

1977-1981 Box 13: 136-152
Member Grievance files (Duke to Madzka)

1977-1981 Box 14: 153-174
Member Grievance files (Malconian to Plachta)

1977-1981 Box 15: 175-223
Member Grievance files (Poe to Silva)

1977-1981 Box 16: 224-269
Member Grievance files (Small to Zemba)

1977-1981 Box 17: 270-326
Arbitrations (Adamcik to Calvanese)

1956-1984 Box 18: 327-347
Arbitrations (Carroll to Dept. 923)

1948-1982 Box 19: 348-361
Arbitrations (Dowd to Green)

1958-1986 Box 20: 362-380
Arbitrations (Group Inequity to James)

1955-1984 Box 21: 381-391
Arbitrations (Johnson to Marini)

1961-1985 Box 22: 392-408
Arbitrations (Matos to Provost)

1960-1984 Box 23: 409-425
Arbitrations (Ramos to Timekeepers)

1957-1985 Box 24: 426-441
Arbitrations (Unit Work to Wallace)

1952-1985 Box 25: 442-451
Arbitrations (Washington to Wotos)

1978-1984 Box 26: 452-458
Discrimination Cases

1967-1974 Box 26: 459-460
Arma Progress

1956-1967 Box 27
Local 206 Bulletin

1951-1970 Box 28
Local 206 News

1979-1986 Box 28
Article Drafts

n.d. Box 28
Dues Refunds

1946-1968 Box 29: 461-464
Per capita and membership reports

1936-1960 Box 29: 465-470
Per capita and membership reports

1961-1967 Box 30: 471-474
Resignations

1947 Box 30: 475
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Provenance

Acquired from: Bob Forrant

Processing Information

Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf and Jean Kemble.

Acknowledgments

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers Local 206 Records (MS 132). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Subjects

  • American Bosch--History
  • Collective bargaining--Machinery industry--Massachusetts --Springfield
  • Industrial relations--Massachusetts--Springfield
  • International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers. Local 206 (Springfield, Mass.)
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts--Springfield
  • Machinists--Labor unions--Massachusetts--Springfield
  • Metal-working machinery industry--Massachusetts --Springfield
  • Plant shutdowns--Massachusetts--Springfield
  • Springfield (Mass.)--Economic conditions
  • Springfield (Mass.)--Industries
  • Strikes and lockouts--Machinery industry--Massachusetts --Springfield
  • United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. Local 206 (Springfield, Mass.)

Types of material

  • Letters (Correspondence)
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