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Identifier: MC 690

International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers. President's Office. Records


  • 1938-1965, bulk 1949-1965

Scope and Content

The IUE President's Office subgroup consists of approximately 128 linear feet of records chronicling the presidency of James B. Carey, the IUE's first chief executive. Inclusive files date from 1938 to 1965 with the bulk of the records covering the union's formative period, 1949 to 1965. Carey's personal office files comprise the core of the subgroup. His records trace the institutional history of the IUE and yield substantial evidentiary information pertaining to the administrative functioning of the president's office and its interaction with subordinate departments and staff.

Files generated and maintained by Carey's key executive assistants have also been incorporated within this subgroup. These records illustrate how Carey delegated functional authority and the role his assistants played in the administration of IUE affairs. The President's Office records also contain ancillary records and documents highlighting Carey's activities as Secretary-Treasurer of the CIO and Industrial Union Department, AFL-CIO, AFL-CIO Vice President and member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, his appointments to various presidential and government committees, and membership on the boards of prominent national organizations devoted to the pressing social, economic, and political issues of his era.

Some portions of the subgroup predate the founding of the IUE (dating from the 1930s to 1949), covering such important topics as the industrial union movement within the mass production electrical and radio industries, the formation of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), and the activities of the "right wing" movement within the UE (UE Members for Democratic Action) to eradicate Communist Party ties to the union.

The President's Office records are organized into twenty-four distinct series that primarily reflect the original order imposed by their principal creators-- James B. Carey, Les Finnegan (Executive Assistant to the President) and George L-P. Weaver (Assistant to the President, Committee on Political Education and Civil Rights). Some series, dispersed between two accessions, were subsequently reintegrated to restore their original order. A number of artificial series, consisting of definitive core subjects, were created to facilitate research within this important subgroup. Many of these were carved out of Carey's extensive general files and include the following: Jurisdictional Files; International Labor Affairs; IUE 1964 Election/Carey-Jennings Elections Dispute Files; and Conferences and Meetings.

Several series are essential for tracing the IUE's administrative and institutional history during the Carey era. These records document not only the union's bureaucratic growth but also the rise of organized labor as an institutional force in shaping the modern American state during the 1950s and early 1960s. Carey's Staff Memoranda and Correspondence, IUE Executive Board Files, IUE Conventions, Financial Statements and Reports are the best representative series. Staff memoranda received by Carey provide important information regarding the responsibilities delegated to IUE staff members, officers, and various department heads. Key figures include Carey's executive and administrative assistants--Les Finnegan, George L-P. Weaver, Walter Comer and Barton Post-Albin Hartnett (Secretary-Treasurer); David Lasser (Research Director); Benjamin C. Sigal (General Counsel); Benjamin Segal (Education Director); Edward Rovner (Committee on Political Education); John J. Flynn and Kenneth Peterson (Legislative Department); Arthur Riordan and Ray Hansen (Publicity Department); Rodger Coyne (Director for Organization); Richard E. Bauer (Comptroller); and Joseph Swire (Pension, Health, and Welfare Programs). Virtually every facet of union activity is documented: organizing campaigns, collective bargaining and negotiations; strikes; publicity and communications; legislative and political education; social action and civil rights programs; legal affairs and litigation; and staff appointments and assignment of field representatives. Staff memoranda generated by Hartnett and Bauer provide extensive coverage of the union's financial affairs--per capital dues, delinquent locals, strike relief funds and disbursements, organizational expenses, and political action contributions--and important data on IUE membership. Much of this information supplements the Financial Statements and Reports-IUE series which contains Bauer's monthly financial statements and fiscal reports to Carey and the IUE Executive Board (1954-1964).

Carey's correspondence files (bulk date: 1951-1960) constitute another expansive series documenting the full scope and range of the union presidency and the demands imposed upon the office. Correspondence and telegrams highlight Carey's working relationship with the union's district and local officers, rank and file members, national organizations, prominent political figures and legislators, editors, journalists, educational institutions and academicians, corporate executives, and foreign labor leaders. Carey's and the IUE's commitment to progressive social issues and political action is amplified within this series. His correspondents included many of the influential political figures of his era: Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Eleanor Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson, Estes Kefauver, Hubert H. Humphrey, George McGovern, Stuart Symington, and Wayne Morse. Prominent civil rights leaders (Clarence Mitchell, A. Philip Randolph, Herbert Hill) and labor chiefs (Philip Murray, George Meany, and Walter Reuther) are also represented. Much of this correspondence overlaps and supplements other series contained within the President's office subgroup: Political Issues; AFL-CIO and Industrial Union Department; and the National Organizations subseries within Carey's extensive subject files. Particularly insightful are letters from rank and file IUE members informing the president of local union conditions and prospects for organization campaigns and NLRB elections, requests for employment, and the resolution of grievances and internal disputes. The correspondence files contain a substantial amount of non-IUE related correspondence ranging from "crank" letters to personal greetings, invitations, and remembrances from friends and associates.

As IUE president and CIO Secretary-Treasurer, Carey became a roving labor ambassador and national spokesperson for electrical workers and organized labor in general. He addressed IUE conventions, conferences, district conventions and meetings, locals unions, and state CIO Industrial Union Councils, CIO affiliated unions. As the head of a major union, Carey made important policy statements on pressing economic, political, and social issues before House and Senate committee, and was a frequent guest on important radio and television news and public affairs programs. His itinerary included speaking engagements before educational, religious, and civic institutions, progressive political organizations, and manufacturing and trade groups. The scope of his activities are amply documented in the series Speeches, Statements and Addresses of James B. Carey. This series consists of typescript drafts, transcripts and mimeograph copies of Carey's speeches, addresses, interviews and statements largely covering the period from 1951-1962. Included are Carey's statements before various congressional committees on: the Taft-Hartley Act, labor racketeering and corruption (Landrum-Griffin Act); the McCarran Act; wage stabilization policies during the Korean War; extension of minimum wage and social security provisions; and civil rights bills and fair employment practices. Carey's appointments and schedule books, contained within his extensive Subject Files series, serve as a complementary component to the above and an important source for reconstructing the IUE president's daily itinerary.

Carey and his assistants collated valuable records and material used in conjunction with IUE Conventions, meetings of the IUE Executive Board, and IUE-sponsored Conferences and Meetings. These records reflect the institutional growth of the union, and the arrangements and administrative mechanisms devised to promote labor union democracy and administer the affairs of the IUE. Although the union's official bound convention proceedings are not housed within the archives, Carey's convention files contain typescript drafts, transcripts, and excerpted proceedings from the union's annual (1950-1954) and biennial (1956-1964) conventions. There are additional files containing departmental and officers' reports, committee reports, resolutions and constitutional amendments, addresses, voting tabulations, publicity and press releases, and arrangements. This series, however, does not contain proceedings of the IUE's founding convention, nor does it document the functioning of the IUE Administrative Committee that governed the union prior to the IUE's first constitutional convention.

The IUE Executive Board files of Carey (and Finnegan to a lesser extent) provide insight on the functioning of the union's inner council and the issues and political debate which shaped its actions. This series especially documents the splintering of the board as a result of Carey's growing intransigence on a variety of policy issues dating from the late 1950s to 1965. Among the more prominent issues of contention were: the call for increased dues and per capita payments; redistricting; the arbitrary assignment and dismissal of field representatives; the handling of the 1960 GE Negotiations; corruption among field representatives servicing Puerto Rico locals; the recall of Secretary-Treasurer Albin Hartnett; and the Carey/Jennings election of 1964. File contents include bound and unbound proceedings, typescript minutes, the president's reports (departmental activities reports), subcommittee reports, resolutions, agenda, circular letters, press releases; memoranda, correspondence, and notes regarding arrangements. A few files pre-date 1950 and document the activities of the IUE Administrative Committee which functioned as a quasi-executive committee until the formal adoption of the union constitution in 1950.

Several related series and subseries within the President's Office subgroup focus specifically on internal union politics and document Carey's alienation from the IUE rank and file and opposition to his administration of union affairs. Records, correspondence and legal material pertaining to the Carey-Hartnett dispute (1962-1963) comprise an important segment of Carey's extensive Subject Files. This subseries documents the struggle between Carey and Secretary-Treasurer Albin Hartnett for political and administrative control of the union. The union suffered negative publicity stemming from Hartnett's charges of internal corruption and the initiation of a lawsuit against the union and IUE Executive Board after his recall from office. Carey's arbitrary reassignment and suspension of many Hartnett loyalists (including district Publicity Director James Toughill and field representatives) and allegations of a conspiracy (involving District #8 President James Click) to disaffiliate IUE local officers, constitute much of the subject matter. Carey's orchestration of the subsequent recall vote to remove Hartnett from office can be gleaned from correspondence, memoranda, and statements made before the IUE Executive Committee.

Coverage of the fractious IUE presidential election of 1964 is even more extensive. Encompassing an entire series, the IUE Election/Carey-Jennings Election Dispute Files chronicle the nadir of the Carey administration. Record contents document one of the bitterest labor union campaigns and elections in recent memory--amidst candidates' charges of illegal campaign financing, lawsuits, and a U.S. Department of Labor probe which uncovered evidence of fraudulent balloting procedures and a miscount by the IUE Board of Trustees loyal to Carey. The Labor Department investigation and report overturned the results of the first election won by Carey, and declared Jennings the winner. Included in the series are Carey's and Jennings' campaign committee files which contain correspondence, memoranda, election leaflets and circulars highlighting the intensity and divisiveness of the election. There is also substantial correspondence and memoranda generated by Carey's closest associates--Les Finnegan, Benjamin Sigal, and Richard Bauer--assessing Jennings' electoral strength at the district and local levels and monitoring his campaign strategy. Incorporated within the Labor Department's interim report on the election, and two IUE special committee reports, are ballot tabulations and a voting breakdown by districts and locals. Legal documentation of the election debacle is fairly extensive. Items include petitions, briefs, motions, and affidavits filed in conjunction with Jennings' lawsuit against Carey and the IUE, and by both parties for access to the impounded ballots. Statements and affidavits of election watchers and trustees compiled by IUE Executive Board investigation committees are contained in this series.

In response to pressing economic and social concerns impacting upon labor, the IUE sponsored numerous conferences to educate and mobilize its membership. Carey's Conferences and Meetings Files highlight some of the IUE's most important educational programs. Among the outstanding issues addressed by IUE-sponsored conferences were: civil rights and full citizenship; employment security; women in the workplace; and staff training. Particularly noteworthy was the convening of the IUE Biennial Economic Policy Conferences (1955 and 1957) to analyze industry-wide employment and wage data and discern economic trends as a prelude to formulating a comprehensive collective bargaining program to guide the union's conference boards. Through the dissemination of vital information integral to future negotiations with management, conference board delegates, local union leaders, and ultimately the rank and file were educated on relevant collective bargaining issues. These files, especially those involving civil rights, supplement other conference-related records contained within several series of the Secretary-Treasurer's Office.

The President's Office subgroup contains a wealth of information on the IUE's political and legislative activities during the 1950s and early 1960s, and labor's larger institutional impact on American politics during a turbulent era dominated by the cold war milieu, domestic security issues, the rise of the military-industrial complex, civil rights, and the pervasive anti-labor environment. Carey's Political Issues Files document the union's political action activities during election years and lobbying efforts for the passage of significant labor, economic, and social legislation. IUE-CIO PAC and AFL-COPE fund raising efforts in support of Democratic Party presidential candidates for the years 1952, 1956, 1958 (off-year) and 1960 are covered in several files. The union's involvement in the Stevenson and Kennedy presidential campaigns are documented. Carey's files contain his correspondence with presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson, cabinet-level officers, senators and representatives, federal agencies and commissions, and governors. There is also material tracing Carey's and the IUE's relationship with such organizations as the Americans for Democratic Action and the Democratic National Committee, in an effort to unite labor's political agenda with broader mainstream issues of vital interests to all working people and the constituency of the Democratic Party.

Documentation of Carey's and the IUE's commitment to the advancement of civil rights, equal opportunity, and social justice is pervasive throughout the President's Office records. Carey and Secretary-Treasurer Hartnett oversaw the establishment of the IUE National Civil Rights Committee which administered the union's civil rights educational programs and coordinated civil rights initiatives at the district and local levels. While the bulk of these records are found in the Secretary-Treasurer's Office records subgroup (Hartnett served as Chairman), some committee material is included within Carey's voluminous subject files. In addition, Carey's speeches and public statements pertaining to civil rights issues and legislation are contained within the Speeches, Statements, and Addresses series. Publications, agendas, and reports covering IUE civil rights educational conferences can also be gleaned from Carey's Conferences and Meetings series. Carey's subject and correspondence files include letters to organizations (NAACP and NUL), prominent leaders of the movement--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Thurgood Marshall and Herbert Hill (Director of NAACP Labor Department)--and legislators active in the struggle to secure passage of civil rights legislation in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Several files pertain to the proposed civil rights bills of 1957.

This material is complemented by the extensive AFL-CIO Civil Rights Committee files housed in Carey's AFL-CIO and Industrial Union Department series. This series documents Carey's role as committee chairman and includes meeting minutes, agendas, reports, memoranda, and resolutions for the years 1956-1957. These records reflect the federation's inhouse debate over civil rights and Meany's reaction to A. Philip Randolph's controversial report on non-compliance by various AFL-CIO affiliates. Carey's Jurisdictional Files also document civil rights abuses within the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and other craft unions. Related civil rights material can be found in the office records of IUE presidential assistant George L-P. Weaver (see below) who monitored work-place discrimination in the oil, chemical, and refinery industries and served as a member of the review and enforcement subcommittee of the President's Committee on Government Contracts. Weaver's reference files also house his correspondence to the NAACP and NUL as well as civil rights activists.

The legislative portion of Carey's political issues files document such subjects as: civil rights and fair employment practices; fair housing and education; defense mobilization and wage stabilization programs; atomic energy; increase and extension of minimum wage and social security measures; fair labor standards; labor corruption and reform (McClellan Hearings, Kennedy-Ives Bill, Kennedy-Ervin Bill, Landrum-Griffin Act; unemployment; right-to-work legislation; imports and fair trade legislation; privatization issues; federal aid to education; and anti-poverty and social entitlement programs associated with the Great Society. Complementary material and correspondence on the above legislative issues can also be found in Carey's AFL-CIO and IUD Records Series, and the reference files of Jack Flynn and Kenneth Peterson within the IUE Legislative Department Records, Carey Era.

The IUE's historical relationship with the CIO, AFL-CIO, Industrial Union Department, and other unions are well-documented. Records pertaining to the CIO, however, are not confined to one exclusive series. Rather, they are dispersed among the general subject, reference and corresponndence files of three principal creators of the President's Office records--Carey, Les Finnegan, and George L-P. Weaver. Carey's Correspondence, Subject, and Political Issues series contain such CIO-related material as: convention and conference material; publications, literature and leaflets issued by the various CIO departments; CIO-generated guidelines and research material compiled in conjunction with Wage Stabilization and Production programs during the Korean War era; and CIO-Political Action Committee (CIO-PAC) records. The bulk of Carey's CIO files was transferred to the Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs, Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University, and incorporated within the Secretary-Treasurer's Office records of the CIO collection. Carey's correspondence and subject files include incoming and outgoing letters to Philip Murray and Walter Reuther. Correspondence with other major CIO officers --John L. Lewis, John Brophy, and Allen Haywood-- is largely confined to the UE Research Files of Les Finnegan.

Carey's AFL-CIO and Industrial Union Department records, contained in an inclusive series, are far more extensive in quantity and subject content. A small quantity of CIO records are included in the series, though, chiefly illustrating Carey's participatory role in the pre-merger discussions and negotiations leading to the AFL-CIO pact in 1955. Carey also helped to frame the historic CIO and AFL no-raiding agreement which facilitated the eventual merger. The bulk of the series highlights Carey's activities as an AFL-CIO Vice President, Executive Committee and Executive Council Member, and Secretary-Treasurer of the Industrial Union Department. Carey also served as Chairman of the AFL-CIO Civil Rights Committee (1956-1957) and as a member of the following standing committees: Economic Policy, Public Relations, and International Affairs. This series is especially insightful in primary source material tracing the institutional history of the AFL-CIO and the often contentious relationship between the federation and the CIO affiliates comprising the IUD--the largest department within the AFL-CIO. Among the important institutional records are: AFL-CIO Executive Council Meeting minutes and files; AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention files; records, publications, and conference material generated by the AFL-Civil Rights Committee; and departmental records (Legislative, COPE, Public Relations, Education, and Research). George Meany (AFL-CIO President), William Schnitzler (AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer), Walter Reuther (IUD Director), Boris Shishkin (Civil Rights Director), A. Philip Randolph, and George Weaver are among the most important and frequent correspondents.

The AFL-CIO and IUD records offer insight on the fragile condition of relations between the craft unions and industrial unions in the immediate post-merger period. They also encapsulate Carey's personal clash with Meany and his disagreement on major policy issues involving civil rights, international affairs, resolution of jurisdictional disputes, labor corruption, and the role of industrial unions within the house of labor. These issues are clearly reflected within the IUD subseries which contains summaries and excerpts of IUD Executive Board Meetings; IUD Convention proceedings and resolutions; and correspondence and memoranda generated by IUD officers and staff. Carey's IUD correspondents included Walter Reuther (IUD President), Benjamin Man (IUD Research Assistant); Albert Whitehouse and Jack Conway (IUD Executive Directors); James Gildea (Carey's IUD executive assistant); and Nicholas Zonarich (IUD Organizational Director). The records of this important subseries chronicle the IUD's bitter jurisdictional strife with the affiliated unions comprising the AFL-CIO's Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) that nearly led Carey to disaffiliate his union from the federation. Moreover, Meany's inability to ameliorate discriminatory hiring practices by BCTD affiliates, and his attempt to censor A. Philip Randolph's civil rights report critical of federation policy, prompted Carey to resign as Chairman of the AFL-CIO Civil Rights Committee in 1957. Carey's and Reuther's advocacy of increased AFL-CIO financial support for the ICFTU and the IUD's International Solidarity Fund also created friction as Meany and his chief foreign policy advisors (Jay Lovestone and Irving Brown) sought to diminish the influence of these organizations. There is also material covering the internal AFL-CIO hearings on labor corruption which led to the suspension of the Teamsters, Bakery Workers, Laundry Workers and United Textile Workers.

Supplementing the AFL-CIO and IUD series are Carey's Jurisdictional Files which document the IUE's organizational and jurisdictional disputes with other unions. These files contain correspondence, memoranda, and complaints filed by IUE and other disputants before the AFL-CIO Executive Council and arbitrators. Though the series dates from 1951-1964, the majority of records and files pertain to the period following the AFL-CIO non-raiding pact of 1953 and the post-merger period 1955-1959. The inclusive files cover charges and investigations of union raiding, boycotts, and organizational activities in violation of the non-raiding agreement. The series highlights the friction among the IUE and other unions--IBEW, International Association of Machinists (IAM), United Auto Workers (UAW), and United Steelworkers of America (USWA)--as well as the IUD's campaign against wholesale violations by the affiliates of the Building Construction Trades Department. The IUE's bitter fight with the Sheet Metal Workers Union (1955-1959) over representation of the employees of the Belock Instruments Corporation (College Point, NY) receives extensive coverage. In addition to correspondence, memoranda, petitions, affidavits, and decisions on cases, the series contains material relating to the IUE and IAM non-raiding pact negotiated in 1957.

The IUE President's Office subgroup contains a substantial amount of institutional records and reference material devoted to international labor affairs for period 1955 to 1965. Carey's International Affairs Files trace his evolution as a labor statesman and the CIO's legacy in the formulation of AFL-CIO foreign labor policy. As IUE president and a representative of the AFL-CIO, Carey headed American delegations to labor conferences and meetings of the following international organizations: International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), International Labor Organization (ILO), ORIT (Organization for Inter-American Trade Unions) and the International Metalworkers Federation (IMF). Carey served as Reuther's designate to the executive council meetings of the ICFTU. Records within the series elucidate the processes and institutional mechanisms through which the IUE, IUD, AFL-CIO, and U.S. Labor and State Departments facilitated the spread of free democratic union and labor education programs within the context of the cold war and the growing rift between industrialized nations and undeveloped countries. The emergence of multinational corporations and their impact upon international labor standards is another predominant theme. Record contents include correspondence, memoranda, agenda and meeting minutes, reports, resolutions, statements, and publications compiled by Carey and other IUE representatives (chiefly George L-P. Weaver and Howard Robinson) who attended international labor conferences and conventions. Also, Carey maintained subject reference files (which comprise a subseries) on international issues and foreign diplomacy. His correspondence and memoranda to Meany and Walter and Victor Reuther document the IUE president's internationalist anti-communist perspective as well as the debate within the AFL-CIO inner council over the direction of foreign labor policy and the level of financial commitment to international labor organizations. Incisive reports and memoranda generated by international affairs specialists Weaver and Irving Brown provide contextual information on this debate as well as assessments on the international labor environment. This series is supplemented by the ICFTU and ILO subseries contained within the Personal Files of George L-P. Weaver (see below) within the President's Office Records.

The record files of key IUE executive assistants Les Finnegan and George L-P. Weaver form an integral portion of the President's Office Subgroup. Correspondence, memoranda, and reports generated by both men highlight their activities and work in such areas as: organization and publicity, legislation and political action, civil rights and international affairs. Their inclusive series reflect how Carey assigned important functional responsibilities to his executive assistants and their input in shaping IUE policy on a number of issues. Moreover, Finnegan and Weaver both compiled extensive research and reference files in conjunction with IUE work. Weaver's reference files extend beyond his affiliation with the IUE to document his important work for the AFL-CIO and U.S. Department Labor.

Serving as Carey's chief administrative assistant and speech writer, Les Finnegan handled Carey's incoming and outgoing IUE-related correspondence and prioritized the affairs of the President's Office--in essence functioning as a chief of staff. The nature and scope of his work is clearly evident in his Correspondence and Memoranda Files, the bulk of which consists of office carbon copies of outgoing correspondence and staff memoranda which Finnegan drafted for Carey's signature. These span the years 1950 to 1958. Finnegan's correspondence and memo files document his activities beyond that of a researcher and speech writer. Finnegan received and analyzed reports from the IUE's various department heads and staff, processed the flow of information coming into the president's office, and counseled Carey on matters needing immediate action and attention.

Finnegan, a journalist and publicist by training, took an active role in assisting the union in plotting organizational campaign strategy--particularly with respect to the design and distribution of organization literature. His IUE District and Local Files are noteworthy for documenting the union's jurisdictional battles with other unions (UAW, IAM, and IBEW) and its bitter struggle against the UE for representation rights to the electrical workers employed in the major chain corporations during the period 1950-1954. Among these files are organization leaflets and circulars, radio and television transcripts, circulars and bulletins, and typescript addresses-chiefly illustrating the intensity of the IUE's anti-UE campaign. Major campaigns include Local 201/GE Lynn, MA; Local 301/GE Schenectady, NY; Local 901/GE Fort Wayne, IN; and District #5 Canada/CGE Peterborough, ON and Montreal). There are also files devoted to several IUE strikes covering the period 1950-1955, including the 1954 Westinghouse Strike at Sharon, PA.

In conjunction with the IUE's drive to defeat the UE, Finnegan maintained the union's largest accumulation of in-house research and reference material devoted to the UE and domestic communism. His records reflect the IUE's bitter factional strife with the UE and the government's investigation of communist infiltration of labor during the McCarthy era. Finnegan compiled transcripts, proceedings, and reprints of government hearings--contained in the Government Hearings On Communism, Labor and the UE--devoted to the "red probes" of the era. Carey appeared before HUAC and other House and Senate subcommittees to testify on behalf of the IUE. There are also related stenographic transcripts and reprints covering Subversive Activities Control Board Cases and reports issued by various state commissions (Massachusetts and Ohio) investigating subversive activities and domestic security issues. Specifically, these investigations centered in communist involvement in labor organizations Through an elaborate network of contacts with government agencies, congressional staffs, labor journalists, and UERMDA and pro-Carey members, Finnegan compiled dossiers and biographical information on UE officers and staff suspected of ties to the Communist Party of America. He also created a reference series consisting of publications and organization campaign literature issued by UE districts and locals for the period 1948-1953. Such reference material was collected and edited for Carey's use in speeches, statements, press releases, and articles. Finnegan also designed and propagated anti-UE organizational campaign literature.

Though Carey generated the bulk of the UE historical reference and research files, Finnegan organized and maintained them for use. His Research Files Concerning the UE and the UE/IUE Split contain the following subdivisions: UE General Reference Files, 1936-1949; UE Historical Files, 1934-1940; UE Subject Files, 1935-1950; UE National Office Files, 1936-1949; 1949 UE Split; and UE Research Files, 1950-1959. The earliest inclusive historical records cover organization of the electrical industry during the NRA period leading to the establishment of the UE in 1936. These files include material pertaining to AFL-affiliated federal labor unions, the National Radio and Allied Trades Council (pre-cursor to the UE), and the Radio and Metal Workers Industrial Union. Important conference meeting minutes of these organizations trace Carey's and the electrical workers unsuccessful efforts to secure a national industrial union charter from the AFL and the UE's subsequent affiliation with the Committee for Industrial Unions/Congress of Industrial Unions. The struggle within the house of labor over industrial unionism is a predominate theme of this series. Among the noteworthy correspondents are William Green, John L. Lewis, John Brophy, Harry Block, Joseph England, George Meyer, and James Matles.

The UE Subject and UE National Office Files, while not extensive, provide insight on the internal affairs of the UE for the period 1936 to 1947. Convention reports, resolutions, strike files (mostly press clippings) and bound financial statements are among the most valuable records found within the subject files. Carey and Finnegan relied on these files to assess the relative financial strength of pro-Carey locals existing within the various UE locals. There are also politically-related files (which include press clippings, editorials, reports) documenting the UE's controversial position on foreign policy issues (particularly with respect to the Soviet Union) during the 1930s and 1940s, and the UE's decision to withhold funds from the CIO-PAC in 1948. The relationship between the UE and the CIO can be gleaned from the UE National Office files which contains substantial correspondence from UE officers (Carey, Matles, Emspak) to Allan Who'd, John Brophy, John L. Lewis, and Philip Murray. When removed from the UE presidency in 1941, Carey (as CIO Secretary-Treasurer) received correspondence from UE district and local officers and rank and file members touching upon UE organizational and jurisdictional matters. The UE's protection and extension of its jurisdiction (vis-`a-vis the IBEW and Steel Workers Organizing Committee) within overlapping industries such as metal and machinery, automobile, and rubber is amply documented. Particularly insightful is Matles' correspondence and reports to Allen Who'd (CIO Director for Organization) regarding the establishment of organizational priorities and greater coordination of organizational resources by CIO affiliates. Included are important UE Executive Board Minutes (1948-1949) covering the union's protest against raiding by other CIO unions and its expulsion from the labor organization.

Files pertaining to the UE-IUE split constitute the most extensive and important subseries existing within Finnegan's and Carey's UE Research series. Among these records are correspondence, meeting and conference minutes, reports, notes, clippings, and other material documenting the maneuvering of the pro-Carey forces to topple the UE leadership. The subseries focuses mainly on the relationship between Carey and the UE Members for Democratic Action (UEMDA), and their activities in 1949 leading to the CIO mandated expulsion of the UE in November 1949. Among important holdings are minutes, resolutions, and clippings pertaining to the UEMDA's Dayton, Ohio conference, summary UE convention and executive board minutes and resolutions denouncing the right-wing opposition, and collated clippings, pamphlets, and circulars regarding the schism. Carey's and Finnegan's correspondence with prominent members of the UE right wing movement (Harry Block, John Dillon, Dallas Smith, E.J. Kraft, and Joseph Hawkins) chronicle the events leading to the creation of the "Committee of Ten" and the establishment of the IUE Administrative Committee in the wake of the UE expulsion.

The General Reference & Correspondence Files of George L-P. Weaver, another prominent assistant to Carey, comprise an important segment within the Carey-era records, rendering a unique historical perspective on such topics as civil rights, international affairs, and legislative and political action activities. Though a small quantity of this series covers Weaver's work with non-IUE organizations during the early 1950s, the bulk of his reference and correspondence files covers his tenure with the IUE from 1958 to 1960. Weaver directed the union's political education program (COPE), acted as a liaison with civil rights leaders and organizations, and advised Carey on international labor affairs.

Weaver's correspondence, memoranda, reports, research material, and collected publications reflect the diversity of his role within the IUE and his imprint upon union policies within the political realm. He supervised and coordinated the collection and distribution of the IUE's COPE funds; designed and implemented the union political education program through conferences, workshops, and publications; forged close ties to the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Party candidates; and engaged in outreach activities with prominent liberal and civil rights organizations (Americans For Democratic Action, American Civil Liberties Union, NAACP and NUL). Weaver's work involved him in planning the union's political strategy for the off-year election of 1958, the Democratic Party primaries, and the national election of 1960. Correspondents include many leading political figures of the era--John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Stuart Symington, and Paul Douglas--and influential civil rights advocates: Roy Wilkins, A. Philip Randolph, Herbert Hill, and Jackie Robinson. Weaver's reference files highlight the IUE's fight to frame a strong civil rights plank in the Democratic Party Platform and support for the Civil Rights Bill of 1959. Other important legislative lobbying efforts included: enforcement of fair employment practices; fair housing; moderate labor-reform legislation (Kennedy-Ives and Kennedy-Ervin Bills) as opposed to the Landrum-Griffin Act; and opposition to "right to work" legislation.

Weaver's personal files cover his work with the following organizations: Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers (1950-1955); International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (1949-1959); International Labor Organization (1956-1958); and President's Committee on Government Contracts (1950-1960). Though his service to the IUE was brief in duration--serving as Carey' advisor and director of political education from 1958 to 1961--his relationship with the IUE president can be traced to the formation of the CIO Civil Rights Committee in 1943. Weaver served as director of the committee from 1943 to 1955, working closely with the CIO Secretary-Treasurer to foster the organization's civil rights education programs and mobilize CIO affiliates to eliminate discrimination through the adoption of fair employment practices. As a result of the AFL-CIO merger in 1955, he became Executive Director of the AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department. Following his stint with the IUE Weaver capped a distinguished career by serving as Assistant Secretary of Labor for International Affairs under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.

Much of Weaver's early non-IUE work involved the investigation of civil rights violations and employment discrimination against African-American workers by unions and employers. His files (which include correspondence, memoranda, reports and petitions) specifically document employment discrimination cases within the oil, chemical, and refining industries of the southern gulf region. Weaver's work in this field expanded to other industries as well when he was appointed as Walter Reuther's alternate to the President's Committee on Government Contracts. Between 1953-1958, Weaver served on various subcommittees before gaining an appointment to the Review and Enforcement subcommittee. This committee, largely advisory, initiated industrial surveys and received and reviewed complaints of alleged discriminatory employment practices involving government contractors and unions. Though it lacked enforcement powers, its recommendations influenced executive action with regard to fair employment practices and government work. Weaver's files include: executive orders, compliance guidelines and regulations; correspondence with committee members, contractors, labor unions, and petitioners; minutes of committee and subcommittee meetings; case reviews; petitions; and investigative reports.

Weaver's extensive experience and involvement in international affairs is mirrored in his files on the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and International Labor Organization (ILO). These respective subseries document his tenure with the ICFTU from 1955-1957. Weaver led a fact-finding delegation to Malaysia in 1955 to investigate the impact of political upheaval upon the repression of democratic unionism. Records and reports generated in conjunction with an ICFTU mission (chaired by Weaver) to Okinawa in 1956 to investigate alleged violations of workers' rights under the U.S. Civilian Administration also reflect the scope of his activities in the international sphere. Assigned to the ICFTU's Southeast Asian regional office in Singapore in 1957, Weaver monitored and reported on political, economic, and social conditions impacting upon the fledgling labor movement in the region--especially communist insurgency and neo-colonial corporate policies. His correspondence, memoranda, and reports to labor leaders and State and Labor Department officials provides insight on the formulation of AFL-CIO foreign policy and viewpoints regarding indigenous labor movements. Less extensively documented is Weaver's work with the ILO as a member of the Citizen's Committee and as U.S. Worker Advisor to the 40th and 41st ILO Conventions in Geneva, Switzerland from 1957-1958. Collected correspondence, memoranda, reports, and position papers reflect his participation on two important subcommittees--the Technical Assistance Committee and Committee on Plantations--charged with investigating employment conditions and wage patterns for field laborers toiling on corporate plantations.


128 Cubic Feet (128 boxes)

Physical Location

Stored offsite: Advance notice required to consult these records.

Language of Materials

Undetermined .


Records generated by James B. Carey, the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers's first president, and his key executive assistants during the union's formative years. Important subject areas include: the UE/IUE split; labor and the left, domestic anti-communism, and government security during the McCarthy era; Korean War defense production programs and administration; collective bargaining and negotiations involving General Electric, Westinghouse, General Motors, Radio Corporation of America and other large electrical corporations; IUE legislative action and initiatives on a variety of social, economic and political issues confronting labor during the 1950s and 1960s, particularly civil rights; political action activities in support of liberal Democratic Party congressional and presidential candidates; and IUE involvement in international labor affairs.

Administrative History

On 2 November 1949, delegates attending the Eleventh Constitutional Convention of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) approved a resolution resulting in the expulsion of the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America (UERMWA). Effective with the expulsion, the resolution further directed the CIO Executive Board to issue a charter of affiliation to a new international union in the electrical, radio and machine industry. On 3 November 1949, CIO President Philip Murray formally presented the new charter to the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (IUE-CIO). James B. Carey, founder and former president of the UERMWA (1936-1941) and CIO Secretary-Treasurer, accepted the charter as Chairman of the IUE-CIO Administrative Committee. This committee, consisting of twelve members comprising the former "right wing" leadership of the UE, convened an organizational convention (November 28, 1949) as a prelude to the adoption of a permanent constitution and the election of officers. The IUE-CIO provisional constitution designated the administrative chairman as de facto president of the organization. Delegates attending the IUE's First Constitutional Convention (December 4-8, 1950, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) formally approved the union's new constitution and unanimously elected James B. Carey as the first international president of the IUE-CIO. He served in this post until his resignation in April 1965, stemming from a U.S. Labor Department's investigation that uncovered fraudulent balloting procedures during the 1964 IUE election. Paul Jennings was declared the victor and served as IUE President from April 1965 to 1976. He was succeeded by David J. Fitzmaurice (1976-1982), William H. Bywater (1982-1996), and current president Edward Fire (1997-present). The duties of the IUE international president and election procedures governing the office are enumerated in the union's constitution under Articles VI and XXII. Under the provisions of Article VI, Section A:

The President shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Union. Between sessions of the Executive Board he shall have full power to direct the affairs of the Union. Subject to the approval of the Executive Board, the President shall have the authority to appoint, direct, suspend or remove such organizers, representatives and employees as he may deem necessary and fix their compensation.
Election procedures governing the office are prescribed in Article XXII, Section A:
The President and Secretary-Treasurer shall be nominated in Convention (biennial) and elected by referendum vote. A candidate shall be eligible for election only if he has been nominated in Convention by a delegate from each of 10 or more local unions from 3 or more districts, the combined per capita representation of which locals at the Convention is no less than fifteen (15%) of the total per capita representation.
The IUE constitution mandates that when only one nominee for the office of president is put forth, "the candidate shall be elected at the Convention." In the event of two or more nominees for office the constitution provides for a referendum (secret) mail ballot vote by IUE members in good standing. In accordance with Article XXII, Sections G & H, the IUE Trustees have custodianship of all returned ballots and are responsible for tabulating the ballots. Each nominee may have two watchers present at all times to observe the opening and tabulation of the ballots. Enumerated presidential functions include: presiding over conventions and quarterly meetings of the International Executive Board (IEB); convening special meetings of the latter body when requested by a majority of its members; and appointing all sub-committees of the executive board. Between conventions and subject to reversal of the IUE-IEB, the president has the power to decide all questions involving the interpretation of the IUE constitution. Pursuant to conventions and quarterly meetings of the board, the president is responsible for making reports to both bodies. Though the locus of power for shaping the union's collective bargaining agenda and negotiation strategy resides within the democratically structured IUE Conference Boards, the IUE President serves on important major negotiating committees that comprise the major chain corporations--General Electric, Westinghouse, General Motors, RCA, Radio and Allied Trades and While Collar and Salaried Workers--and the various IUE Councils (Skilled Trades, Philco, Battery, Optical, and Lamp Workers). Moreover, as the IUE's chief policy maker, the president attends district and local meetings to elaborate on union policies and programs and reports on broader decisions and undertakings by the AFL-CIO and its affiliated Industrial Union Department. As the executive of a large institution representing thousands of union members, the IUE president receives requests from locals and individuals for advice, assistance, and intervention with regard to the handling of grievances. The IUE President's Officers thus serves as the resort of last appeal to the IUE membership. Outside the IUE, the president serves as an ex officio delegate to the AFL-CIO Convention and is a member of the federation's most important executive and special committees. Beginning with Carey in 1955, IUE presidents have served as AFL-CIO Vice Presidents and as members of the AFL-CIO Executive Committee and AFL-CIO Executive Council. In addition, they have been played an important role in framing the programs and directing the affairs of the AFL-CIO's Industrial Union Department, representing the interests of the industrial unions affiliated with the CIO. IUE presidents (chiefly James B. Carey) have represented the American labor movement abroad by serving as delegates to conferences of international labor organizations, attending labor summits with the leaders of foreign electrical and electronics unions, and hosting visits by foreign labor dignitaries. Subsequent constitutional amendments and referendum changes have altered the structure of the office. Also, as labor unions evolved into increasingly complex bureaucratic and hierarchical entities, the scope of the IUE presidency expanded beyond the enumerated functions outlined by the union's constitution. This evolution not only reflected the drive for administrative efficiency and institutional control, but also was a consequence of organized labor's expanded role in shaping the economic, political, and social life of the modern American nation. IUE presidents, beginning with Carey, have actively participated and served on the executive boards of many prominent national organizations dedicated to furthering democratic institutions, harmonious labor-industrial relations, education, progressive social reform, economic justice and civil rights. Such activism represents the linkage between traditional trade union economic goals and a broader social and political reform agenda in alliance with workers and the disenfranchised. To achieve these broader objectives, IUE presidents have been active within the inner councils of the Democratic Party, facilitating political action programs in support of party candidates and programs, and contributing union funds to political campaigns. In support of legislative initiatives the IUE president functions as the union's chief lobbyist and spokesman, making appearances before congressional committees and participating in government hearings on issues effecting organized labor and all workers. THE CAREY PRESIDENCY As the first president of the IUE, James B. Carey established the standard by which successive presidents of the union have been measured. Dubbed the "Boy Wonder" of the labor movement for his role in pioneering early industrial unionism within the electrical and radio industries, Carey assumed the helm of the newly chartered United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America (UERMWA) in 1936 at the age of 23. His association with the leadership of the industrial union movement, chiefly CIO President John L. Lewis and CIO Vice President Philip Murray (United Mine Workers Vice President and Chairman of the Steelworkers Organizing Committee) led to his meteoric rise within the labor movement. In 1938 he was elevated to the post of Secretary (later Secretary-Treasurer) of the CIO, a position he held until the merger between the CIO and AFL in 1955. Gravitating toward progressive political ideology and molded by Catholic social welfare theology, Carey enlisted his union in the CIO's broader struggle to secure social, political, and economic rights for all workers, a fundamental transformation of labor-industrial relations and recognition of organized labor's institutional and participatory role in national industrial and economic planning. The UERMWA, like many CIO unions, had relied upon Communist organizers to enlist mass production workers under the banner of industrial unionism. During the popular front era associated with international socialism's larger struggle with fascism, communist labor leaders disbanded rival labor organizations (affiliates of the Trade Union Unity League) and worked within the newly established CIO. Early on, Communist party objectives dovetailed with the larger social and political objectives of the CIO and the New Deal. Within the UE, Carey and those officers suspected of having Communist Party ties--chiefly James Matles (UE Director of Organization) and Julius Emspak (UE Secretary-Treasurer--maintained a delicate working relationship. Carey had even lent his name and union support to a number of progressive political organizations suspected of having communist ties. However, this precarious relationship deteriorated when Carey and left-wing UE officers of the union increasingly clashed over resolutions and policies with regard to Roosevelt's preparedness programs and foreign policy issues involving the Soviet Union. Citing the preponderance of non-elected leftist organizers, business agents and staff members directing the affairs of the UE, Carey's "right wing" supporters pushed for local autonomy measures barring communists from holding office. Rebuffed by the UE Executive Board on this matter, Carey and his loyalists used the UE presidential election of 1941 as a referendum on the issue of communist-domination of the union. The left-wing forces chose Albert J. Fitzgerald to oppose him. Carey's defeat in 1941 led to a decade-long struggle to topple Fitzgerald and effectively remove the UE's left-wing leadership. Using his position as CIO Secretary-Treasurer and maintaining close ties with a network of "right wing leaders" within the UE (including his most trusted ally, Harry Block, District #1 President), Carey monitored the activities of Matles, Emspak, staff members, organizers, and UE district and local officers suspected of maintaining ties to the Communist Party. He also cultivated a close working relationship with anti-communist catholic clergy affiliated with the Association of Catholic Trade Unionists (ACTU) in an attempt to chip away at the rank and file support of the UE's left-wing leadership. Outside the labor movement the UE became increasingly the subject of periodic investigation by congressional committees (House Un-American Activities Committee or HUAC) and government agencies, the target of anti-subversive legislation, and several of its key officers subjected to deportation hearings in the postwar period. Despite the UE's admirable wartime record with respect to production and labor relations, its opposition to the European Economic Recovery Plan (Marshall Plan) and its support of the Progressive Party candidate Henry Wallace in the 1948 election clashed directly with the CIO's foreign policy and domestic political objectives. Emboldened by the CIO's growing disenchantment with the UE and other communist-affiliated unions, Carey orchestrated an opposition movement within the UE known as the UE Members for Democratic Action (UEMDA). Between 1947-1948, the UEMDA garnered significant strength at the local level and succeeded in electing several of its officers and supporters at the district level. However, it failed to dislodge the UE's top leadership and their entrenched staff and organizers. By early 1949 the UEMDA had evolved into a disaffiliation movement, presaging the founding of a new electrical and radio workers union in adherence to CIO principles. At the CIO Eleventh Constitutional Convention, meeting in Cleveland on November 2, 1949, a resolution calling for the expulsion of the UE was approved by delegates. The following day, President Philip Murray presented a charter of affiliation to Carey, effectively establishing the International Union of Electrical Radio and Machine Workers Union (IUE-CIO). Until the convening of its first constitutional convention, the IUE's organizational convention (November 28, 1949, Philadelphia) established an administrative committee to administer the affairs of the new union. Carey was appointed (by Murray) as Chairman of the IUE-CIO Administrative Committee, and served as the organization's de facto president. Delegates attending the IUE's First Constitutional Convention (December 7, 1950, Milwaukee) unanimously elected James B. Carey as the first IUE president. The primary tasks confronting the IUE's chief executive entailed the process of institution-building and resolution of the unprecedented litigation stemming from UE lawsuits to retain local union assets and properties. Also, the new union devoted its total financial and organizational resources to challenging the UE in National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) elections within the major chain corporations for representation and collective bargaining rights. Within a year after its organizational convention, the IUE claimed a membership of 275,000 and its convention reported a significant decline in the UE's membership. Between 1950 and 1956 Carey led an all-out offensive to discredit the UE leadership, siphon the union's depleting membership, and "rehabilitate" former UE leaders desirous of joining the IUE fold. By 1957 several of the largest UE districts and locals had either opted for amalgamation with the IUE, or initiated discussions with other unions to explore the possibility of affiliation. The ferocity of Carey and the IUE was so intense that the union rejected UE efforts to establish a "Unity Campaign" in negotiations with the major electrical chain corporations during the 1950s and early 1960s. IUE officers, department heads, and key staff members forged close ties with many congressional leaders and government agencies active in the campaign to bar UE members from employment within defense industries and atomic installations. Carey garnered significant media attention as the CIO's most ardent foe against communist infiltration of domestic labor unions, appeared before congressional and government agency hearings on the subject, and defended his own union against charges which surfaced during the McCarthy era. To remaining leftist elements within the labor fold, Carey's tactics were tantamount to redbaiting. Mercurial, combative and possessing inordinate energy, Carey established his firm imprint upon the IUE. Throughout his tenure, the union's institutional evolution reflected the inherent tension between Carey's effort to impose his will upon the organization, and efforts by IUE district and locals to retain control over their own affairs. Inheriting a tradition of local autonomy from its UE past (indicative of a union built from the bottom up) several key districts and locals openly clashed with the president over such issues as proposed per capita dues increases, geographical redistricting, and the assignment of regional organization directors and international field representatives. A master of parliamentary rule and order, Carey orchestrated IUE conventions and executive board meetings. He also cultivated key political alliances among the union's district council officers and local union presidents. Through his control of staff appointments (chiefly the designation and dismissal of organizers and field representatives) and salaries, the IUE president wielded an effective weapon against recalcitrant district leaders and wayward locals. Carey presided over the IUE's most intensive period of growth and organization gains. Dubbed by Murray as "a union in a hurray," the IUE achieved a membership of 400,000 by the mid-1950s. Though periodic recessions, technological displacement, imports, and outsourcing chipped away at membership totals, the IUE represented on average between 275,000 to 325,000 workers during the Carey era. Carey played an active role in facilitating IUE organization initiatives within many new industries (television, atomic energy, aerospace and aviation, data processing and business machines, optical) and expanding the IUE jurisdiction to encompass professional, salaried, and white collar workers. Regional organization gains, specifically in the south, also increased the ranks of the union. Whereas the CIO and other unions had been rebuffed, the IUE enjoyed a modicum of success in organizing southern and southwestern electrical companies, thus impeding the trend towards runaway shops and the wage differential they had fostered. Recognizing the importance of modern media and public relations in planning organizational campaigns Carey delegated important responsibilities to the IUE Publicity Director and staff. IUE sponsorship of television and radio series, and interviews with Carey on major network news programs served as to buffer to the anti-union campaigns undertaken by GE during the 1950s. On the collective bargaining front, the Carey era witnessed the refinement of the IUE Conference Board as the democratic mechanism for building a consensus with regard to collective bargaining objectives and establishing pattern bargaining within the electrical and electronics industries. From 1950-1956 IUE members received steadily advancing wages (amounting to 83 cents-an-hour at GE and 90 cent-an-hour at Westinghouse); pension, insurance, health and welfare programs, paid vacations and holidays; and improvements in union security, grievance and unemployment provisions. These gains were hard fought and required periodic strike action against the major electrical chains. From October 1955 to March 1956, Carey led the IUE in a 156 day strike against Westinghouse in order to turn back arbitrary wage cuts, job downgrading, and a shop speed-up. In spite of Westinghouse efforts to break the national strike and crush the union, the IUE held firm and weathered its most severe challenge to date. Widespread unemployment stemming from periodic economic recessions, automation, runaway shops and the shift of production overseas, created inordinate pressures on the IUE bargaining agenda during the late 1950s. Addressing the issue of employment security, Carey aggressively pushed for the adoption of supplementary unemployment benefits, retraining programs and a guaranteed annual wage as safety net for IUE members. These proposals alerted management to the seriousness of the unemployment issue and exemplified the union's effort to adapt in an economic environment conductive to concession bargaining. Carey and the IUE pioneered a prototype of the current "corporate campaign," a strategy involving the union's direct appeal to company stockholders in order to exert pressure on management to resolve outstanding bargaining issues. Carey's appearances before annual GE stockholders meetings publicized the union's position on negotiations and informed shareholders of misconceptions stemming from the corporation's anti-union campaign. Carey's input on collective bargaining strategy and handling of major negotiations with the major electrical chains came under scrutiny by delegates and the chairmen representing the various IUE Conference Boards and Councils. His penchant for grandstanding and off-the cuff remarks during the course of labor negotiations contributed to an increasingly hostile industrial relations environment and in some instances brought the IUE adverse publicity. His alleged mishandling of the 1960 GE negotiations resulted in an abortive strike which also effectively undercut the IUE's bargaining position and strike against Westinghouse. The nature of those negotiations became a political liability which eventually undermined Carey's leadership. Carey's dual position as IUE President and CIO Secretary-Treasurer necessitated his appointment and reliance upon trusted executive assistants and department heads to oversee the daily administration of the union affairs. He delegated much authority to his executive assistants and the Secretary-Treasury and bolstered the IUE international office by recruiting talented staff from the CIO's national office, other unions, and the government sector. Appointees such as Benjamin C. Sigal (Legal Department), David Lasser (Research Department), Les Finnegan (chief executive assistant), Benjamin Segal (Education Department), Richard Bauer (Comptroller), John Flynn and Kenneth Peterson (Legislative Department), Art Riordan (Publicity Director); Joseph Swire (Director for Pension, Health and Insurance Programs) and George L-P. Weaver (assistant to the president on Civil Rights and the Committee on Political Education or COPE) exemplified the large pool of talented individuals drawn to the IUE. This reliance upon functional experts in key administrative positions freed Carey to perform other responsibilities within the CIO and the Industrial Union Department of the AFL-CIO. It was this larger arena that Carey relished, serving as a spokesman and advocate for organized labor's broader social, economic, and political agenda. Following the death of Philip Murray in 1952, Walter P. Reuther of the United Autoworkers assumed the CIO presidency. Though Carey still retained his position as CIO Secretary-Treasurer and wielded substantial influence, Reuther's rise to the top CIO post had eclipsed his own aspirations to direct the industrial union movement. Still, Carey played a decisive role on the national scene in achieving labor's grand reconciliation--the AFL and CIO merger in 1955. Behind the scenes, Carey worked diligently to resolve many of the outstanding issues which had divided the two labor organizations, and laid the groundwork for a consensus among CIO affiliates in support of the merger. He participated in pre-merger negotiations and assisted in framing the no-raiding pact which served as a prelude to the unity movement. With the merger and creation of the AFL-CIO, Carey was elevated to the post of AFL-CIO Vice President and became a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Committee and Executive Council. Within the newly established Industrial Union Department (IUD)--the administrative body for industrial union affiliate--Carey assumed the post of Secretary-Treasurer. In addition, he was appointed to several of the AFL-CIO's most prominent committees: Civil Rights (chairman from 1956-1957); Economic Policy; International Affairs; and Public Relations. Between 1955 and 1965, Carey's tumultuous relationship with AFL-CIO chief, George Meany, mirrored the uneasy and tenuous relationship exiting between the craft and industrial unionists. In spite of a no-raiding agreement (1953), jurisdictional battles erupted and the IUE became embroiled in a bitter struggle with Sheet Metal Workers Union and the AFL-CIO's Building and Construction Trades Department over representational rights to workers employed at the Belock Corporation (Long Island, NY). When arbitrators (with the backing of Meany) ruled against the IUE, Carey threatened to withdraw his union from the Federation in 1959. The IUE also faced jurisdictional and organizational competition from the International Association of Machinists, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Conflict over larger policy issues--civil rights, international affairs, labor corruption, and organization--only exacerbated Carey' personal animosity towards Meany. Unable to achieve compliance with broad-sweeping civil rights and non-discrimination initiatives among the affiliates of the Building and Construction Trades Department, Carey resigned from his post as chairman of AFL-CIO Civil Rights Committee in 1957. When the AFL-CIO leadership took steps to censure A. Philip Randolph for his controversial report condemning the Federation's lamentable record on civil rights, Carey came to his defense and orchestrated a movement within the Industrial Union Department to rebut the charges against Randolph. A clash over the direction of organized labor's foreign policy ensued when Meany (under advisement from Jay Lovestone and Irving Brown) refused to accommodate Carey's demand for increased financial support for the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) as the Federation's primary institutional mechanism for influencing international labor movements abroad. Carey and Reuther advocated increased funding and support for the Industrial Union Department's International Solidarity Fund to bolster the work of the ICFTU. Frustrated by the inability to influence labor foreign policy and by-pass the Lovestone/Brown axis, Carey resigned from the AFL-CIO International Affairs Committee in 1957. The AFL-CIO's lack of commitment, financially and staff-wise, towards launching a major organization drive further exasperated the leadership of the IUD. Carey and others desired a revival of the major regional drives reminiscent of the CIO's "Operation Dixie" in conjunction with the push for civil rights and other pressing social issues. Organizational stasis and bureaucratic ossification within the craft-dominated unions, however, precluded any bold initiatives on this front. The IUE and Carey took a strong stand against labor corruption and racketeering, achieving national attention as a result of its public condemnation of the Teamsters, Bakery Workers, Laundry Workers, and United Textile Workers Union. Carey took an active hand in drafting an IUE Ethical Practices Code to serve as a moral compass for the union's executive officers and staff. Though recognizing the need for stronger measures to curb corruption within unions, he castigated conservative legislators and corporate interests intent on inhibiting the growth of unions through the enactment of a punitive labor-reform bill. He was consistent in rejecting the influence of outsiders upon the affairs of labor and championed internal reform administered within the house of labor. To a large degree, Carey cultivated the image of the labor-statesman and relished the public limelight. In addition to attending district conventions, IUE conferences, and meetings with locals on a frequent basis, he represented the IUE, CIO, and AFL-CIO before House and Senate Committee Hearings and sundry government agencies on a wide range of issues covering: domestic communism and infiltration of labor unions; defense mobilization, production procurement and price control regulations during the Korean War; civil rights and fair employment practices; labor relations and security within the atomic industry; the increase and extension of the minimum wage and fair labor standards; fair trade; unemployment relief; labor-reform legislation (Landrum-Griffin Act); and social entitlement programs. Committed to progressive political causes and legislation, Carey mobilized the IUE's financial and political action resources in support of Democratic Party candidates and policies. Carey himself cultivated close working relationships with many prominent liberal Democratic Party politicians in the House and Senate (John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Stuart Symington, Hubert H. Humphrey, George McGovern, Wayne Morse, Jacob Javits) to secure the passage of legislation favorable to labor. The IUE president also established a distinguished record of government service--as a Roosevelt appointee to the War Labor Relations Board, and subsequent presidential advisory committee appointments (atomic energy, mutual security, government contracts compliance) under President Truman. In 1953, Vice President Richard M. Nixon chose Carey as a labor representative to the Commission on Judicial and Congressional Salaries. He was later appointed to the Committee on Civil and Political Rights/President's Commission on the Status of Women by President Kennedy. The IUE's aggressive legislative agenda transcended parochial bread and butter union matters to encompass a broad spectrum of social and economic issues vital to all working people and the disenfranchised. Carey and the IUE lobbied for increased federal and state aid to education, low-income and fair housing programs, anti-poverty measures associated with President Johnson's Great Society program, and addressed the problem of aging and social security. The struggle for civil rights and political equality dominated the focus of the union's strong social action program. Having served as a Chairman of the CIO's Committee to Abolish Discrimination and Fair Employment Practices, Carey was determined to put his organization in the vanguard of the civil rights movement. The union established a national IUE Civil Rights Committee and mandated the formation of parallel committees at the district and local levels. In conjunction with prominent civil rights organizations (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Congress On Racial Equality (CORE), and the National Urban League (NUL), the union sponsored civil rights conferences and educational workshops on race relations and human rights attended by IUE delegates. Moreover, the IUE actively fought for the passage of the Great Society's landmark civil rights legislation--the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Carey played an important role in organizing the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom (May 17, 1957), participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (1963) and accompanied Dr. King to Selma, Alabama in 1965. He activism brought him in close contact with many prominent leaders of the civil rights movement: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Roy Wilkins, Thurgood Marshall, Herbert Hill, A. Philip Randolph, and Adam Clayton Powell. As president of the IUE and a national figure representing organized labor, Carey served as a member of many leading progressive organizations devoted to education, politics, civic and philanthropic activities, and other progressive causes. His friendship and working relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt secured his place on the directing boards and executive committees of such organizations as: Americans For Democratic Action; Labor Advisory Committee/National Democratic Committee; Trustee/Howard University; Trustee/Harry S. Truman Library; National Planning Association; League For Industrial Democracy; American Arbitration Association; American Labor Education Service; Boys Clubs of America; and the Labor Advisory Committee on Labor/U.S. Department of Labor, among many others. Carey was by far the most cosmopolitan of successive IUE executive officers. Prior to the establishment of the IUE, he had led the CIO to jettison the communist-dominated World Federation of Trade Unions and participate in the founding of the ICFTU--the international labor organization representing affiliated free trade unions throughout the world. A proponent of the extension of democratic free unionism abroad, Carey headed IUE delegations to meetings of the International Metalworkers' Federation, and was appointed by George Meany and Walter Reuther to represent the AFL-CIO at conferences and meetings of the ICFTU and the International Labor organization. Collectively, these organizations served as a bulwark against communist infiltration of trade unions and provided an institutional arrangement for coordinating national efforts toward securing human rights, better labor and living standards, collective bargaining rights, and democratic unionism on a global scale. The IUE gave financial and organizational support to regional organizations such as the Organization For Inter-American Trade Unions (ORIT) to facilitate labor education programs and trade unionism in Latin America and the Caribbean basin. Carey cultivated ties with foreign electrical union federations such as Denki Roren (The Japanese Federation of Electrical and Machine Workers) and the British Electrical Trades Union Council. He also attended international labor summits and hosted foreign labor delegations visiting the United States. Between 1960 to 1965 Carey's frequent clashes with department heads and staff (chiefly Secretary-Treasurer Albin Hartnett) divided the IUE Executive Board and eventually undermined his leadership. Citing Hartnett's insubordination and attempts at fostering an opposition movement within the IUE, the president responded by arbitrarily dismissing or reassigning Hartnett loyalists. Finally, he initiated a successful recall movement to remove Hartnett from office in 1963. This pyrrhic victory, however, only solidified opposition to Carey which had been growing steadily within several of the larger IUE districts, including District #3 (consisting of New York and New Jersey). Carey's intransigent behavior and petty nature had eroded much of his support within the inner council and foreshadowed the election debacle of 1964. By 1964, the groundswell of opposition to Carey at the district and local level produced the first contested IUE presidential election in the union's history. The locus of opposition to Carey was centered within IUE District #3, which included the populous IUE locals in metropolitan New York and Northern New Jersey. Paul Jennings, District #3 Executive Secretary, emerged as a strong challenger with the support of the district's officers. At the 1964 IUE convention Jennings' forces successfully withstood efforts by pro-Carey delegates to prevent his nomination. The ensuing campaign and handling of the mail referendum election marked the nadir of internal IUE politics and the end of the Carey era. Both sides issued a stream of negative campaign literature and accused the other camp of misappropriating funds for political ends. Carey noted that the Jennings' campaign staff had solicited local union funds to finance his campaign--a violation of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. The Jennings' camp countered with allegations that Carey's supporters had used IUE staff resources to aid his re-election campaign. The most damaging election indictment, however, involved the IUE mail referendum and balloting process. Following the preliminary declaration of Carey as the victor, the Jennings camp demanded a recount based upon charges of an inaccurate mailing list, ballot tampering, and a miscount by pro-Carey members of the IUE Board of Trustees. Rebuffed by the lower courts in a bid to set aside the election results, Jennings initiated a lawsuit against Carey and the Board of Trustees. With this action, the Jennings' camp pressed for the establishment of an impartial body to investigate the election and conduct a ballot recount. Both sides entered into litigation over access to the ballots which were impounded until the U.S. Department of Labor could adjudicate the election dispute. In March 1965 the Labor-Management and Welfare Pension Reports Division of the Labor Department undertook a month-long investigation of IUE election procedure irregularities. Its interim report, issued in April 1965, substantiated many of the charges made by Jennings' supporters-- the most serious being the trustees' miscounting of ballots. The Labor Department's recount declared Jennings the actual winner by a plurality of 20,000 votes. Though the government's investigations uncovered evidence of both candidates using union funds directly and indirectly for election purposes, it remained inconclusive whether either side had gained a decisive advantage. On April 5, 1965 Carey submitted his resignation to the IUE Executive Board, effectively bringing his stewardship of the IUE to an end. The board passed a resolution praising Carey's distinguished service to the union and voted to pay the former executive an annual pension. Following his removal from office, Carey gained nominal employment as a labor representative to the United Nations Association. In 1972, he resigned from that post and retired to his residence in Silver Spring Shore, Maryland. On September 11, 1973, Carey died from a heart attack at the age of 62. His death closed a significant chapter in the IUE's formative era.

Inventory of the Records of the President's Office of the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers MC 690
Edited Full Draft
James P. Quigel
Language of description note