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UAW Local 5 Records

Identifier: LR000277

Scope and Content

Local 5 records reflect their operation and programs through the demise of Studebaker in 1965.

The largest section of records come from the financial secretary's office. These records as well as many of the rest were kept by Neil Moorlag. He was financial secretary from 1950 to June, 1961. Moorlag served in various other capacities such as recording secretary and member of the Constitution and By-Laws Committee. Many of the records are dated in his handwriting including those of the executive board.

The records, however, are very incomplete. Except for a copy of the 1937 Working Agreement, there are no records until 1944. The records remain few until the early 1950's.

Important correspondents of Local 5 and Studebaker-Packard: Neil Moorlag, Woodrow Frick, Lester J. Fox, Louis G. Nagy, William Ogden, James D. Hill, Edward Wrobel, Cleo Campbell, Louis Horvath, Arnold A. Much, T. Forrest Hanna, H. D. Beutlich, Peter S. Barno, W. C. Barry, W. P. Wray, C. M. MacMillan, James Nance, G. T. Gallagher, Harold E. Churchill.

Series Description: Series 1: General Records, Series 2: Offices and Committees, Series 3: Conractual Agreements and Grievances, Series 4: Insurance Programs


  • 1937 - 1965
  • Majority of material found within 1950 - 1965


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.


The local union of Studebaker Corporation, South Bend, Indiana was established In 1933 as Local #18310 of the AFL. It was established In opposition to depression conditions. In 1935 at the first convention of the National Council of Auto Delegates, the AFL gave permission for the auto locals to organized an International within the AFL. The auto locals were then remembered, and Local #18310 of the AFL became Local #5 of the United Auto Workers.

Local #5 was the largest auto local in the early struggle to establish auto unions, and one of the earliest to organize. In 1937, Local #5 became the first auto local to obtain a union negotiated wage structure and a 100% membership all in the same year.

When the AFL dismissed industrial unions from its membership in 1937# Local #5 joined with other industrial unions to form the Congress of Industrial Organizations. Local #5 remained one of the leading locals In UAW history down through the 1950's, often being the first to establish new programs for the benefit of their members. These programs included Educational programs, insurance and pension plans. Relations with Studebaker remained extremely good until the latter 1950's. Until that time Local #5 had never struck the corporation and Studebaker paid wages above those paid to Detroit locals.

In 1954 Studebaker merged with Packard. In 1964 Studebaker quit manufacturing in the United States. In 1965 the Studebaker-Packard Pension Fund was liquidated.


14.5 Linear Feet (29 MB)


United Auto Workers Local 5 began in 1933 as an American Federation of Labor local at Studebaker in South Bend, Indiana, established in opposition to depression conditions. By the time it became affiliated with the UAW in 1935 it was the largest auto local in the early struggle to establish auto unions and one of the earliest to organize. They joined with other industrial unions to form the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1937 and remained one of the leading locals in UAW history through the 1950s.


Arranged in 4 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-3), Series 2 (Boxes 4-17), Series 3 (Boxes 18-24), and Series 4 (Boxes 25-29).

Folders are generally arranged by record type and then chronologically.


The records were deposited with the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in Feburary 1968 by Local 5.

Related Materials

Refer to UAW locals collections.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in July 1968.
Guide to the UAW Local 5 Records
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA