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Francis J. Dillon Papers

Identifier: LP000437

Scope and Content

Important subjects are: AFL and CIO organizing in the automobile, aluminum, distillery, rubber, and other industries Automobile Labor Board Collective bargaining with General Motors, 1935 Communists in unions Dillon/Martin/Hall controversy Investigations of the Auto Industry Labor Advisory Board Labor Legislation Strikes in the Automobile Industry, 1934-1936 Thirty-hour week---Proposal, 1935 Union Dues and Finances Wagner Act

Among the correspondents are: Collins, William Green, William Hall, Ed Kleinert, Otto Manning, Michael Martin, Homer Roosevelt, Franklin D. Wagner, Robert Woods, Forrest

Series Description: Series 1: Correspondence and Official Communications of the United Automobile Workers of America and UAW Federal Labor unions, AFL (1934-1936); minutes and proceedings of the National Council of the United Automobile Workers Federal Labor Unions (1934-1935); press releases; newsletters; clippings; and UAW resolutions. The materials, covering the period 1934 to 1943, relate primarily to AFL organizing in the automobile industry and to the formation of the UAW.

Series 2: Scrapbooks Newspaper clippings, 1934-1941. Included are clippings about the Fisher Body strike (1934), Chevrolet Motor Ohio Co. strike (1935), Hupp Motor Car strike (1935), Dillon's appointment as President of the UAW, AFL and CIO organizing disputes, Georgia Federation of Labor, UAW internal disputes, Alcoa strike in Tennessee (1937), and AFL organizing in West Virginia.


  • 1934 - 1943


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.


Francis J. Dillon was born in Ohio on January 1, 1887. After serving his apprenticeship as a pattern maker, he worked at several pattern shops in Springfield, Ohio and Indianapolis. From 1914 to 1934, Mr. Dillon served the Pattern Makers League (formerly the Patternmakers Association) as business agent in Indianapolis and Cleveland, and as a member of the General Executive Board. In February, 1934 he was assigned as an AFL organizer in the automobile industry, first in Flint and later in Detroit, where he was General Organizer in charge of the Detroit office of the AFL. From 1935 to 1936 Mr. Dillon was the first President of the United Automobile Workers of America, appointed to the post by AFL President William Green. During the period 1936-1941, he served as National Representative and organizer for the AFL, working in various areas of the country including Toledo, Newark, Georgia, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Louisville. In 1941, Mr. Dillon resigned from the AFL to accept a position as Counselor of Industrial Relations with Seagrams Distillers in Louisville.


5 Linear Feet (2 MB, 6 scrapbooks)


This collection consists of correspondence and official communications of the United Automobile Workers of America and AFL Federal Labor Unions in the auto industry (1934-36); minutes and proceedings of the National Council of the Federal Labor Unions (1934-35); press releases (1934-41); newsletters (1934); and six scrapbooks of newspaper clippings and memorabilia (1934-43). The materials were collected by Mr. Dillon, who was assigned in 1933 as an AFL organizer in the automobile industry in the Detroit, Flint, and Pontiac, Michigan, area. From 1935 to 1936, he served as the first president of the United Automobile Workers of America, appointed to the post by AFL President William Green. Subjects include AFL and CIO organizing and jurisdictional disputes; Automobile Labor Board; communism within unions; company unions; labor legislation; origins of the UAW; and UAW internal conflicts. Major correspondents are William Collins, William Green, Ed Hall, Otto Kleinert, Michael Manning, Homer Martin, John Pickering, Fred Pieper, Thomas Ramsay, Herbert Richardson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Robert F. Wagner, and Forrest Woods.


Arranged in 2 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-2), Series 2 (Scrapbooks 1-6). Folders are arranged alphabetically and scrapbooks are arranged chronologically.

Other Access Aids

Finding aid also available as a pdf file.


The papers of Francis J. Dillon were deposited with the Labor History Archives in January, 1971 by Mr. Dillon.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by BF in 1971.
Guide to the Francis J. Dillon Papers
Processed by BF.
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