Skip to main content

James B. Carey Papers

Identifier: LP001474

Scope and Content

The papers of Mr. Carey focus on a few incidents in his professional life and shed little light on his personal affairs. A much more comprehensive collection of papers relating to Mr. Carey's long career in the labor movement can be found in the CIO Secretary-Treasurer's Office Collection.

Important subjects covered in the collection are: International Labor Movement, Labor in the Electrical Industry, IUE Factionalism, Philip Murray, IUE 1964 Presidential Election, IUE Organizing, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE).

Among the important correspondents are: Lou Harris, George Meany, Al Hartnett, Westbrook Pegler, Paul Jennings, Stuart Symington, Joseph Lash, Milton Weihrauch.

Series Description: Series I, Personal Files, 1936-1973: Correspondence and other material relating to family and personal matters and his professional life.

Series II: AFL-CIO, 1937-1971: Correspondence, clippings, and other records from Mr. Carey's tenure as sectretary-treasurer of the CIO, and later, the AFl-CIO's Industrial Union Department.

Series III, International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers, 1949-1972: Correspondence, clippings, legal documents and other material concerning IUE affairs.

Series IV, United Nations Association, 1965-1972: Correspondence and reports dealing with labor's support of the work of the United Nations.


  • 1936 - 1973


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. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


James Barron Carey was born in Philadelphia in 1911 and got his first taste of the labor movement in the early thirties while organizing workers at the Philco plant where he worked to put himself through night school at the Drexel Institute. He was elected secretary-treasurer of the CIO in 1938 and formed a close relationship with presidents John L. Lewis and Philip Murray. During World War II he worked for the Office of Production Management in Washington and attended the postwar European conferences that resulted in the organization of the World Federation of Trade Unions. A staunch anti-Communist, Mr. Carey assumed the presidency of the newly chartered International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (IUE) in 1949 after the allegedly Communist-controlled UE, which he had helped organize in 1935, was expelled from the CIO. He was appointed secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO's Industrial Union Department after the merger of the two organizations in 1955. Defeated by Paul Jennings after a court-ordered ballot recount in 1965, he resigned from the IUE presidency and later joined the United Nations Association as its labor liaison officer. He died in 1973.


7.5 Linear Feet (15 MB)


James Carey served as secretary-treasurer of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) and worked for the Office of Production Management in Washington D.C. during World War II. Mr. Carey also served as president of the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (IUE) and as the labor liaison officer to the United Nations Association. The papers of Mr. Carey reflect his interest in international labor issues and document his work for the AFL-CIO, the IUE, and the UN.


Arranged in 4 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-3), Series 2 (Boxes 3-9), Series 3 (Boxes 9-15), and Series 4 (Box 15). Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject or type of material.


The papers of James B. Carey were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs by his brother, John R. Carey, in June of 1988.


Several photographs and items of memorabilia have been placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collection. A number of books and pamphlets on labor-related topics received with this collection are available in the Archives Library.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in September 1993.
Guide to the James B. Carey Papers
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