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Robert "Buddy" Battle III and Marion Battle Papers

 Collection
Identifier: LP001801
The Robert "Buddy" Battle III and Marion Battle Collection consists of correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, flyers, grievances, publications, press coverage and other material related to their careers in the labor movement and Detroit politics.

Important subjects in the collection: African American automobile industry workers African American labor leaders Negro American Labor Council Office Employees International Union Local 42 Trade Union Leadership Council UAW Local 600

Important correspondents in the collection: Horace Sheffield

Series Description: Series 1: Robert "Buddy" Battle Files Series 2: Marion Battle Files

Dates

  • 1948 - 1993

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

RESEARCHERS USING THIS COLLECTION MUST SIGN A RESTRICTED USE FORM. NO NAMES APPEARING IN THE DETROIT POLICE RED SQUAD FILES, OTHER THAN THOSE OF ROBERT "BUDDY" BATTLE III OR MARION BATTLE, MAY BE CITED WITHOUT THE WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE INDIVIDUAL NAMED. NO UNPUBLISHED MATERIAL IN RESTRICTED FILES MAY BE COPIED.

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

Extent

2 Linear Feet (2 SB)

Abstract

Buddy Battle was elected to a number of positions in UAW Local 600, culminating in his election as director of Region 1A. He helped set up the union's Foundry Wage and Hour Council in 1946. He served on the UAW Ford national negotiating committee in 1967, 1970 and 1973. Battle, with Horace Sheffield and others, formed the Trade Union Leadership Council, which became the nucleus of the national Negro American Labor Council. He was also active in politics and helped to elect Detroit's first black City Council member, William Patrick, and its first black mayor, Coleman Young.

Marion McClellan Battle was the former wife of Coleman Young. An employee of the Rouge Employees Federal Credit Union, she served for many years as secretary-treasurer of Office Employees International Union Local 42.

The Robert "Buddy" Battle III and Marion Battle Collection consists of correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, flyers, grievances, publications, press coverage and other material related to their careers in the labor movement and Detroit politics.

History

Robert "Buddy" Battle III was born June 4, 1917 in Detroit, the son of a cleanup crew supervisor for railroad cars. He went to work as a sand-slinger in the Ford Rouge plant foundry in 1936 and quickly became a union organizer for the UAW. Beginning in the early 1940's he was elected to a number of positions in UAW Local 600, including district and bargaining committeeman, chairman of the special foundry unit and local vice president, culminating in his election as director of Region 1A in 1976. Recognizing the inhuman conditions of foundry labor, he helped set up the union's Foundry Wage and Hour Council in 1946, which fought for and won paid sick leave and 25-and-out for foundry workers. A skilled and aggressive negotiator at the bargaining table, he served on the UAW Ford national negotiating committee in 1967, 1970 and 1973.

Battle worked to increase African American leadership in the UAW and, with Horace Sheffield and others, formed the Trade Union Leadership Council in the late 1940's, which became the nucleus of the national Negro American Labor Council. As TULC president, he oversaw the organization's pre-apprenticeship training program designed to get blacks and other minorities into the skilled trades. Buddy Battle was also active in Democratic Party politics as UAW CAP chairman in the 1st and 13th congressional districts of Detroit and, later, chairman of the 1st congressional district and played a prominent role in the campaigns to elect Detroit's first black City Council member, William Patrick, and its first black mayor, Coleman Young. After he retired from the UAW in 1983, he served as executive assistant to Young. He died on August 4, 1989.

Marion McClellan Battle, the former wife of Coleman Young, married Buddy Battle in 1956. An employee of the Rouge Employees Federal Credit Union, she served for many years as secretary-treasurer of Office Employees International Union Local 42.

Arrangement

Arranged in 2 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-2), and Series 2 (Box 2). Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Acquisition

The papers of Robert "Buddy" Battle III and Marion Battle were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in January of 2003.

Related Materials

Blacks in the Labor Movement oral histories; UAW Foundry and Forge Department Records; UAW Local 600 Records

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in November 2004.
Title
Guide to the Robert "Buddy" Battle III and Marion Battle Papers
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Date
2004-11
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA