Skip to main content

Communications Workers of America District 4 Records

 Collection
Identifier: LR000824
The CWA District 4 Collection consists primarily of correspondence, reports, minutes, negotiations, convention and legislative lobbying material, grievances, publications, and other records related to the operations of Michigan Bell Telephone Company and the organizing and servicing of Michigan Bell employees.

Important subjects in the collection: Affirmative action programs--Michigan AFL-CIO.--Committee on Political Education Collective bargaining--Telecommunication--Michigan Collective bargaining--Telecommunication--Ohio Employee fringe benefits--Michigan Grievance arbitration--Michigan Labor and laboring classes--Education--Michigan Michigan Bell Telephone Company (MBT) National Federation of Telephone Workers (NFTW) Ohio Bell Telephone Company (OBT) Strikes and lockouts--Telephone--Michigan Telephone--Employees--Michigan Telephone--Employees--Ohio Telephone--Law and legislation Telephone operators--Michigan Telephone strike, 1947 Trade-unions--Organizing--Michigan Trade-unions--Telephone workers--Michigan Trade-unions--Telephone workers--Ohio United States.--National Labor Relations Board United States.--National War Labor Board (1942-1945) United Way of Michigan Veterans--Michigan Wages--Telephone workers--Michigan Women in trade-unions--Michigan Women’s rights

Important correspondents in the collection: Eloise Basto Joseph Beirne Daniel Carr Glen Hanson Patsy Fryman Lloyd LaChapelle Walter Schaar Herman Shelton

Series Description: Series I, Administrative Files, 1937-1979 Series II, Pat Fryman Files, 1934-1979 Series III, Bargaining and Grievance Files, 1940-1979 Series IV, Local Files, 1946-1979 Series V, Legal Documents, 1943-1973

Dates

  • 1934 - 1979
  • Majority of material found within 1955 - 1975

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

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

99 Linear Feet (99 SB)

Abstract

The CWA grew out of the ineffectual National Federation of Telephone Workers in 1947 to provide a centralized framework for the new regional labor organizations that had sprouted in the communications industry after passage of the Wagner Act. District 4 represents the Michigan and Ohio collective bargaining areas. Its records relate primarily to the operations of Michigan Bell Telephone Company and the organizing and servicing of Michigan Bell employees.

History

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) held its first convention in 1947. An outgrowth of the ineffectual National Federation of Telephone Workers (NFTW), formed in 1938 to provide a centralized framework for the new regional labor organizations that had sprouted in the communications industry after passage of the Wagner Act, it provided a counterbalance to the powerful communications companies, especially the Bell System.

District 4 of the CWA is divided into two collective bargaining areas: Michigan and Ohio. In 1947, Walter Schaar, who had been president of the Michigan Plant Union, an NFTW affiliate, became director (later vice president) of District 4. Serving under him as Michigan director was Herman Shelton. Most of the correspondence in this collection is between Shelton and Schaar and Shelton and District 4’s Michigan international representatives, some of whom, like Patsy Fryman and Eloise Basto, were active in the women’s and civil rights movements as well as on behalf of organized labor.

Arrangement

Arranged in 5 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-32, 95-97), Series 2 (Boxes 33-51), Series 3 (Boxes 52-85, 98-99), Series 4 (Boxes 86-91), and Series 5 (Boxes 92-94).

Transfers

A number of photographs, posters, audio tapes and film reels were transferred to the Archives Audiovisual Collection, and some local constitutions, by-laws, contracts and convention material have been placed in the Archives Library.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Title
Guide to the Communications Workers of America District 4 Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
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