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UAW Local 3 Records

Identifier: LR000767

Scope and Content

The records of UAW Local 3 consist of executive board and regular business meeting minutes, materials relating to the day-to-day operations of the President's, Recording Secretary's, and Education Committee's Offices, union education programs, DRUM, and a rather extensive collection of grievance files.

Important subjects in the collection: Afro-American automobile industry workers--Michigan Alien labor--Michigan Chrysler Corporation Chrysler Dodge Main Plant (Hamtramck, Mich.) Chrysler Strike, 1950 Collective bargaining--Automobile industry--Michigan Detroit (Mich.)--Politics and government Discrimination in employment--Michigan Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM) Grievance arbitration--United States Hamtramck (Mich.)--Politics and government Michigan CIO Council Trade unions--Elections Trade unions and education--Michigan UAW Local 3 Flying Squadron Wayne County CIO Council Women automobile industry workers

Series Description: Series 1: President's Office Files, 1950-1975 Series 2: Recording-Secretary's Office Files, 1950-1975 Series 3: Education Committee Files, 1937-1957 Series 4: Executive Board, 1936-1975 Series 5: Grievance Files, 1950-1975


  • 1936 - 1975


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.


UAW Local 3 was the bargaining unit for workers at the Dodge Main Plant in Hamtramck, Michigan from 1935 to January 1980, when the Hamtramck Assembly was demolished. Its 26,000 members made it the largest single plant local in the country in 1937. The roots of UAW Local 3 lie in the company union Works Councils and AFL Federal Labor Union #18277, both of which functioned in the plant from 1933 to 1935. In 1935, FLU #18277 became the AFL-United Automobile Workers Union (UAW) and the ineffective company-sponsored Works Council was transformed into the independent Automotive Industrial Workers' Association (AIWA) by early UAW leaders and Dodge Main workers Richard Frankensteen, John Zaremba, and C. Pat Quinn, with the support of Royal Oak radio priest, Father Charles Coughlin. After the infant UAW affiliated with the emerging Committee of Industrial Organizations at the second UAW Convention in 1936, the AIWA merged with the UAW-CIO making it the sole bargaining unit at the massive Dodge Main facility.

Local 3 was involved in many important activities in the UAW. It served as the initial base of support for UAW vice-president Richard Frankensteen in the early intra-union factionalism of the UAW. During the UAW's formative years, Local 3 was famous in the Detroit area for its active flying squadron unit. It was also the birthplace of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM). DRUM was organized by dissident African American unionists and spread to other auto plants during its peak in the late 1960s and early 1970s.


104 Linear Feet (104 SB)


Subjects include: Hamtramck Dodge Main plant; DRUM; UAW elections; education


Arranged into 5 series. Series 1 (Boxes 1-23), Series 2 (Boxes 24-23), Series 3 (Boxes 35-38), Series 4 (Boxes 39-42), and Series 5 (Boxes 43-104). Folders are arranged alphabetically and chronologically therein.


The records of UAW Local 3 were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in several shipments beginning in 1976 and ending in 1980.

Related Materials

Richard Frankensteen Papers, John Zaremba Papers, Richard Frankensteen Oral History


A few photographs and items of memorabilia received with the collection have been transferred to the Archives Audiovisual Department.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by J. Turrini on December 23, 1993.
Guide to the UAW Local 3 Records
Processed by Joe Turrini.
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