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UAW Bendix Department Records

Identifier: LR000849

Scope and Content

The papers of the Bendix Department document the operations and evolvement of a department within the United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers, International Union, as well, as the operation of several different Bendix locals including Locals 9, 104, 153, 179, and 604. The papers also reflect in part the personalities of the department's directors and assistant directors and a number of the officers of Bendix locals.

Important correspondents: Dugald Black, Ed Carey, Philip J. Carroll, John Cebrat, Paul R. Christopher, Gilbert Cole, Stanley Cook, Gabriel DaAngelis, Sigmund Diamond, Marvin A. Heidt, Ralph Hershberger, Irving J. Levy, John D. Longwell, Robert J. Mahoney, Emil Mazey, Bill McKim, William A. Ryan, Harry Shulman, Ralph Stolley, Maurice Sugar, D. E. Tolhurst

Series 1: George Addes - Office Files, 1945-1947 Correspondence, negotiation material of George Addes, and papers concerning hearings before the National War Labor Board. Some organizing material is included.

Series 2: William Lawson - Office Files, 1942-1956 The office files of William Lawson, assistant director of the Bendix Department, includes the extensive correspondence of Lawson and copies of the correspondence of Martin Gerber, director of the Bendix Department. Also included are drafts of master and local supplementary agreements, employee age and seniority charts, as well as material of a more general concern within the UAW.

Series 3: Norman R. Matthews - Office Files, 1957-1959 General mailing, duplicated material sent out to the various Bendix locals and officers during the period Norman R. Matthews served as director of the Bendix Department.

Series 4: Ken Bannon - Office Files, 1962-1969, General mailing including informative reports, statements and minutes of meetings which were sent out to all Bendix locals in duplicate form. Ken Bannon served as Bendix Department director.

Oversize Materials: Items removed from Series 1 and 2


  • 1942 - 1969


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.


Workers of the Bendix Aviation Corporation- specifically those of Federal Labor Union No. 18347, AFL, later to become UAW-CIO Local No. 9 of South Bend, Indiana - were involved in the organization and the development of what was to become the United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers from its early beginnings in 1934. With the growing strength of the new union behind them, laborers of the existing Bendix locals tried to improve their bargaining position by organizing workers in existing Bendix plants, as well as in new and acquired factories of the expanding, diversified corporation.

These early efforts of organizing were carried out under the Aircraft Department of the UAW-CIO directed by Richard Frankensteen. Since this did not seem to be entirely adequate to deal with the international corporation, the leaders of the Bendix locals began cooperating more closely. This resulted in the formation of the Bendix Council. The Council was formally recognized through Resolution Number 98, adopted by the Seventh Convention of the UAW-CIO in 1942. By 1943, Bendix was listed as one of the departments of the UAW-CIO in the report of the Secretary-Treasurer.

George Addes, Secretary-Treasurer of the International Esecutive Board, UAW-CIO, also served as director of the Bendix Department until 1947. Under the direction of Addes, the first national contract was negotiated which brought all the Bendix locals under one master agreement. A major organizing drive was also carried out in the Bendix Eclipse-Pioneer Division of Teterboro, New Jersey.

Following Addes, the director of UAW Region 9, Martin Gerber, was appointed to be Bendix Department director also. The position of assistant director for the department went to William Lawson, formerly an international representative. Gerber and Lawson held their positions from 1948 to circa 1956. The papers of this period are from Lawson's files as assistant director. Organizing was again stressed in such Bendix divisions as Marshall-Eclipse of Troy, New York, Hamilton of Hamilton, Ohio and in Kansas City. A major strike was carried out in South Bend, Indiana by Local Number 9 from April to June 1949 over issues of wages and alleged company speed-up plans. Significant agreements were reached through contract negotiations, including one of the first union shop agreements in the automotive or aircraft industries in 1951. Agreements were also made for the initiation of employee pension and health insurance plans. There are only scattered miscellanious papers from 1952 to July 1957, leaving a gap in the documentation of the Bendix Department for those years.

International vice-president, Norman R. Matthews served as director of the Bendix Department from circa 1957 to 1961; assistant director was Ted McManus. Continual improvements of employee pension and insurance plans were pushed by the department. Pension and Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) Boards of Administration, comprising of Bendix labor leaders and corporation executives were set up to provide for negotiations and interaction on a continual basis. Union recognition was established in a number of Bendix divisions and subsidaries and decertification procedures were carried out with the sale of the Bendix Computer Division, Los Angeles, California. Papers to doxument Bendix Department activities is lacking for the years 1960-1961.

Change in the leadership of the Bendix Department took place once again circa 1962, when Ken Bannon became director and John Mando, the assistant director. The work initiated through the cooperation of Bendix locals twenty years previously, resulting in the formation of the Bendix Department, was continued through the 1960's. Contract negotiations and organizing were stressed and pursued throughout North America. Further improvements were effected in the pension and insurance plans for employees. Pension and Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) Boards of Administrations continued to meet once every month to act on applications and appeals.


4 Linear Feet (8 MB, 4 OS folders)


Subjects include: Bendix negotiations; Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plan (SUB)


Arranged in 4 series – Series 1 (Box 1), Series 2 (Boxes 1-2, 4-5), Series 3 (Boxes 5-6), and Series 4 (Boxes 7-8). Folders are arranged alphabetically and chronologically.


The papers of the UAW Bendix Department were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in October 1977.

Related Materials

UAW collections


Three photographs related to UAW Local Number 153 of Teterboro, New Jersey of organizing meetings, and a UAW-CIO convention pin have been placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collections.

Several local and international union publications, and a number of published master and supplemental agreements have been placed in the Archives Library.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the UAW Bendix Department Records
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