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M.A. Williams Papers

Identifier: LP000435

Scope and Content

Series 1: CIO Organizing Campaign in California, 1937-1940 Correspondence and other materials relating to CIO organizing campaigns in California among unions other than the UAW.

Series 2: UAW Departments, 1937-1947 Correspondence, clippings, executive board minutes and other materials relating to UAW departments and the UAW international headquarters. Included in this series is material concerning the 1947 UAW election campaign.

Series 3: Region 6, 1939-1967 Subseries A: Regional Headquarters, 1939-1947 Correspondence and other materials relating to the headquarters of Region 6. Subseries B: Local Union 76, 1936-1946 Correspondence and other materials concerning the organizing activities of Mr. Williams and Frank Slaby at Ford Motor Company assembly plants in the Oakland, California area. Subseries C: Local Union 560, 1937-1946 Correspondence, minutes and other records concerning Mr. Williams' activities with Local 560 at the Ford Motor Company assembly plant in Richmond, California. Subseries D: International Representative of Region 6, 1946-1948 Correspondence, minutes and other records concerning Mr. Williams' activities as UAW Representative for Region 6. Subseries E: Local Union 560, 1949-1967 Correspondence, minutes and other materials relating to Mr. Williams' work with Local 560 between 1949 and 1967. Included in this subseries is the history of Local 560.


  • 1936 - 1967
  • Majority of material found within 1937 - 1958


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.


On December 19, 1936, Bill Williams was among the first workers at the Ford Motor Company assembly plant In Richmond, California to join AFL Federated Local 76 which represented workers In various Industries along the Pacific Coast. During 1936 and 1937, there was jursidictional rivalry between workers who wanted to remain In the AFL and those who wanted to join the CIO. In the Spring of 1937, the Richmond workers went on strike. Mr. Williams, who was the Chief Steward, and Frank Slaby, the Local 76 President, helped to organize Local 76 for the CIO. On November 18, 1937, the Ford workers In Richmond and Milpitas received their own charter as UAW Local 560. In 1941, the NLRB designated UAW Local 560 as the successor to Local 76 when finding Ford Motor Company guilty of unfair labor practices, ordering the company to collectively bargain with Local 560. Mr. Williams was elected as the first Building Chairman of Local 560 and was a member of Its negotiating committee. In 1946, Mr. Williams was appointed as International Representative for Region 6 of the UAW. He held this position until 1948 when he returned to Local 560 as Building Chairman, a post he held until about 1967.


2.25 Linear Feet (5 MB)


'Bill' Williams was a prominent figure in CIO Local 76 (later UAW Local 560), Ford Motor Co. assembly plant in Richmond, CA., helping to organize workers and serve as an officer. His papers reflect events at the plant surrounding the jurisdictional rivalry between the AFL and the CIO and eventual designation as a UAW shop.


Arranged in 3 series – Series 1 (Box 1), Series 2 (Box 1) and Series 3 (Boxes 1-5). Folders in the majority of the collection are arranged alphabetically. Exceptions include series 1 which is arranged by subject, and series 3 subseries B and E which are arranged chronologically.


The papers of M. A. "Bill" Williams were placed In the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs In December of 1970 by Mr. Williams and were opened for research In June of 1971. Additional papers were added to the processed collection In June of 1986.


Five photographs relating to Local 560 have been placed in the Archives Audio-Visual Collection. Newspapers of Local 76 and Local 560 are available in the Archives library.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in June, 1971, revised in June, 19866.
Guide to the M.A. Williams 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