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Detroit Labor History Tours Oral Histories

 Collection
Identifier: LOH001612
Collection consists of audio recordings of 25 interviews. The Flora Walker interview includes a transcript as well. Interviewees discuss their union affiliation and activities, working life, cultural backgrounds, and key moments in Detroit's labor and overall history. Women and African American interviewees in particular also address issues of sex and race. Some interviews span multiple tapes, and some participants were interviewed in groups.
The following participants were interviewed: Madeline Astle ; Jack Auringer, Charles Jay, and Louis Koren (interviewed together); Robert "Buddy" Battle III (UAW); Ted Creason (UAW); Alton “Al” Fouche (APWU); Max Gazan; Martin Haggerty, George Schelp, Charles Henry, and Larry Lawrence (Teamsters, interviewed together); Charles Hewgley (Teamsters, Brewers, Briggs); Mackie Johnson; Theodore Kapuscinski (Detroit Police); Bob King (UAW); Floyd Loew; Hodges Mason (UAW); George Merrelli (UAW); Jeannette Oska and Helen Piwkowska (Cigar Workers, interviewed together; includes 1937 strike); Laura Paige (UAW); Audrey Parman, Susan Susselman, and Judy Scott (UAW, interviewed together); Mary Ellen Riordan (DFT); Horace Sheffield (UAW, TULC); Thomas “Tom” Turner (Metro Detroit AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers); Flora “Flo” Walker; David Watroba (DPOA); Charles Westphal; Gloria Williams (Michigan League of Health Care Workers Local 1199-M); and Ernie Zipser (Teamsters Local 285).

Primary interviewers were Ron Alpern, Steve Babson, Jane Dobija, Dave Elsila, and John Revitte, with additional interviews by Bill Bryce, Peter Friedlander, Jim Jacobs, and Dave Riddle.

Dates

  • 1980-02-09 - 1991-07-01
  • Majority of material found within 1980-07-01 - 1983-04-30

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.

RESTRICTIONS: Due to the personal nature of oral history, the Library prohibits use of the material in any way that infringes on individual right to privacy, or results in libelous statements or slander, in accordance with U.S. law.

For the following interviews, permission to publish or quote must be obtained from the interviewee or interviewee heirs or assigns: Jack Auringer, Charles Jay, Louis Koren (interviewed together); George Schelp, Charles Henry, Larry Lawrence (interviewed together); and Helen Piwkowska.

Extent

1.25 Linear Feet ((1 MB, 1 OS). ) : Consists of 1 printed transcript and 34 audiocassettes.

.307 Megabytes ((1 file). ) : Consists of 1 PDF.

Abstract

Detroit Labor History Tours was formed circa 1979-1980 as a non-profit endeavor organized by the Michigan chapter of Workers Education Local 189, with founding and early members Ron Alpern, Steve Babson, Dave Elsila, and John Revitte. In addition to their bus tours of Detroit focused on the city's labor history, the organization completed several educational projects and publications. Between 1981 and 1984, Detroit Labor History Tours staff and volunteers conducted an oral history project to document the experiences of individuals important to Detroit's labor and working-class history. Babson drew heavily on these interviews for his 1984 book, Working Detroit: the Making of a Union Town. A later interview was added in 1991. Collection consists of audio recordings of 25 interviews. The Flora Walker interview includes a transcript as well. Interviewees discuss their union affiliation and activities, working life, cultural backgrounds, and key moments in Detroit's labor and overall history. Women and African American interviewees in particular also address issues of sex and race. Some interviews span multiple tapes, and some participants were interviewed in groups.

History

Detroit Labor History Tours was formed circa 1979-1980 as a non-profit endeavor organized by the Michigan chapter of Workers Education Local 189, with founding and early members Ron Alpern, Steve Babson, Dave Elsila, and John Revitte. In addition to their bus tours of Detroit focused on the city's labor history, the organization completed several educational projects and publications. Between 1981 and 1984, Detroit Labor History Tours staff and volunteers conducted an oral history project to document the experiences of individuals important to Detroit's labor and working-class history. Babson drew heavily on these interviews for his 1984 book, Working Detroit: the Making of a Union Town. A later interview was added in 1991.

Arrangement

Materials are arranged in original AV numbering system order.

Custodial History

Alternate names for the collection, project, and the organization itself have included "Detroit Labor History Tour," "Detroit Labor History Tour Project," "Detroit Labor History Tours Project," and "DLHT."

Acquisition

Donated by Steve Babson in July 2004.

Other Copies

The Flora Walker interview transcript is available in digital format.

Related Materials

Detroit Labor History Tours Records

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Rebecca Bizonet on November 16, 2016. Inventory created on April 03, 2019 by Ciera Casteel.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Detroit Labor History Tours Oral Histories
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Rebecca Bizonet.
Date
2016-11-16
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Sponsor
Description made possible by funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Revision Statements

  • 2019-04-03: Inventory added by Ciera Casteel.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA