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Arthur Hughes Papers

Identifier: LP000233

Scope and Content

Part I: Important subjects are: Agreements, UAW-Various Companies UAW-Chrysler Negotiations, Notes 1945-46, 1950 Local 140, Organization and History Local 140, Minutes Chrysler Strikes, 1948-1961

Among the Correspondants Are: Addes, George F. Anderson, H.W. Hughes, Arthur Livingston, John W. Matthews, Norman Plezia, Anthony J. Reuther, Walter

Series Description The Arther Hughes Collection is arranged in two series, a general file and a clippings file. The General File contains the bulk of the collection, including Mr. Hughes writings and personal papers and material connected with the UAW. Correspondence and minutes are included in this series. The clippings file is made up of newspaper clippings, chiefly from 1960-61, about pre-strike and strike activity at Chrysler.
Part II: Important subjects in the Hughes Collection include Dissident Labor Groups Guaranteed Annual Wage Insurance Pensions Pre-retirement Counseling Leadership Education Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield Supplemental Unemployment Benefits UAW Local 140

Important Correspondents include: Douglas Fraser Condor L. L. Colbert John D. Leary Norman Matthews Walter P. Reuther Herman Weckler Robert Nat Weinberg Leonard Woodcock

Series Description: Series III, Local 140 President's Files, 1937-1951 These files, compiled during Hughes' tenure as a Local 140 official, concern elections, agreements, strikes and disputes, National War Labor Board cases and hearings, and negotiations.

Series IV, UAW Chrysler Negotiations Materials, 1948-1978 This chronologically arranged series consists of background materials, notes, minutes, reports, statistics, correspondence, and various drafts of bargaining demands, proposals, and agreements between the UAW and Chrysler Corporation over thirty years.

Series V, UAW Chrysler Benefits Programs, 1941-1977 Materials including correspondence, negotiatiating materials, and agreements regarding dental, group insurance, guaranteed annual wage, health, pension, social security, and SUB plans, and UAW Chrysler benefits in general.

Series VI, Correspondence and Clippings, 1957-1962 Chronological outgoing correspondence files and clippings which were collected into binders during the years Norman Matthews served as UAW Chrysler Department Director and Hughes as his administrative assistant.

Series VII, Leadership Education Materials, 1953-1978 Files concerning the planning and implementation of conferences and educational programs for UAW Chrysler local union officials.

Series VIII, Pre-retirement Counseling Materials, 1963-1976 Files concerning the planning and implementation of pre-retirement counseling programs for Chrysler workers.

Series IX, Dissident Groups, 1966-1976 These materials, filed alphabetically by name of organization, comprise a body of information relating to dissident groups of workers in Chrysler plants over a decade.

Series X, Committees and Activities, 1952-1978 Correspondence, reports, conference materials, speeches and notes from the various activities and committees with which Hughes was involved, arranged alphabetically.

Series XI, UAW International Staff and Local 140 Materials, 1936-1978 Materials concerning internal matters of the Intern'1 Union and of Local 140 after Hughes joined the UAW International staff.

Series XII, Personal Papers, 1943-1975 A half box of personal materials including biographical information, correspondence, clippings, and programs.


  • 1936 - 1978


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.


Part I: Arthur Hughes is currently assistant director of the Chrysler department of the UAW. He began his union career by participating in the Chrysler sit-down strike of 1937. Mr. Hughes rose to become five times president of UAW Local 140, serving the Dodge Truck and the Amplex plants in Warren Michigan. In 1947, he joined the staff of the international union where he eventually rose to his present position. Mr. Hughes papers include material from his days as president of Local 140 as well as from his service on the UAW staff.
Part II: Arthur Hughes was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1915, and moved with his family to Detroit six months later. He was educated at Detroit's Western and Cass Technical High Schools. In 1933 Hughes took his first job at the Chrysler Dodge Main plant as a materials handler. A year later he was transferred to the paint department of the Dodge Truck plant where he subsequently became a paint repairman. He was active in UAW Local 140 at that plant and served in several elected positions including five terms as local union president. He participated in the 1937 sit down strikes and was instrumental in organizing the "Reuther Caucus" which was successful in electing Walter P. Reuther to the presidency of the UAW in 1946. Following the 1947 convention he was appointed assistant to UAW Region 1 director Mike Lacey and soon assumed the assistant directorship of the UAW Chrysler Department at Reuther's request. Hughes was actively involved in UAW Chrysler negotiations from 1941 until his retirement in 1978. He participated in collective bargaining for all working agreements and benefits packages during those years. He served on study committees which resulted in pension and SUB plans (in 1950 and 1955) and on the boards of administration of those programs. He was also involved in the development and implementation of the leadership education and pre-retirement counseling programs of the UAW Chrysler Department. The Detroit Area Labor Management Committee (1952), the World Auto Council (1964-1978), and the Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield (consumer representative to the Board of Directors since 1970) are some of the organizations Hughes has served. Upon his retirement Hughes began work on an official history of the UAW Chrysler Department. He also has acted as a consultant.


25.5 Linear Feet (51 MB)


Mr. Hughes served as the assistant director of the UAW Chrysler Department beginning in 1948, and was actively involved in Chrysler negotiations until he retired in 1978. He previously served in several elected positions, including president, of UAW Local 140 in Warren, Michigan. Part I of Mr. Hughes' papers consist of correspondence, minutes, reports, and clippings which cover principally the Chrysler negotiations from 1945 to 1960. Part II primarily covers his years in the UAW Chrysler Dept., chronically thirty years of relations between the UAW and Chrysler (1948-1978). It includes material on the benefits program, leadership education, pre-retirement counseling, dissident labor groups, and the various local committees involvement and activities of Mr. Hughes. Important correspondents include Walter P. Reuther, Douglas Fraser, and Leonard Woodcock.


Part I: Arranged in 2 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-3), and Series 2 (Box 4). Folders are arranged alphabetically in Series 1 and chronologically in Series 2.

Folders in each series are simply listed by their location within each box. They are not arranged, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout several boxes within each series.
Part II: Arranged in 12 series - Series 3 (Boxes 5-7), Series 4 (Boxes 8-31), Series 5 (Boxes 32-37), Series 6 (Boxes 38-43), Series 7 (Boxes 44-45), Series 8 (Boxes 45-46), Series 9 (Box 47), Series 10 (Boxes 48-49), Series 11 (Boxes 50-51), and Series 12 (Box 51). Arrangement varies by series but is generally alphabetical or chronological.


The Arthur Hughes papers were presented to the Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs in November, 1969, by Mr. Hughes.


Part II: Approximately four storage boxes of books, pamphlets, periodicals, and clippings were transferred to the Archives Library. Buttons, badges, hats, key rings, and other memorabilia, and six photographs, and three posters were transferred to the Archives Audiovisual collections.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by BFA in June, 1971.
Guide to the Arthur Hughes Papers
Processed by BFA.
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