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John W. Livingston Papers

Identifier: LP000259
Part I: Important subjects are: Aircraft wage and contract data (1951-54) CIO-organizational data CIO-IUE-FE general data and correspondence Competing elections between IAM and UAW-CIO- 1952 IAM- general and jurisdictional correspondence NAA- 1952-1953 negotiations and 1953-54 election reports UAW-CIO aircraft correspondence, reports, etc. between the executive and locals UAW-CIO 1948 membership drive Among the correspondents are: Blackwood, Ben Connole, Antony W. Reuther, Roy L. Reuther, Walter P. Symington, Senator Stuart

Series Description: Series I: UAW-CIO 1948 Membership Drive includes correspondence between the administration and the locals.

Series II: UAW-CIO Staff Data and Correspondence of former international rep. of John Livingston, staff terminations and transfers and airlines refusal correspondence.

Series III: CIO-IUE-FE, General Data and Correspondence between CIO directors, re. fe, 1949-50- membership drive, etc.

Series IV: CIO- Organizational data on organizing committee (1948-51), political action committee (1949-54), case org. committee staff correspondence and Michigan CIO council and Wayne County Committee (1948-54)

Series V: CIO - Steel, Gas, Coke, Rubber, Chem, Textile and Communication Workers

Series VI: UAW-CIO Local Unions - Aircraft Industries, correspondence, reports, on IAM actions, competing elections like UAW-CIO in 1952, UAW-CIO literature.

Series VII: International Association of Machinists- Reports of jurisdictional disputes with the UAW general correspondence and convention material from 1950 to through 1953.

Series VIII: 1952 Presidential Elections, mostly newspaper clippings.

Series IX: Aircraft survey of wage, contracts, data, research dept. -1951- 52, etc. includes aircraft survey 1951, industrial employment, review board (1949), wage and contract data, classification of workers and aircraft newspapers and publications.

Series X: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics and NLRB- Aircraft-industry, consitst of cost of living data (1945-53), minimum wage (1954), general data on NLRB and 1953-54 election returns and negotiations.
Part II: Important subjects are: Economic Cooperation Administration, 1950 Wage Stabilization Board, 1951-1952 General Motors Negotiations, 1953 Leather Workers Organizing Committee, CIO, 1955 National Alliance of Businessmen, 1968-1969

Among the correspondents are: J.A. Bierne Anthony Connole Herschel Davis George Edwards Richard Gosser Carroll Hutton William Kircher Russell Letner Ken Morris Victor Reuther Walter Reuther Michael Ross Paul Russo Luther Slinkard

Series Description: Series I, Personal Files, 1943-1963: This series includes John Livingston's personal correspondence covering the years 1945-1968, arranged chronologically. Also included are miscellaneous personal papers, reports collective bargaining agreements, calendar diaries, notes regarding General Motors negotiations, press releases and clippings. The majority of the material covers the 1950's with some devoted to earlier and later years. In addition are Mr. Livingston's personal papers and reports regarding his service on the National Wage Stabilization Board in 1951. This series is arranged alphabetically by topic, chronologically within the topic.

Series II, William Kircher 1949-1955 This series is composed of Mr. Kircher's correspondence while he was International Representative for the National Aircraft Dept. UAW-CIO and later, Administrative Assistant to John Livingston, Vice-President of UAW-CIO. These correspondence files cover the years 1949-1955 and are arranged chronologically.

Series III, Economic Cooperation Administration. UAW European Trip, 1950 Includes correspondence, reports, speeches, notes and memoranda, press releases, clippings, miscellaneous invitations and receipts arranged alphabetically by topic.

Series IV Speeches, 1946-60 Contains John Livingston's speeches, radio interviews and speech notes for the years 1946-1960, the major portion devoted to the 1950's. There are speech notes related to GM negotiations. Speeches and notes are arranged separately by date. Also included and arranged chronologically are speeches delivered by other individuals.

Series V Clippings 1940-1968 Primarily newspaper clippings dealing with the UAW, AFL-CIO, contract negotiations and Mr. Livingston's activities between 1940 and 1968. There are some magazine articles.
Part III: The papers include correspondence, drafts of by-laws and financial statements of Local 25, UAW St. Louis, Missouri and cover the period from 1966 to 1968.


  • 1947 - 1955


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.


15.5 Linear Feet (31 MB)


The papers and correspondence of Mr. Livingston cover his earlier years as vice-president of the UAW until he was named director of organization for the AFL-CIO in 1955. The UAW Aircraft and Agricultural Implement departments, CIO organization drives, wage contract data in the aircraft industry, and the IAM and its relations with the UAW-CIO are discussed. Correspondents include Ben Blackwood, A.B. Connole, Roy L. Reuther, Walter Reuther, and Stuart Symington.


John William Livingston was born in Iberia, Missouri, on August 17, 1908. At the age of 19, he began working at the G. M. Fisher Body plant in St. Louis as a trimmer and was employed there until april, 1939. In June 1933, he secretly called a meeting of a small group of G. M. employees, which resulted in the formation of Federal Local Union 18386 of the AFL, forerunner of Local 25, UAW-CIO. Livingston's early activity in Local 25 included service as chairman of the local union strike committee during the 1936-37 strike in the G. M. plant which forced recognition of the UAW-CIO by the corporation. He served four terms as president of Local 25, and in April, 1939, came to Detroit as an international representative in the G. M. department of the UAW. John W. Livingston's first major union post was won at the UAW's convention in Chicago, when he was elected to the executive board as director of Region Five. At the union's convention in 1947, Livingston was elected vice- president of the UAW, and on Dec. 8, 1948, he was appointed by the International Executive Board to serve as director of the union's operations in the aircraft and agricultural implement departments. Until the merger of the AFL-CIO in 1955, when Livingston was named director of organizing, he also served on the National Wage Stabilization Board during the year 1951 amid r esigning the next year because of his new appointment as G. M. department director. In Dec. 1965, at the age of 57, Livingston retired voluntarily from the labor movement. In October 1967, however, he returned to work the assembly line as a member of Local 25, St. Louis Missouri, and in March of 1968 became Director of Union Relations for the National Alliance of Business Men.


Part I: Arranged in 10 series – Series 1 (Box 1), Series 2 (Boxes 2-3), Series 3 (Box 4), Series 4 (Box 4), Series 5 (Box 5), Series 6 (Boxes 6-11), Series 7 (Box 12), Series 8 (Box 13), Series 9 (Box 14), and Series 10 (Box 15). Folders are arranged alphabetically.
Part II: Arranged in 5 Series - Series 1 (Boxes 1-9), Series 2 (Box 10), Series 3 (Box 11), Series 4 (Boxes 12-13), and Series 5 (Boxes 14-15). Series 1 and 3 are arranged alphabetically, the remainder of the series are arranged chornologically.
Material is arranged in 1 series, contents grouped by document type.


Part I: The papers of J. W. Livingston were deposited with the Labor History Archives in November, 1967 by the UAW, and were opened for research in June of 1968.
Part II: The personal papers of John W. Livingston were deposited with the Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs in June, 1971 by John W. Livingston.
Part III: The papers of John W. Livingston which comprise part III of the collection were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in March of 1973 by Mr. Livingston and were opened for research in March of 1985.


Part III: Printed copies of the constitution of the International Union, UAW for 1962 and 1966 received with this collection are available in the Archives Library.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in June, 1968.
Guide to the John W. Livingston Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA