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Virgil Collins Papers

Identifier: LP000199

Scope and Content

The papers of Mr. Collins reflect his work with Local 216 and the 1948 trial concerning non-Communist affidavits.

Important subjects covered in the collection are: General Motors strike, 1945-46 Paul Schrade Trade-unions and communism UAW Local 216 UAW Region 6 directorship election, 1972

Important correspondents in the collection: Louis Ciccone Paul Schrade

Series Description Series I, UAW Local 216, 1945-1968, Box 1: Trial proceedings, charges, articles and other material relating to UAW Local 216 officers and members. Particularly well-documented is the trial of Local 216 officers in 1948.

Series II, UAW Region 6, 1971-1972, Box 1: Correspondence, leaflets, newsletters, and other material concerning the 1972 election of the Region 6 Director. Also included are articles concerning factory workers from 1971-1972.


  • 1945 - 1946


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.


Virgil Collins joined the UAW in 1937. He was employed at the General Motors South Gate, California plant from 1945 until 1976 and was a member and officer of Local 216.

Mr. Collins was elected shop committeeman of Local 216 in 1947. In December of that year, the Local 216 membership voted to require all officers to sign non-Communist affidavits or be recalled from office. Mr. Collins was among a group of officers that the local put on trial in July of 1948 for refusing to sign the affidavit.

In 1957, Mr. Collins was elected financial secretary-treasurer of Local 216, a position that he held until 1976. He also served as editor of the Local 216 newspaper, The Assembler, from 1957 to 1976. As chairman of the Auto-Aero Unity Team, Mr. Collins was a leader of the movement to remove Region 6 director Paul Schrade from office in 1972. Mr. Collins retired in 1976, but continued to work for the UAW, assisting with insurance and legislative activities.


.5 Linear Feet (1 MB)


Mr. Collins has served in several offices with UAW Local 216, which services the General Motors Assembly Division plant in South Gate, California. Proceedings, correspondence, and other items cover such areas as intra-local disputes and the 1972 election of the director for UAW Region.


Arranged in 2 series – Series 1 (Box 1), Series 2 (Box 1 ). Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject


The papers of Virgil Collins were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in June of 1966. Additional papers were placed in the Archives in 1972, 1984, and 1986. The collection was reprocessed and opened for research in October of 1986.

Related Materials

UAW Local 216 UAW Region 6 Paul Schrade oral history


Issues of the UAW Local 216 Assembler have been placed in the Archives Library.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in October, 1986.
Guide to the Virgil Collins 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