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Thomas McNett Papers

Identifier: LP000336
Important subjects are: Thomas McNett's IDL #727 Presidential race; Thomas McNett's appointment and dismissal as Grand Lodge Representative; The Wage Stabilization program in World War II; IAM and UAW; Boeing and Lockheed negotiations Minimum Wage Determination hearings; Grand Lodge Elections of 1961

Major correspondents are: Brown, Harvey W., International President of IAM (1941-45); Brown, Roy M., International General Vice-President of IAM; Byrnes, John E., Grand Lodge Representative, IAM; Caldwell, H., President of Lockheed, California; Cassidy, Charles P., Business Representative, IDL #93; Clague, Ewen, Commissioner of Labor Statistics Flinn, W.G., Grand Lodge Representative, IAM; Hayes, A.J., International President of IAM; Huhndorff, Carl, Director of Research, IAM; Jirikowic, Vernon E., Grand Lodge Representative, IAM; Lynch, E.L., Grand Lodge Representative, IAM; McGlon, J.C., International Vice-President, IAM; Peterson, Eric, General Secretary-Treasurer, IAM; Reuther, Roy, Director of the Citizenship Department, UAW; Sandvigen, I.A., Business Representative, IDL #79, Seattle, Washington; Walker, Elmer E., General Vice-President, IAM; Wharton, A.O., International President, IAM.

Series Descriptions: Series I, Boxes 1-2 Thomas McNett The Thomas McNett series contains his diary (1938); his record as an employee; the efforts he made toward the National defense; his work in organizing the IAM in Southern California; his remarks as President of the Inter-District (IDL) 727; and clippings on his death. It covers a period from 1936-1969.

Series II, Boxes 3-16 International Association of Machinists (IAM) The IAM series contains records of its growth; by-laws; Grand Lodge conventions; relationships with the UAW, National Labor Relations Board, aircraft companies, and IDL 727, 508, 751; job descriptions and comparisons; also publications. It covers a period from 1936 to 1970.

Series III, Box 17 Lockheed The Lockheed series contains records of the grievance administration, employee benefits, public relations and publications. It covers the period from 1939-1969.

Series IV, Box 17 Boeing The Boeing series contains records of negotiations, public relations, and publications from 1936-1939.

Series V, Boxes 18-22 War Labor Board The War Labor Board series contains records of wage stabilization, job evaluations, hearings, recommendations, meetings, correspondence, and statements. It covers a period from 1942-1944.

Series VI, Box 22 Aircraft Industry The Aircraft Industry series contains records of Fair Labor Board hearings, occupational studies, and NLRB clippings. It covers a period from 1938-1939.

Series VII, Box 23 Labor The Labor series contains records of employment trends, major labor-law principles established by the NLRB, relative value studies, discrimination, and reports of Business Agents Leadership Training Conferences. It covers a period from 1938-1964.

Series VIII, Oversized Resolutions The Resolutions series contains a certificate presented to Thomas McNett in July of 1951 by the Secretary of Labor appointing McNett to the Labor-Management Committee for Defense; and House Resolution No. 497 read and adopted August 8, 1969 by the California Legislature "Relative to the Death of Tom McNett."

Series IX, Boxes 24-29 IAM and Grand Lodge The IAM and Grand Lodge series contains material on early agreements with Lockheed, as well as information on IAM Lodge #727. The bulk of this series is composed of expense statements (weekly and monthly) submitted by Thomas McNett when he was a Grand Lodge Representative, and a number of job descriptions for Lockheed, Douglas, Consolidated. This series also contains an extensive amount of material on the Grand Lodge elections of 1961. Covers the period from 1937 to 1961.

Series X, Boxes 29-31 Minimum Wage Determination The Minimum Wage Determination series consists mainly of correspondence and briefs pertaining to the determination and/or Predetermination of minimum wages in the aircraft, airframe, airplane parts, electronic, and guided missile industries. The material covers the period from 1933 to 1959 but the bulk is concentrated in two areas: 1948-1949 and 1958-1959.


  • 1936 - 1970


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)


Diaries, job descriptions, grievances, minutes, correspondence, and clippings collected by Mr. McNett, who served in many capacities for the International Association of Machinists in the aerospace industry. The offices held by Mr. McNett included recording secretary of Lodge 751 at Boeing (early 1930's) Grand Lodge representative to organize the southern California aircraft industry (1938), president of Lodge 727 at Lockheed (1944-46), business representative for Lodge 727 (1947-57). Grand Lodge representative (1957-61), and president, Lodge 727 (1961-69). Organizing of the southern California aircraft industry, wage stabilization in World War II, relations between the IAM and the UAW in the aerospace industry, and negotiations at Boeing and Lockheed are covered. Major correspondents are Roy Brown, A. J. Hayes, Roy Reuther, A. O.Wharton.


Thomas McNett (b. 6/9/14, Bucoda, Washington), president of Inter-District Lodge (IDL) 727 of the AFL International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union (IAM) was killed July 30, 1969. He and two workers were shot by a member of IDL 727. Thomas McNett served the IAM for thirty-five years. He was initiated into Local Lodge 751 (Seattle, Washington) in April of 1930. McNett worked as recording secretary for the Lodge and as a member of the Negotiation Committee which wrote the first IAM contract in the aircraft industry (Boeing, 1936). In February of 1938, McNett was appointed as Grand Lodge Representative. He was assigned to organize the Southern California Aircraft Industry (SCAI). In order to be more effective, he resigned from the staff to enter employment at Lockheed and to organize from within. The coming of World War II placed the labor force in a new position. It was essential to the national defense to maintain good labor relations. From 1939 to 1944, Thomas McNett served on the Labor Relations Committee of Lodge 727 IAM (Lockheed). He also served as an Alternate Labor Member of the National War Labor Board, Tenth Region (May, 1944-January, 1946). Of course, he still carried on with his other duties as Senior Chairman, Lodge 727 (1939-1942); Member, Management-Union Job Evaluation Committee, Lockheed (1942-1943); vice president of IDL 727 (1943-1944); and president of IDL 727 (1944-1946). After the War, McNett worked as Business Representative for IDL 727 (April, 1947 to January, 1957). In 1957 he was appointed by A.J. Hayes, president of the Grand Lodge, as a Grand Lodge Representative. Hayes removed McNett from this position on June 15, 1961. Hayes did not give McNett a reason for his removal. Eight other Grand Lodge Representatives were also removed at the same time without being given a reason. Ashby McGraw, one of the men removed said, "It is common knowledge to everyone but us that we in effect defied the International President by supporting former IAM vice-president, Roy M. Brown, for Secretary-Treasurer." McNett, unlike six of the other representatives, did not take part in the suit that followed against A.J. Hayes and nine other vice-presidents for damages. The representatives won the suit, but McNett had already established himself as president of IDL 727. He served in that office until his death. A few days before he died, he was reappointed to the Grand Lodge Staff.


Arranged in 10 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-2), Series 2 (Boxes 3-16), Series 3 (Box 17), Series 4 (Box 17), Series 5 (Boxes 18-22), Series 6 (Box 22), Series 7 (Box 23), Series 8 (Oversized Resolutions), Series 9 (Boxes 24-29), and Series 10 (Boxes 29-31). Folders are primarily grouped by subject and then arranged chronologically.


The papers of Thomas McNett were deposited with the Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs in June, 1969 and May, 1970 by Thomas and Helen Marie McNett. Additional papers were received in June, 1972.


Photographs Photographs are available in the photographic collection and tapes may be found in the audiovisual collection.

Tapes 1. Thomas McNett's Talk at Palladium Meeting to Lockheed Workers Concerning Their Contract - July, 1968 2. Radio Interview over KFWB of Thomas McNett on Bids (Part of Triologue program) 3. Triologue, Part II (Radio interview of Thomas McNett)

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the Thomas McNett 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