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UAW Aerospace Department Records

Identifier: LR000060

Scope and Content

The UAW Aerospace Department Collection consists of minutes, correspondence, reports, studies, grievances and other material related to organizing, collective bargaining, strikes, legislative lobbying and company practices in the aerospace and defense industries.

Important correspondents in the collection: Ken Bannon Irving Bluestone Joe Ferraro Carolyn Forrest George Frogillo Wise Stone Leonard Woodcock


  • 1942 - 2003


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. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


The United Automobile Workers began organizing aircraft plants in the late 1930s and early 1940s. In 1943, The Aircraft Department was officially established to coordinate organizing and bargaining in the aircraft industry. During the 1940s and fifties, the UAW competed with the International Association of Machinists, an AFL union which had organized many west coast aircraft plants, in organizing aircraft workers. In 1956, the IAM and UAW made peace and created the Joint Planning and Coordinating Committee, which played an important role in subsequent aircraft negotiations. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, when the aircraft industry began producing missiles and space technology, the UAW Aircraft Department changed its name to the Aerospace Department.


124 Linear Feet (121 SB, 5 scrapbooks)


The records of the Aerospace Department within the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America. These records document the affairs of the department and locals that represent aerospace workers in the US and Canada. According to the UAW, the “UAW Aerospace Department coordinates bargaining for UAW-represented workers in both the commercial and defense sectors of the aerospace industry.”


Folders are listed in the order they appear.

Related Materials

UAW collections


A number of photographs, audio tapes, buttons and badges were transferred to the Archives Audiovisual Collection. Some contracts and local constitutions and bylaws have been placed in the Archives Library.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library. Part II (boxes 72-121) added and finding aid updated in 2022.
Guide to the UAW Aerospace Department Records
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library and Gavin Strassel.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2022 January 13: Part II (boxes 72-121) processed and finding aid updated by Gavin Strassel in 2022.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA