GLMS 50 - United Steel Workers Great Lakes Seamen Local 5000
|Title||GLMS 50 - United Steel Workers Great Lakes Seamen Local 5000|
This collection was donated to the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes on March 24, 1982. Literary and property rights were transferred to the public. Duplication is permitted for the purposes of conservation and scholarly research.
The processing of this eleven cubic foot collection was completed in August 1992 by Mark J. Barnes.
The founding of the United Steelworkers--Great Lakes Seamen Local 5000 was an event produced by two separate by converging streams in the history of Great Lakes labor history. The inability of such organizations as the National Maritime Union and the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association to successfully counterbalance the efforts of United States Steel Corporation and the Lake Carrier's Association to continue operations of lake fleets with open shop labor practices was a characteristic of labor/managment confrontations throughout the first half of the twentieth century. In contrast, the United Steelworkers of America had enjoyed more success in organizing union representation for iron miners and steel workers.
With an ability to obtain leverage in disputes with US Steel and LCA that other organizations lacked, the United Steelworkers of America began its organizing campaign in 1951. Strikes could be coordinated for unlicensed crew members of lake fleets along with sympathy strikes by miners and steelworkers to shut down both US Steel and LCA fleet operations.
The United Steelworkers of America became the parent organization for the Great Lakes Seamen's Union and Local 5000 was founded during 1951 in Cleveland, ohio. With this new and vigorous Local in the city where LCA maintained its headquarters, the Great Lakes Seamen began negotiating contracts with the threat of widespread industry-wide strikes to back their position. The Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation was the first LCA member to negotiate a contract with the new union. US Steel remained the major target for new contract agreements because of its dominant position among lake fleets and its control over LCA.
By 1956 the development of negotiated contracts with other LCA members and the steelworkers strike of that summer brought US Steel to the bargaining table. In September 1956 US Steel began negotiations with the marine Engineers Beneficial Association. Contracts with other maritime unions including the Great Lakes Seamen followed.
Files in this collection reflect the growth of Local 5000 since the 1950s. Contracts are now negotiated with such shipping lines as the Great Lakes Fleet Division of US Steel, transportation divisions of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Inland Steel Company, Wisconsin Steel Company, Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company, Oglebay Norton Company's Columbia Transportation Dvision, Hanna Mining Company, and the Interlake Steamship Company.
The significance of the role that Local 5000 came to play in labor relations for Great Lakes Maritime crews can be examined through a contrast between the sense of isolation many unlicensed crew members felt in the pre-World War II era in signing contracts to work in open shop fleets and the advice given in the newsletter The Great Lakes Sailor that stated in bold face: "WHEN IN DOUBT, ALWAYS FILE A GRIEVANCE."
|Scope and Content|
This collection contains files acquired and created by the United Steel Workers--Great Lakes Seamen's Local 5000 office in Cleveland, Ohio. The eleven cubic feet of files span the years 1937-1981. Most files represent interests of the members of Local 5000 after 1960.
A relatively small portion of the administrative records of Local 5000 are present. Scattered sets of meeting minutes appear along with membership correspondence files. Financial records cover the years from 1953-1962.
The collection documents organizing elections held for the Great Lakes transportation companies that employed members of the Great Lakes Seamen's Union. Elections held to establish union representation for workers on the fleets of the Interlake Steamship Company, the Shenango Furnace company and the US Steel Corporation are several of those covered by Local 5000 files. These election files are found in the series on subject correspondence under company names.
The series of Contracts and Agreements forms a useful component of the collection for examining the terms of employment negotiated by labor and management. The years from 1937 to 1980 are covered. Most items are from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD
CONTRACTS AND AGREEMENTS
RECORD OF INITIATION FEES, DUES, AND ASSESSMENTS FOR LOCAL 5000
TREASURER'S CASH BOOK FOR LOCAL 5000
LOCAL 5000 FINANCIAL REPORT
COLUMBIA TRANSPORTATION COMPANY OPERATIONS EXPENSE REPORTS
1-2. Constitution and Bylaws, 1955, 1970, 1974
Box 2: Folders 1-44--Subject Correspondence, A-Cl, 1952-1979
Box 3: Folders 1-51--Subject Correspondence, Co-G, 1952-1980
Box 4: Folders 1-49--Subject Correspondence, H-L, 1946-1979
Box 5: Folders 1-60--Subject Correspondence, M-Newsletter, 1952-1981
Box 6: Folders 1-43--Subject Correspondence, Newspaper-Sa, 1952-1979
Box 7: Folders 1-66--Subject Correspondence, Sc-W, 1952-1981
1-11. National Labor Relations Board, 1955-1967
Folders 1-40--Contracts and Agreements, A-International Harvester to 1964, 1937-1980
Folders 1-32--Contracts and Agreements, International Harvester 1965-Wilson Marine Transit Company, 1954-1980
1-7. Record of Initiation Fees, Dues, and Assessments for Local 5000, 1953-1962