MS 291 - Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers, Local 7-346
|MS 291 - Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers, Local 7-346
This collection contains the correspondence and printed materials of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union, Local 7-346, which serves the employees of several oil industry-related companies in the Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio area. Included in the collection are Contractual Agreements, Amendments, and Stipulations entered into between the Union and the several companies where the Union members were employed.
The Local 7-346 materials represent a significant chapter in the history of labor in Northwest Ohio. Organized in the early 1930s, its members earned a better wage than most because of the difficult, and sometimes dangerous, nature of their work in the refineries. During the Second World War the oil and petroleum industries were understandably vital to the war effort of the United States, hence these records reflect the actions and activities of these employees during that period in the nation's history.
The records were donated and transferred to the Center for Archival Collections in January 1983 by James Stroud, Financial Secretary of Local 7-346. No restrictions exist on the use of this collection and duplication is permitted for the purpose of preservation and research. The collection was processed and the register prepared in June 1988 by Stephen C. Young, manuscript processor employed through a grant provided by the Ohio Historical Society.
Local 7-346 of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union was originally chartered on 10 September 1934 as part of the Oil Workers International Union Local 346 (A.F.L.). At its inception the only members belonging to the Local were employed by the Gulf Refining Company. By late 1935 a decreasing membership and weakening support forced the temporary deactivation of this unit, with the reestablishment of the charter in the Spring of 1937 under the auspices of the C.I.O. (District #6). At this time the employees of the Pure Oil Company also were organized by the Union. Other workers who eventually became members of the Local 364 represented such companies as Standard Oil, Detroit Southern Pipe Line, Fiske Brothers Refining, Cities Service Oil, Socony-Vacuum Oil, and Sinclair Refining Companies.
During the Second World War the U.S. Navy took over the Toledo area refineries. A freeze on wages during the war resulted in an expansion of benefits for oil workers, won by the National War Labor Board. The National Labor Relations also served as an arbitration agency to settle grievances between Union and Management.
At the time of the formation of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union in 1955, Local 346 was merged as part of District 11. With the redistribution of that Union's districts in 1961, the current designation of 7-346 was applied to the Local. The present (1997) address of the union is 2910 Consault Street, Toledo, Ohio 45801.
|Scope and Content
The Local 7-346 collection spans the two decades following its inception in 1937, both as a unit of the Oil Workers International Union and its subsequent merger with the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union in 1955.
A major part of the material consists of the Contractual Agreements, Amendments, and Stipulations entered into between the Toledo area oil refineries and the Union. They contain the labor concerns and issues both won and lost by either side. A large amount of correspondence further reveals the negotiations process between Union and Management.
One major issue fought over was the recognition of seniority for employees. At least one strike and several grievances resulting in arbitration before the National Labor Relations Board centered on this dispute.
The strong support and participation of workers at the Pure Oil Company in Local 7-346 is reflected in the substantial correspondence and agreements included with these manuscripts. The equivalent records of the Gulf Refining and Standard Oil Companies reveal their significant participation in the local Union as well.
Intimate details of union-breaking activities at the Pure Oil Company in 1938 are recorded in a series of depositions or interviews. Personalities and attitudes on both sides of the argument are particularly evident in the recollections of conversations between the protagonists.
Some strike activities by the Union are included, but in general this aspect of Union history is lacking considering the extent and number of shutdowns in this industry in the Toledo area. Information on wages, remuneration, and benefits are well-recorded in both the contracts and job ratings extant in this collection. Often these records are tied closely with the volatile issue of seniority as already described.
The many and varied activities of the Union are well-represented but must be mined from a fairly large amount of correspondence. These include not only the basic labor issues, but also related concerns such as insurance and hospital benefits. This collection provides an interesting review of labor's early struggles and victories as well as participation during the war years.
UNION/MANAGEMENT MEETING MINUTES
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING MINUTES
LOCAL 346 NOTEBOOK
(Note: one file is listed as undated but certainly belongs with a 1938 companion file.) This series also contains one case at the Gulf Toledo Refinery, and a grievance originating from Local 395 of the Oil Workers International Union. Unfortunately many of these case files do not contain the outcome of the arbitration process.
CLYDE S. SHAMBLEN
GENERAL - LOCAL 346
CITIES SERVICE NATIONWIDE COUNCIL
GULF REFINING COMPANY
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD
NATIONAL WAR LABOR BOARD
PURE OIL COMPANY
STANDARD OIL COMPANY
TOLEDO REFINERY EMPLOYEES' MUTUAL HOSPITAL BENEFIT ASSOCIATION
INDUSTRY AND UNION MATERIALS