Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives logo

Guide to the Engineers Association of ARMA Records WAG.023

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630
tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Tamiment Staff; Edited by Nicole Greenhouse and Bonnie Gordon for compliance with DACS and Tamiment Required Elements for Archival Description and to reflect the incorporation of nonprint materials and addition of unprocessed materials (2013)

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 15, 2018
Description is in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Engineers Association of ARMA
Source: Engineers Association of ARMA
Title: Engineers Association of ARMA Records
Dates [inclusive]: 1951-1983
Abstract: This collection contains the records of the Engineers Association of ARMA, Local 418 of the International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE), from 1953-1983. This collection documents the unionization of ARMA's Brooklyn Plant of white collar defense engineers and technicians. The collection is made up of minutes and by-laws, office correspondence, the union's publicity and publications, photographs, grievances, arbitrations, and contract agreements and negotiations.
Quantity: 9 Linear Feet in 9 record cartons.
Location: Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu at least two business days prior to research visit.
Language: Materials are in English.
Call Phrase: WAG.023

Return to Top »


Historical/Biographical Note

The Engineers Association of ARMA (EAA) was founded in March of 1951. Unionization of the plant had begun in 1950 when production employees working at ARMA's Brooklyn Plant became Local 460. The company was founded by Arthur P. Davis in 1918 was and continued to be a defense contractor, initially manufacturing searchlights and, subsequently, fire control systems and gyroscopic equipment for the Navy.

The engineers were compelled to unionize, when the company, to attract professionals during the Korean War labor shortage, paid new engineers as much as senior employees. The engineers decided to form an independent union and on July 11, 1951 the EAA called its first strike. The company had made a settlement with Local 460, and did not see a need to negotiate with the engineers and technicians of ARMA. After a week they were taken seriously by the company. The contract they negotiated provided for a union shop, 25 percent average wage increase, improved benefits, and a model agreement for other engineers, which the EAA had to fight the Wage Stabilization Board and the employer to fulfill. During this period the union helped to form the Engineers and Scientists of America (ESA) which aspired to join engineers nationwide for the purpose of strengthening collective bargaining. (The ARMA engineers later became disenchanted with this organization and withdrew in 1956.)

The expiration of the contracts in 1953 brought the union's bitterest strike. The IUE production local called a strike, and the EAA voted to honor their picket lines. The strike lasted 10 weeks, and some of the engineers were arrested during the first week's violence. After 8 weeks, the production and clerical unions reached a settlement, and the EAA then "officially" went on strike. The other unions honored the EAA picket lines, and a settlement was reached 10 days later.

Again in 1955, when the contract expired, a strike erupted. This time the strike lasted thirteen weeks. After this strike the EAA decided that it would have more influence if it banded together with the other unions in the plant by joining the International Union of Electrical Workers. On February 1, 1956 the ARMA engineers were chartered as IUE Local 418.

The union remained strong and grew in membership from 600 to 1900 as ARMA won defense contracts. ARMA moved its quarters from Bush Terminal to Roosevelt Field, having a total of 6000 employees at its peak of production.

Local 418 successfully negotiated contracts with ARMA with the assistance of their attorney, Stephen Vladeck whom they hired in 1953. He won significant cases for the engineers and technicians of ARMA, including liberalizing the company's policy on security clearance and on admitting female technicians.

Industrial relations improved somewhat, but the union was forced to take strike votes in many of the ensuing contract expiration years because of last minute deadlocked negotiations. The union went on strike for 15 weeks on October 10,1981, mainly because of issues that arose as a result of the merger with United Technologies (see below). The union's fortunes however, were closely tied to the ARMA management which began having problems attracting Pentagon contracts as early as 1953, when the Navy lost confidence in the company's product. The first lay off was in 1959. ARMA was successful in attracting Air Force contracts to produce B.52 tail defense and guidance systems until the middle sixties, after which no further major military contracts were secured. In the 1970's ARMA attracted some private sector work for Lockheed Aircraft, Delta and All Nippon Airlines. ARMA veterans suggest that the company was accustomed to dealing with inflated military budgets and could not compete well in the private market. In 1973 the company was sold to United Technologies and the ARMA division gradually was reduced in size, eventually being closed on October 1, 1983. As a result of this closing, the union was disbanded in October, 1983.

Return to Top »


Scope and Contents note

This collection contains the records of the Engineers Association of ARMA, Local 418 of the International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE). The material in the collection spans the entire existence of the union, from 1953-1983. The collection is made up of minutes, constitutions, and by-laws of the union; office correspondence; photographs; and publicity and publications of the union, including newsletters. The unarranged portion of the collection includes contract negotiations and bonus plans for engineers. The unprocessed section also includes labor agreements, including job descriptions, pension plans, health coverage, and contracts. A huge bulk of the unprocessed materials relate to the union's grievances and arbitrations filed with the union's arbitration department, including issues related to security clearance and job descriptions for engineers and technicians. The key issues of arbitration include subcontracting, merit and severance pay, and job descriptions.

The researcher will find in the records of the Engineers Association of ARMA an unusually complete account of the development of a white collar professional union. The collection also gives insights into the work process and labor relations for professionals employed by a defense contractor.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into nine series:

Series I: Union Structure and Organization
Series II: Office Correspondence
Series III: Union Publicity and Publications
Series IV: Labor Agreements
Series V: Arbitrations
Series VI: Grievances and Other Legal Files
Series VII: Contract Negotiations
Series VIII: Job Descriptions
Series IX: Photographs

Materials in Series I-III are arranged alphabetically. Materials in Series IV-IX have not been arranged on the folder level by an archivist.

Return to Top »


Access Points

Subject Names

  • Vladeck, Stephen C.

Document Type

  • Correspondence.
  • Publications (documents)

Subject Organizations

  • Association of Records Managers and Administrators
  • International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers. Local 418 (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • Delta Air Corporation
  • Engineers and Scientists of America
  • Lockheed Aircraft Corporation
  • United Technologies Corporation
  • Engineers Association of ARMA

Subject Topics

  • Defense industries -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Strikes and lockouts -x Defense industries -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Collective labor agreements -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Defense industries -x Employees -x Labor unions -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Engineers -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • White collar workers -x Labor unions -- New York (State) -- New York.

Return to Top »


Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Any rights (including copyright and related rights to publicity and privacy) held by the Engineers Association of ARMA were transferred to New York University in 1983 by the Engineers Association of ARMA. Permission to publish or reproduce materials in this collection must be secured from Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives. Please contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu, (212) 998-2630.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Engineers Association of ARMA Records; WAG 023; Collection number; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by the Engineers Association of ARMA, IUE Local 418 in memory of their attorney, Stephen Vladeck in 1983. The accession numbers associated with this gift are 1950.187 and 1983.011.

Processing Information

In 2013, materials from Series I-III were rehoused. Series V, VI, and VII were rehoused into archival folders from original housing. Materials from series IV-IX largely remain unarranged on the folder level; materials from Series III-VIII were scattered throughout the collection and reunited to better reflect the initial processing archivist's intentions in the mid 1980s.

Photographs were separated from this collection during initial processing and were established as a separate collection, the Engineers Association of ARMA Photographs (PHOTOS 026). In 2013, the photograph collection was reincorporated into the Engineers Association of ARMA Records.

Return to Top »


Container List

Series I: Union Structure and Organization, 1951-1983

Scope and Content Note

Includes constitution and by-laws, minutes of the Representative Council, Executive Board minutes, and membership committee minutes.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Constitution and by-laws
1951
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Standard rules, Representive Council
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Representive Council Meetings, includes agendas, minutes, financial reports, correspondence
1970
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Representative Council
1971
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Representative Council
1972
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Representative Council
1973
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Representative Council
1974
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Representative Council
1975
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Representative Council
1976
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Representative Council
1977
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Representative Council
1978
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Representative Council
1979
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Representative Council
1980
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Representative Council
1981 January ? July
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Representative Council
1981 August ? December
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Representative Council
1982 January ? July
Box: 1 Folder : 17 Representative Council
1982 August ? December
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Representative Council
1983
Box: 1 Folder : 19 Executive Board Minutes December
1951 – November 1953
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Executive Board Minutes
1961
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Recording Secretary Notes and Minutes of Membership
October 31, 1956 ? September 14, 1961
Box: 1 Folder : 22 Membership Minutes
1955 ? 1957
Box: 1 Folder : 23 Membership Minutes
1958
Box: 1 Folder : 24 Membership Minutes
1959 ? 1961
Box: 1 Folder : 25 Membership Minutes
1959
Box: 1 Folder : 26 Membership Minutes
1960
Box: 1 Folder : 27 Membership Minutes
1961
Box: 1 Folder : 28 Membership Minutes
1962
Box: 1 Folder : 29 Membership Minutes
1963 ? 1971
Box: 1 Folder : 30 Membership Minutes
1972 ? 1976
Box: 1 Folder : 31 Membership Minutes
1977 ? 1979
Box: 1 Folder : 32 Membership Meeting Agendas
1963 ? 1971

Return to Top »


Series II: Office Correspondence, 1953-1969

Scope and Content Note

Of particular interest are the letters relating to the 1955 strike and ARMA's loss of the Titan Missile contract in 1962.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 33 Office Correspondence
1953
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Office Correspondence
1954
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Office Correspondence
1955 (includes strike material)
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Office Correspondence
1955
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Office Correspondence
1956
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Office Correspondence
1957
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Office Correspondence
1958
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Office Correspondence
1959
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Office Correspondence
1960
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Office Correspondence
1961
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Office Correspondence
1962
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Letters from Vice President to employees regarding the loss of the Titan III contract
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Lay-offs due to loss of Titan Missile contract
Box: 2 Folder : 13 Office Correspondence
1963
Box: 2 Folder : 14 Office Correspondence
1964
Box: 2 Folder : 15 Office Correspondence
196
Box: 2 Folder : 16 Office Correspondence
1966
Box: 2 Folder : 17 Office Correspondence
1967
Box: 2 Folder : 18 Office Correspondence
1968
Box: 2 Folder : 19 Office Correspondence
1969
Box: 2 Folder : 20 Members Correspondence
1964
Box: 2 Folder : 21 Members Correspondence
1965
Box: 2 Folder : 22 Members Correspondence
1966 ? 1968
Box: 2 Folder : 23 Members Correspondence
1969 ? 1978

Return to Top »


Series III: Union Publicity and Publications, 1952-1977

Scope and Content Note

Includes union press releases; the union's newsletter, Scope and Microscopes; occasional issues of the company's publication,  ARMA Magazine; the union's 10th anniversary publication; and bulletins and memoranda.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 24 Undated Newspaper clippings
Box: 2 Folder : 25 Publicity and News Releases
1952-1959
Box: 2 Folder : 26 Publicity and News Releases
1960-1977
Box: 2 Folder : 27 Photographs
Box: 2 Folder : 28 Memoranda and Bulletins
1954
Box: 2 Folder : 29 Memoranda and Bulletins
1955
Box: 2 Folder : 30 Memoranda and Bulletins
1956-1958
Box: 2 Folder : 31 Memoranda and Bulletins
1959
Box: 2 Folder : 32 Memoranda and Bulletins
1960
Box: 2 Folder : 33 Memoranda and Bulletins
1961
Box: 2 Folder : 34 Memoranda and Bulletins
1962
Box: 2 Folder : 35 Memoranda and Bulletins
1963
Box: 2 Folder : 36 Memoranda and Bulletins
1964
Box: 2 Folder : 37 Weekly fact sheet
1963 ?1965
Box: 3 Folder : 1 ARMA Magazine (AE)
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Scope and Microscope
1954-1956
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Scope and Microscope
1957-1958
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Scope and Microscope
1959
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Scope and Microscope
1963
Box: 3 Folder : 6 Scope and Microscope
1961-1962
Box: 3 Folder : 7 Scope and Microscope
1963
Box: 3 Folder : 8 Scope and Microscope
Dec 1969
Box: 3 Folder : 9 Out of Plant Newsletter
1959-1966
Box: 3 Folder : 10 Tenth Anniversary Celebration, publication
Box: 3 Folder : 11 Newsletters
1951
Box: 3 Folder : 12 Newsletters
1952
Box: 3 Folder : 13 Newsletters
1953
Box: 3 Folder : 14 Newsletters
1954
Box: 3 Folder : 15 Newsletters
1955
Box: 3 Folder : 16 Newsletters
1956
Box: 3 Folder : 17 Newsletters
1957
Box: 3 Folder : 18 Newsletters
1958
Box: 3 Folder : 19 Newsletters
1959
Box: 3 Folder : 20 Newsletters
1960
Box: 3 Folder : 21 Newsletters
1961
Box: 3 Folder : 22 Newsletters
1962
Box: 3 Folder : 23 Newsletters
1963
Box: 3 Folder : 24 Newsletters
1964
Box: 3 Folder : 25 Newsletters
1965
Box: 3 Folder : 26 Newsletters
1966
Box: 3 Folder : 27 Newsletters
1967
Box: 3 Folder : 28 Newsletters
1968
Box: 3 Folder : 29 Newsletters
1969
Box: 3 Folder : 30 Newsletters
1970
Box: 3 Folder : 31 Newsletters
1971
Box: 4 Newsletters
1974
Box: 4 Newsletters
1975
Box: 4 Newsletters
1976
Box: 4 Newsletters
1977
Box: 4 Newsletters
1978
Box: 4 Newsletters
1979

Return to Top »


Box
4
 

Series IV: Labor Agreements, 1953-1981

Scope and Content Note

Includes pension plans, health coverage, and contracts.

Box
6
Box
5
 

Series V: Arbitrations, 1954-1981

Scope and Content Note

This series includes some key issues sent to arbitration including subcontracting, merit and severance pay, and job descriptions.

Box
8
Box
7
 

Series VI: Grievances and Other Legal Files, 1953-1981

Scope and Content Note

Some of the key issues sent to arbitration were out of plant service (subcontracting), merit and severance pay, and job descriptions.

Box
9
 

Series VII: Contract Negotiations, 1953-1981

Scope and Content Note

Includes union proposals for the "Merit Kitty" or the "Wooded Nickle dispute of 1966," and bonus plans for engineers.

Box
9
 

Series VIII: Job Descriptions, 1953-1981

Scope and Content Note

This series includes job descriptions of positions at ARMA, often used in negotiations and arbitrations.

Box
9
 

Series IX: Photographs, 1951-1960

Scope and Content Note

This series includes photographic prints of the local's leadership, including portraits of presidents, officers, an unidentified strike scene at ARMA, ARMA corporation building, union office exteriors and meeting places, group portraits, classroom scenes, snapshots of women members, and a cartoon ink drawing.

Return to Top »