Papers of the Amalgamated Engineering Union

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Amalgamated Engineering Union/Amalgamated Union of Engineering and Foundry Workers/Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers (Engineering Section): Council minutes, 1920-66; Executive Committee minutes, 1920-1984; National Committee minutes/reports, 1920-87 (incomplete); Final Appeal Court reports, 1920-65, 1971-5; Monthly Journal, 1851-1993 (incomplete); Southall District minutes, 1931-63, and other records, post-1945; Southall Branch minutes, 1936-9; Bury District office files, organised by company and organisation, post-war; binder on wartime relaxation agreement; includes Welsh branch balance sheets, etc., 1853-1920, Pontypool Branch minutes, 1890-95, 1908-34, Pontypool District minutes, 1950-55, 1969-74, Rhondda Branch minutes, 1894-1926, Bridgend Branch minutes, 1885-1906, and file containing inter alia report on dispute at Richard Thomas & Co. Ltd at Llanelly, 1911.

The AEU Group of MPs (sponsored by the Union) has deposited some of its papers, including correspondence 1962-3, 1973, 1979-89.

Smiths' Hammermen's Society, Cardiff: rules, 1913

Administrative / Biographical History

The Union was founded as the Amalgamated Society of Engineers in 1851 by the coming together of a number of separate organisations for mechanics, smiths, millwrights, engineers and machinists. A number of other, mainly local, organisations joined between 1893 and 1915. In 1920 nine other unions (the Steam Engine Makers Society, the United Machine Workers Association, the United Kingdom Society of Amalgamated Smiths and Strikers, the Associated Brassfounders, Turners, Fitters, Finishers and Coppersmiths Society, the North of England Brass Turners, Fitters, and Finishers Society, the London United Metal Turners, Fitters and Finishers Society, the East of Scotland Brassfounders Society, the Amalgamated Instrument Makers Society and the Amalgamated Society of General Toolmakers, Engineers and Machinists) joined the ASE to form the Amalgamated Engineering Union. In 1944 the Amalgamated Society of Glass Works Engineers amalgamated with the Union; in 1945 the Amalgamated Society of Vehicle Builders, Carpenters and Mechanics; in 1956 the Amalgamated Machine, Engine and Iron Grinders and Glaziers Society; in 1958 the Leeds Spindle and Flyer Makers Trade and Friendly Society; in 1962 the United Operative Spindle and Flyer Makers Trade and Friendly Society; in 1965 the Turners, Fitters and Instrument Makers Union (Scotland); in 1967 the National Union of Foundry Workers. In 1967 the Union changed its name to the Amalgamated Union of Engineering and Foundry Workers (AEFW). In 1970 the Draughtsmen and Allied Technicians' Association amalgamated with the Union and the Constructional Engineering Union to become the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers (AUEW). It was organised in sections: the Technical and Supervisory Section; the Constructional Section; the Foundry Section; and the Engineering Section. In 1976 Amalgamated Springworkers and Allied Trades amalgamated with the Union. In 1983 the British Roll Turners' Trade Society amalgamated with the Union. The AUEW amalgamation was not successful and in 1985 the Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Section left the amalgamation. The Construction and Foundry Sections transferred their engagements to the Engineering Section and the Union was renamed the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers - Engineering, Foundry and Construction Section. The union changed its name to the Amalgamated Engineering Union in May 1986. The AEU and the Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunication and Plumbing Union joined to form the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union on the 1st May 1992.

Reference: J.B. Jeffreys, The Story of the Engineers (London, 1945; repr. 1970).

Arrangement

This large and complicated archive has been deposited in the Centre over many years. The papers have been arranged initially according to the unions which created them.

The Modern Records Centre uses a classification scheme. For further details of the scheme, see http://www.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/mrcclass.shtml. It is compatible with ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description (2000).

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access to these papers, apart from minutes and papers relating to inter-union disputes, which are closed for thirty years.

Acquisition Information

The first deposit was made by the AUEW in May 1984. Subsequent deposits were made in 1984, 1985, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 1999.

Other Finding Aids

Various parts of the collection were catalogued by Richard Storey, Alistair Tough, Linda Smallbone, Nicola Atkins and Christine Woodland between 1990 and 1996. A copy of the catalogue is available in paper format in the Centre's searchroom, at the National Register of Archives in London and in Chadwyck-Healey's National Inventory of Documentary Sources. Marie Osborne created an electronic finding aid to the minutes series in March 2001.

Authority records exist for the Amalgamated Society of Engineers (GB 0152 AAR 0550), Amalgamated Engineering Union (GB 152 AAR 0520), Amalgamated Union of Engineering and Foundry Workers (GB 152 AAR 0519), Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers (GB 152 AAR 0512), Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers - Engineering Foundry and Construction Section (GB 152 AAR 0512 0519), Amalgamated Engineering Union (1986-1992) (GB 152 AAR 0512 0511) and Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union (GB 152 AAR 0512 0510).

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.

Appraisal Information

This collection has been weeded for duplicates.

Accruals

Further deposits are expected.

Related Material

The following unions were all constituents of the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union and their records are at least partly located in the Modern Records Centre: Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers - Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Section (MSS.411/TA), Amalgamated Society of Vehicle Builders, Wheelwrights, Carpenters and Mechanics (MSS.259/RV), United Operative Spindle and Flyer Makers' Trade and Friendly Society (MSS.259/SF), Amalgamated Machine, Engine and Iron Grinders and Glazers' Society (MSS.259/MG), Steam Engine Makers' Society (MSS.259/SE), United Machine Workers' Association (MSS.259/MW), United Kingdom Society of Amalgamated Smiths and Strikers (MSS.259/SM), Amalgamated Association of Brassfounders, Turners, Fitters, Finishers and Coppersmiths (MSS.259/BF), Amalgamated Instrument Makers' Society (MSS.259/IM), Amalgamated Society of General Toolmakers, Engineers and Machinists (MSS.259/TE), Philanthropic Society of Journeymen Millwrights (MSS.259/BR/MM), Journeymen Steam Engine, Machine Makers' and Millwrights' Friendly Society (MSS.259/JSEM), Constructional Engineering Union (MSS.273), the Amalgamated Union of Foundry Workers (MSS.41), and Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Section (MSS.101/DA).

A large amount of other related material is available in the Centre, for example the Etheridge papers (MSS.202), the Michaelson papers (MSS.233), the Stokes papers (MSS.108 and MSS.289) and the Weekes papers (MSS.227).