Engineering Employers' Federation

Scope and Content

Main series of minutes, 1895-1950; minutes of committees, 1897-1949; minutes of negotiating conferences held with trade unions and union federations, 1897-1974; proceedings of public enquiries and analagous bodies, 1917-1927; financial and membership records, 1898-1959; subject and correspondence files, 1831-1969; Federation publications, 1898-1997 (including some Federation directories for between 1926 and 1995, and the EEF Review, its annual report, 1950-1994); other publications, 1913-1937; the memoirs of an EEF employee, 1961; EEF Constitution, 1992; national agreements, 1894-1993; local agreements, 1896-1936; press-cuttings, 1954-1971; statistical data (principally relating to wages), 1862-1965; case registers, 1941-59; wage movements figures, 1897-1925; wages index registers, 1947-1960; signed agreements, 1931-1978; wages agreements; circular letters, 1987-99; conference committee minutes, 1949-1974; and national conference proceedings, 1975-81 (incomplete).

The collection also includes records of: the Federated Admiralty Contractors, 1911-1965; the Bridgebuilding and Constructional Engineering Employers' Association, 1921-1927; the Gas Meter Making Employers' Federation, 1908-1921; and the Grimsby Engineering Employers' Association, 1919-1925.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Employers' Federation of Engineering Associations was established on 24 April 1896. It was effectively a successor to the Iron Trades Employers' Association which had been founded earlier in 1872 but which was dissolved in 1900. By 1899 the Employers' Federation of Engineering Associations had become known as the Engineering Employers' Federation. It kept this title until 1918, when the Federation merged with the National Employers' Federation. Following the merger, the Federation was temporarily called the Engineering and National Employers' Federation, before settling on the Engineering and Allied Employers' National Federation. It retained this title until 1961, when it reverted to the Engineering Employers' Federation (EEF), under which name it continues to operate.

An attempt to form a national federation for engineering employers was initially made in 1889, but the resulting body (the Federation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Employers) was one in which shipbuilding interests were to predominate. The Clyde-Belfast dispute and Clyde lock-out of late 1895 provided further impetus to engineering employers to combine and was the immediate occasion for the moves which led to the Federation's establishment in April 1896. The Federation organised nationwide lock-outs in 1897-8 and 1922. The procedural agreements from these disputes subsequently provided for local and national joint conferences on disputed matters, and the papers surrounding these conferences form an important element of the archive.

Reference: E. Wigham, 'The Power to Manage' (London, 1973).

Access Information

Subject to the depositor's permission being granted, this collection is available to researchers by appointment at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. See

Acquisition Information

The initial deposits were made in April and November 1982, with subsequent deposits in March 1985 (2 deposits), April 1994, January and November 1996, June 1998, May 2000 and December 2001.

A deposit of Board of Trade/Ministry of Labour Gazettes and additional publications was made in April 2010.

Other Finding Aids

Conditions Governing Use

The archive can be consulted only with the prior written permission of the depositor.


Further deposits are expected.

Related Material

Coventry and District Engineering Employers' Association; Gas Meter Making Employers' Federation; Federated Admiralty Contractors; West Midlands Engineering Employers' Association (MSS.265); Coventry and District Engineering Employers' Association; the Engineering Employers' East Midlands Association (MSS.288)

Some duplicated statistical material have been transferred to Glasgow University Archives Service (GB 0243 UGC 26).