Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Amalgamated Society of Engineers: Council minutes, 1852-1917; Monthly Journal and Reports, 1851-1920 (incomplete); Local Council Referees' minutes, 1878-1902; some branch minutes, registration records, etc.; yearly reports from branches, 1851-1920 (MSS.259).

Amalgamated Engineering Union/Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers (Engineering Section)/Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union : Council minutes, 1920-66; pr. National Committee minutes/reports, 1920-87 (incomplete); Final Appeal Court reports, 1920-65, 1971-5; Monthly Journal, 1851-1993 (incomplete). AEU Group of MPs (sponsored by the Union) has deposited some of its papers, including correspondence 1962-3, 1973, 1979-89. Southall District minutes, 1931-63, and other records, post-1945; Southall branch minutes, 1936-9; Bury District office files, by company and organisation, post-war; binder on wartime relaxation agreement (MSS.259).

Philanthropic Society of Journeymen Millwrights : volume of transfer certificates, 1867 (MSS.259/BR/MM).

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 joined the ASE to form the Amalgamated Engineering Union. Six more unions joined the AEU between 1944 and 1965. The Amalgamated Union of Foundry Workers joined the Engineers in 1967 to create the Amalgamated Union of Engineering and Foundry Workers. In 1970 the Draughtsmen and Allied Technicians' Association and the Constructional Engineering Union joined the AEF to form the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers, organised in four separately organised sections. The 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 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).

Conditions Governing Access

Access : Open except for thirty year rule on minutes and papers relating to inter-union disputes.

Archivist's Note

The main stem of the union stretching from the Amalgamated Society of Engineers to the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union has been given the manuscript number 259. Other predecessor unions are listed separately, e.g. the United Machine Workers' Association is classified as MSS.259/MW. Authority files exist for the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union (GB 152 AAR510) and its direct predecessors : the Amalgamated Engineering Union (1986-92) (GBR 0152 AAR511); the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers (GBR 0152 AAR512); the Amalgamated Union of Engineering and Foundry Workers (GBR 0152 AAR519); the Amalgamated Engineering Union (1920-67) (GBR 0152 AAR520); and the Amalgamated Society of Engineers (GBR 0152 AAR550).

The following unions are all constituents of the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union whose records are to some extent located in the Modern Records Centre : 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) ; and Journeymen Steam Engine, Machine Makers' and Millwrights' Friendly Society (MSS.259/JSEM) .

There is also a wealth of separately classified constituents and related material held in the Centre, including : the Constructional Engineering Union (MSS.273) ; the Amalgamated Union of Foundry Workers (MSS.41) ; the Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Section (MSS.101/DA) ; the Etheridge papers (MSS.202); the Michaelson papers (MSS.233); the Stokes papers (MSS.108) and (MSS.289); and the Weekes papers (MSS.227).

Custodial History

The archive has been deposited in the Centre on indefinite loan by the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers. The first deposit consisted of fifteen boxes of early minutes collected by Richard Storey on 1st November 1984. Accruals to the deposit are detailed below.

Accruals

  • 5th November 1984 : 5 volumes transferred from library stock [library purchase].
  • 16th May 1985 : Council and other minutes.
  • 30th October 1985 : annual reports, Court of Appeal reports, journals, branch minutes.
  • 28th November 1990 : predecessor union records.
  • 7th/8th January 1991 : Southall district records.
  • 5th-8th April 1991 : correspondence files and minutes.
  • 2nd April 1993 : minutes, reports and journals.
  • 5th January 1995 : Printed reports [gift from Peter Carter of GMB].
  • 27th February 1995 : Bury division files [gift from Peter Carter of GMB].
  • 15th and 21st May 1996 : Luton vanload and bust of Tom Mann.
  • August 1996 : 4 packets by post from A. Bragg including re Timex dispute.
  • August 1996 to March 1997 : numerous single volumes filling gaps, by post.
  • 28th May 1997 : 4 boxes AEEU group of MPs' papers.
  • 20th July 1998 : John Fodden papers.

The deposit is on-going.