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International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE), Amalgamated Local 804 Records

Identifier: MS-127

Scope and Contents

The records within the IUE Local #804 collection are divided into seven different series.

Series I, Administrative Records, contains the minute record of regular business meetings for 1937 1972, the minute record for executive board meetings for 1947 1974, minutes of the Leland Plant Suggestion Committee for the years 1943 1944, minutes of labor-management meetings 1938 1960, and the regular business meeting minutes of IUE Local #756 from 1961 until it merged with Local #804 in 1970. Other records in this series include a constitution and bylaws for both Locals #804 and #756, copies of Union Bulletins from 1940 1961, a 1947 membership list for Local #804 and monthly operating statements for 1961 1972.

Series II contains copies of agreements and a great deal of material documenting contract negotiations between Local #804 and the various companies in the Dayton area whose workers it represented. The bulk of material in this series pertains to the Leland Electric Company, the firm with which Local #804 has had the longest contract and whose workers make up the majority of Local #804's membership. The remaining negotiations and agreements are with several smaller companies that Local #804 won contracts with over the years. The material in Series 2 covers such concerns as wages, hours, seniority, working conditions, job classification, pensions, health benefits, collective bargaining, and apprenticeship standards. It is arranged by company, then chronologically within the folders. Span dates are 1937 1978.

Series III, Organizing Campaigns, contains papers documenting Local #804's attempts to organize several small plants in the Dayton area during the 1960s and 1970s. The series contains election results, NLRB rulings, broadsides, correspondence and notes pertaining to these organizing efforts. Span dates are 1965 1972.

Grievances and Arbitration Cases comprise Series IV. Included are the minutes of the Leland Plant grievance meetings for 1957 1972, and transcripts, briefs and rulings of selected arbitration cases for 1955 1978. These materials give an insightful view into the day to day problems and conflicts encountered by Local 804's membership.

The correspondence in Series V includes correspondence between Leland Electric and Local #804, 1945 1974; correspondence and memos from the IUE International Office, 1940 1976; correspondence and memos from various labor affiliates, 1950 1978; a file of correspondence from the National War Labor Board, 1942 1945; and general correspondence, 1947 1978. The papers in this series range over such topics as World War II defense work, strikes, the 1940s Communist controversy, Leland's closure and move to Vandalia, political issues relevant to labor, and various Local #804 business matters. The span dates are 1940 1978.

Series VI contains a scattered collection of materials from labor organizations affiliated with Local #804. Included are minutes of IUE District Council #7, and constitutions from the IUE International, Ohio CIO, and Montgomery County Industrial Union Council. Span dates for the series are 1942 1974.

Series VII, Miscellaneous Materials, contains a War Production Board report on the Leland Labor Management Production Committee, 1944; a file concerned with the UE Communist controversy during the late 1940s; material on wages and job classifications for the electrical trades; and files on civil rights apprenticeship, sex discrimination, severance pay, and the IUE pension plan. Span dates for this series are 1944 1969.


  • Creation: 1937-1978


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Historical Note

The following agency history is excerpted verbatim from the article "Profile of a Local" which appeared in The IUE News in April 1977 on the occasion of Local 804's 40th anniversary.

The people of Amalgamated Local 804, Dayton, are celebrating their 40th anniversary this month. They have the distinction of being the first IUE (then UE) local certified in the Dayton Miami Valley area.

Conrad Grimes, former local president, was a leader in establishing Local 804 at the Leland Electric Company plant in 1937. At that time, male employees worked 50 hours a week and earned 50 cents per hour. Women earned $18 per week winding electrical cables.

"I don't know how some of those people survived," says Grimes. "It was bad. The people had no insurance, no overtime pay, no vacations. It's no wonder they organized."

Grimes and his fellow unionists met stiff resistance and firing threats from management, which was attempting to set up a company union. The employees voted to refuse to discuss union matters with employer representatives unless two or more union people were present. Grimes became the first test case when he refused to report to a company official unless accompanied by a union brother. Leland immediately fired Grimes for "insubordination" and the union filed an unfair labor practice charge with the newly formed National Labor Relations Board.

As Grimes waited out his case for a month, other employees told him that if the NLRB ruled for reinstatement, they would sign the union card. Grimes won the case and was back at his machine the next day. The battle was won and Local 804 was born. Grimes went on to become the financial secretary, vice president and president of the local.

During World War II, Local 804 members worked building invertors for fighter planes. Employment at the plant was in excess of 2,000 and the local received an award for war production.

In 1948, the local bought an older home across from the Leland plant which became the center of their business meetings, receptions and parties.

In the late 40's, when the issue of Communist domination of the UE's brought about the founding of the IUE, the local voted to become part of the new union. Old time members recall having both active party members and FBI "double agents" in the local's ranks.

Financial reversals caused Leland to sell the plant to the American Machine and Foundry Company in the early 1950's and AMF moved production to a new plant in Vandalia. AMF kept some government contracts, but began to concentrate on producing cash registers and automatic pin setters.

In 1951, Bill Bainter succeeded Grimes as president, a position he would hold for 13 years. Bainter was president when AFL and CIO merged in 1955 and Local 804 became the first local chartered to the AFL CIO in the Dayton area. A few years later, Local 804 amalgamated with smaller units in several plants in the Dayton area. In the 1960s and early 1970s, Local 804 struck several times as foreign imports, loss of government contracts and automation began to take their toll. Amalgamated Local 804 which once counted 1,200 members, is now, in 1977, down to 425 members.


8.5 linear feet

Language of Materials



Local 804 was organized in 1937 to represent the workers at the Leland Electric Company in Dayton, Ohio. Records include membership meeting minutes, Executive Board and Labor-Management meeting minutes, contract negotiations, the records from organizing campaigns in several small plants in Dayton, correspondence, grievances, union bulletins, membership lists, and files on various subjects including the Communist controversy in the Dayton labor movement during the late 1940s.


The collection is arranged into 7 series:

Series I:
Administrative Records
Series II:
Agreements and Contract Negotiations
Series III:
Organizing Campaigns
Series IV:
Grievances and Arbitration Cases
Series V:
Series VI:
Materials from Affiliated Labor Organizations
Series VII:
Miscellaneous Materials

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The records of Local 804 were accessioned into the Wright State University Archives and Special Collections Department by the Ohio Labor History Project in September of 1980.

Related Materials

Article "Profile of a Local, "The IUE News. April, 1977. Written on the occasion of Local 804's 40th anniversary.

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MS-116 International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE), District Council 7 Records (

MS-127 International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE), Amalgamated Local 804 Records (

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Processing Information

Processed by: Dorothy Smith, 1982.

Guide to the International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE), Amalgamated Local 804 Records (MS-127)
Dorothy Smith
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Revision Statements

  • 2017: Finding aid updated according to DACS

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA