UAW Aerospace Department Records Part II Now Open

(45940) Aerospace Workers Construct Apollo Spaceships

Watching footage of NASA’s space shuttles blasting off and orbiting the globe, did you realize you were looking at union-made vehicles? Just like a Corvette or F-150, those spaceships (along with their giant orange boosters) were built by union labor, represented by the UAW.

The newly opened addition to the UAW Aerospace Department Records shines a light on the industry side of aerospace. An addition to an archival collection here at the Reuther Library, this batch of materials documents the years 1940-2003. 50 new boxes of union records display a variety of topics from collective bargaining agreements to reports on the state of the aerospace industry. The majority of these records relate to negotiations between UAW locals and companies like Lockheed Martin and Boeing. They also document the union locals for workers who built commercial and military aircraft.

The dangers of flight require meticulous work from the people assembling jets and shuttles, and these archival papers reflect UAW aerospace members' dedication to precision and consistency. Our historical materials are open to the public and we encourage all to explore them. Scanning services are also available for those who cannot visit us in person.

If you have any questions about these materials, please contact the UAW Archivist or submit a request through the Reuther Library’s ‘Ask an Archivist’ page.

Gavin Strassel is the UAW Archivist at the Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs.