International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers collection of 1967 railroad strike records
Scope and Contents of the Collection
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers collection of 1967 railroad strike records, 1952, 1966-1969 [bulk 1967] contains legislation and legal documents, printed material, and correspondence. The collection consisted of two large accordion files. Accordion file 1 primarily contains material related to Emergency Board No. 169, Congressional legislation and proceedings from the first half of 1967. It also includes reports of previous boards authorized under the Railway Labor Act, 1966, as well as a 1952 agreement between the Railway Employes’ Department of the American Federation of Labor and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Accordion file 2 contains briefs, exhibits, and affidavits, as well as reports, proceedings, and correspondence, 1965-1968, relating to the special panel that settled the dispute in late 1967. Reports and correspondence in the file also document the IAMAW’s involvement with legislation under consideration in the Canadian Parliament’s Committee on Labour and Employment in 1968 that related to national industry including railroads. The collection also contains a “comprehensive statement” from the Railway Employees’ Department of the AFL-CIO, submitted to the special panel on 27 August 1967.
- Creation: 1952, 1966-1969
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1967
Restrictions on Access
Collection is open for research use.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.
Historical Note about the 1967 Railroad Strike
In 1966, railroad shopcraft workers and their unions perceived a disparity between wages in their industry and others. Entering negotiations with the carriers’ National Railway Conference, the unions--the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW); the International Brotherhood of Boiler Makers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers & Helpers; the Sheet Metal Workers' International Association; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen of America; and the International Brotherhood of Firemen & Oilers--proposed wage increases and other changes to work rules. The National Mediation Board unsuccessfully worked with the parties from October until January 1967, when it suggested taking the dispute to arbitration. The unions, representing about 137,000 workers, rejected arbitration. Under the Railway Labor Act, President Lyndon Johnson authorized a Presidential Emergency Board (No. 169) to draft a proposed settlement. Both unions and carriers rejected the board’s March recommendation.
The unions were prepared to strike, and in April, Congress passed legislation to delay a railroad walkout. In May, the strike deadline was extended into June. The Johnson administration proposed “mediation to finality” between the unions and carriers. While Congress debated the administration proposal, the unions voluntarily extended their strike deadline to July 15. When that deadline passed, IAMAW authorized its members to strike. IAMAW and its president, P. L. Siemiller, opposed the binding arbitration proposed in the pending legislation strongly. The AFL-CIO Railway Employees’ Department did not authorize a strike, but members of the other unions honored IAMAW picket lines. The national strike was very brief, as Congress approved the president’s plan for a special board to mediate or settle the dispute on July 17. Once again, the parties did not reach agreement, and, as authorized, the panel, chaired by Senator Wayne Morse, imposed a settlement in September. In addition to wage increases, the settlement authorized a Department of Labor study of wage compression among skilled shopcraft workers.
0.5 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
National contract negotiations between AFL-CIO Railway Employees’ Department and the carriers’ National Railway Conference stalled in 1966. In early 1967, the Presidential Emergency Board (No. 169) failed settle the dispute, leading to a brief strike by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers on July 15-17, 1967, ended by the Congressional creation of a special board that would impose a settlement in September. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers collection of 1967 railroad strike records, 1952, 1966-1969 [bulk 1967] ontains legislation and legal documents, printed material, and correspondence.
Collection retains its original order.
This collection was part of the Library of the Research Department of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW). The library was donated to the Southern Labor Archives by the IAMAW prior to 2003.
Donated by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Processed by William W. Hardesty, 9 August 2022.
- International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
- A Guide to 1967 Railroad Strike Records at Georgia State University Library
- William W. Hardesty
- 9 August 2022
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description