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Office and Professional Employees International Union, Southern Region records

 Collection
Identifier: L1976-41

Scope and Content of the Records

The Records of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), 1970-1976, consist primarily of material concerning the Union's attempts to organize office workers on the local level in the southeastern United States. The bulk of the documents describe the efforts of OPEIU relating to employees of the First National Bank of New Smyrna Beach, Florida (1972-1974); the Charlotte, North Carolina plant of the Kroehler Manufacturing Company (1974-1976); and the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, an African-American insurance company in Durham, North Carolina. Less extensive holdings consist of papers relating to OPEIU negotiations with Jacksonville, Florida carpenters, the Savannah Electric and Power Company, and the Central States Paper and Bag Company of Florida.

Dates

  • 1970-1976

Creator

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

History of the Office and Professional Employees International Union

Clerical unions began forming in the early 1900s. By 1920, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) had issued charters to more than 50 clerical unions. In 1942, the locals banded together to form the International Council of Office Employee Unions. In 1945, this union received a charter from the AFL as the Office Employees International Union. At the time of its founding, the union had about 22,000 members. In 1946 and again in 1948, the union conducted major strikes in New York City that led to the organization thousands of workers on Wall Street. At roughly the same time, the union began organizing locals in Vancouver, British Columbia and Montreal, Quebec. By 1960, the union had doubled in size to nearly 50,000 members.

In 1965, the union adopted its current name. In the 1990s, OPEIU began major organizing drives in the insurance industry, organizing several thousand workers at CUNA Mutual and Prudential. A similar organizing drive at Allstate ended after the National Labor Relations Board ruled that the 10,000 workers were independent contractors. OPEIU also began organizing in the health care industry, organizing office workers at a number of health insurers. But it also began organizing registered nurses and other health care workers in limited numbers around the United States. In 1998, the much-raided collective bargaining arm of the Pennsylvania Nurses Association affiliated with OPEIU, adding 2,500 nurses to the union's rolls. By 2005, OPEIU represented about 5,000 RNs, making it the sixth largest nurses' union in the AFL-CIO.

Extent

0.42 Linear Feet (in 14 folders)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract:

The Records of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), 1970-1976, consist primarily of material concerning the Union's attempts to organize office workers on the local level in the southeastern United States.

Acquisition Information

Donated by J.O. Bloodworth, former International Vice-President of the OPEIU, July 1976.

Related Archival Materials

Related Materials in This Repository

  1. Office and Professional Employees International Union contracts collection, 1953-1978 (L-contracts_OPEIU)
  2. Office and Professional Employees International Union records, 1976-1978 (L1979-10)
  3. Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 21(Atlanta, Ga.) records, 1958-1979 (L1986-14)
  4. Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 455 (Savannah, Ga.) records, 1976-2004 (L2008-19)

Separated Materials

During processing, materials were separated to other Southern Labor Archives Printed Collections. For pamphlets, see the Southern Labor Archives Pamphlet Collection finding aid (note that this collection has been weeded over time). For contracts consult Special Collections for access.

Separated to Southern Labor Archives Pamphlet Collection

  1. AFL-CIO Maritime Trades Department, "The Worker's World: Privacy and the Need to Know," November 16, 1971
  2. AFL-CIO, "This is the AFL-CIO," May 1969
  3. AFL-CIO, "Why Unions," July 1969

Separated to Southern Labor Archives Contracts Collection

  1. Bakery and Confectionary Workers' International Union, Local 361, 1971-1974. Tampa Production Agreement
  2. Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 464 and North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, April 1, 1973-March 31, 1974

Processing Information

Processed by Paul Cimbala, 1976. This collection guide was created from a legacy finding aid. The inventory's contents and storage locations of separated materials (if applicable) were not verified at that time.
Title
Office and Professional Employees International Union, Southern Region:
Subtitle
A Guide to Its Records at Georgia State University Library
Status
Completed
Author
Georgia State University Library
Date
1976
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • March 2011: EAD created by Harold Victor Hansen, Jr. from a legacy finding aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2880
404-413-2881 (Fax)