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Amalgamated Transit Union, Division 732 records

 Collection
Identifier: L1982-02

Scope and Content of the Records

This bulk of this collection contains the administrative, financial, legal, and membership records of Division 732. A small series on the history of the organization (Series I) contains a copy of the first contract of Division 732 (1919-1920), a typescript of the Union bylaws (1962), and a brief article outlining the history of Division 732. Administrative records (Series II) include correspondence, general office and subject files, minutes and notes, as well as log books containing records of the daily activities of Union officers. The minutes cover Division 732's Executive Board meetings, membership meetings, and committees, as well as of the Board of Directors meetings of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). The minutes and other documents concern transit conventions, research reports on transit systems, correspondence to the national office of the ATU, MARTA, and the Atlanta Transit System, working conditions, cost of living allowances, and testing of employees.

Legal documents (Series III) include various arbitration documents, especially the November 1975 arbitration proceedings between the Union and MARTA, contracts and agreements, and a small group of proceedings of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Also included are numerous grievance reports from the Union membership, dating mainly from the late 1940s through the late 1970s. Membership records (Series IV) contain membership application forms and lists, and isolated records of votes and sample ballots dating mainly from the 1970s. The Trial Committee records (Series V) provide information on the 1978 trial, suspension, and subsequent appeal of C. J. ("Jake") Jacobs, then President of Division 732.

Series VI contains financial statements, ledgers, and files (mainly from the 1960s and 1970s), which chronicle the financial records of the Pension Fund as well as those of the whole division. Publications (Series VII) include the Union's Constitutions and Bylaws, partial runs of newsletters and other periodicals from the Union and management, and a small group of pamphlets. Two small artifacts (Series VIII), a convention name tag and a button, complete the collection.

Dates

  • 1919-1981

Creator

Restrictions on Access

Because of the personal information contained in Series III, Subseries C (Grievance Reports) and Subseries D (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission proceedings), see the labor archivist for access to the following boxes: L1971-05, Boxes 29 and 30, and L1982-02, Boxes 13-19.

In addition, because some records in Series VI, Subseries A (General Financial Documents) and Subseries B (Pension Fund Documents) contain personal information, the labor archivist must be consulted for access to the following boxes: L1982-02, Boxes 29-30; Oversize 2 and 3.

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 labor archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

L1971-5 only: Quotations from the material to be submitted to the union's officials before printed publication.
The oversized materials may be stored offsite. Contact archivist in advance to view these materials; 24-hour notice is required.

History of Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 732 (Atlanta, Ga.)

The Amalgamated Transit Union, which was founded in 1892, is the largest labor union for transit workers in North America. Originally called the Amalgamated Association of Street Railway Employees of America, in 1903 the organization changed its name to Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees of America and in 1934 to the Amalgamated Association of Street, Electric Railway and Motor Coach Employees of America. The union became officially known as the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) in 1964.

Division 732 of the ATU (Atlanta, Georgia) was recognized by the Georgia Railway and Power Company as a union in 1918, after two strikes in 1916 and 1918, in which strikers fought for acceptance of the union. The first contract was negotiated in 1919-1920. During the early years the union fought for survival, especially during the 1920s, when management throughout the United States sought to dominate unions, and during the Depression of the 1930s. Nevertheless the union became powerful enough to strike for higher wages in 1946 and again in 1949 and 1950. The last of these strikes, which lasted 37 days, resulted in a favorable settlement for the transit workers and caused the sale of the Georgia Power Company to a group that became the Atlanta Transit System.

The relationship between Division 732 and the Atlanta Transit System, which lasted from 1950 to 1971, was relatively peaceful. After the purchase of the ATS by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) in 1971, the relationship between the union and management gradually deteriorated and led to the six day strike in 1973. The period of the 1970s also saw the construction of the Atlanta subway system.

The division grew from fewer than 100 members at its inception to more than 1,600 by 1979. In 2002, with President Elmer Hamilton at the helm, the union local had almost 3,000 members.

Extent

20.5 Linear Feet (in 39 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract:

Division 732 of the Amalgamated Transit Union (Atlanta, Georgia) was recognized by the Georgia Railway and Power Company as a union in 1918. The relationship between Division 732 and the Atlanta Transit System, which lasted from 1950 to 1971, was relatively peaceful. After the purchase of the ATS by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) in 1971, the relationship between the union and management gradually deteriorated and led to the six day strike in 1973. The first contract was negotiated in 1919-1920. This bulk of this collection contains the administrative, financial, legal, and membership records of Division 732.

Off Site Location

The oversized materials may be stored offsite. Contact archivist in advance to view these materials; 24-hour notice is required.

Acquisition Information

Donated by J. C. Reynolds President, Local 732 in three accessions in 1971 and 1982 (accession numbers L1971-05, L1982-02, L1982-05).

Related Archival Materials

Related Materials in This Repository

  1. Jesse Walton collection, 1949-1950 (L1972-30)
  2. Atlanta Transit System records, 1920-1973 (L1973-43)
  3. Railroad unions contracts collection, 1898-1974 (L-contracts_railroad)

Separated Materials

During processing, materials were separated to other Southern Labor Archives Collections. 26 pamphlets were separated to the Southern Labor Archives Pamphlet Collection finding aid (note that this collection has been weeded over time). In addition, more than 60 constitutions from various unions have been added to the SLA Constitutions, and about 5 contracts have been transferred to the SLA Contracts collection. Consult Special Collections for Access.

Processing Information

Accession L1971-05 was processed in 1972 by E. Lee Eltzroth; L1982-05 was processed by Wallace Washington in 1984; and L1982-02 was processed by Christine de Catanzaro in 2002. All processed at the file level.
Title
Amalgamated Transit Union, Division 732 (Atlanta, Georgia):
Subtitle
A Guide to Its Records at Georgia State University Library
Status
Completed
Author
Georgia State University Library
Date
1972, 1984, 2002
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • February 2002: EAD finding aid created by Pam Hackbart-Dean and Aubrey Underwood.
  • February 2006: EAD revised by William Hardesty.
  • January 2013: EAD edited by Hal Hansen.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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