CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 2667
TitleAmalgamated Engineering Union (Aberdeen District) papers
Date1939 - 1962
Extent19 volumes and 41 boxes (5.17 linear metres)
Creator NameAmalgamated Engineering Union (Aberdeen District) (1920 - 1968)
Administrative HistoryThe Amalgamated Engineering Union [A.E.U.] was formed on 1 July 1920, by the merger of ten separate unions involved in the engineering industry. Its formation was due mainly to the efforts of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers [A.S.E.], who had actively encouraged such a step since its own inception in 1851. The A.S.E. was originally known under the longer title of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, Machinists, Smiths, Millwrights and Patternmakers [A.S.E.M.S.M.P.]. It was formed through amalgamation of the Journeymen Steam Engine, Machine Makers and Millwrights Friendly Society (often referred to as the " Old Mechanics' Society " , and active in most industrial towns by the mid-nineteenth century), the Smiths Benevolent Sick and Burial Society, and several smaller, like-minded societies involved in engineering-related industries.

Since the late 1960s mergers with other unions have led to several name changes for the A.E.U. After joining with the Amalgamated Union of Foundry Workers in 1968, it became the Amalgamated Union of Engineering and Foundry Workers. And after merging with the Draughtsmen and Allied Technicians' Association, and the Constructional Engineering Union, in 1970, it became the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers.

Aberdeen Mechanics' Society was founded in the city in 1824. It became part of the A.S.W in 1851, in line with other mechanics' societies in the country at this time.

James Bavington, 'The Story of the Engineers', 1800 - 1945 (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1946) contains more details about the organisation. A copy of this publication is included in the collection (ref. MS 2667/10/1). Further information about the development of the trade union movement and the history of individual trade unions in Aberdeen can be found in William Diack, 'History of the Trades Council and the Trade Union Movement in Aberdeen' (Aberdeen: Aberdeen Trades Council, 1939), and in Kenneth D. Buckley, 'Trade Unionism in Aberdeen 1870 - 1900' (Edinburgh and London: Oliver and Boyd, 1955). Arthur Marsh and Victoria Ryan, 'Historical Directory of Trade Unions', 4 vols (Aldershot: Gower, 1980 - 1984) also contains useful information about the development of individual unions, at both the national and local level.
SourceDeposited in the University in 1967, by James Thom, District Secretary, Amalgamated Engineering Union (Aberdeen District). 3 further bundles of papers deposited by Terry Brotherstone, former University lecturer, via Aberdeen Trades Union Council in 2009.
DescriptionRecords of Aberdeen District:
District and committee minutes, 1943 - 1962; agreements between the Engineering and Allied Employers' Federation (and other employers' organisations), and the A.E.U. (and other employees' organisations) re. wages and working conditions, 1939 - 1961; list of candidates standing for local and district offices, 1949 - 1962; Secretary's correspondence (mainly with local employers and re. claims, disputes, hours etc.), 1940 - 1964.

Records of Aberdeen branches:
Minutes, 1945 - 1949.

Printed papers of the Amalgamted Engineering Union:
Final appeal court proceeding reports, 1948 - 1961; financial reports, 1947 - 1961; half-yearly reports, 1954 - 1961; A.E.U. printed literature, 1948 - 1961; A.E.U. national committee reports, 1946 - 1961; A.E.U. national quarterly reports, 1956 - 1961; A.E.U. national rules revision meetings, 1949 - 1960; A.E.U. women's conference reports, 1950 - 1961; A.E.U. youth conference reports, 1947 - 1961; Journal of the Amalgamated Engineering Union , 1946 - 1961; Women's Angle , 1959 - 1961.

Other printed papers:
Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions reports, wage agreements, correspondence and circulars, 1947 - 1962; Government-issued pamphlets and other publications re. engineering, working conditions, wages etc., 1946 - 1961; pamphlets and other publications issued by the Labour Party, the Co-operative Party, Trade Union Congress, United States Information Service, other organisations and unions, 1949 - 1960; newspaper cuttings re. engineering, wage and other disputes (mainly local), 1955 - 1962.
AccrualsNone expected.
ArrangementArranged by record type, and chronologically therein.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsThe records are available subject to the signed acceptance of the Department's access conditions.
Physical DescriptionNo physical conditions affecting use of collection.
Related MaterialMS 2640: Records of the Amalgamated Engineering Union (Aberdeen branches), 1832 - 1946.
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