Amalgamated Engineering Union

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Amalgamated Engineering Union
Amalgamated Engineering Union (Australia) logo.png
Merged into Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union
Founded1920
Dissolved1 May 1992
Headquarters110 Peckham Road, London
Location
  • United Kingdom
Members
1,483,400 (1979) [1]
PublicationAUEW Journal
Affiliations TUC, CSEU, IMF, Labour

The Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU) was a major British trade union. It merged with the Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications and Plumbing Union to form the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union in 1992.

Contents

History

The history of the union can be traced back to the formation of the Journeymen Steam Engine, Machine Makers' and Millwrights' Friendly Society, in 1826, popularly known as the "Old Mechanics". They invited a large number of other unions to become part of what became the Amalgamated Society of Engineers (ASE). [2]

In 1920, the ASE put out a fresh call for other unions to merge with it in a renamed Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU). Seventeen unions balloted their members on a possible merger, and nine voted in favour of amalgamation: [2]

The resulting union had a membership of 450,000, [3] about 300,000 coming from the ASE. [4]

Jack Leckie, a Scottish trade union activist and communist, addressing a rally at Radford Road, Coventry, during the 1922 Engineers' Lockout. Jack Leckie addressing a rally, 1922.jpg
Jack Leckie, a Scottish trade union activist and communist, addressing a rally at Radford Road, Coventry, during the 1922 Engineers' Lockout.

In 1922 employers, represented by the Engineering Employers' Federation, launched an industry-wide lockout in an attempt to reverse the gains made by the AEU during WWI and its aftermath. [3] Exploiting the downturn in economic conditions in the engineering industry, they demanded the union forfeit control over overtime. The lockout lasted from 11 March to 13 June and involved 260,000 workers, 90,000 of them represented by the AEU. The lockout ended with the union conceding some of the employers' demands. [3]

The AEU continued to grow and absorb smaller unions. From 1926, it accepted members who had not completed an apprenticeship. In 1933, it had 168,000 members, and 390,900 by the end of the decade. Its largest membership growth came during the Second World War when its all-male membership voted to admit women for the first time and 100,000 joined almost immediately, membership reaching 825,000 by 1943. [1] It admitted women due to the increasing role of female industrial workers in the British home front, as well as to prevent either female workers joining rival unions or non-union female workers from undercutting union wages. [5] However, the AEU also lost its overseas branches in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, which became independent unions.

From the 1940s, the AEU also absorbed various smaller unions: the Amalgamated Society of Glass Works Engineers, Amalgamated Society of Vehicle Builders, Carpenters and Mechanics, Amalgamated Machine, Engine and Iron Grinders' and Glaziers' Society, Leeds Spindle and Flyer Makers' Trade and Friendly Society, United Operative Spindle and Flyer Makers' Trade and Friendly Society, and the Turners', Fitters' and Instrument Makers' Union. [6]

The AEU merged with the Amalgamated Union of Foundry Workers (AUFW) on 1 January 1968 to form the Amalgamated Union of Engineering and Foundry Workers (AEF), and with the Draughtsmen and Allied Technicians' Association (DATA) and Constructional Engineering Union in 1971 to form the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers (AUEW). The union was now organised on a federal basis, with four sections: Engineering, Foundry, Construction, and Technical, Administrative and Supervisory (TASS). This approach was not a success, as the various sections fell into dispute with each other. In 1984, the Engineering, Foundry and Construction Sections were merged and in 1986 adopted the name Amalgamated Engineering Union once more, while the TASS remained separate and, in 1988, it became entirely independent of the union once more. [7]

Despite this series of amalgamations, declines in the number of workers in heavy industry saw membership drop from a peak of 1,483,400 in 1979, to 858,000 in 1986. [1] The AEU became a mainstay of the moderate right in the trade union movement through the 1980s and 1990s, leading the manufacturing unions in 19891991 in a successful push for a shorter working week, but failing to merge with a number of unions, notally the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians.

In 1992 the AEU finally achieved a merger with the Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications and Plumbing Union, EETPU, after a hundred years of off and on discussions. [8] The new union took the name Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union. [9]

Elections results

Like the ASE before it, the AEU affiliated to the Labour Party, sponsoring candidates at each election, many of whom won seats in Parliament.

ElectionConstituencyCandidateVotesPercentagePosition
1922 general election Aberdeen North Frank Herbert Rose 10,95855.71 [10]
Ashton-under-Lyne Tom Gillinder 8,83442.42 [10]
Basingstoke Samuel Ledbury3,03513.63 [10]
Camborne Tom Proctor 4,50221.93 [10]
Dumbarton Burghs David Kirkwood 16,39764.51 [10]
Edmonton Frank Broad 8,40745.11 [10]
Gateshead John Brotherton 18,79543.81 [10]
Newcastle upon Tyne West David Adams 11,65443.91 [10]
Newton Robert Young 12,31255.61 [10]
Plymouth Drake James Gorman 8,35931.42 [10]
Rochdale Stanley Burgess 15,77438.81 [10]
Stalybridge and Hyde Percy Horace Wood7,57821.63 [10]
The Wrekin Richard Edward Jones10,60347.62 [11]
Woolwich West John Thomas Sheppard9,55039.82 [10]
Yeovil William Kelly 9,58138.32 [10]
1923 general election Aberdeen North Frank Herbert Rose 9,13850.61 [12]
Edmonton Frank Broad 10,73564.41 [12]
Gateshead John Brotherton 16,68941.12 [12]
Newcastle upon Tyne West David Adams 11,52743.22 [12]
Newton Robert Young 12,49259.91 [12]
Rochdale Stanley Burgess 13,52532.62 [12]
1924 general election Dumbarton Burghs David Kirkwood 14,56259.21 [13]
Edmonton Frank Broad 11,61453.11 [13]
Newton Robert Young 12,87556.11 [13]
1929 general election Dartford John Edmund Mills 26,87150.61 [14]
Dumbarton Burghs David Kirkwood 19,19363.11 [14]
Edmonton Frank Broad 17,55559.31 [14]
Newton Robert Young 18,17660.51 [14]
1931 by-election Sunderland James Thomas Brownlie 30,07439.82 [15]
1931 general election Barrow David Adams 15,83543.22 [16]
1935 general election Consett David Adams 25,41958.71 [17]
Dumbarton Burghs David Kirkwood 20,40965.21 [17]
Newton Robert Young 19,99258.51 [17]
1945 general election Aberdeen South William McLaine 17,39842.32 [18]
Dumbarton Burghs David Kirkwood 16,26265.21 [18]
Manchester Hulme Frederick Lee 12,03455.61 [18]
Newton Robert Young 25,19762.01 [18]
1948 by-election Edmonton Austen Albu 26,16453.41 [19]
1949 by-election Leeds West Charles Pannell 21,93555.21 [19]
1950 general election Bury and Radcliffe John Owen25,70544.42 [20]
East Dunbartonshire David Kirkwood 25,94352.71 [20]
Edmonton Austen Albu 34,89755.11 [20]
Hayes and Harlington Walter Ayles 22,49060.11 [20]
Keighley Charles Hobson 21,83348.51 [20]
Leeds West Charles Pannell 21,33951.61 [20]
Newcastle upon Tyne North W. H. Shackleton16,86035.92 [20]
Newton Frederick Lee 31,83259.11 [20]
Rochdale Joseph Hale 25,48444.91 [20]
Southall George Pargiter 27,10753.91 [20]
1951 general election Cirencester and Tewkesbury Albert Sumbler18,35340.52 [21]
East Dunbartonshire Cyril Bence 26,67851.21 [21]
Edmonton Austen Albu 36,02358.41 [21]
Esher Percy McNally15,33428.62 [21]
Glasgow Scotstoun John Robertson 20,87249.32 [21]
Hayes and Harlington Walter Ayles 23,82364.81 [21]
Keighley Charles Hobson 23,74352.81 [21]
Leeds West Charles Pannell 22,35754.11 [21]
Newton Frederick Lee 31,37458.31 [21]
Rochdale Joseph Hale 27,34349.62 [21]
Southall George Pargiter 29,12357.91 [21]
Southend West Henry Lyall17,35230.92 [21]
Stockport North John Owen20,89344.92 [21]
1955 general election Barry Dan Jones 19,72242.12 [22]
Bridgwater Albert Sumbler17,17040.82 [22]
East Dunbartonshire Cyril Bence 24,21648.71 [22]
Edmonton Austen Albu 30,23256.61 [22]
Glasgow Woodside John McGinley15,54343.92 [22]
High Peak Neil McBride 13,65234.62 [22]
Keighley Charles Hobson 19,41446.51 [22]
Leeds West Charles Pannell 24,57652.81 [22]
Newton Frederick Lee 29,29957.91 [22]
Rochdale Jack McCann 24,92848.52 [22]
Southall George Pargiter 25,20757.21 [22]
Stockport South Ernie Roberts 16,61244.52 [22]
1958 by-election Rochdale Jack McCann 22,13344.71 [23]
1959 general election Burnley Dan Jones 27,67557.01 [23]
Doncaster Ted Garrett 22,93546.42 [23]
East Dunbartonshire Cyril Bence 27,94251.11 [23]
Edmonton Austen Albu 25,59850.51 [23]
Glasgow Scotstoun William Small 24,69053.71 [23]
Glasgow Woodside John McGinley14,48343.12 [23]
High Peak Bernard Conlan 13,82734.02 [23]
Keighley Charles Hobson 20,45649.82 [23]
Leeds West Charles Pannell 25,87854.91 [23]
Newton Frederick Lee 31,04157.41 [23]
Oxford Leslie Anderton18,31034.82 [23]
Rochdale Jack McCann 21,68941.51 [23]
Southall George Pargiter 22,28552.71 [23]
South Northamptonshire Arthur Richardson18,29243.02 [23]
Stockport South Stan Orme 17,98246.72 [23]
1963 by-election Swansea East Neil McBride 18,90961.11
1964 general election Bradford North Ben Ford 17,90543.61 [24]
Bristol North West David Watkins 21,03042.92 [24]
Burnley Dan Jones 25,24456.81 [24]
Doncaster Harold Walker 23,84549.91 [24]
East Dunbartonshire Cyril Bence 32,94855.61 [24]
Edmonton Austen Albu 24,37349.21 [24]
Gateshead East Bernard Conlan 26,63364.51 [24]
Glasgow Scotstoun William Small 27,03661.61 [24]
Keighley John Binns 17,81643.01 [24]
Leeds West Charles Pannell 22,96850.51 [24]
Newton Frederick Lee 32,93256.01 [24]
Paisley John Robertson 26,31852.91 [24]
Rochdale Jack McCann 22,92746.71 [24]
Salford West Stan Orme 20,49055.51 [24]
Southall George Pargiter 18,04148.01 [24]
Swansea East Neil McBride 30,90473.01 [24]
Tottenham Norman Atkinson 19,45854.71 [24]
Truro Douglas Grazier14,22431.52 [24]
Wallsend Ted Garrett 39,84160.41 [24]
1966 general election Bradford North Ben Ford 21,72755.41 [25]
Burnley Dan Jones 25,58360.41 [25]
Consett David Watkins 29,75373.31 [25]
Doncaster Harold Walker 25,77756.71 [25]
East Dunbartonshire Cyril Bence 32,98852.21 [25]
Edmonton Austen Albu 26,42258.61 [25]
Gateshead East Bernard Conlan 27,62869.61 [25]
Glasgow Scotstoun William Small 27,32061.81 [25]
Keighley John Binns 22,03955.01 [25]
Leeds West Charles Pannell 24,39156.31 [25]
Newton Frederick Lee 36,90162.81 [25]
Paisley John Robertson 28,07460.01 [25]
Rochdale Jack McCann 24,48152.41 [25]
Salford West Stan Orme 19,23759.21 [25]
Swansea East Neil McBride 30,29075.41 [25]
Tottenham Norman Atkinson 17,36765.31 [25]
Wallsend Ted Garrett 39,74465.21 [25]
1970 general election Aberdeen North Robert Hughes 27,70762.11 [26]
Bradford North Ben Ford 20,14152.11 [26]
Burnley Dan Jones 24,20057.01 [26]
Consett David Watkins 28,98570.91 [26]
Doncaster Harold Walker 22,65850.71 [26]
Edmonton Austen Albu 20,62649.11 [26]
Gateshead East Bernard Conlan 28,52464.81 [26]
Glasgow Scotstoun William Small 26,49257.41 [26]
Keighley John Binns 20,34149.32 [26]
Leeds West Charles Pannell 21,61851.81 [26]
Louth James Murray16,40333.92 [26]
Merthyr Tydfil Taliesin Lloyd9,23428.72 [26]
Newton Frederick Lee 34,87352.51 [26]
Paisley John Robertson 25,42954.11 [26]
Rochdale Jack McCann 19,24741.61 [26]
Salford West Stan Orme 16,98654.31 [26]
South Northamptonshire Gordon Roberts21,13137.22 [26]
South West Norfolk Leslie Potter16,57242.72 [26]
Swansea East Neil McBride 28,18368.51 [26]
Tottenham Norman Atkinson 17,36761.31 [26]
Wallsend Ted Garrett 39,06561.31 [26]
1973 by-election Dundee East George Machin 14,41132.71 [27]
1974 Feb general election Aberdeen North Robert Hughes 23,19347.71 [28]
Bradford North Ben Ford 22,38143.31 [28]
Bridgwater Roger Undy16,78629.52 [28]
Burnley Dan Jones 21,10850.41 [28]
Carlton James Murray20,14733.52 [28]
Chorley George Rodgers 25,44040.31 [28]
Consett David Watkins 27,40161.11 [28]
Coventry North East George Park 30,49663.91 [28]
Doncaster Harold Walker 23,04147.91 [28]
Dundee East George Machin 17,10033.72 [28]
Gateshead East Bernard Conlan 27,26955.21 [28]
Glasgow Garscadden William Small 21,03552.31 [28]
Gloucester Alf Pegler18,21535.22 [28]
Leeds West Joseph Dean 19,43642.11 [28]
Newton John Evans 38,36949.31 [28]
Paisley John Robertson 23,82048.41 [28]
St Pancras North Jock Stallard 14,76152.81 [28]
Salford West Stan Orme 16,80851.31 [28]
Swansea East Neil McBride 28,53766.31 [28]
Tottenham Norman Atkinson 16,99954.81 [28]
Wallsend Ted Garrett 41,81162.01 [28]
1974 Oct general election Aberdeen North Robert Hughes 23,13050.91 [27]
Bradford North Ben Ford 22,84149.11 [27]
Burnley Dan Jones 21,64254.81 [27]
Chorley George Rodgers 27,29044.11 [27]
Consett David Watkins 27,12367.01 [27]
Coventry North East George Park 26,48959.51 [27]
Doncaster Harold Walker 22,17751.31 [27]
Dundee East George Machin 15,13732.72 [27]
Gateshead East Bernard Conlan 27,62061.91 [27]
Glasgow Garscadden William Small 19,73750.91 [27]
Leeds West Joseph Dean 20,66949.61 [27]
Newton John Evans 38,95653.31 [27]
Paisley John Robertson 21,36844.81 [27]
Rochdale John Connell17,33936.82 [27]
St Pancras North Jock Stallard 14,15558.51 [27]
Salford West Stan Orme 17,11257.21 [27]
Tottenham Norman Atkinson 15,70858.81 [27]
Wallsend Ted Garrett 37,18058.11 [27]
1979 general election Aberdeen North Robert Hughes 26,77159.31 [29]
Bradford North Ben Ford 25,06950.91 [29]
Burnley Dan Jones 20,17250.81 [29]
Chorley George Rodgers 28,54643.02 [29]
Consett David Watkins 26,70861.31 [29]
Coventry North East George Park 27,01057.31 [29]
Doncaster Harold Walker 22,18448.91 [29]
Gateshead East Bernard Conlan 28,77661.21 [29]
Hackney North and Stoke Newington Ernie Roberts 14,68851.61 [29]
Kilmarnock William McKelvey 25,71852.61 [29]
Leeds West Joseph Dean 21,29049.41 [29]
Manchester Blackley Ken Eastham 20,34650.41 [29]
Newton John Evans 41,46651.41 [29]
Rochdale John Connell16,87834.32 [29]
St Pancras North Jock Stallard 14,55654.21 [29]
Salford West Stan Orme 18,41161.51 [29]
Tottenham Norman Atkinson 16,29956.91 [29]
Wallsend Ted Garrett 38,21455.11 [29]
1983 general election Aberdeen North Robert Hughes 19,26247.01 [30]
Coventry North East George Park 22,19047.81 [30]
Doncaster Central Harold Walker 21,15442.01 [30]
Edinburgh Leith Ron Brown 16,17739.71
Gateshead East Bernard Conlan 22,98148.31 [30]
Hackney North and Stoke Newington Ernie Roberts 18,98952.01 [30]
Kilmarnock and Loudoun William McKelvey 20,25043.61 [30]
Leeds West Joseph Dean 15,86034.02
Manchester Blackley Ken Eastham 20,13248.11
St Helens North John Evans 25,33447.91
Salford East Stan Orme 21,37353.71
Tottenham Norman Atkinson 22,42352.01 [30]
Wallsend Ted Garrett 26,61550.11
1985 by-election Tyne Bridge David Clelland 13,51757.81
1986 by-election Knowsley North George Howarth 17,40356.31
1987 general election Aberdeen North Robert Hughes 24,14554.71
Bury North David Crausby 21,18637.82 [31]
Caithness and Sutherland Allan Byron3,43714.93 [31]
Doncaster Central Harold Walker 26,26651.21 [31]
Edinburgh Leith Ron Brown 21,10449.31 [31]
Feltham and Heston Charles Hinds22,32537.42 [31]
Glasgow Pollok Jimmy Dunnachie 23,23963.11 [31]
Kilmarnock and Loudoun William McKelvey 23,71348.51
Knowsley North George Howarth 27,45469.91 [31]
Manchester Blackley Ken Eastham 22,47652.41 [31]
St Helens North John Evans 28,98953.71 [31]
Salford East Stan Orme 22,55558.81 [31]
Sheffield Central Richard Caborn 25,87267.71 [31]
Sheffield Heeley Bill Michie 28,42553.41 [31]
Tyne Bridge David Clelland 23,13163.01 [31]
Wallsend Ted Garrett 32,70956.81 [31]
1992 general election Aberdeen North Robert Hughes 18,84547.01
Bolton North East David Crausby 21,45944.52
Doncaster Central Harold Walker 27,79554.31
Glasgow Pollok Jimmy Dunnachie 14,17043.41
Kilmarnock and Loudoun William McKelvey 22,21044.81
Knowsley North George Howarth 27,51777.51
Manchester Blackley Ken Eastham 23,03160.21
Rotherham Jimmy Boyce 27,93363.91
Salford East Stan Orme 20,32760.01
Sheffield Central Richard Caborn 22,76468.71
Sheffield Heeley Bill Michie 28,00555.71
St Helens North John Evans 31,93057.91
Tyne Bridge David Clelland 22,32867.21

Leadership

General Secretaries

AEU
1921: Albert Smethurst
1933: Fred A. Smith
1943: Benjamin Gardner
1956: Cecil Hallett
1965: Jim Conway
AEF/AUEW
YearConstructionEngineeringFoundry TASS
1968Created 1971 Jim Conway William Simpson Created 1971
1971 Eddie Marsden George Doughty
1974 Bob Garland Ken Gill
1975 John Boyd
1976 John Baldwin
1982 Gavin Laird
1984 Gavin Laird
AEU
1988: Gavin Laird

Presidents

1920: James Thomas Brownlie
1931: William Harold Hutchinson
1933: John C. Little
1939: Jack Tanner
1953: Robert Openshaw
1956: William Carron
1968: Hugh Scanlon
1978: Terry Duffy
1986: Bill Jordan

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