|Merged into||Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union|
|Dissolved||1 May 1992|
|Headquarters||110 Peckham Road, London|
|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.
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).
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:
The resulting union had a membership of 450,000,about 300,000 coming from the ASE.
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.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.
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.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. 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.
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.
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. –1991 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.The AEU became a mainstay of the moderate right in the trade union movement through the 1980s and 1990s, leading the manufacturing unions in 1989
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.The new union took the name Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union.
Like the ASE before it, the AEU affiliated to the Labour Party, sponsoring candidates at each election, many of whom won seats in Parliament.
|1922 general election||Aberdeen North||Frank Herbert Rose||10,958||55.7||1|
|Dumbarton Burghs||David Kirkwood||16,397||64.5||1|
|Newcastle upon Tyne West||David Adams||11,654||43.9||1|
|Plymouth Drake||James Gorman||8,359||31.4||2|
|Stalybridge and Hyde||Percy Horace Wood||7,578||21.6||3|
|The Wrekin||Richard Edward Jones||10,603||47.6||2|
|Woolwich West||John Thomas Sheppard||9,550||39.8||2|
|1923 general election||Aberdeen North||Frank Herbert Rose||9,138||50.6||1|
|Newcastle upon Tyne West||David Adams||11,527||43.2||2|
|1924 general election||Dumbarton Burghs||David Kirkwood||14,562||59.2||1|
|1929 general election||Dartford||John Edmund Mills||26,871||50.6||1|
|Dumbarton Burghs||David Kirkwood||19,193||63.1||1|
|1931 by-election||Sunderland||James Thomas Brownlie||30,074||39.8||2|
|1931 general election||Barrow||David Adams||15,835||43.2||2|
|1935 general election||Consett||David Adams||25,419||58.7||1|
|Dumbarton Burghs||David Kirkwood||20,409||65.2||1|
|1945 general election||Aberdeen South||William McLaine||17,398||42.3||2|
|Dumbarton Burghs||David Kirkwood||16,262||65.2||1|
|Manchester Hulme||Frederick Lee||12,034||55.6||1|
|1948 by-election||Edmonton||Austen Albu||26,164||53.4||1|
|1949 by-election||Leeds West||Charles Pannell||21,935||55.2||1|
|1950 general election||Bury and Radcliffe||John Owen||25,705||44.4||2|
|East Dunbartonshire||David Kirkwood||25,943||52.7||1|
|Hayes and Harlington||Walter Ayles||22,490||60.1||1|
|Leeds West||Charles Pannell||21,339||51.6||1|
|Newcastle upon Tyne North||W. H. Shackleton||16,860||35.9||2|
|1951 general election||Cirencester and Tewkesbury||Albert Sumbler||18,353||40.5||2|
|East Dunbartonshire||Cyril Bence||26,678||51.2||1|
|Glasgow Scotstoun||John Robertson||20,872||49.3||2|
|Hayes and Harlington||Walter Ayles||23,823||64.8||1|
|Leeds West||Charles Pannell||22,357||54.1||1|
|Southend West||Henry Lyall||17,352||30.9||2|
|Stockport North||John Owen||20,893||44.9||2|
|1955 general election||Barry||Dan Jones||19,722||42.1||2|
|East Dunbartonshire||Cyril Bence||24,216||48.7||1|
|Glasgow Woodside||John McGinley||15,543||43.9||2|
|High Peak||Neil McBride||13,652||34.6||2|
|Leeds West||Charles Pannell||24,576||52.8||1|
|Stockport South||Ernie Roberts||16,612||44.5||2|
|1958 by-election||Rochdale||Jack McCann||22,133||44.7||1|
|1959 general election||Burnley||Dan Jones||27,675||57.0||1|
|East Dunbartonshire||Cyril Bence||27,942||51.1||1|
|Glasgow Scotstoun||William Small||24,690||53.7||1|
|Glasgow Woodside||John McGinley||14,483||43.1||2|
|High Peak||Bernard Conlan||13,827||34.0||2|
|Leeds West||Charles Pannell||25,878||54.9||1|
|South Northamptonshire||Arthur Richardson||18,292||43.0||2|
|Stockport South||Stan Orme||17,982||46.7||2|
|1963 by-election||Swansea East||Neil McBride||18,909||61.1||1|
|1964 general election||Bradford North||Ben Ford||17,905||43.6||1|
|Bristol North West||David Watkins||21,030||42.9||2|
|East Dunbartonshire||Cyril Bence||32,948||55.6||1|
|Gateshead East||Bernard Conlan||26,633||64.5||1|
|Glasgow Scotstoun||William Small||27,036||61.6||1|
|Leeds West||Charles Pannell||22,968||50.5||1|
|Salford West||Stan Orme||20,490||55.5||1|
|Swansea East||Neil McBride||30,904||73.0||1|
|1966 general election||Bradford North||Ben Ford||21,727||55.4||1|
|East Dunbartonshire||Cyril Bence||32,988||52.2||1|
|Gateshead East||Bernard Conlan||27,628||69.6||1|
|Glasgow Scotstoun||William Small||27,320||61.8||1|
|Leeds West||Charles Pannell||24,391||56.3||1|
|Salford West||Stan Orme||19,237||59.2||1|
|Swansea East||Neil McBride||30,290||75.4||1|
|1970 general election||Aberdeen North||Robert Hughes||27,707||62.1||1|
|Bradford North||Ben Ford||20,141||52.1||1|
|Gateshead East||Bernard Conlan||28,524||64.8||1|
|Glasgow Scotstoun||William Small||26,492||57.4||1|
|Leeds West||Charles Pannell||21,618||51.8||1|
|Merthyr Tydfil||Taliesin Lloyd||9,234||28.7||2|
|Salford West||Stan Orme||16,986||54.3||1|
|South Northamptonshire||Gordon Roberts||21,131||37.2||2|
|South West Norfolk||Leslie Potter||16,572||42.7||2|
|Swansea East||Neil McBride||28,183||68.5||1|
|1973 by-election||Dundee East||George Machin||14,411||32.7||1|
|1974 Feb general election||Aberdeen North||Robert Hughes||23,193||47.7||1|
|Bradford North||Ben Ford||22,381||43.3||1|
|Coventry North East||George Park||30,496||63.9||1|
|Dundee East||George Machin||17,100||33.7||2|
|Gateshead East||Bernard Conlan||27,269||55.2||1|
|Glasgow Garscadden||William Small||21,035||52.3||1|
|Leeds West||Joseph Dean||19,436||42.1||1|
|St Pancras North||Jock Stallard||14,761||52.8||1|
|Salford West||Stan Orme||16,808||51.3||1|
|Swansea East||Neil McBride||28,537||66.3||1|
|1974 Oct general election||Aberdeen North||Robert Hughes||23,130||50.9||1|
|Bradford North||Ben Ford||22,841||49.1||1|
|Coventry North East||George Park||26,489||59.5||1|
|Dundee East||George Machin||15,137||32.7||2|
|Gateshead East||Bernard Conlan||27,620||61.9||1|
|Glasgow Garscadden||William Small||19,737||50.9||1|
|Leeds West||Joseph Dean||20,669||49.6||1|
|St Pancras North||Jock Stallard||14,155||58.5||1|
|Salford West||Stan Orme||17,112||57.2||1|
|1979 general election||Aberdeen North||Robert Hughes||26,771||59.3||1|
|Bradford North||Ben Ford||25,069||50.9||1|
|Coventry North East||George Park||27,010||57.3||1|
|Gateshead East||Bernard Conlan||28,776||61.2||1|
|Hackney North and Stoke Newington||Ernie Roberts||14,688||51.6||1|
|Leeds West||Joseph Dean||21,290||49.4||1|
|Manchester Blackley||Ken Eastham||20,346||50.4||1|
|St Pancras North||Jock Stallard||14,556||54.2||1|
|Salford West||Stan Orme||18,411||61.5||1|
|1983 general election||Aberdeen North||Robert Hughes||19,262||47.0||1|
|Coventry North East||George Park||22,190||47.8||1|
|Doncaster Central||Harold Walker||21,154||42.0||1|
|Edinburgh Leith||Ron Brown||16,177||39.7||1|
|Gateshead East||Bernard Conlan||22,981||48.3||1|
|Hackney North and Stoke Newington||Ernie Roberts||18,989||52.0||1|
|Kilmarnock and Loudoun||William McKelvey||20,250||43.6||1|
|Leeds West||Joseph Dean||15,860||34.0||2|
|Manchester Blackley||Ken Eastham||20,132||48.1||1|
|St Helens North||John Evans||25,334||47.9||1|
|Salford East||Stan Orme||21,373||53.7||1|
|1985 by-election||Tyne Bridge||David Clelland||13,517||57.8||1|
|1986 by-election||Knowsley North||George Howarth||17,403||56.3||1|
|1987 general election||Aberdeen North||Robert Hughes||24,145||54.7||1|
|Bury North||David Crausby||21,186||37.8||2|
|Caithness and Sutherland||Allan Byron||3,437||14.9||3|
|Doncaster Central||Harold Walker||26,266||51.2||1|
|Edinburgh Leith||Ron Brown||21,104||49.3||1|
|Feltham and Heston||Charles Hinds||22,325||37.4||2|
|Glasgow Pollok||Jimmy Dunnachie||23,239||63.1||1|
|Kilmarnock and Loudoun||William McKelvey||23,713||48.5||1|
|Knowsley North||George Howarth||27,454||69.9||1|
|Manchester Blackley||Ken Eastham||22,476||52.4||1|
|St Helens North||John Evans||28,989||53.7||1|
|Salford East||Stan Orme||22,555||58.8||1|
|Sheffield Central||Richard Caborn||25,872||67.7||1|
|Sheffield Heeley||Bill Michie||28,425||53.4||1|
|Tyne Bridge||David Clelland||23,131||63.0||1|
|1992 general election||Aberdeen North||Robert Hughes||18,845||47.0||1|
|Bolton North East||David Crausby||21,459||44.5||2|
|Doncaster Central||Harold Walker||27,795||54.3||1|
|Glasgow Pollok||Jimmy Dunnachie||14,170||43.4||1|
|Kilmarnock and Loudoun||William McKelvey||22,210||44.8||1|
|Knowsley North||George Howarth||27,517||77.5||1|
|Manchester Blackley||Ken Eastham||23,031||60.2||1|
|Salford East||Stan Orme||20,327||60.0||1|
|Sheffield Central||Richard Caborn||22,764||68.7||1|
|Sheffield Heeley||Bill Michie||28,005||55.7||1|
|St Helens North||John Evans||31,930||57.9||1|
|Tyne Bridge||David Clelland||22,328||67.2||1|
|1968||Created 1971||Jim Conway||William Simpson||Created 1971|
|1971||Eddie Marsden||George Doughty|
|1974||Bob Garland||Ken Gill|
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