Deposit S43 - AEU Quarterly Report

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AEU Quarterly Report


  • 1967 - 1968 (Creation)

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(1920 - 1967)

Biographical history

The history of the union can be traced back to the formation of the "Old Mechanics" of 1826, which grew into the Amalgamated Society of Engineers (ASE) in 1851. The ASE was one of the 'New Model Unions' of the 1850s-1870s. These unions, which also included the Ironfounders, Builders, and Carpenters' societies, rejected Chartism and the ideas of Robert Owen in favour of a more moderate policy based on 'prudence', 'respectability' and steady growth. Great importance was attached to the question of finance, as substantial funds would not only provide maintenance for members involved in strike action, but also help to deter the employers from attacking the organisation. Since its members were skilled and relatively highly paid, it was possible for the ASE to charge contributions of one shilling a week and to build up a fund of unprecedented proportions. In 1852 and 1896, the ASE was involved in extended national lockouts which greatly weakened the organisation. Many local and regional unions joined the ASE in subsequent years and in 1920, after the acquisition of nine fresh member unions, the name of the organisation was changed to the Amalgamated Engineering Union. The AEU continued to grow and absorb smaller unions. 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. However, the AEU also lost its overseas branches in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, who became independent unions. The AEU merged with the National Union of Foundry Workers (NUFW) in 1967 and the Draughtsmen and Allied Technicians' Association (DATA) in 1971 to form the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers.

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Issues held: Apr & Oct 1967; Jan, Apr & Jul 1968.


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Open access

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See also S44

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