Guide to the Sol Berman Collection, 1940 AIS.2000.06

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Sol Berman Collection
Creator
Berman, Sol, 1918-
Collection Number
AIS.2000.06
Date
1940
Extent
0.31 linear feet (9 items)
Abstract
In May, 1940, the majority of workers at the Air King Radio plant in Brooklyn, New York voted to withdraw from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and to affiliate with the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America as UE Local 430. The collection documents this change of affiliation, the strike or lockout which took place in May-July, 1940, and Sol Berman's role as head of the Air King local's Strike/Lockout Committee during this period.

Preferred Citation

Sol Berman Collection, 1940, AIS.2000.06, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Biography

Sol Berman was born November 14, 1918 in New York City. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York City in 1935 and attended City College of New York, receiving a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1939. In 1940, Mr. Berman was employed at the Air King Radio Company in Brooklyn, New York, whose workers were represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (I.B.E.W.) Local B-1010.

On May 6, 1940, objecting to certain actions of the I.B.E.W. international, Air King workers, including Mr. Berman, called an emergency membership meeting where they voted to drop their I.B.E.W. affiliation and affiliate instead with the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Worker of America (UE) as UE Local 430. A few weeks later, on May 17th, a lockout of approximately a third of the workforce was initiated by the Air King Company. Sol Berman was chosen to head UE Local 430's Lockout/Strike Committee. One of his responsibilities was to solicit funds from other unions to help support the local during the lockout. After 1941, Mr. Berman left Air King for a series of positions in the engineering field, interrupted by service in the U.S. Army during World War II.

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Scope and Content Notes

The collection, in one file folder containing nine items, documents the process by which Air King Radio workers in Brooklyn, New York, voted, in May, 1940, to disaffiliate from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and to join the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America as Local 430. The collection also includes information on the lockout or strike which followed the change of affiliation in mid-May 1940 and the role played by Sol Berman in both developments.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, 2002

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Revision Description

 Converted from EAD Version 1.0 to EAD Version 2002 July 1, 2006

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition Information

The collection was received from Mr. Sol Berman on February 24, 2000 and conveyed to the University of Pittsburgh through a deed of gift, signed March 10, 2000.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David Rosenberg in 2002.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Kate Colligan on July 19, 2002. Information about the collection title and the controlled access terms was extracted from the MARC record in the University of Pittsburgh catalog Voyager ID number: 4022696

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Air King Radio Company. -- History
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Local B-1010 (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.). -- History
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Berman, Sol, 1918-
  • Germer, Adolph

Subject(s)

  • Labor
  • Radio supplies industry -- Employees -- Labor unions -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn (New York)
  • Radio supplies industry -- Employees -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn (New York)
  • Strikes and lockouts -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn (New York)
  • Strikes and lockouts -- Radio supplies industry -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn (New York)

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Previous Citation

Sol Berman Collection, 1940, AIS.2000.06, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Collection of Sol Berman, 1940, UE 2000:6, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Booklet Constitution of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Rules for Local Unions Under its Jurisdiction (Revised July, 1930 and amended January 30, 1931 and May 6, 1935), 53 pp.  

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Booklet Your Union at Work UE publication, First edition, April, 1940, 30 pp. 

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Flyer: Democracy Destroyed in Local B-1010, " [early May, 1940], mimeograph, issued by Emil Katz, Business Manager and Frank Sullivan, President [of Local B-1010] "for and in behalf of Local B-1010, Reorganization Committee," detailing alleged arbitrary measures of the international I.B.E.W 

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"Dear Member" mimeo letter, dated May 3, 1940, on letterhead of Radio Union Local B-1010 (I.B.E.W.), signed by Emil Katz Business Manager and Frank Sullivan, President. The letter calls for an emergency meeting of the membership on May 6, 1940 to deal with perceived invasions of the local's autonomy by representatives of the international I.B.E.W. 

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Carbon copy of motions offered in connection with or in the wake of decision to affiliate with the UE on May 6, 1940. Penciled annotations indicate individuals presumably agreeing to sponsor the seven motions indicated. 

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Letter of Referral, "To All Officers, Members and Friends of the C. I.O.," dated June 10, 1940, signed by Adolph Germer, Regional Director of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, written to support Berman during his fund raising efforts during the Air King lockout, then in its fourth week. 

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Air King Bulletin, Vol. 1, No. 5, July 12, 1940, 3 pp. mimeographed Local 430 shop paper issued during the 8th week of the Air King strike/lockout 

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"Picket Card," No. 218 issued to Sol Berman of Air King Shop in the name of UE Local #430 and bearing the date stamp "June 25 1940" (several punch holes indicate dates of picket service). 

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"Working Card," issued by UE Local 430, to Sol Berman, December 17, 1940, signed by Emil Katz, Business Agent. 

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