Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen Local 807 (Auburn, NY) Records

Collection Number: 5467

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library

This collection was processed with the help of generous funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen Local 807 (Auburn, NY) Records, 1919-1973
Collection Number:
5467
Creator:
Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen (BLF&E) BLF&E Local 807
Quantity:
4.5 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Records (documents).
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor- Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
This collection consists of the records of Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, Local 807, located in
Auburn, New York. Consists chiefly of correspondence regarding employee claims and grievances, the wage-rules movement, mergers, and routine business matters; also, routine administrative documents, forms, certificates and schedules, and financial records.
Language:
Collection material in English


ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen was founded on December 1, 1873 in Port Jervis, New York by Erie Railroad firemen in order to provide mutual support for railroad firemen. Their first convention was in 1874, at which they adopted their first constitution. The Brotherhood initially emphasized insurance, but by the late nineteenth century had branched out into labor-management relations.
In 1907, the organization changed its name to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen [BLF& E], reflecting the changes in its membership as former firemen were promoted to engineers and permitting locomotive engineers to join its ranks. In 1969, the union merged with the Order of Railway Conductors and Brakemen, the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, and the Switchmen's Union of North America to form the United Transportation Union [UTU].
Lodge 807 of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, now defunct, was located in Auburn, New York. It was composed of employees of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company [LVRR] working on the Lehigh Valley, Auburn, Cortland, and Auburn-Ithaca branches. These employees were represented by Lodge 807 until its dissolution in 1966 at which point they were represented by Lodge 379, located in Sayre, Pennsylvania. After the merger of the railroad brotherhoods, they were represented by UTU Local 810. Finally, in the 1970s, the operating employees joined the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers [BLE], Division 380, Auburn-Cortland Division.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Inclusive date range: 1919-1973
Bulk dates: 1925-1958
This collection consists of the records of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen [BLFE], Local 807, located in Auburn, New York. The members of this Lodge were employees on the Lehigh Valley Railroad [LVRR] on the Lehigh Valley, Auburn, Cortland, and Auburn-Ithaca branches. This collection, when examined along with Collection 5869, offers a mostly complete historical portrait of a BLFE Lodge and a glimpse into the day to day work of railroad employees in upstate new York during the first half of the 20th Century.
This collection contains the log books of Local 807's recording secretary, which contains the records of the Lodge's meetings, members, dues, and elections. The collection also contains the minutes of meetings for the General Grievance Committee of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, which offers a broader view of both the BLFE and the LVRR system. The records from the General Grievance Committee also contain the records of an on-going dispute between the Auburn and Cortland factions of the Local 807 firemen and enginemen regarding their seniority districts, work rosters, mileage equity, and rights to specific runs on branch lines. The two factions, each responsible for separate branch lines, had their rosters merged in 1932. This led to an ongoing conflict between the members of Local 807 for the remainder of its existence. As the LVRR was forced to abandon branch lines in the mid-20th Century, these disputes grew more contentious, finally culminating in having the International President decide on the matter (see box 6, folders 6 and 7). Extensive records of mileage worked by the various employees were kept by the local to argue their individual cases. The situation was further exacerbated by conflicts between the BLFE and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers [BLE], and who had the standing to represent the LVRR employees. As a result, there were multiple local chairmen, both de facto and official, who worked on behalf of their own factions. As a result, the correspondence files have a great deal of crossover between the LVRR General Grievance Committee and the various Lodge officials, who all kept separate correspondence files but were oftentimes writing to each other.
These correspondence files make up the bulk of this collection. Major correspondents include: William H. Sullivan and Louis Edelmayer (BLFE general chairmen, Lehigh Valley System); James R. Lathrop, Harry Glowacki, William Welhaf, and F.W. Fehr (local chairmen, Lodge 807); J.N. Haines, C.W. Wagner, and various officials of the Lehigh Valley Railroad; and the financial secretaries of Lodge 807. Subjects discussed include grievance cases, violations of the union shop agreement (1956), the abandonment of lines, discontinuance of passenger service, fringe benefits, vacation agreements, and internal union issues, including the Auburn and Cortland conflict. The correspondence files of the financial secretaries contain records of the expenses of running a BLFE Lodge. The monthly financial reports are also found in this collection as well as the annual filings with the IRS and the Railroad Retirement Board. The financial records also contain complete membership lists, information of insurance policies, and applications for membership.
Additional documents include various union organizers' forms, rosters for LVRR divisions, contracts and agreements between the BLFE and the LVRR, and publications of the BLFE.
PROCESSING INFORMATION:

Collections consisted of numerous partially processed correspondence folders, arranged in no coherent order, and by both date range and by name of correspondent. In both cases, numerous papers were found in files that fit neither the date range nor the name of the correspondent. The collection has been re-processed and arranged to create a coherent file structure based on the contents of the papers.
SUBJECTS

Names:
Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen.
Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen. Local 807 (Auburn, N.Y.)
Lehigh Valley Railroad
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers

Subjects:
Railroads--Employees.
Railroads--Employees--New York (State)--Auburn.
Grievance procedures. Railroads. New York (State)
Locomotive engineers
Locomotive firemen
Railroads--Employees
Labor Unions--Mergers--United States
Labor Unions--Consolidations--United States
Arbitration, Industrial -- United States

Form and Genre Terms:
Records (documents)


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Access Restrictions:
Access to the collections in the Kheel Center is restricted. Please contact a reference archivist for access to these materials.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen Local 807 (Auburn, NY) Records #5467. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related Collections:
5141: Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen Records
5141 G: Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen Graphics
5141 MB: Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen Memorabilia
5176: Grand Lodge of the Ladies Society of the Former Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen Records
5467: Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen Local 807 (Auburn, NY) Records
5475: Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen General Chairman, Boston and Maine Railroad Records
5611: Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen Honorary Register of Disabled
5646: Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen Additional Records
5869: Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen Local 807 (Auburn, NY) Additional Records
6176: Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen Additional Records

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1 1919-1937
Officer Roll, Minutes, and Member Lists
Box 1 Folder 2 1945-1950
Officer Roll, Minutes, and Member Lists
Box 1 Folder 3 1951-1961
Officer Roll, Minutes, and Member Lists
Box 1 Folder 4 1925-1951
1925-1930, 1934, 1936-1940, 1943-1945, 1946, 1948, 1951
Box 1 Folder 5 1925-1938
Regarding mileage disputes and employ of enginemen and firemen from the two branches, headquartered in Cortland and Auburn, New York.
Box 1 Folder 6 1927-1943
Conflict between Auburn and Cortland employees re mileage, seniority, and rostering.
Box 1 Folder 7 1937-1958
In re disputes between Auburn and Cortland divisions; and between committees of enginemen and firemen. Reports are in regards to the merger of the Auburn and Cortland rosters in 1932 on the LVRR.
Box 1 Folder 8 1938-1958
In re disputes between Auburn and Cortland divisions; and between committees of enginemen and firemen. Reports are in regards to the merger of the Auburn and Cortland rosters in 1932 on the LVRR.
Box 2 Folder 1 1927-1945
Correspondence mostly in regards to the merger of the Auburn and Cortland rosters in 1932 on the LVRR and dispute between the two branches.
Box 2 Folder 2 1947-1951
Correspondence mostly in regards to the merger of the Auburn and Cortland rosters in 1932 on the LVRR and the dispute between the two branches
Box 2 Folder 3 1951-1956
Includes series of letters between Sullivan, Lathrop, Wagner, and Fiske re a fireman (Ryan) who is in violation of the Union Shop Agreement.
Box 2 Folder 4 1950-1953
Dispute regarding seniority districts and rosters of firemen
Box 2 Folder 5 1929-1941
Docketed grievances; decisions; general bulletins for distribution
Box 2 Folder 6 1942-1945
Docketed grievances; decisions; general bulletins for distribution. (W. H. Sullivan takes over as BLFE General Chairman in October of 1945)
Box 2 Folder 7 1946-1952
Between C.L. Wagner, chief of personnel LVRR, and W.H. Sullivan, general chairman, BLFE
Box 2 Folder 8 1947-1948
Docketed cases, decisions, bulletins, personal correspondence
Box 2 Folder 9 1949-1950
Docketed cases, decisions, bulletins, personal correspondence
Box 2 Folder 10 1951-1954
Docketed cases, decisions, bulletins, personal correspondence
Box 3 Folder 1 1955
January-June, 1955. Docketed cases, decisions, bulletins, personal correspondence
Box 3 Folder 2 1955
July-December, 1955. Docketed cases, decisions, bulletins, personal correspondence
Box 3 Folder 3 1955-1958
Docketed cases, decisions, bulletins, personal correspondence
Box 3 Folder 4 1945
Box 3 Folder 5 1946
Box 3 Folder 6 1947
Box 3 Folder 7 1948
Box 3 Folder 8 1948
Box 4 Folder 1 1935
Box 4 Folder 2 1936
Box 4 Folder 3 1937
Box 4 Folder 4 1938
Box 4 Folder 5 1939
Box 4 Folder 6 1940
Box 4 Folder 7 1941
Box 4 Folder 8 1942
Box 4 Folder 9 1943
Box 4 Folder 10 1944
Box 5 Folder 1 1946-1948
Box 5 Folder 2 1949-1950
Box 5 Folder 3 1951-1952
Box 5 Folder 4 1953
Box 5 Folder 5 1955
Box 5 Folder 6 1956
January-May, 1956
Box 5 Folder 7 1956
April-June, 1956
Box 5 Folder 8 1956
July-December, 1956
Box 5 Folder 9 1957
January-June, 1957
Box 6 Folder 1 1957
July-December, 1957
Box 6 Folder 2 1958
Box 6 Folder 3 1950-1953
July 1950-June1953
Box 6 Folder 4 1953
July-December1953
Box 6 Folder 5 1954-1955
Box 6 Folder 6 1952
February-May, 1952. Includes newspaper clippings and ICC filings
Box 6 Folder 7 1952-1955
Including correspondence regarding the changes in Seniority Districts and mileage equity for firemen and enginemen from Auburn and Cortland and briefs filed by the Auburn Lodge to support their seniority rights over the Sayre Lodge.
Box 6 Folder 8 1941-1950
Box 7 Folder 1 1943-1949
Box 7 Folder 2 1949
Box 7 Folder 3 1949-1951
Box 7 Folder 4 1952-1957
Box 7 Folder 5 1944-1949
Approval of Application for Insurance Certificates; Acceptance of Application for Memberships; and Re-Admissions of Former Members
Box 7 Folder 6 1949-1951
Acceptance of Application for Memberships; and Re-Admissions of Former Members
Box 7 Folder 7 1946
Box 7 Folder 8 1947
Box 7 Folder 9 1948
Box 7 Folder 10 1949
Box 7 Folder 11 1950
Box 7 Folder 12 1951
Box 7 Folder 13 1952
Box 7 Folder 14 1953
Box 8 Folder 1 1954
Box 8 Folder 2 1955
Box 8 Folder 3 1956
Box 8 Folder 4 1957
Box 8 Folder 5 1945-1957
Box 8 Folder 6 1947-1954
Quarterly payroll forms; mailers and instructions; blank forms; promotional materials.
Box 8 Folder 7 1944-1956
Box 8 Folder 8 1954-1958
Death benefits, insurance pay-outs, and applications
Box 8 Folder 9 1958-1961
1958, 1961
Box 8 Folder 10
Undated
Box 8 Folder 11 1958
Box 8 Folder 12
Blank books of tear-out forms. Undated.
Box 8 Folder 13 1948-1950
Box 8 Folder 14 1950
Box 8 Folder 15 1948
Box 8 Folder 16 1948-1955
Box 9 Folder 1 1958
Box 9 Folder 2 1922-1963
Box 9 Folder 3 1963
Box 9 Folder 4 1957
Box 9 Folder 5 1973
Letter from LVRR employees at Geneva, New York regarding track condition