Oral Histories

Interview of John Allard

Union organizer and president of United Automobile Works (UAW) Local 230.
Subtitle:
Organizing the United Auto Workers in Los Angeles
Topic:
Social Movements
Labor Movement
Interviewer:
Furmanovsky, Michael
Interviewee:
Allard, John
Persons Present:
Allard and Furmanovsky.
Place Conducted:
United Automobile Workers (UAW) Regional Service Center in Bell, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Michael Furmanovsky. B.A., American studies, University of Warwick; M.A., American history, UCLA; C.Phil., American history, UCLA. Furmanovsky prepared for the interview by using the research for his dissertation in progress, "Communism and the Trade Union Movement in Los Angeles in the 1930s, "and general reading on the history of the United Automobile Workers (UAW).
Processing of Interview:
Jacqueline Wester edited the interview. She checked the verbatim transcript of the interview against the original tape recordings, edited for punctuation, paragraphing, and spelling, and verified proper names. Words and phrases inserted by the editor have been bracketed. For the sake of brevity and consistency, United Automobile Workers (UAW) has been used throughout the text of the interview instead of the full official name of the union. The name of the UAW in any particular time period can be found in Labor Unions, Gary M. Fink, editor-in-chief (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1977) and in Biographical Dictionary of American Labor, Gary M. Fink, editor-in-chief (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1984). Allard reviewed and approved the edited transcript. He made some corrections and additions, and also provided essential aid in verifying spellings and identities of the many persons mentioned in the course of the interview. Gary White, editor, prepared the table of contents, biographical summary, and index.
Length:
6 hrs.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Abstract:
Growing up in Soldier, Kansas; moves to Los Angeles in 1936 to find work; working at Chrysler plant; beginning of union organizing at Chrysler; background and formation of first automobile unions; early union organizers; effects of 1937 Flint, Michigan, sit-down strike on unions in Los Angeles; runs for position in union local in 1939; arrest and trial of top union leaders and organizers; attitude towards factionalism in the United Automobile Workers (UAW); role in North American Aviation strike, 1941; response of union movement to United States entry into World War II; efforts to reemploy auto workers in war industry; works to rebuild North American Aviation union local; UAW representative to the War Manpower Commission; union elections at Douglas Aircraft; UAW politics on the West Coast; military service; helps organize textile workers in North Carolina; Clancy Sigal; philosophy of social change; the role of the Communist Party in the union movement; Edward Wight-Bakke; returns to Chrysler plant in 1946; elected president of union local; UAW convention, 1946; support for Henry A. Wallace's 1948 presidential campaign; destruction of left-wing in UAW; legislative investigations into communist influence in the trade union movement; Chrysler strike, 1950; Walter P. Reuther; wildcat strikes; joins UAW national staff; organizing Ryan Aeronautical Company in San Diego; Paul Schrade; William Goldmann; works in UAW's Technical, Office, and Professional Department; changes in the trade union movement during 1950s and 1960s; National Council of Senior Citizens; retiree movement within UAW.