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Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers, Local 7-346 - MS 291

Introduction | Agency History | Scope and Content | Series DescriptionInventory


This collection contains the correspondence and printed materials of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union, Local 7-346, which serves the employees of several oil industry-related companies in the Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio area. Included in the collection are Contractual Agreements, Amendments, and Stipulations entered into between the Union and the several companies where the Union members were employed.

The Local 7-346 materials represent a significant chapter in the history of labor in Northwest Ohio. Organized in the early 1930s, its members earned a better wage than most because of the difficult, and sometimes dangerous, nature of their work in the refineries. During the Second World War the oil and petroleum industries were understandably vital to the war effort of the United States, hence these records reflect the actions and activities of these employees during that period in the nation's history.

The records were donated and transferred to the Center for Archival Collections in January 1983 by James Stroud, Financial Secretary of Local 7-346. No restrictions exist on the use of this collection and duplication is permitted for the purpose of preservation and research. The collection was processed and the register prepared in June 1988 by Stephen C. Young, manuscript processor employed through a grant provided by the Ohio Historical Society.

Agency History

Local 7-346 of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union was originally chartered on 10 September 1934 as part of the Oil Workers International Union Local 346 (A.F.L.). At its inception the only members belonging to the Local were employed by the Gulf Refining Company. By late 1935 a decreasing membership and weakening support forced the temporary deactivation of this unit, with the reestablishment of the charter in the Spring of 1937 under the auspices of the C.I.O. (District #6). At this time the employees of the Pure Oil Company also were organized by the Union. Other workers who eventually became members of the Local 364 represented such companies as Standard Oil, Detroit Southern Pipe Line, Fiske Brothers Refining, Cities Service Oil, Socony-Vacuum Oil, and Sinclair Refining Companies.

During the Second World War the U.S. Navy took over the Toledo area refineries. A freeze on wages during the war resulted in an expansion of benefits for oil workers, won by the National War Labor Board. The National Labor Relations also served as an arbitration agency to settle grievances between Union and Management.

At the time of the formation of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union in 1955, Local 346 was merged as part of District 11. With the redistribution of that Union's districts in 1961, the current designation of 7-346 was applied to the Local. The present (1997) address of the union is 2910 Consault Street, Toledo, Ohio 45801.

Scope and Content

The Local 7-346 collection spans the two decades following its inception in 1937, both as a unit of the Oil Workers International Union and its subsequent merger with the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union in 1955.

A major part of the material consists of the Contractual Agreements, Amendments, and Stipulations entered into between the Toledo area oil refineries and the Union. They contain the labor concerns and issues both won and lost by either side. A large amount of correspondence further reveals the negotiations process between Union and Management.

One major issue fought over was the recognition of seniority for employees. At least one strike and several grievances resulting in arbitration before the National Labor Relations Board centered on this dispute.

The strong support and participation of workers at the Pure Oil Company in Local 7-346 is reflected in the substantial correspondence and agreements included with these manuscripts. The equivalent records of the Gulf Refining and Standard Oil Companies reveal their significant participation in the local Union as well.

Intimate details of union-breaking activities at the Pure Oil Company in 1938 are recorded in a series of depositions or interviews. Personalities and attitudes on both sides of the argument are particularly evident in the recollections of conversations between the protagonists.

Some strike activities by the Union are included, but in general this aspect of Union history is lacking considering the extent and number of shutdowns in this industry in the Toledo area. Information on wages, remuneration, and benefits are well-recorded in both the contracts and job ratings extant in this collection. Often these records are tied closely with the volatile issue of seniority as already described.

The many and varied activities of the Union are well-represented but must be mined from a fairly large amount of correspondence. These include not only the basic labor issues, but also related concerns such as insurance and hospital benefits. This collection provides an interesting review of labor's early struggles and victories as well as participation during the war years.

Series Description


1937-1939 (Pure Oil Company)
1942-1957 (Standard Oil Company)
Arranged chronologically
Consists of written notes composed during meetings held between company management and Local 346 Union officials, as well as typed reports of meetings for general distribution.

1949, n.d.
Arranged chronologically
Typed reports of the Oil Workers International Union Fifth District Council Executive Board meeting minutes. Reports, resolutions, and financial statements of this body are described. Also contains a list of local unions arranged alphabetically.

No discernible arrangement.
A notebook of unidentified origin with typed records in the first pages, and handwritten minutes of Board Meetings in later pages. Contains information on Local 346 organization procedures, and activities of this Local.

1937-1938, 1940, 1942-1944, 1948-1949, 1952-1955, n.d.
Arranged chronologically
Contains the reports and correspondence detailing various grievance cases at the Pure Oil Company. Of note is the volatile issue of seniority at this refinery in 1938 which generated many reports and much correspondence.

(Note: one file is listed as undated but certainly belongs with a 1938 companion file.) This series also contains one case at the Gulf Toledo Refinery, and a grievance originating from Local 395 of the Oil Workers International Union. Unfortunately many of these case files do not contain the outcome of the arbitration process.


1936, 1938-1940
Arranged chronologically
The incoming and outgoing correspondence of Clyde S. Shamblen, President of the Oil Workers International Union Local 346, which details his and the Locals activities during these years. The one item from 1936 is a reference letter from his former employer: The Pennsylvania Railroad.

1937-1952, 1954-1956
Arranged chronologically
Contains incoming and outgoing correspondence relating to Union matters and negotiations with the several oil companies that employed Local 346 members.

Arranged alphabetically by company name.
The incoming and outgoing correspondence between Local 346 and the various oil companies where its members were employed. These files supplement the information contained in the General - Local 346 files.


The Constitution and By-Laws of the National Council of the Oil Workers International Union, C.I.O.; serving all those who are in the employ of the Cities Service Company.

1937, 1939-1941, 1944, 1949, 1951-1953, 1955-1956
Arranged by subject and within chronologically
A collection of files detailing committee reports, and identifying employees seniority within the company. Wage rates for the different jobs at the Toledo Refinery are included. Also information on the Taylor and Elby Hospital Funds contributions

1937, 1939-1940, 1942-1943, 1950-1954, 1957, n.d.
Arranged by company and within chronologically
Includes case files and correspondence of Local 346 with Gulf, Pure Oil, Standard Oil, and the National Labor Relations Board which served as an arbitrator.

Arranged by company and within chronologically.
The National War Labor Board also served as an arbitrator in disputes between Local 346 and various oil companies during the war years. Specifically, this series includes arbitration proceedings with Gulf and Standard Oil.

1937, 1938, 1944, 1947, 1950, 1958, n.d.
Arranged by subject and within chronologically.
Includes various committee and council reports, identification of employees, and a 1937 petition demanding that Local 346 be the only recognized collective bargaining agency to represent them to the company. Also a 1938 proposal submitted by the Union to the company during the contract negotiations for that year.

1947, 1949-1953, n.d.
Arranged chronologically
Contains identification of employees, seniority lists, and membership cards.

1938, 1953
Arranged by subject and company and within chronologically.
The activities at the Standard Oil Refinery at Toledo immediately prior to the beginning of the strike in 1938 are described by a number of depositions made by employees. This series also includes a great amount of correspondence and picketing schedules which detail the Local's participation in the 1953 Gulf Refinery strike.

The constitution and By-Laws of this organization established to provide health and accident benefits for its members.

1937, 1939, 1941, 1947-1952, n.d.
Arranged by subject and within chronologically.
Information on job descriptions and accompanying wages at various oil refineries served by Local 346. Also a file of Local 346 dealings with the U.S. Department of Labor Wage Stabilization Board.


1937-1957, n.d.
Arranged by company and within chronologically.
A collection of contracts, agreements, amendments, and stipulations entered into between Local 346 and the various oil companies who employed its members. Some examples of other Union Locals are included, as well as an Agreement made with the United Office and Professional Workers of America, Local 29.

1937-1938, 1945-1946, 1951-1953, 1957
Arranged by company and within chronologically.
Includes correspondence, Court Journal Entries, Court Petitions, and other documents from the Court of Common Pleas, Lucas County, Ohio, dealing with legal actions between Local 346 and various oil companies.


1946-1948, 1950-1951, 1955, 1957-1958
Arranged chronologically
A collection of correspondence, expense reports, and memos from the Local 346 files.


1939, 1948-1950, 1952-1953, 1956-1957, 1959, 1961, 1963, 1967
Arranged by company.
Published booklets of contractual agreements between Local 346 and the various oil companies who employed its members. Local 228 is also represented.

1939, 1941-1944, 1948, 1950-1951, 1954, n.d.
Arranged by subject.
Includes a miscellany of union, government, and industry publications dealing with insurance and retirement plans, credit unions, union membership materials (cards) and a "Steward's Bible."


Box 1


  1. Union/Management Meeting Minutes, Pure Oil Company, 1937-1939
  2. Union/Management Meeting Minutes, Standard Oil Company, 1942, 1946-1947, 1953, 1957
  3. Executive Board Meeting Minutes, Oil Workers International Union Fifth District Council, 1949, n.d.
  4. Local 346 Notebook, 1937-1943
  5. Grievances, Pure Oil Company, 1937
  6. Grievances (Seniority), Pure Oil Company, 1938
  7. Grievances (Seniority), Pure Oil Company, n.d.
  8. Grievances, Pure Oil Company, 1940
  9. Grievances, Frank Thomas-Gulf Refining Company, 1942-1943
  10. Grievances, Pure Oil Company, 1942-1944
  11. Grievance, Cyril Babione, Pure Oil Company, 1948
  12. Grievances, Pure Oil Company, 1949
  13. Grievance, William Flower, Oil Workers International Union Local 395, 1952
  14. Grievances, Pure Oil Company, 1953-1955
  15. Correspondence, Clyde S. Shamblen, 1936, 1938
  16. Correspondence, Clyde S. Shamblen, 1939-1940
  17. Correspondence, Local 346, 1937
  18. Correspondence, Local 346, Jan.-April 1938

Box 2


  1. Correspondence, Local 346, May-Oct. 1938
  2. Correspondence, Local 346, 1939-1952, 1954-1956
  3. Correspondence, Cities Service Oil Company, 1947, 1952-1954
  4. Correspondence, Detroit Southern Pipe Line Company, 1937, 1944, 1947, 1950-1956
  5. Correspondence, Fiske Brothers Refining Company, 1940, 1943-1955
  6. Correspondence, Gulf Refining Company, 1937-1941, 1945, 1947, 1950-1954,1956
  7. Correspondence, Pure Oil Company, 1937-1939
  8. Correspondence, Pure Oil Company, 1940-1956
  9. Correspondence, Sinclair Refining Company, 1946-1950, 1953, 1955
  10. Correspondence, Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, 1946-1949, 1951-1953, 1955

Box 3


  1. Correspondence, Standard Oil Company, 1943-1947, 1949-1957
  2. Cities Service Nationwide Council, Constitution and By-Laws, 1950
  3. Gulf Refining Company, Committee Reports and Memos, 1939, 1941, 1944,1952-1953, 1956
  4. Gulf Refining Company, Hospital Funds Contributions, 1951-1952
  5. Gulf Refining Company; Employee, Seniority, and Wage Rate Lists, 1937, 1939-1940,1949, 1955
  6. National Labor Relations Board, Gulf Refining Company Cases, 1937, 1940, 1942-1943, 1952
  7. National Labor Relations Board, Pure Oil Company Cases, 1939, 1953-1954
  8. National Labor Relations Board, Standard Oil Company Cases, 1943, 1950-1952, 1957, n.d.
  9. National War Labor Board, Gulf Refinery Company Case, 1944-1945
  10. National War Labor Board, Standard Oil Company Cases, 1943-1945
  11. Pure Oil Company, Committee/Council Reports and Memos, 1938, 1944, 1947, 1958, n.d.
  12. Pure Oil Company, Employee Lists, 1950, n.d.
  13. Pure Oil Company, Proposal for Contract Agreement, 1938
  14. Collective Bargaining Petitions, Pure Oil Company, 1937, n.d.
  15. Standard Oil Company; Employee, Seniority, and Wage Lists, Membership Cards, 1947, 1949-1953, n.d.

Box 4


  1. Strike at Gulf Refining Company, Picketing Information, 1953
  2. Strike at Gulf Refining Company, Benefits Correspondence, 1953
  3. Strike at Gulf Refining Company, Contribution Correspondence, 1953
  4. Strike at Gulf Refining Company, General Correspondence, 1953
  5. Strike at Standard Oil Company, Depositions, 1938
  6. Toledo Refinery Employee's Mutual Hospital Benefit Association, Constitution and By-Laws, n.d.
  7. Wage Rates, Oil Companies, 1937, 1939, 1941, 1947-1951
  8. Wage Stabilization Board, 1951-1952, n.d.
  9. Bulk Depot Workers (Various Companies), Agreements, 1937-1944, 1946-1951
  10. Cities Service Oil Company, Agreements, 1952-1956
  11. Detroit Southern Pipe Line Company, Agreements, 1944, 1946-1957
  12. Fiske Brothers Refining Company, Agreements, 1938-1942, 1945,1947, 1950, 1952-1957
  13. Gulf Refining Company, Agreements, 1942-1949

Box 5


  1. Gulf Refining Company, Agreements, 1950-1957
  2. Gulf Refining Company, Agreement (Locals 23 and 254), 1947
  3. Linde Air Products Company, Contract, 1954-1955
  4. Pure Oil Company, Agreements, 1937-1945
  5. Pure Oil Company, Office Section Agreements, 1946-1951
  6. Pure Oil Company, Plant Section Agreements, 1946-1951
  7. Pure Oil Company, Office Section Agreements, 1952-1957
  8. Pure Oil Company, Plant Section Agreements, 1952-1957

Box 6


  1. Pure Oil Company, Employee's Benefit Agreement, 1952
  2. Pure Oil Company, Agreement, n.d.
  3. Pure Oil Company, Agreement (Local 228), n.d.
  4. Sinclair Refining Company, Agreements, 1952-1953, 1955-1956
  5. Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, Agreements, 1947-1949, 1951-1957
  6. Standard Oil Company, Agreements, 1943, 1946-1947
  7. Standard Oil Company, Agreements, 1948-1950
  8. Standard Oil Company, Agreements, 1951-1957
  9. Standard Oil Company, Agreement (Local 395), 1948
  10. Sun Oil Company, Agreement (Independent Refinery Workers Union of Toledo, Ohio), 1949
  11. Toledo Refinery Club, Agreement, 1949
  12. United Office and Professional Workers of America, Local 29, Agreement, 1946
  13. Unidentified, Agreement (Local 389), n.d.
  14. Gulf Refining Company, Court Documents, 1953

Box 7


  1. Pure Oil Company, Court Documents, 1937-1938, 1945-1946
  2. Standard Oil Company, Court Documents, 1951-1952, 1957
  3. Financial Records, 1946-1948, 1950-1951, 1955, 1957-1958
  4. Gulf Oil Corporation, Articles of Agreement, 1957, 1959
  5. Oil Workers Local Union No. 228, Constitution and By-Laws, 1939
  6. Pure Oil Company, Agreements, 1948, 1950, 1952, 1953
  7. Pure Oil Company; Office, Warehouse and Laboratory Agreement, 1950, 1952, 1953
  8. Pure Oil Company, Employees' Benefit Agreement (Office Group), 1952
  9. Pure Oil Company, Agreements (Local 228), 1949, 1950, 1952
  10. Sinclair Companies, Agreements, 1952-1953
  11. Standard Oil Company, Articles of Agreement, 1952, 1956, 1957, 1959
  12. Standard Oil Company, Articles of Agreement, 1961, 1963, 1967
  13. Steward's Bible, 1954
  14. Credit Union Materials, 1939, n.d.
  15. Insurance Plans, 1950, n.d.
  16. Membership Materials, 1939, 1942, n.d.
  17. Military Service Plan (Gulf Oil Corporation), 1950
  18. Retirement Plans, 1948, 1950, 1951
  19. Wartime Publications, 1941, 1943, 1944

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