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UAW-CIO, Local 499 records and photographs

Identifier: MSS-248

Scope and Contents

This collection includes papers, books, newsletters and newspaper clippings relating to the AFL-CIO, GM-UAW, UAW-CIO, and Local 499 in Muncie, Indiana ranging from 1940-2005.


  • 1937 - 2005

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Administrative History

In late 1936 and early 1937 Chevrolet-Muncie had no union organization, making itself isolated from the numerous strikes during those years (including one in nearby Anderson, Indiana that closed down that Chevrolet plant for nearly a month). As a result of the pro-union work done by the Reuther Brothers (Walter P., Roy L., and Victor G.), by late 1937 many employees of Chevrolet-Muncie were members of the C.I.O. International Union, but the plant was still considered an "open shop." The employees of Chevrolet-Muncie voted on April 16 and 17, 1940, to finally become a "Union Shop" and formed Local 499 affiliated with the C.I.O. On November 11, 1940, the C.I.O. union granted a United Auto Workers (UAW) charter to Local 499, and the first wage and seniority agreement was reached between the management of Chevrolet-Muncie and Local 499. A major strike in 1958, led Local 499 president Louis E. Burns, resulted in wage and benefit increases, as well as severance pay for all permanently laid off workers.

Due to the recession in 1981-1982, Chevrolet-Muncie suffered numerous financial setbacks. In 1981, 600 employees were laid off at Chevrolet-Muncie. The following year, the Forge Operations division of Chevrolet-Muncie was moved to a plant in New York. By 1983, Chevrolet-Muncie had only 1,150 employees, down from 2,650 just two years earlier. In 1984, the Chevrolet-Muncie plant became part of Detroit Diesel Allison, and then part of Hydra-Matic in 1986. In 1990 things improved a bit for Local 499 when New Venture Gear, a transmissions manufacturer also known as Manual Transmissions of Muncie, joined the union adding 136 jobs. The good news did not last, as Chevrolet-Muncie closed its doors on March 31, 2006.


1 Cubic Feet (7 boxes )

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1: AFL-CIO documents, 1958-1976

Series 2: GM-UAW documents, 1947-1958

Series 3: UAW-CIO documents, 1947-2003

Series 4: Local 499 documents, 1940-2005

Series 5: Artifacts, 1937-1939, undated

Series 6: UAW-CIO, Local 499 photographs, circa 1970-1980

Series 7: UAW-CIO, Local 499 oversize photographs, 1950-1952

Series 8: UAW-CIO, Local 499 negatives, undated

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Related Archival Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie IN:

PSC.285: UAW-CIO, Local 499 small photograph collection

P.259: Muncie, Indiana Chevrolet Motor Company photograph collection

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2006/06/13 by D. Lewis. Collection revision completed 2007/03/01 by Maren Read. Collection revision completed 2011/03/09 by Bethany Fiechter. EAD finding aid created 2011/03/09 by Bethany Fiechter. EAD finding aid revised by Rebecca Marangelli.

UAW-CIO, Local 499 records and photographs
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Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA