Electronics Workers

391 Lyell Ave
Rochester, NY 14606, US

Category: Labor Struggles

Used in the following map:

Rochester Labor History eMap

For the first time in its turbulent labor history Rochester is involved in a nationwide strike,” reported the Labor News on January 17, 1946. At issue were the 2100 members of the United Electrical, Radio, & Machine Workers of America (UE-CIO) picketing the Lyell Avenue plant of the Delco Appliance Division of General Motors as part of a nation-wide walkout of more than 200,000 workers. Soon, the Teamsters Joint Council #17 of the AFL, the Allied Building Trades (AFL) and the independent Railroad Brotherhood were refusing to cross the picket lines. The point of contention was GM’s refusal to agree to a recommendation by President Truman’s fact-finding board that wages be increased 19.5 cents/hour. Less than one month after the walk-out workers returned to their jobs with an 18.5 cent increase.

In March 1950 there was an election to determine whether the UE (which had represented the Delco workforce since 1943, but was allegedly now communist-influenced) or the IUE would represent Delco workers. The latter won by a vote of 1639 to 135 and IUE Local 509 continues to represent these employees to this day, although the plant is now located at 1555 Lyell Avenue and is owned by Valeo Wiper Systems and Electric Motors.