Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union
|Full name||Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union|
The history of the union can be traced back to the formation of the "Old Mechanics" of 1826, which grew into the Amalgamated Society of Engineers (ASE) in 1851. The ASE was one of the 'New Model Unions' of the 1850s-1870s. These unions, which also included the Ironfounders, Builders, and Carpenters' societies, rejected Chartism and the ideas of Robert Owen in favour of a more moderate policy based on 'prudence', 'respectability' and steady growth. Great importance was attached to the question of finance, as substantial funds would not only provide maintenance for members involved in strike action, but also help to deter the employers from attacking the organisation. Since its members were skilled and relatively highly paid, it was possible for the ASE to charge contributions of one shilling a week and to build up a fund of unprecedented proportions.
In 1852 and 1896, the ASE was involved in extended national lockouts which greatly weakened the organisation. Many local and regional unions joined the ASE in subsequent years and in 1920, after the acquisition of nine fresh member unions, the name of the organisation was changed to the Amalgamated Engineering Union. The AEU continued to grow and absorb smaller unions. Its largest membership growth came during the Second World War when its all-male membership voted to admit women for the first time and 100,000 joined almost immediately. However, the AEU also lost its overseas branches in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, who became independent unions.
The AEU merged with the National Union of Foundry Workers (NUFW) in 1967 and the Draughtsmen and Allied Technicians' Association (DATA) in 1971 to form the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers, AUEW. That merger was torn apart by political and industrial differences between the blue- and white-collar sections and the former DATA became Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Section, TASS before merging with the white-collar union ASTMS, led by Clive Jenkins, to form Manufacturing Science Finance, MSF.
The rest of the AUEW returned to the AEU name, absorbing the Construction Engineering Union and the small British Roll Turners Trade Society. The AEU became a mainstay of the moderate right in the trade union movement through the 1980s and 1990s, leading the manufacturing unions in 1989-91 in a successful push for a shorter working week, but failing to merge with a number of unions, notally the building workers union UCATT.
In 1992 the AEU finally achieved a merger with the Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications and Plumbing Union, EETPU, after a hundred years of off and on discussions.  The new union took the name Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union.
- 1851: William Allan
- 1875: John Burnett
- 1890: John Burns
- 1896: George Nicoll Barnes
- 1909: Jenkin Jones
- 1912: Robert Young
- 1919: Tom Mann
- 1921: A H Smethurst
- 1933: Fred A Smith
- 1943: Ben Gardner
- 1956: C W Hallett
- 1965: Jim Conway (died in the Turkish Airlines Flight 981 crash)
AUEW Engineering Section
- 1975: John McFarlane Boyd
- 1982: Gavin Laird
- 1920: James Thomas Brownlie
- 1931: William Harold Hutchinson
- 1933: John C. Little
- 1939: Jack Tanner
- 1954: Robert Openshaw
- 1956: William Carron
- 1968: Hugh Scanlon
- 1978: Terence Duffy
- 1986: Bill Jordan
- 1996: Davey Hall
- Smethurst, John B.; Carter, Peter (2009). Historical Directory of Trade Unions: Including unions in building and construction, agriculture, fishing, chemicals, wood and woodworking, transport, engineering and metalworking, government, civil and public service, shipbuilding, energy and extraction in the United Kingdom and Ireland 6. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7546-6683-7. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- Lloyd, John (1990). Light and Liberty: A History of EEPTU. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 9780297796626.
- Catalogue of the ASE archives, held at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick
- Catalogue of the AEU archives, held at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick
- Catalogue of the AUEW archives, held at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick
- Catalogue of the ETU archives, held at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick
- Catalogue of the AEEU archives, held at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick