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Georgia State University

New Electrical Workers’ materials now available for research!

Both the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 84 (Atlanta, Ga.), records and a new accession of the J.W. Giles papers are now available for research at Georgia State University Library’s Southern Labor Archives.

About the IBEW Local 84 (Atlanta, Ga.) records

Representing workers in such fields as utilities, communications, construction, and transportation, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers remains one of the largest unions in the world.  Local 84 represents union members in the metro Atlanta area that work predominately with the Georgia Power Company.

The records consist primarily of the administrative and office files of J.W. Giles (see below), including correspondence, arbitration and grievances, minutes of executive board and union member meetings, auditor and business manager reports, contract agreement and negotiation materials, constitutions and bylaws, training manuals, reference files,  election materials, artifacts, photographs, and audio-visual materials.

About the addition to the J.W. Giles papers:

J.W. Giles served as a prominent figure in the Atlanta labor movement from the late 1950s throughout the late 1980s.  The new accession contains the office files relating to his work as Business Manager, Assistant Business Manager, Press Secretary, and Financial Secretary of IBEW Local 84; Secretary of the Georgia State AFL-CIO; OSHA Liaison Officer; and Director of AFSCME District Council No. 14.  Recognized for his dedication and many contributions to the labor movement, Giles received the Man of the Year Award at the Organized Labor and Workmen’s Circle Awards Banquet in 1986.

The papers include correspondence between Giles and other officials and union members, training materials, draft articles written by Giles for the Journal of Labor, minutes, constitutions, bylaws, contract agreements, Giles’ daily planners, reports, newspaper clippings, photographs, certificates and awards, audio-visual material, and artifacts.

Each of these collections supplement one another and contain valuable insight into the administrative aspect of labor unions and related organizations such as the AFL-CIO, as well as the ways these entities work closely together to protect the rights of workers.  Adequate safety training is also of particular concern for electrical workers, and both the J.W. Giles Papers and Local 84 records document the extensive training unique to this profession.  Electrical Worker and OSHA safety manuals, files concerning on-the-job injuries and fatalities, and revised safety protocols provide the researcher with an in depth view into the necessity for such training.  Additionally, as forms of communication continue to transform via technological advances, these files also provide an interesting view into the ways unions interacted prior to computers and e-mail, including handwritten minutes and Giles’ intricately detailed day planners.

Please contact Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library, for more information about this collection (, 404.413.2880). This blog post was contributed by Crystal Rodgers, who processed both collections while working as a processing assistant in Special Collections and Archives. Thanks, Crystal!