This collection documents the professional and personal activites of Joe Uehlein from 1974 to 2017. Uehlein is a former director of the AFL-CIO Center for Strategic Campaigns, former Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Department (IUD), and a founder of the Labor Heritage Foundation (LHF). The materials reflect Uehlein's passion for the arts as relating to labor and his dedication to labor organization and campaigns.
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53.66 Linear Feet (33 record storage boxes and two oversize flat storage boxes)
The Joseph Uehlein papers consist of materials from 1974 to 2017 documenting the professional and personal activities of Joe Uehlein. The papers include speeches, correspondence, video tapes, news clippings, posters, minutes, and conference materials. Topics mentioned in the papers include globalization, labor law, labor arts, Eastern Airlines and Ravenswood Steel campaigns, and the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Department.
Joseph Uehlein is a former director of the AFL-CIO Center for Strategic Campaigns, former Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Department (IUD), and a founder of the Labor Heritage Foundation (LHF). Uehlein’s expertise with strategic campaigns is best demonstrated in the wealth of material on the Ravenswood Aluminum Corporation (RAC). From 1991-1992, workers at the RAC in West Virginia were locked out, but the union employed a comprehensive corporate campaign that reached all the way to Switzerland and then-fugitive billionaire owner Marc Rich. Eventually the company backed down and recognized the union.  Uehlein corresponded with the authors of the book on the strike, and used it as a case study to train union leaders in strategic campaign tactics.
A passion for the arts and a belief in their power to change the world is clearly reflected in Uehlein’s papers, with “Art and Activism” a frequent folder title. Uehlein himself is a lifelong musician, both with his band The U-Liners, and as a solo artist. His work and his music are intertwined: protest, labor struggles and hopes, and the importance of the environment are all important themes. Uehlein was also a founding member of the Labor Heritage Foundation, which is dedicated to using the arts as a way to empower unions and the labor movement. 
Uehlein was also a member of the board of directors of Ceres, the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies, a nonprofit sustainability organization.  The collection contains especially detailed records on Ceres from 2001-2002, for researchers interested in both the influential group itself or in the sustainability movement as a whole.
1. Bronfenbrenner, Kate and Juravich, Tom. Ravenswood: The Steelworkers’ Victory and the Revival of American Labor. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press/ILR Press, 1999. 2. “Mission Statement – Labor Heritage Foundation.” 2018. http://www.laborheritage.org/lhf/mission-statement/. Accessed 2018-02-07. 3. “About Us | Ceres.” 2016. https://www.ceres.org/about-us. Accessed 2018-02-07.
Joe Uehlein donated these materials in 2017 to the University of Maryland Libraries in two accessions.
This collection was minimally processed by Rebecca Thayer in 2018.
Some materials were put in new boxes if the boxes were dirty. Posters were taken out of poster tubes, flattened by the Preservation department, and placed in oversize and folders and boxes. Many of the materials were housed in hanging folders, which were discarded and replaced with acid-free file folders. In some cases, folders were overstuffed and materials were divided into two or three folders. This was designated with a , , or  in the folder's title. For example, Ravenswood  and Ravenswood  were originally one folder but were divided into three in order to prevent damage to the materials. Rusted paperclips, binder clips, and disintegrating rubber bands were removed. Loose materials were placed in folders. Empty folders were discarded but their title is listed in the inventory along with a note that the folder was empty.
Box 12 is a special case since all materials were loose in the box and there were no folders at all. The loose papers were arranged in a loose chronological order and placed in folders to protect the papers and prevent them from being damaged. No attempt to rearrange them was made, so the items are in their original order with imposed folder divisions.