Connecticut Employees Union Independent Records
Scope and Content
The records of the Connecticut Employees Union Independent (CEUI) provide the researcher with a first-hand account of the enormous difficulties encountered when an independent union tries to organize in the face of severe opposition from both a national labor organization and a state government. In addition, the papers provide a detailed record of relations between the State of Connecticut and its employees from 1950 to 1980.
The collection is open and available for research.
Restrictions on Use
Grievance files may be used only for “blind” research, in which no names or personally identifiable information of individuals may be recorded in written notes or other forms of recording.
Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from the owner(s) of the copyright.
The early history of the Connecticut Employees Union Independent is largely the story of one man, its feisty and determined founder and president, Salvatore Perruccio. Perruccio was a prominent labor leader in the state of Connecticut for almost forty years. Perruccio, who served as a cook at Connecticut Valley Hospital from 1947 until his retirement in 1976, rose through the ranks of the American Federation of State, Country, and Municipal Employees Local 398, and became its president during the 1950s. He also served on the International Executive Board of the International Union, AFL-CIO.
The Connecticut Employees Union Independent was formed on 26 April 1967, when Perruccio and 325 state employees working at the Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown decided to break away from AFSCME and begin their own union. Internal matters were cited by Perruccio as a reason for the break, as well as the fact that it was difficult to get money back from the national union for local services. The split with the AFSCME was not friendly, and the Federation attacked the new union with a variety of tactics ranging from court injunctions, subterfuge, and even violence. The Independent managed to survive, and by 1981 it boasted a membership of over 8,000 state employees, most of whom were maintenance workers.
Success, however, did not come easily. The new union was constantly subjected to raids by larger unions within AFSCME, and by 1982, the union was finding it difficult to stand on its own. It sought affiliation with the Service Employee International Union, AFL-CIO, in order to protect itself, and obtained guarantees whereby the union maintained its local autonomy but was protected from outside raiding. In addition, the merger prevented the state government from playing one employee union against another. The affiliation was finally approved by the union's rank and file members in 1985.
Besides being active in many labor organizations, Perruccio was also involved in numerous local, state and federal activities. In 1984 he was selected by the U.S. Department of Education to serve as secretary on the Vocational Education Advisory Committee, and was responsible for sponsoring a busing referendum in Middletown, Connecticut which allowed parochial school students to be bused at public expense. He was an active member of St. Sebastian's Church, the Garibaldi Mutual Aid Society of the Sons of Italy, and the B.P.O.E Elks No. 771 Lodge. He was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II. He died on 4 January 1987 at the age of 60.
9 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
The early history of the Connecticut Employees Union Independent is largely the story of one man, Salvatore Perruccio, a prominent labor leader in the state of Connecticut for almost forty years. The Connecticut Employees Union Independent was formed on 26 April 1967, when Perruccio and 325 state employees working at the Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown decided to break away from AFSCME and begin their own union. The split with AFSCME was not friendly, and the Federation attacked the new union with a variety of tactics ranging from court injunctions, subterfuge, and even violence. The Independent managed to survive, and by 1981 it boasted a membership of over 8,000 state employees, most of whom were maintenance workers.
Series I: Administrative Records (1937-1985) contains records from the office of the president of the CEUI, Salvatore Perruccio. The records include correspondence, union membership listings, collective bargaining records, minutes of labor management committee meetings, union reports, credit union regulations, and job descriptions. In addition, there are four folders of materials which Perruccio maintained in a file labeled “President's Folder.” The records in this series are file alphabetically by topic.
Series II: Outgoing Correspondence (1966-1974) contains carbon copies of all CEUI outgoing correspondence. The records are filed in chronological order, and there is one folder for each month of the year. The following months are missing: April 1971, January 1971, and September through December 1973.
Series III: Publications (1956-1976) contains CEUI newspapers, newsletters, and bulletins, as well as those of its predecessor organization, Local 398 of the AFSCME, Council 16 of the AFSCME, and another rival union, the Connecticut State Employees Union.
Series IV: Grievances (1950-1975) contains the grievance records of the CEUI and its predecessor organization Local 398 of the Connecticut AFSCME. The grievances of each organization are divided into two groups. One group contains general grievances, essentially a tickler file for all grievances, and is filed chronologically. The second group is comprised of individual grievances of a significant nature. This group is filed in alphabetical order by name of individual. There is also a file concerning Grievance Appeals Board. [N.B.: This series if available for blind research only. The names of individuals may not be recorded directly or in identifiable code form in any note taking or writings unless written permission is secured by the researcher from CEUI.]
The records of the Connecticut Employees Union Independent were placed on deposit in Historical Manuscripts and Archives (now Archives & Special Collections) in August 1988 by Steven Perruccio, President of CEUI. The records were donated to Archives & Special Collections by CEUI in January 2010. An addition was donated in August 2018.
Existence and Location of Copies
Digital reproductions of materials in this collection may also be found in the Archives & Special Collections digital repository
- Administrative records Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Correspondence Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Employees Subject Source: Fast
- Grievance procedures Subject Source: Fast
- Hospitals Subject Source: Fast
- Independent unions Subject Source: Fast
- Labor Subject Source: Fast
- Labor leaders Subject Source: Fast
- Labor unions Subject Source: Fast
- Medical care Subject Source: Fast
- Middletown (inhabited place) Subject Source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- Personal papers Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Publications (documents) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Sanitariums Subject Source: Fast
- United States (nation) Subject Source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- Connecticut Employees Union Independent Records
- Aldo Salerno
- 1990 March
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note