UAW Local 211 - Defiance, OH

A brief history of UAW Local 211 - Defiance, OH

UAW Local 211 in Defiance, Ohio was chartered on December 31, 1948 after GM opened a Central Foundry Division in the town. It took two years to complete the 290,000 square foot facility and started with 800 employees. The foundry hoped to employ at least 1,200 employees by the end of that year.

On August 23, 1948 the first diesel block was poured. Turnover was huge in the early days because of the poor working conditions. Management was advised to instill fear in the workers and told to fire one employee per week.

In December of 1948, an election was held for union representation by the UAW-CIO. In total, 414 employees wanted representation and 29 did not. This established Local 211. The first local agreement was negotiated and signed on March 22, 1949. More workers were added in August of 1949 bringing 900 more members.

women workers were first hired in 1951. At the time, if there was to be a layoff, women were the first to go because of laws restricting what type of work women could do. In 1966, the Supreme Court abolished those laws to level the playing field for women workers.

In 1952, an announcement was made for a major plant expansion. This would increase membership by another fifty percent.

In 1955, Local 211 purchased it's first hall known as "the Castle" on the corner of Fifth and Washington. It remained their home until a new hall was built on Baltimore Street in 1958. It housed the Employees' Own Federal Credit Union and the Toledo Health and Retiree Pharmacy.

In 1964, GM announced another expansion with the building of Plant 2. This would increase the membership yet again. at this time, Local 211 began it's park project. maulfair park, named in honor of former President Anson Maulfair, was opened on July 27, 1964. Additions happened over the years and included Playground equipment, ball fields, basketball and tennis courts Maulfair Park has hosted many functions over the years such as Family reunions, graduation parties, Family Days, Grandparent Days, and more.

Local 211’s Retiree Chapter was chartered In June of 1967.

In 1992, Local 211 purchased the Toledo Edison building located next to the Main Hall. this building was named "Memorial Hall" in honor of members that lost their lives on the job.

Local 211 has added eight amalgamated units over the years. They are Midwest Community Federal Credit Union, DFM, Sims Metal Management, Johns Manville (quality and skilled trade workers), Powers and Sons, Ferro, Herbert Orr, and Teijin Automotive.