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Finding Aid to the Robert E. Durkin International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots, Local 90 Collection
larc.ms.0131  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Availability
  • Restrictions
  • Preferred Citation
  • Arrangement
  • Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Indexing Terms
  • Biography
  • Scope and Contents

  • Title: Robert E. Durkin International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots, Local 90 collection
    Creator: Durkin, Robert E.
    Date (bulk): 1944-1989
    Date (inclusive): 1863-1989
    Collection number: larc.ms.0131
    Accession number: 1992/056
    Extent: 2.5 cubic ft. (2 cartons)
    Repository: Labor Archives and Research Center
    J. Paul Leonard Library, Room 460
    San Francisco State University
    1630 Holloway Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94132-1722
    (415) 405-5571
    larc@sfsu.edu
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English.
    Abstract: Consists of material collected by Robert Durkin during his years in the Masters, Mates and Pilots. Durkin was extensively involved in union politics and as a result the bulk of the collection deals with administrative and election related topics; the material in the collection both implicitly and explicitly helps to detail the struggle for survival that labor has engaged in during the 20th century. In the case of the Masters, Mates and Pilots, it deals with how both automation and modernization have impacted the maritime industry. Materials include minutes, membership material, contracts and negotiations for Masters, Mates and Pilots, Local 90, files on the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, shipyard rules from 1863 and 1868, articles on maritime associations, pension and welfare funds and health and safety issues.
    Location: Collection is available onsite.

    Availability

    Collection is open for research.

    Restrictions

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives and Research Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Labor Archives and Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Robert E. Durkin International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots, Local 90 Collection, larc.ms.0131, Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco State University.

    Arrangement

    The Robert E. Durkin Collection is divided into eleven series:
    • Series I: Personal Information
    • Series II: Masters, Mates and Pilots International
    • Series III: M.M.P. Local 90
    • Series IV: M.M.P. Local 88
    • Series V: I.O.M.M.P. Offshore Division
    • Series VI: Miscellaneous M.M.P. Locals
    • Series VII: Safety
    • Series VIII: Exxon Valdez
    • Series IX: Legal Materials
    • Series X: Maritime Associations and Organizations
    • Series XI: Research Materials

    Acquisition

    The collection was donated to the Labor Archives by Dr. David McWilliams; accession number 1992/056.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Labor Archives and Research Center staff.

    Indexing Terms

    National Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots of America.
    National Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots of America. Local 90.
    International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots.
    Merchant mariners--Labor unions--Pacific Coast (U.S.)
    Merchant mariners--Labor unions--United States.
    Merchant mariners--United States.

    Biography

    Robert Edward Durkin was born December 25, 1912 in Paterson, New Jersey. He enlisted in the Navy in November 1934 in New York and received an honorable discharge in December 1938 in Seattle. He married Helen Cleo Jones in Lakewood Village, Los Angeles on April 1, 1948. He did not have any children.
    Durkin became a member of the Masters, Mates and Pilots, Local 90 in 1942. In 1949, he was elected Trustee and served on the Executive Committee of Local 90. He was appointed as the Wilmington Branch Representative in 1952 and served out the remainder of a term that had been left vacant by a predecessor. Durkin was subsequently elected for two more terms and served as the Wilmington Branch Representative until 1957. In 1953, he was elected as a shareholder Trustee for Local 90's Building Association. He served three more six year terms and was elected President of the Building Association in 1958 and reelected annually 13 times. He was elected as chairman of the Board of Trustees for the MMP- PMA Pension, Welfare and Vacation Plans and remained chairman until December 1971. Durkin was elected President of Masters, Mates and Pilots, Local 90 in 1957 and was consecutively reelected for six more two year terms until 1971. At the same time that he served as the Local 90 President, he was also elected President of the International in July of 1958. He served as International President until January 1961.
    During his tenure as International President, he presided over a major restructuring that transformed the position of International President into a full time job. Previously, the International President had been elected from among the delegates at the IOMMP biennial convention and served concurrently as both Local and International President. Despite the fact that he led the restructuring, Durkin decided not to run for the new job. However, he remained a member of the International Executive Committee from 1958 until 1971. During this time he served as a member and or chairman of the International Constitution and Finance Committees. In 1970, all of the locals of the IOMMP merged into a single International Offshore Division and Durkin served as Vice President from October 1970 until December of 1971. He retired on December 31, 1971 but remained a Shareholder Trustee of the Masters, Mates and Pilots Building Association.

    Scope and Contents

    Consists of material collected by Robert Durkin during his years in the Masters, Mates and Pilots. Durkin was extensively involved in union politics and as a result the bulk of the collection deals with administrative and election related topics; the material in the collection both implicitly and explicitly helps to detail the struggle for survival that labor has engaged in during the 20th century. In the case of the Masters, Mates and Pilots, it deals with how both automation and modernization have impacted the maritime industry. Materials include minutes, membership material, contracts and negotiations for Masters, Mates and Pilots, Local 90, files on the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, shipyard rules from 1863 and 1868, articles on maritime associations, pension and welfare funds and health and safety issues.
    The first box of the collection contains personal material including an array of commendations and licenses, and correspondence on both personal and union related matters. The first box also contains material related specifically to the International and the Locals, particularly Local 90. The second box contains material related to specific locals as well as the Offshore Division. However the bulk of the second box contains material related to more general maritime and union topics, including information on worker safety issues and practices, maritime associations, various legal files, and research materials. The final two folders in the second box contain numerous clippings related to both specific Masters, Mates and Pilots' issues and also to more general issues.
    Materials related to the Exxon Valdez disaster in Prince William Sound in March of 1989 include documents created by Durkin in relation to the accident and also research materials including the legislation that was produced as a result. The captain of the ship was a member of the Masters, Mates and Pilots and the Union offered a slightly different interpretation of the events than those put forth in the media.