New Haven Exhibit Features Winchester-IAM History

The traveling exhibit, “Our Community at Winchester: An Elm City Story,” features former IAM Local 609 members who worked at the Olin-Winchester plant in New Haven, CT, before its closing in 2006.

A banner and memorabilia from the traveling exhibit, “Our Community at Winchester: An Elm City Story,” which features former IAM Local 609 members who worked at the Olin-Winchester plant in New Haven, CT, before its closing in 2006.

When the Olin-Winchester plant closed and left New Haven, CT in 2006, the stories of its dedicated workers throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries remained. Now, memories of the men and women who organized and worked at the plant live on in an exhibit in the building that served as the firearm manufacturer’s plant.

The traveling exhibit, “Our Community at Winchester: An Elm City Story,” tells of labor struggles, workers’ culture and the impact of the plant on the community in and around New Haven. Much of the exhibit comes from photographs and documents from IAM Local 609 records held in the Labor History Association’s archives, supplemented by oral history interviews with retired Winchester workers.

Local 609 represented workers at the plant from 1956 until its closure; however the memorabilia on display shows their struggle started long before their organizing victory in 1956.

“Preserving and understanding our history is crucial to improving and protecting our future,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Lynn D. Tucker, Jr. “The struggles, severe conditions and sacrifices endured by the working class paved the way for many generations, yet as time goes by many of the victories we enjoy today are again under assault. We can all take a lesson from our history and learn that our current conditions cannot be taken for granted. People fought for the rights and dignities we have.”

For more information, or to find where the display will be on view, visit the Greater New Haven Labor History Association website.