Machinists Union Comes Home to Atlanta for 125th Anniversary


international machinists union

WASHINGTON--June 1, 2013: The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), one of the nation's largest industrial trade unions, will commemorate its 125th birthday this week in Atlanta, the city where it was founded on May 5, 1888.

“The IAM is one of this nation's oldest labor unions and we're very proud of our roots here in the South”

A far cry from the 19 white men who met secretly in a locomotive repair pit in Atlanta's Mechanicsville neighborhood to establish the "United Machinists and Mechanical Engineers of America," the union now known as the IAM is a showcase of diversity, administering more than 5,000 contracts across the U.S. and Canada. The leadership of today's Machinists Union is equally diverse, with an executive board that includes men and women of African American, Hispanic, American Indian and Anglo descent.

"Just like the rail lines that carried our earliest organizers in every direction from Atlanta, this union expanded beyond the railroads to eventually represent workers in every major industry, including airlines, aerospace, shipbuilding, woodworking and manufacturing," said Tom Buffenbarger, the IAM's 13th International President and the youngest to take office at age 46 in 1997. "But that journey began right here in Atlanta and we're back this week to reflect on our heritage and reconnect with the spirit and determination that drove those early organizers."

After establishing "Lodge No. 1" in Atlanta, the young union grew quickly, adding 34 local lodges in one year and increasing membership from 19 to 1,500. The eight-hour day, a living wage and respect for skilled trades were among their earliest goals. The IAM today represents nearly 700,000 active and retired members across North America and is highly regarded as a forceful and influential advocate for workers' pensions, health care and job security.

"The IAM is one of this nation's oldest labor unions and we're very proud of our roots here in the South," said Buffenbarger. "It may be trendy for some to say that unions aren't welcome here or that our time has passed, but they sure aren't speaking for the millions of workers and their families who have benefited from union-negotiated wages, pensions and health care benefits. This country still needs unions and it needs workers who get to share in the prosperity they help create. That's what drove the earliest Machinists and it's what still drives us today."

Home | Buyers Guides By Make | New Car Buyers Guide | Used Car Super Search | Total New Car Costs | New Car and Truck Reviews
Automotive News | TACH-TV | Media Library | Discount Auto Parts

Copyright © 1996-2014 The Auto Channel. Contact Information, Credits, and Terms of Use. These following titles and media identification are Trademarks owned by The Auto Channel, LLC and have been in continuous use since 1987 : The Auto Channel, Auto Channel and TACH all have been in continuous use world wide since 1987, in Print, TV, Radio, Home Video, Newsletters, On-line, and other interactive media; all rights are reserved and infringement will be acted upon with force.

Privacy Statement | Size Does Matter | Media Kit | XML SITE MAP | Affiliates

Send your questions, comments, and suggestions to Editor-in-Chief@theautochannel.com.

Submit Company releases or Product News stories to submit@theautochannel.com.
Place copy in body of email, NO attachments please.

To report errors and other problems with this page, please use this form.

Link to this page: http://www.theautochannel.com/