19 Machinists Secretly Meet in an Atlanta Locomotive Pit in 1888

A Timeline of Selected Important Milestones in IAM History: a union that has grown from 19 machinists secretly meeting in an Atlanta locomotive pit in 1888.

1888: 19 machinists meeting in locomotive pit at Atlanta, GA, vote to form a trade union. Machinists earn 20 to 25 cents an hour for 10-hour day

1889: 34 locals represented at the first Machinists convention, held in Georgia State Senate Chamber, elect Tom Talbot as Grand Master Machinist. A monthly journal is started.

1890: First Canadian Local 103, nicknamed the Pioneer Local, chartered at Stratford, Ont. Union is named International Association of Machinists. Headquarters set up in Richmond, VA. Membership at 4,000

1891: IAM Local 145 asks $3 for a 10-hour day.

1895: IAM joins American Federation of Labor (AFL), moves headquarters to Chicago.

1898: IAM Local 52, Pittsburgh, conducts first successful strike for 9-hour day.

1899: Time-and-a-half for overtime has become prevalent. Headquarters moved to Washington, D.C.

1903: Specialists admitted to membership. Drive begins for 8-hour day.

1911: Women admitted to membership with equal rights.

1914: Congress passes Clayton Act limiting use of injunctions in labor disputes and making picketing legal.

1915: IAM wins 8-hour in many shops and factories. IAM affiliates with International Metalworkers Federation.

1916: Auto mechanics admitted to membership.

1918: IAM membership reaches 331,000.

1920: Machinists earn 72 to 90 cents an hour for 44-hour week.

1927: IAM urges ratification of Child Labor Amendments to U.S. Constitution; 2,500,000 children under 16 are working at substandard wages.

1928: 250 delegates at 18th IAM convention urge 5-day week to alleviate unemployment.

1934: IAM establishes Research Department.

1935: Congress adopts National Labor Relations Act establishing right to organize and requiring employers to bargain in good faith. IAM opens drive to organize aircraft Industry.

1936: First industrial union agreement signed with Boeing, Seattle. IAM convention endorses FDR for President. Membership climbs to 130,000.

1937: Social Security and Railroad Retirement Acts now in operation. IAM negotiates paid vacations in 26% of its agreements.

1939: IAM signs first union agreement in air transport industry with Eastern.

1940: Machinists rates average 80 cents an hour. IAM pledges full support to National Defense program. IAM membership climbs to 188,000.

1946: 88% of IAM agreements now provide for paid vacations.

1947: Congress enacts anti-union Taft-Hartley Act. Machinists Non-Partisan Political League founded. IAM Legal Department established. Machinists average $1.56 an hour.

1948: IAM membership opened to all regardless of race or color.IAM convention endorses Harry Truman for President.

1949: Railroad machinists win 40 hour week. Membership down to 501,000.

1950: IAM joins International Transport Workers Federation. Machinists now average $1.82 an hour.

1952: Employees on 85% of airlines now protected by IAM agreements. 92% of IAM contracts provide for paid holidays.

1953: IAM has contracts fixing wages and working conditions with 13,500 employers. IAM Atomic Energy Conference organized.

1955: Machinists average $2.33 an hour.

1956: 2,000th active local chartered. New ten story Machinists Building dedicated at 1300 Connecticut Ave., Washington, DC.

1958:  IAM membership now tops 903,000.

1959: Congress enacts anti-union Landrum-Griffin Act.

1960: IAM convention endorses JFK for President after personal visits from both Kennedy and Richard Nixon. IAM convention establishes college scholarship program. IAM establishes Labor-Management Pension Fund.

1962: IAM Electronics Conference established. JFK issues Executive Order giving Federal employees a limited right to collective bargaining. Machinists now average $3.10 an hour.

1964: IAM convention endorses LBJ for President, after a personal appearance. Delegates vote to change name to International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Membership at 800,000.

1966: IAM members strike five major airlines and finally break through unfair 3.2% limit on wage increases. First dental care plan negotiated with Aerojet General.

1968: IAM membership tops 1,000,000. Machinists average S3.44 an hour.

1969: IAM member, Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin, the first space mechanic walks on the moon.

1971: IAM wins biggest back pay award in history, more than $54,500,00 for 1,000 members locked out illegally by National Airlines. IAM establishes Job Safety & Health Department.

1973: Machinists average $4.71 an hour. Membership rises to 927,000.

1977: William W. Winpisinger sworn in as the lAM’s 11th president.

1979: Citizen/Labor Energy Coalition launches first Stop Big Oil day to protest obscene profits by oil conglomerates while American workers” paychecks continue to shrink.

1980: IAM media project begins. Thousands of IAM members and their families monitor prime time TV to determine media’s portrayal of working people and unions.

1984: Delegates vote funding for Placid Harbor Education Center to improve the level of understanding of workers in an ever changing world.

1988: IAM celebrates 100th anniversary in Atlanta, GA, on May 5.

1992: IAM moves to new state-of-the-art headquarters building in Upper Marlboro, MD, to keep pace with technological changes and serve members” needs well into 21st Century; IAM convenes 33rd convention at Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

1994: International Woodworkers of America ratify merger agreement. More than 20,000 members join IAM family. Some 8,000 USAir fleet service workers say “IAM yes.” Machinist newspaper bids fond farewell, reborn as IAM Journal magazine.

1996: ‘Fighting Machinists” spearhead political battle for worker rights.

1997: On July 1, Robert Thomas Buffenbarger, 46, takes office as 13th International president in 109-year IAM history, moves quickly to reshape Union to reflect growing diversity, interests, concerns of IAM members. Former IAM President Winpisinger dies Dec. 11.

1998: New Blue Ribbon Commission empaneled to provide membership forum to voice opinions. Placid Harbor facility renamed Winpisinger Education and Technology Center to honor visionary union leader, who brought the facility into being.  IAM members at Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME launch the first of the Flight IIA Arleigh Burke Class Aegis Destroyers. The ship, the Oscar Austin, is named after an African-American Marine who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery in Vietnam.

2001: IAM Communications revamped with relaunch of website, online streaming of video, and repositioning of the IAM Journal as an advocacy magazine. William W. Winpisinger Education & Technology Center increases capacity by 50%. IAM Dedicates memorial to fallen members. IAM members perish in September 11 attack.

2002: The IAM establishes the Automotive Department and sets in place dozens of organizing blitzes. LL 2710’s Gary Blanke wins the IAM’s first photography contest.

2003: The IAM creates the Department of Employment Services to help members cope with the worst recession in years;

2004:  Former IAM President William W. Winpisinger is inducted into the International Labor Hall of Fame.

2006:  The IAM Launches into social media with its first YouTube Video Upload.

2008: Barack Obama becomes the first African-American elected President of the United States.

2009: The IAM launches second social media project just over 2.5 years after launching the IAM’s YouTube Channel

2009: The IAM embraces social media to communicate better with membership and launches its official Twitter account – just 5 months after launching its Facebook page.

2010: In January 2010, a decision handed down by the ultra-conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court allows unlimited spending by corporations in U.S. elections, opening the floodgates for corporate cash in the November elections.  Pro-business candidates sweep midterm elections and take control of the U.S. House of Representatives, gain control of many state governorships and secure anti-worker majorities in many state legislatures.

2011: Pro-business governors and state legislators elected in 2010 start nationwide assault on unions by attacking the right to collectively bargain, proposing right-to-work (for less) laws and other measures to weaken unions.

2013: The IAM celebrates its 125th birthday in Atlanta, the city of the union’s founding, with the opening of the 2013 IAM National Staff Conference. Speakers commemorate the progress of a union that has grown from 19 machinists secretly meeting in an Atlanta locomotive pit in 1888.

SOURCE:    Rick Moriarity www.iamaw103.ca