1872: Trade Union Act passed by Canadian Parliament
legalizes trade unions.
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.
34 locals represented at the first Machinists
convention, held in Georgia State Senate Chamber, elect
Tom Talbot as Grand Master Machinist. A monthly journal
Local Lodge 103 is first Canadian local chartered at
Union is named International Association of
Machinists. Headquarters set up in Richmond, VA.
Membership at 4,000.
IAM Local 145 asks $3 for a 10-hour day.
Local Lodge 235 (Toronto) receives its charter.
First railroad agreement signed with Atcheson, Topeka &
IAM joins American Federation of Labour (AFL), moves
headquarters to Chicago.
IAM Local 52, Pittsburgh, conducts first successful
strike for 9-hour day
Time-and-a-half for overtime has become prevalent.
Headquarters moved to Washington, D.C.
1900: Canadian Parliament passes Fair Wages
Policy Resolution, providing for the payment of current
tradesmen’s rates in federal public works.
1901: IAM convenes Convention in Toronto,
Ontario, Canada. Local Lodge 456 in Victoria, B.C.
receives its charter.
1903: Specialists admitted to membership. Drive
begins for 8-hour day.
1905: Apprentices admitted to membership. There
are 769 locals. Railroad machinists earn 36 to 43 cents
an hour for 9-hour day.
Metal Trades Department established within AFL with IAM
President James O'Connell as president.
Women admitted to membership with equal rights.
1912: Railway Employees Department established in
AFL with Machinist A.O. Wharton as President.
1914: Ontario passes the first Workmen’s
Compensation legislation in Canada.
1915: IAM wins 8-hour in many shops and factories.
IAM affiliates with International Metalworkers
1916: Auto mechanics admitted to membership.
1917: Canadian women win the right to vote in
1918: IAM membership reaches 33,000.
1919: Winnipeg General Strike. One of the leaders
of the strike is Machinist R.B. Russell,
Secretary-Treasurer of IAM District Lodge 2. The IAM and
other metal trades unions form a Metal Trades Council
and elect Russell as Secretary. They present Winnipeg’s
metalworking employers with demands for union
recognition. On May 15, 12,000 building and metal trades
workers walk off the job. The strike spreads from
industry to industry (telephone and telegraph exchanges,
hotels, banks, stores, bakeries, dairies, restaurants
and even the newspapers). Within forty-eight hours,
35,000 workers are on strike, with police, firefighters
and postal workers ready to walk out.
The federal government of Robert Borden orders in the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and then federal
troops with machine guns to act like a strike-breaking
agency. This sparks outrage across Canada and workers
start walking out in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and
British Columbia. Eastwards, the strike finds support in
Ontario and Quebec. The Great War Veterans Association
defeats an anti-strike resolution and adopts one
declaring "full sympathy" with the strikers. On June 17,
R.B. Russell, fellow Machinist, Peter Herenchuk,
and other strike leaders are arrested and taken to Stony
Mountain Penitentiary and held without bail. With
protests pouring in from coast to coast, strike leaders
are released within seventy-two hours.
A few days later, Winnipeg strikers schedule a massive
silent parade. Mounted police fire into the crowd,
killing two workers and injuring thirty.
1920: Headquarters moved to first Machinists
Building, at 9th & Mt.Vernon Pl., N.W., Washington, D.C.
British Amalgamated Engineering Union cedes its North
American locals to IAM.
1920: Machinists earn 72 to 90 cents an hour for
1922: 79,000 railroad machinists win shopmen's
strike against second post-war wage cut. Membership
declines to 148,000.
1927: Canadian government introduces Old Age
Pensions. IAM urges ratification of Child Labour
Amendments to U.S. Constitution; 2,500,00 children under
16 are working at substandard wages.
1928: 250 delegates at 18th IAM convention urge
5-day week to alleviate unemployment.
1929: Depression layoffs cut IAM membership to
1932: Nearly 30% of union members are jobless.
1933: Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF)
founded. This party was formed to give farmers and
workers a political voice. International membership
sinks to 56,000.
1934: IAM establishes Research Department.
1935: IAM opens drive to organize aircraft
1936: Membership climbs to 130,000.
1937: IAM negotiates paid vacations in 26% of its
1939: IAM signs first union agreement in air
transport industry with Eastern.
1940: Machinists rates average 80 cents an hour.
IAM membership climbs to 188,000.
1941: Canadian Unemployment Insurance program
introduced. IAM LL 741 in Winnipeg signs first
collective agreement with Trans Canada Airlines (now Air
1943: Local Lodge 1660 receives its charter on
1944: CCF, led by Tommy Douglas, win the
provincial election in Saskatchewan and form the first
Social Democrat government in North America. They
introduce free medical, hospital and dental care for
pensioners. Ontario enacts first Canadian legislation
guaranteeing annual vacations and the Racial
Discrimination Act, the first Canadian legislation
outlawing discrimination. 76,000 IAM members serve in
armed forces. Total membership now 776,000.
1945: First agreement with Remington Rand. IAM
convention votes to establish weekly newspaper,
education department. Widespread layoffs follow end of
World War II.
1946: Local Lodge 1120 receives its charter on
January 01. 88% of IAM agreements now provide for paid
1947: Saskatchewan CCF government passes Bill of
Rights, first comprehensive human rights legislation in
Canada, universal public hospital insurance, and the
first Canadian legislation requiring paid statutory
holidays. Local Lodge 1751 receives its charter on
January 08 after being established on March 08, 1946.
Machinists Non-Partisan Political League founded. IAM
Legal Department established. Machinists average $1.56
IAM membership opened to all regardless of race or
1949: Railroad machinists win 40 hour week.
Membership down to 501,000.
1950: On April 4, the Ontario government granted
a charter to Jet Power Credit Union. The drive to get
Jet Power chartered was led by Machinists, primarily
Mike Rygus (Local Lodge 1922 and later GVP for Canada
from 1961-1984). IAM joins International Transport
Workers Federation. Machinists now average $1.82 an hour.
1952: Universal Old Age Security benefits
1952: Employees on 85% of airlines now protected
by IAM agreements. 92% of IAM contracts provide for paid
1953: IAM has contracts fixing wages and working
conditions with 13,500 employers. IAM Atomic Energy
1954: Ontario passes Fair Accommodation Practices
Act. Local Lodge 922 receives its charter on March 05
1955: AFL and Congress of Industrial
Organizations (CIO) merge, Machinist Al Hayes elected
Vice President and chairman of Ethical Practices
Committee. 70% of IAM contracts now have health and
welfare provisions. Machinists average $2.33 an hour.
1956: Canadian Labour Congress founded. Claude
Jodoin becomes its first President. IAM’s George
Schollie is elected CLC Vice President. IAM’s Percy
Bengough, former President of Trades and Labour Congress
becomes Honourary President of CLC. 2,000th active
local chartered. New ten-story Machinists Building
dedicated at 1300 Connecticut Ave., Washington, DC.
1958: National Public Hospital Insurance in
Canada. IAM Strike Fund established by referendum vote.
Local Lodge 1957 receives its charter on May 15. IAM
convention establishes a strike fund which was approved
by the membership in a referendum vote. IAM membership
now tops 903,000.
1959: Local Lodge 905 receives its charter on
1960: IAM convention establishes college
scholarship program. IAM establishes Labor Management
1961: New Democratic Party is founded by CCF and
CLC. Canadian GVP, Mike Rygus leads a sizeable IAM
delegation to the founding convention at the Coliseum in
1962: NDP government in Saskatchewan introduces
first universal public medicare program. IAM Electronics
Conference established. Machinist snow average $3.10 an
1964: IAM convention delegates vote to change
name to International Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers. Membership at 800,000.
1966: British Columbia enacts first legislation
guaranteeing maternity leave. Canada and Quebec Pension
Plans introduced. First dental care plan negotiated with
1968: IAM membership tops 1,000,000. Machinists
average $3.44 an hour.
1967: Canadian Machinists Political League (CMPL)
1968: Local Lodge 2323 receives its charter on
1969: IAM member, Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin, the first
space mechanic walks on the moon.
1970: IAM Labour-Management Pension Fund (Canada)
founded. IAM is one of 19 unions in first successful
coordinated bargaining effort against GE.
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.
1972: IAM membership drops to 902,000 as a result
of recession and layoffs in defense industries. IAM
President Floyd Smith quits U.S. Pay Board to protest
unfair economic policies.
1973: Machinists average $4.71 an hour.
Membership rises to 927,000.
1975: Federal Liberal government announces Wage
and Price Controls effective October 14.
1976: IAM convention delegates vote to set up
Civil Rights and Organizing departments and expand
community services program.
1977: William W. Winpisinger sworn in as the
lAM's 11th president.
1979: IAM Labour-Management Pension Fund (Quebec)
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
1981: Older Workers and Retired Members
Department is established at Grand Lodge.
1982: Individual and corporate bankruptcies reach
epidemic proportions. IAM membership begins drop to
1984: IAM convention in Seattle WA.. Delegates
vote funding for Placid Harbor Education Center to
improve the level of understanding of workers in an ever
1987: IAM members at Air Canada strike to win
pension indexing. IAM Executive Council establishes
new Organizing Department, the first ever to be headed
by a Vice-President. First IAM Communications Conference
convened in Kansas City, MO.
1988: IAM celebrates 100th anniversary in
Atlanta, GA, on May 5. Grand Lodge Convention approves
constitutional amendment providing for election of
Canadian General Vice-President by Canadians. District
Lodge 250 receives its charter (representing 7 lodges
since the 1900s).
1989: George J. Kourpias sworn in as the IAM's
1990: IAM CARES Canada - disabled workers program
- founded. Bob Rae leads NDP to its first government in
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; 1992: Local Lodge 99 receives
its charter on May 01; 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.
1995: IAM, Auto and Steelworker unions debate
plans for unification by year 2000. Unity plan sparks
solidarity. Plan would create largest, most diverse
union in North America, with more than 2,000,000 active
members, 1, 400, 000 retirees. Sixty-nine day strike
brings major victory in new contract at Boeing. Members
air their views during first round of Town Hall
1996: 'Fighting Machinists' spearhead political
battle for worker rights. Union efforts provide winning
edge in Clinton-Gore presidential victory. Meeting in
Chicago, IAM Convention delegates build bridge to 21st
century. Delegates establish IAM Women's Department.
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.
On January 1,fondation of District 11 who will take
care of 12 Local Lodges, in matters of Arbitrations,
Negotiations and representations of all sort.
Sources: IAM International, Louis Erlichman (IAM
Canadian Office), David Varnes LL 2324
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.
Copyright 1996, The International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers