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History of the local lodge

Local lodge 1660 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (I.A.M.A.W.) was founded by workers of what was then Dominion Engineering Works of Lachine, a suburb of Montreal, in Quebec, Canada. We received our Charter in March of 1943, and signed our first contract with Dominion Engineering Works in March of 1944. Over the years, our Lodge became a composite Lodge with the addition of Black McDonald in the sixties, followed by Zimcor, Bedarco, and Godfrey-Howden, some of these companies having since closed, or been renamed. In 1962 General Electric bought Dominion Engineering Works, and in 1984 they split up the company by selling the paper-making machine business to Valmet, of Finland. Dominion Engineering Works then became GE Hydro, which was still the main bargaining unit in the Local Lodge, had a membership of about 280 members as of August 2008. Since then, the unit was bought by Metso Minerals, (a Finnish multinational). The laboratory and the bar plant were sold to Andritz Hydro of Austria.


In February of 1997, we merged with a part of Local Lodge 987, of the I.A.M.A.W., which was being disbanded, and acquired ten new Bargaining Units. In 1997 the Security Guards at G. E. Hydro, members of Local Lodge 2235, of the I.A.M.A.W., voted to transfer to Local Lodge 1660, and in November of 1997 the last remaining Bargaining Unit of Local Lodge 1530, of the I.A.M.A.W., which had relocated from Sherbrooke, Quebec to Hull, Quebec, merged with us.

Presently, we represent members of 15 Bargaining Units in 15 different companies, with a total of about 450 active members, 165 retirees, (the exact numbers vary from month to month). These units range in size from 4 members up to 225. Since these Bargaining Units have members which earn vastly different salaries, our dues are based on the weighted hourly average of each individual Bargaining Unit.

Local Lodge 1660 had our own Business Agent at one time, but is now affiliated to and serviced by District Lodge 11, which was founded in December of 1996, and we now deal with four different Business Agents. Our Executive Board meetings are held on the first Monday of the month, and our General Assemblies are held on the third Tuesday of the month.


A Brief History of the Machinists Union

Trade Union Act passed by Canadian Parliament legalizes trade unions.

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: Local Lodge 103 is first Canadian 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. 

1892: Local Lodge 235 (Toronto) receives its charter. First railroad agreement signed with Atcheson, Topeka & Santa Fe. 

1895: IAM joins American Federation of Labour (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. 

1900: Canadian Parliament passes Fair Wages Policy Resolution, providing for the payment of current tradesmen’s rates in federal public works.

IAM convenes Convention in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Local Lodge 456 in Victoria, B.C. receives its charter.

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. 

1908: Metal Trades Department established within AFL with IAM President James O'Connell as president. 

1911: 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 Federation. 
1916: Auto mechanics admitted to membership. 

1917: Canadian women win the right to vote in federal elections

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 44-hour week. 
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 70,000. 
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 Industry. 
1936: Membership climbs to 130,000. 
1937: 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 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 Canada).

1943: Local Lodge 1660 receives its charter on January 28.
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 vacations. 
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 an hour. 

1948: IAM membership opened to all regardless of race or colour. 
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 introduced.
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.

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 April 28.

1960: IAM convention establishes college scholarship program. IAM establishes Labor Management Pension Fund. 

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 Ottawa.

1962: NDP government in Saskatchewan introduces first universal public medicare program. IAM Electronics Conference established. Machinist snow average $3.10 an hour. 
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 Aerojet General. 
1968: IAM membership tops 1,000,000. Machinists average $3.44 an hour.

1967: Canadian Machinists Political League (CMPL) founded.

1968: Local Lodge 2323 receives its charter on January 01.

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) founded.

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. 
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 820,211. 
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 changing world. 
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 12th president.

1990: IAM CARES Canada - disabled workers program - founded. Bob Rae leads NDP to its first government in Ontario.

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 meetings. 
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. 

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. 

1997: 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.
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. 

      Sources: IAM International, Louis Erlichman (IAM Canadian Office), David Varnes LL 2324
Copyright 1996, The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers