A Guide to Its Records at Georgia State University
University Georgia State University Special Collections and Archives 100 Decatur St., SE Atlanta, GA 30303-3202 404-413-2880 Fax: 404-413-2881 email@example.com
Processed by Robert Dinwiddie; updated by
Georgia State University Library,
Special Collections and Archives,
of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
International Association of Machinists
and Aerospace Workers records
1891-2002 (bulk 1935-1989)
301 boxes, 150 linear
feet, 1801 videotapes, 55 films, ca. 1600 books, +38,000 images, 120
The United Machinists and Mechanical
Engineers of America was founded in 1888. In 1889, the name changed to the
National Association of Machinists. Two years later, it became known as the
International Association of Machinists and in 1965, this was changed to the
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Collection
documents the growth of a machinists union, founded in Atlanta, into an
international union. The materials span the years from 1891 to 1989; the bulk
of the collection is dated 1935-1989. The papers of the IAM include
correspondence, minutes, reports, organizational publications, legal and
financial records, conference material, speeches, articles and clippings and
other material documenting the history of the machinists. Select unions and
labor federations are non-systematically represented in the IAM
Organization and Arrangement of the Collection
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
Records is divided into thirteen series:
I. Organizational Minutes,1891-1989
A. American Federation of Labor Executive Council Minutes,
B. American Federal of Labor-Congress of Industrial
Organizations Executive Council Minutes, 1955-1987
C. American Federal of Labor-Congress of Industrial
Organizations Metal Trades Department Executive Council Minutes,
D. International Association of Machinists Executive
Council Minutes, 1891-1892; 1934-1937; 1944-1989
II. President William W. Winpisinger, 1977-1982; 1988.
III. Officer Files, 1935-1968.
A. Secretary-Treasurer Files, 1935-1968.
B. Officer Name files, 1935-1968.
C. Officer Reports, 1952-1956
IV. Speeches by IAM Officers, 1957-1989.
V. IAM Departments and Centers
A. Education Department, 1960-1974.
B. International Affairs, 1975-1988.
C. Strategic Resources (Research) Department, 1966-1987.
D. Communications Department, 1956-1996.
1. Robert Kalaski files, 1983-1986.
2. Audio/Visual materials, 1956-1996
E. IAM Cares, 1985-1987.
VI. Financial Records, 1890-1986.
A. IAM Auditor Reports, 1934-1984.
B. IAM Pension Fund Reports, 1961-1986.
C. Ledgers, 1890-1949.
VII. Machinists' Non-Partisan Political League, 1947-1989.
A. National Planning Committee financial records,
B. Action Bulletin, 1969-1992.
VIII. Subject Files, 1922-1985.
IX. Local Lodges and Ancillary Unions, 1899-1987.
A. Local Lodges, 1899-1956.
B. International Transport Workers Federation, 1977-1987.
C. International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship
Builders and Helpers of America, 1946-1961.
X. Coordinated Contracts and National Agreements, 1917-1981
A. Transportation Industry contracts and agreements,
B. Railroad contracts, 1917-1977.
XI. Grand Lodge Rolls, 1943-1974.
XII. Conventions, 1960-1984.
XIII. IAM Special Projects, 1977-2001.
Original order of the collection was maintained. Newspaper clippings
have been copied onto bond paper for protection of content.
Scope and Content of the Collection
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
records document the development of an Atlanta, Georgia, machinists union into
an international union. The materials span the years from 1891 to 2002; the
bulk of the collection is dated 1935-1989. The papers of the IAMAW include
correspondence, minutes, reports, organizational publications, legal and
financial records, conference material, speeches, newspaper articles and other
material documenting the history of the machinists.
Chronology of the International Association of Machinists and
The United Machinists and Mechanical Engineers of America was founded
in 1888. In 1889, the name changed to the National Association of Machinists.
Two years later, it became known as the International Association of
Machinists, and in 1965, this was changed to the International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
19 machinists meet in a locomotive pit at Atlanta, GA, and
vote to form a trade union. Machinists earn 20 to 25 cents an hour for a
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.
First Canadian local chartered at Stratford, Ontario. The
union is named the International Association of Machinists. Headquarters are
set up in Richmond, Virginia, and membership is at 4,000.
IAM Local 145 asks $3 for a 10-hour workday.
First railroad agreement signed with the Atchison, Topeka
& Santa Fe.
The IAM joins American Federation of Labor (AFL), and moves
its headquarters to Chicago, Illinois.
IAM Local 52, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania conducts the first
successful strike for a 9-hour workday.
Time-and-a-half pay for overtime work has become a prevalent
practice for Machinist wage earners. Headquarters are moved to Washington,
Specialists are admitted to membership, and the drive begins
for an 8-hour workday.
Apprentices are admitted to membership. There are 769 locals
with Railroad machinists earning 36 to 43 cents an hour for a 9-hour
The Metal Trades Department is established within the American
Federation of Labor (AFL) with IAM President James O'Connell as its
Women are admitted to IAM membership with equal
Railway Employees Department is established within the
American Federation of Labor with IAM President A. O. Wharton as
Congress passes the Clayton Act limiting use of injunctions in
labor disputes and making picketing legal.
The IAM wins the 8-hour workday in many shops and factories,
and the union affiliates with the International Metalworkers
Auto mechanics are admitted to IAM membership.
IAM membership reaches 331,000.
Headquarters moved to the first Machinists Building, at 9th
and Mt. Vernon Place, N.W., Washington, D.C. British Amalgamated Engineering
Union cedes its North American locals to the IAM.
Machinists earn 72 to 90 cents an hour for a 44-hour
79,000 railroad machinists pin shopmen's strike against second
post-war wage cut. Membership declines to 148,000.
The IAM convention endorses Robert M. LaFollette, Sr., for
Congress passes the Railway Labor Act requiring carriers to
bargain, and forbidding discrimination against union members.
IAM urges ratification of the Child Labor Amendments to the
U.S. Constitution; 2,500,000 children under 16 are working at substandard
250 delegates at the 18th IAM convention urge a 5-day workweek
to alleviate unemployment.
Depression layoffs cut IAM membership to 70,000.
Congress passes Norris LaGuardia Act banning the use of court
injunctions in labor disputes. Wisconsin adopts first unemployment insurance
act. Nearly 30% of union members are jobless.
The IAM backs National Recovery drive and a 40-hour workweek.
President Franklin Roosevelt picks IAM Vice President Robert Fechner to head
new Civilian Conservation Corps. Membership sinks to 56,000.
The IAM establishes the Research Department.
Congress adopts the National Labor Relations Act establishing
the right to organize and requiring employers to bargain in good faith. The IAM
opens a drive to organize the aircraft industry.
The first industrial union agreement is signed with Boeing of
Seattle, Washington. The IAM convention endorses Franklin D. Roosevelt for
President, and membership climbs to 130,000.
The Social Security and Railroad Retirement Acts are now in
effect, and IAM negotiates paid vacations in 26% of its agreements.
IAM signs first union agreement in air transport industry with
Machinists' rates average 80 cents an hour, and the IAM
pledges full support to National Defense program. IAM membership climbs to
The IAM pledges support to win the war (WWII), including
making a no-strike pledge.
76,000 IAM members serve in the armed forces, and the total
membership is now at 776,000.
The first agreement is signed with Remington Rand. The IAM
convention votes to publish a weekly newspaper, plus establishes the Education
Department. Widespread layoffs follow the end of World War II.
88% of IAM agreements now provide for paid vacations.
Congress enacts the anti-union Taft-Hartley Act. Machinists
Non-Partisan Political League is founded. The IAM Legal Department is
established. Machinists average $1.56 an hour.
IAM membership is opened to all regardless of race. The IAM
convention endorses Harry S Truman for President.
Railroad machinists win a 40-hour week. Membership is now down
The IAM joins International Transport Workers Federation.
Machinists now average $1.82 an hour.
The IAM pledges full support of United Nations action in
Employees on 85% of airlines are now protected by IAM
agreements. 92% of IAM contracts provide for paid holidays.
The IAM has contracts fixing wages and working conditions with
13,500 employers. The IAM Atomic Energy Conference is organized.
The American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Congress of
Industrial Organizations (CIO) merge, Machinist Al Hayes is elected Vice
President and chairman of Ethical Practices Committee. 70% of IAM contracts now
have health and welfare provisions, and Machinists average $2.33 an
2,000th active local is chartered, and a new ten-story
Machinists Building is dedicated at 1300 Connecticut Ave., Washington,
The IAM convention establishes a strike fund, which was
approved by the membership in a referendum vote. IAM membership now tops
The United States Congress enacts the anti-union
The IAM convention endorses John F. Kennedy for President
after personal visits from both Kennedy and Richard Nixon. The IAM convention
establishes a college scholarship program. The IAM establishes a Labor
Management Pension Fund.
The IAM Electronics Conference is established. John F. Kennedy
issues an Executive Order giving Federal employees a limited right to
collective bargaining. Machinists now average $3.10 an hour.
After a personal appearance, the IAM convention endorses
Lyndon B. Johnson for President. Delegates vote to change the union's name to
the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and
membership is at 800,000.
IAM members strike five major airlines and finally break
through unfair 3.2% limit on wage increases. The first dental care plan is
negotiated with Aerojet General.
Railroad Machinists lead shopcrafts against the nation's
railroad, and the United States Congress forces a return to work and
IAM membership tops 1,000,000. Machinists average S3.44 an
IAM member, Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin, the first space mechanic,
walks on the moon.
Congress votes the first Federal Occupational Safety and
Health law. IAM is one of 19 unions in the first successful coordinated
bargaining effort against General Electric.
IAM wins largest back pay award in history, more than
$54,500,00 for 1,000 members locked out illegally by National Airlines. IAM
establishes the Job Safety and Health Department.
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. IAM convention endorses Senator George
McGovern for President.
IAM and United Auto Workers hold first joint Legislative
Conference with 1,000 delegates in attendance. Machinists average $4.71 an
hour. Membership rises to 927,000.
The Watergate scandal casts its shadow over labor unions along
with the rest of the country. When President Nixon resigns, IAM wires President
Gerald Ford, "You can count on our support and cooperation in your efforts to
bring America back to the principles upon which it was founded."
IAM convention endorses Jimmy Carter for U.S. President.
Delegates vote to set up the Civil Rights and Organizing departments and expand
the community services program.
William W. Winpisinger is sworn in as the IAM's 11th
Citizen/Labor Energy Coalition launches first Stop Big Oil day
to protest obscene profits by oil conglomerates while American workers'
paychecks continue to shrink.
IAM media project begins. Thousands of IAM members and their
families monitor prime-time TV to determine the media's portrayal of working
people and unions.
Older Workers and Retired Members Department is established at
the Grand Lodge.
"Reaganomics" grips the nation. Individual and corporate
bankruptcies reach epidemic proportions. IAM membership begins drop to
IAM introduces "Rebuilding America" act to Congress as an
alternative to Reaganomics and to rebuild nation's industrial base.
The IAM convention in Seattle, Washington, endorses Walter
Mondale for U.S. President. Delegates vote funding for the Placid Harbor
Education Center to improve the level of understanding of workers in an
IAM Executive Council establishes a new Organizing Department,
the first ever to be headed by a Vice President. The first IAM Communications
Conference is convened in Kansas City, Missouri.
IAM celebrates its 100th anniversary in Atlanta, Georgia, on
George J. Kourpias sworn in as the IAM's 12th
IAM moves to new state-of-the-art headquarters building in
Upper Marlboro, Maryland, to keep pace with technological changes and serve
members' needs well into the 21st Century; IAM convenes 33rd convention at
Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
International Woodworkers of America ratify merger agreement.
More than 20,000 members join the IAM family. Some 8,000 USAir fleet service
workers say "IAM Yes." Machinist newspaper bids fond farewell, reborn as
IAM Journal magazine.
The 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
"Fighting Machinists" spearhead political battle for worker
rights. Union efforts provide winning edge in Clinton-Gore presidential
victory. Meeting in Chicago, the IAM Convention delegates build bridge to the
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
the Union to reflect the growing diversity, interests, concerns of IAM members.
Former IAM President Winpisinger dies December 11.
New Blue Ribbon Commission empanelled to provide membership
forum to voice opinions. Placid Harbor facility renamed Winpisinger Education
and Technology Center to honor this visionary union leader, who brought the
facility into being.
General Vice President William Scheri retires; Robert Roach,
Jr. takes over the Transportation Department. IAM Shares mutual fund created;
allows members to put money to work in a fund that invests in IAM-represented
companies. The National Federation of Federal Employees affiliates with the
IAM. Unification effort with the Steelworkers and UAW ends because of major
philosophical differences; the three unions vow to work together,
The IAM endorses Al Gore for President. The AFL-CIO launches
its New Alliance campaign, Grand Lodge Convention delegates respond with
mandate that all IAM local and district lodges affiliate with their state
AFL-CIO labor councils. The IAM meets in San Francisco for the 35th Grand Lodge
Convention. The delegates establish Communicator and Educator
IAM Communications revamped with relaunch of website, online
streaming of video, and repositioning of the IAM Journal as an advocacy
magazine. IAM Executive Council re-elected. William W. Winpisinger Education
& Technology Center increases capacity by 50%. IAM dedicates memorial to
fallen members. IAM members perish in September 11 attacks. The IAM volunteers
to help in war against terrorism and to help America rebuild.
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. Members speak out at the 2002 Blue Ribbon Commission town
hall meetings. Everyday Heroes, an IAM documentary, tells the story of the
workers who risked their lives in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, goes on
sale. The proceeds go to treat rescue and recovery workers at Ground Zero. The
Transportation Department ignites a nationwide Day of Action to urge passengers
back onto trains and airplanes. IAM members join with other U.S. union members
for the biggest midterm election turnout ever.
Source: IAM History page, IAMAW Website, 2004.
IAM International Presidents:
Thomas W. Talbot
J. J. Creamer
William H. Johnston
A. O. Wharton
Harvey W. Brown
A. J. Hayes
P. L. Siemiller
Floyd E. Smith
William W. Winpisinger
George J. Kourpias
Robert Thomas Buffenbarger
IAM General Secretary-Treasurers:
W. L. Dawley
E. C. Davison
Elmer E. Walker
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the
Georgia State University Library online catalog (GIL). Researchers desiring
materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog
using these headings.
Eastern Air Lines,
United States. Railroad
To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any
publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection,
the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical
property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from
this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright
holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must
contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to
limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.
[item], [folder title], [series title], International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers Collection, L1992-14, Archives of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library,
The IAM donated the bulk of the International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers collection to the Special Collections
Department in 1989, 1991 and 1992. More materials were received in 1993, 1999
Processed by Robert Dinwiddie. Updated and created by Pam
Hackbart-Dean, October 2002; finding aid revised by Morna Gerrard, 2004, and
William Hardesty, February 2006.
Related materials in other repositories:
Collection also available in microfilm (early years) at the Historical
Society of Wisconsin. Copy of finding aid available in Special Collections.
Related materials in this repository: International Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers photographs, [ca. 1950-1980] (bulk 1950-1970); numerous IAM
Lodge and District records; IAM Southeastern Region collection; W. J. Usery,
Jr. Papers; and the Professional Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) collection;
National Federation of Federal Employees.
Separated material: Separated Materials
are items that by physical form are not part of the papers in the collection,
but by content are related to the intellectual content of the papers. See List
of Separated Material following Detailed Description of the Collection.