A Guide to Its Artifact Collection at Georgia State University
Georgia State University Georgia State University Special Collections and Archives 100 Decatur St., SE Atlanta, GA 30303-3202 404-413-2880 Fax: 404-413-2881 firstname.lastname@example.org
EAD version 1.0 finding aid created in XMetaL 4.5 by Kira
Homo, June 2007.
Georgia State University Library, Special Collections and Archives,
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace
International Association of Machinists
and Aerospace Workers artifact collection
41.62 linear ft. (in 4 boxes, 1
half-box, 1 5x3 card file, 4 clamshell boxes, 1 artifact box, 10 oversize boxes,
1 posters box, 3 textile boxes, and 1 hat box)
Scope and Content of the Collection
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Artifact collection
comprises a wide variety of artifacts, including charters, photographs, paintings,
posters, banners, certificates, and tool kits, 1888-circa 2000. The items were
created or received by IAMAW's officers, headquarters, and local lodges. The
collection includes the contents of the "Time Capsule of 1955" placed in the
cornerstone of the union's then headquarters.
History of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace
Founded in 1888 as the United Machinists and Mechanical Engineers of America, the
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is one of the largest
trade unions in North America. The organization has been known as the National
Association of Machinists (1889-1891) and the International Association of
Chronology of the IAMAW
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 10-hour
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
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
Specialists are admitted to membership, and the drive begins for an
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 rights.
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 Federation.
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
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
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
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 to
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 hour.
2,000th active local is chartered, and a new ten-story Machinists
Building is dedicated at 1300 Connecticut Ave., Washington, DC.
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 Landrum-Griffin
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
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
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
"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 May
George J. Kourpias sworn in as the IAM's 12th president.
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
"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
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, however.
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
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
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.
The IAM creates the Department of Employment Services to help members
cope with the worst recession in years; Tony Chapman named its director.
IAM leaders meet in Cincinnati, Ohio. IP Buffenbarger vows "No more
business as usual." Presidential candidates Howard Dean and Richard
Gephardt address the IAM leaders; Gephardt endorsed for president. GVP
George Hooper passes away. Robert Martinez named Southern Territory GVP.
ST Don Wharton Retires, Eastern Territory GVP Warren Mart succeeds
Wharton. Lynn Tucker takes over as the Eastern GVP. James Brown takes
over the Midwest Territory with the retirement of Alex Bay.
The IAM Executive Council marches with thousands of trade unionists
in Miami to protest Free Trade Area of the Americas. President George W.
Bush's "Wall of Shame" tours Iowa during that state's presidential
caucuses to bring job losses onto the national radar screen. CyberLodge,
the innovative, open-source initiative to organize information
technology workers opens for business. Former IAM President William W.
Winpisinger is inducted into the International Labor Hall of Fame. The
36th Grand Lodge Convention convenes in Cincinnati and salutes North
America's Might. Vice presidential candidate Senator John Edwards from
North Carolina appears at a convention rally after a unanimous
endorsement of Senator John Kerry and Senator Edwards by the delegates.
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
Hayes, Albert J. (Albert John), 1900-1981
Winpisinger, William W.
International Association of
International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers
Labor leaders--United States
Machinists--Labor unions--United States
paintings (visual works)
plaques (flat objects)
prints (visual works)
Restrictions on Access
Unrestricted access. Most of the items are in remote storage; allow 24 hours for
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
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], International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Artifact
Collection, L-Artifacts, Archives of the International Association of Machinists
and Aerospace Workers. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State
Items donated by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace
Processed by Kira Homo and Special Collections staff, circa 1988-2007.
Related materials in this repository: See Southern Labor
Archives' International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers website.