Key Facts About the IAM
International Association of Machinists
& Aerospace Workers (IAMAW)
9000 Machinists Place
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772-2687
The IAM; the Machinists Union or the IAMAW are accepted, proper names for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO/CLC.
Current Membership Nearly 600,000 active and retired members in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam.
Industries Represented: The IAM is one of the largest and most diverse labor unions in North America. From Boeing and Lockheed Martin to United Airlines and Harley-Davidson, you will find IAM members across all walks of life.
You’ll find Machinists in Aerospace, Transportation, the Federal Government, Automotive, Defense, Woodworking and several other industries. We represent workers at companies as diverse as Harley-Davidson, Southwest Airlines, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, Freightliner, Tennessee Valley Authority and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
As the largest airline union in North America, the IAM represents Transportation workers in the United States and Canada. The IAM is also heavily concentrated in Aerospace, Shipbuilding, Manufacturing, Pulp and Paper, Government Workers and Electronics. The Transportation Communications International Union (TCU) affiliated with the IAM on July 6, 2005.
Organizational Structure: IAM represented workers belong to one of nearly 1,000 Local Lodges, which typically represent employees at one or more companies. The Local Lodges are affiliated with an IAM District Lodge, which typically represents a larger geographic territory. IAM Headquarters, also known as the Grand Lodge, coordinates and supports the activities of the District and Local Lodges.
History: The IAM is one of the oldest U.S. trade unions, and one of the few unions founded in the south. The IAM was founded on May 5, 1888, by 19 railroad machinists during a secret meeting in a locomotive pit in Atlanta, Georgia.
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- TCU-IAM Leader Urges House Members to Hold Amtrak Accountable on Systematic Campaign of Union Busting
- Machinists, Manufacturing Unions Say NAFTA 2.0 Needs Major Changes Before House Vote
- Machinists Union Urges House Finance Committee to Vote ‘Yes’ on Bill to Reauthorize Export-Import Bank
- Machinists Union Opposes Consideration of NAFTA 2.0 Until It’s Fixed
- FreightCar America sends Carmen jobs to Mexico
- Machinists Union Will Not Back Down at Boeing South Carolina
- Machinists Union Sends Letter to 14 Congressmen Who Urged Pelosi to Vote on NAFTA
- Striking IAM Workers Will Return to Work to Bargain Regal Beloit’s Plant Closing Decision
- IAM Members at Alaska Airlines Overwhelmingly Ratify New Contracts
- Chesapeake Raytheon Workers Vote Overwhelmingly to Join Machinists Union
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Frequently Asked Questions
What employment sectors have International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) members?
The IAM is one of the largest and most diverse labor unions in North America.
The IAM is a member of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) a democratic federation of 55 national and international labor unions representing 12.5 million working men and women.
Our members work in aerospace, transportation, the federal government, automotive, defense, woodworking and several other industries.
You’ll find IAM members at companies such as Harley-Davidson, United Airlines, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, Lockheed Martin, Freightliner, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, just to name a few.
What are the best terms to use when writing about our union?
The IAM, the Machinists Union or the IAMAW are accepted, proper names for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO/CLC.
Does the IAM have union bosses?
The phrase “union boss” is not the proper term for an elected leader of an organization representing the interests of workers. Please use the leader’s respective title.
Are unions, like the IAM, still relevant?
The 2019 Gallup poll shows that 64 percent of Americans approve of labor unions, surpassing 60 percent for the third consecutive year and up 16 percentage points from its 2009 low point.
For over 130 years, the Machinists Union has fought for workers’ rights and benefits.
Pensions, medical insurance, paid vacation, holidays, personal holidays, sick pay, shift differential, etc., are generally not only better in a union shop, but many of these don’t even exist without a union contract.
There is strength in unity – and the Machinists Union provides workers with a powerful, collective voice to communicate to management.
- Earn wages, on average, 26 percent higher than non-union workers.
- 89 percent of union workers participate in a defined benefit program while 46 percent of non-union workers participate in a defined benefit plan.
- Are more likely to have employer-provided health insurance benefits.
- Have greater access to apprenticeships and training opportunities.
What year did the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers form?
In 1888, 19 machinists met in secret in a locomotive pit in Atlanta to vote to form a union. The next year, 34 locals were represented at the first Machinists convention, with Tom Talbot being elected Grand Master Machinist. With the granting of the first Canadian local, the union officially became the International Association of Machinists. Membership at this point was about 4,000.