Sunday, May 5, 2013 marks the 125th anniversary of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. On this day in 1888, 19 machinists met secretly in a locomotive pit in Atlanta, GA, declaring themselves “The Order of United Machinist and Mechanical Engineers.”
Within a year, 40 local lodges had been established and in 1889 the first Machinist Union Convention was held at the state capital in Atlanta with 34 locals represented. Tom Talbot was elected “Grand Master Machinist” and the first IAM Journal was published. By 1890, the first Canadian local had been established.
The IAM now has over 700,000 members and is one of the oldest and largest unions in the United States and Canada, and still remains true to the values Talbot emphasized 125 years ago: strength in numbers, organization and education.
“As we cross this 125-year threshold in the history of our great union, we reflect back on the heroic efforts of the people who got us to this point,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “If we continue to emphasize the lessons they taught us, we can ensure that the IAM will have many more anniversaries to come.”
“IAM has railroad roots so similar to TCU, those roots have proved to be a continued strength of our merger. We celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the IAM and extend our congratulations. Everyone at TCU/IAM is proud to be called a ‘Fighting Machinist,’” said TCU President Bob Scardelletti.