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Page:USBLS Bulletin 506; Handbook of American Trade-Unions (1929).djvu/63

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METALS AND MACHINERY

MOST of the organizations in the metal trades date from the inception of the labor movement in the United States, one of them, the International Molders' Union, having been a pioneer in the movement. That organization has been in continuous existence since 1859, and was the first international union, extending its jurisdiction to Canada in 1861.

Structural changes within the metal-trades unions have been chiefly in line with developments in the industry, and have not been important, while jurisdictional lines are fairly sharp. The tendency is toward absorption of the smaller craft bodies by the larger unions. The International Molders' Union absorbed the Core Makers' International Union and the brass molders holding membership in the old Metal Polishers, Buffers, Platers, and Brass Workers' Union. Various jurisdictional readjustments limited the field of the latter organization to metal polishing and electroplating, and it became in 1917 the Metal Polishers' International Union. Metal engravers are organized separately. Since 1917 the Metal Polishers' International Union has taken up most of the membership of the disbanded Pocketknife Blade Grinders and Finishers' National Union. Similarly the Sheet Metal Workers' International Association has absorbed the Coppersmiths' International Union and, more recently, the Chandelier, Brass and Metal Workers' Union.

One small craft union still operates in the limited field of stove mounting, and unskilled and common labor in foundries is controlled by the International Brotherhood of Foundry Employees.

At present there is only one independent union in this group, the United Automobile, Aircraft and Vehicle Workers of America, which was originally the International Union of Carriage and Wagon Workers, affiliated to the American Federation of Labor. It was an industrial union from the first, its chartered jurisdiction extending to all kinds of work involved in the making of carriages and wagons. When the industry changed from carriage making to automobile manufacture the union undertook to expand with it. However, the many craft organizations involved protested against encroachments on their various jurisdictions and the American Federation of Labor repeatedly upheld the principle of craft organization as applied to automobile manufacture. The International Union of Carriage, Wagon and Automobile Workers was ordered to release its craftsmen to their respective organizations and to drop the word "automobile" from its title. It refused to do so and was expelled from the federation in 1918. It then reorganized under its present title on a platform of industrial unionism, and automobile workers, so far as they were organized at all, held membership in the United Automobile, Aircraft and Vehicle Workers. In 1929 two locals of the organization in New York, embracing workers in air-

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