January 25, 1888 –
Representatives from Peoria, IL; Kansas
City, MO; Omaha, NE; Memphis, TN;
Dayton, and Youngstown meet in Toledo,
OH to form the Tin, Sheet Iron and
Cornice Workers’ International
Association. The President was Archibald
Barnes; Secretary was A.W. Chatfield;
and Robert Kellerstrass was named
1896 – First Canadian local
chartered in Toronto, Ontario.
1897 – Tin, Sheet Iron
and Cornice Workers’ International
Association changed to the Amalgamated
Sheet Metal Workers International
1899 – First charter
granted to the Union by the American
Federation of Labor.
1901 – Union membership
reported at 5,581 with 108 Local Unions.
1903 – Name changed to
the Sheet Metal Workers’ International
Alliance. Headquarters established in
Kansas City, MO.
1907 – National
Building Trades Department established
under the American Federation of Labor.
The International becomes a charter
1922 – The first air
conditioning system for human comfort
was used in a motion picture theater.
1924 – Name changed to
Sheet Metal Workers’ International
1925 – Pacific Coast
Conference of Sheet Metal Workers agrees
to affiliate with the Sheet Metal
Workers’ International Association.
Membership grows to about 24,000 with
441 Local Unions.
– Sheet Metal Workers from Local 206 in
San Diego, CA build a major portion of
what became the “Spirit of St. Louis.”
This is the plane Charles Lindbergh flew
across the Atlantic in May 1927.
1942 – During WWII, a
number of Sheet Metal Workers were
engaged in “secret work” associated with
development of an atomic bomb.
1949 – First National
Apprenticeship Contest held in
Washington, DC at SMACNA Convention.
1952 – First pension
checks issued by Local 28 in New York
City, NY. This program is a first of its
kind in the building trades.
1957 – International
begins tracking industry products
manufactured under collective bargaining
1962 – SMWIA becomes
first union to offer its members
accident insurance – protecting members
at work and at home in cases of
1966 – National Pension
Fund established for SMWIA members in
construction and production occupations.
1971 – National
Training Fund (now the International
Training Institute) established.
1971 – National
Maintenance Policy Agreement established
to promote labor-management cooperation
in the construction trades.
1973 – SMWIA
established SASMI Program to help
underemployed members affected by the
1981 – National Energy
Management Institute created in
partnership with the Sheet Metal and Air
Conditioning Contractors’ Association (SMACNA).
1983 – International
Job Bank created to offer SMWIA members
employment opportunities outside of
their local area.
1986 – Sheet Metal
Occupational Health Institute
established to address asbestos exposure
in Sheet Metal Workers.
1988 – Sheet Metal
Workers’ International Association
celebrates 100th anniversary.
1996 – Department of
Education established to provide a
specialized training curriculum for
future union leaders.
2000 – First Bi-Annual
Labor-Management Partnership Conference
hosted by SMACNA and SMWIA.
2003 – SMWIA joined the
Industrial Union Council (IUC). The
Industrial Union Council consists of 14
unions with members represented in
2004 – SMWIA Local 41,
the first SMWIA Local Union outside the
U.S. and Canada, is established in San
Juan, Puerto Rico.
- National Labor College awards degrees
to SMWIA members.
- Union Sportsmen's Alliance created.
- SMWIA adopts Code of Excellence.
- SMWIA became SMART - Sheet Metal Air,
Rail and Transporation