This site is still under construction, history is still being made.

The Sheet Metal Union of Omaha, Nebraska was started by a number of dedicated tradesmen in the late 1880’s.


Omaha, together with six other mid-western metal labor groups, met on January 25, 1888 in Toledo, Ohio to form the “Tin Sheet-Iron and Cornice Workers International Union.”


Omaha became Local #3 and Leo Hart from Omaha became General Vice President.


In 1897, the name was changed to “Amalgamated Sheet Metal Workers International Association”, and in 1903 to “Amalgamated Sheet Metal Workers International Alliance”, and finally in 1924 to “Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association.”


In its 122-year history, Local #3 has only had nine paid business managers:


            Dale Steward                  1928-1941

            Edward Spink                 1947-1949

            Gustav Wigg                   1949-1955

            Lester Foreman              1955-1973

            Ben Preis                          1973-1988

            Duwayne Doty                1988-1991

            Thomas Blankman        1991-2003

            Jeffrey L Anderson, Sr. 2003-2006

Mark Merwald                2006-2012

James N Waugh II        2012-present


Omaha’s apprentice training has struggled finding a meeting place.  In the early days, they met wherever they could find room: in the fifties and sixties they used Omaha Tech High School and through the years Omaha South High School, Millard South High, and Omaha Metropolitan Community College.


With the completion of our two million dollar investment and with the dedication on May 13, 2000 of our new hall and training facility with over 35,000 square feet, we now have our own home.


The following is from SMWIA website:

SMWIA History

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 Treasurer.

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 Association

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 member.

1922 – The first air conditioning system for human comfort was used in a motion picture theater.

1924 – Name changed to Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association.

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.

1927 – 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 agreements.

1962 – SMWIA becomes first union to offer its members accident insurance – protecting members at work and at home in cases of accidental death.

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 recession.

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 manufacturing.

2004 – SMWIA Local 41, the first SMWIA Local Union outside the U.S. and Canada, is established in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

2005 - National Labor College awards degrees to SMWIA members.

2006 - Union Sportsmen's Alliance created.

2008 - SMWIA adopts Code of Excellence.

2014 - SMWIA became SMART - Sheet Metal Air, Rail and Transporation
































HomeApprenticeship & TrainingSMWIA Code of ExcellenceEAP Employee Assistance Program

Current EventsProductsOrganizingRelated LinksRetires Club

Contact UsMember Services401k Info/NewsletterSignatory ContractorsHistory

Copyright @2018 SMART - Sheet Metal Air, Rail, and Transportation Local #3 Omaha, NE  opeiu#53dg