SMART Union 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 the 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 the first union to offer its member's 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 the 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 the Code of Excellence.