On May 5, 1888, Thomas W. Talbot, a railroad machinist in Atlanta, Georgia, founded the Order of United Machinists and Mechanical Engineers. Talbot and 18 others had been members in the Knights of Labor. Talbot believed that a union needed to be formed for railroad machinists that would resist wage cuts. He wanted to provide insurance against unemployment, illness, and accidents but also wanted railroad machinists to be recognized for their craft skill. Unlike the Knights of Labor, who accepted everyone, Talbot’s union accepted only white U.S. citizens, preferably native-born. The union excluded blacks, women, and non-citizens, and had secret passwords. Despite the secrecy, the order spread beyond Georgia, thanks in part to “boomers”, men who traveled the railway lines for work. These boomers established local lodges in new areas. Within one year there were 40 lodges, and by 1891, there were 189. (EXCERPT FROM WIKIPEDIA)
And the rest as they say is History!
Happy Birthday IAMAW!