Employee rights have come a long, long way and advanced quite considerably
in a little more than a century’s worth of time. From acceptable
wages to compensation after being hurt on the job, workers today have
it considerably better than those of decades past. Regardless of how people
feel about worker unions today, they played a major role in the improvements
enjoyed today, and no other union is more widely-recognized as having
an impact than The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace
Workers (IAM) and their historic “Pit.”
On May 5th, 1888, more than 125 years ago, a small group of Atlanta-based locomotive
repair workers met in a repair pit to discuss how they could rally together
and unify to get better treatment while on-the-job. This meeting became
known as “The Pit” and would found the United Machinists and
Mechanical Engineers of America – now renamed to IAM. It was a landmark
moment in worker rights not only here in America but also across the world.
Starting with just 19 people, the IAM expanded exponentially in one year,
gaining 1,500 members and 34 lodges around the state. It seemed that people
were keen to the idea of the eight-hour workday, set wages, and compensatory
benefits. More than just railroad engineers got involved, too; the IAM
quickly included shipbuilders, woodworkers, manufacturers, and more professionals.
Cut to modern day and the IAM still represents and fights for the rights
of over 700,000 people, both actively working and retired from a lifetime
of honest work.
As New York City personal injury attorneys with a focus on
workplace construction accidents, our team here at Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP has seen a
great many cases that would have been more difficult to win for our clients
had the IAM and other unions like it not been around to help shape laws
and regulations throughout the years. To pay the IAM due respects, we
found it only fitting to take a quick look back at its history, and also
continue to provide legal advocacy to hard-working Americans who have
been injured in industrial fields.
If you have been hurt and need representation for your
workers’ compensation case, call 646.461.4009 today to request a
free case evaluation with our team.