In the late 1880s, steel had virtually replaced wood and stone as the primary load-carrying material in the erection of bridges and buildings. This abrupt change in structural materials brought about a demand for a new type of worker-bridgemen and architectural ironworkers. Ironworkers became known as “cowboys in the sky.” As these daring, young, independent men aged and became husbands and providers, their thoughts turned to providing for their families during sickness, injury, and death and the realization by joining together, their voices became stonger, unified, and heard. Thus, the International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers of America was established on February 4, 1896 by sixteen delegates who attended our founding convention in Pittsburgh.
The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union, AFL-CIO, is a proud trade association whose beginnings go back to the 1890s. We currently represent 120,000 members in North America. Members of our union have worked on nearly every major construction project you can think of – the Golden Gate Bridge, the Sears Tower, the St. Louis Arch, and the Oil Sands Plant Expansion in Alberta, the World Trade Center, and now Freedom Tower. We represent ironworkers who work on bridges, structural steel, ornamental, architectural, and miscellaneous metals, rebar, and in shops. Across North America, we build.
And we build safely and skillfully, getting the job done right and on time.
We provide many benefits and support for our members. These benefits include the advantage of working under a collective bargaining agreement that brings bigger paychecks, better health and retirement benefits, more secure jobs, and safe working conditions.