International Molders and Foundry Workers Union of North America

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International Molders and Foundry Workers' Union of North America
Date dissolved1988
Merged intoGlass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers' International Union
Members10,000 (1866)
CountryUnited States of America

International Molders and Foundry Workers Union of North America was an affiliated trade union of the AFL-CIO. The union traced its roots back to the formation of the Iron Molders' Union of North America, established in 1859 to represent craftsmen who cast wrought iron metal products. It is now part of the GMP International Union.

Organizational history[edit]


In the years prior to the American Civil War existing organization of workers in the iron industry was established on the basis of independent local groups. In 1859, there came a move to forming a national organization in the United States, and the Iron Molders' Union was established at a convention held in Philadelphia on July 5.

The first national convention was attended by 35 delegates, representing local iron molders organizations located throughout the Northeast and as far west as St. Louis.[1] William C. Rea of Missouri was elected the first president of the organization and a committee of five headed by William H. Sylvis of Pennsylvania was appointed to prepare a declaration to the iron workers of America.[1]

The Molders' Union initially took the form of a loose federation of already existing local organizations, each retaining almost complete autonomy.[2]

Initial dues were set by the organization at $10 per local with an additional $10 per delegate sent to the national convention. This proved insufficient and in 1860 per capita dues were initiated at the rate of 5 cents per member per year.[2] This still proved insufficient for the maintenance of a central office and dues were hiked in 1867 to 50 cents per quarter per member and again in 1872 to 25 cents per month.[3]

The organization grew rapidly during the years of the Civil War, with non-union journeymen joining in great numbers. By 1866, the Iron Molders' Union touted 137 locals with a total membership of just under 10,000.[4]


A series of mergers led the union to change its name to the International Molders and Allied Workers Union.

In 1988, the Molders and Allied Workers merged with the Glass, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers International Union (GPPA) to create the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers International Union (GMP).


  1. ^ a b James C. Sylvis, The Life, Speeches, Labors and Essays of Wiliam H. Sylvis. Philadelphia: Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger, 1872; pg. 30.
  2. ^ a b A.M. Sakolski, "The Finances of the Iron Molders' Union, in Jacob H. Hollander and George E. Barnett (eds.), Studies in American Trade Unionism. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1917; pg. 83.
  3. ^ Sakolski, "The Finances of the Iron Molders' Union," pg. 84.
  4. ^ Iron Molders' Journal, April 1876, cited in Sakolski, "The Finances of the Iron Molders' Union," pg. 84.

External links[edit]