The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union is a trade association that started back in the 1890’s. They have grown to represent over 120,000 members in North America. It is amazing to think that their members have worked on major construction projects from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Freedom Tower. This Union represent ironworkers who work on "bridges, structural steel, ornamental, architectural, and miscellaneous metals, rebar, and in shops.”
Some of the benefits afforded their members are: advantage of working under a collective bargaining agreement, health and retirement benefits, secure jobs, and safe working conditions.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor-Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of ironworkers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020. As older bridges need maintenance and replacement, and new projects begin, the jobs will contribute to the increase employment. If there are no ironworkers, these jobs will not be completed and major cities will look very different.
The International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers of America began as ironworkers in the late 1800’s became husbands and providers. They start realizing their needed a way to provide for their families during sickness, injury, and death. As they unified and started working together, they formed the union. The first convention was in Pittsburg in 1896.
Another benefit the Association provides is training. They offer apprenticeships so a young worker can enter the industry under skilled tradesmen to learn the ironworking craft. According to ironworkers.org, most of their apprenticeships last 3-4 years and provides equal training in structural, reinforcing, ornamental, welding, and rigging. However, this may be depending on the type of work available in the area of the apprenticeship. Apprentices have to complete classroom training along with hands-on experience in a shop before going into the field. Safety is always at the top of these trainings.
Mason Construction, Ltd. is proud to be associated with this organization and as always, we concentrate on safety as a team with employees in all crafts.