"Historian of his union, teacher of Apprenticeship Trainers, Business Agent/Organizer of Local 63."
One of the most important accomplishments of the Iron Workers Union has been in their establishment of a comprehensive training program for apprentices, which has helped to keep the industry and the union vigorous throughout their 110 years of existence. The Iron Workers have played an important role in the study and preservation of labor history, and Richard Rowe, Business Agent and Organizer for Local 63 of Chicago has provided the momentum behind labor education in his organization. Rowe teaches Apprenticeship Trainers from around the country yearly, educating on the history of the Iron Workers, but also on the general history of the labor movement, recognizing the importance of an understanding of industrial relations for all workers. In addition, Rowe teaches at apprenticeship programs throughout the year, and is working on updating the History of the Iron Workers, which he originally authored with William Adelman in 1996.
George W. Geary
"Organizer at the 1896 founding of the International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers, Chicagoan is known today as 'founding father'."
With the 1896 founding of the International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers, a collective organization was born for the purpose of bargaining with the U.S. Steel Corporation and the American Bridge Company, and George Geary of Chicago led its efforts as International Organizer. Now expanded and in existence for over 110 years, the Iron Workers have overcome many obstacles to leave their mark on labor history as a strong and spirited force for workers. The union survived an extended period of conflict with the steel erectors, beginning in 1906, and maintains its power today through mastery of the skills required by evolving construction technology.