Established on April 27, 1874 as the International Union of Journeymen Horseshoers, the IUJAT ranks among the very oldest labor organizations in the United States. Pre-dating the American Federation of Labor itself by 13 years, the IUJAT is the oldest union in the United States retaining its original charter. The IUJAT has survived and thrived for over 140 years.


Though the IUJAT has a proud tradition and long history, the key to our longevity and success is that we are also a forward-thinking organization with a membership as diverse as the industries we represent. The IUJAT is unique among international unions in that we have a streamlined operation with minimal bureaucracy. IUJAT prides itself on being an innovative, modern organization with the ability to react quickly and adapt to the dynamic, challenging environment within which we operate. The principles that guide our decision making continue to be: putting the interests of our members first, providing support and autonomy to our local unions, structuring our union to provide for the greatest level of democracy, and operating as efficiently as possible.


IUJAT is comprised of over forty subordinate bodies. These include directly affiliated locals and those that are affiliated through a National Union.  There are currently three National Union affiliates in IUJAT: the United Service Workers Union (USWU), National Organization of Industrial Trade Unions (NOITU), and the United Public Service Employees Union (UPSEU). The great success of IUJAT’s local unions has been the driving force behind the growth of IUJAT.  While there has been a shift within the labor movement to trustee or consolidate memberships into mega-locals where there is little democracy or opportunity for members to be heard, IUJAT continues to promote the true spirit of union democracy and membership participation through autonomous locals.


In 2003, with the support of its affiliates, IUJAT chose to disaffiliate from the AFL-CIO.  Time has proven that this was the right move.  Not only has our departure from this moribund organization resulted in a major cost-savings to our members, it has freed us from the politics and bureaucracy that hinder those who still belong. Following our lead, many other unions have subsequently left the AFL-CIO. The Teamsters, Carpenters, SEIU, and UFCW are just a few of the international unions to emulate our independence.


IUJAT affiliates participate in a Mutual Aid agreement in which aid and strategic assistance is provided to one affiliate by one or more other affiliates.  This process enables dedication of staff and resources, which may not otherwise be available. Often, on a project basis, our affiliates are in need of short-term assistance.  In recognition of the fact that this practice has a very legitimate union purpose in protecting collective bargaining rights and bringing the right to bargain to the unorganized, this policy has been formalized as a fundamental understanding amongst our affiliates.


All IUJAT affiliates are covered by IUJAT’s No-Raid agreements with other unions.  In addition to helping protect IUJAT’s jurisdiction, these agreements facilitate future cooperative arrangements and joint organizing projects.  The IUJAT is continually expanding the group of unions that it counts as allies and looks forward to working with these and other labor organizations in the future.  


IUJAT has a clear vision for remaining a strong, vital organization well into the future.  In these uncertain times, we must always plan ahead, and be prepared for the unexpected.  It is our goal to build on our great successes over the past years and seek out new areas for growth. Our strength lies in our diversity. We are proud to represent hard-working men and women from a variety of backgrounds, working in a wide range of industries and occupations. This allows us to give a voice to all those who deserve it and allows us to have the widest impact and do the most good. This diversification also makes us stronger and provides the most stability to our organization. IUJAT constantly strives to expand our membership into new and untapped areas and is always working to extend our outreach and influence in established industries.

Want to become an affiliate of the IUJAT?

As the most enduring and innovative union in the nation, the advantages of belonging to the IUJAT are numerous. We offer exciting opportunities for new affiliates to get all the benefits of belonging to a strong international with none of the drawbacks. Your autonomy will be preserved as an IUJAT affiliate.  We invite prospective affiliates to weigh our history, reputation, and our accomplishments. Our philosophy and our record of success speak for themselves. We welcome you to explore the advantages of joining the IUJAT family.

For more information or to speak to an IUJAT representative, please contact our office at:

International Union of Journeymen and Allied Trades
93 Lake Avenue, Suite 103, Danbury, CT 06810-6342

Telephone: (203) 205-0101