Become an Affiliate


The International Union of Journeymen and Allied Trades is unique because its leadership believes that all affiliates should have the freedom to operate their unions in the manner their membership and leadership choose. The IUJAT believes that each affiliate’s membership and leadership have the right to chart their own course. Thus, our affiliates’ members democratically select their leaders. And, just as all workers are free to select a union and decide whether they wish to become a member, so are local union leaders free to make the best decisions for the future of their unions. The IUJAT does not infringe upon the autonomy or rights of its affiliates. Our Constitution guarantees this.


IUJAT is the fastest growing union in the nation. It is also one of the nation’s oldest. Established in 1874, it existed 13 years before the American Federation of Labor was created. We received our first charter from the AFL in 1893. Today the IUJAT is independent, believing that its autonomy can be best preserved in this way. The IUJAT originally represented horseshoers, and its membership dwindled over the course of the 20th century as the trade became less common.

In 2002, new officers were elected to run the IUJAT who have led the union to exponential growth. It has since expanded into numerous additional jurisdictions, formed several National Unions and includes approximately 60,000 workers today. With dynamic leadership and a philosophy of ultimate freedom and democracy for our affiliates, it is no wonder that the IUJAT is the fastest growing, most forward-thinking union in the nation.


The IUJAT is unique because its leadership believes in ultimate freedom and democracy for its affiliates. The International has no ability to trustee an affiliate or otherwise seize its assets or interfere with its day-to-day operations. International President Steven R. Elliott, Sr. began his career with a small independent union that he ultimately led to become a National Union with well over 20,000 members. When his union affiliated with the AFL-CIO, he had concerns over the fate of the union he led. Would the membership lose control of their union? Could the union be trusteed by the International? Would the union’s leadership be able to run the union as in the past?

You may have similar concerns. That is why the IUJAT is the ideal choice for independent unions interested in affiliation. The IUJAT’s Constitution provides for ultimate freedom and democracy for all affiliated unions. The IUJAT’s leadership understands your position and has established its affiliation program to best meet your needs. The IUJAT offers a low per capita structure; no trusteeship provisions in its Constitution, and provides its affiliates with the freedom to run their unions without interference from the International.


In 2003, with the support of its affiliates, IUJAT disaffiliated 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 unencumbered our union and freed us from the politics and bureaucracy that hinder those who still belong.  Without the yoke of the AFL-CIO around our neck, IUJAT and its affiliates have been able to flourish and grow while others have become stagnant and decline.


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


All IUJAT affiliates are covered by IUJAT’s No-Raid agreements with the IAM, Steelworkers, RWDSU, the UFCW, and the TWU.  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.


The IUJAT has numerous programs that will assist you in organizing, educating your members and staff, performing research, and administering your union. Your members will have access to our newsletter, you can access our publications department to create organizing materials, our research department will assist you in corporate campaigns, our benefits administrators can work with you to enhance the benefits you provide your membership, you may even be able to participate in existing benefit plans by affiliating.

Joining the IUJAT will make you a part of the most innovative, dynamic union in the nation. We are steeped in tradition, rich in history, and ahead of the pack in terms of moving into the twenty-first century. Become a part of the fastest growing union in the nation!


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





1. Autonomy and Independence are important to our union. How would you guarantee these rights for us?

Autonomy and independence are important to the IUJAT as well. By tradition and history, the IUJAT provides an extraordinary degree of autonomy and independence for its local unions and affiliates. Your union will retain the right to hire its own staff, negotiate and sign its own contracts, decide what issues should be taken to grievance and arbitration, and control its assets and budget. We do not believe that you should lose your autonomy when you become an affiliate of the IUJAT. Our philosophy is one of ultimate autonomy and freedom and we are willing to guarantee that. Our Constitution prohibits the International from imposing trusteeships, merging locals, or otherwise infringing upon your autonomy. Therefore, control of your local union cannot be taken out of the hands of your officers and membership.

2. What Is the governing structure of the union?

IUJAT is governed by a Convention held every five years. Local unions send their own delegates to the Convention. All major policy decisions for the International union, including election of officers and board members, passage of policy resolutions and changes in the constitution and bylaws are made by the Convention.

Day-to-day operations of the International union are directed by an elected International President, International Executive Vice President, International Secretary-Treasurer, several International Vice Presidents and International Trustee(s). International Vice Presidents are all leaders of IUJAT affiliated unions.

3. Will the International be able to trustee or take over my local union if It so desires?

In its Constitution, the IUJAT is prohibited from imposing trusteeships upon affiliated unions. In the event of certain extreme conditions, usually related to financial or representational problems, the IUJAT has the right to expel an affiliate, in which case the former affiliate would revert to its prior independent status, retaining all its members and assets.

4. Will property and assets currently held by my local union be transferred to the IUJAT?

No. All existing property and assets of an affiliate are to be totally retained and controlled by it. This is guaranteed in the affiliation agreement.

5. Will we choose our negotiator, as well as negotiate, approve, and sign our own contracts without having to get the approval of the International union?

Yes. Your local union will retain the right to negotiate, approve and sign its own contracts, using whatever negotiators it chooses. This right is guaranteed in the affiliation agreement. If your local’s leadership requests, the IUJAT may provide professional staff members to assist with all phases of bargaining, including training, research and communications.

6. What services will be provided to us as a result of the affiliation agreement? How will the services be paid for In the future?

IUJAT provides a broad range of services to all their local unions. These services include, but are not limited to, the following:

Member Benefits

The IUJAT U-Benefit Program provides a wide range of benefits and services available to IUJAT members only, including benefits such as a legal services program, a travel club, a home mortgage program, and low-cost life insurance.


A key element for many new affiliates is training. IUJAT provides a full range of leadership, steward, collective bargaining, organizing, research, health and safety, communications, new staff and union administration training to local unions. IUJAT will assist a new affiliate in developing customized training for stewards, officers and staff, as well as negotiations training.


Information on contract clauses, wage and benefit surveys, health and safety, career development, and other issues is available through the IUJAT Research Department. IUJAT also has a division for performing strategic research used in large-scale corporate campaigns.

Healthcare Benefits

Staff experts on health benefits are available to analyze existing health benefit programs and to advise local unions on negotiating the preservation and improvement of benefits with management and industry representatives. IUJAT membership may also make several existing health plans available to your membership.


The IUJAT has partnered with Principal® Financial Group, the nation’s 401(k) leader in union sponsored retirement plans.  Principal® offers a wide range of investment choices, provides the participant with informative investment guidance, and understands the needs of union members.

Legislative Program

Providing an effective voice for IUJAT members in Washington, DC is the responsibility of the Legislative Department. IUJAT also provides a wide range of support services to its unions at the state and local level.


The IUJAT also provides support in the development of local union communications programs, newsletters, special videos, publications, websites, video conferences, and new media. Upon request, IUJAT will assist your union in the development or production of needed publications as well as graphic and editorial design services and other communications materials. Your local union will be able to receive and participate in the IUJAT newsletter as well.

Local Union Administration

The IUJAT works with local union affiliates on planning, budgeting, money management, and record keeping. The International has assisted a number of locals in recent years, at their request, in a complete redesign of their financial and administrative operations. Our-state-of-the-art systems are available to our affiliates as a method of enhancing the efficiency of their operations.

7. Do you provide stewards training?

IUJAT will provide instructors and training materials for as many stewards as your local designates.

8. If we are unhappy with the affiliation agreement, how can we disaffiliate?

IUJAT recognizes the need for a trial period, and your union will have the right to disaffiliate its existing members during the first four years of the agreement.