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Union History 

The following excerpts are from the 
"The Fighting Machinists, A Century of Struggle" 
by Robert G. Rodden.

SEVENTH INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT.
HARVEY W. BROWN, 1939 - 1949.
Wharton's successor, Harvey Brown, had served as Resident GVP at Grand Lodge for a number of years. This position had become (and remains even today) the IP's chief of staff. It was no surprise, then, that the Executive Council chose Brown as acting International President. This choice was confirmed a few months later by a margin of almost four to one in a vote of the membership. . . .After completing his apprenticeship at Bethlehem Steel he boomed around the country, belonging to no fewer than fourteen different lodges in five years. In 1910, at the age of twenty-six, Brown was elected business representative by members of a lodge in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. A year later he was a delegate and chairman of the Officers' Report Committee at the 1911 Grand Lodge Convention in Davenport. . . .For the next few years he held various union positions including president of the Essex County Trades Council and IAM delegate to AFL Conventions. He was elected GVP in 1921 and Wharton brought him to headquarters as resident GVP in 1934

EIGHTH INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT.
ALBERT J. HAYES, 1949 - 1965.
Born on Valentine's Day, 1900, to immigrant German parents in Milwaukee, Hayes was the seventh in a family of ten children. Like so many first generation children in those days, Al Hayes grew up speaking two languages. He was an exceptionally bright student and highly competitive third baseman who remained a fierce competitor throughout life. Hayes apparently hoped to be the first of his family to graduate from college. But this hope ended abruptly when his father was permanently and totally crippled by a freak accident in the coal yard where he worked as a foreman. . . .with his help desperately needed at home he was forced to go to work. Settling on a machinist apprenticeship as his best choice for a lifetime career he got a job with the West Milwaukee shops of the Milwaukee Railroad. 

NINTH INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT.
P.O. SIEMILLER, 1965 -1969.
Christened Paul LeRoy, Siemiller was born in September 1904 on a homestead close by the Platte River in central Nebraska. His father was a Civil War veteran who served at various times with the  4th Iowa Infantry and the 51st Missouri cavalry. While Roy was still a boy his father left the farm to an older brother and began an odyssey that took the family westward and eastward before finally settling down in Arkansas. Striking out on his own in the old time "strike and succeed" tradition of a Horatio Alger hero, young Roy left school at an early age to become a Western Union messenger. Spotting an "Apprentice Wanted" sign in the window of a machine shop where he was about to make a delivery, he removed his Western Union cap, went inside, fibbed about his age and talked himself into working nine hours a day at 11 an hour (with, as he later said, "no deducts"). 

More International Presidents

 

Union History


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of Siouxland Lodge 1426 IAMAW
Greg Enright