History of the Brotherhood
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America officially began back in 1881 when 36 delegates from 14 local unions in 11 different cities decided to organize themselves so that they would have a stronger voice. They were looking for a way to be on equal terms with employers, to shorten their workdays and to increase their pay. Most importantly, they wanted to spread their work among as many members as possible.
By the turn of the century, the Carpenters had grown in strength from 679 locals with 69,000 members to 2,015 locals with 261,000 members. But, even with all of its gains, there was still an obvious need for a stronger national organization. Over the next 40 years, the Brotherhood fought hard to gain members and respect. By the end of World War II, membership in the United Brotherhood soared to 700,000.
Since then, the Brotherhood has made great advances throughout North America and has established itself as one of the nation’s largest, strongest and most respected unions. Today, we have over 532,000 members, representing 872 locals.