The History of District 1888
District 1888 is one of twenty District Lodges in the Southern Territory. The Southern Territory is comprised of nearly 100,000 IAM members and more than 200 Locals. Fourteen states along with Puerto Rico make up the territory; Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
In July 1996 directing Business Representative (DBR) Ed Pierce was given the task of assigning numbers to the new district that would be chartered as a result of merging District 155 and District 169. It required choosing a number that would be neutral as District 155 did not want the number 169 used and likewise, District 169 did not want the 155 number used. Brother Pierce decided a number that had never been assigned to a District or Local Lodge was in order, so the numbers 7 and 11 were chosen, henceforth District 711. His friends say that his fondness of playing dice was the main reason.
IAM & AW District Lodge 711 was chartered in July 1996, as a result of a merger between District Lodge 155, Nashville, Tennessee and District Lodge 169, McMinnville, Tennessee. District Lodge 155 was chartered in 1947 in Nashville, TN and consisted of five Local Lodges. In 1964 District Lodge 169 was spun off of District 155 and chartered as a result of the continual growth in District 155. Two other Districts have had a presence in Tennessee. District 56 in Chattanooga and District 203 in Oak Ridge were both merged into District 169 in 1987.
In August 2020 District Lodge 27, District Lodge 154 and District 711 merged together to form District Lodge 1888. The District Lodge became 1888 instead of any other number because the IAMAW was founded in 1888.
Directing Business Representatives that have represented these Districts:
District 56 – Chattanooga: Ed Pierce
District 203 – Oak Ridge: Jim Stout
District 155 – Nashville: H. C. Summers
District 169 – McMinnville: Bill Byrd
District 711: Ross Welch
District 27: Billy Stivers
District 154: Howard Dawes
District 1888: Jerry Benson
In 2003 membership in District 711 numbered in excess of 7000, but due to unfair trade policies such as NAFTA and of late, the failing economy, the jobs lost have the membership for the first time below 5,000 to 4,200. These figures drive home the ever-important need for every District and Local Lodge to be active in organizing.
Thirty-two Local Lodges are affiliated with District 1888, representing members in seventy-five shops, which produce quality products for everything from the sawmill industry to nuclear weapons components.
District 1888 carries on the proud tradition of the IAM & AW and our founders, joining together to make life better for working families everywhere.