Leading the Way


Leading the Way

Unions lead the way. That’s what we believe, and we’re committed to that vision for America.

America is better positioned to prosper when its people can contribute to its growth and be paid fairly for their contributions.

America thrives when its workers are thriving, and workers thrive when they’re busy building what America needs – from cities to communities to their own careers.

We know that unions make that happen. By organizing labor, we can build the cities, communities, and careers that America needs. And that’s exactly what the Carpenters Union has been doing for almost two centuries. That’s why we’re out in front, especially in an election year, sharing this vision with others. We’re ready to support those people as they define their own leadership plan, and we’ll be standing behind them as they fight for our shared vision.


Carpenters in Philadelphia strike for 10-hour day


Peter J. McGuire Unites 36 Carpenters From 11 Cities to Form the UBC


Peter J. McGuire organizes first Labor Day march


Carpenters lead 320,000 workers in 50-city demonstration to demand 8-hour work day


8-hour day prevails as standard in 200 cities


One of every five workers walks out in a wave of nationwide strikes


Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the National Labor Relations Act, which establishes the right to organize and take collective action. The Works Progress Administration is created to put millions of Americans back to work and build the nation’s infrastructure


The Taft-Hartley Act passes, which restricts the powers and activities of unions, and allows states to pass right-to-work laws banning union shops


Union membership in the U.S. peaks at 34.8%


Cesar Chavez and United Farm Workers organize workers in California


Occupational Safety and Health Act becomes law, establishing regulations that enforce health and safety


Southern California drywallers strike for better wages and working conditions


Delegates elect Douglas J. McCarron General President of the UBC, ushering in a new era for the Union


Southern California and Nevada merge to form Southern California-Nevada Regional Council


Gold Coast and Arizona join to form Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters


UBC opens the Carpenters International Training Center in Las Vegas


Utah merges with SWRCC


New Mexico and West Texas merge with SWRCC


Colorado merges with SWRCC


SWRCC restructures Locals and establishes goal for getting members’ work closer to home


Public support for unions reaches 15-year high, while union membership in the U.S. hits record low at 10.3% and CUPP launches, bringing volunteer opportunities to the neighborhoods where members live and work


COVID-19 and the ensuing economic crisis underscore a strong need for unions to protect the health, safety, and stability of the American worker

We will build our way into better cities, better communities, and better careers.

As we build, the investments we make in union labor have incredible effects on our communities.  We can show that communities with more union jobs have lower crime rates, and politicians need to know that. We can show that communities with more union jobs have better schools, and politicians need to know that. We can show that communities with more union jobs have healthier people, and politicians need to know that.

We are ready to lead by sharing a clear vision for a better future through union labor. We can prove that union jobs are the way forward, and we will support those candidates who are ready to fight for that better future with union labor.

Our membership is our greatest strength. Our confidence comes from knowing that all of us, together, can get things done like never before. Our solidarity is an inspiration and a force for change. Together, we will lead the way as we show up as essential workers every day on the job and show up at the polls to vote.