History of the Wood Council

The International Woodworkers of America was founded in 1937 as part of the Congress of Industrial Organizations. The union grew as a strong, democratic, industrial union throughout North America.

In the mid-1980s, the IWA split into two national unions. The IWA-CANADA merged with two locals of the Lumber and Sawmill Workers Union (LSWU) in Northern Ontario. In 1994, the union changed its name to the Industrial, Wood and Allied Workers of Canada (IWA) to reflect its growing diversity.

In 2003, the national convention of the union made a decision to pursue a merger with a “larger, compatible union.” In 2004, the Executive of the IWA selected the United Steelworkers and a merger was negotiated and took effect on September 1, 2004.

A critical part of the merger agreement was the creation of the Steelworkers – IWA Council, representing and coordinating the interests of the former IWA local unions in the areas of safety and health, collective bargaining, organizing and political action.  By 2006 the IWA Council adopted the moniker “Wood Council.”