The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (IW) is a union of iron workers and member of the AFL-CIO.  The union supports left-of-center economic policies intended to raise wages and support union powers. In 2020, the IW endorsed Joe Biden for President despite a substantial minority of its membership being in favor of then-incumbent Donald Trump. 
The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers was established in 1896 by 16 delegates of smaller iron workers’ unions in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 
Los Angeles Times Bombing
On Oct 1. 1910, a time bomb constructed of 16 sticks of explosives made of 80% dynamite connected to a cheap alarm clock exploded in an alley next to the Los Angeles Times building; at the time, the newspaper was staunchly Republican and its ownership opposed the growth of labor unions.  The explosion destroyed the building, killing 20 employees and maiming dozens of others. This act, dubbed “the crime of the century” by critics of unions and the deadliest crime to go to trial in California history, was allegedly organized and carried out by two brothers: J.B McNamara, who planted the bomb, and J.J McNamara, an official of the Ironworkers Union who ordered the attack. They also allegedly planted two other bombs hidden in the bushes next to the homes of intended to kill Felix J. Zeehandelaar, the head of a Los Angeles organization, and Harrison Gray Otis, the publisher of the Los Angeles Times.
Despite major support from national trade unionists affirming their innocence, the McNamaras would plead guilty to their involvement in the Times bombing. The political fallout set labor organizing in Los Angeles back until the New Deal fundamentally altered labor relations nationwide. 
Investigations in the late 1990s and early 2000s implicated senior Ironworkers officials in financial misconduct. Former Ironworkers union president Jake West would plead guilty to a federal embezzlement charge in October 2002. Francis Massey, a union accountant, pled guilty to falsifying financial reports, admitting to covering up “at least $1.5 million unauthorized ‘entertainment’ expenditures” by Ironworkers Union officials.
West would be sentenced to three years’ imprisonment after a federal judge rejected his attempt to throw out his guilty plea.
Politics and Advocacy
In January 2020, the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers endorsed Joe Biden for president. The union surveyed its membership and found “A minority of ironworkers are firmly committed to Trump, more so than previous Republican presidential contenders like Senator John McCain and Governor Mitt Romney.” However, most union members favored Biden over then-President Donald Trump. 
In its official explanation for the endorsement, the IW criticized President Trump for “bargaining in bad faith” by repeatedly making promises to the union but not following through, for appointing members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) who supported right-to-work laws, and for permitting the erosion of union-preferring prevailing wage policies. 
North American Trade
In 2018, the IW’s leadership said it was “cautiously optimistic” about the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, President Trump’s replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). 
The IW supported President Joe Biden (D)’s 2021 infrastructure bill, which pledged $65 billion in expenditure on roads, bridges, ports, the energy grid, and other infrastructure components, many of which will be built by IW members. 
Right to Work
The IW opposes right-to-work laws, which prohibit contract provisions that force employees to pay union fees. The IW claims that right-to-work laws are “an attack on labor unions led by well-funded, anti-union interest groups.” The group endorses the proposed PRO Act which would enhance union powers, including by overriding all right-to-work legislation at the state level. 
Prevailing Wage Laws
The IW supports prevailing wage laws, which require government contractors to be paid at rates equivalent to the average in a given geographic proximity; the laws generally favor unionized firms. IW recommends an extension of the Davis-Bacon Act to protect current prevailing wage laws. 
The IW supports the CHIPS Act, legislation directing federal spending into private companies to increase domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research. 
The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers PAC has spent around $2-3 million per election cycle on political contributions since 2000. Its highest spending cycle was 2018, at $3.14 million. 
Typically, more than 90% of political donations made by the IW PAC each year go to Democrats. However, the IW steadily increased its relative support for Republicans to 10.5% in 2020 and over 20% in the 2022 election cycle as of July 2022. 
Eric Dean is the general president of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers. Dean was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He began his career as an iron worker in December 1980 and completed his apprenticeship in 1984. In 1989, Eric became a local union officer in 1989 and held various positions within said Local Union before rising to a post with the national union in 1999. He ascended to the union’s number-two post of general secretary in 2011, and he was elected general president of the union in 2015. 
Ronald J Piksa is the general secretary of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers.  He has held various local union and subordinate union offices through his career.