The Metal Trades

Serving America's Working Families Since 1908

The Metal Trades Department

The Metal Trades Department is a trade department of the AFL-CIO. It was chartered in 1908 to coordinate negotiating, organizing and legislative efforts of affiliated metalworking and related crafts and trade unions. Seventeen national and international unions are affiliated with the MTD today. More than 100,000 workers in private industry and federal establishments work under contracts negotiated by MTD Councils. Workers retain membership in their own trade unions.


As a chartered Department of the AFL-CIO, the MTD operates under its own constitution and by-laws within the laws of the AFL-CIO.


MTD activities are financed by a monthly per capita tax paid by the international unions on that portion of their membership employed in the metal trades.


The MTD convention is the supreme governing body. It meets every five years. Delegates representing international unions and MTD Councils review and develop programs, modernize the constitution, elect officers and fix policy for the MTD and its Councils.


The MTD is administered by a president assisted by a full-time staff. The President and eleven vice presidents are elected from the affiliated international unions by convention for four-year terms. The officers form the MTD Executive Council, which meets as needed to carry out convention programs and formulate and carry out department policies.


Disputes between affiliated unions are resolved through jurisdictional policy and precedures of the MTD.

Where We Work

Metal Trades Councils represent workers in the federal sector, private sector and atomic trades.

RSS Labor News

  • The House Republican Health Care Plan—a Betrayal of Working People that Keeps Getting Worse
    AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka blasted the Republican health care plan on which House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has announced plans for the House of Representatives to vote later today, stating in a letter:This legislation is a betrayal of working people who will pay the price for it through medical care they can no longer afford, greater […]
  • Stand with Mondelez/Nabisco Working People Whose Jobs Were Outsourced by Watching and Sharing This Video
    The consequences of corporate greed are disastrous. Just ask the 600 former Mondelēz/Nabisco working people and members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) union in Chicago, who were laid off one year ago today as the company shifted production to Mexico.
  • Investors with $3 Trillion in Assets Call for CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratio Disclosure
    Today, more than 100 institutional investors with a combined $3 trillion in assets under management sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in support of a CEO-to-worker pay ratio disclosure. The signatories of the investor statement on pay ratio disclosure include a variety of pension plans, asset managers, foundations, faith-based funds and state treasurers.
  • Getting Kids to Be Activists Through a Graphic Novel
    One of the lessons of history is that it must be retaught so our children won’t repeat it. When I left Union Plus last year, I decided to enter into an “encore” career and published a graphic novel to teach kids about labor history. But most importantly, how to become an activist when you’re a […]
  • AFL-CIO Analysis of President Donald Trump’s FY 2018 Budget
    AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka made the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s proposed budget: “Working people in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin didn’t vote for a budget that slashes workforce training and fails to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. President Trump’s proposed budget attempts to balance the budget on the backs of working families. The […]
Share This