As a trade union with almost 130 years of experience, DC38 has a long history of protecting the rights of its members
1889 the seeds of DC38 began when 10 men, mostly in their early 20s, came together to form Local 62 of the Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers of America. The 62 original members worked 10-hour days, six days a week for $2.50 per day.
1894 Local 62 dissolved and remerged five years later as Local 138.
1899 The International Brotherhood granted Local 138 its charter. Local 138 then went to work getting a collective agreement together for its painters. After much perseverance, the local successfully secured a nine-hour work day, 33 cents per hour rates, overtime pay, a grievance procedure, and a closed shop.
1901 The Working Card was introduced so union members could ensure the everyday tradesperson was a union member. If someone could not produce a Working Card, the entire site would be shut down, and often was.
1911 Local 138 hired an organizer and membership increased from 250 to 380 members. On June 5, the first ever general strike in Canada was called. Despite the negative coverage by media, the strike ended on July 25 with a wage increase to $4.50 a day.
1917 During World War I, painters started work in the shipbuilding industry. Membership grew to almost 7,000 at the peak of wartime production.
1918 Painting technology changed dramatically during this period. Painters could now use spray machines. But this opened the door to increased health risks. Local 138 set up its first Health and Safety Committee.
1940s Local 138 focussed exclusively on wages and working conditions.
1959 The painter roller was introduced into the trade, and it had an even larger impact than the spray machine. Because of this, the union negotiated for a higher rate for roller coating.
1960 Wages increased yearly, and by now members were earning between $2.84 and $3.04 per hour. 1969 The Painters Health and Welfare Plan was established.
1997 Local 138, the Glaziers Local 1527 and Drywall Tapers Local 2009 joined to form District Council 38.
1999 The International Brotherhood changed its name to the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.
2007 Local 163 Lathers/Interior Systems Mechanics joined District Council 38.