Amalgamated Society of Woodcutting Machinists

ASWS badge.

Amalgamated Society of Woodcutting Machinists badge.

The Amalgamated Society of Woodcutting Machinists took its name in 1877, having grown out of the Birmingham and District Mill Sawyers and Planing Machine Workers Trade Society.

The Birmingham society had been founded in 1866 by a group of 80 sawyers. By the time it changed its name, it had more than 250 members, and by the end of the century it had grown large enough – partly through absorbing other local societies – to appoint its first full-time secretary.

By the turn of the century the union had changed its name once again, becoming the Amalgamated Society of Mill Sawyers and Woodcutting Machinists. The name would be changed back again within a few years, and after 1919 settled into the form of words shown on the badge pictured here.

In 1971, the society merged with the National Union of Furniture Trade Operatives to form the Furniture, Timber and Allied Trades Union (FTAT). FTAT itself merged with the GMB in 1993.