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  • Golfing for Good

    It gets bigger and better each year and this year did not disappoint. The 6th Annual Robert Martinez, Jr. Invitational Golf fundraiser hosted by IAM District 70 brought in more than $52,000 for the Guide Dogs of America.

    “I swear, I will never get tired of bragging about this organization or all that our members do to raise money for the Guide Dogs of America,” said Mark A. Blondin, General Vice President of the Machinists’ Union Southern Territory. “And IAM District 70 did a stellar job this year.  Because of their hard work and dedication, we can once again train and provide, free of charge, a guide dog for someone in need. That gets better each and every time I can say it aloud.”

    But that’s what the IAMAW’s Southern Territory is about. When the day is finished, and all union matters have temporarily come to a close, that’s when the Machinists start the real work of taking care of each other and the community. Wichita is one area that’s literally been doing just that for more than half a century.

    Cornell Beard, Directing Business Representative of District 70 in Wichita, is always enamored by the work done by his members outside of the job. “There are people out there who associate ‘Being Union’ as being a bad thing. I am here to tell you, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. We are members of both the IAM and the Community here in Wichita and I am so very proud of the charities we support and the work we do. Guide Dogs especially as I have witnessed how this organization is literally changing lives.” Because whether it’s for Guide Dogs or another charity, when the community calls, the Machinists come running.

    “These events can’t be done without the support of the IAM membership,” said Beard. “We speak of heroes all the time and it’s the working men and women of Kansas who step into that role when it’s needed. They contribute their time, assistance and money when someone calls, wanting nothing in return. That’s a hero in my book, whether they wear a cape or not.”

    Formed by an IAM Member in 1948, 57-year-old Mr. Joseph Jones was originally rejected for a guide dog at other guide schools because of his age. That’s when he knew something needed to be done. And with the Machinist motto of service to others running through his veins, he created a charity that in the future would be called the Guide Dogs of America (GDA), and changed the course of history for blind and visually impaired men and women across the country. Jones and the GDA are a living example of the soul of the IAM and the spirit of the Machinists in Wichita, KS.

    The post Golfing for Good appeared first on IAMAW.

  • Machinists Lead Victory in New York

    Every 20 years, New York is required to give voters the option on the ballot to open up the State’s constitution in a convention. On election night 2017, the working people of New York made their voices heard by resoundingly voting no to a constitutional convention.

    This victory is the direct result of the hard work and dedication of IAM members across the state joining forces with other labor organizations and getting the message out to voters of the dangers of the ballot proposal.

    “I take great pride in saying congratulations, and thanking all our brothers and sisters for their hard work, dedication and efforts in defeating the Constitutional Convention ballot proposal,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “It took working families of the past to build the protections we enjoy now, and it took the hard work of today’s workers of this state to ensure that quality of life for future generations. I am proud to be part of the organized labor movement.”

    While changing the state’s constitution may sound like a good idea, to corporate lobbyists it sounded more like a great opportunity. A constitutional convention would be run by political special interests using a wish list of so-called reforms from big corporations with the goal of stripping away some of the best labor protections in the country.

    “Losing the right to join a union would simply devastate the working families of New York State,” said IAM District 65 Directing Business Representative Ron Warner. “When our General Vice President made a commitment that the IAM would give a 100 percent to this effort, the members of our district responded to the call. I’m proud of our efforts, and proud of the leadership from the Eastern Territory.”

    A constitutional convention would have cost taxpayers, and the working families of New York hundreds of millions of dollars. This is money that would never have had the chance to be invested in schools, infrastructure and other vital services.

    The post Machinists Lead Victory in New York appeared first on IAMAW.

  • IAM Mourns Death of Retired GLR Renee Cicero

    Renee Cicero, a trailblazing Machinists Union leader and retired Transportation Department Grand Lodge Representative, passed away at her home on November 6, 2017. Cicero was 61 years old.

    Cicero made her mark by holding positions that were historically held by men. She worked with six people, known as “the team,” who won many victories for their coworkers at Southwest Airlines by connecting with a wide array of union members.

    She is known for making significant sacrifices to advance the interests of her family, friends and coworkers.

    “Renee was a true unionist. She was my sister, my friend and my mentor. Myself and others are fortunate to have worked alongside her,” said IAM General Secretary-Treasurer Dora Cervantes. “As a 32-year member, her hard work and dedication to the IAM cannot be measured. She was a trailblazer and set a path for women to follow. She played a leadership role and pushed me to pursue the leadership roles I hold today. I am where I’m at because of her. I love her and miss her.”

    Cicero began her career in the Southwest Airlines reservation center in 1982 as a member of IAM Local 2210 in San Antonio. In September 1994, she was elected as a General Chair for District 142. She was appointed Special Representative in 2000 and Grand Lodge Representative in 2001. Cicero retired in 2014.

    “Renee had a way of pulling in everyone around her to join in our fight for justice on the job,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “Her infectious personality will be sorely missed by our union, but her legacy will live on forever. I send my deepest condolences to her friends and family.” 

    Click here for visitation and funeral information.

    The post IAM Mourns Death of Retired GLR Renee Cicero appeared first on IAMAW.

  • And the Award Goes to…

    Last night the IAM’s best and brightest talents were recognized for their print and web communications work during the first annual Wimpy Awards live webcast.

    IAM General Vice President Rickey Wallace took center stage to announce this year’s local and district lodge newsletter and website winners.

    Watch the show on YouTube

    Award plaques have been mailed to the winning district and local lodges.

    See all the winners

    The post And the Award Goes to… appeared first on IAMAW.

  • Memorial Cancer Walk Raises Awareness and Spirits of Those Dealing with Cancer

    This past Saturday morning in Houston, Local Lodge 811 Women’s Committee held their 3rd annual Memorial Cancer Walk. The goal of the event was to raise awareness for those impacted by cancer – caregivers, families and patients alike.

    The walk was part of Houston’s annual IAM Union Picnic.

    “The first year we did it we had maybe 15 people,” said project organizer and Local Lodge 811 Secretary Treasurer Sarah Monderoy. “We’ve learned a lot since then, about how to plan dates, locations and times that work for more members,” she added, jokingly. “Since we started, we’ve built a much stronger turnout, and we are very proud of that.”

    Among the activists participating in the event were cancer survivors, families of survivors, and those who were walking in honor of others who have passed away.

    The project began three years ago, led by Local Lodge 811 Women’s Committee Chairwoman, Jackie Golphin. Jackie is a cancer survivor who wanted to find a way to encourage women like herself to get early screenings.

    Jackie approached United Airlines managers at IAH in Houston about including public service announcements to promote cancer screenings as a regular part of the company’s health and wellness messaging. Hub Manager Becky Alberts was willing to partner with the Women’s Committee – and Breast Cancer awareness became a top priority at the Houston airport.

    Today, thanks to the activism of Local Lodge 811 Women’s Committee, travelers that pass through Houston’s international airport will see pushbacks, baggage carts, tugs and other heavy equipment painted bright pink.

    “Everyone was wearing pink last year,” Sarah joked. “The momentum that we gained from that work was incredible, and we used it to start the Memorial Cancer Walk.”

    To date, the Memorial Cancer Walk has helped drive the message that early screenings save lives to an audience of several thousand IAM Union members in Houston, including Locals 811 and 2198.

    “We try to remember that caregivers and families are impacted by cancer, too. And we also work to remind people that we don’t just care about breast cancer,” Sarah said. “All cancer patients go through many of the same struggles with chemotherapy, surgery, and financial hardships. Cancer is cancer, and we want to support everyone that has to deal with this disease.”

    Local Lodge 811 Women’s Committee hopes to grow the program so that it can reach more people, and inspire more women to become activists in their communities.

    “Activism is one of the key roles of union members,” Sarah said. “And, activism comes in many different forms; it could be organizing, volunteering, educating. All of it is important, and it is especially important for women to embrace activism so that women’s issues don’t get sidelined as ‘gender concerns.’”

    Cancer awareness programs and early screenings save lives. Any Women’s Committee members that are interested in networking with activists in Houston may do so by contacting Sarah Monderoy via email at Hibicus79@yahoo.com or Jackie Golphin at firecat1020@yahoo.com

    The post Memorial Cancer Walk Raises Awareness and Spirits of Those Dealing with Cancer appeared first on IAMAW.

  • Kansas City IAM Local 176 Prepares for Harley-Davidson Negotiations at WWW

    Members of the IAM Local 176 Bargaining Committee take part in a bargaining simulation with William W. Winpisinger (WWW) Director Chris Wagoner, right, playing the role of the company. The exercise – the highlight of WWW’s Negotiation Preparation for Bargaining Committees Program – is designed to give bargaining committees a realistic taste of the frequently-intense atmosphere at the bargaining table.

    Members of the Kansas City IAM Local 176 Bargaining Committee were among the latest groups to complete the Negotiation Preparation for Bargaining Committees Program at the William W. Winpisinger (WWW) Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD.

    The group spent a week learning, planning and developing a strategic, constructive and unified approach to their upcoming negotiations with Harley-Davidson in 2018.

    “Knowledge is power, and the IAM is committed to making sure Negotiating Committees are prepared to bargain for the best contract possible for our members,” said IAM Collective Bargaining Director Craig Norman. “Negotiation Preparation Training held at the Winpisinger Center is more than just a ‘class’. The training allows for class structure on costing the contract and time for the Negotiating Committee to focus on their bargaining strategy. As important as the actual negotiation sessions are, the months preceding negotiations are critical for building a powerful voice within the membership.”

    “Having the opportunity to work with WWW educators and departmental staff from the Grand Lodge and Midwest Territory in planning and strategizing the best ways to ensure Local 176 members at Harley-Davidson the best contract is a huge benefit to the membership,” said IAM Local 778/176 Directing Business Representative Joe Capra. “The Bargaining Committee worked hard day and night at the Winpisinger Center to learn the skills and tools needed for a successful negotiation. We look forward to bargaining on behalf of the membership as we continue preparations over the next few months.”

    As part of the program’s customized training modules, the Bargaining Committee worked together to produce tools and plans specific to their members and upcoming negotiation. Training topics included how to draft contract language, present proposals, analyze the company’s strengths and weaknesses, mobilize and communicate with members – plus more.

    The week culminated in a bargaining simulation – the highlight of the program – designed to give the committee a realistic taste of the frequently-intense atmosphere at the bargaining table.

    The special training months ahead of negotiations is especially important as the IAM, in a joint statement with the United Steelworkers (USW), recently announced its decision to withdraw from a two-decades old partnership agreement with the motorcycle-maker.

    Read “IAM and USW Announce Termination of Partnership Agreement with Harley Davidson”

    The IAM represents Harley workers in Kansas City, Milwaukee, and York, PA.

    IAM Local 176, the first group scheduled at the bargaining table, is composed of approximately 425 members. Their contract, which expires July 31, 2018, is coordinated bargaining with the IAM and USW.

    The post Kansas City IAM Local 176 Prepares for Harley-Davidson Negotiations at WWW appeared first on IAMAW.

  • Tails and Tailgaters in Vegas

    Leave your tie at home and put on your favorite team jersey, because the 37th annual Guide Dogs of America William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet is a tailgate party.

    Get the score here so you don’t miss out on all the fun.

    GDA has a great starting line up planned and there will be plenty of refreshments, great food and wagging tails on hand. Join the team and we will see you Saturday, November 18.

    The post Tails and Tailgaters in Vegas appeared first on IAMAW.

  • Ohio Local Prepares for Upcoming Contract Negotiations

    IAM Local Lodge 1943 Vice President Shawn Coffey works on contract proposals during the Negotiation Preparation for Bargaining Committees Program at the William W. Winpisinger Center.

    The negotiating committee for IAM Local 1943 recently completed the Negotiations Preparation for Bargaining Committees at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD. The local represents nearly 1,800 members at a Middletown, Ohio steelmaking facility.

    The bargaining committee spent the week working on bargaining strategy, building in-plant solidarity and strengthening current contract language.

    “I’m thankful for the training we were able to receive here at the Winpisinger Center,” said Local 1943 Directing Business Representative Neil Douglas. “Our bargaining committee is prepared to sit across the table from the company as equals, and bring back a contract our members can be proud of.”

    “The Local 1943 Negotiating Committee has the tools and skills to bargain for the contract our members there deserve,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “They have the full support of the Eastern Territory, and the IAM behind them as they enter the final stretch of these talks.”

    IAM Members working at the Middletown Works plant have made the facility the nation’s most productive integrated steel operation. They manufacture steel products by the way of carbon steel melting, casting, hot and cold rolling, and finishing operations. The current contract with AK Steel expires March 15, 2018.

    The post Ohio Local Prepares for Upcoming Contract Negotiations appeared first on IAMAW.

  • New Jersey Grants IAM CREST $170K

    IAM CREST’s Youth Transition to Work Program received another year of grant funding starting September 1, 2017.  The $170,000 grant is from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

    Since October 2009 IAM CREST and District 15 have worked together on the program, which is designed to help students make a successful transition from high school to jobs in the automotive and diesel technology fields. The program has seen consistent growth and today includes 17 young workers either in progress or completing their apprenticeships.

    The four-year apprenticeship program turns out highly skilled union technicians who go from approximately $10 per hour to earning $25 per hour or more upon completion. In addition to the funding from the state, the IAM partners with local trucking companies, automotive dealerships and the U.S. Department of Labor.

    Click here for more information on the District 15 Youth Transition to Work Program apprenticeship program.

    The post New Jersey Grants IAM CREST $170K appeared first on IAMAW.

  • IAM Stars Will Shine at the Wimpy Awards

    Join us Wednesday, November 8 at 7 p.m. Eastern as the IAM goes live online to recognize the work of local and district communicators from across the union.

    Tune in on our Facebook Page.

    Named for the IAM’s 11th International President William W. Winpisinger, or “Wimpy,” the awards show will name the winners of the Machinists yearly newsletter and website competitions.

    Awards will be given to District and Local Lodges in the following categories:

    Best Newsletter Layout and Design

    Best Newsletter Feature

    General Excellence for Newsletters

    Best Website Layout and Design

    General Excellence for Websites

    And Website Special Performance

    Watch as the winners are announced live on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

    The post IAM Stars Will Shine at the Wimpy Awards appeared first on IAMAW.