Machinists Honor Hispanic Heritage Month

Machinists Honor Hispanic Heritage Month

Machinists Honor Hispanic Heritage Month


16 September 2022

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed each year from September 15 – October 15 to pay tribute to the contributions, rich legacy, culture, and influence of the Hispanic and Latino community in the United States.

The celebration dates back to 1968 when President Lyndon B. Johnson created Hispanic Heritage Week beginning September 15 to honor the contributions of this growing community and to mark the anniversary of the independence of a few Latin American countries. The observation was then expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period.

The IAM honors the history-making power of past and present Latino leaders who have been critical to the advancement of the labor movement – within our union and beyond.

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, the IAM recommits to keep fighting for a more equal and just workforce and takes pride as having one of the most diverse Executive Councils with Latino representation in the labor movement. 

International President Robert Martinez Jr. made history as the first Hispanic ever elected to the IAM Executive Council and the first Latino in labor to head a major North American international union. General Secretary-Treasurer Dora Cervantes also paved the way as the first Hispanic to serve as General Secretary-Treasurer in the history of the IAM.

In order to mentor and build the next generation of Latino leaders in the union, the IAM created the Spanish Leadership Program at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center. The program provides IAM members with the skills and tools they need to effectively represent and fight for workers’ rights.

IAM also partners with many Latino advocacy organizations to address and educate about issues affecting Latino working families. This includes groups like the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), an AFL-CIO constituency group committed to improving the rights and conditions of Latino workers.

If you are an IAM member and want to get involved, you can reach out to Julie Frietchen, IAM Director, Women’s, Human Rights & Young Workers at (301) 967-4747 or jfrietchen@iamaw.org.

La IAM Conmemora el Mes de la Herencia Hispana 

El Mes de la Herencia Hispana es celebrado cada año desde el 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre para rendir homenaje a las contribuciones, el rico legado, la cultura y la influencia de la comunidad hispana y latina en los Estados Unidos.

La celebración se remonta a 1968 cuando el presidente Lyndon B. Johnson creó la Semana de la Herencia Hispana a partir del 15 de septiembre para honrar la contribuciones de esta creciente comunidad y para conmemorar el aniversario de la independencia de algunos países latinoamericanos. La celebración fue luego ampliada por el presidente Ronald Reagan en 1988 para cubrir un período de 30 días.

La IAM honra el poder histórico de los líderes latinos del pasado y el presente quienes han sido fundamentales para el avance del movimiento laboral, dentro y fuera de nuestra unión.

Mientras celebramos el Mes de la Herencia Hispana, la IAM vuelve a comprometerse a seguir luchando por una fuerza laboral más equitativa y justa y se enorgullece de tener uno de los Consejos Ejecutivos más diversos con representación latina en el movimiento laboral.

El presidente internacional, Robert Martinez Jr., hizo historia como el primer hispano elegido para el Consejo Ejecutivo de la IAM y el primer latino en el movimiento laboral en encabezar una de las uniones internacionales más grandes de América del Norte. La Secretaria-Tesorera General Dora Cervantes también rompió barreras al convertirse en la primera hispana en desempeñarse como Secretaria General-Tesorera en la historia de la IAM.

Con el fin de guiar y formar la próxima generación de líderes latinos en la unión, la IAM creó el Programa de Liderazgo en Español en el Centro de Educación y Tecnología William W. Winpisinger. El programa brinda a los miembros de la IAM las habilidades y herramientas necesarias para representar y luchar de manera efectiva por los derechos de los trabajadores. 

La IAM también colabora con muchas organizaciones que ayudan a la comunidad latina para abordar y educar sobre los problemas que afectan a las familias trabajadoras. Una de estas organizaciones es el Consejo Laboral para el Avance del Trabajador Latino Americano (LCLAA, por sus siglas en inglés), un grupo afiliado a la AFL-CIO que está comprometido con mejorar los derechos y las condiciones de los trabajadores latinos.

Si eres un miembro de la IAM y quieres involucrarte en este tema, puede comunicarse con Julie Frietchen, directora del Departamento de Mujeres, Derechos Humanos y Trabajadores Jóvenes de la IAM al (301) 967-4747 o jfrietchen@iamaw.org.

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The Minnesota State Fair is the perfect place to show union pride and solidarity. “Airline Local” 1833 President Mary Sansom is going to make sure that the Machinists Union are front and center. Photo Credit: Minnesota State Fair Planning Committee

Summer of Solidarity at the Great Minnesota Get-Together

Service to the Community
2 September 2022

Going back as far as anyone can remember, Airline Local 1833 has held a prominent role at the Minnesota State Fair, which the locals call the “Great Get-Together.” The Get-Together, which began as a way for area farmers to close out the Mid Western summer growing season, attracts more attendees yearly than any other state fair in the US. 

Notable among the children sporting farmer-themed face paint, musical acts, and concession stands are an impressive cadre of labor unions. Led by the Minnesota AFL-CIO, working Mid Westerners represented at the Fair include Iron and Sheet Metal Workers, Educators, and Medical Workers, among others. And, right in the center of them all, in the very heart of the Fair itself, is Mary Sansom. Mary is the President of “Airline Local” 1833 in Minneapolis, representing Union Members at Southwest Airlines and United, both of which are home to increasingly tense labor negotiations. “Don’t forget Southwest!” Mary quickly reminded me when I called her this afternoon about her Local’s support of the Get-Together and her brief meeting with US Senator and former Presidential Candidate Amy Klobuchar. The Local is also home to area workers at American Airlines, which settled their contract just as COVID-19 was starting.

I found out that Klobuchar had stopped by the Machinists Union kiosk at the Get-Together when Brian Vega texted me a photo of Mary standing next to Klobuchar, holding a “CONTRACT NOW” flyer, which have become ubiquitous at United Airlines. Brian is the Social and Video Media Coordinator for Machinists Union District 141.

“When it comes to our union, Klobuchar just breezes through like that,” Mary said of the encounter. “She stands with us on most issues,” she said. “And, there are a few areas where she needs a little more encouragement from us,” she said laughingly. Told of the ongoing tensions surrounding contract negotiations, the Senator responded simply, “So I’ve heard.” “Klobuchar and the Machinists Union haven’t always seen eye-to-eye on every issue,” Mary said of the Senator. “But, if she’s here to support our Contract Negotiations at United and Southwest, she’s on the right track.”

In addition to Klobuchar, Minnesota Representatives Angie Craig, Dean Phillips, and members of Machinists Union District 77 also stopped by to show solidarity for airline workers engaged in contract negotiations.

“Southwest has been working under an amendable contract since 2018,” Mary explained. “And now if we add all our members at United, there’s a lot of airline workers getting fed up.”

Mary, who leads the yearly effort to bring the Machinists Union to the Fair, said that politics are far from the main reason for attending. “I’ve been here for 48 years,” she said. “And, this has been going on for at least that long,” continued, explaining that the long-standing tradition of Machinists Union support for the State Fair and surrounding region is an integral part of the culture of Local 1833. “The Nurses Union out here could be facing a strike,” she said. We want to stand in solidarity with them right now. We also want to show support for Starbucks workers who are organizing, and Trader Joe’s and Amazon,” she continued. “These are new unions,” she said, “and they could use a hand. We need to stand with our union brothers and sisters when it matters.”

No Amazon facility in Minneapolis has been successfully organized thus far. However, one of the Staten Island Sorting Facility’s lead organizers, the Nation’s first to form a union successfully, will be a featured guest at the upcoming Machinists District Convention in Orlando, Florida. Tristan Lion Dutchin, who helped lead the effort to unionize Amazon, has been a frequent attendee at organizing events at JetBlue’s JFK hub, alongside Machinists Union organizers. 

According to Mary, networking is a vital part of unionism, both with other unions and within the communities they call home. “We’re out here to make State Fair visitors aware of the work that Unions do and why we’re still relevant,” she said. “A lot of your neighbors might be union, and you’d never know it,” she said, explaining why community involvement is critical to unions. 

An easy walk from political headquarters, it is not uncommon for elected representatives to stop by the Machinists Union kiosk at the Minnesota State Fair. Above, United States Representative Angie Craig (in red), and below, US Representative Dean Phillips took a moment to show support for Machinist Union Members engaged in ongoing contract talks with United and Southwest.

“Plus,” she said, “this is great for our members!” Mary detailed the vital role retirees play in setting up the Machinists Union Kiosk and the crash course that new Union Stewards get when they’re thrown into the mix. “It’s a lot to have thrown at them, but they meet everyone and just learn so fast,” Mary explained of volunteers experiencing their first time at the Fair. Mary has had time to be well-versed on the topic of unionism in her decades within the airline industry. A former employee at Northwest, she famously quit the airline bcause she refused to work for a non-union carrier. Over the years, she has served as a trusted mentor for generations of new union members in Minneapolis. 

The next morning, Mary passed the Machinists Kiosk over to Local 1833 Trustee Jan Haber, Local 623 (St. Cloud, MN) union member Joe Baretta and District 77 Rep Andrew Peltier who were left with staffing duties and a request for pictures.

“I’m really excited about Joe and Andrew because this is the first time in a very long time that the other IAM members from the other industries in MN have staffed the kiosk,” she said.

Which is why Mary has decided to defiantly place the Machinists Union directly in the heart of the largest State Fair in the Nation. “We have prime real estate on the State Fairgrounds,” Mary said. “We’re in the middle of everything,” she said of the location of the Local 1833 Fair Kiosk. The DNC has an office right there, so anyone trying to get elected or re-elected needs to come right past us” she said, “and the AFL-CIO is just next door, and there’s a beer hall right across the road,” she said with a laugh. “Everyone wants to be here, but we won’t surrender our spot.”

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Chicago Guide Dog Golf Outing Raises Funds, Spirits

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Meet Sheldon! Sheldon is a “Puppy in Training” for a bright future in the field of Guide Dogging. Sheldon is just one of the service canines that Guide Dogs of America raises and trains each year. Dogs like Sheldon transform the lives of children with autism, veterans facing PTSD challenges, and the visually impaired. The Golf Outing featuring Sheldon is held each year at Chicago’s IAM Local 1487, which raises as much as $10,000 for this important cause. 

Chicago Guide Dog Golf Outing Raises Funds and Spirits

Community Service
18 August 2022

“He’s a massive baby,” Zack Gittlan said apologetically of the 11-month-old Golden Retriever named Sheldon, who was enthusiastically greeting guests at the annual Golf Outing Charity hosted by Chicago’s Local 1487.

Sheldon, wearing a bright yellow “Puppy in Training” vest is one of the 120 service dogs that Guide Dogs of America raises each year. Each animal will help to improve the lives of people who are visually impaired or children dealing with autism, as well as veterans facing challenges related to PTSD. In addition, Guide Dogs of America provides highly-trained service dogs to facilities such as children’s hospitals, schools, and courtrooms. 

“It takes about two years to raise and train a dog,” Zack said. “We train them to focus on their owners, and to ignore all the things that might distract a pet, like sights, sounds, smells… there’s just a million things that would keep a pet dog occupied. A guide dog has to  be able to overcome those things and provide instant assistance and companionship,” he said. 

But, it truly takes a village to produce the highly skilled canines to become trusted best friends and eager helpers. “It costs about $60,000 to breed, train, and deliver each guide dog,” Zack said. “And we provide all these services to people in need at no cost to them,” he added. “That’s why we are so appreciative of the hard work and support that the Machinists Union provides to us.”

Machinists Union Local 1487 in Chicago has been at the forefront of the effort to support Guide Dogs of America for years. According to the union’s district Community Service Director, Cristina Odoardi, the local has raised “well over $50,000 so far this year,” on behalf of the charity. But, says Cristina, the efforts serve as more than just fundraisers. “We are also strengthening our networks within the community. We’re building bridges and making friends, which is important,” she said. “Plus, we get a chance to meet each other outside of work, and provide opportunities for union members to become more involved,” she said as she detailed examples of community work leading to new shop stewards and heightened volunteerism. 

The Golf Outing itself takes about six months to plan and execute, according to Chicago’s Recording Secretary, Greg Klujewski. “We work on a series of events each year, to raise money and build awareness for Guide Dogs, and also to build community with each other,” he said. “I am deeply humbled and appreciative of the overwhelming support that our union and community have extended to us to make this get-together a success,” he said. “Today, 144 people signed up from all over the country.  “And, every level of our union is represented, from our local lodge to District 141, Air Transport, and the Grand Lodge are here. We have our District President Mike Klemm out here supporting us, and General Vice President Richard Johnsen, and we are grateful for their participation and encouragement.” 

 

“I want to commend Local Lodge 1487’s President, Tony Licciardi and Greg Klujewski for all their work making this happen,” said District President Mike Klemm. “We’re out here bonding and creating a more unified front as we continue to push United Airlines to negotiate a fair contract for our members,” he said. “Events like this create stronger bonds within our union and communities, and at the same time we’re out here supporting a great cause.”

At a boisterous after-event appreciation dinner, General Vice President cheered on the local. Saying “events like this are the crown jewel of our organiazation,” he praised the solidarity it promoted as well as its effectiveness as a fundraiser. District 141 President Mike Klemm also spoke, thanking the attendees and speaking for a few moments about the ongoing efforts the negotiate a contract at United.

Zack Gitland also thanked the Local for its efforts. In a heartfelt statement to the membership, he said that the annual golf outing was among his favorite events to attend. “You guys got to see old friends and golf,” he said. “I get to see the lives you’re changing. I get to see the child with autism that can live a more normal life, thanks to the work you’re doing. I get to see the veteran who needed the love and companionship of his new service dog. I get to see people with a disability who can live independently for the first time. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

 

 

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Machinists Union Joins Delegation to Pope Francis on Behalf of Working People

GOIAM.org
17 August 2022

IAM Air Transport General Vice President Richard Johnsen recently joined other transportation unions at a meeting in Vatican City hosted by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and the Vatican’s Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS). The meeting brought transport unions and other trade unions from across the world to discuss joining forces in the fight for global justice.

From Left to Right: Richard Johnsen, General Vice President, Air Transport, IAMAW, Sara Nelson, International President, Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), & Sean O’Brien, General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)

Pope Francis this month invited labor unions and other organizations representing working people to the Vatican for a Global Workers’ Summit. Machinists Union General Vice President Richard Johnsen spoke on behalf of transportation workers in North America alongside Sara Nelson, Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) President, and Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien.

The Summit covered a range of critical issues facing working people worldwide, including human rights in the workplace and the importance of unions and collective action in the struggle to protect the dignity of work. The event was effectuated by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and was held at the Vatican. It was attended by labor unions from around the world.

Johnsen, who spoke on behalf of transportation, aerospace, automotive, aviation, and rail workers, addressed how technology continues to change the world. He stressed the importance of unions having a seat at the table as new tech, automation, and artificial intelligence impact job security and the workplace environment.

“I have spent the last year traveling the country to listen to our air transport members and address their concerns as our industry continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Johnsen said in his remarks to the Pope. “Pope Francis’s words have inspired millions of workers, especially in the airline industry, who have faced recent challenges with understaffing and unruly passengers. I look forward to jointly working with our global partners to ensure we can address ongoing global crises using social justice.”

Since 2019, working people have faced repeated challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, global inflation, a war in Europe, and alarming food shortages. The Summit helped foster greater solidarity among unions, and an opportunity to confront the issues facing workers through greater collaboration and discourse.

Pope Francis delivered a message that all workers should have the free right to join a union as a basic human right.

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District 141 EAP Expands American Airlines Services With Two New Appointments

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District 141 EAP Expands American Airlines Services With Two New Appointments

District 141 of the Machinists Union is expanding its Employee Assistance Program with two new regional appointments. Effective August 1, Kendall Tuckett and Maria Davis have accepted positions as Regional EAP Coordinators for Union Members at American Airlines.

“These are two of the most talented and experienced advocates in our system,” said American-side EAP Chairman Chris Davis. “They both have long standing reputations as patient listeners and have provided a strong voice for those around them who might need someone in their corner,” he said. “Nobody is perfect all the time,” he continued, “and sometimes things aren’t ok. Kendall and Maria have proven to me that they can be there when it counts.”

“The EAP isn’t just there to help people deal with drug and alcohol issues,” he explained, pointing out that the EAP is set up to help connect union members to a wide range of professional services. The experience Kendall Tuckett and Maria Davis have developed over the years in dealing with the full range of challenges members may face helped guide his decision to recommend them for regional coordinators for the East and West Coast Employee Assistance Program. “We’re here to try and change lives,” he said. 

Maria Davis is no stranger to advocacy work. Before being named East Coast Regional EAP Coordinator, she served as EAP Representative at American Airlines for her home Local, Liberty Lodge 1776 in Philadelphia. There, she honed her skills as a kind and patient advocate, helping her fellow union members as they dealt with mental health issues, substance dependency, and other personal crises that affected their ability to earn a living for their families. 

Her commitment to service has driven her from the start, leading her to become a Union Steward in her first year as a ramp worker at US Airways (later American Airlines), a position she took up in 2005.



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By 2007, she had begun working as an educator, able to patiently guide coworkers through FAA-mandated online trainings. That same year, she expanded her work to include safety activism. By 2017, she had been elected to the position of Recording Secretary and served on the Grievance Committee of Liberty Lodge.

“There is no greater feeling than knowing that you can be relied on and make a difference in someone else’s life,” Davis said. “Not everyone knows what or which direction to turn, and that’s ok. All of us can need a little help, and I’m honored to be trusted with this responsibility.”

 

Kendall Tuckett has used her skills as a “people person” to offer friendly, supportive assistance to those who come to her for help, dating back to the late nineties when she worked at Southwest Airlines. In 2005, she carried these skills to America West Airlines (later American Airlines) when she was hired as a fleet service worker.

Naturally fearless, Tuckett did not hesitate to step up when she determined there was a need for more EAP assets at her Local Lodge. Well known as an energetic and professional Local, Sky Harbor Lodge 2559 in Phoenix, Arizona, immediately found a way for her to get involved; by becoming an EAP Representative herself. “When I first heard about the EAP program, we did not have an active Volunteer,” Tuckett said. “I decided to get involved and help the members.” 

She began helping connect members of Sky Harbor Lodge with referrals, explaining how to obtain treatment options, and quickly built a reputation as a compassionate listener and a reliable advocate. “A lot of people just needed someone to hear them,” she said. “I enjoy being helpful,” she said, “and cheering people on as they return to work and recovery.”


Davis and Tuckett were recommended for the Regional positions by American-side EAP Chairman Chris Davis. The Programs District Director, Bryan Hutchinson, forwarded the recommendation to District 141 President Mike Klemm, who made the appointments official as of August 1. 

“These new Regional Coordinators have been a powerful voice for those in need for years,” Klemm said. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to appoint them to these positions, where I know they will add incredible value to Bryan’s team of EAP Representatives.” 

 

 

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2022 Stutz Memorial Scholarship Winners Announced!

2022 Stutz Memorial Scholarship Winners Announced!

Congratulations to the 2022 Stutz Memorial Scholarship Winners!

To: District Lodge 141 Scholarship Competition Applicants
Subject: Scholarship Awards

On behalf of the District Lodge 141 Scholarship Committee, I am pleased to announce the results of the Adolph Stutz Memorial Scholarship Award competition for 2022.

Top Prize: $2,000

 

The top award of $2,000 goes to Jaxson Mercer of Hutto, Texas. Jaxson is the son of Kristian Mercer, a Ramp Service employee at United Airlines and a member of Local Lodge 2210. He is an incoming freshman at Texas A&M University.

 

Six runner-up awards of $1,000 will be presented to (listed in alphabetical order):

Ted Enolva of Elk Grove Village, Ill. Ted is the son of Emmanuel Enolva, a Lead Ramp Service employee at United Airlines and a member of Local Lodge 1487. He is a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

 

Ayanna Monderoy of Spring, Texas. Ayanna is the daughter of Sarah Monderoy Garcia, a Ramp Service employee at United Airlines and a member of Local Lodge 811. She is a student at Stephen F. Austin State University.

 

Hailey Peck of Kansas City, Mo. Her father, Todd Peck, is a Fleet Service Clerk at American and a member of Local Lodge 561. Hailey is a student at the University of Missouri at Columbia.

 

Awitar Shakro of Morton Grove, Ill. Awitar is the son of Nadim Shakro, a Customer Service employee at United Airlines and a member of Local Lodge 1487. Awitar is an incoming freshman at Oakton Community College.

 

Francesca Trajana of Arlington Heights, Ill. Francesca’s father, Joseph G. Trajana, is a Lead Ramp Service employee at United Airlines and a member of Local Lodge 1487. Francesca is a student at Loyola University in Chicago.

 

Lauren Wehr of East Stroudsburg, Penn. Laura is the daughter of Allan Wehr, a Specialist at United Airlines and a member of Local Lodge 914. She is an incoming freshman at Northampton Community College.

 

To the winners: Congratulations! To receive your award, you must send to me, either by email to dan@bleicomm.com or by regular mail to the address on the bottom of this letter, confirmation of your enrollment at an accredited college or university for the Fall 2022 term and that you are taking a minimum of six credits. A copy of a signed, valid registration or class schedule confirmation will be satisfactory. Once this confirmation has been received, the AGC in your area will notify you when you can receive your check at a Local Lodge meeting.

To those who did not win: The Scholarship Commends your interest  in the 2022 competition. We encourage you to try again next year!

Sincerely, 

Daniel J. Brin
Chair, District Lodge 141 Stutz Memorial Sholarship Committee

Recording Secretaries: Please print and post on all union bulletin boards.

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