IAM Mourns Loss of Retired Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner

IAM Mourns Loss of Retired Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner

Winpisinger Center Director and Educator, Chris Wagoner.

IAM Mourns Loss of Retired Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner

Machinists District 141
15 November 2022

The IAM is mourning the passing of Chris Wagoner, who recently retired as Director of the IAM’s William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center. Wagoner, 60, with his family by his side, passed away after a brief illness on Sunday, November 20, 2022.

Over his 33-year IAM career, Wagoner dedicated his life to training and educating union activists at the Winpisinger Center, a campus in Hollywood, MD that many call the IAM’s “crown jewel.”

After hiring on as an education representative at the Winpisinger Center in 1989, Wagoner became the center’s assistant director in 2005. He served as director since 2007. Wagoner retired from the IAM in July 2022.

“The entire IAM is simply heartbroken at the loss of such an iconic, caring and influential figure in our union,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Chris has been a great friend and confidant to myself and so many others through more than three decades of challenges and triumphs in the IAM. Our memories of Chris’s unyielding love for our union and our membership will forever live on for so many whom he touched throughout the years. We send our deepest condolences to his wife Jill, daughter Mollie, daughter-in-law Qifei Zeng, and everyone who loved and cherished what Chris brought to our lives on and off the job.”

Wagoner was a constant figure at the Winpisinger Center, where thousands of members, officers, and staff every year participated in leadership, organizing, negotiations, and other programs that built power and knowledge in the IAM. Wagoner would make a point to visit with every class he could, sharing, among many things, that the Winpisinger Center, and the labor movement, must be an inclusive, diverse and welcoming environment, free of any bias or discrimination for all.

“Wimpy’s vision created the Winpisinger Center, but no single person gave it more life and purpose than Chris Wagoner,” said Winpisinger Center Director Mary McHugh. “His contribution to our union is simply immeasurable.”

Wagoner oversaw a massive expansion in programming at the Winpisinger Center, including negotiations preparation, remote learning, and Spanish-language classes. He led the Center through the COVID-19 pandemic, adapting quickly to remote learning and fighting tirelessly to rehire Winpisinger Center staff and reopen the facility with necessary precautions.

Prior to coming to the Winpisinger Center, Wagoner worked as an aide for the Committee on Labor and Industry in the Kentucky General Assembly. He also worked in the Labor Education Program and the Illinois Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program at the University of Illinois. Wagoner received his bachelor of science degree in political science from the University of Louisville and his master of arts degree in industrial relations from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

In lieu of flowers, the Wagoner family asks that donations go to the IAM’s favorite charity, Guide Dogs of America/Tender Loving Canines, in memory of Chris Wagoner.

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IAM Mourns Loss of Retired Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner

15 November 2022

Chris Wagoner, the longtime Director of the Winpisinger Education and Technology Center, has passed away. 

The IAM is mourning the passing of Chris Wagoner, who recently retired as Director of the IAM’s William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center. Wagoner, 60, with his family by his side, passed away after a brief illness on Sunday, November 20, 2022.

Over his 33-year IAM career, Wagoner dedicated his life to training and educating union activists at the Winpisinger Center, a campus in Hollywood, MD that many call the IAM’s “crown jewel.”

After hiring on as an education representative at the Winpisinger Center in 1989, Wagoner became the center’s assistant director in 2005. He served as director since 2007. Wagoner retired from the IAM in July 2022.

“The entire IAM is simply heartbroken at the loss of such an iconic, caring and influential figure in our union,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Chris has been a great friend and confidant to myself and so many others through more than three decades of challenges and triumphs in the IAM. Our memories of Chris’s unyielding love for our union and our membership will forever live on for so many whom he touched throughout the years. We send our deepest condolences to his wife Jill, daughter Mollie, daughter-in-law Qifei Zeng, and everyone who loved and cherished what Chris brought to our lives on and off the job.”

Wagoner was a constant figure at the Winpisinger Center, where thousands of members, officers and staff every year participated in leadership, organizing, negotiations and other programs that built power and knowledge in the IAM. Wagoner would make a point to visit with every class he could, sharing, among many things, that the Winpisinger Center, and the labor movement, must be an inclusive, diverse and welcoming environment, free of any bias or discrimination for all.

“Wimpy’s vision created the Winpisinger Center, but no single person gave it more life and purpose than Chris Wagoner,” said Winpisinger Center Director Mary McHugh. “His contribution to our union is simply immeasurable.”

Wagoner oversaw a massive expansion in programming at the Winpisinger Center, including negotiations preparation, remote learning, and Spanish-language classes. He led the Center through the COVID-19 pandemic, adapting quickly to remote learning and fighting tirelessly to rehire Winpisinger Center staff and reopen the facility with necessary precautions.

Prior to coming to the Winpisinger Center, Wagoner worked as an aide for the Committee on Labor and Industry in the Kentucky General Assembly. He also worked in the Labor Education Program and the Illinois Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program at the University of Illinois. Wagoner received his bachelor of science degree in political science from the University of Louisville and his master of arts degree in industrial relations from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

In lieu of flowers, the Wagoner family asks that donations go to the IAM’s favorite charity, Guide Dogs of America/Tender Loving Canines, in memory of Chris Wagoner.

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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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Let’s Talk: Participate in Our District 141 Communications Study

Communications
5 May 2022

Maintaining open communication channels and an environment that encourages solidarity is critical for unions negotiating industry-leading contracts with billion-dollar firms.

A solid communication strategy allows union members to stay engaged and active. Making sure everyone can see the big picture and the vital role individual members play in the overall success of the union can often hinge on getting the basics of communications right.

Effective union communication can help get everyone on the same page and move forward with solidarity toward the same goal. But, “Getting it Right” in terms of communications isn’t always easy. It takes a lot of work.

Please take a few moments to tell us if we’re getting it right in terms of communication. Are you getting the information you need when you need it? What forms of outreach can we be using to communicate? What can we do better? Let us know by participating in this short Communications Study.

 
 

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The 2022 Adolph Stutz Memorial Scholarship Essay Contest is NOW OPEN!

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Education
1 February 2022

Thousands of dollars in scholarship money will go out.

Union members and their families can compete for $8,000 in scholarship money through the 2022 Adolph Stutz Memorial Scholarship contest.

The Essay Competition will launch on March 1, 2022, and end at midnight on July 1, 2022. Judges are planning to announce the winners on August 1.

Funded by Machinists and Aerospace Union (District 141), the contest awards six $1,000 checks and two $2,000 prizes to eligible students each year.

The topic of the 700 to 1,000-word essays will be, “Why are Labor Unions Important in the 2020s?” An impartial Scholarship Committee will judge the submissions.

“Our union’s mission has always been to lift working people so they can build better lives for themselves and their loved ones,” said District President Mike Klemm. “We are proud to offer the Adolph Stutz Memorial Scholarship as one way our District helps members and their families achieve their dreams.”

 

The District 141 Education Department is dedicated to providing our members a greater understanding of how our union works and ensuring that our Union Stewards are as highly trained as possible.

To do this, we are proud to offer in-person training classes at your local lodge. To find out about scheduling training at your location, contact your Local Lodge leadership, or the Director of Education for District 141, Mac McGovern.

Mac McGovern  |   mac@iam141.org   |   (570) 350-0497

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YouTube
21 January 2022

In this week’s 141 Report, host Dave Lehive sits down with two new 141 union educators who are involved with efforts to educate new hires about unionism, Sean Rosario and Bruno Pereira.

Most Americans have limited experience with unions and unionism. Decades of anti-worker legislation and lax enforcement of labor laws have resulted in fewer and fewer opportunities for Americans to join together in a union. Today, fewer than one in ten workers belong to a labor organization, and the overall American workforce is rapidly losing power as a result.

Moreover, the lack of knowledge about unions and how they operate has given rise to a proliferation of anti-union myths and indoctrination designed to keep employees in their place, atomized, and vulnerable to exploitation.

To combat this misinformation campaign, the Machinists Union has launched an initiative to teach newly hired employees at unionized workplaces about organized labor – from how worker-led programs get funded to how leaders are elected to represent them. 

The program was the brainchild of Machinists Union Chief of Staff Richard Johnsen, who is also heading the robust transportation-worker sector of the union, called the Transportation Territory.

The program is just one part of an education program that is unequaled in the union movement. The Machinists Union operates an academy dedicated to labor studies called the Winpisinger Training and Education Center, which trains hundreds of union members on topics such as organizing, leadership, and communications. 

District 141 also holds regular, on-site training classes through its Education Department, led by Director of Education, Mac McGovern. Members can coordinate with their local lodges to request a training class at their location. 

IAM District Lodge 141 Report with Host Dave Lehive is a weekly podcast featuring Machinist Union Members and Allies of the Labor Movement. Our Video report airs every Friday at 2:00 PM EST (1:00 CST) on Facebook and Youtube and is also on Spotify.

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The IAMAW Scholarship Competition is open each year to members of the IAM and their children throughout the United States and Canada under procedures and rules of eligibility explained in this Announcement. The IAM Scholarship Fund, which is used exclusively to make possible these awards, was established by the delegates of the 1960 IAM Grand Lodge Convention. More information can be found here.

A Girl, a Scholarship, and a Dream

As Rachel Steele prepares to earn her doctorate in 2022, she looks back on how much an IAM scholarship meant to her back in 2003. Her father, Thomas Steele, was working for Boeing that year and she was featured in the IAM Journal as one of several scholarship winners.  The younger Steele feels the timing of her PhD candidacy, her dad’s retirement, and the current call for scholarship applicants is special.

She says her father ”worked tirelessly when we were growing up. He had to travel a lot, so he wasn’t always home and now as an adult, I realize how much of a sacrifice that was.”

Rachel originally wrote to IAM District 837 President and Directing Business Representative Tom Boelling, looking for a way to thank her dad in a follow-up to the 2003 edition of the IAM Journal.

“We’re so proud of Rachel and what she’s accomplished,” Boelling said. “We congratulate her on reaching the highest academic level of her educational career and congratulate her father, Thomas, on his retirement from Boeing.”

“Thank you for having the foresight for creating a scholarship,” Rachel said. 

Her advice for applicants? “Have confidence, especially if you’re a first-generation student. You deserve the recognition. It’s an amazing privilege. Be true to yourself. Tell your story in your own voice. Everyone has a story.”

“Congratulations to both Rachel on her upcoming doctorate and Thomas on his much-deserved retirement,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “The IAM has always placed a high value on education, from funding scholarships for IAM members and their families to advocating for a national investment in skills training. Rachel’s story shows how important the IAM Scholarship is to so many IAM families. Any eligible members or their children may apply for this life-changing scholarship to college or technical school.”

To apply for the 2022 IAM Scholarship Competition, your packet must be completed and postmarked by February 11, 2022.

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