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Based on guidance concerning social distancing to slow and limit the rate of infection of COVID-19, or the Coronavirus, the IAM is temporarily suspending programming at the Winpisinger Education and Technology Center for two weeks, beginning on Saturday, March 14.
The decision was made after reviewing updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and state and local health agencies.
Programming is currently slated to resume on Saturday, March 28, but IAM and W3 officials are closely monitoring the situation and will extend the programming suspension if necessary.
The IAM’s paramount concern is that members and staff who attend W3 Center programs can learn, study and work in a safe and healthy environment. The decision was not made lightly, since education is critical to the IAM’s future as a powerful labor organization.
Participants in affected programs have been contacted directly. Any updates to the status of the W3 Center’s operations will be communicated on goIAM.org and winpisinger.iamaw.org.
All IAM members and staff are encouraged to heed advice of health officials.
Three members of District 141 spent a week in late January at the Winpisinger Education and Technology Center with the IAMAW Spanish Leadership Working Group (SLWG). Local 1759 Shop Steward and EAP Representative Adriana Picasso, District 141 Communications Representative Ines Garcia-Keim, and Marilyn Soto, a District 141 Organizer and Local 914 Shop Steward, who was welcomed as a new member of the group, worked to strategize outreach, set teaching schedules and to review and update course materials for this year’s Leadership courses in Spanish. The group also includes Jorge Bonilla, an Education Representative at the Winpisinger Center who is a former District 141 AGC and a member of Local 811.
Leadership programs in Spanish track the English language curriculum while also considering cultural characteristics, developing bilingual leaders who can communicate and work effectively with an increasingly diverse membership.
International President Robert Martinez recognized the work that Adriana, Ines, and Marilyn are doing in a letter he sent to members of the SLWG. Martinez pointed out his experience as an Education Rep and praised the union’s Spanish Language Programs as “second to none.” He added, “This work…is about opening doors to greater involvement, to greater activism, and to leadership to those who have for far too long been sidelined by design or by default.”
IAM Leadership Programs help bilingual and Spanish-speaking members become officers, activists, and leaders in our union, in their workplaces, and in their communities. The programs offered at the Winpisinger Center provide participants the tools and inspiration they need to amplify a message of unity in the face of efforts to divide working people.
The 2020 calendar for Spanish Language Programs is:
March 15-20 Spanish Leadership I
May 17-22 Organizing I in Spanish
June 14-19 Spanish Advanced Leadership
July 12-17 Spanish Leadership II
August 16-21 Spanish Leadership I
August 23-28 Spanish Train-the-Trainer
November 8-13 Collective Bargaining in Spanish
If you have questions about the Spanish Leadership Programs or need additional information, please contact District 141 Director of Education “Mac” McGovern at firstname.lastname@example.org
District 141 of the Machinists and Aerospace union is partnering with local union lodges to help provide education and training for union stewards at airports around the nation.
The program, headed by Director Mike “Mac” McGovern, attracts hundreds of union stewards each year.
This past week, a recently expanded education staff held training classes for Union Stewards at Dulles (Local 1759) and Minneapolis (Local 1833).
“Great group of members,” said District Educator Chris Lusk of his visit to Dulles. “This is a great opportunity to meet union stewards, find out what their issues are, and help to educate them on how to be better stewards.”
“We go over a number of things in the education department. We go through scenarios, we go over things that may be shared from station to station.”
Assistant General Chairs Mike Cyscon and Rich Creighton were present in Dulles to offer expert guidance for the stewards.