141 Report: First Female President, Helena Thornton from Local 1725

141 Report: First Female President, Helena Thornton from Local 1725

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.

141 Report: First Female President, Helena Thornton from Local 1725

For years, Helena Thornton has worked with a team of union activists in Charlotte, creating strong bonds with surrounding communities and building power for union members. Today, Helena is the first woman to hold the position of President of her local, Lodge #1725. Hear her tell her story on this week’s 141 Report.

A Girl, a Scholarship, and a Dream

A Girl, a Scholarship, and a Dream

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.

141 Report: Paws for Pascarella

141 Report: Paws for Pascarella

Our 141 report this week takes us to IAM local lodge 1759 in Herndon, Virginia, as the membership conducted the annual Paws for Pascarella Guide Dogs of America charity event.


141 Report: Paws for Pascarella

Our 141 report this week takes us to IAM local lodge 1759 in Herndon, Virginia, as the membership conducted the annual Paws for Pascarella Guide Dogs of America charity event.

The video report begins with an update from District President Mike Klemm, who traveled to Dulles Airport to conduct a station visit with the United Airlines membership. In the Video podcast, Brother Klemm informs the membership about this week’s trip to the United Airlines hub at Dulles Airport and Local 1759.  

 On Tuesday, Mike attended the monthly Lodge meeting and spoke to the members about the vaccine mandates at American and United Airlines. He also talked about the status of the ongoing negotiations at Spirit Airlines. Spirit has recently entered mediation proceedings.

Mike said, “We’ll be working with the mediation board to hopefully get a tentative agreement for our members of Spirit to vote on.” Brother Klemm also talked about the upcoming negotiation with United Airlines. Mike stated, “We should be seeing a communication coming out on that in the very near future.” 

Mike continues the report by saying he went over to the airport to visit multiple shifts and multiple briefings for members at United. He answered questions about the mandate and vaccine, as well as responding to questions about negotiations. Mike said it was “a real good visit.” Mike walked the property with 141 VP at East Barb Martin, who also serves as the committee chairman in Dulles, Mike Cyscon, the AGC assigned to the ramp, and Rich Creighton, who serves as AGC to customer service above the wing. Joe Washburn, the southeast regional EAP, also joined Mike on the visit. Brother Klemm thanked the local committee, Bill Hoover, Bill Peer, Sherry Curtis, President Bill Huston, and his entire 1759 executive board for their hospitality. 

Mike then talked about the fundraising event for guide dogs that he attended. The 1759 Charity event was In honor of his former AGC, Rich Pascarella, who unfortunately passed away a few years ago. “Rich not only was a phenomenal union rep and an outstanding AGC but also a personal friend of mine and it’s actually his birthday today.” Mike said of the beloved unionist.

The following guest speaker was Sherrie Curtis from local 1759, the UA Customer Service Committee person at Dulles Airport. “We’re here tonight celebrating our second annual event for Rich Pascarella.” The Charity Top Golf event took place in Loudoun County, having about 60 people that showed up to celebrate and raise funds for Guide Dogs of America. IAM members came from Boston, Newark, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Sherrie reports that Rich Passcarella families came to town driving in from Pittsburgh to celebrate a good time with us. 

Donations came rolling in from Locals 914 in Newark and 1776 in Philadelphia, donating $500 each to sponsor a golfing bay to support GDA. 

In the last part of the report, Dave talks to 1759 UA member Ron Rukenbrod who describes how he and his committee put the event together. He spoke of getting donations from local stores, wineries, and brewhouses for many charity baskets they put together. Ron said, “If you send out 100 letters and you only get 20 people to donate, you’re still 20 people ahead. So it’s always good to just overextend. Ron speaks about the support from the 141 Community Service Director, Cristina Odoardi, saying, “she’s been wonderful reaching out to us; what can I do? What can I do? We’ve been very fortunate”. 

If your local is interested in putting a community service event together, be sure to contact Sister Cristina at codoardi@iam141.org.

141 Report: Local 1886 Golf, Smoke, BBQ Events Support GDA

141 Report: Local 1886 Golf, Smoke, BBQ Events Support GDA

After a one-year hiatus, Local 1886 held their 5th Annual Golf Tournament to benefit Guide Dogs of America and Tender Loving Canines on June 25. Golfers were eager to sign up, and the event sold out in 6 weeks.

141 Report: Local 1886 Golf, Smoke, BBQ Events Support GDA

Dave welcomes back John Martinez, President of Local Lodge 1886 in Denver, Colorado, to talk about their most successful charity golf tournament ever. Has your local lodge considered organizing a charity event? Watch this video!

After a one-year hiatus, Local 1886 held their 5th Annual Golf Tournament to benefit Guide Dogs of America and Tender Loving Canines on June 25. Golfers were eager to sign up, and the event sold out in 6 weeks.

Brother John Martinez shares the planning process and gives a step-by-step timeline and organizing tips on putting together a big event for charity. He stresses the importance of starting early, at least six months in advance, to line up sponsors and get the word out. John and his team of volunteers led by Rich Pijanowski, Frank Gagliano, and Ken Cardoso began meeting via Zoom in November 2020, unsure about whether they could resume their annual event.

They received an enthusiastic response to their initial solicitation for sponsors. The early start paid off: they collected over 140 gift donations for raffles and cash to underwrite the event’s costs. 

With 144 golfers signed up to play and the main event sold out, event organizers scheduled a BBQ lunch at the airport to raise funds a week before the golf tournament. Volunteers donated all the food and supplies, allowing members to show off their cooking and smoking talents. That event also raised awareness about the extraordinary work GDA does and the vital role the Machinists Union plays in their support. 

As expected, the food sold out quickly. “We didn’t realize how hungry ramp service, flight attendants, and customer service people could be,” said John, pledging that the Smoke and BBQ lunch would also become an annual event. 

After covering all costs, Local 1886 presented $17,000 to Guide Dogs of America and Tender Loving Canines, the largest donation in the local’s history.

John and the team of volunteers are not resting and look forward to repeating their success next year. Save the date for the 6th Annual Local 1886 Charity Golf Tournament on June 24, 2022. 

Winpisinger Center’s Chuck Lowe: A Lifetime of Service to Military Veterans

Winpisinger Center’s Chuck Lowe: A Lifetime of Service to Military Veterans

Winpisinger Center’s Chuck Lowe: A Lifetime of Service to Military Veterans

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The motto of the Machinists Union, forever emblazoned on its flag, is “justice on the job, service to the community.”

That’s not just a catchy phrase. In the Machinist Union family, those are words to live by.

Many thanks to the Machinists & Aerospace journalists at GOIAM.org who wrote and originally published this story. 

IAM member Chuck Lowe, the lead groundsperson at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center (W3 Center), exemplifies the true meaning of what it means to be guided by these values.

“Our flag says it all. The IAM can be an example to other unions and to the public and lead the way,” said Lowe. “We can start something that other people may want to copy.”

In 2001, when Lowe was hired as a full-time groundskeeper at the W3 Center, he had already lived a life to be proud of. Serving in the U.S. Army as a corporal, with time in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm, he arrived understanding the values of what it means to be a veteran and how important it is that we take care of these heroes when they return home.

“It’s very easy in this country to forget about things that happened in the past,” explained Lowe. “That’s why we have days like Memorial and Veterans Day, to take time out of your schedule to think about all the people who put their lives on the line for the freedoms that we all enjoy now. But that also needs to happen when it’s not a holiday.”

So, he put his words into action, in more ways than one, to be of service to the veteran community. As a 30-plus year member of the American Legion, Lowe spends much of his free time volunteering in schools across St. Mary’s county, teaching elementary kids the importance and meaning of the American flag and sharing his story of being a veteran with high school students.

But for Lowe, that wasn’t enough – he wanted to do more to honor those who had served in the armed forces. Something even closer to home. The IAM was more than happy to assist. 

That’s when the idea for a luncheon at the W3 Center came to life. A day to honor, recognize and thank the people in the community who ensured the freedoms we all enjoy today. So, in 2013, Lowe began organizing and coordinating a twice-yearly luncheon at the W3 Center for the men and women who live at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in St. Mary’s Country, an assisted living facility where the IAM proudly represents the caregivers who take care of these veterans.

“On the day of the luncheon, we just sit around and talk and the employees and participants will come up and thank them for their service. We share stories and camaraderie,” said Lowe with a laugh. “And we always serve crab cakes that day because that’s something they don’t get at Charlotte Hall.”

But to the men and women living at Charlotte Hall who served in both the Korean and Vietnam wars, this day means so much more. The same can be said of the IAM members there to witness the event.

“The first time we held the luncheon, as these veterans were leaving the dining hall after lunch, the entire room full of IAM members and staff stood up and started clapping in their honor. It was not planned or prompted, it just happened and I really lost it because it was so amazing,” remembered Lowe.

“Chuck has worked hard to ensure that those who have sacrificed much on behalf of our country are not forgotten, but acknowledged and honored,” said W3 Center Director Chris Wagoner. “His activism on behalf of veterans exemplifies the IAM’s motto perfectly. I am incredibly proud of Chuck – he does a great job here as a Master Groundskeeper – and beyond that, a great job being an activist for veterans in our community”

Outside the dining hall, Lowe organized the planting of a tree and the placement of a plaque to honor these men and women who have made the world a better place for us all. It remains there today.

A few weeks ago, the IAM held the 2021 International President’s Capital Classic Golf Tournament, which raised nearly $100,000 for capital improvement projects for those who live at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. Lowe will be at the event when the check is presented. He can’t wait for another opportunity to let these veterans know how much they mean to this country.

“That will be an awesome day to be a Fighting Machinist,” said Lowe.

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Solidarity In Action

Solidarity In Action

An alliance between Victory Lodge 1725 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Sky Harbor Lodge 2559  in Phoenix, Arizona is offering a glimpse of what may be the future of unionism: Peer-to-peer training, tighter communications, and joint action are helping create more effective union networks. Recently, CLT opened its doors to representatives of the PHX Local for a frontline tour, demonstrating just how similar airline workplaces are.

Solidarity In Action

PHX and CLT Committees Work Together for Fairness and Consistency.

In the course of performing their duties, every union representative has at one time or another heard a member of management present a new policy or procedure as something that was tested in another station with good results. A manager may boast that “the Union in station X signed off on it and they love it.” As is the case with all aspects of effective union representation, it is really up to the union reps to take nothing at face value and do a proper investigation before reaching a conclusion.

“These kinds of tactics only work if we don’t communicate with each other, which is why CLT and PHX communicate at the very least once a week, often more,” said Brian Harrison, Chair of the Sky Harbor Lodge 2559 Grievance Committee.  

After the signing of a new Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement between the IAM/TWU Association and American Airlines in the Spring of 2020, IAM Grievance Representatives in PHX became full-time union reps. They decided it was time to engage in some real hands-on experience and again relied on their Brothers and Sisters at Victory Lodge 1725 in CLT for support. “We couldn’t think of a better group to shadow for a few days to see what they have learned; what works, what doesn’t work,” said Brian. 

COVID restrictions delayed the trip, but last month, PHX Committee Chair Brian Harrison joined Representatives Trina David and Dominic Pochiro to visit Douglas International Airport in CLT. 

“We expected the trip to be productive, but those three days blew away our expectations. The back and forth of ideas between the two committees, walking the break rooms, and the ramp, and seeing the different ramp culture was eye-opening,” said Brian.

The PHX reps were struck by how despite differences in climate, facilities, and culture, the questions and complaints the CLT reps receive are almost identical to the ones they hear at their home station.  

While the trip strengthened the bonds between the two locals, Brian pointed out that when American initiated shift bidding online, it was the committee members from FLL who advised PHX reps on the pitfalls and what to expect, based on their experience. The PHX committee was happy to pay it forward by advising CLT on the system when the company introduced it there later. “Now the roles are reversed, with CLT helping us navigate the new “Scripted Turns” policy here in PHX,” said Brian.

“The experience, knowledge, and above all else the perspective we gained from our field trip to CLT was invaluable. The hospitality we were shown by the CLT Grievance Committee, and [District 141 AGCs] Mike Fairbanks and Mark Baskett are unparalleled and we can’t wait to repay the favor when they come to visit PHX. Hopefully, this is just the first of many trips and exchanges of its kind.”