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Labor-Friendly Legislation the Topic at Chicago Local 1487

MNPL
12 October 2022

On Tuesday, October 11, the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League (MNPL) gathered at the local lodge to learn and discuss how politics influences the workplace and what front-line union members can do to influence these policies.

The topics included a history of some early events in US Rail labor history that led to the creation of the Railway Labor Act in 1926, how the Railway Labor Act applies to the airline industry, and questions frequently asked by members, such as “How do these negotiations work?” “How do we choose which politicians and policies we support?” and dispelling common myths. This event was part of MNPL’s continuing effort to educate members on issues impacting our jobs and families. MNPL is an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), AFL-CIO.

“It is important for us to understand how policies can affect us in the workplace by helping and hurting our membership,” said Richard Jakubowski, Local 1487 Legislative Committee Chairperson, who led the discussion. “This event and future events like it aim to ensure the members are informed about what their representatives are doing.”

Following a presentation by Jakubowski, members participated in an open floor discussion. Members could ask and answer each other’s questions and comment on various topics. Union members focused on issues including the voting record of elected representatives across the state to ensure the passage of legislation like the PRO Act, the Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Act, the Protection from Abusive Passengers Act, and the looming midterm elections next month. Attendees also had conversations about the effect the Supreme Court has historically had on Labor and pending cases that can affect workers’ lives across Illinois and the country.

Focusing on Illinois, members discussed the confusion around the referendum vote on Amendment 1, which has been called the Workers’ Rights Amendment. Confusion surrounding this pro-worker amendment which would enshrine the right to organize and collectively bargain into the state constitution, comes from the similarity of its name to Right to Work laws found in surrounding anti-worker states. The members asked great questions regarding the information being put out by supporters and opponents of the amendment.

“…A couple of things, like strikes, past law, and other rights I didn’t have an understanding of… I have a better understanding of those key subjects.” said Dakota Harrison, a shop steward for the ramp. Nick Stanfa, another shop steward on the ramp, added, “It was informative, and tied past and modern politics to the contract and work regulations, and on how the local, federal, and judicial systems of government can affect our contract going forward.” All attendees expressed excitement to bring this information back to the ready rooms and look forward to future events like this covering more topics important to the membership.

The Machinists Non-Partisan Political League supports members of any political party willing to side with the union on issues critical to working people. The work of the League is funded entirely through voluntary donations from union members. To learn more, please visit IAM141.org/advocacy.

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Top: Attendees listen to a talk by Richard Jakubowski, Local 1487 Legislative Committee Chairperson. Bottom: Jakubowski guiding a discussion about the legislative interests of airline workers. Photo Credit: Daniel Rocano.

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Labor-Friendly Legislation the Topic at Chicago Local 1487

12 October, 2022

On Tuesday, October 11, the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League (MNPL) gathered at the local lodge to learn and discuss how politics influences the workplace and what front-line union members can do to influence these policies.

On Tuesday, October 11, the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League (MNPL) gathered at the local lodge to learn and discuss how politics influences the workplace and what front-line union members can do to influence these policies.

The topics included a history of some early events in US Rail labor history that led to the creation of the Railway Labor Act in 1926, how the Railway Labor Act applies to the airline industry, and questions frequently asked by members, such as “How do these negotiations work?” “How do we choose which politicians and policies we support?” and dispelling common myths. This event was part of MNPL’s continuing effort to educate members on issues impacting our jobs and families. MNPL is an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), AFL-CIO.

“It is important for us to understand how policies can affect us in the workplace by helping and hurting our membership,” said Richard Jakubowski, Local 1487 Legislative Committee Chairperson, who led the discussion. “This event and future events like it aim to ensure the members are informed about what their representatives are doing.”

Following a presentation by Jakubowski, members participated in an open floor discussion. Members could ask and answer each other’s questions and comment on various topics. Union members focused on issues including the voting record of elected representatives across the state to ensure the passage of legislation like the PRO Act, the Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Act, the Protection from Abusive Passengers Act, and the looming midterm elections next month. Attendees also had conversations about the effect the Supreme Court has historically had on Labor and pending cases that can affect workers’ lives across Illinois and the country.

Focusing on Illinois, members discussed the confusion around the referendum vote on Amendment 1, which has been called the Workers’ Rights Amendment. Confusion surrounding this pro-worker amendment which would enshrine the right to organize and collectively bargain into the state constitution, comes from the similarity of its name to Right to Work laws found in surrounding anti-worker states. The members asked great questions regarding the information being put out by supporters and opponents of the amendment.

“…A couple of things, like strikes, past law, and other rights I didn’t have an understanding of… I have a better understanding of those key subjects.” said Dakota Harrison, a shop steward for the ramp. Nick Stanfa, another shop steward on the ramp, added, “It was informative, and tied past and modern politics to the contract and work regulations, and on how the local, federal, and judicial systems of government can affect our contract going forward.” All attendees expressed excitement to bring this information back to the ready rooms and look forward to future events like this covering more topics important to the membership.

The Machinists Non-Partisan Political League supports members of any political party willing to side with the union on issues critical to working people. The work of the League is funded entirely through voluntary donations from union members. To learn more, please visit IAM141.org/advocacy.

Top: Attendees listen to a talk by Richard Jakubowski, Local 1487 Legislative Committee Chairperson. Bottom: Jakubowski guiding a discussion about the legislative interests of airline workers. Photo Credit: Daniel Rocano.

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