Celebrating Black History: IAM Spotlights Michelle Grimes

The IAM Human Rights Department has taken on its own identity within the IAM, with the sole purpose of advancing equality and justice. 

This February, the IAM Human Rights Department is featuring accomplished IAM members of the Black community in celebration of Black History Month. 

IAM members being honored for Black History Month are among the many trailblazers in our union.

Michelle Grimes
Nominated by: IAM Eastern Territory

Michelle Grimes has been a member of the IAM for 35 years and worn many hats during that time. She is currently the Recording Secretary for Local 175 and District 98. For over 20 years, Grimes has been active in the Employee Assistance Program and Labor Assistance Program as a Representative for Local 175. 

She is the Chairperson of the Women’s and Human Rights Community and Community Services Committee for Local 175. She was a participant in the first IAM LEADS program.

“Being a Black woman in this union, I bring a different perspective, culture and diversity to the table,” said Grimes. “We need to cultivate women’s strengths and qualities and acknowledge their achievements. We need to embrace our differences and keep growing. Do not let anyone silence your voice.” 

Grimes was a member of the Negotiation Committee and Bylaws Committee for Local 175. She is a delegate of District 98 and is on the Central Labor Council of York and Adams County, Pa. She also does work for the Legislative Committee for Local 175 and is on the Entertainment Committee at Local 175.

Grimes has been a delegate at the Pennsylvania State Council of Machinists for at least a decade. She has attended two Grand Lodge Conventions as a representative of Local 175 and District 98. Grimes has attended Employee Assistance Programs Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4; Women’s Leadership 1 and 2; and Leadership 1 and 2.

Grimes has repeatedly proven her passion to help others by collecting donations and distributing them to various women’s and homeless shelters. 

She has taken advantage of the IAM college program and earned an associates’ degree in accounting. She has earned her Six Sigma Yellow Belt, Six Sigma Green Belt and is a Subject Matter Expert at Harley-Davidson Motor Co., in York, Pa. Grimes partners with Harley-Davidson, her employer, on the Diversity and Inclusion, Women’s, and the African-American Berg Committees. 

Grimes is a very strong believer in her union. She gets involved and is that person that makes the change. 

Family and faith are important to her. Grimes and her husband, Darryl, have been married for 36 years and have three sons. 

Michelle states, “My history is everyone’s history.”

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