December 2008 Sister of the Month
Elizabeth Melara has been an IAM member of Local Lodge 48 in Chicago, Illinois for approximately 11 years. She is currently serving as the Educator for District Lodge 8, with which LL 48 is affiliated.
Like many of our union leaders, Sister Liz was raised in a union family. Her father was an organizer in the 1940s. Following in his footsteps, Sister Liz was instrumental in organizing her workplace, Village of Oak Park. Given the shifts and nature of their workplace, she admits it was hard to get people together to educate them on the benefits of union membership. To overcome that challenge, Sister Liz created an Advice to the Workers newsletter in which she penned the column “Ask Juanita.” In this column, Sister Liz answered questions about union membership, dispelled rumors with facts and brought attention to all the anti-union scare tactics the company was using.
As the Educator for District Lodge 8, Sister Liz’s talent for teaching is still being put to good use. She encourages all her union sisters to get involved in their lodges so issues pertaining to working women will have a voice. Sister Liz is particularly thankful for the guidance and support she received from IAM union leaders with whom she has worked and adds that it is important to support your union sisters and brothers and to utilize any and all training and resources available.