|U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez is calling on labor unions to boost organizing drives in 2015.|
The Machinists Union is heeding the words of U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez in his call for more community involvement as organized labor tries to help rebuild America’s middle class.
“I think about where we were in the early 20th century,” Perez told union leaders at a seminar sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute. “We had a really great attachment to local institutions. People belonged to the Elks Club, the Eagles Club, the church, the labor hall or the bowling club.”
The IAM, under the guidance of new Organizing Director Don Barker, is aggressively pounding the pavement and sharing its pro-middle class message. This means everything from 5K runs to breast cancer research drives to civil rights celebrations.
“We spend more time with community folks and introducing ourselves so we can educate them as a whole prior to just going in there and trying to organize workers,” said Barker.