Sisters and Brothers,
Shortly after I was sworn in as your International President, a member asked me, “When are we going to have a say in who the IAM endorses for president?”
It was a good question, and one I’ve been thinking about a lot now that it’s election season.
The answer is that your Executive Council hears you. It’s time for a change. I am proud to announce that for the first time in the history of the IAM, during the 2020 primaries, members will be given the opportunity to vote online, through an independent firm, for a candidate of their choosing. Later, members—through their state councils—will decide whom the IAM endorses for president. If you want to be involved, you need to register to vote in our endorsement process at iam2020.org and attend and be vocal at your state council meetings. I want this process to include the voices of as many IAM members as possible.
So when presidential candidates call me and ask for our endorsement I will tell them all the same thing: If you want the IAM’s endorsement, don’t talk to me—talk to our members. Go visit them, and listen to them, at our locals, districts, conferences and state councils.
It might be easier to do it the old way. We could sit down with the candidates and negotiate in a private meeting, asking them to make promises they may or may not keep.
Or we could make them really work for our endorsement. Make them earn your trust. Make them understand that 600,000 Fighting Machinists are holding them accountable.
This election needs to be about issues like pensions, retirement security, health care, trade, workers’ rights and national defense. I want to make sure that the candidates know that while the dollars and cents are important, this is personal. This is about our livelihoods. And when it comes time to make the hard decisions, I want them to see your faces, to remember your stories, and to know that the Machinists are watching.
Make sure your voice is heard. Beginning now, you can register to vote in our endorsement process at iam2020.org. Talk to your IAM Sisters and Brothers and let’s get as many members as we can to register to have a say in our union’s endorsement. That’s how we win, and that’s how we make sure that the White House works for us. All of us.