IAM Members Reflect, Give Back on MLK Day

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IAM Western Territory Grand Lodge Representative Steve Cooper gives a speech on mass employment vs. mass incarceration at the 2015 AFL-CIO Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil and Human Rights Conference in Atlanta.
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IAM Western Territory Grand Lodge Representative Steve Cooper gives a speech on mass employment vs. mass incarceration at the 2015 AFL-CIO Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil and Human Rights Conference in Atlanta.

IAM members from across the country took pause Monday to remember and celebrate the legacy of human, civil and workers’ rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A new video from the Machinists News Network highlights the IAM’s involvement in the AFL-CIO’s 2015 MLK Civil and Human Rights Conference in Atlanta.

Delta Flight Attendant Spencer Hayes brought listeners to their feet with his account of how he and more than 20,000 of his coworkers are working toward an IAM contract. IAM Grand Lodge Representative Steve Cooper spoke on the need for mass employment instead of mass incarceration.

“As we gather again to reaffirm our pursuit of Dr. King’s Dream, we remember the sacrifice he and so many others made to get us where we are today,” said IAM General Vice President Diane Babineaux. “It is up to us, especially in the labor movement, to continue to bend to the ‘moral arc’ toward justice.”

IAM members helped repaint the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Women’s Center in Atlanta. TCU-IAM Job Corps students helped clear a field at DeKalb Memorial Park.

“Everybody has a time when they needed help and someone helped them when they didn’t have to,” said TCU-IAM Job Corps student Tara McClam. “It feels really good to give back.”

Workers at Boeing in North Charleston, SC, who are in the midst of an organizing campaign to join the IAM, marched through downtown Charleston’s annual MLK Day parade.

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Workers at Boeing in North Charleston, SC, who are in the midst of an organizing campaign to join the IAM, marched through downtown Charleston’s annual MLK Day parade.