The IAM continues to grow stronger, win industry-leading contracts and fights, and offer new services to its members. That was the message at the recent IAM Eastern States Conference of Machinists, held in Queens, NY.
The conference brought together delegates, staff and officers from Maryland to Maine to Michigan and states in between.
“The political activism of the Eastern Territory has delivered victory after victory to our membership and working families,” said E. Michael Vartabedian, Eastern States Conference of Machinists President and IAM District 15 Assistant Directing Business Representative. “Together, we are mobilized and ready to elect worker-friendly candidates across the Eastern Territory.”
The conference showcased ongoing battles such as the fight for a first contract for District 65 members at Cascades Containerboard in Niagara Falls, NY. The conference also recognized Local S6 (District 4) members at Bath Iron Works for its historic summer 2020 strike that protected good IAM Maine jobs.
Organizing is a top priority for the Eastern Territory, as evidenced by a recent organizing win and first contract at Seneca Foods in New York.
Delegates also thanked retired General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr., who retired from this post leading the Eastern Territory in July after more than 40 years of IAM membership.
“The Eastern Territory is poised to grow and fight like our membership like never before,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Brian Bryant. “Thanks to the stewardship of Brother Conigliaro, this Territory is ready to hit the ground running and take on any employer or politician. I know that the growing Eastern Territory Grand Lodge staff is going to accomplish great things for our membership.”
International President Robert Martinez Jr. thanked attendees for being on the frontlines for IAM members throughout the pandemic. Martinez also highlighted a new women’s leadership program and a soon-to-released initiative to assist members who are U.S. military service veterans with filing VA claims.
“Many of the biggest victories in our union over the past few years have come out of the Eastern Territory,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “I want you all to know that our union is united, speaking with one voice and winning for our membership.”