|The IAM’s unioNation Band gathered at the Winpisinger Center to write, practice and perform 21 original labor songs. From left: David Riggs, Local 457; Billy Broughton, Local 1553; Mack McKinney, Local 2210; Jeffrey Jaspers, NFFE-IAM Local 1919; Brad Seefried, Local 1857; Antonio Rivera, Local 1957; Scott Peters, Local 2003; Donalyn Goodloe, Local 778; Tony Cruz, Local 2297; Andre Pipe, Local 692; Steve Eckery, Local 612; Henry Bagwell, Education Representative; Bill Kent, Local 2323; Michael Wiegert, Local 612; Mark Pietrofere, Local 709; Shelley Cooper, NFFE-IAM Local 2052; Michael Reilly, Local 2600; Eddie Pavon, Local 2600; Carol Tindall, American Federation of Musicians (AFM); Dustin Fountain, Local 1781; James Neureuther, Local 330; Dannette Jones, NFFE-IAM Local 1919; George Tindall, AFM; and Pepe Oulahan, Local 66.|
The IAM’s unioNation Band has 20 new musicians, singers and songwriters after spending a week rocking together at the Winpisinger Center.
The new band members, along with five original members, topped the week off with a two-hour concert in the theater. All genres of music were represented.
|IAM members in the unioNation Band have experience in many different music genres. From left: Mack McKinney, Local 2210; Eddie Pavon, Local 2600; David Riggs, Local 457; Bill Kent, Local 2323; and Steve Eckery, Local 612.|
Twenty-five IAM members from across the U.S. and Canada, most of whom had never met each other, worked to expand upon the mission of unioNation: “To create and perform workers’ music that motivates activism and that will be enjoyed by the masses.” They had five days to write, arrange, practice and perform original labor songs.
“Many musicians tell me that it can’t be done” said unioNation Production Manager and IAM Education Representative Henry Bagwell, “but when you put unionists and musicians together, you can do anything.”
The members created 21 original songs focusing on workers and the struggles they endure every day.
“All the participants ended the week wishing they could stay and do more. They were on such a musical high they could barely sleep,” said Bagwell. “Thanks to all the members who participate in the band and thanks to all the Local Lodges that supported their members. No union in the world is doing what we are in the IAM.”