|IAM Local Lodge 48 member Jose Gutierrez (right) of Chicago, received special help through the IAM Union Plus Mortgage Assistance program. Photo courtesy: Josh Sears|
“You might be out of work for three months,” the doctor told Local 48 member Jose Gutierrez of Chicago. For many working men and women, such a prognosis could mean struggling to pay the mortgage or even falling behind on payments. But Gutierrez was ready. Before he called to schedule his shoulder surgery, he made a call to the IAM Union Plus Mortgage program for assistance.
Since its inception, the Union Plus Mortgage Assistance program has provided over $5 million in assistance to union members who have been laid off or couldn’t work because of a strike, lockout or disability. Members who have a Union Plus Mortgage for more than a year are eligible to receive a no-interest loan with an affordable repayment schedule. The first $1,000 of the loan does not have to be repaid.
Gutierrez was eligible for assistance with his house payments until he was able to go back to work. The lathe operator was told that he might need three months to recover but his shoulder recovered well ahead of schedule.
Gutierrez says it’s a great feeling to be back at work, but he knows that other workers may be facing even more time off and even bigger financial challenges than he did. Noting that the plant where he works has seen several waves of layoffs over the past two years, he wants fellow IAM members to know they are not alone. “You never know what can happen,” he says. “If you are in a hardship situation, help may be available. Talk to your shop steward, go online, and find out what Union Plus can do for you.”
To learn more about IAM Union Plus Mortgage Assistance, click here or call 1-800-848-6466.