Ohio’s District 54 and Local 1297 recently teamed up for the second annual “Cruise in for the Guide,” a unique fundraiser to benefit Guide Dogs of America (GDA). Hundreds of union members and area residents showed up for the drive-in event that features classic cars, street rods and vintage automobiles and motorcycles.
The fundraiser was held in the parking lot of Pentair Pump in Ashland, OH, where members of Local 1297 manufacture industrial oil well and field pumps.
“A special thanks to Scott Musgrove and the entire committee for all their work with this fundraiser,” said District 54 P/DBR T. Dean Wright. “Their efforts combined with 2007’s previous events will enable us to present a check for over $20,000 at the GDA Banquet in November.”
The National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) marked a key date in its near century-long history this week. Ninety years ago, on September 17, 1917, NFFE was created as an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor (AFL).
NFFE became the first union in the United States to exclusively represent federal employees, and was the biggest proponent of the civil service merit system for much of the twentieth century. NFFE was instrumental in the passage of the Classification Act in 1923, which guaranteed equal pay for equal work. NFFE also played a significant role in the acquisition of retirement benefits, as well as health benefits for federal employees, their dependents, and federal retirees. Countless privileges enjoyed by federal employees today stem from NFFE’s efforts.
NFFE left the AFL in 1931, but returned to the AFL-CIO in 1999, when they affiliated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).
“NFFE has accomplished a great deal during the last ninety years, and continues to fight for federal employees each and every day;” said NFFE-IAM Federal District 1 P/DBR Richard Brown. “As our motto states, ‘We work for America every day.’
“When NFFE came into the IAM family,” said Headquarters GVP Rich Michalski, “they brought with them a great history of promoting and protecting federal workers’ rights, and it’s a history in which we can all be proud.”
IAM representatives from the Eastern Territory office in Cincinnati, OH, walked picket lines this week with members of Local 45B of the Glass, Molders and Pottery Workers union (GMP), who are on strike over proposals to eliminate overtime language, cut wages and freeze pension contributions. [http://www.gmpiu.org/]
Nearly 160 hourly employees at the OPW Fueling Components, who manufacture nozzles and other fuel-dispensing products, have been on strike since early Monday morning.
“We wanted to show our brothers and sisters that the IAM supports them,” said Eastern Territory GVP Lynn Tucker. “We urged them to keep their picket line strong and discussed the possibility of adding a large inflatable rat to remind OPW what union members think of their proposals.”
Western Territory Grand Lodge Representative (GLR) Steve Cooper has been selected as the First Vice President of the California State Chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI), by their Executive Board. The state body is responsible for coordinating the activities of all APRI chapters within the state. The Executive Board is comprised of the Presidents of the various chapters within the state. Brother Cooper is currently the Western Territory Organizing Leader for the IAM. “One of our main goals will be to register and mobilize in the African-American community for the upcoming elections next year, and get out the vote for labor candidates,” said Cooper. “I am very proud and excited to have been given this opportunity.”
“The IAM has a strong history of working with APRI, and having Steve Cooper take this leadership role in the organization only further cements our joint goals,” said General Vice President Lee Pearson, who directs IAM activities in the western U.S. Pearson added, “We congratulate Steve for this tremendous honor, and we know he will bring success to his new position.”
The official announcement and call for the 2008 Leadership and Train-the-Trainer programs at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center is on its way to local and district lodges throughout the United States and Canada. New to the 2008 leadership schedule is a Spanish Leadership II class. Leadership programs fill quickly and locals and districts are advised to take action to submit enrollments as soon as possible.
The WWW Education and Technology Center has also released the 2008 schedule of staff and departmental programs. New to the 2008 staff program schedule is an Advanced Arbitration Program that focuses on witness preparation, direct and cross examination, and brief writing. Three programs piloted in 2007 – Internal Organizing, First Contract, and Contemporary Issues in Pension Negotiations – are now a part of the regular staff schedule.
The full schedule of programs for 2008, as well as enrollment forms for the Leadership and Train-the-Trainer programs, is available on the WWW Education and Technology Center website at http://winpisinger.iamaw.org/courselist/