The IAM Organizing Department recently won a hard-fought organizing campaign to represent 103 workers at Vaderstad, Inc., an agricultural equipment manufacturer in Wahpeton, N.D.
Production workers at the facility make air seeders and tillage equipment for the Sweden-based company. The campaign was won by IAM Organizing Department Grand Lodge Representative Dennis Mendenhall with support from the IAM Midwest Territory.
“This group stuck together and was determined to win a voice on the job and a better life for themselves, their families and their communities,” said Mendenhall. “They ran their campaign from the inside and remained united through every anti-union tactic they encountered.”
Workers initially reached out to Mendenhall about joining the IAM more than two years ago and then reconnected after construction started on the company’s new U.S. headquarters in Wahpeton.
An unsuccessful anti-union campaign, run by a union-busting firm known as National Labor Relations Advocates, did not stop workers from exercising their rights to join together in the IAM. Workers were ready for the anti-union tactics and exposed captive audience meetings run by the outside group.
The IAM also utilized support from IF Metall, a union in Sweden that represents Vaderstad workers there, to push back against the anti-union campaign at the corporate level.
“Dennis and these brave workers deserve so much credit for standing strong for a voice on the job,” said IAM Organizing Director Vinny Addeo. “We are so proud to welcome Vaderstad workers to the IAM and look forward to continuing to fight for their dignity and justice on the job.”
The IAM is currently working with the company to arrange bargaining sessions for a first contract.
“The Midwest Territory welcomes these brave new members at Vaderstad,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “We look forward to getting to the negotiating table with our newest members and working toward a strong first union contract.”