Negotiating committee members from IAM Local 201 (District 947) recently attended Negotiation Prep training at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center (W3) to prepare for upcoming contract negotiations with Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE). The non-profit group, which entered their first contract negotiations last week, unanimously voted to join the IAM in October 2021.
CAUSE is a base-building organization committed to social, economic, and environmental justice for working-class and immigrant communities in California’s Central Coast. They build grassroots power through community organizing, leadership development, coalition building, civic engagement, policy research, and advocacy.
Respect and equality in the workplace are two values the 13 new members of IAM District 947 in California want in a first contract with CAUSE.
“I’m so excited to be representing my coworkers and their families through the negotiation process,” said Alex Garcia, CAUSE Community Organizer and IAM Negotiation Committee member. “We want to ensure that our social justice work and love for our community continue in ways that are healthy and sustainable.”
“I’m excited to represent my coworkers and to elevate our mission of making sure community organizing moves forward in a safe, equitable, and sustainable way,” said Wendy Santamaria, CAUSE Community Organizer and IAM Negotiation Committee member. “A win for labor anywhere is a win for our communities everywhere.”
“We look forward to negotiating and partnering with an organization that does a lot for their community like CAUSE does,” said Milton Duena, IAM District 947 Business Representative. “That starts by uplifting our new members’ voices and ensuring their rights are protected in their first contract.”
The CAUSE Negotiating Committee was the first class in about two years to visit IAM Headquarters (social distancing protocols were followed). They spoke with IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr., who encouraged them in their fight for a first contract.
“It was an honor to meet some of our members from CAUSE and personally welcome them into our IAM family,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “CAUSE workers share the same core principles as the Machinists, fighting every day for social, economic and environmental justice. I assured them they will have every resource available to achieve a great first contract.”
“I am humbled the workers at CAUSE overwhelmingly chose to join the IAM,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “Their work for a non-profit organization is a testament to their mission in life, bringing equality and hope to those who might not be able to achieve that themselves. I thank IAM District 947 President/DBR Sal Vasquez for his vision and leadership in targeting this sector over the last few years. Business Representative Milton Duena, IAM District 947 Assistant Directing Business Representative Gabe De Alba, and the whole staff at District 947 are to be applauded for their support and guidance of our new members at CAUSE.”
The Winpisinger Center works with several departments at IAM Headquarters, including Strategic Resources, Legal, and Communications, to amplify the importance of roles for the members, stewards, and negotiating committees.