Machinists Union Supports 2014 LCLAA Convention


IAM General Vice President Dora Cervantes, joined by IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary Allen, left, and IAM Headquarters General Vice President Bob Martinez, Jr., right, was honored with the “Women’s Leadership Award” at the 20th National Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) Convention in Houston.

IAM leaders and members from across the country joined hundreds of delegates for the 20th National Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) Convention in Houston.

Click here to watch “LCLAA Convention” on the Machinists News Network.

In keeping with the theme “Union & Diversity: Expanding Our Political Power,” LCLAA attendees honored IAM General Vice President Dora Cervantes with a “Women’s Leadership Award” for her efforts in empowering Latinos and serving the labor movement.

IAM leaders and members from across the country joined hundreds of delegates for the 20th National Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) Convention in Houston.

“I’m very thankful and I’m humbled,” said Cervantes when accepting her award. “To think that I would be worthy of such recognition, such an award, is such a privilege.”

“We need to engage women,” she told convention attendees. “We need to educate them and we need to let them know that we need to be involved so that our issues can get addressed. Who best to speak on our issues than us as women?  We need to pull together and support each other to get the message out. The best way to do it is to take someone by the hand and bring ’em with us.”

This year’s event focused on ways to continue mobilizing Latino union members around working family issues, including Social Security, the recent attacks on pensions and the upcoming midterm elections.

“For the last five to 10 years, the Machinists Union has been bringing more and more Latinos, IAM members, into the LCLAA,” said IAM Headquarters General Vice President Bob Martinez, Jr. “In this endeavor, our members learn how to go out and mobilize our membership.”

“For us to win at the polls,” continued Martinez, “it’s incredibly important for us to make sure that Latinos turn out to vote at the elections. To do that, we must conduct voter education in our communities and at the workplace. We must mobilize and we must educate the membership.”

“We have a pension crisis in this country and we need to do something about it,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary Allen. “We need to elect the people that are going to be true to the working class of this country.  What’s happening right now is corporate America is trying to bail out on their obligations to retirees – and it’s shameful.”

“If it keeps going the way it is,” continued Allen, “it’s going to be just rich and poor. That is not the America I grew up in, nor an America we need.”

The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, now celebrating more than 40 years, is a national organization representing the interests of approximately two million Latino trade unionist throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. General Vice Presidents Martinez and Allen both serve as Vice Presidents on the LCLAA National Executive Board.

Click here to watch “LCLAA Convention” on the Machinists News Network.