Linda Carter has been an IAM member of Local Lodge 1689 for 18+ years. Thirteen years ago she was asked to fill the then vacant Recording Secretary position and has been active ever since. She served as Recording Secretary for 7 years then was elected 6 years ago to the position of Secretary-Treasurer.
Sister Linda said she accepted the offer to serve as RS, because there were no other women on the executive board and saw it as an opportunity to bring women’s issues to the table. She says she’s always been one to get involved rather than sit back and watch and strongly encourages other sisters to do the same – especially the younger ones.
For sisters thinking about becoming more involved, Sister Linda advises, “Go for it!” She adds that a good plan is to start on the committees, ask questions and learn, utilize the resources available through the union and take advantage of every educational opportunity.
In her spare time, Sister Linda volunteers her time with various groups dedicated to helping people and improving the community. Her hobbies include crafts, bowling, golf and gardening. She also enjoys traveling and, of course, her grandchildren.
Valerie Byrne has been a member of Local Lodge 1295 for nine years. She has held the position of Recording Secretary for one year, but has prior Executive Board service as a Trustee.
An employee of Arvin Meritor in Canada, Sister Valerie’s union interest was sparked watching her best friend become more involved in the union and become a voice for the members. Wanting to contribute to the growth and strength of the Union, Sister Valerie began by learning more about employee rights under their collective bargaining agreement and the IAM Constitution. Believing a safe working environment is the primary right for all employees, Sister Valerie is also Co-Chair for the safety committee and maintains safety certifications such as first-aide, electronic defibrillation, etc.
For other sisters considering the next step to being more involved, Sister Valerie recommends they learn as much as they can. Her motto: “Knowledge is power and with knowledge, the sky is the limit.” She also adds that once you obtain the knowledge it’s your duty as a leader to share the knowledge and help your fellow members understand how to make things better. She believes, “You can’t be a leader if you don’t learn to communicate.”