On Friday, May 31, the Atlanta TCU/IAM Training Center was visited by TCU/IAM National President Robert Scardelletti, along with TCU/IAM Executive Council members: NVP/Carmen President Richard Johnson, and National Vice Presidents Joel Parker, David Steele, Ron Kloos, Art Maratea, and Tom Truhler. Also in attendance was NR/Asst. Nat. Legislative Dir. Mark Taylor, Asst. Nat. Legislative Dir. Bill Kelaher, and Grand Lodge staff Dir. Constitution and Laws Steve Wilhelm, and Dir. Communications Kevin Gifford.
President Scardelletti shared words of wisdom and praise for the entire department and the work that they all do. He encouraged the students to work hard to obtain a “good union job” because the benefits, wages, and potential for lifelong job security is far greater than for those with non-union employment. Each member of the Executive Council echoed these sentiments as well and provided some personal stories of their first days in their respective union jobs. National Vice President Steele spoke to the students about the effectiveness of this program and of the outstanding past few years we have had, naming TCU/IAM as the “best” training program in all of Job Corps. He commended the students on making the right choice in attending the TCU/IAM Advanced Training Program. SGA leaders then divided the guests into small groups for a classroom tour. The Executive Council and Grand Lodge staff saw first-hand the extensive transportation training the students are provided through our Advanced Program.
On Saturday, June 1, TCU/IAM Atlanta staff and students were invited to attend the IAM 125th Convention closing address, which was followed by a march to the Capitol Building, where the first IAM Convention was held in 1889. At the address, IAM International President Buffenbarger gave a very heartfelt speech on what it means to be a union member. Ed Asner, portraying Thomas Talbot, the founder of the IAM, appeared in person to talk to the brotherhood. Encouragement was given to stay strong and remain vigilant in protecting our rights as workers.
After the address the students, who were in IAM “Fighting Machinists” shirts, marched with the TCU/IAM Delegation through the streets of Atlanta to the Capitol Building along with about 1,000 Union members. Many of the students had never participated in a march before. They walked with pride as they chanted and held their IAM posters high. They waved enthusiastically at the people who drove past honking their horns in encouragement or shouting “Go IAM!” At the Capitol, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), Senator Steve Henson (D-GA), and U.S. Rep. (D-GA) Gloria Frazier spoke to the group. Later that day they visited Grant Park where wreaths were placed at the bust of Thomas Talbot.
Click here for pictures of the visit and the march.