February 18, 2008 – Last week, the Western Territory gained new members in three different districts and two states!
District Lodge 160, led by Directing Business Representative Don Hursey, reached the IAM goal of organizing 250 new members annually with an election at First Student in Seattle, Washington. Mechanics at First Student voted 100% in favor of IAM representation in a drive led by Administrative Assistant Leif Jensen. While the district is now the front-runner for organizing in the Western Territory this year, Brother Hursey and his staff of BRs and Organizers have pledged not to slow momentum as they work on a solid first contract and assist other groups who want the benefits of union membership.
Further south, District Lodge 725 in Southern California, continued its efforts to G.R.O.W. the Western Territory. 22 new members at Pacific Treatment, a company performing service contract work in the areas of sanitation, wastewater treatment and mechanics at Fort Irwin voted for the IAM. Major issues were wages and benefits. “Congratulations to DBR Gary Holt and District Organizing Director Brian Miller,” said GLR and Territory Organizing Leader Steve Cooper. “Thanks also to Organizer Mike Bellistri and GLR Bobby Martinez, who assisted Brother Miller in winning this election to help bring these new members a fair and equitable contract, as well as dignity on the job.”
Not to be outdone, District Lodge 947 won an election at Johnson Controls, despite the logistics of six different locations in Los Angeles County. IAM GLR Organizer Macario Camorlinga, assisted by Apprentice Organizer Larry Olinger and DL 947 Organizer Felix Osuna, helped bring these 39 new members into the IAM. Main issues for these mechanics were salary, insurance and other benefits, which lagged far behind those of union members in the same field in the area. Now IAM members, they perform automotive repair and maintenance on critical vehicles like police cars and fire department vehicles for the City of Los Angeles.
GLR Steve Cooper touted it as “a week of success in the west.”