188 Bradken Foundry workers in Tacoma, WA, voted on June 26, 2019 to unionize with the IAM. In a landslide election, the workers sent a message that after years of poor treatment, it was time to bring justice to the job.
The win was possible because of the hard work of both the Foundry workers and the organizers. The organizing campaign deployed a multifaceted approach. The organizers used all tactics at their disposal including phone banking, hand billing and house calling. Another brilliant move was to employ the services of Vietnamese speaking member, Thong Trang, from District 751. He was able to communicate with the bilingual workers which helped secure the win.
After the ballots were counted and the victory was announced, some workers were overcome with tears at the prospect of negotiating pay increases. They explained how their purchasing power diminished over the last 15 years partly because of the rising cost of healthcare. Others were relieved that their worry of the cost of sending their kids to college is gone thanks to the IAM’s free college benefit.
“This is a remarkable achievement in the private sector,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen, filled with pride “The great benefits that are bestowed to all of us in the IAM are going to help a new group of workers and their families. A magnificent organizing campaign was orchestrated by all involved including District Lodge 160 Business Representative/Organizer Steve Miller, Grand Lodge Representative Joe Solis, Special Representative Ryan Carrillo, Associate Organizers Bob Simoni and Nicole Pugh, and District Lodge 160 Directing Business Representative Paul Miller. The greatest reward attained in the labor movement is to help others; this is the sole reason for our existence. I am very proud of the staff and the Bradken Workers that made this possible.”