IAM Union Applauds Maryland Senate Passage of Library Worker Rights Legislation

ANNAPOLIS, Md. April 4, 2024 – In a monumental stride toward enhancing workers’ rights and union representation, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM),  the labor union representing Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) employees, applauds the Maryland Senate’s passage of the Library Workers Empowerment Act, a groundbreaking piece of legislation aimed at empowering library employees across the state. 

The Library Workers Empowerment Act, House Bill 609, sponsored by Delegate Jared Solomon (D-18), received bipartisan support in the Maryland House before making its way to the Senate, where it was met with overwhelming approval. The bill was cross-filed by Senator Clarence Lam (D-12) as Senate Bill 591. The Library Workers Empowerment Act paves the way for Maryland’s unorganized public library employees to form unions and collectively bargain with their employers. 

The IAM has been a vocal advocate for the bill, underscoring the importance of providing library workers with the tools they need to advocate for better working conditions, fair wages, and a more collaborative working environment. 

The passage of the Library Workers Empowerment Act marks a significant milestone in these efforts, signaling a brighter, more inclusive future for library employees throughout Maryland. 

“We need to feel confident that our ideas and concerns will be heard. A union will give us that confidence and a means to negotiate our working conditions,” said Megan Baker, a Harford County Public Library (HCPL) employee working to organize with the IAM.

“We are thrilled to witness the passing of the Library Workers Empowerment Act,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan. “This legislation is not just a win for library employees; it’s a victory for all workers seeking fair and equitable treatment in the workplace. We are grateful for the bipartisan support this bill received and look forward to seeing Governor Wes Moore’s signature making it law.”

“We need to be our own voice, to have the ability to advocate and fight for changes within the systems that are choosing to neglect us,” said Morgan Michael, a Harford County Public Library employee. “A union will give us that voice.” 

The bill now returns to the House for a final review before sent to Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, who is expected to sign the bill into law with an effective date of July 1, 2024. 

“The IAM and its members extend their deepest gratitude to the legislators who supported this piece of legislation and to the library employees who have tirelessly advocated for their rights,” said IAM Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) Local 4538 President and a Library Service Assistant Anita Bass. “This achievement is a testament to the power of solidarity and the importance of standing together for the betterment of all workers.”



The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is one of the largest and most diverse industrial trade unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, transit, healthcare, automotive, and other industries.



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