1) Contact your local lodge or union representative
Your union needs to know your work status before it can do anything to help. Companies are often slow to notify the union of employment conditions and changes.

2) Make sure your address and phone number is current 
Check with your local and with the employer to make sure your address and telephone number is up-to-date. Your future employment opportunities and/or benefits may depend upon the employer and union being able to reach you.

3) Stay in contact with the union
During your layoff, you will be confronted by rumors and gossip. You need to stay informed. The best place for official information is the regular union meeting. Get its time and location and plan to attend. You can also get information from your local via the internet.  Check here to see if your local lodge or district has a website. Visit  the IAM website for more information.

4) Check on unemployment benefits
Visit this website for a state-by-state list of U.S. "One Stop" offices that assist the unemployed: http://www.servicelocator.org

Visit this website a province-by-province list of Canadian Human Resource Centers that assist the unemployed. (Using the map, click on a specific province or, using the Search function, key in a city, town or postal code):

4) Your IAM benefits
The IAM sponsors two important worker-oriented departments: IAM CARES and IAM Community Services. They will be working closely with local lodge and district leaders to help you and your family during this difficult emotional and economic period. Please contact your local to see if they also have a Community Services Committee.

5) Watch out for Con Artists
Con artists and hustlers come out of the woodwork whenever disaster strikes. You should expect (and ignore) ads promising to "make your credit problems disappear" or to let you "earn $40,000 a year working from the comfort of your home." Your local should be able to refer you to reliable local counselors or Consumer Credit Bureaus.

6) Stay Active; Stay Positive
You can and will land a new job. You landed your old job, right? And very likely, you did so without the guidance and professional support you have available today. " It's important to start your job search as soon after layoff as possible - before all the bills and pressure piles up and before your spirits start to flag," one counselor explained. "Keep your routine together," another advisor said. "Get up at the same time you used to get up. Eat at the same times. If you are used to physical work, get some exercise every day. You've got to stay active and positive, and keep control over your life."