Ohio Machinists at Gradall Strike to Defend Working Families

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Eastern Territory, March 13, 2018 – A company attack on healthcare is being met by a strike of nearly 200 IAM Local 1285 (District 54) members at Gradall Industries in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

The excavator manufacturing company wants the ability to arbitrarily change employee healthcare benefits and contributions. In 2016, the company used similar language to yank coverage from spouses of employees covered by another employer-provided plan.Gradall Strike (2)

“Our Brothers and Sisters chose to stand and fight for quality healthcare for their families,” said District 54 President and Directing Business Representative T. Dean Wright Jr. “The members of Local 1285 have the full support of IAM District 54, the Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. and the entire Eastern Territory staff as long as it takes to get a fair and equitable contract.”

The IAM and the Negotiating Committee notified the company that they remain ready, willing and able to return to the bargaining table when the company is prepared to seriously address the concerns of the members. Gradall says it will meet with the IAM on Wednesday, March 14.

“The resolve of our members is unwavering,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “They will not be deterred by this company’s heavy-handed tactics. Their fight for decent, affordable healthcare isn’t just for their families, but for all working families in this community.”

Gradall Strike (1)

“I’m very proud of our Sisters and Brothers at Gradall for taking a stand for not just their families, but for all working people,” said International President Bob Martinez. “We will never back down from any company that chooses corporate greed over hard-working, dedicated working men and women. This union stands fully beside the members of Local 1285 and the Eastern Territory leadership team fighting alongside them.”

Picket lines went up at midnight on Monday, March 12.

Article courtesy of www.goiam.org/news/ohio-machinists-gradall-strike-defend-working-families/


Working People’s Day of Action

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

The Working People’s Day of Action on February 24th for Ohio will be held in Columbus. Columbus is one of nine national locations where these rallies are being held in advance of the U.S. Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME on February 26th.  Attached below is the flyer for the event.

Working People's Day of Action Flyer

Thanks for participating and showing SOLIDARITY to public sector workers,

T. Dean Wright, Jr.
Ohio State Council of Machinists

Ohio Machinists Focus on the Future


Delegates from across Ohio and West Virginia flooded into Columbus recently for the annual Ohio State Council of Machinists fall meeting. Delegates greeted an all-star lineup of labor-friendly candidates, including Senator Sherrod Brown.

State Council President T. Dean Wright Jr., kicked off the meeting addressing the current climate in Washington, saying “his administration divides us – we are looking for candidates that will bring us together and strengthen the middle class.”

Delegates heard from candidates seeking office across Ohio, and the council took action to endorse.

“The working families of Ohio want representatives who are going to stand up for workers’ rights,” said Wright. “They want candidates that will continue to work with the labor movement, standing up against harmful legislation that would lower wages, create unsafe working conditions and damage collective bargaining rights.”

Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr., updated the delegates on activities within the territory, and the importance of growing the IAM for the future.

“Growing our great union should be everyone’s focus,” said Conigliaro. “There are too many working people who don’t have a union, or the respect and dignity that comes with a solid collective bargaining contract. Many of them work in this so-called gig economy, or independent workers, and we are the only ones that can fix that. There’s no reason these workers, regardless of how they are labeled, shouldn’t have the same benefits and privileges that those of us in the labor movement enjoy.”

One of the featured events was Local 1297’s Guide Dogs of America (GDA) Texas Hold’em Poker Benefit Tournament. District 54 staff, delegates, and the 32 affiliated locals raised nearly $21,000 for GDA, MNPL, and the IAM Disaster Relief Fund that has been providing support for members affected by hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“I’m extremely proud of the staff of District 54 for their efforts to raise funds for these all important efforts,” said Wright. “Our members embody the IAM motto of Service to the Community.”

Article courtesy of goiam.org/