• How to Fight Right-to-Work if You Live in Missouri

    Reposted from the St. Louis Labor Tribune.

    It was standing-room-only at the Tri-County Labor Club’s most recent meeting, as union members jockeyed for position to learn, “What do we do now that Missouri’s ‘right-to-work’ legislation has been signed into law?”

    “We’re getting nothing but calls asking ‘What we can do?’” said Club President Steve Bailey. “We have to live with what we’ve got, but we’ve got to stay in the fight.”

    Early this month, newly-elected Republican Gov. Eric Greitens fulfilled his campaign promise to sign “right-to-work,” but almost before the ink dried, Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis fought back, filing a Referral Referendum petition that will, if signed by more than 140,000 – 160,000 registered voters, require a statewide vote in 2018 on the RTW law before it could take effect.

    Additionally, Labor is considering a separate Initiated Constitutional Amendment Petition signature campaign on a proposed constitutional amendment that would prohibit the General Assembly from ever enacting “right-to-work” laws in the future.

    THE DIFFERENCE IN PETITIONS

    Two differences between the two efforts:

    • A Referral Referendum requires five percent of signatures of the total vote in the last governor’s election in 6 of Missouri’s 8 congressional districts. If passed by the voters, RTW cannot be implemented, however, the issue can be brought up again in the next legislative session and passed.

    It is is a rarely used process that, if it gets the required number of signatures, forces a statewide vote on it. Using this approach, citizens have rejected the legislature’s actions 24 of 26 times.

    • An Initiated Constitutional Amendment requires eight percent of signatures of the total vote in the last governor’s election in 6 of Missouri’s 8 congressional districts. It bypasses lawmakers altogether; citizens propose the legislation and it goes directly to the voters for their approval.

    If passed by the voters, it becomes part of Missouri’s constitution and can’t be brought up again by the legislature; to change the constitution would require a vote of the public.

    MAKING THE ROUNDS

    Greater St. Louis Labor Council President Pat White has been making the rounds speaking at labor clubs and other organizations, explaining and answering questions about what lies ahead in the fight against the anti-worker anti-union law.

    White emphasized the importance of gathering between some 140,000 and 160,000 signatures of registered voters to put either measure on the ballot.

    “If we can pass this Referral Referendum by an overwhelming number, which we feel we can do, we hope that the politicians in the state will see that the people of Missouri don’t want this terrible law,” White said.

    REGISTER TO VOTE

    “The number one thing to do right now is get registered to vote,” White said.

    “Registration first, then voting are the keys. You need to get everyone in your family of voting age registered to vote. Tell your friends, family and neighbors that if they aren’t registered, their signature on the petition is not valid to get RTW on the ballot. And if they’re not registered, they can’t vote to stop ‘right-to-work.’

    “We need people to understand what ‘right-to-work’ can do to you and your family’s security, and we need to get people registered and out to vote.”

    STAY INFORMED

    White said it’s important for union members to stay informed through the Missouri AFL-CIO, the St. Louis Labor Council and the Labor Tribune, all of which have websites and can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

    He said information will also be distributed through local union halls and labor clubs.

    MAINTAIN SOLIDARITY

    White said it’s also important to maintain solidarity with your brothers and sisters in other unions both in the public and private sector.

    “We have to be in lockstep with each other,” White said. “They will try to pit us against each other.”

    WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

    • Sign up to be a petition gatherer: Send your name, address cell phone and email info to: NO RTW, 300 Weidman Rd., Ballwin, MO 63011 or email nortw@ufcw655.org or send a text to 314-420-6484.

    Training will be provided for signature gatherers.

    • Show up when the word goes out that we’re ready to begin. When and where will be announced.
    • Spread the word to your family and friends about the upcoming campaign and ask them to sign-up help.

    “This is not only going to affect union folks, this is going to affect everybody,” White said. “The facts are that yearly wages go down in ‘right-to-work’ states.”

    The post How to Fight Right-to-Work if You Live in Missouri appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Better Hurry: IAM Scholarship Deadline is Friday

    Everyone could use some help with tuition, and the IAM Scholarship Competition is a good place to find it. But you better act fast because the submission deadline is Friday, February 24.

    Click here to see the eligibility rules and download applications.

    The IAM awards scholarships to:

    • Children of IAM members (parent or guardian) applying for college
    • Children of IAM members (parent or guardian) applying for vocational or technical school
    • IAM members applying for college

    Since its implementation in 1960, the scholarship competition has continued to grow. This past year, 2015-2016, the IAM received 294 applications for scholarships. The 16 scholarships awarded were valued at $72,000.

    You may call the IAM Safety and Health Department, which administers the scholarship competition, at 301-967-4708 to request an application packet to be mailed. Application packets have been sent to local and district lodges.

    Click here for details on the 2017 IAM Scholarship.

    The post Better Hurry: IAM Scholarship Deadline is Friday appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Activate Your Voice at the IAM Communications Conference

    Technological advancement and social media have greatly changed the way the world communicates. Is your Local or District up to date on the latest trends? Are you communicating with our members and the public in the best ways possible?

    As Communicators, these are the questions we need to be asking ourselves. Find the answers at the 2017 IAM Communications Conference.

    Join us May 21-24, 2017 in Austin, TX for a fresh take on the best ways of communicating with our sisters and brothers. The conference will feature guest speakers, workshops and hands-on training to effectively get the IAM’s message to our members and the public.

    Register now and ensure a special room rate at the Hyatt Regency Austin.

    InformationOfficial Call (EN)Official Call (FR)

    The 2017 IAM Communications Conference is scheduled for Sunday, May 21 through Wednesday, May 24, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency Austin, 208 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78704.  

    A special room rate has been arranged at the Hyatt Regency Austin for $209 for a single or double room. Reservations can be made by calling 888-421-1442. An online reservation may be made at http://iam4.me/17CommConf. Ask for the IAMAW group rate. The cutoff date for the special rate is Monday April 24, 2017.

     

    The post Activate Your Voice at the IAM Communications Conference appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Social Media Leads to Organizing Victory at Toronto Airport

    Thirty-five drivers at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport voted overwhelmingly to join the IAM recently. The campaign relied mainly on social media – texting and Facebook – to get information to Sky Café employees due to limited job site access for the organizers.

    “We couldn’t access these workers on the job site to conduct a traditional campaign so we opted for social media, which has the added bonus that the company couldn’t interfere on private communication,” explained IAM Transportation District 140 Organizer Sam Jabbar. “We communicated with these individuals about all aspects of the organizing process and answered all of their questions. This method was well received. At the end of the day, these new members made an informed choice and we very pleased to welcome them into the IAM family.”

    In typical union avoidance fashion, Sky Café ran an aggressive anti-union campaign.

    “They called in workers and part time staff on their day off, offering three hours of overtime if they would come in to vote no,” said Jabbar.

    The drivers deliver prepared meals from the Sky Café warehouse and kitchen to a variety of airlines at Pearson.

    The IAM is the largest union at Pearson and the largest in the Canadian air transport sector.

    The post Social Media Leads to Organizing Victory at Toronto Airport appeared first on IAMAW.