50 Years Later, Machinists March for Voting Rights in Selma


IAM General Vice Presidents Mark Blondin and Diane Babineaux, second and third from right, respectively, march with over 200 IAM members and thousands of others at the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Selma to Montgomery march. (Photo: Bill Burke/Page One Photography)

selma2One newspaper referred to Selma, AL as a tiny town on the outskirts of nowhere, but for 72 hours this week, Selma rose to its full height as the living, breathing center of the civil rights universe. With more than 60,000 marchers converging on the infamous Edmund Pettus Bridge, the world was once again given images from the same place marchers were being clubbed, gassed and trampled in 1965.

selma3selma1Fifty years after Bloody Sunday, hundreds of IAM members and their families joined civil, human and workers’ rights activists to commemorate the sacrifice of those who risked their lives to end Jim Crow-era policies preventing millions of African Americans from voting. Their bravery captivated a nation, and led to the passing of the Voting Rights Act later that year.US-HISTORY-POLITICS-RIGHTS-RACISM

“All that history met on this bridge,” President Obama said at the commemoration. He was joined by the likes of Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who nearly died at the hands of Alabama State Troopers when he led marchers over the same bridge 50 years ago.

But Obama made clear that the fight is far from over. There are newly-enacted voter-ID laws, early voting restrictions, unfair redistricting and a recent Supreme Court ruling that gutted the Voting Rights Act.

“Right now, in 2015, 50 years after Selma, there are laws across this country designed to make it harder for people to vote,” said Obama. “As we speak, more of such laws are being proposed. Meanwhile, the Voting Rights Act, the culmination of so much blood, so much sweat and tears, the product of so much sacrifice in the face of wanton violence, the Voting Rights Act stands weakened, its future subject to political rancor.”

IAM General Vice President Diane Babineaux was joined by a contingent of Machinists Union members carrying signs proclaiming “Voter Rights are Human Rights.”

“It’s an awe-inspiring experience to be amongst the civil rights icons who risked their lives to march across this bridge 50 years ago. They did it for us, and we’re here to recognize that sacrifice,” said IAM General Vice President Diane Babineaux. “What makes me hopeful is the amount of young people here who weren’t even alive in the 1960s. The torch is being passed to a generation that is ready to fight back against modern-day affronts to voting rights. The future is in good hands.”

“We had nearly 200 IAM members and their families come from all over the country to mark this momentous anniversary in our country’s history,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “They came here because one of our most sacred American freedoms – the right to vote – is under attack once again. The IAM stands on the right side of history, and we stand for the right of everyone to have their voices heard.”

source: http://www.goiam.org/index.php/imail/latest/14139-50-years-later-machinists-march-for-voting-rights-in-selma

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Lochlan, Son of Machinist Member Jason Murray, Makes A Difference For The Poor And Homeless

For the third year, Lochlan has led the “Hungry Tummies” food drive, helping out the poor and homeless in Langley. The first year netted 140 kilos of food. In 2013 that haul increased to 230 kilos.

This December 2014 saw Lochlan collecting 280 kilos of food plus a donation of $750 from LL692 and LL11 to buy more food.

This year, Lochlan upped the ante, hoping to collect 600 pounds by day’s end.
The Langley Advance carried a feature on the Food Drive quoting Lochlan “A few years ago I just got to feeling that I should help people who don’t have much money and need food. The first time, we just got a bunch of food from our house and brought it to a food place, and from then on we were collecting food from people.”

food-driveThe paper continued that Lochlan’s dad Jason, who works for Belterra, said he’s “super proud” of his son, who came up with this plan when he was four years old and hosted his first event when he was five. “Just the fact that he’s thinking of other people beyond himself is pretty awesome,” Jason said. “He came up with the idea and we just got behind him.”

District Lodge 250 salutes this young man for thinking of his community and finding a material way to help.

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Members of District Lodge 250 Executive Are Sworn In

executive members sworn in sm

 District President Bill Macpherson
Swears In Executive Members at January 31st, 2015 District Meeting
l to r: Stan Dzbik, 1st Trustee; Craig Nash, 3rd Trustee; Mark Benoit, Vice President; Dave Betker, Member at Large; Larry Lento, Member at Large;
Amanda Pascuzzi, Auditor

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IAM Band unioNation Looking for Musicians



The IAM’s popular unioNation band is asking: Do you want to be a part of history?

The band is calling all IAM, TCU and NFFE members who have musical talents to update and write modern labor music. All genres are welcome, from rap and country to rock and hip-hop.

Help share stories through songs about work, walking the picket line, bargaining better contracts, worker and social justice, or motivating a crowd for a rally. Go to www.unionation.com for a look at what the original band has already accomplished.

Click here to watch their music videos on YouTube.

If you are interested in writing, singing or playing an instrument for unioNation, contact Henry Bagwell, William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center Instructor, at 301-373-8815 or hbagwell@iamaw.org

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Labour Councils Release Lists of Endorsed Candidates for the November 15th Municipal Elections

IAM Votingvoters sketch

For Mayor, Councils, School and Parks Boards on November 15.

It’s election time for municipalities in BC, and your vote will make a difference.  Now more than ever, strong, progressive leadership is needed in local governments, and IAM members need to make their voices heard on what matters to working families.

Why does this election matter?

Local governments are being asked to do more with less.  Cities aren’t just for garbage collection and sewer lines anymore.  Strong local leaders are needed to hold the provincial and federal governments accountable for everything from Healthcare cuts that impact policing to environmental concerns and cuts to education that impact our families.

I’d like to vote but there are too many choices—and no parties I recognize.  How do I choose?

While it is good to research and get to know candidates in your city, there is a short cut.  Some candidates have been endorsed by your local Labour Council.

What is a Labour Endorsed Candidate?  And why should I vote for them?

Labour Councils work with Unions and community groups to identify priorities in our communities on key issues like Infrastructure, Fair Wages, Purchasing and Procurement, Taxes, Sustainability and Public Education.  A Labour endorsed candidate is one who shares our priorities and will work to make our communities better places to work and live.

Hey, there are more council seats than there are endorsed candidates!  Now what do I do?

That’s correct.  For some cities there are only a few endorsed candidates.  You do not have to vote for every position on a ballot, or you can fill in with your own local knowledge and research.  The important thing is to get out and vote, so you can say

Ok, so I’m going to vote.  How do I find out who the Labour Endorsed Candidates are?

It’s easy! 

For Vancouver, North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver and Richmond


For Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Delta, Port Coquitlam, Langley, Port Moody, Township of Langley, Surrey and Maple Ridge


For: Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Hope and Mission


For Central Saanich, Metchosin, Colwood, Oak Bay, Township of Esquimalt, Saanich, Langford, Islands Trust, North Pender Island and Victoria


For Duncan, Parksville, Nanaimo, Cowichan Valley Regional District and North Cowichan


For Campbell River, Village of Cumberland and Courtenay


For Powell River


Other areas:











See you at the Polls!

Authorized by IAM&AW, registered sponsor under LECFA, western@iam140.ca


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