Official website of the IAM/Woodworkers District W24 Lodge. Please visit the News page for up-to-date information on important news and events within your Lodge. You can also find us on Facebook - look for IAM.District.W24.

Ride to the Beach for Guide Dogs Raises $3300

The 9th Annual Chuck Drake Memorial Guide Dog Dash was held Saturday, August 22nd, 2015. 56 riders and passengers began at the IBEW Local 48 Union Hall on Airport Way in Portland, Ore. and finished at Rockaway Beach. Prizes were awarded for high and low hands, a raffle was held, and lunch was served at Lakeside Hideaway, the final stop. Special thanks on behalf of Local Lodge 63 to all who participated and volunteered to help, as well as the puppy raisers who came out again in support!

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Sweed Machinery Inks First Contract as Machinists Union Members

Sweed Machinery, formerly part of the Boilermakers Union, became Machinists Union members recently in a cooperative effort by both unions to obtain representation for members that was better positioned, geographically.

The new contract, covering 26 members, expires June 1st, instead of December 1st, and resulted in a .95 cent wage increase over 3 years, eligible for merit increases. Sundays and Holidays (10 included in the contract) will be paid at a double time rate.

The grievance procedure now has arbitration; the prior contract with the Boilermakers had mediation only.

Healthcare was an 80-20 split, now improved to 85-15 split with a $250.00 match Section 125 through the employer. Employees can still opt out if the spouse has better insurance and they get compensated for opt out. Also included is $50,000 in life insurance.

"The crew now has excellent representation with Business Representative John Hilkey, and the local lodge is just minutes away in White City, solving a big issue with the crew when it came to filing grievances and not having a rep close to deal with the employer at a moments notice," said BR Will Lukens, who helped Brother Hilkey and BR Robert Petroff during negotiations.

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ABM Onsite Services at PDX Joins the IAM

Twenty-four workers from ABM Onsite Services West, Inc., at Portland International Airport, became District W24 members after a vote held April 2, 2015. The group oversees the conveyor system inside the matrix at PDX, ensuring that all passengers' luggage leaving on departing flights make it safely and efficiently to the ramp agents.

The group sought union representation starting in July of 2014 and withstood vigorous attempts by ABM management to thwart their attempt to unionize. Their resolve and solidarity has finally paid off. Welcome to the IAM!

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Video: How Guide Dogs of America Gives 'Tails of Independence'

iMail, March 12, 2015

A new video tells the remarkable first-person stories of how visually-impaired men and women are finding independence from guide dogs donated and trained by the Guide Dogs of America (GDA), and how GDA makes sure every dog is a perfect match for their human partner.

Watch “Tails of Independence” here.

You’ll hear from folks like Pam Metz, a GDA Graduate who is now able to navigate her daily tasks with the help of her guide dog, Kingston.

“My reason for getting a guide dog was that I needed to be independent,” said Metz. “I never have liked depending on anybody, and I needed the ability to go when I needed to go and do what I needed to do.”

Greg Steinmetz received his first guide dog, Proxy, in 2004.

“That really changed a lot for me and made me much more independent and confident and opened a lot of doors that I don’t think I would’ve gone through had I not had a guide dog,” said Steinmetz.

“Guide Dogs of America was founded to provide freedom and mobility to the blind and visually impaired,” said GDA President Dale Hartford. “So when they call the school, we know exactly what they need. We match them with a well-trained guide dog, and that allows them to travel through this world with freedom and independence – that’s our mission.”

GDA services are provided at no charge to guide dog recipients. All donations come from IAM members, IAM local and district events, caring individuals, businesses, foundations, clubs, and organizations as well as through wills and bequests. The cost to produce a qualified guide dog companion, train the dog and recipient as a team, and provide the follow-up services to ensure safety and effectiveness throughout the team’s working life, is over $42,000.

To learn more about Guided Dogs of America, call 818-362-5834 or visit www.guidedogsofamerica.org.

Guide Dogs of America Changes Lives - Video Link

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Sweed Machinery Joins the IAM

25 Machinists, Fabricators and Painters Voted last week to become proud members of the IAM, District Lodge W24 and LL W261 located in Central Point, OR. Sweed Machinery Inc. is located in Gold Hill, OR in the heart of the Rogue River Valley just minutes north of Medford, OR.

Sweed Machinery Inc. specializes in the manufacturing of material handling equipment and separating systems, that include veneer, panel handling, choppers and shears.

District President/Directing Business Representative Chip Elliot expressed this thanks to those that were involved in the organizing campaign: Business Representative/Organizers Bob Petroff, Will Lukens and John Hilkey, and welcomes these new members to the IAM.

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Facebook Pages for Weyco Bargaining Unit Members

Four facebook pages have been created for Weyco groups. Join the group that applies to you for updated information on collective bargaining.

Woodworkers W24 WTL Washington Trucking

Woodworkers W24 WTL Logging

Woodworker W24 WTL Oregon Trucking

Woodworkers W24 Washington Sawmills

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Remember to Update Your Mailing Address with Your Union

Oftentimes, people don't think about updating their address with their union hall. Even if you're retired, it's important to keep your address and phone number updated. To do so, just call the Dues Office. Employers and the USPS don't update the hall automatically.

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Large Back Pay Award for Newly Organized Group at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

After a long and tenacious struggle, 13 Victim Advocates who work under a Service Contract at Joint Base Lewis McCord have gained a bit of justice. The Wage and Hour division of the Department of Labor has just finished their investigation and reached a settlement with their previous employer, Strategic Resources, Inc. (SRI), for a back pay settlement that could be well into the millions!

Western Territory GLR Kevin Cummings and District W24 BR/Organizer Wayne Thompson have been working with this group of dedicated women for 2 years, and the initial employer – Strategic Resources, Inc. – has finally been forced to make partial amends for their actions. Cummings and Thompson had organized the group a year-and-a-half ago, but SRI refused to honor the certification, or the workers sacrifice. “Victim Advocates are the first responders for Domestic Violence issues on military installations and a finer group of people is hard to find” said Thompson, “it has truly been a pleasure to work with them”.

Cummings added, “this group has a tremendous dedication to their mission, they are on call 24/7, and are placed in heart-breaking and sometimes dangerous situations. They don’t complain. They just go out and help the families of our warriors who are in tough situations and truly need them. Our hearts went out to them, we had to help.”

SRI had refused to recognize the Union, or rather, the NLRB’s authority to certify the first election in 2012, and refused to meet or bargain. Multiple Unfair Labor Practice charges were filed. The NLRB is continuing their battle with the company over their behavior. During the process, Cummings and Thompson became aware of some pay practices that just seemed wrong, and apparently illegal. They guided the employees at JBLM through the complaint process with the Wage and Hour division of the US Department of Labor, and urged W & H to look at SRI worldwide.

After an 18 month investigation, on April 2, 2014, the Victim Advocates, now employed by Armed Forces Services Company (AFSC), are being notified of a settlement agreement between the DOL and SRI. Each employee is receiving back pay for wages and benefits denied them by SRI in violation of wage and hours laws. Employees will be receiving their checks by April 25th. Most of the back pay awards are between $10,000 and $15,000. That in and of itself is a win, but the DOL did expand the investigation and DOL has stated that the settlement is for SRI Victim Advocates worldwide. With nearly 200 employees involved it will likely exceed $2,500,000.00.

When the group first turned to the IAM, they were being paid $14.40 per hour, and were not getting overtime for the late night calls to the crisis line, where they sometimes have to go and get the victim to the hospital or find them safe shelter. Victim Advocates working for counties, or the federal government, were making twice the amount in many cases. That is where the work began.

The IAM contacted the Department of the Army, and Senators Murray and Tester (members of the Senate Armed Forces committee), and raised the concerns about misclassification, and compensation issues. It took nearly a year, but last year the Army adjusted the area wage determination for the group to $24.26, and that is above and beyond the W&H settlement! Not only did these workers get the raise, but the Army created a new AWD for this classification that increased the pay for all Victim Advocates under this SCA – a total of twenty-five military bases, and there are nearly two hundred of them today, all enjoying the increased pay as a result of the IAM stepping in to help. Ultimately, SRI lost the Service Contract with the government after their bad behavior was exposed to everyone from Command at JBLM, to the Pentagon, to the US Congress.

Just last month, a second election was held and the Victim Advocates voted overwhelmingly to join the IAM. The new employer, AFSC, has been very receptive and respectful to both the workers and the Union since certification last month and progress is being made towards getting a Collective Bargaining Agreement in place.

“We are really pleased that there is finally some compensation for all the pain and abuse these sisters went through,” said Cummings. “Wayne and I are very proud to have been a part of bringing justice to this issue. The group never gave up, and neither did the IAM. When we stand together, we win!”

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IAM Members at Boeing Portland - Learn a New Language with Mango!

IAM/Boeing Joint Programs is pleased to announce that we have partnered with Mango Languages to provide IAM-represented employees a new way to learn a language. Mango offers 60 foreign-language courses and 17 English language courses to choose from – and is continuously adding to their library of languages.

Learning with Mango is free for active IAM-represented Boeing employees. The Licenses will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, starting April 1, 2014. You are encouraged to take advantage of this great resource.

Mango offers a fast, effective, and convenient solution all your language-learning needs. Each lesson combines real-life conversations and audio from native speakers with simple, clear instructions. The courses also give users insight into global customs and an effective approach that integrates components of vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture. Mango keeps language learning intuitive and encourages learners to fit pieces and sentence structures together on their own using critical thinking and repetition.

Mango is accessible online wherever there is an internet connection, and offers free downloadable apps for learning anytime on iPhone and Android devices. Mango’s app is also available on iPad, Kindle, and Nook. Mango is for use on your personal computers and devices only; Boeing computers and devices should not be used for Mango.

Visit the IAM-Boeing Joint Programs website starting April 1, 2014 for information and to start learning the language of your dreams.

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