Midwest States Conference of Machinists Join Together Before Election Preparation

May 29, 2024 | Politics & Legislative News

The states of the IAM Midwest Territory sent representatives to St. Louis for the Midwest States Conference of Machinists to gather for a national political report from the IAM and to strategize for the upcoming election.

IAM delegates were joined by Illinois AFL-CIO President Tim Drea, U.S. Senate candidate Lucas Kunce (D-Mo.), Missouri House Rep. and gubernatorial candidate Crystal Quade (D), and Missouri AFL-CIO President Jake Hummel.

Although unable to attend in person, U.S. Rep. Nikki Budzinski (D-Ill.) delivered a message to the congregation via video message.

IAM National Legislative and Political Director Hasan Solomon delivered the national political report, reminding the conference of the IAM’s priorities for the upcoming presidential election.

IAM Midwest Territory Chief of Staff Rick Mickschl spoke to delegates on behalf of the territory and Midwest Territory General Vice President Sam Cicinelli. Mickschl pointed out the IAM Analysis of Presidential Impact on Labor, a comparison of President Donald Trump’s decisions and President Biden’s decisions and their results for workers and unions.

“Please vote, encourage others to vote, and get involved in the election process for our future as a union and our nation,” said Mickschl.

IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Craig Martin also delivered remarks, applauding the Midwest states for their accomplishments and recognizing organizing challenges some Midwest states face, like so-called right-to-work laws and anti-union politicians, that Southern states are also up against.

“The key to pushing back against these kinds of attacks is continuing to organize, continuing to look to the future — towards bringing new workers into our union family, so they can have the rights and benefits that come from having a good union job,” said Martin.

IAM Resident General Vice President Jody Bennett and IAM Assistant Secretary to the General Secretary-Treasurer Paul Kendall were also in attendance.

“It’s incredibly important to support political activism in our locals and districts,” said Bennett. “Meetings like this provide information to our members about the policy action being taken by the officials we’ve elected to office and set the direction for where our union will put our support and why. This is vital work for our union, as the policy course officials take has a direct impact on the members we represent, our workplaces, and labor as a whole.”

The meeting concluded with the committees delivering their reports and officers being appointed.

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