Melissa Campbell, Paul Shepherd and Steven Van Wie have been appointed as Grand Lodge Special Representatives assigned to the Western Territory.
“I have no doubt that these three talented representatives will continue to do great things in their roles within the Western Territory and have a profound impact on the labor movement as a whole,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “Sister Campbell and Brothers Shepherd and Van Wie all bring their own unique skillsets to the territory and will play a vital role in the future of our great Union.”
Campbell has been an active member in the IAM for more than 30 years. She initiated into Sky Harbor Lodge 2559 in May of 1989 and served in almost every capacity within the local and State Council. She served the local as Trustee, Recording Secretary, Vice President, Communicator, Educator and President. She also served on numerous committees including Organizing, Community Service, and the Women’s Committee.
While working at Southwest Airlines Campbell served as Shop Steward for 19 years and was active on the joint safety committee for more than two decades. As her involvement in the local grew, so did her activism outside the local. She began attending Arizona State Council of Machinists meetings quarterly. It was at State Council where Campbell received her greatest education – engaging with members outside of her own territory and understanding the labor movement as a whole. She served as Auditor, Trustee, Vice President, Secretary Treasurer, and President. She was the first female president of a State Council in the IAM, and the first from Transportation in Arizona.
Campbell worked as a Communications Representative for the IAM for 15 months from 2004-2005 but went back to Arizona to raise her children. She became the Education Representative for the Western Territory in February of 2016 until the layoffs in July of 2020. Campbell returned as an Instructor for the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in January of 2021 Until her most recent appointment as Special Representative.
Brother Shepherd studied business at Utah Valley University earning a degree and an early work history in accounting and economics. As a licensed pilot since 1999 and wanting a change from corporate accounting, he later pursued, and received a Bachelor’s in Aeronautics from the University of North Dakota.
Shepherd was introduced to the IAM while he was working as a service contract Air Traffic Controller/Flight Service Specialist at Lockheed Martin in Prescott, Arizona. In 2008-2009 the IAM ran a nationwide campaign and successfully organized all the Lockheed Martin AFSS Air Traffic Controllers. He had a front row seat to that 18-month campaign and, wanting to help his sisters and brothers find justice on the job, joined the IAM.
Shepherd was initiated in 2009 as a charter member of the newly formed IAM Local 2009 and selected as the first Local President. He was elected to the national negotiating committee as a Bargaining Representative where he remained for that first, and each follow-on CBA. He was also elected Chief Steward, a position he held until 2015. That year the Executive Council authorized and established a new Business Agency that merged the servicing of several smaller locals. Shepherd was selected as the President/Directing Business Representative (P/DBR) and Organizer of IAM Local 2009 which would later merge into IAM Local 519. He also serves as Vice-President on the Arizona State Council.
As P/DBR overseeing negotiations, servicing and organizing, Paul brings his professionalism, understanding of economics, negotiation acumen and expertise in Service Contract to the fight every day on behalf of the members of the unaffiliated local lodges throughout Arizona and Southern Nevada.
Brother Van Wie began his career serving in the U.S. Air Force as a Dedicated Crew Chief on the F-15 and F-22 airframes. Serving in subzero temperatures on the flight lines of Elmendorf, Alaska was a true test of will. While not working on jets, he served as the Head Trainer for the Base Honor Guard Team. He led the teams in delivering final burial honors for fallen service members.
After serving honorably in the Air Force, he started his career as a civilian mechanic working on military test aircraft for Pratt and Whitney at Edwards AFB in Southern California. This is where he was first introduced to the IAM. He quickly took on the role of steward and contract negotiator for his shop. There, Van Wie learned the true value of unionism and fighting for his sisters and brothers. In 2015, he was hired at District Lodge 725 as an Apprentice Organizer. There he applied the same principles he had learned early in his union career, fighting for workers in demanding dignity, equality, and respect in the workplace.
In 2016, Van Wie was hired as a Business Representative and later appointed Area Director at District Lodge 725. His servicing responsibilities included shops of large private sector manufacturers and defense service contracts.
“These three talented individuals bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and leadership to the Western Territory and the IAM,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “I’m excited have them on staff, and I look forward to seeing the results of their continued efforts on improving the lives of working families.”
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1,100 IAM Local 1296 members, who make large commercial heating and air units at Trane Technologies, last week overwhelmingly voted to ratify a four-year collective bargaining agreement at the Clarksville, TN plant.
The contract secured increases in wages, paid sick leave, raising short term disability pay by 10 percent, and maintaining the current employee monthly medical premium contribution levels and formulas for the duration of the agreement along with a greater shoe allowance and improvements in various contract language.
“The gains in this contract could not have been achieved without the solidarity exhibited from the members of Local Lodge 1296,” said District 1888 President and Directing Business Representative Jerry Benson. “Your togetherness and patience during these unprecedented times allowed the negotiating committee time to achieve a great contract. I want to congratulate our members and the IAM Local Lodge 1296 Negotiating Committee.”
“I couldn’t be any prouder of our members for standing strong for what is right,” said IAM District 1888 Business Representative Ernie Epps. “Thanks to the assistance from the Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace and the departments at IAM Headquarters, our committee was able to get our members a contract that they can be proud of. It was truly a group effort all the way.”
“The improvements won in this contract are a result of the unwavering unity displayed by the members of Local 1296,” said Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace. “I congratulate our members, the IAM Local 1296 Negotiating Committee, IAM District 1888 Directing Business Representative Jerry Benson, and all the support staff from the Winpisinger Center, Legal, Strategic Resources and Communications Departments for their teamwork in attaining a great contract, especially during the trying times of the pandemic.”
After an arduous month of bargaining amid the current pandemic, the negotiating committee reached a tentative agreement they could recommend to members.
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Carline Lang-Smith tells us what it was like when she first joined the Machinists Union 32 years ago. She was proactive, joining organizations and committees at a time when there weren’t very many women.
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In a big step toward relief for the tens of thousands of Machinists Union members working in the aerospace industry, a payroll support fund to protect aviation manufacturing jobs has been included in the House’s omnibus reconciliation package aimed at COVID relief. The IAM Legislative Department and members across the country
to include these provisions in any relief package that is passed.
“Machinists Union members are the most skilled and dedicated aerospace and defense workers in the world,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “We must do everything we can to preserve such a critical workforce through this crisis and be ready for growth when it passes. As the largest aerospace and defense union in North America, we applaud Reps. Larsen and Estes, Sens. Cantwell and Moran, and others who are championing this bipartisan, worker-first and desperately needed legislation.”
The provision would provide a federal cost-share program to retain aerospace workers who are at risk of being furloughed and recall workers who were furloughed due to the drastic reduction in air travel since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Although this is move in the right direction, we must continue to apply pressure to Congress. Call your Representative at 202-224-3121 to urge them to include the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act of 2021, and save thousands of crucial aerospace jobs.
The IAM partnered with Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) in the effort to secure financial relief for workers.
The Machinists Union
included in the next round of COVID relief.
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The IAM’s Veterans Services program is reporting a boost in recruitment. The program, which is under the union’s Retirees and Membership Assistance Department, was created in 2016 and continues its growth in popularity. Enrollment is up from 2,400 in July 2020 to 4,100 as of this February.
“Seeing an opportunity to increase interest and further expand the program, we wanted to ramp up our efforts by reaching out to everyone,” said IAM Retirees and Membership Assistance Director Ed Manhart, who manages the IAM’s military veteran outreach. “It’s the least we can do for their selfless acts of courage and sacrifices they made for our country.”
The program provides an extensive range of services such as the IAM Employee Assistance Program. It also offers help to veterans struggling with PTSD, mental health problems and/or substance abuse. Veterans can attend week-long seminars at the union-owned and operated Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD. One particular segment of the training helps military veterans navigate through the often-complicated and difficult tasks of filing benefit claims with the federal government. All IAM membership services are free of charge.
The IAM encourages military veterans to enroll in the program by visiting its website or submitting paper applications. In early January of this year, the Veterans Services program launched the latest veterans outreach effort by sending packets of application forms to all IAM districts and locals across the country. The project is proving successful through an increased awareness, interest and participation in this valuable IAM member service benefit.
If you’d like to register for the program, please visit the
or sign up by way of tablet at your local or district.
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