IAM District 751’s Jason Chan Recognized as Influential AAPI Labor Leader

IAM District 751 Chief of Staff Jason Chan was recently recognized by the AFL-CIO as part of their Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month member spotlight. Chan has been a member of Local 751A in Seattle, WA for over 13 years, serving the membership in many representative roles including Local 751A President, District 751 Business Representative and currently Chief of Staff to District President Jon Holden.

“I am proud of Jason and appreciate the work he has done for our membership. He works to provide pathways for a better standard of living for the AAPI community through his leadership in APALA,” said District 751 President Jon Holden. “He is an inspirational leader who cares deeply about our union, helps promote and inspire others to get involved and works to build solidarity within our members, the broader labor movement and our communities.”

“Asian Pacific Americans have enhanced the Labor movement for many years and have made significant contributions to the causes of working people by advocating for advancing workers, immigrants and civil rights,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “Brother Jason Chan exemplifies this statement and the mission of APALA through his work in the labor movement and in our communities. I am honored to work alongside of him in our plight for justice and look forward to his continued leadership in our territory.”

Chan is a leader and advocate, not just for District 751, but in the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), at both the local and national level, as well as in Washington state and county labor councils.

He spends many weekends building wheelchair ramps for area residents and helping with other community service projects. He also raises funds for Guide Dogs of America and works on organizing drives in an effort to expand rights for more workers. Chan motivates others to get involved and helps them on the path to leadership. He strives to educate and inspire students on the importance of union membership.

Read the full AFL-CIO article.

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New Shop Steward Posting

(1) 1st SHIFT BATH/EBMF Maintenance

Shop Steward nominations for the above classification(s), shift and facility are now open.  Petitions may be picked up beginning on May 28, 2021 at the Local S6 Union Hall.

You must be a member in good standing for one (1) year to run for Shop Steward and The petition must be signed by ten percent (10%) of the members in the classification(s) affected.

 All petitions must be returned to the Recording Secretary (Ryan Ryder) no later than 4:00 p.m., June 14, 2021.

 

(1) 1st SHIFT BATH/EBMF O04

Shop Steward nominations for the above classification(s), shift and facility are now open.  Petitions may be picked up beginning on May 28, 2021 at the Local S6 Union Hall.

 You must be a member in good standing for one (1) year to run for Shop Steward and The petition must be signed by ten percent (10%) of the members in the classification(s) affected.

 All petitions must be returned to the Recording Secretary (Ryan Ryder) no later than 4:00 p.m., June 14, 2021.

 

Winpisinger Center’s Chuck Lowe: A Lifetime of Service to Military Veterans

The motto of the Machinists Union, forever emblazoned on its flag, is “justice on the job, service to the community.”

That’s not just a catchy phrase. In the Machinist Union family, those are words to live by.

IAM member Chuck Lowe, the lead groundsperson at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center (W3 Center), exemplifies the true meaning of what it means to be guided by these values.

“Our flag says it all. The IAM can be an example to other unions and to the public and lead the way,” said Lowe. “We can start something that other people may want to copy.”

In 2001, when Lowe was hired as a full-time groundskeeper at the W3 Center, he had already lived a life to be proud of. Serving in the U.S. Army as a corporal, with time in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm, he arrived understanding the values of what it means to be a veteran and how important it is that we take care of these heroes when they return home.

“It’s very easy in this country to forget about things that happened in the past,” explained Lowe. “That’s why we have days like Memorial and Veterans Day, to take time out of your schedule to think about all the people who put their lives on the line for the freedoms that we all enjoy now. But that also needs to happen when it’s not a holiday.”

So, he put his words into action, in more ways than one, to be of service to the veteran community. As a 30-plus year member of the American Legion, Lowe spends much of his free time volunteering in schools across St. Mary’s county, teaching elementary kids the importance and meaning of the American flag and sharing his story of being a veteran with high school students.

But for Lowe, that wasn’t enough – he wanted to do more to honor those who had served in the armed forces. Something even closer to home. The IAM was more than happy to assist. 

That’s when the idea for a luncheon at the W3 Center came to life. A day to honor, recognize and thank the people in the community who ensured the freedoms we all enjoy today. So, in 2013, Lowe began organizing and coordinating a twice-yearly luncheon at the W3 Center for the men and women who live at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in St. Mary’s Country, an assisted living facility where the IAM proudly represents the caregivers who take care of these veterans.

“On the day of the luncheon, we just sit around and talk and the employees and participants will come up and thank them for their service. We share stories and camaraderie,” said Lowe with a laugh. “And we always serve crab cakes that day because that’s something they don’t get at Charlotte Hall.”

But to the men and women living at Charlotte Hall who served in both the Korean and Vietnam wars, this day means so much more. The same can be said of the IAM members there to witness the event.

“The first time we held the luncheon, as these veterans were leaving the dining hall after lunch, the entire room full of IAM members and staff stood up and started clapping in their honor. It was not planned or prompted, it just happened and I really lost it because it was so amazing,” remembered Lowe.

“Chuck has worked hard to ensure that those who have sacrificed much on behalf of our country are not forgotten, but acknowledged and honored,” said W3 Center Director Chris Wagoner. “His activism on behalf of veterans exemplifies the IAM’s motto perfectly. I am incredibly proud of Chuck – he does a great job here as a Master Groundskeeper – and beyond that, a great job being an activist for veterans in our community”

Outside the dining hall, Lowe organized the planting of a tree and the placement of a plaque to honor these men and women who have made the world a better place for us all. It remains there today.

A few weeks ago, the IAM held the 2021 International President’s Capital Classic Golf Tournament, which raised nearly $100,000 for capital improvement projects for those who live at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. Lowe will be at the event when the check is presented. He can’t wait for another opportunity to let these veterans know how much they mean to this country.

“That will be an awesome day to be a Fighting Machinist,” said Lowe.

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District 19 Raises Over $70,000 for Guide Dogs of America

IAM District 19 recently held their sixth annual Guide Dogs of America/Tender Loving Canines  charity golf event, raising more than $70,000 for the Machinists Union’s favorite charity. The tournament brought together 92 golfers and many volunteers at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club in Tennessee. 

“I want to thank District 19 President Mike Perry and his tremendous staff and all the volunteers for again hosting a great event which will better the lives of those in need,” said Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “Guide Dogs of America has always held a special place in my heart, and I cannot express enough gratitude, especially in these trying times, to all the Machinists who donated their time and money to make this year’s event such a success.”

“District 19 has taken great pride in hosting an annual Guide Dogs of America event,” said District 19 President Mike Perry. “I thank GVP Sito Pantoja for his continued support and for attending and speaking at the event. We are very fortunate to have so many caring members and volunteers who have made this event special each year.”

Guide Dogs Graduate and Machinist Phillip Whitcher and his companion, Virgil, were the honorary guests at the tournament. Whitcher gave a heartwarming speech about how the GDA and Virgil have changed his life for the better.  

At the beginning of last year, GDA completed a merger with Tender Loving Canines, and now provides hardworking service dogs for people who are blind/visually impaired, veterans, individuals with autism, and facilities to become trusted companions that bring confidence, independence, and mobility. Their services are provided free of charge to residents in the U.S. and Canada.

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